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My First Blog Post

Enter if you dare …

Welcome to my ghost and horror story blog. This is the place that I will share my own original stories and also spooky things that I have discovered. I have always been extremely interested in the supernatural, and have some knowledge of lore. I will be featuring some of my favourite things on this blog too. Thanks for following and let me know if you have a story or tale you would like to share or would like me to write about. See you soon …

More than just a Pipe Scream An interview with Janine Pipe

paul melhuish

It’s not often I get the old blog out but a chance to interview horror writer Janine Pipe, well, I wasn’t going to pass that up. Janine has quire an impressive resume as you’ll see and he’s been kind enough to answer a few questions so here goes….

Q. How long have you been writing? What got you started?

JP – I have been writing on and off since school. English was always my favourite subject and I was an avid reader from a young age. After Uni, life kind of took over. I was a police officer and that takes up all of your time, then I had my daughter and she took up all of my time. Then, a couple of years ago, I was made redundant. I’d left the police and was working as a teaching assistant. My daughter was at school so I suddenly had some…

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Mare of Easttown theories ahead of episode 7

So like a fair few of us, I have become OBSESSED with MoE and ahead of the season finale on Sunday/Monday, I thought that it might be fun to make some predictions.

I asked some fellow Mare nuts what they thought might happen, and sent them this list of questions:

1. Who do you think is Erin’s killer?
2. Who do you think the father of the baby is?
3. If you don’t think Dylan is the culprit, what on earth is he hiding?
4. The Rosses are definitely dodgy – you may have already labelled one or more of them as the answer to Q1 and Q2. But what about the rest of them, or, if you didn’t name them in Q1 and/or 2, just what the hell have they been up to?
Bonus questions – will there be any huge revelations you’d like to predict? Will it all be tied up or will it end on a cliffhanger? 

First off we have Kaitlin Reilly from E! news online.

1. I was convinced it was Kevin’s son’s mother, Carrie, but now I’m starting to speculate it’s John, Laurie’s husband, who is forcing Billy to take the fall. 
2. Kevin, Mare’s son. The timing works, and it seems Erin had a secret life — maybe drugs were a part of it
3. I think Dylan may have had something to do with Kevin’s death — maybe he sold him drugs, maybe he’s somehow the reason why Kevin died by suicide. I don’t think he killed him, himself, but you never know…
4. I think Laurie’s husband may have some connection to the escort site — maybe he encouraged Erin to make money that way. 

Next up we have Broadway super star, Donna Vivino.

  1. I think Erin’s killer is either Lori or her son Ryan. I thought Lori episode 1 (though I am still confused as to where either would have obtained an old Colt 45 police gun) — with that said the gun seems to point to it being Mare’s father’s gun which is tricky as to how Lori or Ryan would have obtained it. 
  2. I think it is Mare’s dead son’s child. John is the obvious choice but I think it is Mare’s son. 
  3. I think he is being blackmailed. 
  4. I think they are all protecting Ryan. I know. The kid. Go figure. 
  5. Bonus – Yes. Mare’s dead son is the father of that child OR wildcard — Old man Ross. 
  6. It’ll all be TIED UP

Now it’s the turn of writer/director David Creed

  1. Erin’s killer is John Ross, Billy just stumbled across her body and got messed up as he was drunk and believed he did it when he didn’t.
  2. The father is John and he killed her as she was threatening to expose him.
  3. Dylan has nothing to do with the murder but there is going to be a big twist, regarding who he really is maybe, and possibly even that he has a different biological father

What do we think Stoker Award winning author Josh Malerman thinks?

  1. Ryan is the killer
  2. Pat Ross is the father of the baby
  3. Dylan is on drugs, specifically PCP
  4. See above – covering for Ryan and Pat
  5. Bonus – Mare dies a hero
Who is the father of Erin's baby in Mare of Easttown? | TV & Radio |  Showbiz & TV | Express.co.uk

And finally, here are MY predictions …

  1. The killer is Dylan but on the behest of Glenn Carroll. Dylan is used by the older men to hook the girls on drugs and/or groom them for the sex-ring. She was meant to be kidnapped NOT killed but Billy turned up and there was a scuffle.
  2. DJ’s dad was Kevin Sheehan. Erin didn’t want her kid to grow up without a dad and although Dylan was a douche, his parents were really loving and caring.
  3. Dylan is involved in the sex-ring, he helps to recruit the girls and deals drugs.
  4. The Rosses are involved in the sex-ring with Potts. It was started years ago by Mare’s dad, Glenn Carroll and Pat Ross. Mare’s dad couldn’t take the guilt though and that was why he shot himself. John, Frank and Potts are now running it for the old guys who still call the shots. Billy knows about it but doesn’t help, he just doesn’t speak up about it, he’s had years of domination from Pat and John and they all decide together to make Billy the Fall Guy for Erin. Tragically he really did love her but knew he could never do anything as they were family. Ryan Ross has nothing to do with it – however he has seen his dad slipping out and with young girls and he will lead Mare to Glenn Carroll as Ryan is the Peeping Tom.

So, there we go, some interesting theories and predictions from people in the biz. What do YOU think is going to happen and will we see more of Easttown in the future?

Thanks to Kaitlin, Donna, David and Josh for joining in.

I HAVE QUESTIONS! My Mare of Easttown list I need answers to.

I love a good show that I can sink my teeth into and that gets the grey matter working overtime.

Mare of Easttown has done just that. My brain is fried, I have so many wild thoughts and theories ranging from the predictable to the preposterous.

As we head to the finale, there are so many key questions still to be resolved.

Who killed Erin?

  • I’m still not 100% sure. I’ll save this for my prediction round-table.

Who is DJs father?

  • I think it could be one of the Rosses OR Father Dan but I’m going with Kevin
jack mulhern as dylan in hbo's mare of easttown

What is on the photo?

  • Kevin with Erin

Are the cases actually connected?

  • Yes as Erin should have ended up in Pott’s place with the other girls

What the fuck is Dylan actually hiding?

  • He sold the drugs to Kevin, he is somehow involved in grooming the girls for the sex-ring – he isn’t the brains behind it as he’s too young, but he is shady as fuck with awesome hair …
Mare of Easttown – Who is the killer?

Was the peeping Tom stuff just filler?

  • No way, it will be pivotal somehow … there will be footage on the cam showing someone putting the gun back … maybe Betty was killed and made to look like a heart attack at the wheel because the killer thought she knew something? Maybe it is actually Glenn – a retired cop heading the sex-ring …

Who went to those poker games?

  • Way more men from the town than we would like and I feel for sure that Frank was there

Is there a sex ring in Easttown?

  • Yes, the website is just a front or a way to get the girls but this is way more organized and intrinsic to the town than *just* an escort site

What is in Mare’s attic?

  • IF it turns out someone from Mare’s family killed Erin, then the attic will be where the gun was/is but I’m not sold …

Who did the colt belong to?

  • We see a shot of Glenn Carroll’s colt but is it the weapon that killed Erin?

What is Ryan hiding?

  • Kid’s got issues for sure but why? John or Frank could be abusing him. I hope that is NOT true in the sense of sexual abuse but we have seen how controlling both Frank and John can be so mental abuse and coercion is a definite possibility that he might act out at. Is he the peeping Tom and has seen way more than he should have i.e. his had having sex with way more people than just good ol’ Sandra.

I DON’T think he is the killer, not just coz he’s like what 12, I know kids can kill kids but how would he have gotten there in the middle of the night and got that gun?

Mare of Easttown Whats Going On With Ryan Ross

What happened at that family reunion and who actually knows the truth?

  • Could this all be another massive red herring? I have seen all sorts of thoughts about this other person who could have been there including Dylan (why?), Richard (!) and even Colin (WTF?) …

I do wonder if Wayne Potts was maybe there if John and Billy and shock horror even Lori are involved in this sex-ring …

What the fuck is going on with John and Billy?

  • I just can’t decide if they’re going to go down the obvious route a la The Undoing. Let’s look at what we do know – Pat SAYS he saw Billy covered in blood. Billy *confesses* to John after some very odd and persuasive leading questions that would never stand up in a court of law. However, I do think that Billy was in love with Erin and gave her the necklace. I don’t think she had sex with him though willingly or forced. That will be his tragedy that he was in love with his cousin’s daughter. But why would he say all that stuff to John? And is Pat somehow involved, is he running this sex-ring along with Glenn? Has it been going on for decades?

John is definitely a major douche – at the very least other people seem to suspect he can’t keep his dick in his pants and there’s no smoke without fire, right? But is he having affairs, running girls, raping his cousin’s daughter? I’m going sex-ring, he’s been working with Potts and others. Maybe he samples the goods too?

joe tippett and robbie tann as john and billy ross in hbo's mare of easttown

Was Richard just a red herring/symbol of hope for Mare?

  • I can’t decide on this. The Guy Pearce thing had a lot of people saying he had to be a more important part but I heard on a podcast that part was meant to be Ben Miles and Guy filled in last minute as a favour so …

I have heard an awesome theory that he is either involved in order to get ideas for his new book (!) or that the whole story is being told to us by him and Mare of Easttown is actually the name of his book …

guy pearce as richard ryan in mare of easttown

Is there more to Kevin’s suicide, who broke his heart?

  • I’m in for the theory Dylan has something to do with this and that Kevin was in love with Erin and very likely DJ’s dad. I might even go so far as to think that Frank knew or at least suspected and that is why he helped her out?

Is Mare hiding another family tragedy?

  • Other than the fact that possibly Frank is abusive and a very good manipulator, I really hope not. But why did Kevin hate her so much? Was it just because of the drugs? If Frank was abusing him, he could blame Mare for not noticing?

Why did Faye leave Frank?

  • That test was negative and he had a decent explanation for helping Erin so … why didn’t she stand by her man? What does she know/suspect? Or is this all just a classic misdirection?

Where the fuck is Hilary???

  • This is a big question that I really don’t think will be a plot oversight … I even saw one theory that Hilary is actually Erin which I guess was meant to be when she was *staying* with Billy and then got pregnant however, she was also sleeping with Dylan then so surely that doesn’t add up? But what about Carrie? Could she be Hilary?
Who's Who in Mare of Easttown - Mare of Easttown Full Cast

What do you all think???

On Sunday, I will be posting my final theories and predictions as well as some from some other fans of the show!!!

You can watch MoE on HBO or Sky Atlantic and use the hashtag #mareofeasttown to join in with your theories!

Thank you – Glenn Rolfe

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Tomorrow, May 1st 2021, I have a book out. Despite having quite a few stories in anthologies, putting yourself out there for the first time when it is just you, is bloody scary. Exciting, but scary.

What was even scarier, was sending the collection over to Glenn, in the hope that he would like it enough to write my foreword. To be honest, if he hadn’t and he’d said no, I don’t think I would have asked anyone else. It was Glenn or nothing.

Thankfully, since I am writing this and unless you’ve had the pleasure of ignoring me for the last month or so, you’ll know not only did he love it (Wooooooh hoooooh!!!), he wrote me the most perfect foreword I could have ever asked for.

Here is an extract …

Now dig this, I knew Janine was awesome. I knew she
was a good writer with a future in this business. When I sat
down to write this up, I figured I’d read a handful of the
stories she sent me and scribble a nice piece. Well, I started
reading… and I couldn’t stop. The few stories turned into
the whole book!
She doesn’t just have potential, Janine has the gift.
“Footsteps” is a fantastic opener. A declaration of sorts.
No wonder it was nominated for a Splatterpunk Award
.

That made me cry as did the amazing video he made for me.

I won’t admit how many times I have watched this as it’s embarrassing, lol.

If you have ever had any interaction with me, you know Glenn is my all-time favourite author and I am not shy about it. I will shout about him from the rooftops until I am blue in the face. And I have talked about how we *met* and went from being fan to mentor to friend to peer … wait what peer???

If you read my stuff, it is obvious why I like Glenn’s work. He has even said that we have a similar style and voice, albeit it that his is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better obviously! But the crazy thing is, when I wrote some of those stories, namely Footsteps, It’s a Sin and They, I hadn’t discovered Glenn yet. So any comparison that people make about us for those stories is genuine, no subconscious homage or anything like that. Later stories and particularly the more splattery stuff, by then I had devoured as much of his work as possible including the highly sexual The Window and The Haunted Halls, so there may have been some influence, and after reading Until Summer Comes Around, he definitely awoke my latent love of the 80s and vampires.

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Another thing Glenn is awesome at, is answering my endless stupid questions. Because he is so busy, I never take the piss or bombard him with stuff to read or critique as that wouldn’t be fair. But his opinion does mean a lot so I will sometimes ask important stuff and he never tells me to bugger off. I respect his thoughts and advice and his encouragement and support are often just what I need to build my own confidence.

So, thank you, Glenn. Thank you for your stories. Thank you for your support and advice. Thank you for you endless encouragement and most of all, thank you for your friendship.

Now, you guys, all go buy one of Glenn’s books.

You should definitely become a Patron too and gain access to a shit load of amazing short stories.

And read this awesome interview he just did too for Daily Dead.

Thank you all for reading.

Thank you – Andrew “The Bookdad” Fowlow

Hello, my name is Janine and I am a technophobe. A luddite. Basically a complete dumbass when it comes to anything other than Word on the laptop and basic social media. I try, I really do, it just makes no sense. Honestly, I’m best off with a quill and parchment paper …

But young Jedi, I hear you ask, if you are so stupid, how do you have such amazing logos and graphics and shit?

Well it is painfully obvious that I could never do this, but someone who can, is the very supportive and just ever so lovely and multi-talented, Andrew.

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I can’t begin to tell you how much he does for me, behind the scenes and on his blog. He was instrumental in introducing me to the Horror DNA blog where I am delighted to now be official staff. He has also accepted several of my interviews and reviews for his own absolutely AMAZING blog, Horror Oasis.

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But more than the designs and the recommendations, is the constant support and friendship. I’ve lost count of the number of times he’s just DMd to say ‘I got you’ and those three words mean so much.

Andrew works so hard to support and amplify indie authors and voices that need to shout further to be heard and I honestly don’t know how he does it all. But I do know that I and most of our horror community as a whole, are eternally grateful.

So, thank you, Andrew. Thank you for helping me with design stuff, thank you for pushing me with Horror DNA, thank you for all your support and friendship.

Now to everyone else, go over to Horror Oasis and enter the absolutely out of this world giveaway featuring Glenn Rolfe, Hunter Shea, Jonathan Janz, Tim Waggoner oh an ME!!!

Monstrous Giveaway!

Thank you all for reading and please make sure to follow Andrew and Horror Oasis on all the platforms.

Twisted: Tainted Tales by Janine Pipe – A Review

Stephen Howard

Twisted: Tainted Tales, the debut collection of short stories by horror writer Janine Pipe and published through Pipe Screams Press, is a relentless and joyous journey into the bloodiest corners of the genre.

Seventeen stories – or ‘Tracks’ as they are referred to in the collection – that tackle every horror setting or concept you can think of, from campers in the woods to monsters in the storm drains; kids breaking into dilapidated buildings to urban legends; even a Victorian mansion and its mysterious owner. There is something for everyone in here without the weakness of concepts that appear thinly spread or lacking commitment.

The stories are presented by a junior solicitor, Jill, who stumbled upon them while searching through a property for legal documents following the assumed death of the owner – a somewhat famous writer who mysteriously vanished. This framing device allows Pipe to set the scene, which…

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Thank you – Neil Fraser

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Never judge a book by its cover they say. Well whoever THEY are, they are wrong.

So wrong.

I do it all the time. In a world where we are are blasted with Instagram photos and booktubers show off their coveted early copies, I experience first hand FOMO on an almost daily basis.

So I knew that the cover for my own first collection had to be knockout.

Look at it …

That thing of beauty was created for me by the simply wonderful Neil Fraser from Neil Fraser Graphics.

And because I wanted it to resemble a VHS, he made it a wraparound cover too.

I can not tell you how many people have mentioned how much they adore this artwork. I hope that Neil gets a shit ton of new work as I have had loads of people ask about him. Not only is the final creation exactly what I wanted and more, he has been an absolute pleasure to work with. As usual, I had a multitude of annoying and stupid questions and he was brilliant at coming up with the goods.

I first came across Neil because of Lou and then he became on of my patrons. The fact we already had a relationship helped as he knew my voice and only needed a few prompts to be able to produce the cover of my dreams.

If my cover alone isn’t enough to demonstrate his talent, check out his portfolio.

This one is so cool. And they’re not just fan-art and homages, he has done a lot of work with Shudder including Host!

And because Neil is all sorts of mega awesome, his is donating an A3 poster of the cover art of TTT as a prize on for my launch night!!! Make sure you check out the FB event page for more details.

So, thank you, Neil. You have been an absolute star and I would recommend your services to anyone and everyone!!!

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Thank you – Jason Brant and Lou Yardley

We are somehow T minus 4 days ’til blast off and the closer it gets to launch time, the more nervous I get.

However, there are a few things about TTT that I am not anxious about. One is of course that kick-ass cover and Neil will get his own post tomorrow.

One of the other MAJOR things which I am more than happy with and couldn’t have done myself in any way shape or form is the formatting and setting up KDP.

Self-publishing is an amazing and wonderful option for writers but holy hell, you do need your head screwed on. Cue Jason first of all.

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The few people that have already seen a proof of the paperback have remarked on how awesome and well put together it looks. That was Jason.

The mobi ARCs that have gone out to a plethora of reviewers who have all said how good it looks and how easy it is to navigate on kindle? Jason too.

Not only has he made the finished product look great, he put up with my endless dumbass questions, quite a few last minute edits and an eyerolling session on scene breaks … dude is a super star. Seriously.

The other person who put up with a multitude of *I can’t believe I actually have to ask this* type of questions of a very regular basis is my pardner in CCC crime, the one and only Lou Yardley AKA one of my tiny BFFs (honestly, both Lou and Jill are teeny, but more than make up for small stature with evil genius mind sets).

Today Lou surpassed all awesomeness I have already bestowed upon her by coming up with this …

Totes amazeballs, right?

Coincidently, as the stories were written BEFORE I started putting TTT together as a collection, both Jason and Lou are also MCs in stories within the book. Jason stars in Lost in the Shadows where young Timmy has gone missing and Lou joins myself in the semi-autobiographical tale, School’s Out Forever … when all teenage J wanted was a snog from Justin but Lou just had to drag her into another fine mess …

Both Jason and Lou are also exceptional authors so nip on over to their Amazon pages and snag yourself a bargain. May I recommend the entire Hunger series from Jason and Hellhound from Loucifer, I mean Lou.

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Thank y’all for listening …

I’ve actually lost the plot now 😉

Thank you – Brian Keene

Oh hello there, it’s me again. So with only 5 days to go now until launch day, stress levels are rising. I had some more lovely, honest and thoughtful reviews over the weekend and am in equal parts excited and terrified about the book finally being almost available to the public.

Today I would like to take a moment to thank 2 people whose involvement with TTT is connected.

You all know Jill Girardi, right? The brains and beauty behind Kandisha Press, my NYC BFF? Well, because she is insanely awesome, she sometimes makes me submit to things. And sometimes those things are pretty damn big and cool like 25 Gates of Hell which also features no other than … Brian Keene.

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Due to this amazing fact, Brian and I have a little interaction now and again despite me being in awe and looking like the village idiot whenever I talk with him. Then something even more baffling occurs … I get nominated for a Splatterpunk Award. Me. Award nomination … mind blown.

Again, this leads to some interaction and Brian is even kind enough to offer some words of advice. I start wondering whether to pluck up the courage to ask if he might read ONE of my stories so IF he likes it, maybe he could provide a short, general blurb. Only if he has time. Now I wouldn’t have even had the nerve to broach him about this if it wasn’t for our previous correspondence but thankfully, I was able to DM and ask.

Brian Keene

Brian’s Amazon Page HERE.

And what does he say, this literary master? He says yes but – send the whole thing.

Gob. Smacked.

The rest you know since that blurb sits proudly on the cover of TTT.

“Janine Pipe’s first collection has made me an instant fan. A stellar debut!” Brian Keene.

A lot of people have asked, how they hell did YOU get a blurb from Brian Keene, and I am not offended by the question or the implication that someone as new to the community might not be deserving. But I tell them this, I treat everyone I *meet* with respect and loyalty and just being nice and patient can pay off. I have worked hard to make connections, form networks and friendships and to support others. I do that because it is just the type of person I am. I see/read something I love, I want to shout about it.

And sometimes that perseverance, hard work and humility pay off.

Brian may never know what an honour and privilege it is to have his name, his words on MY book. He likely doesn’t realise that enormous boost in confidence it gives me every time I look at the cover.

But I will always be eternally grateful.

To Jill for believing in me and affording me the opportunity to share a TOC with Brian, and to Brian himself for taking the time and a chance on this newbie.

I will never forget it.

Thank you for reading.

Thank you – Sadie Hartmann

Most of you will know our Sadie. As Mother Horror, she features prominently within the horror genre with writing and reviewing credentials to honour her moniker.

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As we approach the 7 day marker until the release of TTT, I would like to tell you why Sadie is much more than just someone I follow and gives me full on FOMO vibes from her beautiful photos and reflective reviews – she is a true supporter and loyal friend.

When I first began my journey into becoming a published writer, I sort of fell into reviewing almost by accident. I had started a blog and wanted to broaden my reading. Netgalley seemed a good place to start and of course they expect you to provide a review. That in a nutshell is how I became a reviewer. Somewhere along the line, Sadie and I connected via Twitter and I discovered Night Worms. I subbed a couple of posts to the site and she liked my easy and conversational way of writing. Before I knew it, I was not only joining in book parties when I could, but we were becoming firm friends.

One of the things that I think has allowed our friendship to bloom, is that we see a lot of ourselves in the other. We are both passionate and not afraid to hustle, we will help other people as much as we can and when we love someone, boy do we fangirl. I look at everything Sadie has achieved and my heart swells with pride and joy.

I was very lucky in that I knew Sadie had read and enjoyed some of my shorts that appear in anthologies and she had even asked me to write something exclusively for her Patrons. She liked my voice and enjoyed some of the silliness and authentic banter between characters. I know how insanely busy she is, so I asked if she would provide a general blurb for me as to not pile on any more pressure. This is what she said –

Are you ready for cinematic vibrancy in your stabby horror fiction? Memorable, foul-mouthed, kick-ass characters?
Janine Pipe is on the scene, loud as a whip-crack with rollercoaster-style fun.
Sadie Hartmann – Mother Horror

Sadie’s friendship and support means the world to me. She was a huge part of my cover reveal and has shared and promoted the hell out of it and it hasn’t even been released! In fact right now, there are Night Worms and members of her IG read-along group with ARCs of TTT. They might not review it, hell, they might not even like it, but she has managed to get my book into the hands and radars of so many more people that I could have ever done alone.

Sadie, you know how much I love and adore you. How much I respect you and that our friendship is more than books and reviewing. Your encouragement and the way you push me to do better inspires me more than you’ll ever know. I love being Dream Team Scream buddies and look forward to everything we do together going forward.

Thank you.

Make sure you are following Sadie and Night Worms, especially on YouTube as it won’t be long until those amazing readings start again …

And yeah, Sadie loves Tim just as much as I do …

Thank you all for reading!

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