Book Jacket


rank 3025
word count 98259
date submitted 09.05.2008
date updated 26.01.2012
genres: Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Comedy
classification: universal

The Practical Woman's Guide to Living with the Undead

Sue Gedge

Divorce Lit. with vampires: a novel for those wiling to venture into the dark territory beyond the Aga!


Brave enough to venture into the dark, spooky territory beyond the Aga? Then meet Dora Harker, an ordinary divorced single mother as she battles with demons and vampires.
Dismayed to discover the ghost of her second mother- in- law in the house, Dora is grateful when Ralphie, a charming elderly man she met in a strangely Gothic pub, offers to perform an exorcism. But having been invited in, Ralphie is reluctant to leave and Dora’s perturbation increases when he reveals he is a vampire, Lord Ralph Dunglass de Marney, undead since 1944.
Dora thought she had the job from hell as a supply teacher in a North London comprehensive school, but she soon finds herself facing even greater horrors than class 9X on a Monday morning. Why is there a green, slimy lake in the middle of the living room? What really happened to her second husband Dave, when he set off on his fatal journey with his band, Chappaquiddick? Did Peregrine, her third husband really dabble in demonology? And what about the Apocalypse that Ralphie insists is imminent?
Dora certainly has a few issues to resolve, but maybe her charming, if inconvenient undead guest can help her after all!

rate the book

to rate this book please Register or Login



, comedy, divorce, ghosts, vampires

on 44 watchlists



Text Size

Text Colour



report abuse



I opened the front door and bent down to pick up the envelope that was lying on the mat. It didn’t look good. There was the embossed image of the Netherwold School shield, a wyvern rampant on an azure field, in the top left hand corner, and there were the words For the attention of the Parents/ Guardians of Caspian Deadlake in a bold, ominous font. Oh no. Please don’t let Caspian be in any trouble, not after all that business at Blasted Oak. I held the letter in my hand, wondering whether to open it immediately, or whether to keep it until later, when I’d had a chance to relax after my day at Havelock Ellis. There was an open bottle of chardonnay in the fridge, and maybe I’d pour myself a glass first and... 

“Ah! You are home, dear lady. Have you collected the henbane yet?” a voice purred in my ear.

“Ralphie!” I jumped. “Must you do that?”

“Do what, my dear lady?” he frowned at me over the top of his death’s head stick.

“You startled me!” I thrust the letter into my school bag. “You have such a soundless way of moving around the house.”

“Of course I have,” he looked down at his Turkish slippers with a wry smile. “I have perfecting the art of moving silently for more than half a century.”

“I expect you have,” I said. I walked past him into the kitchen and dumped my bag down on the table. “But I’m afraid I’m not really in the mood for shocks.”

“Oh dear,” he looked at me with regret from the kitchen. That’s a pity.

Because, much as I hate to be the bearer of bad news, I’m afraid you must

prepare yourself for another one.”

    “What do you mean?” I paused, one hand on the fridge door.

“It’s in the living room,” he said.


“Oh, my God!”  

Nothing could have prepared for that sickening squelch as I pushed open the door and stepped across the threshold. The sensation under my feet suggested the polished floorboards were turning to mush and the smell was appalling, like a mixture of raw sewage, rotting seaweed and bad eggs. The room was filled with a glistening, smelly lake of slime, and just to add to the horror, I could see several deep cracks running across the walls. I couldn’t imagine what could have happened since I’d left for school that morning. I’d noticed that the small green puddle under the sofa had reappeared, but I thought I’d soaked that up with some kitchen roll, but this was appalling. I couldn’t make any sense of the sight. Had all the local drains leaked and come up through my floor? Was the house collapsing into the canal?

“What on earth’s happened?” I gasped. “Is it a leaking pipe? Have you called a plumber?”

“A plumber?” Ralphie raised one eyebrow. “My dear lady, what good could a plumber do? Unless, of course, you know one who is intimately acquainted with Darnley’s Demonolgie.”

“Darnley’s Demonologie? What are you talking about?” I clapped my hand to my face, trying to block out the sewage stench.

“I’ve done what I could,” Ralphie said. “As you can see, I’ve packed away all the contents of your shelves. You’ll find them on the upstairs landing. Unfortunately, I was unable to move the sofa.”

“Yes, yes, I see...”

“But there was no point trying to do anything else. Not until I can ascertain which malevolent entity is at work here.”

“A malevolent entity?”

“A demon,” Ralphie said calmly. “By which, I don’t mean a crude-looking medieval fright with horns and a tail. I’m speaking of a dark, elemental force. My guess, at this moment, is that someone, a person or person unknown somewhere in this area, is attempting to raise a powerful and highly destructive demon  and what we see here are merely the by-products of that activity. In fact, I’d go so far as to say your home is merely in the pathway of the forthcoming diabolic ascension. I suppose it  may be no consolation, but I don’t think this is a personal attack.”

“So it’s not one of my mothers-in-law this time?” I was doing my best to see the lighter side of this situation.

“I don’t think so. Although if you do happen to know someone who has sold their soul to a demon, then they might be our first port of call.” 

“I don’t know anyone who’s sold their soul to a demon! I didn’t even know that was possible in the twenty first century!”

“Oh, indeed it is! I estimate that are at least four thousand people living in Britain today who have harnessed the power of demons for profit, power and gain. Politicians, business people, so-called ‘celebrities’, members of the legal profession, bankers and journalists, oh, the list is endless. Then there are the thrill seekers, the experimenters, the dabblers, and the descendents of the old alchemists. Open any newspaper and you will see the faces of those who have mortgaged their souls. And they’re easily identifiable. After a while, those who have sold their soul to a demon begin to be afflicted by the characteristics of their Masters. An acolyte of Beelzebub, for example, will attract flies. A devotee of Dagon is likely to fall into the sea.

Remember that tycoon? The one who disappeared off his yacht?”

“Yes, I think I know the one you mean. But Ralphie, what about my house? What am I going to do?”

“Do not panic. In the absence of any henbane, I suggest a few practical steps.

First, you must seal up the room. That way, the infection may not spread any further. Then, you must get some henbane and I will distribute it with a few basic charms. And I will do some further research to ascertain just what is happening here. Oh, and do feel free to peruse Darnley’s Demonologie yourself. There’s a copy on the lectern, up in my room.”

“Yes, I think I saw it there. In fact, I read some of it. But it all sounded like nonsense to me.”

“Ah! You must not dismiss the old legends. They may have more relevance than you think. And now, dear lady, I’m sorry to leave you with all this,” he flapped his wrinkled old hand at the slimy lake, “But I am on my way out now. I will see you later. Good night.”


I closed the living room door and got some duct tape from the tool box under the stairs, and put some all round the frame. Then I wedged some newspapers and towels into the space between the bottom of the door and the floor, and put a sign on the door reading ‘Keep Out’. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to tell Caspian, but I supposed I could always make up a story about a dangerous dry cleaning fluid that had been used on the rug and the sofa. Then, resisting the urge to scream, I went into the kitchen and poured myself that glass of white wine. Perhaps, after all that, the letter from Netherwold would seem the lesser evil.

I took it out of my bag, slit the envelope open and unfolded the sheet of cream vellum:

Dear Mr and Mrs Deadlake,

I would very much appreciate it if you could call at the school tomorrow

at 3.00 p.m. I wish to discuss your son, Caspian Deadlake, as soon as possible.  I apologise for the short notice.

Yours faithfully,

           Dominic Montague, M.A Cantab.

Tomorrow, I reflected. Well, at least I’d be spared an afternoon at Havelock Ellis, although, of course, that meant I’d lose half a day’s pay.  But it looked as though Mr Montague wanted to see me urgently, and that couldn’t be good. Was Caspian in trouble, and if he was, what was I going to do about him now. With a sigh, I poured myself another glass of wine and began to reflect, not for the first time, on the mystery that was my younger son.


My experience of motherhood could be divided neatly into two sections. Before Caspian and After Caspian. Caspian’s birth had been like a seismic shift, forcing me to reconsider everything I thought I knew about young children.

Seb had been around for twelve years before Caspian appeared, and he’d never given me a moment’s anxiety, not cheerful, uncomplicated, open-hearted Seb, who quickly learned to sleep through the night, who didn’t grizzle when teething, who developed exactly as the text books said he would, who laughed and joked all the time. By fourteen months, Seb was burbling and chatting away, using real words and invented words, (tigoo for tiger, curgo for car, I remember), he was running around the dining room table and flinging his arms round my neck. At nursery, he was a star, he sailed through primary school, and loved skateboarding, riding his bike and

collecting football stickers. Then Caspian arrived. 

Caspian lay in his cot with a solemn expression on his face. He looked with disdain at the mobile with the yellow chicken, the red cow and the pink pig that had delighted Seb. By eighteen months, Caspian was sitting, silent and solemn in his high chair, as stony-faced and mute as Buster Keaton. He frowned at adults who tried to play ‘peep-o’ with him, sing nursery rhymes or show him videos of Spot the lovable dog. Instead, he maintained a dark, brooding expression that was unnerving to say the least.

Peregrine insisted that Caspian was normal and that there was no need to take him anywhere for tests. In fact, he told me that he’d been very much the same as a baby. Without telling Peregrine, I took Caspian to the clinic, but no-one could explain why Caspian appeared to be a mute. There were no physiological reasons, and mentally, he proved to be above average, judging from the results of the tests they gave him, using Lego and crayons, and building blocks and percussion instruments. He had no difficulty in following spoken instructions. So why won’t he speak, I asked the young male doctor, who sat in front of me in his white suit and turban looking venerable. Perhaps he’s just biding his time, the young doctor said. Biding his time. It was a phrase that sent a shiver down my spine. 

Caspian spoke for the first time when he was two and a half. I was clearing the table after Sunday lunch, carrying a pile of plates with a vegetable dish balanced on top in one hand, and the gravy boat and a handful of cutlery in the other, when he suddenly announced, “You risk a serious breakage if you carry so many items simultaneously.” I screamed and dropped the gravy boat into the stone fireplace. It shattered, along with my nerves.

Peregrine, I remember, was furious with me. It wasn’t just that the gravy boat

was part of the dinner service that Cynthia had given us as a wedding present.

It was also the fact that, in his words, ‘normal’ mothers were delighted to hear their child’s first words. He had no idea why I was so freaked out. Wasn’t it obvious that Caspian hadn’t been prepared to say a single word until he’d had found something important to say? What the hell did I mean, it was spooky? 

There was no doubt that Caspian was an advanced child, but it soon became clear that he was drawn to the darker side of life. He always wanted to wear black, and Hallowe’en was his favourite time of the year. And then there’d been that business at Blasted Oak. And now, just when I thought I’d got him safely settled at Netherwold, here was this letter. As if I didn’t have enough to worry me. Such as a  green slimy lake in the living room and cracks appearing all over the house, not to mention nasty-looking cobwebs in the bathroom. Why me? Why my house? Was it just coincidental, as Ralphie had suggested, or was it something worse? Was someone  targeting me deliberately, and if so, who would that be?

If you happen to know someone who’s sold their soul to a demon. That was what Ralphie had said. It sounded ridiculous. In any case, I didn’t know anything about demons, apart from that Old Testament one I’d read about on Friday. Asmodeus, the one who lusted after married women and killed bridegrooms and who was repelled by…oh!  What was it Ralphie had told me about people who had sold their souls to demons in exchange for worldly success coming to resemble their masters? If a follower of Beelzebub attracted flies, then surely a follower of, surely not! And yet the more I thought about it, the more plausible it seemed.

I’d just remembered something about Peregrine that seemed very significant indeed. 





report abuse

To leave comments on this or any book please Register or Login

subscribe to comments for this book
Katefin wrote 384 days ago

I like the character of Ralphie, quaint, and eccentric. Also the way you root the supernatural events in a convincingly described real world is really effective and well handled. I can identify with the narrator and her world, and then the ghostly apparitions, though startling also have a good comic element. My mind was spinning with plot possibilities with three ex mother-in laws! Imagine if they had all died? Or died proressively over the book. It reminded me a bit at this point of Blythe Spirit, maybe because of the camp Ralphie. Just finished Chaper 1, will be back to read more

desbill1 wrote 461 days ago

I have just started reading this story, and quickly found myself transported to The Lord Halifax! Only on chapter one, at the moment, but so far, so good!

desbill1 wrote 461 days ago

I have just started reading this story, and quickly found myself transported to The Lord Halifax! Only on chapter one, at the moment, but so far, so good!

desbill1 wrote 461 days ago

I have just started reading this story, and quickly found myself transported to The Lord Halifax! Only on chapter one, at the moment, but so far, so good!

desbill1 wrote 461 days ago

I have just started reading this story, and quickly found myself transported to The Lord Halifax! Only on chapter one, at the moment, but so far, so good!

LizX wrote 899 days ago

The opening line is a killer... in the best possible sense. The delivery is perfect. So casual, but with that unexpected ending. I thought she was going to ask for the phone number of the local plumber! It certainly drew me in, but for more comments you'll have to wait.... I'm too busy reading!

Fynagl Duplicitus wrote 914 days ago

Flash Mob Friday Review

Hi Sue,

This was a humorous piece. Your dialogue is spot on and you do a very good job of revealing the details of Dora's life, her family and past marriages without plonking us in chunky texts of backstory. I like Ralphie's character and there does seem to be a bit more to him than we initially see (I love the campy bit where he flutters his hand in the air).

One thing I noticed especially in the opening chapter is that you sometimes tend to let your sentences run rather love the commas :) For example see the paragraph "Now I was in the habit of calling in...with a bottle in the crook of its forearm."
You sometimes also use a comma before 'and' when it isn't really needed.

There's nothing wrong with starting a sentence with 'and' but you do rely on it a bit much. Either drop some of them or work them into the preceding phrase where possible.
"And why do you ask me?"
"And then Ralphie had seen me."
"And for no reason that I could explain..."
"And Caspian has been known to..."
"And which one of these three ladies..."
"And you certainly don't want to see her dead..."
"And when he said Nanny had popped in..."
"And life is full of surprises..."
"And how long is it since Nanny Barrel Hips..."
"And after the day I've had..."

I love the names and nicknames of the mothers-in-law :)

Although I enjoyed the first chapter and in particular the dialogue, I started to feel a bit restless as I waited for some action to develop out of Dora's conversation with Ralphie. Don't get me wrong, the writing is very good and I laughed at the banter but a part of me kept waiting for Ralphie to say "Let's go sort this out right now..." That feeling has me wondering if maybe starting the chapter at "Are you quite sure your house has been invaded by a presence?" would be an option? The description about how Dora first got to The Halifax is lovely but the chapter could just as easily do without it...just a suggestion - in one ear and out of the other as you see fit.

The second chapter was absolutely hilarious. Be careful with the "And"s again.
"Shut up! Shut up, you silly old bag!" My quote for the day.

All in all a rib-tickling read with plenty of laughs, witty conversation and an MC at her wit's end.

Keep going!

AudreyB wrote 914 days ago

Hi, there – this is your review from AudreyB. I am often accompanied on my reviews by my English teacher alter-ego, The Grammar Hag. If I say anything you don’t like, it was probably her idea.

As I begin your story, I see a woman asking an older man for help with an exorcism. The death’s head cane tells me she has good reason to believe he might know something about spirits, and his wardrobe suggests that he may not be quite as modern as we are. I also know that he’s of an indeterminate age.

Love the description of the pub and how she found it. The reader can almost believe that the pub isn’t really there….

The urn and the reference to Dante’s inferno continue the theme of death.

I didn’t known then how she’d acquired Ralphie. Oops.

I love how we learn of your MC’s marriages through her explanation of the current ghost. I am assuming we need to know all this.

“Demons are adept at taking the form of the recently deceased.” OK, now I’m really wondering about Ralphie.

I suspect you have some “carriage returns” in your manuscript. Turn on options so you can spot them more easily.

Gertie Shuttlehanger! I will remember that. If her name appears again in this manuscript I will definitely know who it is.

Is the kissing of fingertips and the fluttering of a hand always a sign of sexual preference? I read this a few times, trying to understand your point.

Ralphie’s warning to avoid speaking ill of the dead also comes across as foreshadowing.

Love the end to your first chapter. I definitely find myself intrigued and want to turn the page. Great description of Granny Barrel Hips!

“…unaware of the gravy and now it seemed she was equally unaware of the grave.” Funny.

I love how Cynthia isn’t the least bit concerned that Granny Barrel Hips is a ghost.

OK, I want to study this astral traveling deal. Sounds perfect.

You do a nice job of injecting humor. I often found myself chuckling at your lines.

Well, I got to mid-way through chapter 3, and find this to be an enjoyable story. It’s way outside of my usual genres, but it’s well written and entertaining. I like the way you combine humor with death.

I hope you’ll see this rise rapidly!

Forgiveness Fits

Sharon.v.o. wrote 914 days ago

Flash Mob Friday Review

Sue, I have to tell you that I enjoyed this very much. I read the first three chapters and chuckled out loud in several places. I loved the imagery of “her hair being meringued on her head” and “shambolic, bohemian squalor”. Its awesome.

The only error I found was in chapter two when she goes into the shower and finds her other mother in law. You have “the fug began to disperse.” I presume you mean fog.

I have added this to my WL. At the end of the month, when I have a space, I plan on shelving it.

Your writing style reminded me a lot of Katie MacAlister. She blends supernatural with humor very well, as do you. As to there being a market for it…Katie does quite well. No reason why you wouldn’t.

I plan on reading more. If you are inclined to e-mail some pages to me, message me, and I will give you my e-mail address.

Great book, well written, giggle inducing fun.

andrewmcewan wrote 914 days ago

FMFR. What a great first chapter. It's funny without any obvious jokes. Everything, the humour, the characterisation, the plot leaks out like it should, almost unseen and without contrivance. And then there's Ralph. A proper vampire methinks, one promising no end of fun and shenanigans. I have to make the tea now but will sample a few more chapters over the weekend (hangovers permitting). For now I would just add that your book cover isn't doing you any favours. In fact if you ask Daisy nicely she might be able help with that...

Jack Cerro wrote 914 days ago

More flash mob fun.

Excellent opening line and character descriptions drew me in here.

I enjoyed the mini flashback explaining how the mc met Ralphie. That was tastefully done and led us smoothly back into the scene. It also allowed you to describe the setting of the scene in a flashback where it seemed more appropriate than if you cut away from the initial conversation for a description of a bar that the mc already is familiar with.
The conversation set the scene perfectly for the encounter at the end of the chapter.

You probably here this a lot but this novel shouldn't be sitting at 2,000.

DaisyFitz wrote 914 days ago

Flash Mob Friday Review:

I actually like the sound of this book from the LP/SP.

I like Ralphie's alliteration.
"I see." He nodded. "[It's]..."
"I didn't know then how she acquired Ralphie."
- I struggled with this line. I sort of know what you mean but it's so hard to read, I read it three times, got bored and moved on. Which I think loses the little hook you're aiming for.

Gertie Shuttlehanger is an awesome name. Totally unreal, but fabulous. Love it.

Layout/Formatting - I know Autho does some odd things when you upload, but it seems you have paragraph breaks where there shouldn't be any - so where there should be single line-spacing, it's gone double, makes it hard to read. e.g. Ralphie's dialogue starting "Dear, dear..."

The description of her two sons - the crisp packets and friends fags.
The fact she has three MILs
I don't know anything about her.
Writing style. Suits me.
"confirming my suspicions..." - loved that line.
Astral planing.

Less keen on:
The long description of finding the Lord Halifax. Realise it adds to the mystery of the place and him, but maybe separate into two separate chunks - broken up by dialogue or something. But this is me - I'm not keen on big descriptions. I skip half of it and miss key info.
"I was feeling nervous as I walked home..." -

OK, I'm backing this for a bit. It needs tidying but I like it. I like Dora. I like the characters, I like the concept. I'm not sure where you'd sell it in a bookshop - but I like it.

Norton Stone wrote 914 days ago

Flash Mob Friday.
From a quick read of chapter one I sense you had a lot of fun writing this. I found the set up interesting and the premise engaging. I feel you handle the comedy differently at the beginning of the chapter, but very quickly you establish this is going to be a farce with the character names, Gertie Shuttlehanger, Nanny Barrel Hips, and the 'sucked out of a plane' incident. I felt you could have kept a slightly tighter rein on the farce keeping the story just a tad more believable, but that is entirely a matter of my comic taste and in absolute fairness your pitch and title relates quite clearly where you are headed. I think I found the start very believable which is why Gertie came as a bit of a shock. You have created a very strong character in Ralphi, though occasionally I felt his dialogue didn't quite live up to the image I had in my mind. There is a little bit of Quentin Crisp in there and if you have not heard of Crisp he could be worth looking up to get a sense of what I mean. I saw two 'actually's' which you could lose IMO. Little rhythm and flow issues like 'between his cupped hands'. Do you need' cupped'?. At the beginning you mentioned the deaths head walking stick and then later referred to it again as the deaths head walking stick. The second time it sounds forced, walking stick would do IMO. 'I said', 'I admitted', 'he nodded', a matter of taste but possibly not needed.
I am taking the time to-Nit Pick because I like it. It is different and the first chapter has some excellent elements that could make this a real stand out. I do feel Ralphi is a larger than life so his language should be also. I don't know whether this is a work in progress or something you have moved on from, but I think it is worth persevering with, it has great potential. A thrice married Mother of three as MC also has a lot going for her.

Great work

CBBlanchard wrote 1021 days ago

Funny, witty, well-written- this deserves to do very well.

Sue50 wrote 1078 days ago

Your work was recommended by CC Brown author of Dark Side. What I read was entirely funny! Like your style. Happy to put you on my shelf. Good Luck!

ccb1 wrote 1079 days ago

Backed The Practical Woman’s’ Guide to Living with the Undead. Laugh out loud funny in places! Every woman's nightmare...haunted by her mother-in-law. Hope you will check out our book about the undead, Dark Side.
CC Brown

Su Dan wrote 1079 days ago

this chilling and funny, a combination that use a strong style, and the first person narrative is very effective...on my watchlist...with 6 stars******
read SEASONS...

Red2u wrote 1081 days ago

I really really enjoyed the read! Twenty-eight and already three My only qualm and very minor is the last sentence in Chapter 1. There really isn't any reference to what kind of day Dora has at school . Will place on my Wl and plan to go back and read more .Best of luck with the book!

M. A. McRae. wrote 1091 days ago

Well written, polished and witty. Well done. Marj.

Ariom Dahl wrote 1091 days ago

I thoroughly enjoyed this when I first read it and am even more enjoying rereading it. Very clever and funny.

Tom B wrote 1106 days ago

Ha ha ha

One thing that spoils the reading experience is extra paragraph breaks. It's sort of off putting.

Oh and my MIL's name is Gertrude, but she likes to be called Trudy, she hates her real name.

billysunday wrote 1183 days ago

Very funny stuff!!! An original breath of fresh air. Love the mother-in-law stuff. With three of them, the jokes keep on rolling. 5 stars and appreciate your tongue and cheek approach to horror.

billysunday wrote 1184 days ago

Sounds like it could be funny and scary at the same time. Backed and ready to read. If a chance, please try 33 or Halo of the Damned. Dina

B. Hurtado wrote 1185 days ago

Read the book — I’ll bet you’re dredging up memories some people would rather not have. Nevertheless, isn’t that what a good book, movie or play is supposed to do?
The (9X) delightful children (knowing a few teachers, all I can say is “the horror — the horror” J. Then again, Joss Whedon always said “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” was really about the terrors of High School). I’m not going to go for anything (I hope) a good Editor would find and then correct.
At the end of the first paragraph of chapter 13, I just want to say ‘So long, and thanks for all the fish’.
OK, hopefully that’s just me.
Consistency in books is just as important as it is in movies. You’ve already shown Dora isn’t dense. Therefore, a phrase like ‘lupusnocturni, whatever that was’ is totally out of character, as she would have looked it up already, and it would have been known. Being familiar with film majors, they would do this kind of thing. It is obvious that you yourself have done this (henbane, and previous, as well as later things — like the parts of spiders and the name as well) so you should have certain characters do the same — unless you‘ve decided ‘they have no brain’.
Anyway, with 30 chapters, I should keep this short.
B. Hurtado (To Meet With Darkness)

Oh, by the way, free range chickens — always makes me laugh anytime they’re mentioned J. As most people don’t realize they eat bugs (insects and spiders) and ‘pick’ at anything else they can find — dead things, poop (dried of course, when it becomes ‘free game’) , and other things as well.

Kaimaparamban wrote 1240 days ago

Your novel is a good blend of horror and usual life. You brilliantly performed a skill how to blend these two things proportionally. Your proportion is success that is why it is increasing quality of your creation.


Kaimaparamban wrote 1240 days ago

Hi Sue,

As the pitch impressed me very much, I decided to go for further reading. Your book is in my w/l

Joy J Kaimaparamban
The Wildfire

C.H.Valentino wrote 1249 days ago

Started reading the first chapter and fell in love! The beginning is well written and colorful. Looking forward to reading the rest, but for the time being, you are backed!

Malcolm Judge wrote 1273 days ago

Drawn in by the title and enjoyed your style straight from the start. Backed, will read more.

Eunice Attwood wrote 1276 days ago

This is brilliant. The pitch had me hooked along with line and sinker. I can see this rising through the ranks rapidly, and if it doesn't, it jolly well should. Backed with much pleasure. Eunice - The Temple Dancer.

Ceeds wrote 1276 days ago

Really funny! Loved it. Promise to read more. Good luck with this, really promising start. Well written. Ceeds - JOE's NAN

JD Revene wrote 1305 days ago


The pitch is so good I almost backed this without reading. But now I've read the first chapter and the writing's just as good as the pitch promised.

Backed with pleasure

Barry Wenlock wrote 1318 days ago

Hi Sue, Very good work, indeed.
A great description of Ralphie, using both his voice and his attire to build a picture of 'a refugee from the past'. Then, Dora's need to interrupt him -- he's off on a ramble about his youth.
'I think I have a the house -- matter of fact dialogue, yet a pretty stunning revelation (liked it)
As an ex-supply teacher, I accepted her need for a glass of wine after a hard day, hence her regular visits to the Lord Halifax.
Her conversation with Ralphie regarding her three mother-in-laws is brilliant -- Nanny barrel-hips...sucked out of a plane -- loved it.
Ralphies emphatic warning not to speak ill of the dead, added a touch of tension.
Dora's return home to discover the ghost, is a great lead into the next chapter.
Very entertaining and well written.
Backed with pleasure,

Sue G. wrote 1330 days ago

Thank you so much for your comments, Teresa! How brilliant to find someone who's read the whole book! (The copy of the fax wasn't in Caspian's room, btw---it fell out of an exercise book owned by one of 9X in the kitchen!)

The rescue scene really gave me grief when I was trying to write it, and I think I will have to work on it some more!

Teresa Baker wrote 1331 days ago

I finished your book in one day (reading at work--bad girl!), and I loved it! At first I was miffed that you were keeping the sons out of the story, but when Caspian came onstage, he did so with a vengeance! I only have two criticisms--how did the fax get into Caspian's room? Did I miss something? Was he in on the plot, and his loving mother can't see it (he is going to that school where they are teaching him who-knows-what!)? And I just felt cheated by the anti-climatic rescue scene. I sooo wanted our heroine to beat some demon about the head and shoulders with her hensbane. But I guess she already did that with the fish.... Well, I wanted her to do something other than have a character we'd never met or even heard of before come bursting in the door like some kind of comic-book hero. expanded that a little, and she felt a burst of electricity between them as he carried from that stygian pit of doom, and then she'd have TWO possible men in her life....? I still would have at least liked to have met the rescuer before he rescued them. Perhaps at a parent-teacher conference...? Anyway, all that to say, I loved this book, and it is the first one on my bookshelf. Thank you for creating such wonderful characters and such an entertaining plot!

Teresa Baker wrote 1331 days ago

I finished your book in one day (reading at work--bad girl!), and I loved it! At first I was miffed that you were keeping the sons out of the story, but when Caspian came onstage, he did so with a vengeance! I only have two criticisms--how did the fax get into Caspian's room? Did I miss something? Was he in on the plot, and his loving mother can't see it (he is going to that school where they are teaching him who-knows-what!)? And I just felt cheated by the anti-climatic rescue scene. I sooo wanted our heroine to beat some demon about the head and shoulders with her hensbane. But I guess she already did that with the fish.... Well, I wanted her to do something other than have a character we'd never met or even heard of before come bursting in the door like some kind of comic-book hero. expanded that a little, and she felt a burst of electricity between them as he carried from that stygian pit of doom, and then she'd have TWO possible men in her life....? I still would have at least liked to have met the rescuer before he rescued them. Perhaps at a parent-teacher conference...? Anyway, all that to say, I loved this book, and it is the first one on my bookshelf. Thank you for creating such wonderful characters and such an entertaining plot!

Sandra Davidson wrote 1334 days ago

Hi Sue,
I'm new to authonomy and your book is the first one on my bookshelf. You have a very delightful writing style. I love your plot and am looking forward to reading more of your work. My book is COLD MOON RISING. I'd love to get a comment from you.

Gail_M wrote 1345 days ago

This is hilarious and obviously destined for the book shelves! You may need a little edit before it hits the editor's desk, but only for the occasional typo and missing word, otherwise I simply can't fault it. Backed with pleasure

Best wishes

beegirl wrote 1347 days ago

This is a charmingly funny story. You have such a dry dark wit perfect for your book!
Well done.

TalulaJane wrote 1354 days ago

The ghost of an ex mother in law- yikes.. that is scary-lol!
The Darkwood Tales: Demouri's Defeat

PS- thank you for supporting my book! have fun on your way up, girl!

Linda Lou wrote 1358 days ago

hullo Sue. What an interesting scenario, not just one but two mother-in-laws at one time. One dead and the other alive, well maybe. Great story. Already shelved and backed.
Please take a look at my book if you have not and thanks for that.
Linda Lou Long
Southern dis-Comfort

CarolinaAl wrote 1362 days ago

Captivating. A journey filled with surprises. Fascinating characters. Wondeful imagery. Sparkling dialogue. Spot on humor. Backed.

Esrevinu wrote 1363 days ago

Sue, you have a winner on your hands--the imagery and the writing is superb. The rhythm is excellent and the writing compelling. Your descriptions are intelligent to say the least. I was as captivated by your wonderful book. I wish you the very best.
The Esrevinu Chronicles/Secrets of the Elephant Rocks

Rosemary Peel wrote 1363 days ago

There is nothing that I can find to criticise in this very entertaining and readable book. I normally steer well clear of vampitres and the like but something about your pitch told me I aught to take a look. I'm very glad I did. I can't offer advice or feedback to help your writing - as far as I can see, the work is extremely polished and professionally written. Backed because of the skill of the storyteller and the high potential of the book.

Andrew Burans wrote 1368 days ago

You have created a delicious and unique premise for a book. I like your use of the first person narrative voice as it allows you to explore, and you do it well, Dora's feelings, thoughts and fears. Your use of crisp, realistic dialogue and short paragraphs keeps the pace of your story flowing nicely. Your character development of Dora and Ralph is excellent and your descriptive writing sprinkled with the right touches of humour makes your work a pleasure to read. Backed.

Andrew Burans
The Reluctant Warrior: The Beginning

andrew skaife wrote 1371 days ago

Although I am not a big fan of first person narrative you have it covered.

You have imaginative use of environment and descriptive abilities to suit.

I have to say that I was not over enamoured at the thought of reading about another vampire but your writing style makes the subject immaterial.

I like the use of socially well known names and social models that are out of place (a young emo) which make your work memorable.


noirangel wrote 1371 days ago

Sue, this is a delight. I love the humor and I love the characters so far. I have put it on my shelf and backed it. I was immediately drawn into the world by your description and of course fell in love with Ralphie immediately. I can't wait to read more of it. Very happy to Back.

Plagarma wrote 1374 days ago

I thought the start was slightly wrong. I would have liked Dora to have been called that rather than late in the second chapter. After all she was on talking terms with Ralphie at the pub, so he wasn't a stranger. Ralphie immediately believed she was asking him if he could perform the exorcism, when she wasn't. He was intelligent enough to know that, so I would have expected him to say - 'Such a person doesn't spring to mind immediately - perhaps I may be of assistance?'. Then she could go on to explain her dilemma. Overall I've found it to be a good read and flowed very well. Happy to back.

Joanna Carter wrote 1375 days ago

Brilliant premise, engaging characters and you write with a clear, assured voice. Backed with pleasure.
Joanna Carter
Fossil Farm

Wilma1 wrote 1407 days ago

Totally off the wall Three mother-in laws she must have one thats haunting her. Raphie is a brilliant charachter fits into the role brilliantly. You have a good sense of place and your imagery is excellent. I likes the line bony liver spotted hand I may well pinch t for book 2. Best of luck with this i'm sure it will do well in its genre.
Sue Mackender
Knowing Liam Riley

KW wrote 1410 days ago

This is highly entertaining. A green, slimy lake in the living room. Hmm, probably the left overs of absinthe consumed by a ghost or two. The band's name is great. A definite shout-out to a dead Kennedy or the group Dead Kennedys? Yeah, ghosts can be "an unfortunate incursion into your domestic privacy." Especially, if it's the ghost of your ex-mother-in-law: Nanny Barrel Hips. I love the names you use for this. Caspian? Really? What a hoot! I love this and will be back to read more when I can pull myself away from watching the World Cup.