Book Jacket


rank 808
word count 17771
date submitted 14.06.2009
date updated 19.03.2010
genres: Fantasy, Horror, Young Adult
classification: moderate

Tales Tell Tales

Quenntis Ashby

A fantasy-horror-adventure about storytellers in danger because of the power of words, and Beast's insatiable hunger for more.


Eve is a new storyteller in need of rescue. She narrowly avoids being tortured and devoured by Mr. Wyn. But her best friend, Bethany, lies in a deadly coma because of her.

Eve’s Dear Diary forces her to pull words from the depths of her soul because it needs to devour her power and passion to open doorways for the evil Beast, its true master and creator.

Beast has already taken two important people through the Mirror Portals to Heaven; a Reader and a Writer, who are forced to read and write nonstop or face the unthinkable.

Who can stop the evil Beast and save Eve?

(Cover by Bradley Wind)

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7-eleven, adventure, beast, beauty, evil diary, fairy tales, fantasy, horror, quest, reader, storyteller, writer

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Quenntis wrote 1668 days ago

18 February 2010

I uploaded a One Page Synopsis as Chapter 1, so feel free to skip this plot outline. If you want to start reading the book, start from "Stolen Godpaper Hungry For Words"

Chapter 2: Stolen Godpaper Hungry For Words
Chapter 3: Mr. Wyn's Appetite
Chapter 4: Plans For The Summer
Chapter 5: Eve Contacts Brian
Chapter 6: Robert Temple's Journey
Chapter 7: Meel Through The Looking Glass
Chapter 8: Help Eve
Chapter 9: Eve Wakes Up
Chapter 10: Detective Ronnen
Chapter 11: Eve Is Next
Chapter 12: The Rescue
Chapter 13:

Tarzan For Real wrote 704 days ago

I like this. It has an interesting progression to it. Character and environment are well thought out. Descriptive and compelling characters draw the reader in with great foreshadowing. I will continue to read and review on.--JL"The Devil Of Black Bayou"

Tarzan For Real wrote 704 days ago

I like this. It has an interesting progression to it. Character and environment are well thought out. Descriptive and compelling characters draw the reader in with great foreshadowing. I will continue to read and review on.--JL"The Devil Of Black Bayou"

Lara wrote 705 days ago

Not my genre AT ALL, but this is so imaginative and well written I have to back it.

Margaret Anthony wrote 710 days ago

Sadly none of the genre this book comes under are familiar to me so I need to concentrate on the big plusses this story offers. I skipped the synopsis which is superfluous I think since the pitches are good. Certainly enough to more than interest lovers of this sort of tale.
I know your work of old and also know you are skilful and talented writer. What I've read here merely confirms that. What you do most cleverly is intrigue the reader with a slightly way-out premise and a glimpse of a strange sometimes slightly mystifying world. Your quirky imagination is here in spades although you may need to take care here and there that you don't lose the reader...'with other things that go bump in the night,' ?
Just my thoughts and as I said, I'm no judge of fantasy so happy to star this and on my shelf on a turnaround. Margaret.

johnfoster wrote 710 days ago

How do you best this?

Wanttobeawriter wrote 729 days ago

I opened this book because the title is so unique: took me a minute when I first read it to get the different meaning of tales straight in my mind. I didn’t read the summary because I wanted to be surprised as to what this was about. Not sure why you added that or need it. The story itself is very creative. I always think of books as my friends. Hate to see the corners earmarked by someone less respectful. But here, books are the power people. Very unique. If I had a suggestion it would be to explain a little more how books have come to be able to talk. You know this strange world so well all of this makes sense to you but as a first-time reader, I had to go back and reread some paragraphs hoping for a little more insight into what was happening. Either way, it’s an interesting world and a good read. Highly starred and added to my shelf. Wanttobeawriter: Who Killed the President?

Gao Zuojia wrote 798 days ago

Quenntis: I read the first four chapters and believe you have an original concept. I became interested in the story immediately, it needs some polishing, though. It seems a bit disjointed and I'm not certain whether it's intentional. It confuses the reader. I would also pare down the song lyrics, leaving just enough to accomplish whatever effect you are trying for. If the lyrics don't serve any purpose, i.e. moving the plot forward or establishing a plot element, then drop the lyrics. Having said that, I would like to repeat that I enjoyed the read, liked the concept, and feel your book is unique. A good effort, good luck. - Gao Zuojia
Please, read my book, Kailai and the Dragon Prince, and leave me any constructive criticism you may have.

Philthy wrote 802 days ago

Hi Quenntis,
I’m here for our read swap. Sorry it’s taken so long for me to get here. Below are my findings/comments. They are of course my humblest opinions, so please take them for whatever they’re worth.
Um, what’s with the one-page synopsis? I don’t think this has a place on Authonomy or any published book, for that matter.
Chapter One: Stolen Godpaper Hungry for Words
“the stolen page in a man’s voice” This makes no sense to me, and perhaps it makes sense within the context of the story, but as the reader knows nothing so far, this needs to be better explained here.
Delete the comma after “voice”
The other things that go bump in the night are all stuck between the soft brown leather covers? That makes no sense.
The last line of that first paragraph needs a “However” or “Yet” in front of it for transition clarity.
The premise of this story is awesome. Seriously unique, and I can kind of see where you’re going with it as you unspin the tale. However, that first paragraph should be clearer in my opinion, especially since this is a complicated concept.
Great, great dialogue. The transition sentences between the dialogue also help strengthen it.
A great end-of-chapter hook, too. I really enjoy the risk and ambition you take as an author. You don’t play it safe, and as a result, you pull off a really fascinating tale. High stars for now, but I’ll certainly add this to my queue of books I intend to give shelf time too.
A very entertaining read. Best of luck, and I look forward to hearing your comments on mine when you get the chance.
(Deshay of the Woods)

Zayna Dialla wrote 812 days ago

I rally like your story here. It was fun and takes you fast into unknown worlds. I have high hopes for this one!

The Twister wrote 837 days ago

Intriguing premise. Well-written and backed with great pleasure.

Su Dan wrote 837 days ago

good writing- perfect style and pace, well suited for this genre...good enough to back...
read SEASONS...

Jake Barton wrote 921 days ago

Quenntis, I've delayed commenting on your book as I've been seeking a point of reference. There isn't one. You're a talented writer, in search of a viable medium for your imagination and this may well be a work of genius. It's not there yet, as I'm sure you know. Imaginative, oh yes, packed with memorable characters, both animate and inanimate, certainly, but I wonder whether the project as it stands has found its specific target.
I'd tentatively suggest removing the synopsis as I wonder whether an explanation of where the book is heading may be counter productive in a piece of this nature. When I 'forgot' the synopsis, ventured into the unknown, I found the voyage of discovery more rewarding.

Your characterisation is beautifully observed and I'm in awe of your ability to express a situation by a small, pertinent detail. This is such a strong premise, a remarkable vision, and you have all the skills to take it forward. Ideal YA material, stretching a youthful mind, with a dash or two of horror to heighten the tension; your readership is out there. I'd also suggest the viability of an adult readership, given the fantasy elements and your surreal and even anarchic take on the plot.

I've read all you've posted and can't understand why this book hasn't been more successful. No, I don't think it's the finished article, but there's such raw talent here. I wish I'd read you before, but I'm very happy to have finally rectified the omission. I'll be watching this one with great interest. As a writer, as an expresser of ideas, you have few peers on this site. Happy to see this on my shelf and I wish you well with it.

Thomas_W_Shaw wrote 1001 days ago

Based on Chapter one....

You have a wonderful premise. I'm glad you embraced it and really took off with it. The problems with the first chapter(other than the typical typo errors that we are all guilty of) is there was a monsterous amount of dialogue, but none of it gave me anything to work with. I have no idea Eve is--she is an unfortunate girl in a broken home, but other than one line or two I didn't really feel that. You can be quirky without sacrificing raw feeling.

I believe with some good edits, this story could really flow. This is could be really good.

mirnian wrote 1066 days ago

Hi Quenntis,

You suggested I be honest, and I will. But of course anything I say is purely personal opinion from a fellow writer, so take it as such.
Ok, so I'm not regularly a horror reader. But that doesn't mean I won't read something in that genre that's well written and compelling, like Faust's Butterfly on this site, for example. My impression is that good horror isn't something that shocks immediately, like many slasher films. Good horror makes the reader really like the main character or characters, so that when the danger is the worst, you really feel terrible for the character you love. To be honest, I don't yet love Eve in the first chapter. The awkward teenager in a broken home is such a common theme these days that it doesn't immediately allow me to connect with her. I'm not saying she's not interesting - she is, but the problem is that before I can really bond with her, there are already TWO bad guys - Beast and Mr. Wyn (unless they're the same person, which isn't clear in the beginning). So when Mr Wyn begins to ogle her, desiring to eat her (yuck), I'm just grossed out. I'm not particularly worried about Eve, I'm just thinking about how much I"M grossed out. I think that if there was more of a connection with Even from the start, the immediate danger would create more tension. Right now, I don't feel it very much.

J.S.Watts wrote 1168 days ago

Quirkilly surreal or surreally quirky - take your pick. In any event, this is every writer's nightmare made ink and paper. I wonder if it is a bit too writerly for a YA audience, but it is certainly very inventive and distinctive.

The dialogue and thought narrative is strong and much of the imagery is poetic. Occasionallly the plain narative text felt a little bit too plain and therefore slightly stilted, but that might just be me.

A Darker Moon

Charmain wrote 1170 days ago

This is an interesting story and your prose is excellent. I rate it five stars.

WiSpY wrote 1172 days ago

Interesting ... Tom Riddle would have liked this diary

Pia wrote 1180 days ago


Tales Tell Tales - The Beast uses the skin of old failed writers to create ravernuos notebooks to collect new creative power ... that makes me shiver. Beast needs this power to force the Godpen to either accept it as its own true master writer or cause Armageddon. With the destruction of Godpen - the role of storytellers undergoes a significant evolution. Eve is a strong MC with lively thoughts. The snappy dialogue and crisp writing delights. Querie re: ch 2, did she not decide against g-stings that morning? Her dad was a famous theologian specialising in eschatology :) And Mr Wyn is horribly surreal, thinking of sizzle-icious Eve. I returned to refresh an earlier comment on this compelling read. The output of your inventive pen quickly becomes an aquired taste, and since I was further drawn into the story this time, I'll be back for more. Pia

ccb1 wrote 1198 days ago

Oh, this is good! Young adult readrs will love this unique and very innovative story line. I find it interesting that you used Sven for the name of a character. We did also. Good luck.
CC Brown

Lara wrote 1245 days ago

I backed this because it is such an unusual and inventive fantasy world. I do think there's a lot that could be done to improve it, but that's less important than the initial idea. In the beginning, I'd like to be drawn into that fantasy world for much longer until my questions about who and how characters are speaking are answered. As it stands, there is a mystery and immediately an answer. This happens twice and then we are flung into the ordinary, everyday. This could be a second chapter. Mum could shout for longer, come up and find Eve writing and then the conflict over it and the lack of money could emerge. In other words, all of the story needs more exposition. But great potential and so one of the rare places on a bookshelf. Lara
Good for Him

KW wrote 1249 days ago

The phrase, "blood on the page" takes on a new meaning: "It was far from harmless or blank or stuck." Trapped in Godpaper. "Stop scribbling in that bloody book of yours . . ." I understand the concept of the page sucking at your force: "Write it all out for me, on me, in me, with me . . . I'm hungry for more." This is a fascinating concept. It may be intended for YA, but I'm impressed and want to suck the ink from this one. By the way, did you get the name of Captain Mapplethorpe from Robert Mapplethorpe, the photographer? "I want my Dear Dairy. Now! And I want dad's pen!" Like an addict: "Time was running out . . . more and more silver hairs appeared . . . It's not real. It's not me . . ." Fascinating.

Kaimaparamban wrote 1254 days ago

It is an interesting mixture of various emotions. Placement of words, which capable to reflect its emotion is an attraction of this work.

Khani wrote 1267 days ago

Eve reminds me of a friend of mine, only that she wasn't called Evelyn Temple, which is an amazing name. :)
Your story is intriguing, especially the first chapter makes you just wanna know more and more and more. Your style felt unusual for me, but I like it! I wish you best of luck! :) I think Eve and I are gonna become great friends. ;)
Take Care

Wezzle wrote 1288 days ago

This is surreal and very intriguing. I love the premise and the idea of a living, breathing diary, but living and breathing: 'only as a tool of the Beast'.

You have a good YA horror here and I'm sure it will be devoured by them. I do hope so, because I think it's very good and deserves recognition. :)

Roger Thurling wrote 1298 days ago

Very interesting - very unusual. It can only have been lack of marketing which kept this book so low in the 'rankings' in which many dull books, lacking all originality have quickly risen much higher. This book needs pushing forwards so that readers will push it upward. I shall back this with pleasure.

Roger Thurling wrote 1298 days ago

Very interesting - very unusual. It can only have been lack of marketing which kept this book so low in the 'rankings' in which many dull books, lacking all originality have quickly risen much higher. This book needs pushing forwards so that readers will push it upward. I shall back this with pleasure.

rlyon wrote 1315 days ago

I love the idea of a talking diary.
I found the odd word here and there a little 'flowery' and out of place but on the whole I think you have a great idea and I wish you luck.

Walden Carrington wrote 1330 days ago

Tales Tell Tales is a fabulously original fantasy novel of Biblical proportions. Backed with pleasure.

CarolinaAl wrote 1331 days ago

Brilliant premise, brilliantly executed. A rich and chilling fantasy told with style. Well drawn characters. Interesting dialogue. Evocative narrative. Accomplished storytelling. Assured writing. A fun read. Backed.

paperbat wrote 1339 days ago

My son downloaded several chapters when he noted the 'fantasy horror' tag. It is very ''in'' at the moment with teens. He found it ''yer great'' quote unquote! So it definately passed the test. If I get any more out of him, I will tell you more detailed comments. BACKED.
I would appreciate you and/or kids you know to read my childrens' book [Paperbats], as it is a fun read. Stories are ch.2 onwards.
Jerry [paperbat]

Katinia wrote 1379 days ago

This is FANTASTIC! I know you have it down as YA but it's so dark I wouldn't be surprised if it had an adult market too. There's such an undercurrent of teenage sexuality and fear, I love the way you play with different forms as well, the poem at the end of Chapter 3, swift dialogue, some almost dream-like sequences. Oh and it's bloody scary too. Definitely one for the shelf.
Keep up the good work.
(The Good, the Bad and Their Intentions)

DP Walker wrote 1404 days ago

Hi Quenntis
This is a great story and I liked the idea of the diary talking back. You've created a great world here. Creepy and surreal. Great stuff.
DP Walker
Five Dares

Lady Midnight wrote 1405 days ago

This is a very powerful opening chapter, with tight and focused narrative. The descriptions are very evocative:
...stuck between the soft brown leather covers with the other things that go bump in the night. pen kissed paper.

The leather cover rippled like a throat swallowing something. A writer's very passion for life ran from a beating heart...the pen would be used like a straw, draining the very soul of the writer.

Beautifully written. I have only one nitpick. The sentence: She looked at the dirty floor and sighed... you've suddenly changed point of view from Eve, to her mother. 'Head hopping' is generally frowned on these days, although some writers still do it.

I think this has tremendous potential. It's powerful and eerie, evoking a sense of impending doom right from the word go. Backed.

CraigD wrote 1407 days ago

Nice handling putting together a number of genres. Biblical overtones throughout. Happy to back this for you.
Please consider taking a look at my book, The Job.

Cherry G. wrote 1407 days ago

Tales Tell Tales Chapter1 to 12
This is terrifying. From the very start we know Eve is in trouble: she's exhausted and has sores on her writing hand; the diary is making her write tales all through the night and she feels it's connected tin some way to her missing father. It feels more ordinary and everyday down stairs with Eve's mother, except Susan Temple is anxious and exhausted too and preoccupied with money problems. She isn't going to be much help to Eve and it loooks like Eve will have to deal with the threats herself.
The school driver, Noah Wyn, is horrible. He's bad enough when we know him from Eve's point of view, but once the POV switches to Mr Wyn himself, it's clear he isn't human and he's intending to kill her to eat. I was disturbed by this, because I thought he'd be a threat to her, but not in this way. I'm wondering how Noah Wyn fits in with the Dear Diary. They are both threats to Eve, but are they working together or separately?
The tension mounts when Mr Wyn invites her to model for a friend. Eve isn't keen, but her and her mother are short of money and so she's likely to accept. Eve seems to be hurrying towards disaster and it feels sinster when Wyn thinks: "..Eve was going to be a very unlucky girl and soon, too..." and then, chillingly, "Time to restock the freezer."
Arriving at school, the tension disperses and Eve meets her shy friend Bethany. All is ordinary at school, except Eve can't escape completely, her thumb is hurting, punishment from her diary for not writing during school time.
Bethany and Eve discuss holiday work and when Eve rings up Brian about Bethany having a job with him too, we know it's just too good to be true. The job is highly paid and both can start the next day. Worst of all, Mr Wyn will take them there. I was feeling nervous and I'm sure most YA readers would be as well. Good use of building tension and suspence.
Eve's father is struggling in his place of captivity, being forced to write and trying to call out to warn his daughter. We also see Meel. as she is captured by the beast, and dragged through the mirror to become a reader. Both Meel and the professor were kidnapped near 7 to 11 and the strange shapes on Eve's thumb are now clearly 711. There'a a clue in that, but what does it mean?
Chapter 8 onwards is frightening and the scene where Bethany is tortured and cut and eaten is brutal. The story of Noah eating his way out of his mother's womb is pure horror. They are rescued because Eve's father manages to get a message to her mother, but Bethany is near dearth and Eve is in shock from her experience and nearly drained from all the frantic writing the diary makes her do. The reader knows that the doctor is mistaken The writing can harm her and the diary will keep on and on, draining every tale out of her until she is dead.
Added to this, Noah Wyn has escaped and is at large again, even more powerful than before. I'm sure the reader will have to read on, just to see if Eve, Bethany and Meel survive.
So your story is good for the shocks and nervous tension, suspense and horror..I felt that perhaps the last 3 chapters were less polished than the first chapters, so I'm thinking you may not have edited them as much. I felt this showed in for eg, Detective Ronnen's talk with Susan Temple on the phone. The dialogue didn't feel quite so natural and convincing as earlier dialogue.. And I thought that perhaps Brian's and Noah's capture in chapter 12 was too easy or passed over too quickly. Also, I gained the impression that Bethany had died at the end of chapter 11, but she's alive in the following chapter (just). How much did Brian and Noah cut out of her and how much did Noah eat of her body, that she has survived?
Also, there are a lot of biblcal names in this (eg Noah, Eve, Bethany, Thomas) and Eve's surname id Temple and even reference to "doubting Thomas". Does the names have relevance?
I am backing this. Good luck with your writing and in finding a publisher.
Cherry G.
The Girl From Ithaca

Lulubanks wrote 1409 days ago

This is lovely...vivid imagination...full of skill and talent...The problem I noticed is your switch from 3rd POV to 1st POV...It's better if characters' thoughts are integrated right into POV of story - not separated out in italics as separate phenomenon.

It's especially distracting when story is told in 3rd person POV, but character's thoughts are italicized in 1st POV. Mind jumble.

Mot The Hoople wrote 1420 days ago

As one South African to another, have a look at The Brass bring Down please.

crazy mama wrote 1420 days ago

This is imaginative and scary. Like a bad dream you wanna keep reading, but you don't...Backed.

SusieGulick wrote 1435 days ago

Dear Quenntis, I love Eve's & diary which keep your story alive - great job. :) Before I began to read your book, I was prepared by your recap/pitch,which was very well done. :) Your story is good because you create interest by having short paragraphs & lots of dialogue, which makes me want to keep reading to find out what's going to happen next. I'm "backing" your book: When you back a book, it only improves the ranking of that book, not yours. However, the author whose book you are backing may decide to back your book also, in which case yes, your ranking would be improved...authonomy. :) Please "back" my TWO memoir books, "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not" & my completed memoir unedited version? "Tell Me True Love Stories," which tells at the end, my illness now & 6th abusive marriage." Thanks, Susie :)
p.s. Remember: Every time you place a book on your bookshelf, your recommendation pushes the book up the rankings. And while that book sits on your bookshelf, your reputation as a talent spotter increases depending on how well that book performs. :)

Kidd1 wrote 1436 days ago

What a wonderful idea! Very original. This is well written and will appeal to YA 's. Eating the words with a pendulum like voice and tone. Nice cover by Brad Wind. Backed.

I hope you will give mine a read and back it if you like it.
golden conspiracy

Owen Quinn wrote 1439 days ago

I love the pitch and the cover. the idea of words being something's feast and literally sucking a person dry for it is one I have not come across before. The imagery is vivid and it is obvious you have thought this through in every detail as the story rattles along on a raft of good writing.

A Knight wrote 1448 days ago


I found this to be a strong, gripping piece of fiction with an excellent premise. The diary that talks back is not a new idea, but you have given it a freshness with your vivid prose and strong characters. Excellent work, and I think you have done yourself a service with this piece. A slight polish to remove the occasional word repeated within a couple of sentences of the first instance would take this to new heights, but as it stands it is a strong competitor in the authonomy field.

Backed with pleasure.
Abi xxx

Raymond Nickford wrote 1451 days ago

The idea of the diary imbued with a life of its own is wonderfully explored and opens great scope for your storyline, not least because of the diary's malevolence.
The prose is fluous, easily readable and yet certainly reflects a distinctive voice within your genre - even the genre itself being an interesting blend of fantasy and horror.
The story is full of invention and after the first two chapters I wanted - but didn't need - to read on to know that I was in the hands of a confident writer with a winning premise.

(A Child from the Wishing Well)

plantaen wrote 1472 days ago


Well, I'll go to the foot of our stairs: I thought my stuff was weird!

Marvelous stuff, and well written too—and nicely drawn characters to boot. This is just my cup of tea, so it's going straight on to my shelf: backed.

Plantaen aka Ian Taylor: Sirens And Other Tall Short Stories.

hot lips wrote 1474 days ago

What a surreal nightmare, your pen and paper both alive and agents of the Beast, intent on draining your life force. I thought I'd hate this but it's very well written, I'd like to know what happens next, but shortage of time says no. Backed with pleasure

Christina McClean wrote 1478 days ago

Sorry to be late in the read swop. Here are some of my thoughts. I was inspired by the idea of a talking page and think of your wonderful imagination. There is some beautiful descriptive prose like, 'The leather cover rippled like a throat swallowing something.' It seems that you have already some excellent advice and together with your imagination and glowing ideas should bring of a fantastic story.

From Under the Bed

Phyllis Burton wrote 1479 days ago

Hello Quentis, I like this. Your imagination is extremely good and has a unique feel about it. I have no hesitation in backing this. SHELVED.

A Passing Storm

holdril wrote 1480 days ago

I enjoyed 'Brother Grimm" If you are planning to tell fairy tales do not be so [redictable. This is 21st century.

jfredlee wrote 1480 days ago


-Jeff Lee

Shakespeare's Talking Head wrote 1481 days ago

I have to tell you, the first line of 'stolen godpaper..' was one of the best opening lines I've seen (and, like you, I've seen my fair share). This is very tight. I kinda knew it would be. Don't care what some people say, but I know by a person's forum posts whether they can write or not. You can write.

I really like the rambling tone of the narrative--especially liked the poem/prose about seven ate nine. You described the diary excellently.

Great narrative, dialogue, voice, and a premise that's both fresh and imaginative. Glad I stopped by that longest poem thread. Great read.

Dropcloth Angels