Caroline Wood

Biography

Writing has always come to me more easily than other ways of communicating. Not always helpful or convenient in real life...
I still make up stories in my head, as I've done since childhood.
Overheard snippets of conversation, or a random word can trigger a story. My brain seems to do this automatically.
I like to explore the dark, strange or the unexpected behind apparently ordinary life.
The nice curtains hiding a corpse on a rocking horse. That sort of thing.
But I'm less drawn to blatant horror. Instead, I like to look into the unsettling sense of things being askew, unreliable. A little bit twisted.

Books

Kept Themselves to Themselves
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 1,080. Language: English. Published: December 19, 2022 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
Short story. A wandering surrealist tale of family life and cat fur.
Looking Away
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 1,040. Language: English. Published: December 19, 2022 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
Short story. When real life doesn't fit our templates or meet our expectations, do we reject, ridicule, or fear what spills beyond our carefully constructed normality? Is looking away enough? And are the myths we create a distraction from our own monsters?
Decoding the Dead
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,300. Language: English. Published: December 18, 2022 . Categories: Fiction » Historical » Ancient
(5.00 from 1 review)
Short story. Moving between the present and ancient Egypt, pondering family rivalry, death, and gift shop trinkets.
True Colours
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,650. Language: English. Published: December 17, 2022 . Categories: Fiction » Historical » USA
(5.00 from 1 review)
Short story. Letters between lovers in the American Civil War. The effects of distance, and changes brought by altered experiences.
Flicker of Life
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,140. Language: English. Published: December 17, 2022 . Categories: Fiction » Historical » General
(5.00 from 1 review)
Historical fiction. A mother hides her weak child born into a harsh community, making them both outcasts. But why do others shun what they perceive as 'otherness'?
The Black and White Sisters
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,990. Language: English. Published: July 16, 2022 . Categories: Fiction » Adventure » General
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
Why does the grass always seem greener? How come other people live happily ever after? Is life really that black and white? Or do we constantly search for something out of reach? Tender, funny and thought-provoking, this short story looks at letters between three women with contrasting outlooks.
White Socks at a Funeral
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,270. Language: English. Published: June 30, 2022 . Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Flash fiction
(5.00 from 1 review)
The flattery of theft, revelations made with jewellery, domestic despair, and huge life decisions made without thought and carrying permanent consequences. Very short fiction, inspired by random words.
Flat Pack
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,950. Language: English. Published: April 13, 2020 . Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
(5.00 from 1 review)
A listening ear, always ready to hear your every word. And then to use it, ensuring that you are never alone again. Ever.
Spuds on the Pillow and Other Stories
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,050. Language: English. Published: December 22, 2019 . Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Horror » General
A mixture of short stories and flash fiction to make you laugh, bring you cheer, and make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.
Mad Ink and Mistaken Identities
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,370. Language: English. Published: December 20, 2019 . Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Horror » General
(5.00 from 1 review)
Two unnerving short stories that will get under your skin. Do we ever know the true version of the truth?
Take Thirteen
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,270. Language: English. Published: March 15, 2019 . Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
Short, sharp-edged stories that leave paper-cut stings. Snatches of life, reduced to an intense essence. These pared-down tales will embed themselves, to fester in your memory. Read fast to hinder their venom.
The Jar Festival
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,330. Language: English. Published: March 9, 2019 . Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Horror » General
A traditional village event, bringing the locals together. A cake stall and cups of tea. Bric-a-brac and plants. But secrets surface, and spillages cause deep stains that can't be erased. However hard the villagers try.
The At Least Game
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 42,850. Language: English. Published: August 31, 2017 . Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
A family. A secret. An unlikely reappearance from the past. And a killing. Who would shatter the dullness of a quiet cul-de-sac like this? And why?
Grave Misgivings
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 80,490. Language: English. Published: April 10, 2015 . Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
(5.00 from 14 reviews)
Like short stories to leave a mark, stay in your mind long after you've finished reading? These dark, off-kilter tales will worm their way into your thoughts. Will make you laugh, cry, shiver and squirm. Here, ordinary people lead far from run-of-the-mill lives, but you'd never guess until you look behind closed doors. And you'll never look at discarded shoes the same way again...
Noah Quince
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 92,610. Language: English. Published: April 10, 2015 . Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
(5.00 from 6 reviews)
What the hell's in the cupboard under the stairs? Why does the neighbour always wear an apron? You're unlikely to meet anyone as hideous as Noah Quince, but somehow he'll get under your skin, make you wonder why he's so vile. This deeply dark, comic novel tells the story of a man unravelling into madness, and explores the power of obsession.

Smashwords book reviews by Caroline Wood

  • Kamikaze Trinitrotoluene on May 11, 2015

    Short and funny, Kamikaze Trinitrotoluene is a well choreographed, visual tale of epic schadenfreude. Good fun and enjoyable - this would be great performed by someone like Lee Evans perhaps. Someone who can talk really fast, building up to the ending. Will read Lee. A Jackson's other books.
  • A Reckless Moon on May 11, 2015

    A quick bite of a story, with much conveyed in few words and short sentences that work well to add tension. The scene is set with just enough detail to enable the imagination to do the rest, and the main character has an elegance fitting for an ancient and discerning vampire. He's after more than just blood... Really enjoyed this and it's a great taster for Linda Arditto's other books, which I look forward to reading.
  • The Awakening of Adam Capello on June 04, 2015

    The Awakening of Adam Capello by M W Taylor Fascinating subject for a book - looking at multiple previous existences and entering the mind, experience and environment of other lives previously lived by the main protagonist, Adam Capello. The subject is a bit like writing itself - inhabiting other characters and lives to provide a glimpse into their thoughts and feelings. This thought-provoking book raises some big questions, particularly around what it is to be human, how we interact with each other (or not - with so many of us absorbed and distracted by technology). It explores a simpler way of living and asks if perhaps we've lost the capacity to recognise and appreciate this in our constant striving for diversions and stimulation. It's clear that the author has been doing some deep thinking, which is reflected in this book.
  • Cain's Apples on Aug. 13, 2015

    Great fun - a good old-fashioned creepy story and morality tale. Reminds me of the stories in the Pan Books of Horror or the Twilight Zone. Yes, predictable, but still an enjoyable read.
  • Blink on Aug. 13, 2015

    Deliciously chilling story. I like the way it's firmly planted in the reality of everyday life - making the weirdness even more striking. Also a nice twist on being scared of the dentist.... Really enjoyed this.
  • Crimson Dreams on Aug. 13, 2015

    The first few typos didn't stop me wanting to know what happened next. But I did begin to find the tense changes and stray words quite distracting from what could otherwise be a good read.
  • Delphine on Sep. 20, 2015

    I found this intense, claustrophobic, disturbing and frightening. A powerful and raw piece of writing, I felt I'd been allowed deep inside the thoughts of the central character. The detachment and numbness of depression are portrayed so well here that it's almost painful, though utterly compelling, to read.
  • The Collector on Dec. 29, 2015

    There was something of the quality of a fairytale in this story, which kept me reading. I like the idea of echoes and ripples reaching through time, and enjoyed the eerie atmosphere this brought to the story. Bit distracted by the typos but otherwise a good story. Thanks.
  • The Lily on Dec. 30, 2015

    I enjoyed this moving and memorable short story. It has a haunting quality that lingers beyond the end of the book. Thank you.
  • Quintessence of Dust on Jan. 23, 2016

    What a great discovery, so pleased to stumble across Craig Wallwork's collection of short stories. Very much my sort of thing, these stories are strange, disturbing, alarming and compelling. Can't think of anything similar-you really have to read these for yourself to get an idea of how much they veer from run of the mill... Although I'm not keen on gory or obvious horror, preferring psychological, atmosphere and underlying unease, these stories still captured my imagination. They work on several levels, with more to them than the surface and obvious layer. It may sound unlikely but there is tenderness here, amid all the harsh, grotesque and potentially offensive stuff. These stories confirm my long-held belief that a good writer can write about anything. Or, put the other way round, good writing can make anything worth reading. This is certainly a good writer. If you want to be challenged, moved, have your thoughts provoked, read Quintessence of Dust.
  • The Crawling on Feb. 11, 2016

    Another dark and disturbing story from Lee A. Jackson. It deals with interesting subjects of image, the superficial nature of appearance and the deeper internal impact of wanting to be noticed. In an age when cosmetic surgery seems 'normal', commonplace and easily accessible, this digs a lot deeper and really makes you think. It gets under the skin, which is always a good thing with fiction as far as I'm concerned.
  • Dreaming Falling Down on Feb. 11, 2016

    Made me shudder... What a tormented existence for Abraham, the main character. There is a sense of being trapped, of hopelessness and dread. Playing a tiny part in a huge unknown and unexplained activity where one is not meant to question but just keep carrying out the same role... This really is the stuff of nightmares. Looked at another way, it also made me think of the daily grind for anyone working in a vast, depersonalised organisation, where they must just keep repeating the same thing and never stop to wonder what they are actually doing... Chilling stuff.
  • You Are Just A Guest on March 01, 2016

    Really enjoyable short story. The format works well (blog posts and Twitter posts) and I liked the contrast between the husband and wife's comments. Tense, fast-paced and chilling - all good ingredients for a horror story. Many thanks
  • Bloom on May 27, 2017

    Like all good stories, this short piece works on different levels. There's a fable or fairytale quality to the idea of discovering something much desired, and which carries a high price for ownership. At another level, the story made me think of the must-have-at-any-cost consumerism we accept as normality. And the blind willingness to destroy what we need. Perhaps I'm reading too far beyond the surface of the story, but I felt it portrayed human greed in a chilling way.
  • Nick on Aug. 21, 2017

    Really enjoyed this - it hooked me in and kept me reading. Well written and compelling, and certainly one that sticks in the memory. Now want to read more of this authors work. Thanks for a great story.
  • Nut Stuffing on Sep. 01, 2017

    Christmas. Families. Need to say more? This is both funny and painful and will strike a chord with many readers.
  • Tapping at Twilight on Sep. 01, 2017

    A delicious short story. Wonderful atmosphere evoked by writing that reminded me of Pan Horror and Ghost stories. A real treat and one to read by the fire in the depths of winter...
  • Empty on Sep. 03, 2017

    A well-written and moving story, capturing a strong sense of a harsh environment. Really enjoyed it. Thank you.
  • A Grand Folly: Or, The Ultracrepidarians on Oct. 11, 2017

    I write this review as an ultracrepidarian... At first, I found the ornate, flamboyant language a barrier but something made me continue reading, and I'm pleased that I did. This is a delicious, well-written treat. Keep a dictionary at hand as you read and you'll discover some wonderful words. The characters are vivid, the imagery rich, and the language, especially, something to be savoured. Not, perhaps, everyday fare, but a special feast, filled with delights and extravagant flavours.
  • Shrink: The Unravelling of Jonothan King on Nov. 25, 2017

    I enjoyed this book, and it kept me reading, wanting to follow the progress of the various characters, and of the main character. The setting works well as a way to explore different personalities, the challenges they face, and the impact of these on the main character, who gains deeper insight into himself as a result. The writer's knowledge of / research into the area of counselling, psychotherapy and psychology adds a deeper level to the story, which also made me want to keep reading. I'm giving four stars because I found the number of typos quite distracting, but the story is good and, if edited more thoroughly, would be an even better read.
  • A Pond in the Middle of Nowhere on March 16, 2019

    A delightful short story. Warm, well-written and engaging. A memorable story that lingers and makes you wonder what happens next. Thank you for this little gem.
  • The Scarecrow on March 31, 2019

    I couldn't stop reading, and now I've finished The Scarecrow, I can't get the book out of my head. Excellent writing and a compelling, moving story, that dives into grief and recognisable madness. I'd love to read more by Nathan Wellman. Amazing.
  • The Complete Guide To Clinical Aromatherapy and the Essential Oils of The Physical Body on July 20, 2019

    This is a book I will keep going back to - full of interesting, informative, and well-researched material, it provides detail on the various uses and benefits of essential oils. It's great to find out more about this fascinating subject. Easy to read, the book includes both scientific background and day-to-day usage, with recipes for blends by professional aromatherapists. Thank you.
  • Grandma's Breath on March 05, 2020

    Great story - made me laugh, made me shiver. And made me want to read more by this author. Thank you.
  • Dolan's Son: A Horror Novella on Dec. 24, 2023

    What a great read - an absorbing story, well written. The best fiction works on various levels, which is the case for 'Dolan's Son'. As well as being a gripping horror story, it made me think about the passage of time and the strangeness of ageing - constantly changing yet staying the same. I'd love to read more from this author. Thanks for the beautiful writing and the memorable story.
  • The Clockwork Wife on Jan. 19, 2024

    A delicious story - I really enjoyed this well-written tale. The writer made it easy to visualise the setting and the characters, with a lovely balance of 'ordinary-ness' and oddness, all of which were believable because of the quality of the writing. One small niggle - technical rather than about the story telling - throughout the book, there are little square symbols in the text. I think these replace what should be ellipses and are a distraction. Otherwise, a great read - many thanks.
  • Box of Darkness on Feb. 16, 2024

    A box of great stories that I'm so glad I opened. Visual and visceral writing - I enjoyed this collection hugely and when I've recovered from the journey into the twisted depths, will read more from William Todd Rose. Thank you.
  • Within The Keys on April 17, 2024

    This short story is a delight to read. Resonates with my childhood ideas about words, stories, where they come from and where they go. Lovely - thank you.