Lee Murray


Lee Murray writes fiction for children and adults for which she has been lucky enough to win some literary prizes. She is currently working on various projects, one of which she hopes will be bigger than hobbits. Lee wishes she were edgier than she actually is—a fantasy which recurs whenever she is folding the washing. She lives with her family in New Zealand.

Where to find Lee Murray online

Where to buy in print


The Refuge Collection - Volume 1.
Series: The Refuge Collection, Volume 1, Tales 1.1-1.6. Price: $5.00 USD. Words: 35,380. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Supernatural, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
Lee Murray, Martin Livings and Steve Dillon have brought together the first six stories from the town of Refuge "Heaven to some, Hell to others!" Compelling enough as stand-alone tales, together they tell a much richer story. Each one introduces new characters, events, locations that influence the next writer's story. So, enjoy these first 6 tales to terrify, torment and tease!
The Thief's Tale (1.6)
Series: The Refuge Collection, Vol.1 Tale 6. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,650. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2015 by Oz Horror Con. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Supernatural, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
Award-winning short story by Lee Murray: Whitney is a thief. A good one. Like a mosquito she comes in quietly, first anaesthetising, then feeding, and finally leaving before her prey know any better. It’s a strategy which has worked for her 22 times in the past. But when she lands in Refuge, an estate sale opens the door to other possibilities. Cover art by Will Jacques, all Profits to charity.
Beyond This Story
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 32,870. Language: English (New Zealand dialect). Published: March 20, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Australia & New Zealand
Beyond This Story is a collection of hyperfiction - fiction based on true events - written by New Zealand intermediate school students. It includes interpretations of disasters and epidemics, some unspeakable horrors, as well as discoveries and triumphs to delight and startle the world. All are told with insight and sensitivity in the fresh voices of New Zealand’s young writing talent.
Write Off Line 2013
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 13,870. Language: English. Published: November 24, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Anthology
Write Off Line 2013 is a collection of stories and poems by New Zealand secondary school students. We had hoped for a glimpse of the teenage condition through their own eyes, and discovered instead that the view from there is a kaleidoscope…

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Smashwords book reviews by Lee Murray

  • The Shiraz Train (3.6) on Nov. 30, 2015

    Abram Akim falls asleep on the train. Often. And when he does, he is afflicted with dreams of a woman being murdered. Resorting to stimulants so he can maintain his sorry little job, eventually Abram isn't sure where his dreams end and reality begins. I loved the cadence of this story, the repetition of certain phrases, capturing both the rolling clatter of the train outside Abram's lodgings, and the building confusion in his mind...
  • The Death of a Cruciverbalist (1.4) on Dec. 01, 2015

    The crossword is the only decent thing in Refuge's rag of a paper, so when its architect is found dead of an apparent suicide, a lonely new resident to the town takes it upon himself to investigate. Tightly- plotted with an unexpected twist, this is a wonderful short read from one of Australia's best speculative writers. A perfect for whodunnit for crossword lovers everywhere.
  • Next Door's Noisy (2.3) on Dec. 22, 2015

    Fresh and poignant, this is a love story with a dark twist. Yes, it's short, but not a word is out of place. A surprise addition to the Refuge Collection of tales.
  • The Ghost in the Water (2.2) on Dec. 22, 2015

    Single mum-to-be Shauna is on the run from an abusive relationship, seeks refuge in the townhouse at 27 Marsh Street. At least she's hopeful, but a a disturbing reflection in a dresser mirror, and a problem with the townhouse electrics, lead to a disturbing first night... Be prepared to meet an old friend from other tales in the Refuge collection. A very creepy sleepover!
  • Plato's Cave (2.4) on Dec. 22, 2015

    In this tale from the Refuge Collection, Brian Craddock follows Marty the 'bruiser' Hayseed, first encountered in The Thief's Tale. Not content to be the mayor's lackey forever, Marty's got his hands on something which could tip the scales... Irreverent, violent, and compelling, Plato's Cave teases the threads of Refuge and uncovers yet another dimension...
  • The Refuge Collection Volume 2. on Jan. 30, 2016

    Another wonderful collection of tales set in the sometimes winsome and sometimes seedy town of Refuge. In Noel Osualdini’s chilling story, Ghost in the Water, single mum-to-be Shauna is on the run from an abusive relationship and seeks refuge in the townhouse at 27 Marsh Street, although what she finds there is anything but restful. Brian Craddock’s Plato’s Tale follows Marty the 'bruiser' Hayseed who’s looking to get out from under the yoke of Refuge’s corrupt mayor in a tale that’s both compelling and violent. The UK’s Paul Kane shows his award-winning style with the story of a PI’s search for a missing boy, a search which takes him on a detour to Refuge where the authorities are less than helpful. But PI Mickey owes it to the parents of the kid, so he perseveres with his investigations, only to uncover a twist from his own past. Editor-writer Steve Dillon has three stories in this edition, one written in conjunction with David Allen, and although the change in author is signalled in the text, it’s hard to pick where one leaves off and the other begins, Dillon and Allen marching to the same drum, the cadence perpetually dark and troublesome. I was, however, surprised to discover Next Door’s Noisy in the mix, which, while on the dark side, proves the scope of Dillon’s writing isn’t limited to horror. All in all, Volume 2 of the Refuge Collection doesn’t disappoint: it’s compelling and creepy, crammed with gritty unforgettable stories from some of horror’s best. Artists proceeds to the Sanctuary Foundation Australia.
  • The Public Menace of Blight (3.4) on Jan. 30, 2016

    Award-winning Kaaron Warren joins the Refuge team with a disturbing tale exploring the grim spiral of emotional abuse. Warron's writing is subtle, simple, weaving everyday domesticity into something... other. Definitely worth the cover price for this intriguing little read.
  • Forever Autumn (3.5) on Feb. 14, 2016

    This is my first encounter with EJ McLaughlin’s writing and I wish I had discovered her sooner. Forever Autumn, a superb addition to The Refuge Collection, is a haunting tale of tortured souls who reach out beyond the grave to cling to life and love. Set in Eden Grove, the picturesque little graveyard on the edge of the town of Refuge, this one teeters on the edge of sanity, a game of brinkmanship played out in the space somewhere between life and death. It’s a brilliant little ‘slice of life’ (sic) that will stay with you, although squeamish prudish readers should probably leave it on the shelf.
  • The Lizard and The Maiden (3.2) on March 07, 2016

    When the sister of Mahi’s boyfriend turns up from New Zealand to visit her in Refuge, it isn’t for a friendly catch up. Instead, she’s in for a night of unspeakable torture. Rescue comes from an unexpected source, and as a result Mahi finds her true calling. A vital tale in the Refuge story, this one appealed to me for its evocative prose and links to Maori mythology. But don’t be fooled into thinking this story is all beautiful maidens and ferns in soft-focus. Nuh-uh. McBride doesn’t pull any punches. Blood and viscera guaranteed.
  • The Watcher's Tale (4.2) on March 18, 2016

    Mister Framboise came from Denmark, at least he thinks he did because he arrived in a field outside Refuge at the age of 25 with the papers to prove it. And besides there are the rifts of music, lyrics, in Danish which pop into his head. Anyway he had some cash, so he bought a farm, and now it’s doing well he spends his days watching the ins and outs of what’s going on in the township. Until the day the tremors come again. Silvestri writes a wonderful character with a voice that is all his own. The Watcher has the normal brand of Refuge creepiness, but this story is especially profound.
  • When We Were The Spiders (4.3) on March 19, 2016

    When a story starts 'skin like wrinkled midnight' in the first sentence, and it's written by award-winning writer-editor Marty Young, you know you're in for a treat. Short and intense, this story is perhaps on of the most significant in the Refuge Collection to date, going a step deeper into the psyche of the refugee to investigate the idea that when we want to do the right thing to reveal the atrocities being inflicted on people, even when we make sacrifices to reveal those truths, sometimes we can be as dark and unforgiving as our oppressors. A significant tale, well worth the read.
  • The Heart of the Mission (4.4) on April 16, 2016

    Of all the Refuge tales, The Heart of the Mission by Matthew R Davis is perhaps my favourite of the collection to date. On the hunt for a sentient passionate species of rose, a washed up television presenter might be the key to the species salvation. With echoes of Phillip Mann's The Disetablishment of Paradise, this story really resonated because in spite of its sad theme, the reader is left with a tangible and undeniable feeling of hope. Richly told and well paced, this was a perfect Sunday afternoon read.
  • The Refugees (4.5) on April 30, 2016

    Loved this little piece, chillingly real fiction reflecting real life events that are playing out as we speak. An important addition to the Refuge stable.
  • The Detective's Tale (5.2) on May 21, 2016

    What happens when you've seen too much death and too much indifference? When you can't sleep, an ulcer gnaws at your gut, and sciatica plagues your every step? A long spiral of descent, that's what. But Detective Roger Dickson is still clocking in to work, investigating the bizarre murders occurring in Refuge. He's still functioning, if you can call taking the line of least resistance functioning. Of course, something has to give, and the twist is delicious.
  • The Black Shuck (4.6) on May 21, 2016

    I was lucky enough to read an advance copy of this story, and silly enough to read it before bed, which was a bad decision because it kept me awake for hours! Darren Marsh is royally confused. He lost a mate recently, and now he's gone and lost his shadow. Add to that there's some kind of beast savaging the local livestock and a mysterious stranger has just rolled into Refuge's Blue Frog Tavern like an old-film cowboy. Combining mythology and technology and more, Brian Craddock's The Black Shuck twisted so often, I didn't see the ending coming, and when it did the result was chilling. A suitably dark addition to The Refuge Collection.
  • Gerald's Memory House (5.3) on July 26, 2016

    Gerald McInerny, 25, lives in Refuge’s Causeway. Like most young men, he hates his parents: his mother’s continual fawning and his father’s mean temper. Mind you, apart from his mother, who calls him ‘her Precious’, everyone hates him right back. Not that it bothers Gerald because he has a gift, one that allows him to look into his neighbours’ deepest thoughts, to steal from their Memory-Houses, the sequestered rooms where their most sacred, bloody, and carnal secrets are kept. Handy when you want to gloat over the bitch from way back when, or screw someone over for a bit of coin. So whenever Gerald craves release, which is often, he spins his mother a tale about heading to the Blue Frog with friends, climbs in his Ute and set off. But, of course, Gerald has no friends… A chilling and seedy tale of the weird and perverse, Huntman’s Gerald’s Memory-House fits perfectly amongst the Gothic structures and Venetian tea services of Refuge. Artful writing that is unashamed and slightly sickening, Huntman’s story has a surprisingly satisfying ending. Recommended.
  • Old Bones, Young Bones (6.2) on Sep. 09, 2016

    Vanessa and her mother, Jennifer, are on the run, and they’ve taken Vanessa’s little girl Charlene with them. They’re escaping to Refuge, evading a monster, one capable of despicable things. But Jennifer has been keeping a dreadful secret, and instead of finding sanctuary, something else awaits. A tightly woven story of four generations of women cursed by their poor choice of men, Huntman’s gruesome and gritty tale will pull at your emotions. Recommended.