UPDATE: New Releases

Hello hello!

I’ve been quiet on the blog front for the past few months, as I have been so busy with study and working on my two new releases, Bedouin Boy and Grave Bargains, ahead of their release dates on Halloween and Friday the 13th of November. I am still sharing my Daily Writing Inspiration posts over on Instagram, so if you’d like to keep seeing them you can find me @katekelsenauthor.

I wanted to jump on quickly and share about my two new releases.

It all started back in late May, when I decided to revise and republish Grave Bargains, a supernatural short story I originally published a few years ago. I had an idea for a prequel to explore the background of my main character Jasem, and the events that lead him to become a sinister vigilante seeking justice for the dead in Grave Bargains. I also discovered that there was a Friday the 13th only a fortnight after Halloween this year, and this was how my goal was born. I decided I would spend the next five months working on these two stories, and publish Bedouin Boy on Halloween and Grave Bargains on Friday the 13th of November.

I didn’t think I was going to get Bedouin Boy published by Halloween. As I worked on the story, more and more ideas continued to flood my imagination, ideas which were adding more and more layers to the concept. I was researching and learning so much in the process, about Bedouin nomadic tribes, pre-Islamic paganism, Arabic black magic and geomancy divination. But I was faced with a serious dilemma- these ideas were fantastic and I wanted to include them because I knew it would make the story fuller and stronger, but I had a deadline set, and the more time went on the less likely it seemed the story would be finished by October 31st. However I knew the detail would only benefit my story, even if it meant I had to delay the release of Bedouin Boy for two weeks to give me extra time. In the end I didn’t need the extra two weeks, and I achieved my goal of publishing on Halloween.

It has been a busy five months working on Bedouin Boy and Grave Bargains, and I certainly had my moments of doubt that it would be done in time. But here they are! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing them!


Bedouin Boy tells the story of Jasem Bahar who, having inherited psychic abilities from his mother, attempts to use his gifts for the greater good but instead finds himself on unlikely journey seeking justice for the dead. From the Negev Desert in Israel to the cities of New York and Los Angeles, Bedouin Boy is an intriguing story with equally intriguing characters, with a mix of history, reinvention, crime, inheritance and horror.

Bedouin Boy is available for purchase HERE

Also available from Kobo and Google Play Books


In the wake of a life-shattering act of betrayal, Dylan is determined to bury the past and start fresh. His good intentions are challenged by a sinister stranger, who is determined to dig up his sins, and threatens to jeopardize his efforts to make amends.

Grave Bargains is available for purchase HERE

Also available from Kobo and Google Play Books


Parasomnia: A Brand New Short Story

Hi again everyone! So I have just finished the revision process of some new and existing short stories! This latest one is called Parasomnia, and is suspense story with a sprinkling of the supernatural!

You can read the story in the body of the post below, or download as a PDF here: Parasomnia by Kate Kelsen

Thomas’ nightmare always starts out the same. He is paralyzed, as an unknown  entity climbs onto his chest. He can’t move, can’t cry for help. The nightmares started not long after a visit from a long lost relative, since deceased.

At the insistence of his long-suffering girlfriend Rachel, Thomas seeks psychological help for his apparent sleep disorder. At the same time, strange occurrences begin to unfold in their house at night, from plummeting temperatures to items being mysteriously moved around.

As Thomas delves deeper into his past, the evil that lurks in his subconscious creeps further out of his nightmares, with shocking results.

Content warning: this short story mentions sexual assault.



A Short Story by Kate Kelsen

Copyright © 2020. All Rights Reserved


Thomas could sense something evil in the room as he stirred awake. He tried to move; he was paralyzed, fully aware of what was happening to him. He could see the entity, could hear it shuffling as it moved across the room. He tried to scream; it was now at the foot of the bed, and he could feel it as it climbed onto his chest, smelling its breath as it stared down into his eyes.

Rachel looked bleary-eyed over at Thomas, who lay completely rigid next to her, his eyes open and staring at the ceiling. He appeared to be trying to scream, and she could hear him moaning through gritted teeth. She leaned over and grabbed his arm, and he woke up, still visibly terrified.

“Did you see him?” Thomas asked. “Did you see him? Did you see him?”

Thomas was heavy on his feet as he entered the kitchen first thing in the morning. He took the bread from the refrigerator and turned to the bench, finding two cold slices already in the toaster. Rachel appeared, her skin washed out, her eyes puffy.

“I think you should go back to the doctor, Tom,” she muttered. “I don’t know how more of this I can take.”

“It’s not my fault,” Thomas defended.

“I know it’s not, but I need sleep. I’m going to have to start sleeping in the spare bedroom if this keeps up.”

Thomas sat in the chair next to the desk as the Velcro blood pressure cuff tightened around his upper arm.

“Occasional sleep terrors aren’t usually a cause for concern,” said Doctor Wellington. “They are becoming more frequent,” Thomas insisted. “Are you concerned for safety or injury?”
“Rachel says I kick and thrash around sometimes.”
“Do you feel excessively sleepy during the day or have problems functioning?”
“Yes. It’s disrupting our sleep, both Rachel and I.”“Incontinence? Thoughts of suicide?”


Doctor Wellington removed the cuff from Thomas’ arm.

“I’d like to do a blood test to check for thyroid problems, or other conditions that could be contributing to your poor sleep.” He paused thoughtfully. “Sleep conditions can be brought on by stress and exhaustion. I can refer you to speak to someone if you like?”

“A psychologist?” Rachel placed the dinner plates down on the table. “I would have thought a sleep specialist would have been the next logical step. But he’s the doctor, I guess.”
“He did say I could go and do an overnight sleep study, too.”
Rachel placed her hand on Thomas’ arm.“Whatever you need to do, babe.”

The sun was peeking over the horizon when Thomas wandered sluggishly down the hall toward the kitchen. In the doorway, he stopped, tensing his brows. Pieces of bread were spread out on the kitchen table, as if someone had started making a sandwich. He picked the slices up and put them back into the packet in the refrigerator.

Unlike the waiting room at Doctor Wellington’s office, Thomas sat alone. The receptionist was overly chipper, in an effort to make the reality of the place potentially less uncomfortable for waiting patients. A woman stepped into the waiting room from the hallway.
“You must be Thomas,” she greeted, smiling. “I’m Emma.”
Thomas stood to meet her and shook her hand, following her into the hall. Her office was light and airy, and they sat down in two armchairs in the corner.“So, Thomas, what brings you in today?”
“Well, I’ve been having night terrors for the past few years, and they’re starting to become more frequent. My doctor recommended I come and speak to someone about it.”
“Do you remember anything from the night terrors when you wake up?”
“Would you like to share?”
Thomas sighed, shifting in his seat.
“They always start out the same. I’m paralyzed, and an entity climbs onto my chest and suffocates me. I…I can’t even explain the fear I feel when it’s happening.”
Emma nodded.
“This ‘entity’, is it recognizable to you in any way?”
“No. All I can really see of it are these green eyes. Brilliant green, but not attractive. And I just feel this sense of darkness and dread, like my soul is being sucked out of my body. It’s absolutely terrifying; I can’t even think of the words to describe it, to give a sense of just how terrifying it is. More terrifying than anything I’ve experienced in real life.” Emma scribbled on her notepad as Thomas talked.
“Thomas, what was happening in your life when these night terrors started?”
Thomas paused in thought for a few moments.
“It wasn’t long after a visit from my Uncle Kyle. He’d just been released from jail.”
“And where is your uncle now?”
“He’s dead. He deliberately ended his life by not taking his diabetes medication. He didn’t even leave a note.”

The kettle sat full of water over the gas burner on the stove. Adrienne unscrewed the lid of the coffee jar, spooning granules into each cup. Rachel sat slumped at the kitchen table, her head in her hands.
“Are you doing alright?” Adrienne inquired.
“I’m not sleeping much. Thomas’ night terrors are pretty bad at the moment. I’m pretty used to them by now, but it’s still awful to wake up to. There is something so… horrifying…about it.”
“I can only imagine. Is he getting help?”
“He was referred to a psychologist. He’s there now, actually.”
“A psychologist?”
“He did a sleep test already. It didn’t tell us much more that we already knew.”
The kettle began to whistle, and Adrienne filled the cups, stirring in milk and sugar and carrying them to the table.
“I watched this documentary about night terrors once,” she said as she sat down. “The guy who made it had them himself. He did all this investigation, interviewed a bunch of experts. He was talking about how this ‘entity’ is known in cultures all around the world.”
“People think it’s a ghost, some kind of evil force. Some people thought it was a demonic shape shifter that used to come out at night and attack people in their sleep. Crushing them and feeding on their souls. People thought it was witchcraft, and women were executed during the Salem Witch Trials if they were believed to be responsible for summoning the demon.”
“Sounds like something out of a horror movie.”“Well, it’s one of the oldest unexplained mysteries of the human mind. Scientists say it’s a hallucination that happens during sleep paralysis, but this guy thinks it goes beyond sleep paralysis. That it is an encounter of some kind.”
“It sounds like a hallucination,” Rachel scoffed.“But how could the same hallucination be experienced by so many people? Different belief systems describing the same experience?” Adrienne sipped her coffee. “There must be some explanation that is beyond science. It’s not just something that exists in human consciousness.”

Rachel woke up feeling cold to the bone, her body rigid where she lay. Her bladder was bursting; she sat up on the edge of the bed, finding that Thomas was not next to her. She slipped out into the hall to the bathroom, switching on the light and closing the door after her. Sitting on the toilet, she watched the needle on the wall thermometer drop back from the 70s into the 50s. She jumped when a shadow passed under the door. She flushed the toilet and opened the door, looking out into the hall.In the kitchen, she found Thomas was standing at the refrigerator, eating jam straight from the jar.“Thomas? What are you doing?”
“What are you going to do about it?” James muttered.
“You don’t need to get defensive.”
“Then stop telling me what to do.”
“Okay, well, I’m going back to bed. I have to work tomorrow, so please keep the noise down.”

Thomas watched Emma inquisitively as she scribbled notes on her paper.
“What was the most recent visit with your uncle like, Thomas?”
Thomas scoffed.
“We argued constantly. He had an opinion about every facet of my life. He had no respect for me and the fact I’m an adult, and insisted I do as he believed I should do.”
“The presence of sleep disorders is directly related to stress,” said Emma. “In many cases, that stress is related to a loss of bodily autonomy through chronic abuse. Usually, it is triggered by childhood stressors.”
Emma paused.
“You began having night terrors again because your inner child has started running the show while you sleep. It is an early expression of post-traumatic stress disorder coming back into your experience.”
“Can I make the nightmares go away? Is it possible?”
“With proper diagnosis, quite possibly.”

The night terror started out the same as it always did. Thomas woke up paralyzed, while the entity climbed onto his chest, suffocating him. Every time he tried to get up, it pushed him back down, and he could not move an inch. He could not cry for help as it squeezed his neck. This time, there was a face behind the green eyes.Thomas woke suddenly as he hit the floor. Light filled the room, and Rachel stood up against the wall.
“Thomas!” she was shouting. “Thomas! Thomas!”
It took him a moment to realize where he was, and why Rachel was there. He sat upon the edge of the bed, panting heavily.
“What is going on, Thomas?”
“I don’t know…I don’t know…”
Rachel shook her head, snatching her handbag up off the chair in the corner.
“I’m sorry, Thomas, but I can’t stay here. That look in your eye, it was like you were seeing something I couldn’t. I just…I can’t sleep in this room, in this house.
”Rachel threw a few pieces of clothing and toiletry items into a duffle bag and left the room. Thomas heard the car start outside. He stayed sitting on the edge of the bed, and after a time the sun began to peak through the curtains, dissolving the threat of danger.

The waitress approached the table and placed the coffees down in front of Thomas and Shane.
“It looks like you could use more than one of these,” Shane commented.
“I haven’t been sleeping all that well,” Thomas responded. “How is Rachel?”
“She’s okay. She’s staying at her mother’s place at the moment.”
“My sleeping problems. I had a bad episode the other night. Well, worse than the others. She was too spooked to stay at the house afterward.”
“I wanted to ask you about your night terrors.”
“Why? What about them?”
Shane looked down into his coffee, clasping his hands around the mug.
“I had one too.”
“Yeah. I woke up, and I could sense something- evil- in the room. I tried to move, but I couldn’t. I could open my eyes and move them, and I could see something- an entity or a spirit- at the foot of the bed. It had these awful green eyes. It raised its arm over me like this, and it felt like my soul was being sucked out of my body.”
“When did that happen?”
“Two nights ago. I’ve been too scared to go to sleep since, to be honest.” Shane paused. “Did you see its face?”
Thomas nodded.
“Two nights ago. That was the first time.”
“Whose face was it?”
Thomas swallowed hard.
“Uncle Kyle’s.”
“Me too.”
Shane looked curiously at his brother.
“Same night, same experience.”

Thomas tossed and turned from one side to the other, coming to rest on his back. He kicked the sheets off and sat up on the edge of the bed, rubbing his face with his hands. He stood up and pulled on the jeans and shirt that were discarded on the floor nearby. He picked up his car keys from the nightstand and left the room. Outside, he sat down in the driver’s seat of his car, turning the key in the ignition. He pulled the car out of the driveway onto Maple Avenue, speeding off down the street.

Thomas followed the road for twelve miles, turning off into a dark side street, parking in front of the first house on the left. The neighborhood was quiet and still as he crossed the yard. He slipped the key in the door, and once inside he followed the hallway to the master bedroom. He climbed on top of the man sleeping in the bed, and the man struggled beneath him as he squeezing his hands around his throat.
“What are you going to do?” Thomas muttered. “You can’t hurt me anymore! I won’t let you do it to me anymore! I won’t let you do it!”
“Thomas!” the man choked.
He lunged upward and knocked Thomas to the floor. Thomas looked up, squinting through the darkness. Light flooded the room, and he saw his father standing over him.
“Thomas? What are you doing here?”
“I don’t know,” Thomas panted. “I don’t know…”
“Thomas, do you know who I am?”
“Do you know where you are?”
Thomas looked around the room.
“What is going on?”
“You tell me!”
Charlie sighed heavily. He knelt down, placing his hand on Thomas’ shoulder.
“It’s alright, son,” he breathed. “It’s alright.”
Thomas lowered his head, covering his face with his hands.
“I’m sorry,” he whimpered. “I’m so sorry!”
“It’s alright. Come on.”
Charlie helped Thomas sit up on the edge of the bed.“Where is Rachel?”
“She is staying at her mother’s.”
“How did you get here?”
“I don’t remember.”
Charlie shook his head.
“I knew you sleepwalked, son, but I didn’t realize it was this bad.” He offered Thomas the glass of water from his nightstand. “When you were a teenager, you used to get out of the house at night. I’d find you sitting on the back steps. I’d ask you what you were doing, and you’d say the strangest things. It never made any sense. I was so worried that one night you’d wander out onto the road. You never remembered a thing about it in the morning…”
“Dad, what happened with Uncle Kyle?”Charlie’s grin slipped quickly off his face.
“I started sleepwalking again just after Uncle Kyle came back to visit a few years ago. And having night terrors and sleep paralysis. I saw Uncle Kyle, Dad. In my nightmare. He climbed on top of me and was suffocating me. Shane had the exact same nightmare.”
Charlie was no longer looking Thomas in the eye, his gaze dropped to his hands. He went quiet; on a few occasions it seemed as if he was trying to say something, but it took several minutes before he did.
“I’m sorry, son,” he whispered. “I’m sorry. For the first few years I worried, but then it seemed like you were alright. That you’d moved on…”
“Moved on? From what?”
“I can’t say it, Thomas. I can’t…” Charlie shook his head, covering his face.“The memory is sickening. It was a long time ago…I found him in the bedroom with you…”
Charlie leaned over, sobbing deeply.
“Why didn’t you tell anyone, Dad? Why didn’t you report him to the police?”
“I’m sorry, Thomas. I didn’t know what to do. He was my brother, you know?” Charlie’s expression was suddenly charged with fury. “I…I went to his place and bashed him up. I told him to get out of town. He moved away, and I thought that would make it easier for you.” Charlie scoffed. “What did I know.”
He looked back up at Thomas, smiling sadly.
“But I thought you’d moved on. You were motivated, you had a career, you got married, I was so relieved…”
Charlie shook his head.
“I don’t expect you to forgive me. I will never forgive myself.”

Sitting in the chair in Emma’s office, Thomas could not bring himself to make eye contact with her.
“I nearly killed my Dad,” he stated matter-of-factly. “God knows, I could have killed someone on the way there. I just…I couldn’t hold it inside any longer. That’s why it happened, because I never let it out. It was trapped inside. I could never talk to anyone about it.”
Thomas shook his head.
“Some people would probably say I shouldn’t play the victim…”
“But you are a victim, Thomas. A victim of horrible abuse and pain. Your inner child needed others to hear him. To offer validation and to acknowledge the injustice that was suffered. He still needs that. That little boy fought hard to survive.”
Thomas paused thoughtfully.
“People often talk about finding their inner child like it is a fun and freeing thing. But I don’t want to find my inner child ever. But I don’t get a choice, because that child finds me on a regular basis. He came back in the blink of an eye after that visit with Uncle Kyle, and he hasn’t left since.”
“Your inner child is terrified, Thomas. Confused. Stressed. Your uncle damaged you, wounded you in ways that can never be forgotten. And having the perpetrator of abuse in your physical space, telling you what to do, is impossible to ignore. Your sleepwalking combined with nightmares and night terrors are a result of post- traumatic stress. With the right treatment, we can stop you from engaging in or remembering the nightmares.”
Emma tilted her head, smiling kindly.
“Speaking the truth is freeing, Thomas. Your voice is a chance to regain the autonomy you lost as a child, and is the only thing that can offer that child peace. Both your past and present selves need to know, feel and trust that there is a path to good. You can walk the path and find the end.”


Author Chat: Kellie M Cox

I am so very excited to have my dear friend and fellow writer Kellie M Cox as a guest here on my blog. I met Kellie in 2018 at a Gold Coast Writers Association meeting, and I have treasured her friendship and our shared love for writing ever since. Kellie has just published her debut novel, Murderous Intent, just in time for Christmas.


Kellie Cox is an Australian writer indulging her love of fiction and prose. With qualifications in psychology, she relishes writing about the human condition and the vulnerability of the psyche. A therapist, clinical trainer, creative coach and conservationist, she enjoys a dream life on the beautiful Gold Coast.

Most days Kellie can be found working with artists in the creative industries or writing her novels. When not writing, Kellie will most likely be saturating her social media with photos of her two adorable pups.


Books already released:


Where to find you:

What got you interested in writing?

I have always been an avid reader, so I guess the progression to writing came naturally. My first book, THE LIST started life as a therapeutic tool. I had for several nights had a dream that someone implanted a shark tracking device in my right shoulder. To get the dream out of my thoughts, I started writing it down and that turned into a 70,000 word fiction story.

How long have you been writing?

I started writing in 2015 when I wrote THE LIST which was followed by book 2 from that storyline, THE REEF.

Do you have any goals/projects in the pipeline?

I would love for MURDEROUS INTENT to be made into a movie. It was created with a screen adaptation in mind, a small interwoven cast of characters and gorgeous beachside locations.

In addition, three more fiction books are scheduled for publication in 2020. THE LIST and THE REEF, both romance suspense with a shark conservation twist to it and THE LAST FIRST KISS, a story about soulmates set across the globe. I love this one as I have included many of my favourite travel destinations in it.

What do you like most about writing?

So many things. It is the creation of the characters, their strengths, their flaws and the dynamics between them all. I am often inspired by a setting or location and then create a story to fit into a place in the world that has moved me.

What genre do you write?

I am a multi-genre author. I have written psychological thriller, romance, horror, suspense, poetry, prose, short stories, fantasy, travel blogs, Australiana and non-fiction.

What draws you to this genre?

I like to explore different story lines and challenge myself to see what I can produce. I can tell you what I probably have no skill in writing, that is Western. I can’t see myself writing western and I also think crime would be difficult, but let’s see what happens a few years down the track.

Where do you get your ideas?

Travelling and I am fortunate to meet so many people through my clinical and creative work who inspire me. My friends quite often want to be characters in my books so I sometimes put little bits of them in there.

Tell us about your process, how do you get into a writing mindset?

I honestly have no answer for you on process. I am not technically trained, so I don’t have a process. Maybe, that is something I should work on. At the moment, I open my laptop and type and I can honestly say I have no idea what line is coming next. The words are just created somewhere between my brain and the fingers that pound the keyboard. I wish I had a more technical answer for you.

What are you working on at the moment?

Well, my son has pitched me a horror story about a single middle aged woman, so socially awkward that she has grown emotionally dependent on her huge German Shepherd dog. As the story goes on, the dog begins to hunt at night and kill for her. Yes, he was inspired by my own life for his story, very tongue in cheek as he pitched it to me. Well, that story has just started and we will see if it goes anywhere.

Also just started a horror story called, THE BOWERBIRD. It is so incredibly scary it is actually fun to write. I was inspired to start this after a night in a beach shack on a dark and quiet island.

Which writers inspire/influence you?

I enjoy the emotional vulnerability of creative souls, so I enjoy reading Hemingway. A Moveable Feast is my favourite. I read it as I wander the streets of Paris, following his journey. I also love Elizabeth Gilbert for her depiction of raw human struggles. I read constantly and it helps with my own writing immensely.

What else about your writing journey should we know?

I am always open to collaborations, so get in touch if you have something in mind that you think we could work on together. Planning a writing retreat in Europe middle of 2020 and would enjoy connecting with writers and authors from around the world.


I know he is going to kill me.
It is three o’clock on a chilly spring morning. I could walk around the house checking the doors are locked to no avail. He will not be that obvious but he will find a way to enter. I can’t remember the exact details of the nightmare that woke me this day, although the words I heard in my dream tell me everything I need to know. He is close.

He may not be inside the house, he may be just metres away. He is nearby and he won’t stop until my eyes are closed, the last stains of my breath have touched my lips, and my body is limp and exhausted. He will marvel at his handiwork. The fact that he accomplished the unimaginable – that he finally ended my life.

He was close tonight, somehow confirming the exact location of my latest hideaway. He may have been just outside checking entry and exit points. Possibly even inside the house standing over me, watching me rest, his murderous intent the sole reason for my rude awakening from the latest instalment of visions of terror in my dreams.

He is nearby and narrowing in on his target.

I rise from my bed, and splash my face with water to freshen my red eyes, then crawl back onto the mattress, shaking. The warm covers do nothing to stop my body from convulsing as the tears roll down my face. No comfort will hinder the flow now as I realise the enormity of the message sent to me in my slumber.

He will find me. He will not give up. He needs to hurt me to feel complete. He will kill me. The last face I will ever see will be his, and there is no one in the world that can prevent this from happening.

Murderous Intent.jpg


MURDEROUS INTENT is now available at