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Review: “Lost Child: A Gripping Psychological Thriller” by D. S. Butler

You’re safe at a local summer fete. Right?

Having a child snatched from you is unthinkable, especially when that child was under your supervision. It not only affects you, but the entire family. Trauma, guilt, sadness and emptiness rock the Farrows, until there’s a glimmer of hope dangled in front of Beth.

This was a good, easy read. It kept me guessing and I enjoyed the mind games Butler played!

3 stars

Lost Child by D. S. Butler


‘Masterful Storytelling. Eery Silence. Emotional. Terrifying.’ A Quiet Place – Film Review

A Quiet Place. An amazing spectacle. Masterful storytelling, eerily quiet – on screen and in the theatre – emotional, raw, terrifying. 

As an Odeon Limitless member, I’m always at a local Odeon. For the amount of films I’ve already seen in 2018, this was the first one which urged me to write this film review. It’s that good!

Let’s get down to my review of A Quiet Place.


Set in 2020, Earth’s human population has been catastrophically wiped. We’re introduced to the Abbott family. Husband Lee, wife Evelyn, sons Marcus and Beau, and daughter Regan.

The opening scene is the family scavenging for supplies in a store. Bare feet and using sign language. They’re sneaking around for medication and other supplies.

I don’t want to get too deep into the plot (you’ll see why in my review). Minimal awareness of the story will allow you to enjoy this film even more!


This film is being billed as a horror movie, but I think it deserves more credit. It’s not just another typical modern horror. There’s too many of those kind of movies where you can expect a killer or haunting spirit, jumpy moments, people running into danger or falling over. THIS is not one of those horrors. A better description would be that A Quiet Place is a thriller with horror themes.

Key elements of the film

There are so many elements in the first few seconds of the film which foreshadow the narrative. Equally, the film’s title kind of gives away the biggest theme of the film. Quietness.

The opening scene where the Abbotts are scavenging has stuck with me most. Mainly due to the masterful storytelling on show. It allows you to make many observations about the world we’ve been introduced to. There’s an empty food store that has been cleared out of everything, except all of the crisp packets. Such a simple yet powerful touch of storytelling!

Sound is the horror element of this film. Everyone is scared of making any sound, even us watching the film. During the film, I actually diffused a cough. Fed up with people scratching in their bucket of popcorn? Well, no chance of that in this film. You would feel so awkward digging into noisy popcorn.

I’ve been trying to think of a new horror idea of my own for some time. Sound being the fear in this film is brilliant. It’s completely unique. Although there are many films where people try to be quiet in segments when they’re hiding from someone, A Quiet Place uses sound as a fear to the extreme (in a good way). How we associate silence in day-to-day life is completely transformed in A Quiet Place.

The tension created in the film is unbelievable. My fingernails were non-existent by the end of it and my palms were so clammy. There’s not much more to say on the tension, other than YOU WILL FEEL NERVOUS DURING THIS FILM.

Another nice touch is that we’re following a traditional, loving family in a completely untraditional world. But this is what makes this movie so raw and emotional. There’s a clear, underlying love between each of the characters, but every family has their problems. There’s such a strong scene which made me shed a tear. It was such an authentic moment in the film which wasn’t overdone and executed well!

Star Rating: 4.7/5

Although minor, there were a couple of parts where I was a bit confused or I thought were not entirely explained all that well.

One is a scene where Lee lights a fire. We see other fires being lit miles away around him. But what was the point in this? At the time I didn’t really think anything of it. Now thinking back, I’m a bit like, ‘why did they show that?’ Maybe I’m oblivious and it was important to show that there are other people living in this world? I’m not sure, but there’s a scene with an old man that shows there are other people around, so was there really any need for the fire scene?

Anyway, I loved this film. The tension it created, the new fear of sound, the connection and disconnection between the family, the amazing storytelling. Tie it all together and you have a fantastic film!

If you haven’t seen this film, go and see it. You will not regret it!

Claret Press – Fundraising & Spreading Awareness for Motor Neurone Disease

I received an email recently from a small indie publishing house known as Claret Press, informing me they had just launched a short story competition. I thought it had a lovely incentive and story behind it, so I thought I would spread the word for them.

What you need to know

If you’re a writer and you want to take part, this is a little bit of background about their reason for the fundraise and how you can take part:

“We here at Claret Press are organising a fundraiser for the MNDA. We are a small indie publishing house and we have just launched a short story competition. One of our writers, Sarah Gray, suffers from motor neurone disease and the idea for this competition was sparked by her short story collection Half Life. The short stories will deal with all aspects of motor neurone disease: for people living with MND, carers, family members, heath and social care professionals, Association staff and volunteers and anyone else affected by MND. Winning stories will be published in a collection, and net proceeds will go the support people living with MND.”

Sarah Gray’s short story collection Half Life deals with aspects of physical and mental illness in innovative and original ways. The Judges will be looking for similarly engaging and novel stories of no more than 5,000 words inspired by these issues. Stories can be written from any perspective and in any format. This can include murder mystery, thriller, romance, post-modern, horror, etc.

I’ll certainly be giving this a go for a great cause, I encourage all you other writers to do so too!


Find out more by heading over to their website!

My Dark Fantasy eBook Alive has a new book cover, and it’s FREE on Amazon!

My dark fantasy eBook, Alive, has a brand new book cover. It’s also free to download from January 12th to the 15th!

Alive’s synopsis:

For nearly a year now I have been living a lie. My husband and two daughters believe that I am dead. No one can know our secret.

New cover for dark fantasy eBook, Alive

I’m really excited to officially reveal the new front cover of my eBook dark fantasy short story, Alive.

Feast your eyes on the new book cover!

Dark fantasy short story Alive T. J. Blake

It’s a massive improvement on the last cover for Alive and truly echoes the darkness, fear and suspense of the story.

This amazing cover wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the talent of Jordan Baker from The Bakery Creative. Thank you for helping me and well done for doing a fine job!

Dark fantasy short story

Although it may seem biased of me to say, but I love Alive. It may only be a short story, but it’s one I really enjoyed writing and re-reading. I read it recently and it had me on edge.

Here’s what other readers are saying about Alive:

Read the whole book continuously… ‘Alive’ is a dark fantasy. I must say I enjoyed the book very much as I’m addicted to dark fantasy stories. I love his writing style and I’m a happy reader.–

Read this short story whilst I was on holiday in Cyprus and loved it! The afternoon passed by so quickly as I couldn’t put it down, a great little page turner. A creepy story line with a great twist, would highly recommend.– Goodreads

Download Alive for free from Amazon on Kindle from 12th-15th of Jan!

Alive will be free to download on Amazon for the weekend – starting tomorrow the 12th of January, and lasting until Monday the 15th.

Once you’ve read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts, so why not leave a review too!

New Year’s Eve – What’s to come in 2018? The next Endurance & a new Alive eBook cover

Endurance front cover

It’s New Year’s Eve. Do you want to know what I’m doing right now? I’m writing. Finally!

I’m not afraid to admit, I am quite disappointed in myself, mostly because I didn’t nearly spend enough time writing for the year of 2017. I’ve been writing more than ever, but not in terms of writing creatively for my books.

Having changed jobs and started a writing business, my time has been taken up by these two things. I guess that just happens, life gets in the way. Even so, it’s still disappointing!

Something I have found though from my 3 hour writing spree is that I haven’t lost the passion or enjoyment whilst working on the final book of The Endurance Series.

I’ve been working on Endurance 3 since I finished my last book, Deception, back in 2016. And here we are in 2017, on the brink of 2018, still a lot of work to do before the last instalment is released – it’s worth the wait though!

Endurance is coming to an end… or is it?

Screen Shot 2017-12-31 at 15.13.01

The plot and story of the final chapter in the series, Endurance: Recovery, is all planned out. All that is left to do is to write it.

Only 12,500 words into the book so far, and a lot has happened already!

If you enjoyed the fast pace, action and gore in the first two books, then you’re going to love this one too!

I won’t go into too much detail about the characters in this one because there’s potential for spoilers. So we’ll just say this – if you’re hungry for more kick-ass fighting, blood and infected maniacs, keep an eye out for the release of Endurance: Recovery.

It’s the last instalment of The Endurance Series, or is it? You’ll have to wait to find out!

Endurance: Recovery, coming 2018!

New eBook cover for dark fantasy short story, Alive

Back in 2016 I released a short eBook dark fantasy short story called Alive. This is the synopsis:

For nearly a year now I have been living a lie. My husband and two daughters believe that I am dead. No one can know our secret.

2018 will see a new front cover for the dark and chilling short story!

The planning of more stories

I’ve got a catalogue of book ideas to choose from, but I am always looking for new ideas to entertain you all.

Happy New Year Everyone!

I hope you all have a great night tonight seeing in 2018.

I’ll see you on the other side!

Halloween eBook Promotion on Amazon (29th Oct – 1st Nov)

Hello everyone,

With spooky times ahead, I thought it was only fitting to throw my five books into a special Halloween Book Promotion exclusive to Amazon.

The Creepy Book Promo – Free Books & Reduced Price

As part of my book promotion, four of my books will be available to download from Amazon for free! No need to spend a single penny on these books – you can download them to your Kindle for absolutely free. That also means that you don’t have to wait for pay day to read my books!

Free books

My books which are free right now on Amazon include:

The Endurance Series

Endurance –


Endurance: Apocalypse –


The Author –


Alive (short story) –


Deception is Reduced for Halloween!

My last book in the promotion is my latest novel, Deception: A Love of Lies. This 5 star novel will be available for a heavily reduced price of just 99p/cents.


Why are you still here?! Go and download each of my books!

Once you’ve read them, leave an honest review for them on Amazon!


My Latest Microfiction 12 Word Story – ‘Missing’

What can you do with 12 words? Write a story! Check out my 12 word story, ‘Missing’.

I really enjoy microfiction and flash fiction stories. Isn’t it amazing what you can do with just a minimal amount of words?

In just a few words, you can paint a picture inside someone’s mind, you can convey meaning or several meanings, and you can tell a story.

My latest miniature story ‘Missing’ is a 12 word story that I wrote and tweeted for the website and online community 121 Words.

Now, take a look at the story below and see what you think it is about. It may or may not be what you believe; and that’s the beauty of it.

A 12 word story – ‘Missing’

'Missing' - a 12 word story (121 Words)

What is it about? Comment below!

DECEPTION is Reduced, ENDURANCE and THE AUTHOR are free on Amazon!

T. J. Blake’s thriller novels, Deception, Endurance and The Author will be available as a promotion on Amazon for eBook and Kindle format.

Apologies for my lack of activity recently here on my T. J. Blake #Author blog, but life has been really hectic!

Free eBooks on Amazon – just to say sorry!

To say sorry for my abandonment, my books ENDURANCE and THE AUTHOR will be free to download from and for eBook and Kindle Friday – Sunday.

DECEPTION is reduced – limited time only!

Along with my books being free, my psychological thriller, DECEPTION, will be available for 99p/99cents on both and

My New Content Writing Business in Surrey is keeping me busy
If you saw my previous blog post about my new writing business, TJ Creative, you will know that this is one of the main reasons for me being a little neglectful recently.

Along with my business, I also secured a new full time job, which is keeping me very busy!

Free and reduced books by T. J. Blake

Back to the point, please take advantage of my books being free and reduced, it's quite rare for my books to be on a promotion.

They will be free and reduced Friday to Sunday!

Head over to Amazon now and grab your e-copies of my books!

My New Content Writing Business – TJ Creative

I'm very happy to announce that I have started my own business; a writing company in Surrey, UK, called TJ Creative – The Write Solution.

I started TJ Creative with the aim of becoming the local solution for individuals and businesses across Surrey and Hampshire looking for website content, SEO copywriting and social media support

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) should be a big part of anyone's online marketing, and digital content plays an integral role in the process of SEO. 

Although my business is new, I hold the experience and knowledge to help you. I have spent many years writing creatively in my degree and as an author, and professionally as an SEO copywriter with a leading digital marketing company in Hampshire. 

To find out more about my content writing services in Haslemere, Surrey, continue to my new website and read up on my services. 

Also, if you have a spare couple of minutes, please follow TJ Creative on Twitter – (@tjcreativeuk) and like the page on Facebook –  

New Content Writing Business

It’s been a hectic few weeks recently. Work has been pretty busy, I’ve had a busy personal schedule and I’ve been trying to create a brand for my new writing business (which is quite exciting). 

After coming up with my new branding, I started the work on building my website. Having completed many of the site’s pages, it’s very nearly complete and will be live within the next few weeks. 

What will be available through my new website? 

Through my new content writing service, I will be offering content writing, copywriting, creative writing and social media services. 

I won’t go into much more detail now as I’ll wait for the big reveal! 

Should you have a business and you want to improve its online presence or you’re working on your next creative project, then my new writing service is an option for you! 

I’ll launch the website very soon, but should you need a writing service now, then feel free to get in contact with me on my contact page. 

My new site isn’t live, but it’s never too soon for us to start working together!