Wednesday 29 October 2014

New Covers!

So, I go silent for a over month and then write two posts in a week. Yup, sounds like me - but I couldn't wait to show you these new book covers for Breathless and Nemesis, designed for me by the brilliant Ravven, who also did the cover for Something Wicked.

To celebrate, the price of both books have now dropped to 77p/99c for a limited time (links listed below).

Breathless (Amazon UK)
Breathless (Amazon USA)

Nemesis (Amazon UK)
Nemesis (Amazon USA)

Monday 27 October 2014

Five Books Which Chilled Me

Sometimes my choice of book to read can be completely random. I can also be completely predictable. If there is one thing I love, it's reading scary books at Halloween. What do I like to read? Well, I'm a bit of a wimp, so nothing too terrifying! I love ghost stories, particularly the classic haunted house kind and I've a soft spot for vampires. So here, in no particular order, are my favourites.

Dracula by Bram Stoker

When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries in his client's castle. Soon afterwards, disturbing incidents unfold in England: a ship runs aground on the shores of Whitby, its crew vanished; beautiful Lucy Westenra slowly succumbs to a mysterious, wasting illness, her blood drained away; and the lunatic Renfield raves about the imminent arrival of his 'master'.

I've always been familiar with the Dracula story but I hadn't actually read the book until I saw the Francis Ford Coppola movie. (My copy has the movie tie-in cover!) I absolutely loved the story, particularly the racing back and forth between Dracula's castle and England and I felt desperately sorry for Dracula, even though he was a monster. Indeed, I much prefer my vampires monstrous, rather than the kind which walk around in daylight.

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor, is summoned to attend the funeral of Mrs Alice Drablow, the sole inhabitant of Eel Marsh House, unaware of the tragic secrets which lie hidden behind the shuttered windows. The house stands at the end of a causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but it is not until he glimpses a wasted young woman, dressed all in black, at the funeral, that a creeping sense of unease begins to take hold, a feeling deepened by the reluctance of the locals to talk of the woman in black - and her terrible purpose.

Well, this book just plain frightened the life out of me! It has everything I love in a ghost story - a beautifully gothic setting, an old mystery and plenty of shocks. If you enjoy this, you might also like Susan Hill's other novellas, The Mist in the Mirror, The Small Hand and Dolly.

'Salem's Lot by Stephen King

Ben Mears, a moderately successful writer, returns to 'Salem's Lot to write a novel based on his early years, and to exorcise the terrors that have haunted him since childhood. The event he witnessed in the house now rented by a new resident. A newcomer with a strange allure. A man who causes Ben some unease as things start to happen: a child disappears, a dog is brutally killed - nothing unusual, except the list starts to grow.

Another book which terrified my teenage self. In fact, it made such an impression, I've been too frightened to read it again in case it didn't live up to my memories!

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She's quiet, keeps to herself, and doesn't get out much - not because she's not pretty. She can read minds. And that doesn't make her too dateable. And then along comes Bill: he's tall, he's dark and he's handsome - and Sookie can't 'hear' a word he's thinking. He's exactly the type of guy she's been waiting all her life for - but Bill's a vampire ...

I LOVE the mix of humour, mystery, suspense, horror and romance of this series. It was made into a TV series, True Blood, and now I'm going to be one of those boring people who go on about how the books are much better than the TV/movie version. But they are. And you should read them! There are thirteen books in the series.

Haunted by James Herbert

Three nights of terror at the house called Edbrook. Three nights in which David Ash, there to investigate a haunting will be victim of horrifying and maleficent games. Three nights in which he will face the blood-chilling enigma of his own past. Three nights before Edbrook's dreadful secret will be revealed.

Another traditional haunted house story, beautifully told, although the twist is perhaps a little predicable now. This is the first in the series featuring the character David Ash. The others are The Secret of Crickley Hall, The Ghosts of Sleath and Ash. I can't decide which is my favourite, between The Secret of Crickley Hall and The Ghosts of Sleath. If you have seen the TV version of The Secret of Crickley Hall, the plot is slightly different.

Well, that's five books which certainly terrified me! They are all now classics of their kind, so you've probably heard of them already. So I've listed a few more below, some of which are more suspense than traditional ghost/horror stories, but they should certainly keep you out of mischief until the 1st of November!

Happy Halloween!

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
This House is Haunted by John Boyne
The Séance by John Harwood
The Leper House by Andrew Taylor
The Greatcoat by Helen Dumore
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Don't Look Now (and other stories) by Daphne du Maurier

Read More:

I have a list of my favourite books over on Pinterest
Alternatively, read about my real-life ghostly experience
Or find out which five books influenced me as a writer