Well, hell, this book kept me up all night!

As readers of this blog know, I rarely post a book review UNLESS I simply cannot help but do so.

I first came across the Gothic Paranormal Blackthorn series, Blood Roses, by the awesome Lindsay J. Pryor, chapter 1, during the Mills & Boon New Voices competition of 2010 – THREE years ago. Then she made it into the next stage and we got chapter 2. Then she reached the final four and we got the pivotal moment. So I waited and I waited and I waited for Mills & Boon or some other publisher to wake-up and smell the roses, but things don’t work like that.

Then Lindsay entered Blood Shadows – another book in the series – in the same competition in 2011 and, with the guidance of the fabulous Michele Hauf, reached the final four AGAIN. By this time I was certain, as were about four thousand+ readers that Lindsay would get picked up by a publisher, but no. Then Oliver Rhodes of Bookouture stepped up to the plate and bought the first three books! Thank God. You can find my first review of the first book in the Blackthorn series, Blood Shadows, HERE.

Book two of the series, Blood Roses is out now and rocking Gothic Paranormal fans here’s the blurb:

A rare and powerful witch whose blood is lethal to vampires, Leila has always viewed her serryn abilities as a curse. After seeing her mother slaughtered as a child, Leila longs for a safe, quiet life.

That wish is shattered by Caleb Dehain – a vampire with a dark past and an even darker heart. The most feared serryn hunter of his generation, Caleb now needs the help of one of the very witches he despises to save his dying brother.

A serryn who has no reason to help him. Except that he has her sister.

Caleb and Leila are each others’ worst nightmare – but the slow-burning spark of attraction between them is undeniable. Will Leila’s blood be his damnation? Or could her kiss be his salvation?


Last night – instead of editing The Trouble With Coco Monroe (thank you very much, Lindsay) – I started reading Blood Roses. I don’t know about you, but I tend to keep books I know I’ll enjoy sort of in my favourite box for when I need an illicit treat, almost like eating my favourite box of Belgian chocolates and not sharing any. I’ve been feeling this way about Blood Roses since I bought it, but last night I broke down and started to read it. I didn’t get to sleep until 3.30am – thank you, Lindsay! And here’s my review from the notes I made as I went through it.

“The writing is so visual, almost lyrical, that if it was about comparing the work to an artist I’d call it a Constable. I loved it.

The vampire Caleb Dehain, a tortured hero if every there was one, is so well written he does more than leap off the page. He embeds himself into our psyche. And the heroine Leila, a very special witch with her own secrets, is more than a match for Caleb. The sibling dynamic between Caleb’s brother Jake and Leila’s sister is well thought out and very real. Nothing worse than family for screwing up a person’s life and bringing forth the end of the world. And the story begins with the heroine prepared to put aside her deeply held beliefs, values and ethics to enter the vampire world of Blackthorn to help her sister. And Caleb does the same for his brother. And right there, even though the hero and heroine are sworn enemies from a different species, the protection of family is the common goal, neither acknowledged or admitted by either one.

One of the things I dislike about reading and writing a review is the temptation to give away back story, plot and spoilers, so I’m not going to do that. What I will say is that this a truly Gothic and claustrophobic read. The dark, dank and dangerous world of Blackthorn is painted with fluidly visual strokes of language. Loved it. The protagonists are on the page twenty-four seven and every second is a battle of wills to the death. Pryor pulls of this epic tale very, very well indeed and I was thoroughly immersed in the world from the first word. Great job. The love scenes are scorching, physically intense with valid emotional conflicts. And as a writer I know how difficult it is to pull that particular talent out of the hat – it’s done seamlessly. I loved it.

As with Blood Shadows  (click on the title to go straight to Amazon to grab a copy, it’s on a deal now!!!) we do have a satisfying ending, with plenty more conflicts to come. I for one cannot wait for book three Blood Torn due in Autumn 2013.

And Oliver Rhodes has done a brilliant job, again. Take a bow!

If you love Christine Feehan and JR Ward, you’ll love the work of Lindsay J. Pryor.

By the way, she’s absolutely NO idea I’ve read the book or written this review.

Hehehe! I LOVE surprises.

And here’s Lindsay herself trying to look witchy. Nope. I go for angel, babe!

Lindsay J. Pryor. I think she looks like the girl on the cover!

Lindsay J. Pryor. I think she looks like the girl on the cover!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I see a TV/Film in this series future.

Reserve me a place in the front seats on the red carpet!

Christine XXX



You may not have noticed, but Halloween will soon be upon us and that got me thinking about things that go bump in the night.

What makes a really good ghost story? What is it about the way a writer tells a story that freezes our blood? How do they do it?

For me, it’s all about sleight of hand. You know what I mean, it’s when a writer has taken your hand leading you down one path while in the other hand he holds a bloody dagger – metaphorically speaking. Quite often the story is about shocking the reader too. And today I’m going to plug an amazing anthology which does just that and more! But first…..

I want to tell you about a true event – the time where I absolutely traumatized a three-year-old girl.

When my son was nine and it was Halloween he’d been invited to hang out and eat at a friend’s house and he was due home around six-thirty in the evening. I’d been shopping in the supermarket and spotted a really cool Morticia Addams long black wig with a white streak at the front. So I used a white concealer stick on my face, painted black liner around my eyes with red lids and hooker red lipstick on my mouth and put on the wig. Even if I say so myself, it looked hot.  I wore black slacks and a black polo neck sweater – cashmere (this is me we’re talking about). I also found a huge cross with red stones attached to a long beaded necklace. Everything was ready, the box of candy and other teeth rotting goodies just at the front door.

The doorbell rang and I opened the door with a deep, ‘Welcome, young man. Please enter.’

My son howled with laughter – it takes a lot to scare my son – and thought I looked pretty cool. By this time my daughters were home and we’d given out a few treats to the ghosts and ghouls who’d come to the door. And as I’d given one or two a bit of a shock I was feeling pretty damn good.

Anyway, I was just about to relax when the doorbell went. By this time I’d bumped up the make-up to look even more scary so I opened the door and screeched like a banshee from hell at an unsuspecting mother and her two young children.

I’ll never forget it.

Her three-year-old daughter almost passed out on the spot and ran screaming for her life up the drive and into the arms of her father. Her mother and older sister were stood before me clutching their hearts.

‘What on earth do you think you are doing? You terrified my baby,’ the poor woman said.

‘It’s…er…Halloween,’ I sort of mumbled trying to smile but if anything their eyes went even bigger. The screams of the three year old could be heard for miles and neighbors popped their heads out of the door wondering what the hell was going on.

There are times when I’m incredibly stupid and this was one of them. I started running up the drive to try and calm the child but she went absolutely crazy and her father yelled for me to ‘Get the hell out of here.’  I felt awful absolutely certain I’d given her PTSD. So anyway the mother and daughter were given tons of tooth rotting goodies and I waved them farewell.

I closed the door to find my son and daughter lying on the carpet, drumming their heels on the floor and crying with laughter. Once they managed to speak they said it was the best thing they’d ever seen in their lives and I was the coolest mother in the world. There you go.  Terrorize an infant and your kids think your amazing. I’ve gone wrong somewhere. Seriously.

Back to the subject at hand – TALES FROM THE MIST – an Anthology of short stories guaranteed to chill your blood, tingle your spine, make you sleep with one eye open and have a sweaty hand clutching the dagger under your pillow – just in case. There are some award winning literary big hitters among this motley crew along with new writers who have a fabulous future ahead of them if these stories are anything to go by.

I read some of them aloud – and I think they’ll work really well if you get a group of friends together with a bottle of wine, light a few candles and tell them a story. It would really help if it’s ‘A dark and stormy night’ too. I’ll leave it to you lot to sort out your own sound effects.

Here’s what some reviewers have said:

Author Aiden James, who penned the Foreword, suggests reading with the lights on.

Joe McKinney, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Flesh Eaters and Mutated: “”Tales From The Mist is one of those rare anthologies that gets it right from the first story to the last. It’s a magnificent feast of horror from some of the most assured voices working today. From cold-blooded tales of revenge to Faustian bargains to terrifying journeys into the dark corners of our world, these stories will make the shivers climb your back.”

“Wow, what can I say? Witches, vampire rats, ghosts, a haunted house, shape-shifters and many, many more. It takes a lot to creep me out, but these authors managed it. I’m not going to add to the other reviewers except to say. Wow!”

“While horror isn’t my normal reading material, I found I couldn’t put this book down. It’s the perfect way to start out the All Hallows Eve season and is filled with paranormal stories to fit any mood. From ghosts to rats to tales retold, and things that go bump in the dark of the night, if you’re looking for a scary read – or just a really engrossing book – check out Tales From The Mist.”

So there you go. Don’t say I’m not good to you. Grab Tales From The Mist and organise your own spooky party then come back and tell us all about it it.

What’s your favourite horror movie?

What book terrified you for weeks or months? Mine was Salem’s Lot.

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Tales-From-The-Mist-ebook/dp/B009KRKTIW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349273129&sr=8-1&keywords=Tales+From+The+Mist 



 Find him at Debra Kristi’s blog here: http://debrakristi.wordpress.com/


Knew that would get your attention!

How can it possibly be back-to-school week already? I mean, I don’t know about you lot but where the hell was summer? I feel really, really hard done by.  And you’ll never guess what that epoch of consumer must-haves (Marks & Spencer) has in their stores? Christmas cards – Christmasssssss caaaaards!  I can’t bear it, seriously.

In the UK we’ve had the Queen’s Jubilee and the Olympics and now we’re back to our humdrum lives of too early starts, lunchboxes (try getting them to eat quinoa instead of pasta – go on, you try it!) Buying new shoes that I want them to have with thick soles and laces (not ballet slippers, darling.)  Then the morning school run, sigh. I’ve promised not to drive them to school in my pj’s in case ‘I have an accident and some of their friends see me.’ I’m an owl, not a lark. And I’m back to smelly gym kits and remembering tae Kwando classes and taking ground beef out of the freezer, as I’m doing laundry and loading and unloading the dishwasher. AND the dark nights are already coming in and I didn’t have a proper summer – did I mention summer?

So here’s the thing. About six weeks ago my friend Debra Kristi put out a call for some of her blogging buddies (of which I am one) to help her host a blog tour. Now at first sight Debra appears to be perfectly normal and, err, sane if you know what I’m say’n?

I mean, she’s a wonderful wife, the most amazing mom and a writer who lives in her own little world of mythology has an awesome imagination. And Debra happens to have the hots for Thor, the God of Thunder.

Anyway, after saying of course I would be deeeeelighted to host her on my blog I forgot all about it happy in the knowledge that the wonderfully organized Debra would send me her post and I’d put it on my blog and that would be that. Sorted.

But no, dear friends, because two weeks ago I received a face book message from crazy the lovely Debra saying that Thor was going on a tour and since I was his first stop could she please have my postal address. Hmmmmm. Wracking my small brain I tried to recall just what it was I’d agreed to and nothing dinged. So I went back and said ‘Run this past me again, Debra, what is it you want me to do?’

Apparently the God of Thunder was going on a personal tour and coming to my house in leafy Cheshire, England, first. What??? How could this be? Chris Helmsworth is coming to my house. Surely she jests! I was trying to think where I could stash Hugo somewhere far, far away. When I re-read her message and realized the Sex God of Thunder was not the drool worthy Chris, but a plastic action figure.

That’ll teach me to read the small print before I say yes to anything.

Anyhow, last Wednesday a cardboard box was delivered from the United States of America. (Immediately Hugo demanded to know ‘what the hell I’d bought now.’ Cheek.) And since my son was eating bacon rolls at the time, he demanded to know what was in the box. So I opened it and out came Thor, God of Thunder, with a big hammer. When you squeeze his legs together his hammer goes up and down. I will not tell you what the ribald comments were because this is a G rated blog (most of the time.)

Can I just say at this point that I write romance and if I was writing about a Norse hunk with a big hammer, well, I’m sure you don’t need me to paint you a picture.

After howls of gleeful laughter the males in my family went on a hunt for a beast for Thor to conquer before he embarks on the next leg of his journey.

So, here are a couple of photos of Thor in my back garden. And the boys have titled them – Thor’s Rumble In The Jungle.

It’s not often I’m speechless, but Debra’s done what no one has done before. Not only that, to take those photos I had to lie on my back in wet grass holding my breath that Thor and the dinosaur didn’t topple over and then discovered I’d lain in duck poop. Thanks Debra!

Thor’s next stop is the zany Lisa Hall-Wilson in Canada. This boy’s getting about! I’m hoping that Thor finds lurrrrve, but that’s just me. (Shame I didn’t have any Barbie or Cindy dolls, now that would have been fun!)

Do you guys have crazy friends?

Have they ever asked you to do something insane – and did you do it?

And what were your favorite action figure toys?

Mine was Cindy.

You know I adore hearing from you – and this should be a doozy!


via reddit & techrepublic.com

Hello, my lovelies,

And how are we today? As you know I never usually post on a Wednesday but I’ve seen this and needed to share – prepare to grin. 🙂

For all of us who feel only the deepest love and affection for the
way computers have enhanced our lives, read on:

At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared
the computer industry with the auto industry and stated,

‘If Ford had kept up with technology like the computer industry has,
we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 miles to the

In response to Bill’s comments, Ford issued a press release stating:

If Ford had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be
driving cars with the following characteristics:

1.  For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash………Twice a

2.  Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have
to buy a new car.

3.  Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason.
You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the
windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you
could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.

4.  Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would
cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you
would have to reinstall the engine.

5.  Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was
reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive – but would run
on only five percent of the roads.

6.  The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would
all be replaced by a single ‘This Car Has Performed An Illegal
Operation’ warning light.

7.  The airbag system would ask ‘Are you sure?’ before deploying.

8.  Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you
out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the
door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

9.  Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to
learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would
operate in the same manner as the old car.

10. You’d have to press the ‘Start’ button to turn the engine off.

PS: I ‘d like to add that when all else fails, you could call ‘customer
service’ in some foreign country and be instructed in some foreign
language how to fix your car yourself!!!

Haha! So, do you agree with the above? Is the Ford guy being a little bit harsh?  Please feel free to share, this was forwarded to me by the lovely writer Judy Ridgley!


 Woo Hoo!

Today is D day on my blog and aren’t you the lucky ones (!) I have fiddled and faffed; worried and wondered; stressed and strained about writing this blog.
Why?  Well, for one thing, what have I got to say about writing?  Stop laughing in the back.

But when the great Nicola Morgan http://helpineedapublisher.blogspot.com/ says, ‘get yourself out there on twitter’  Here’s a link to Nicola’s new book ‘Tweet
Right’  http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005GRATNU and ‘get blogging’ and
since  I always do what the Crabbit old bat (her words) says, here I am.

I also want to thank the wonderful KristenLamb.  Find her here and I shall be linking in Kristen’s fabulous books about social networking and blogging tomorrow.  http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ See Kristen, I’m on WordPress, isn’t it exciting?

Right, next step Myspace.  Gosh, I hope it goes as well as this one!