Thursday Teaser – Creator of Shadows!

 

“Help us! We’re trapped!”

“Trapped…”

“TRAPPED!…”

 

Andred’s eyelids burst open as she let out a cry, staring blankly up at the ceiling and not knowing if she really had called out of not. As the dream tumbled into place, she reached across a shaking hand to turn the lamp on, needing the comfort of the glow around her bedroom. As the bulb burst into life, shining on every corner of the room, she eased herself up. Her flesh still trembled from the nightmare, and she wiped a hand across her face, staring down at it with wide eyes as she realised she was coated in cold sweat. It had drenched her bedsheets, all of them twisted and tangled up in her legs and half on the floor.

Letting out a shaky breath, the goddess leaned her head back against the headboard, her chest heaving like a pump. The nightmare had been too real, too vivid. So many wailing voices and cries, all trapped together in the darkness. And that feeling that hovered over them all, a being of unimaginable terror that prevented any of them from ever leaving. And the Andred herself had been one of the many, calling out names of people who would never come, who would never hear them, shrieking until her vocal chords gave out.

As she rubbed her sore eyes with her fingers, trying to ease herself back into some form of calm, she heard footsteps hammering down the hallways outside. A second later, the door burst open to reveal Vladimir, out of breath with flashing eyes. Casting a quick glance around the room, he came over to Andred’s side, taking in her frightened expression and soaked bedsheets. Shaking his head, he grasped her cheeks gently in his palms, forcing her to stare into his piercing eyes. “Andred, what happened? I heard you screaming.”

“Oh, Vladimir,” Andred whispered, her own voice croaky and weak, as though she really had been screaming endlessly in that horrifying void. Her eyes fell to his side, unable to look him in the eyes, and they fell on the sight of his sword, hanging by his side. He was dressed only in pyjama bottoms, but he had still found time to arm himself. Throwing her arms around his neck, uncaring what the implications might be, she let out a sob.

“Hey, ssh. Was it a nightmare?” the vampire asked gently, concern thickening his accent as he rubbed a hand over her back soothingly. Andred could feel his palms pressing her closer with each motion, willing her to be alright.

Nodding her head profusely so he would know she was otherwise unaffected, she pulled away and leaned against her headboard again, locking puffy red eyes with his fierce gaze. “Vladimir, it was a terrible nightmare. And the worst part is…it was real,” she whispered.

“No, not if it was a nightmare. It will—“

“If I dreamt it, it was a nightmare, Vladimir,” she countered firmly, clasping his hand so tightly her nails dug into his skin. Throwing the sheet off herself, she drew her knees up to her chest and let go of him, hugging them into her chin. “You’ve never asked about my ancient years. I was known then by my formal name of Andraste. My sister was Brigitania, and between us, we were in charge of the land now known as Britain—here, in short. She had the north, and I had the south. We were older than those names, of course, but it’s the name we were known by when we were truly known as Goddesses of the Green Isle. I had the gift of divination, and I could bestow it on anyone I chose. But it also means when I dream, I see into other worlds, other places.” She gave an involuntary shudder. “And I saw somewhere terrible tonight.”

Searching her face, Vladimir asked quietly, “Where was it?”

Andred screwed up her face to catch onto a fragment of the dream, a memory which was fast fading away with being awake in the light and safety of her room. “I’m not sure, but…it wasn’t here. It was somewhere else, another plane. Like the Otherworld, but not there. And there were voices, so many voices. All calling out and crying our names. Like they knew us. And…I think they do.”

Vladimir’s features paled, and he shifted on the bedspread, pulling one leg up to see the goddess better. Giving a shrug, he asked, “Are you going to give me a clue?”

“The Dansu?”

His mouth fell open as he let out a soft gasp, and he blinked a few times, carding his hand through his hair. Finally he uttered, “But it can’t be. All those years ago, they helped us to fight the demons. We knew they were going to the Otherworld—“

“They never got there,” Andred interrupted, shaking her head slowly. Biting her lip, she fisted her hands against the sheet, scrunching it in her palms. “I’m not sure what’s happened, but they’re trapped somewhere. Someone—or something—is keeping them there. And I don’t know why.”

 

Taken from Creator of Shadows, Copyright © Miranda Stork 2014

 

Have you read the first and second books in the Scarlet Rain Series yet? Get the first one, Vigilante of Shadows, FREE for a limited time! click here!

And grab the second book, Keeper of Shadows, here!

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It’s Finally FREE!

That’s right – I woke up this morning, opened up my computer, and couldn’t stop grinning when I realised. Amazon has finally made Vigilante of Shadows PERMA-FREE! So what better time than to do a little feature on it? 😉

Vigilante of Shadows

SUSPENSE/HORROR SEMI-FINALIST IN The Kindle Book Review’s 2013 Best Indie Book Awards!

****
“For readers who like to lose themselves in a darker, more complex world than the one we live in, Vigilante of Shadows is a Paranormal Thriller dream come true!” –Trish Marie Dawson, Author of ‘The Station’ Series, 5 Stars

“I was forcefully grabbed from the get-go, and shoved into a story so fast, I could have gotten whiplash.” –Tara S. Wood, Author of Redemption in Blood, 5 Stars

****

Aodhan clutched uselessly at his head, groaning. He knew it was useless, because the voice was not inside his head. It followed him, skimming across buildings and land. It had followed him since he was sixteen, and it still followed him today, like a memory too horrific to be forgotten…

Aodhan is a shadow-demon, hardened and cold after years of being alone, after his love, his Entwined, was cruelly taken away from him. He has closed his heart to the world, and now spends his life ridding the world of men like those who took his beloved away, an immortal hit-man…

Arianwen Harris is a young DCI, working for York City Police. When a known criminal is found viciously killed, she finds herself trailing a hit-man who has seemed to escape clutches again and again…but she begins to find herself drawn to his dark charms and roguish good looks…

As their two worlds collide, Aodhan and Arianwen find themselves coming together to escape a far greater enemy, one that threatens to create a world far worse than the one they live in. As they battle to hold back the oncoming forces, fate has another plan; one to draw them together and heal their broken pasts together…

US: http://www.amazon.com/Vigilante-Of-Shadows-Scarlet-Rain-ebook/dp/B00AFHIO06/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391591413&sr=8-1&keywords=vigilante+of+shadows

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Vigilante-Of-Shadows-Scarlet-Rain-ebook/dp/B00AFHIO06/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391591645&sr=8-1&keywords=vigilante+of+shadows

*NOTE FOR THE US!* It is showing up as free on my screen (and it’s permafree, so the price will not go up again), but some people have reported that it is showing up still with a price. I’m emailing Amazon about it now, but please give it a few hours before downloading, just in case. If you can still see ‘.99c’ on your screen, please wait until it shows up free!*

This is what I can see, so it's definitely happening, but might take a few hours to update!

This is what I can see, so it’s definitely happening, but might take a few hours to update!

Top Ten Tuesday – Some More Of The Best!

Hello there, folks! 😀 Well, we made it through Monday with our hair intact, so let’s roll onto Tuesday – and the Top Ten of the week! We’ve got a mixed bag here today, and don’t forget to scroll right down to find out how you can be on next week’s ‘Top Ten’ too! So without further ado, let’s get on with the books! 😉 (In no particular order, as always.)

Genre: Paranormal/Humour/Romance

Price: $2.99

Blurb: All Cassandra Bick wants is to be left to get on with doing her job. But when you’re a Sensitive whose business is running a dating agency for vampires, life is never going to be straightforward – especially when there’s a supernatural war brewing in London, a sexy new bloodsucker in town and your mysterious, homicidal and vampire hating ex-lover chooses this moment to reappear in your life…

Witty, sharp and entertaining, Dark Dates is a heady mix of vampires, witches and werewolves – with the occasional angel thrown in – and introduces Cassandra Bick, a likeable heroine destined to join the ranks of fantasy’s feistiest females.

Genre: Ghost/Paranormal

Price: $2.84

Blurb: When a call from a stranger lures psychic medium Mickey McCoy to Hollywood, he is told that the male employees of the Brahms Museum of Art are in danger of being murdered. But this mysterious informant refuses to share further details, leaving Mickey on his own to gather all the facts and stop the murders from happening.

At the museum Mickey is drawn to a self-portrait of Renaissance artist Lavinia Rossi Zanetti. It doesn’t take long before he realizes her soul is attached to the painting, and she likes to kill. For years, the companion portrait of her lover that hung beside her own served to keep her calm. But that painting has been lost.

At first glance it seems a simple matter of reuniting the two paintings to keep Lavinia in check. But as Mickey unravels the mystery of how this could be, he finds himself at the center of something more sinister. An agreement called an Accordo somehow allows Lavinia to live forever. Without realizing it, Mickey passes the point of no return and must eradicate the painting and sever the Accordo. If he fails, a greater horror than he could have imagined will be unleashed upon the Earth, and he—along with the one he loves most—will face a fate worse than death.

Capture2

Genre: Historical Romance

Price: $2.45

Blurb: Lord Sebastian Griffiths would do anything for his beloved dying mother. But he didn’t see this one coming: to see him married before she died.

Sebastian, a 38-year-old confirmed bachelor, liked things done his way and his way only. Sebastian considered a wife to be an embarrassing, time-consuming, meddling and unnecessary addition to his life.

After consulting with Dennis Burrows, a solicitor and good friend from university, he forms a plan to buy a temporary wife that could be paid off when his mother died.
Isabel couldn’t believe her own father could sell her into marriage. After spending nine years in debtors’ prison looking after him, Isabel had become a strong, independent woman. It was that or fall apart and die from hunger.

But Isabel wasn’t ready for Sebastian. He was an attractive, arrogant, dangerous pig, yet she’d gone ahead with the marriage, for the love of her father, and the chance to get him out of the hellhole they had been living in for the last nine years.

Sebastian is caught unawares by the passion he experiences with Isabel. After his mother dies, and he leaves Isabel for the second time, he realises he’s truly fallen in love with his own wife. Miserable and drowning his sorrows, he is rescued by Burrows, who knows his friend has to pull himself together for the sake of his unborn child, something Sebastian has yet to discover.

Will Sebastian be able to find the courage to go back to Isabel and win her heart, or will she turn him out like the rat he’s been?

Genre: Fantasy/Romance/Action

Price: $1.99

Blurb: The war between Atlantis and Oceania has raged for decades, but it wasn’t always so…

Lifelong friends and allies, Crehon Ariskan, Emperor of Atlantis, and Atargatis, future Mer King of Oceania, face a devastating threat from abroad. They agree to do whatever it takes to protect their worlds, but the toll of battle becomes higher than they ever imagined and in an instant friends turn to foes.

Secrets, love, sex, betrayal, and tragedy await.

The war is about to begin in this prelude to the Warriors of the Atlantean Empire Series.

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Suspense

Price: $1.19

Blurb: A powerful woman, an extraordinary man, and a maniac who wants to destroy them. Fate has brought them together, but will it make them stronger or destroy them all in end?

Escape to a world where the impossible becomes possible and sparks ignite.

WHISPER CAPE is a town of secrets and Addison MacKenna soon becomes tangled in a web of them. Plagued with nightmares of her father’s sudden and brutal death, Addie struggles with her anguish and refuses to believe his demise was accidental.

Fighting to shake off one of those devastating early morning nightmares, Addison finds it even harder to escape from the vision of a man lying on the side of the road–a man she may have just killed. When she frantically tries to locate him, he seemingly disappears, just the beginning of strange occurrences in her life. She also cannot ignore the weird sensations in her own body. Suddenly, the impossible seems possible, but is that a blessing or a curse?

Believing that her continual and worsening nightmares are both the key to her own new abilities and the clue to her father’s death, Addie knows she will not rest until she has the answers she craves. As she strives to cope with her new remarkable talents, someone else learns of her abilities–a disgruntled maniacal psychopath with his own agenda that involves eliminating Addie. The only one who can protect her, instruct her in the use of her powers and teach her how to destroy the murderous monster is the same man who makes Addie’s heart race and her blood heat with passion. The same man she’d left for dead.

Cael Sheridan may be arrogant and mysterious but he’s also undeniably gorgeous. A member of a secret society, he is sworn to protect the woman he believes to be the daughter of his recently murdered mentor. In the process, he finds it impossible to resist her magnetic sensuality, complicating his efforts to shield and guide her as she learns to manage her newly acquired skills. At the same time, Addison has much to teach him about trust and commitment. Will fate win in the end? You be the judge.

Genre: Paranormal/Humour

Price: $2.92

Blurb: It’s a hot and steamy summer in New York. You could fry an egg on the sidewalk and melt your brains on the subway platform. There’s a crime wave involving blood banks, a philosophical parrot and all too many super-friendly dog-people in Tompkins Square Park. Willie is hanging on to what’s left of her equilibrium until she realizes that the man living next door is a vampire.

Written in journal entries, emails and voice mail messages — the contemporary versions of the dairies and letters that told the original Dracula story — Bram Stoker’s Summer Sublet is a visit to the comic corner of the dark side.

Bram Stoker’s Summer Sublet is the second in the Candy’s Monsters ebook series of novellas inspired by the classics of horror.

Genre: Paranormal/Humour

Price: $1.15

Blurb: ***Warning***  If you are one of those obsessive and crazy fans of Twilight–you’ve legally changed your last name to Cullen, relocated to some rainy podunk town in Washington and apply glitter glue to your skin before going out in the sun–you may just burn your Kindle after reading.

Smella Rosepetal must find a millionaire husband to finance her baby’s heart transplant. She flies home to her deputy father’s ranch in Pitchforks, Texas, where she falls in love with Deadward Forest, a wealthy environmentalist vampire.

When a deranged murderer is on the loose in Pitchforks, killing romance heroines, Deadward assumes Smella would be safer without him. Smella turns to her childhood friend, Snake Long, for comfort. But Snake doesn’t have the money to save her baby, so Smella places herself in peril in a desperate hunt for a rich husband.

Time is running out for Smella’s baby, and she must escape from the Australian Outback and face down Flabio, an overweight and disgruntled, aspiring cover model, plus enraged vampire wives and their homosexual, vampire, cowboy husbands, a jealous were-gerbil, James Bond, a drunk rodeo clown and Smella’s strange boyfriend who wants to drain her blood, yet is repulsed by her smell.

ROMANCE NOVEL—the unabridged, unauthorized comedic look at the bestselling vampire series that will leave you wondering who the hell ever believed vampires could “sparkle.” And you’ll laugh…all the way to the bathroom!

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Price: $1.20

Blurb: She is forced to kill . . .

When a much-needed vacation turns into work for the third Fate, Atropos vows to sever the mortal’s lifeline quickly and get back to the sea and sand. Having her mysterious quarry offer a deal in exchange for more time is an unexpected complication. Always surrounded by darkness and death, Attie embraces the chance to toy with life and love and to help right an unjust wrong.

He refuses to die . . .

Dru spent months praying for death. Anger over the brutal killing of his family festered until those prayers turned to plans for revenge. Making a deal with the Death Fate was the only way to extend his lease on life. He only needed a handful of days to avenge those he lost, but within minutes of meeting Atropos he knew he’d want forever.

Chasing Fate is a 26,000-word standalone, paranormal romance novella in the Unspun anthology, which sheds light on the Greek Fates, three ancient goddesses who played a role in many myths. The other Unspun novellas are Creating Fate by Rachel Firasek and Stealing Fate by Berinn Rae.

Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy/YA

Price: $2.99

Blurb: What happens when Darkness and Light collide?

Seventeen is a life changing age for Emma Wise.
As her family’s sole survivor in a car crash, she is left with a broken arm, and a few scrapes and bruises. But these are only outward marks; inside, her heart is broken and the pieces scattered.

Whisked away to Alaska, to an aunt she’s never met, Emma starts over. Secrets unveil themselves and now…she doesn’t even know who or what she is.

A centuries old prophecy places Emma in the heart of danger. Creatures of horrifying and evil proportions are after her, and it will take Emma, her aunt, and six, gorgeously, captivating Guardians to keep her safe. But, if she can survive until her eighteenth birthday… things will change.

Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy/YA

Price: PERMA-FREE!

Blurb: Cameron Winters is a freak. Fortunately, no one but her family knows the truth …that Cameron can read minds. For years Cameron has hidden behind a facade of normalcy, warned that there are those who would do her harm. When gorgeous and mysterious Lewis Douglas arrives he destroys everything Cameron has ever believed and tempts her with possibilities of freedom. Determined to embrace her hidden talents, Cameron heads to a secret haven with Lewis; a place where she meets others like her, Mind Readers.

But as Cameron soon finds out some things are too good to be true. When the Mind Readers realize the extent of Cameron’s abilities, they want to use her powers for their own needs. Cameron suddenly finds herself involved in a war in which her idea of what is right and wrong is greatly tested. In the end she’ll be forced to make a choice that will not only threaten her relationship with Lewis, but her very life.

Best for ages 14 and over.

 

So that’s your lot! I hope you pick some (if not all!) of these great books up, and hopefully enjoy them! 🙂 Don’t forget, you’re supporting indies everywhere when you buy an indie book, and it’s far cheaper than anything you’ll be eating for lunch!
Also, would YOU like to have your book on next week’s Top Ten? Simply send me a short email, with a link to your book, and a short paragraph to say hello (because it would be weird to get an email with just a link LOL). Your book MUST have a minimum of five 4/5 star reviews, as unless I’ve read your book, I need something to go on! 🙂

Review of The Pram by Betty Woodcock

Happy Friday! I’m floating on air today because of a certain ‘site’ reason, but on top of this, we have another great review! Today I am reviewing The Pram by Betty Woodcock!

 

When Carrie buys a secondhand pram for her eagerly awaited grandchild, she doesn’t realise it is a trap, or expect to be terrorized by her own aborted baby seeking vengeance . . . 
And so her nightmare begins . . .
She struggles to hide her revulsion of her scary grandchild, and her fear increases tenfold when it talks to her in her head. Then she begins to see ghosts and is convinced she is losing her mind, and tells no one of her escalating bizarre experiences. When the vindictive blasts of pain in her head coincide with her long-ago lover unexpectedly coming back into her life, she can’t resist asking his advice on how to deal with the weird baby; unfortunately this adds further complications to her problems. 
She has to keep him and the malevolent baby apart, because neither know that he is the father. 

To grab your copy, please visit here for Amazon US, or here for Amazon UK!

 

Good Points

This was such a clever ghost story. Not enough people do ghost stories now, I think because they are worried they will not be able to do an original twist on ghosts-whereas Betty Woodcock has done it.  The blurb didn’t do this book justice, as the chilling twists and turns kept me riveted from the start. Her descriptions were vivid, and believable, as the author did not rush anything, and yet kept the pace bubbling at a steady rate. My heart ached for the main character, and the daughter’s character truly annoyed me, as she was so selfish! But this all points to the author’s talent for creating great characters. The more thrilling aspects of the novel made me shiver and even glance over my shoulder a few times, they were so well written. I think what made this book better, is that Carrie’s outer life seemed so normal, and it was such a contrast to the events unfolding around her-and indeed, inside her mind! This is a very well-crafted novel that flowed so well you didn’t even see events sneaking up on you. On a more sombre note, I also thought the author’s note to her son was very touching.

 

Bad Points

This was another of those wonderful books with no bad points I could see. However, I do think that cover does not do the story justice, and it might be nice to see something that really made it ‘pop’. This did not of course, pull me away from the story.

 

Overall

A fantastic read, and a ghost story to grab now! This novel was a chilling read through the mind and past fears of a woman, and it dipped into moral issues as well as personal issues for the characters, all blended together to create something altogether fearful and deliciously addictive all at once.  Once you pick this book up, you will not want to put it down! Definitely a writer to watch.

I give this novel……5/5 stars!

Interview and Review with Annalise Hulse

Happy Tuesday everyone! Yet another wonderful author interview for you all to enjoy today, with the lovely Annalise Hulse! I’ve also got a review of her novel, Gifted. Read on!

Annalise Hulse lives on the small island of Jersey with her husband, her son, a scruffy hairball of a dog and a mildly psychotic cat. She is the author of “Gifted”, the first instalment of the paranormal suspense quadrilogy “The Evangeline Devine Series” which is available on Amazon.com

“Twin”, the second instalment of the series, is scheduled for release in Autumn 2012.

When she is not busy at her day job or writing, Annalise likes spending time with her family and friends, watching movies (the scarier the better), drinking red wine, eating stinky cheese on digestive biscuits, watching her son play football, reading (especially Stephen King) and laughing as much as possible.

 

Hello Annalise, it’s a great pleasure to have you here, welcome to my blog.

Hi Miranda – thanks for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here too.

As everyone knows in my interviews-random question first! If you could be any character from any book, who would you be and why?

I think I’d have to be Matilda Wormwood from Roald Dahl’s book “Matilda”. She’s clever and brave, loves books and has magical powers! Plus, now I’m 38 I’d love to go back to being a kid again. I’d quite like to be Katniss Everdeen from Hunger Games too – just so that I could be totally kick-ass and look good wearing a lycra jumpsuit!!

I think I’d like to be for that reason alone! Your novel, Gifted, sounds really interesting. Can you tell us more about it?

Gifted is the first instalment of The Evangeline Devine Series, a YA supernatural suspense quadrilogy (with a bit of romance too!) that focuses on 17 year old Evangeline – Evie to her friends – and the strange events that unfold when she develops the ability to communicate with the dead after she nearly drowns. At first she just wants to be rid of her new “gift”, but when someone close to her dies, she is forced to accept it and use it in her quest to find the truth…….

Gifted is actually only the start of a much bigger story which develops over the series, but I don’t want to say too much and give the game away!

Hmm……intriguing! So what inspired this novel?

I’m a huge fan of the supernatural genre and I’d say that about 80% of what I read is in that area – I’m a diehard Stephen King fan! So I really wanted to write something in that genre too because it’s what interests me most and it’s what I’m familiar with. And it just so happens that Jersey, where I live and where the series is based, is the witchcraft capital of the British Isles. We may only be small (45 square miles) but we have a very dark history – druid burial grounds, witch trials, ghostly black dogs that roam the cliffs at night – you name it, we got it! (we’re also really friendly and have great beaches too – so don’t be put off if you were ever planning on visiting!) I used to make my Mum and Nan tell me the stories over and over when I was a kid, so they were a big influence behind “Gifted”. The Tombolenes are based on real Jersey legend and the story of Esther is also loosely based on real events that my Nan witnessed during the Nazi occupation of the island during World War II. The stories I’ve been told about local witchcraft are a feature as the series progresses too.

What books do you read? Do you read books in your genre, or books very different from it?

Like I said before, my preference tends to be for the supernatural genre, although I tend to read books that are perhaps a bit darker than the Evangeline Devine series, with more of a horror element. That said, I’ll give any book a try that looks intriguing – I’ve been on a big YA dystopian bender recently and I’m loving it! The only books that I probably would avoid are Mills & Boon type romances or anything that was overtly religious.

When did you realise you wanted to be a writer? Do you remember what inspired you?

I started writing when I was really young, probably 7 or 8 and it was because of my Mum really. As a former school teacher, in the school holidays she’d always nag me to do something constructive rather than just lolling about watching cartoons all day and so I’d write stories – typical 8 year old girl stuff – discovering I was actually a princess or finding magic slippers. Then I went through a big black eyeliner and tie dye leggings phase in my teens and wrote lots of terribly serious, angst-ridden poetry heavily influenced by The Cure and Pearl Jam – really cringe-worthy stuff about the heartbreak of lost love (the geek that I’d been dating for approximately two weeks and who had dandruff and rode a motorbike that sounded like a hairdryer) and the general torment of being a misunderstood 15 year old (you realise how great it was once you hit 30!). It was all very bad, though I’m sure I thought I was the next Sylvia Plath at the time. My writing got kind of patchy after that, because I got distracted by general life stuff like taking professional exams, getting married, having my son. I’d do odd bits here and there, but it’s only been in the last eighteen months that I’ve really come back to it seriously. I needed a project I really felt strongly about to get me back into it and when I came up with the idea for the Evangeline Devine series, it was my husband that suggested I stop talking about it and actually do it.

Where can we find your novels?

Gifted is currently available on Amazon (US, UK, DE, FR, ES, IT) in e-book format only, but it is currently being looked at by a publisher, so if anything comes of that then it should also be available in paperback. I’ll be posting updates on my blog, Twitter, Goodreads etc as and when I get any news.

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

Tons! I’ve got enough plot outlines planned to keep me going for about the next decade. Inspiration is never a problem – its finding the time to write it all! Twin, the second instalment in the Evangeline Devine series should be out in November time and then I’m hoping to get the final two books written and released in 2013. After that I’ll be working on finishing a novel that I already started – it’s a black comedy with a supernatural twist with the working title “Midlife”. I’m also planning on releasing a few short horror stories in between time too – but they will be quite a lot darker than what I’ve written before.

Cool, so lots to look out for then! You can find out more about Annalise Hulse on Twitter, Facebook as ‘ Annahulse Books’, and her blog. Thank you for being here, Annalise, any parting words?

I’d just like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has downloaded Gifted so far and to all the bloggers and tweeters and Goodreaders who have helped to promote it. I only released it in April and I’ve been blown away by the interest and support that it’s received. I really loved writing it and it means so much to know that people actually seem to enjoy reading my ramblings too! It makes all the mornings of rolling into work with one eye still shut because I stayed up half the night writing totally worth it.

 

What really happens when we die?
It wasn’t a question that seventeen year old Evangeline Devine – Evie to her friends – had ever thought about much. There was no reason why she should – her life on the small island of Jersey with her family and best friend Seth was untouched by tragedy, idyllic even. 
Until the day that Evie nearly dies herself. When Seth pulls her from the watery depths that nearly claim her life, Evie is no longer the carefree girl she was. For now she is the recipient of an unwelcome supernatural gift. Now the dead are all around and impossible to ignore. 
But when someone close to her dies mysteriously, Evie is forced to embrace her new power, for she may be the only one that can prove that it was no accident. Someone is getting away with murder.
With only the spirit world for guidance, Evie sets out to uncover the truth and find the vital evidence she needs to get the case re-opened.Soon she finds herself torn between her feelings for best friend Seth, who she’s begun to see in a whole new light since he saved her life, and the powerfully charismatic Piers Du Pont, who she finds herself inexplicably drawn to, even though he might just be the killer that she seeks.
As events unfold, dark secrets are revealed, loyalties are tested to their limits and Evie discovers that the path that Fate has chosen for her is more terrifying than she ever could have imagined.
Life, should she survive, will never be the same again……….

 

Good Points

I really enjoyed this book. I know I’m not the target audience, but I can see mothers and daughters alike trying to fight over who gets to read this first! One of the best points of the story was the voice of Evie. She had a very strong voice as she narrated this story, but she also sounded her age, something that is sometimes missed when adult authors write younger characters. The descriptions were very powerful, such as when Evie enters a soul’s essence, and were vivid and entertaining. It was also rich in characters, and they had me showing every emotion throughout this book, from smiling to crying! It was great to see a wise old Grandmother character as well, as she is someone who doesn’t always show up any more!

 

Bad Points

I thought it was interesting that the author did some of the chapters from other characters points of view, but I also felt it was unnecessary. Seth’s sometimes felt a little too similar to Evie’s, which may very have been the point of course. But I didn’t think it was needed, I would have preferred to have it told just from Evie’s eyes, so that we could be as she was, guessing about everyone’s motives.

 

Overall

This was a great book. I thought it was a great twist of originality on ghosts and the afterlife. I also loved Evie, who was yet another of those female characters who is strong and actually decides to do something, rather than waiting for the story to come to her! The storyline was engaging and well-flowing, although it took me a little while to get into the story further after the initial ‘incident’ at the beginning.  I would recommend this book (across all ages, I might add) to anyone who wants to read a book that seems realistic in it’s approach and descriptions, but uses a chilling genre at the same time.

I would give it………4/5 stars!

Review of The Nightmare Stone by Finian Black

The ultimate lucky break gives John Harris and his family the opportunity to fulfil their wildest dreams. But all dreams have a darker side, and John’s past is never far away, ready to reach through to cast its shadow.
One hundred years ago, their new home was the scene for strange events that cannot easily be explained.
As John feels his past draw ever nearer, he knows that he must face up to his deepest fears if he is to prevent history repeating itself.
And as the past and present collide, a force beyond his control or comprehension is looking for one, final battle.

*This review copy was given to me free of charge, no fees were charged for this review*

 

Good Points

Where do I start? I have fallen in love with this book, and Finian Black is officially one of my new favourite authors. There is no better tale than that of the haunted house and the forgotten memories that accompany it. One of the first things I loved about this book was that it built up slowly, really creating suspense. So many authors now rush into the story, due to readers complaining that there wasn’t enough action, but I prefer a slow build up, as it allows you to really sink in before you realise you’re stuck! I also loved how there was the tie-in of hag mythology and-Peter Pan! Which I feel is a wonderful move, as Peter Pan itself is such a dark story, and it was blended in perfectly. The characters were gripping, the descriptions were wonderful (especially the Edwardian parts, were the author has obviously done his homework), and the writing style was perfect, allowing the story to flow so well that it was drip-fed to you, pulling you along bit by bit. I also enjoyed all the twists and turns that were thrown into the story, keeping you guessing all the way, not to mention there were quite a few parts where I felt the hairs rising on the back of my neck!

 

Bad Points

None. Nope, not at all. And you know me, I will always find something, but I just couldn’t. The only possible bad point I can think of, which is fact not a bad point at all, is that if you don’t like a book to make you cry (without giving away where) don’t read it! 🙂

 

Overall

This is my new favourite ghost story, taking the place of my copy of ‘Rebecca’. The whole premise of this story appealed to me, with creative, clever writing, the effortless blending in of characters and fairy-tales, and the chilling storyline itself! I would recommend this to anyone who wanted a new kind of horror/ghost story, that is written in a style that wouldn’t look out of place amongst well-known Victorian ghost novels. (A very good thing.) I also thought the author’s acknowledgements at the end were very touching, and I can’t wait for the next novel to come out!

I give this book…..5/5 stars!