Saturday 31 August 2019

This week, I visited Kendall Reviews

That's right. This week I was featured at Kendall Reviews. Twice! And it's SO exciting.

If you're interested, these are the links:

You can read my answer to Why Do You Write Horror? here 

Both were a lot of fun, and I had a great time answering all the questions.

In the interview you can find out a bit more about Breaking the Habit, as well as my writing, reading and a bunch of other stuff.

And the guest blog is about my long love of horror, and why I enjoy writing in this great genre.

I LOVE stopping by Kendall Reviews.
Not only is it an awesome blog to visit, but Gavin is a very cool guy and is super supportive of all things horror

So, you should be checking out this website anyway. There are always a lot of cool reviews, very interesting interviews, and a bunch of other features.

Have a great weekend!


Friday 30 August 2019


Carl Duggan has worked as a Detective in the City for a long time. The kind of ‘long’ where you’ve seen everything, and seen it twice. With that in mind, it comes as no surprise to him when a pregnant nineteen year-old girl washes up on the banks of the Styx. But something about this one is different, and before Carl gets any answers, two more bodies join the pile; a corrupt Judge and a big-shot lawyer. Carl’s gut tells him there’s a connection, the little things, the tiny details that others would ignore. 

The bodies keep on coming when a second case rears its head; three young men with nothing in common except their sexuality, each murdered in their own home. Gaining little assistance from his fellow officers, Carl goes it alone into the darker regions of the City. Along the way he makes acquaintances and enemies of the City’s more colourful residents, including the beautiful sister of the first dead girl, a Catholic hit-man dubbed “His Holiness”, and a shady casino owner named Dice. The closer he gets to the truth the more Carl’s life is put in danger, forcing him to move further and further away from the rule of law. Never once does he suspect that the two cases are so intimately linked, or that the truth could be so close to home.

I received a copy of this book from HellBound Books Publishing, and I'm really glad I did because it didn't disappoint.

Carl Duggan is a rough and tough detective in the dirty, overcrowded City. There are two sides to the City and they're separated by a river they call the Styx. The East side is full of the poor, homeless, prostitutes, pimps and crime. The West is full of rich, the successful, escorts, businessmen and crime.

Both sides are mirrors of each other--same criminal activity, but one tries to conceal the ugliness beneath a veneer of money.

When Carl starts investigating several unrelated homicides, it doesn't take long for him to solve each case. Except, the more he figures out, the murkier everything becomes when the solved investigations keep coming back...

You know, even though the blurb caught my interest, I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy this book. I thought it might be the kind of disturbing I might not enjoy. But I was wrong. 

Well, I was right about the filthy feel of the story, but I was wrong about not enjoying it. Every moment I spent reading the pages of this book made me feel like I was actually there. I could feel the cold and bleak air, could see the dilapidated nature of the streets, experienced the weight of despair on both sides of the City, and couldn't shake the filthy sense every word imprinted inside my head.

All of the characters are simultaneously likeable and easy to dislike. They're complicated and not very nice or giving. The police department is overrun by corruption, the medical examiner is a junkie, the only future prospects for the young is crime or prostitution. This stinky City digs its claws into the residence and refuses to let go. 

The main character, Carl Duggan, is a prickly asshole who doesn't seem morally-inclined and is quite the violent cop. Yet, he pushes for justice and isn't easily corrupted. Plus, he's helpful and although he likes to pretend he's heartless and doesn't give a shit, Carl's quite a helpful man. He's got heart. He might not possess much finesse and has quite the acid tongue, but you know what? This made him the best noir voice to narrate most of this dark story.

And this book is dark.

I also liked the City's descriptions. They're done in a way that makes the location into its own character. This awful place reminds me of Gotham or Sin City, an urban playground for criminals. A place where the bad thrive and the good are squashed. A location where there's no definite good and bad.

The pacing is great. The story takes you down one path, makes you feel comfortable and then switches everything on you.

The Other Side of the Mirror is a gritty noir story that grabbed a hold of me from the first page. It's full of unapologetic, foul-mouthed non-PC people who just DGAF about who they're offending or hurting. But instead of turning me off, it totally fit the narrative.

It's full of twists and turns, keeps circling back to the beginning in a way that ties everything together in a messy bow. And by the time I reached the shocking and quite sad conclusion, I was on the edge of my seat. OMG, I can't believe it went THERE.

Of course, the suspicion bloomed inside my mind during the backend of the book, but even then, more unexpected surprises popped up.

I REALLY enjoyed this insanely awesome book.

Also, I'd like to thank HellBound Books for sending me a copy.

Wednesday 28 August 2019


In 1917, four friends and photojournalists set out in the woods looking for answers. Why have so many hikers and hunters gone missing in the area of Shiny Creek Trail? 

No one imagines the evil lurking in a remote cave. A horrifying discovery leaves one person dead and two others missing. Two months later, Paul, one of the four, returns to the forest to find his wife. But will he find her before someone—or something—finds him?

The author of this book was nice enough to send me a copy. And although I didn't know anything about it, the blurb instantly caught my interest. 

It's 1917, and two couples head into the woods hoping to find the story of a lifetime. They want to figure out why people go missing around the Shiny Creek Trail, while having an adventure. But things start going wrong right away. 

There might be an animal stalking them and when the weather takes an ugly turn, the couples end up inside a cave that is supposed to offer shelter. Instead, they find themselves in the middle of even worse danger... 

This was such a good and fast read! The pacing is great, and kept me turning the pages so fast I ended up reading the whole thing in 24 hours. 

I really liked how the story started in an asylum and quickly took the reader back into the woods. Not only that, but it's mostly told in the POV of a very likeable married couple, Paul and Jane Rogers. One of them is telling the story in the present, the other in the past, but both POVs are perfectly intertwined. 

The way the story unravelled was great. The suspense was thick all the way through, and the spooky atmosphere never lets up. Not to mention that the location was so mysterious, and the glimpses of the evil presence only added to the building tension. 

Silence in the Woods is a dark and intense thriller with an intriguing mystery and just the right dose of horror. All of these combine together to reveal a great story that doesn't disappoint, and will keep you interested until the very clever end. 

I'd like to thank J.P. Choquette for sending me a copy, because I really enjoyed this.

Monday 26 August 2019

A Month After Breaking the Habit

That's right. Exactly one month ago, my horror story about a newlywed couple's terrifying honeymoon ordeal was released by Demain Publishing.

Just because I love posting it, here's the eerie cover:

Adrian Baldwin made it, and I seriously love how well this cover fits my story. Everything about it captures the mood without spoiling the twist. Puts the reader in the middle of the location without giving anything away.

There's a little something in this novelette of mine, that's best not to know until you're actually reading it. This makes it hard to reveal too much when I'm answering interview questions, or writing blog posts. But it's also exciting to read about the reader's reaction.

My story is actually part of the very excellent, Short Sharp Shocks! series. It's #27, and was released with these four other stories: 

They all look very cool, right?

So, how do I feel now that Isla's bloody, heartbreaking and violent tale has been out in the wild for a whole month? Well, I'm STILL super excited. How could I not be? It's been several years since my last book was released, and this awesome opportunity was the best way to step back into the publishing arena.

Not to mention that Dean from Demain was so awesome to work with. And that being part of a horror series alongside so many fantastic authors makes me very happy.

Yeah, I'm still very excited about Breaking the Habit, and am really enjoying finding out what readers have to say about it.

If you've read my tale of woe, thank you and don't be shy about letting me know what you think. Feel free to post a review so I can read your thoughts. 

And if you haven't, and you're interested, you can grab a copy from these Amazon stores:

US | UK |Australia | Canada

Another cool thing about this book is that it's 99c!

So, help me wish my creepy little story a Happy One Month Anniversary! 

Also, I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who's read, reviewed, shared the announcements and links to help me get the word out. 😀

Friday 23 August 2019

The Monster Book Ate My Brain

That's right. After a very productive week, this one slowed down a bit. I still got several things done, but it didn't include finalising two stories, LOL.

This week, my main goal was to finish reading IT. And to be honest with you, I tried to squeeze in some brainstorming but just couldn't concentrate. All I could think about was what was going on in the book, what was going to happen next, and looking forward to The End. Not because I wanted to be done with the book, but because I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen.

Even then, it took most of the week to get through. Exactly three weeks after starting IT, I finished this amazing tome. And I loved every minute. Even after reading the last sentence yesterday, I continue to think about everything that happened. Keep going through all the stuff in my head. 

I guess it's hard to let go of a story that I've been stuck in for so long. Hard to forget all the shit that went down. Everything is still floating around inside my head, blending in together. I'm in awe, but haven't even written my review yet (which will be featured at Kendall Reviews) because I need a few days to get everything straight.

How can anything I say do the experience justice? 😎I plan to write it over the weekend and then proofread what I come up with on Monday.

So, asides from getting lost in this intoxicating read, we watched the second season of GLOW. Man, this show is so well written. I love how women are portrayed, the sisterhood and all the personal problems each one brings to the table. Not to mention that it's funny and so much FUN. Plus full of 80s and wrestling references.

I really hope there's another season.

When I wasn't reading or watching, I was sorting through my (many) books. In the last few months I seem to have doubled the amount of books I own and have to keep sorting them out. I also managed to trim my hair, which was long overdue. ðŸ˜ķ

Anyway. It's getting late so I'm going to wrap this up now.

Have a great weekend!

Friday 16 August 2019

Another Week

That's right! It's FridayAnd this week, I'm happy to say that I completed several writing projects I had on my to-do list. Yay. 😁

These are things I've had on my mental to-be-done list for a while. Things I constantly carried in the back of my mind but, for one reason or another, I kept (unintentionally) pushing them back. So, last weekend I decided to move these things from my mental list to my handwritten to-do list.

That way, I actually set deadlines for myself, which always pushes me to complete the tasks. I don't know why, but when I write things down on paper, I hold myself accountable.

So, what were these things? Here's the list:
  • Complete third draft, read-thru & sub latest short story WIP.
  • Proofread the previously contracted story I recently got my rights back for.
  • Write two guest blog posts & email.
  • Answer interview questions & email.
  • Reach the halfway mark on IT.

This list might not look/sound like much, but I broke everything up into different days, and it took most of the week to get through. I managed to cross everything off by the end of Thursday. Plus, I have another two finished short stories on file. 👍

Then, we celebrated by going to one of our favourite thrift stores. Where I found a LOT of awesome books. Our apartment is slowly becoming a books and games library, and I love it! 😁

I also (really) like productive weeks. It makes me feel quite accomplished. Especially when it involves writing pieces that were stuck in my brain for ages. 

Although my mind is never clear--because there are always ideas and plans and stuff jammed inside--I'm now in a place where I can start thinking about other projects. And that's what I'd like to concentrate on next week: planning my next project/s.

I have a pretty good idea what I'd like to work on next, but need to get pen + paper to sort through my thoughts on paper before getting stuck into a nice lot of brainstorming.

But first, I'm going to enjoy the weekend.

I hope you do too. Have a good one!

Thursday 8 August 2019

Strange Writing Thoughts

Yeah, that sounds like the best title for a post about my jumbled writing thoughts for this week.

As we all know, story ideas come out of nowhere and everywhere. Sometimes I wake up with one. Other times a dream sparks something bigger. Walking fills me with inspiration. A song might become an unexpected story nugget. Even a word while reading can make something happen. Or even a creepy picture posted on Twitter...

I think you get the gist of what I'm trying to say. 😎

Sometimes, these ideas are so well formed I can write a 4k first draft in a day. I actually did exactly this several months ago. I woke up with the story in my head, and had the first draft written by the end of the day.

My latest idea, another one that wanted to be told RIGHT NOW, was a little different. 

First, the character--who happens to be from the same series as the story I mentioned above--appeared out of nowhere. The time and setting were there too. Then later that day, the beginning struck me. But still, I needed a few days to mull everything over and double check a few details.

By the time I sat down to write with pen & paper a few days later, I handwrote 4 pages without stopping. It flowed well. I too notes and left it alone again.

During that time, the story was constantly in the back of my mind. Percolating in the background. Forming deeper roots than I expected. But no matter how many times I thought about how it would all turn out, I couldn't put everything together. Things weren't clicking.

At this stage I knew that the best thing to do was to just write. That was the only way I was going to find out if it was going to work or not.

So I grabbed my laptop with the intention of typing everything up, but on that day Windows 10 decided to be an a-hole and needed a thousand updates and restarts. (Okay, so it was more like five but that's a lot. A LOT.)

I was lucky to get the pages typed up (added up to 677 words) and put everything aside. Again. I was too frustrated with my laptop to continue.

Yesterday, I decided nothing was going to stop me. I sat at my Writing Nook (more on that another time), opened the Word doc and started typing. I kept writing until lunchtime and--by that time I knew how everything was going to end--went back to it after eating.

Not long after that, I finished the first draft. It turned out to be 3,884 words. It's a bit rough but the main story is there. Finally out of my head and ready to be revised.

Do you understand the title of this post now? 😁 

I had all the pieces of this story inside my head for a few weeks but they were scattered, and no amount of thinking or note-taking could put them together. BUT, as soon as I started typing, everything fell into place and made total sense.

It's strange and wondrous and weird. Every story is as different as its process. 

To me, that feels quite magical.✨

Friday 2 August 2019

This Week

Hey! I'm going to start this post with this awesome Demain Publishing graphic:

I love how this features all the great Adrian Baldwin covers. These are also the latest Short Sharp Shocks! released last week. And of course, that includes mine. Yay!

I've actually had a really nice week. Even though we had a few rainy days, I didn't let the weather affect me. There were too many things to focus on, that's for sure.

It's tax time here in Oz, so we got some pesky real life stuff out of the way, which always feels good. Now that our daughter is 18, finished school, and isn't even living in this country anymore, this is the last year of long-winded claims.

So, what else did I do? I read a fantastic YA horror book called TEETH IN THE MIST by Dawn Kurtagich and reviewed it yesterday for Hachette. It's awesome. It's also the third book I've read by this author and I enjoyed all of them.

Now, it's time to get stuck into IT. Yep. This'll be my first time reading this encyclopedia-sized book and I'm super excited. I promised myself that I would read this book sometime during 2019 and before the second movie is released.

There's no better time to read it than a month before the movie hits. 😉

Oh, this week my Guest Review of the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina prequel, SEASON OF THE WITCH, was posted at Kendall Reviews. It was really nice of Gavin to host my review of a book that I adored.

You know I LOVE the show, and this book totally felt like another season. So cool.

Hubby and I finally watched GOOD OMENS on Amazon Prime. We watched an episode a night for most of the week, then binged the last two on Thursday night. We loved it. This show was heaps of fun, and I have to admit that I enjoyed it more than the book. Yep. I did.

Asides from all this cool stuff, I also received the Flame Trees ARC I won in a Twitter contest. I really enjoyed this author's first book, so I'm looking forward to this one.

Now that most of the reorganising of my writing & reading nooks are done, I started writing a new short story. Yes! This one is an unexpected idea I had about a character from my Sierra Fox series. It's strange how many of these are hitting my brain years after I finished writing the series. And the five books are no longer available.

BUT, a story that is available is BREAKING THE HABIT. Actually, today, the first two fantastic reviews posted made me grin like an idiot because both readers totally got this little story of mine. If you're curious, you can read them both on Goodreads. 😍

You can also grab yourself a copy for 99c. That's a bargain! Here are the links.

Well, there you have it. This turned out to be a great week. And now, we've got the weekend ahead of us...

Have a good one!

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