Monday, September 30, 2013

Hanging Hill by Mo Hayder review

Hanging HillHanging Hill by Mo Hayder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was my first Mo Hayder book. I was given it by an American cousin who had thought it was 'ok'. As soon as I started reading it I could tell it was very British and I liked this, as usually I read American thrillers and it was nice to get into something familiar with cultural references that I completely understood.

As for the story, I really liked it. I think the characters were well developed, especially the female characters. I would have liked to hear a bit more about Steve and his shady background. Plus, he seemed to have a strong link to Mooney, and I wonder if this connection would have gone so easily undetected.

Plus, I would have liked to hear a little bit more about the killer, without mentioning any names!

I like her style of writing. It is smart, but yet seems casual.

Good story, good voice, and good characters. Worth your time.

View all my reviews

Sunday, September 29, 2013



A collection of stories centered around vengeance, obsession, cravings, and life.

Pick one item of the Menu or devour the entire buffet

Make sure you don't bite off more than you can chew

Read, but not with greed for

Death awaits, ready to come and collect its due

Today I am so excited to be hosting Lucy Pireel, an avid reader and dabbler in the kitchen.  Lucy doesn't like to be confined to one genre of work, and so she writes whatever comes to mind which makes for a very varied collection of work.  Today she is celebrating the release of A Menu of Death, and she took a quick time out to answer a few of our questions.
Lucy, welcome! Looking at your collection of work, you seem to enjoy writing short stories. What is it that draws you to the short story writing, rather than a full length novel?
I actually am writing three full lenght novels too at the moment, but in the mean time I write shorts and publish those to fill up the gap until my first full length novel is ready for publication.
Wow, you are busy! I have been thinking about writing a short story for a submission to a magazine. How do you make sure that you develop well rounded and real to life characters in a short story?
Ah, it's all about words and in a short the arc is there just as in a novel, you just have less words to make everything work. While in a novel you have 'time' in a short every word counts as if your life depends on it. There is no room for fillers or frills. No side-tracking and focus on what is necessary to the story and the character development.
What is the hardest challenge that you have to overcome as a writer?
Don't let myself be distracted by social media! :-)
HA!  I know all about that!  I notice on Amazon that sometimes you have co-authors for some of your work. How hard is it to collaborate? How to you resolve artistic differences?
A slight correction. Even though I do have a few collaborations on the go, all of the work that is published until now is solely my own. None of the shorts published is a collaboration of any kind. But it is not that hard to collaborate, it is just a matter of finding the right person and be ready to adjust what you think the work should be like. For example I'm at the moment working on a conversation in poetry collaboration. It's fun to do, because while each 'message' is a poem, the whole will eventually become a rounded out story.
If you had to stop writing tomorrow, what would it be that you miss the most?
Being able to create a world and characters that, even though I am the author and their creator, is an essential part of me. The way how writing lifts my mood when I'm down, or relieves anger when I can kill of that character instead of swear at someone who doesn't deserve it.
What are your future writing plans? Any more work lined up?
As I mentioned, I have three WIPs and one novel in its final stage of editing. And I intend to keep writing shorts to complement the longer works.
Thanks so much for joining us! 
You can find lucy in the following places
And don't forget that you can enter the competition here!
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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Movie with a great twist!

When it comes to movies, I will watch anything.  When I say anything, I seriously mean anything.  It doesn't even have to be good.  I love everything about watching movies, be it at the cinema, home, on the computer, wherever.  I'm yet to go to a drive-in showing, but for that I might have to get over to the USA.  In 1960.

Every week I watch at least five movies.  So it goes without saying that a lot of these end with little extra thought about them.  But every now and again I catch a film that just strikes a nerve.  This week, with a glass of red wine in hand, I had exactly that.

Favourite movie genre?  Thriller/horror, and this week I chose The House at the End of the Street.  This is what IMDb has to say about it.

When a teenager and her mother move to a little town, the girl finds that an accident happened in the house at the end of the street. But things get complicated when she befriends a boy who is the only survivor in the accident.

Surprisingly it attracted only 5.4 out of ten rating, which by anybody's standards could be better.  Maybe overall there were a few plot holes and the atmosphere could have been a bit darker and creepier, but what stood out for me with this movie was not the amount of times it made me jump.  It wasn't the way the fog rolled in at night, or the fact that people crept out of televisions.  It was the fact that until the very last scene I had absolutely no idea of what was coming.  I had picked out a few plot twists along the way, probably thanks to the fact that I currently have my head in a book called Psychology for Writers.  But when the last scene played out I genuinely had not expected what came. 

To write a script or a book that can in the last moments kick your jaw into your chest, stop your pulse, and make you turn and look at the person next to you with a I-can't-believe-it look on your face is quite a talent.  This movie had me thinking about it the next day, wondering what flaw I had missed, and if it could really happen.

I'm not one for spoilers, so I won't tell you this twist that took me by surprise.  I have thought about it, and yes, there are a couple of things that could have benefited from a few additions in the movie.  But overall this was a great twist, and definitly a movie a thriller or horror fan would enjoy.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Blog Tour Stop: Scars of the Bifrost by A.J.M. Mousseau

Freya Catten has lived on the fringes of society her entire life, growing up in hiding with her mother in the deepest, wildest places left in North America—the national parks and forests. Freya's mother taught her how to live off the land, away from civilization—mysteriously warning her of the dangers of getting involved with society and leaving traces of her DNA behind. But five years ago Freya's mother abandoned her, leaving Freya to survive on her own.
Freya knows how to stay alive, whether she's hiding in the forest or running on the city streets. She changes her appearance often and owns nothing but her backpack filled with survival gear and a necklace that had been her mother’s.
But, keeping one step ahead of Social Services isn't her biggest fear. Freya's true terror lies with The Takers—strange men who rappel from silver cords out of the deep blue sky from nowhere. They snatch up their victims then evaporate without a trace. Freya holds a dark suspicion—that the Takers are really after her, and they are closing in.
Freya realizes that if she is to ever have a normal life she must first find her mother and answer the questions that have kept her in hiding. Along the way, she meets Theron Hawk—a rugged teenage soldier from a war-torn country—and finds herself truly trusting someone for the first time in her life.
As secrets are uncovered, and Freya comes closer to solving the mysteries surrounding her life, her blood and the priceless necklace that lays at her throat, the scars of the Bifrost will threaten to rip apart Freya's very existence.
SCARS OF THE BIFROST is the first story in The Scars Saga and is a Young Adult science-fiction/fantasy/paranormal romance novel infused with wilderness survival, urban fantasy, dystopian elements and mythological realism.
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One $25 Amazon Gift Card
One ebook copy of Scars of the Bifrost and an ebook copy of Unlocking Brisingamen (as soon as it is released)

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I am an author and university student. I live in a recreational vehicle -- by choice -- with my awesome husband, four amazing kids, and huge, fluffy, 85 pound golden retriever named Titan. I write and do school on line as we travel throughout the U.S. and Canada. It is incredible to live in a new place every few months (sometimes weeks) and to see everything! We have lived this clan and tribal lifestyle for two years now and have been to over twenty national parks and forests. They gave me a lot of inspiration for Freya's story.

Unlocking Brísingamen, the next book in the Scars Saga, will be released very soon!
Read an excerpt from Scars of the Bifrost here!
I turned in another direction to escape when I felt my backpack being grabbed from behind.
No!I screamed as I struggled against the inevitable, like an animal caught in a snare.
My attacker spun me to face him as if I were nothing more than a rag doll. He looked like a hot young actor who was supposed to be attending a red carpet event in Hollywood instead of a thug pulling off a kidnappingthey all did in their dark blue suits.
I instantly planted my knee into his groin, but my kneecap met with a hard armored shell. I peered up into his hardened face and stunning purple irises as a wide sinister smile spread across his face. I tried reaching for the hunting knife at my hip, but before I could get to it he grabbed hold of both of my arms and pinned me against his body. I was embraced in some grotesque lovers dance.
My hat was pushed off of my head as my cheek was crushed against him. I could feel the armor across his chest and stomach under his clothing.
He began to tie me up with the silver cord. I wriggled my arms up and, thinking quickly, pulled a bobby pin from my braided hair. You can do a lot of damage to an assailant by jamming a bobby pin into their ear canal. I plunged the bobby pin hard into the tender opening and slammed it with the palm of my hand, forcing it in as far as it could go. The Taker howled in pain and dropped me to grab at his injured ear.
I pitched myself to the side and away from him as he got tangled in his own cord and disappeared.
I scrambled to my feet but my foot slipped, tearing at the earth beneath me. Instantly, I was hoisted by my upper arms into the air by a tall, fierce-looking Taker. He looked like he had seen what I just did to his buddy and was going to kill me for it. The hate on his face was intimidating and palpable, while his grip held me like a vice. I couldnt take a breath.
My mind panicked as I thought, This is it, the fight is over.