50% Discounts at KOBO Now!

I just got word of an amazing 50% off offer that KOBO are running today and tomorrow. It’s a bit complicated in that each country has it’s own list, but well worth it for this big a discount if you ask me. There are titles from authors like Dan Brown, Stephen King, Suzanne Collins, Lisa Moore, Mitch Albom, Jo Nesbo, Nora Roberts, Silvia Day. Here we go…


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Herbert Lom RIP

I was saddened today to hear of the death of the great actor Herbert Lom. Everyone remembers him for his portrayal of the twitchy Chief Inspector Dreyfus in the Pink Panther films.

Lom with Peter Sellers

But Lom played much darker roles in a long and distinguished career. I have childhood memories, curled up on the sofa, watching him strike terror into TV viewers in some of the early Hammer Horror films – and others…

(Note the name of Michael Gough there – another huge star)

One of the very best Stephen King film adaptations, The Dead Zone is imbued with an ever-present atmosphere of dread in which Lom excelled.

Lom was born Herbert Karel Angelo Kuchacevič ze Schluderpacheru on 11th September 1917 in Prague. At the start of World War 2 he fled to England and enriched all our lives. We shall miss him. Watch, enjoy and remember:

A Book Of Horrors

Hardcover:400 pages

Publisher:Jo Fletcher Books



ISBN-13: 978-0857388087

I’ll admit that I’m not a lover of anthologies. I own several, including Robert Aickman‘s Cold Hand in Mine and Ramsey Campbell‘s Superhorror. I’ve had those some years and still haven’t read all the stories in them. I always prefer to read a novel by a writer I like or have just discovered. A Book of Horrors is, I must say, a hefty slab in hardback and has a splendidly creepy cover, but I have been skirting around it for longer than I should. Not for the first time in my life, I’ve been a fool.

This collection of short stories, edited by Stephen James and published by Jo Fletcher Books http://www.jofletcherbooks.com/ assembles original works from no fewer than fourteen accomplished horrorists. The list includes Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell, Peter Crowther, Robert Shearman and John Ajvide Linqvist.

Now, it’s no secret chez moi that I’m a Lindqvist fan. I have loved everything he’s ever written. So it was his contribution that I went to first. The Music of Bengt Karlsson, Murderer is a splendidly chilling tale, and one of which Lindqvist himself says “It might be the one story I have written that has scared me the most……I wrote on in a state of mild but constant horror…It was a relief when it was over.”

For me, quite unashamedly, A Book of Horrors is well worth having just for the Lindqvist contribution, but I’d be doubly foolish to overlook all of the others that sit so well with it between these superbly crafted covers. To have so many of the best horror writers of our day to dip in and out of makes for a must-have book.

The big surprise is the introduction from editor Stephen Jones, to my mind, a work of genius in itself. To quote from it:

“What the Hell happened to the horror genre?…These days our bloodsuckers are more likely to show their romantic nature, werewolves work for government organisations, phantoms are private investigators and the walking dead can be found sipping tea amongst the polite society of a Jane Austen novel…..Today we are living in a world that is ‘horror-lite’…This appalling appellation was coined by publishers to describe the type of fiction that is currently enjoying massive success under such genres as ‘paranormal romance’, ‘urban fantasy’, ‘literary mash-up’ or even ‘steampunk’…these books are not aimed at readers of traditional horror stories.”

Thank heavens – or maybe Hell – that someone knows what we really want.

A Book of Horrors. 5 stars from me. Buy it – if only for the introduction!

What’s The Cause of the International Crisis?

International Crises seem topical, so here’s my #SampleSunday for today from my novel, Diavolino. With Berlusconi licking his wounds this morning the Italian setting will add to the atmosphere.

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Homa Jawini flicked from news channel to news channel. She’d not heard from her husband since he’d been collected by Sir Roger’s driver in the early hours. She knew in her heart that something had happened to Mohsen; she felt it.

The ticker along the bottom of the TV screen was full of the usual sensational bites: Italy on her knees—Temperatures reach 59°celsius—Italy in darkness as big air conditioning switch-on causes massive power drain—Looting rife in major cities—Millions dead. Newsreaders told of the strange disaster that had struck so swiftly at the center of Europe, slowly—but surely—turning rumor and speculation into fact.

“The only explanation is volcanic activity,” said a wiry professor from Oxford University to the CNN audience. “This is the kind of event that our planet hasn’t experienced for millions of years. Anything could happen.”

“We have warned the Iraqis to stop this meteorological warfare,” said a White House spokesperson, “and demanded an explanation. If they don’t comply by midnight Washington time, we are ready to hit them.”

“In the light of intelligence I have received, I am convinced of Al Qaida involvement,” said the British Foreign Secretary on the BBC.

“All attempts by the European Union to get aircraft into Italian airspace have met with disaster. Have you any idea what caused these fighters to come down?” a Sky interviewer quizzed a French air force spokesperson.

“Not at all,” was the reply, “but we cannot rule out a hostile attack.”

No one had a clue. The Indians blamed Pakistan. The Israelis launched rocket attacks on the Palestinians. Russian troops massed on the borders of Georgia and Azerbaijan. The Pope said it was the result of an amoral population and urged the world to turn to God. Everyone pointed a finger as a major international crisis unfolded.

Everyone except Homa Jawini.