My Books

Lucky 7

Author Julia Kavan roped me in – sorry, tagged me – to this and thus it would be more than my life is worth to ignore her. She has been known to unleash demons. The instructions are:

Go to page 7 or 77 in your current manuscript

Go to line 7

Post on your blog the next 7 lines or sentences exactly as they are (no cheating)

Press gang – sorry, tag – 7 other authors to do the same


Well, this is something new to me because I never, ever reveal anything of a work in progress. Here goes. Page 7…


“How much does it cost to exorcise a demon? Tell me, I’m interested.”

Father Ryan’s face went pale, his lips clamped tight together in a line.  “Well,” he said after a pause, “we don’t…um…charge as such. If we succeed and the person is able, we hope they might make a donation.”

I held his gaze and leaned against the centre armrest. “Don’t be coy, Father. What’s the going rate to rid someone of a minor demon? Fifty bucks? A hundred? A thousand?”

He leaned back towards the fuselage, putting what distance he could between us.

(that is 7 lines in the manuscript!)


And the 7 authors I curse are:

Margaret James

Jianne Carlo

Tristram La Roche

Lisa McCourt Hollar

Peter Giglio

Geoff North

Rosie Fiore

And the best of luck

My Reviews Of Other Books

The Demons of Cambian Street : Review

I’ve enjoyed Catherine Cavendish’s previous works and was eager to read her latest offering. The cover is stunning, but would the book live up to it?

Published By: Etopia Press

Published: Feb 17, 2012

ISBN # 9781937976033

Word Count: 32,154


Sometimes evil wears a beautiful face…
After her illness, the quiet backwater of Priory St Michael seemed the ideal place for Stella to recuperate. But in the peaceful little town, something evil is slumbering, waiting for its chance to possess what it desires. When Stella and her husband move into the long-empty apartment, they’re unaware of what exists in the cupboard upstairs, the entrance to an evil that will threaten both their lives…


I sometimes think as a horror writer and someone who has also watched hundreds of horror films, that maybe one becomes desensitised, unable to feel fear from a work of fiction. I’m often entertained by what I’m happy to rate as good horror, and often I’m totally disappointed. I didn’t expect to be disappointed by The Demons of Cambian Street, having already a taste for Cavendish’s genre, but a haunted flat could have been a bit, well, flat I suppose.

Cavendish is distinctively British – it comes out clearly in her style and content, and it’s one of the things I like about her writing (it is a shame, in my opinion, that for the US market her language gets tweaked, but don’t let me make this out to be a bigger issue than it is. I just found an incongruous ‘gotten’ that leapt right out and scared the shit out of me, and I felt that in a British town, a British car might have been allowed a boot rather than something more associated here with a popular pachyderm). Her stories are of the old school such as M R James and, dare I say, Wheatley (the real one, not the current impostor!). With The Demons of Cambian Street she grows in stature to take her place in that Hall of Fame. To my surprise, this story chilled me, sending a rash of goosebumps up my arms, shrinking my scalp and releasing that cold bicycle down my spine. I’d almost forgotten how that felt.


Stars out of 5? A full house.

Giveaways, My Books, Reviews Of Diavolino

Devilishly Good Score For Diavolino – And A Free Read

You know how time flies and you lose track of things, then for some reason you decide out of the blue to go and poke around in some of those forgotten corners? In the midst of writing my new novel (horror, yes, but I’m saying no more for now) I just upped and went over to Goodreads  to have a look at Diavolino. I had to smile and feel a little bit chuffed because it has 34 ratings with an average of 4.47 (out of 5). That’s good – so if you haven’t read it yet, maybe you should?

Here’s the link:

Scores 4.47 on Goodreads


Still not sure? Just for tomorrow (the Ides of March) I have made my short horror, KID, free on Amazon. You surely can’t turn down a free book?

Kid Free on Amazon 15th March


All I ask is, if you like Kid, take a look at Diavolino. No ereader? Don’t worry – the paperbacks are coming. Watch this space.


My Reviews Of Other Books

The Vampire Shrink : Book Review

The Vampire Shrink

Author: Lynda Hilburn

Published by: Jo Fletcher Books (25 Aug 2011)

Kindle version ASIN: B005IHBWDE

Hardback: ISBN-13: 978-0857387196


Kismet Knight is a young psychologist with a growing clinical practice, and she’s always looking for something to give her the edge in her chosen career. When her new client turns out to be a Goth teenager who desperately wants to become a vampire, Kismet is inspired to become the vampire shrink, offering her services to people who believe they are undead. Kismet herself, as a scientist, knows it’s hokum, but she’s looking at it in a purely psychoanalytic light, already imagining the papers she’s going to write on this strange subculture. That’s until she meets the leader of a vampire coven, a sexy, mysterious man who claims to be a powerful 800-year-old vampire, and she is pulled into a whirlwind of inexplicable events that start her questioning everything she once believed about the paranormal.


If you’re a Brit, get the Kindle version because it contains British spelling and punctuation, making it an entirely ‘gotten’ free zone. Yay! I hate the word ‘gotten’ so much I can’t tell you. And there’s another thing about The Vampire Shrink; it is so witty that at times the reader can believe the author is a Brit. Oh, boy, the American vampires will be after me now!

Seriously, this is one of the funniest books I’ve read for a long time. The self-deprecating MC, Kismet the psychologist, is brilliant. She gives us a clever sideways look at the uptight materialistic USA of today,  as well as poking fun at her own kind.

“It seemed he’d had a close encounter with a protester – I couldn’t imagine what anyone would protest about at a Star Trek convention..”

And when the vampire presents her with a collection of exquisite gowns: “What is this? Vampire Cinderella?”

“There was blood all over my living room. A trashed office and a living room that smelled like a used sanitary pad.”

There are plenty of vampires, lots of blood letting and some well-written sex scenes. Is it horror? Nope. This isn’t going to have you pulling the duvet up tight around your neck or stringing garlands of garlic across the windows. But I don’t believe that was ever the author’s intention.

I loved it and recommend it. Was there anything to pick at? Well, the final big scene, the ritual, I felt was rather mechanical and lacked the sparkle of the rest of the book, but it’s a small point in an otherwise commendable debut novel. Stars out of 5? Oh, go on: 4.5 and well deserved.

My Books

Sample Sunday – Diavolino

Today I’m posting an excerpt from my novel, Diavolino.

Tom reached the pontoon as an overweight man with a red face jumped off the carabinieri launch. His dark suit seemed to strain at the seams.

“Mr. Lupton, I presume?” he said, offering his hand.

“Yes, and you are Inspector…”

“Ricci. It actually means curly but as you can see…” He raised his eyebrows toward his receding hair.

“Well, thank you for coming so promptly, inspector. I’m extremely worried.”

“No problem, Mr. Lupton. It’s my job. And in any case, it gives me the chance to make your acquaintance.”

“Come, please follow me.” Tom felt he maybe should offer some coffee but his mind was on Sima. The niceties of Italian life would have to wait.

As they rounded the large oak tree the inspector halted and let out a whistle through his teeth. “My, my. I would never have believed it. That’s some temporary accommodation you have there, Mr. Lupton.”

“Um, yes. We are very lucky to have Sir Roger as a client.”

They continued on toward the house. “Tell me about Sir Roger,” Ricci said. “They say he is incredibly rich. I hear he has not one, but two airplanes.”

“He’s done well, let’s say that. We’ve built several properties for him in various countries.” Tom didn’t really want to discuss Roger’s affairs with him. Sima was missing and Ricci wanted to make small talk.

“Don’t you find it strange, Mr. Lupton, that such a man would want to build a house here? On such a small island as well? I mean, it is a simple area. It’s not Los Angeles or London—or even Rome.”

“No, I guess it’s not. But you really ought to be proud of this place. This area is very beautiful and peaceful, rich in history and culture. That’s what attracts us foreigners to it. That, and the friendliness of the people.”

“Ah yes, of course.” The policeman blushed. “I’m sure you will find us local people most interesting.” They’d arrived at a point where they could look down into the hollow, the tubby inspector out of breath and wiping the back of his neck with a handkerchief. “Now, Mr. Lupton. What was it you wanted to see me about. Some missing person, I believe?”

“Look, inspector. I don’t want to raise a false alarm, but as I said, I am very worried. I was working down in the hollow,” he pointed to the place, “together with my assistant, Sima. When I turned round she’d gone.” Tom didn’t mention seeing her shoes disappearing into the unknown. He didn’t want to give the impression that he was some kind of nut.

“When you say gone you mean exactly what?”

“I mean gone. Vanished. Not there.” Tom was rapidly going off at the policeman; already he could tell that he’d wasted time by phoning.

“People don’t just vanish, Mr. Lupton. Not in these parts. She probably went for a walk. Even to the toilet,” said Ricci, grinning stupidly.

“No, I don’t think so at all. I looked everywhere, including her bedroom and bathroom. She wasn’t there. Look, inspector. I know her very well. Sima wouldn’t go off without a word. Something has happened to her. This is just not her behavior.”

“Well, maybe she went to town?”

“But how? She hasn’t taken a boat, and I can’t imagine she swam. No, inspector, Sima is missing.”

Ricci pulled a small notebook from inside his jacket and removed a pencil from his top pocket, licking the tip with the end of his tongue. “Let me take a few details, Mr. Lupton, and maybe you have a recent photograph of your assistant?”

Tom reeled off the standard information as they stepped up into the house. Tom handed Ricci a photograph of Sima. “That’s the one we use in the corporate brochures. I think it’s the best we have.”

Ricci raised his eyebrows. “She is stunning. It will be very hard to lose her in a crowd here.”

“It should make her all the easier to find then, shouldn’t it, inspector?”

“Mr. Lupton. She hasn’t been missing for even a day. In my experience, the chances of her having disappeared are minimal. I am sure that before dinner time she will be back here with a perfectly good explanation.” He put the notebook and pencil in his pocket. “I have the information I need. Should she not turn up by morning, please give me a call.”

“And if I’m not prepared to wait until morning?”

“Mr. Lupton, please. Some may wonder what indeed did happen to your attractive young assistant. I mean, there were only two of you here, all alone on this island. I’m sure none of us wants to jump to conclusions now, do we?”

Tom had to fight the urge to punch him in the face. “I object to your insinuations, inspector.”

Ricci tilted his head to one side. “I can see my own way back to the pontoon. Good day to you Mr. Lupton.”

Tom watched the inspector waddle back toward the launch. He was either incompetent or he was hiding something. The little fuck face.

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