View RSS Feed

Recent Blogs Posts

  1. Stunning *****5 star review***** of The Cabin Sessions!

    For once I am sharing a review of one of my own titles just in on Amazon. It isn’t every day an author receives such high praise.
    The Cabin Sessions – for those who like their horror dark and psychological. “Well!
    Talk about being blown away.
    If you are in search of a stonking read with delicious descriptions – chilling horror (very psychological in places) and perfect prose then this is the book for you.
    The horror was delivered with sophistication and stealth – so much so that when I wanted to pull back or run for cover I couldn’t.
    The story telling is masterly and I would class this book – author, as a modern day classic.
    Unique- individual- and unapologetic. ...
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  2. Review: Harlequin’s Riddle by Rachel Nightingale

    Here’s my review of a sensational debut novel by Australian author and award-winning playwright, Rachel Nightingale. It might look like a YA fantasy novel, but don’t be fooled! Read on and discover why I am in rapture over this book.

    “The Gazini Players are proud to present
    For your Edification and Enjoyment
    Tales of great Joy, and of great Woe
    Ten years ago, Mina’s beloved older brother disappeared with a troupe of travelling players, and was never heard from again.
    On the eve of Mina’s own departure with a troupe, her father tells her she has a special gift for story telling, ...
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  3. Review: The Blood Red Experiment

    My journey into dark fiction just keeps getting better. What is it that draws the reader into the realm of the macabre? I guess the answer to that is different for everyone, but for me, uppermost is the application of top-class literary skills.

    “Inspired by the genius of Hitchcock and his films, latin luminaries such as Argento and Bava directed macabre murder-mystery thrillers, that combined the suspense with scenes of outrageous violence, stylish cinematography, and groovy soundtracks. This genre became known in their native Italy as giallo.
    Giallo is Italian for yellow, inspired by the lurid covers of thrillers, in the ...
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  4. #SuperBlueBloodMoon

    The Moon must be feeling ecstatic, a bit like a film star having been awarded an Oscar. Perhaps now a little deflated knowing the glory was momentary and soon the wonder will fade and the moon will have to go back to its regular cycle of waxing and waning.
    Photo by Heather RiddellIs the lunar hype warranted? Is the Moon really super and blue and blood all at once and how can this be? ‘Super’ kinda just means big because the moon is close to the earth. ‘Blue’ can mean there are two full moons in the one calendar month, or that there are four instead of three full moons in a season, or that there are two ...
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  5. Book Review: No Rest For The Wicked by Pamela Morris

    Continuing my series of horror novel reviews, I am delighted to share my reflections on Pamela Morris’ No Rest For The Wicked.

    “Every ghost has a story. Not all of them want it told.
    From beyond the grave, a murderous wife seeks to complete her revenge on those who betrayed her in life; a powerless domestic still fears for her immortal soul while trying to scare off anyone who comes too close; and the former plantation master – a sadistic doctor who puts more faith in the teachings of de Sade than the Bible – battle amongst themselves and with the living to reveal or keep hidden the dark secrets that prevent any ...
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  6. Getting personal with Isobel Blackthorn

    I’m delighted to re-blog this in-depth interview with Becky Narron of Roadies Notes! Thanks for the opportunity, Becky.

    Roadie Notes
    Isobel Blackthorn is the author of the novels, The Cabin Sessions, Asylum, A Perfect Square and The Drago Tree, and the short story collection, All Because of You. She holds a PhD in Western Esotericism and carries a lifelong passion for the Canary Islands. She has worked as a high school teacher, market trader and PA to a literary agent. Her writing has appeared in Backhand Stories, Fictive Dream, The Mused Literary Review, On Line Opinion and Paranoia Magazine. Her comedy horror novel The Legacy ...
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  7. Review: Worship Me by Craig Stewart

    I’m thrilled to share my review of Worship Me by Canadian author Craig Stewart. Worship Me is a fast-paced horror novel that will have you on the edge of your seat.

    Something is listening to the prayers of St. Paul’s United Church, but it’s not the god they asked for; it’s something much, much older.
    A quiet Sunday service turns into a living hell when this ancient entity descends upon the house of worship and claims the congregation for its own. The terrified churchgoers must now prove their loyalty to their new god by giving it one of their children or in two days time it will return and destroy them all. ...
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  8. Review: Midnight Echo (12)

    I’m delighted to share my review of Midnight Echo (issue 12), theAustralasian Horror Writers Association’s magazine.

    Issue #12 features over 50,000 words of the finest horror from Australia and New Zealand, including fiction and non-fiction. This issue showcases the winners of the 2015 and 2016 AHWA Short Story and Flash Fiction Competitions, and is edited by Shane Jiraiya Cummings and Anthony Ferguson.
    My thoughts:
    This issue of mainly short stories contains writing so polished it gleams. All the stories are taut and punchy, and many ooze that essential quality of the entertaining horror story, wit. The magazine ...
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  9. Review: Stripped to the Bone: portraits of Syrian women by Ghada Alatrash

    I’ve taken a short break from horror to review Stripped to the Bone: portraits of Syrian Women by Ghada Alatrash, a short story collection peppered with beautiful poetry, and set for the most part in Syria.

    “Set between war-torn Syria and the West, Stripped to the Bone explores issues of identity, love, strife, courage and resilience in seven fictional portraits of Syrian women. Syrian-Canadian author and translator Ghada Alatrash is a Doctoral Student at the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary She has an MA in English Literature from the University of Oklahoma. One of her goals is to amplify the voices of the ...
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  10. Review: And Then You Die by James H Longmore

    I can’t describe what sort of taste was left in my mouth after reading James H Longmore’s …and Then You Die, a novel that marks my entry into the genre of bizarro, where absurdism and satire meet the weird and grotesque. If you find the concept of bizarro off-putting, then …and Then You Die  is not a book for you! But you’d be missing out on an extraordinarily visceral cultural experience.

    “Following a drunken, hedonistic night out on the town in New Orleans, successful businesswoman and sexual deviant Claire Jepson accidentally soils herself in her expensive car. The resulting excrement comes to life as a terrifying, sardonic ...
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  11. Review: Blood in the Woods by Joe Willie

    Continuing my horror novel reviews, I’m delighted to share my thoughts on J.P. Willie’s Blood in the Woods. Horror fiction comes in many forms and this is a novel with broad appeal far beyond horror fans.

    “For Jody, growing up in the late eighties and early nineties in the small Louisiana town of Hammond with his best friend Jack was filled with wonderful childhood memories.  Time spent playing in the woods, shooting pellet guns, blowing up mailboxes, fighting at school and upon the dawning of interest in the fairer sex, their carefree lives typical of children with few responsibilities and no worries beyond ...
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  12. In conversation with Donna Maria McCarthy on Gothic fiction

    When I decided to review Biddy Trotta gothic novella by Donna Maria McCarthy, I had no idea what I was in for. I haven’t read gothic fiction in a long while and I certainly didn’t anticipate coming across a work as much subtle as it is absurd, as much vivid as it is dark and dense, a work profoundly evocative and masterful in its execution. An accidental find I made as I walk the path of dark fiction.

    It was a discovery that led me to ponder many things. So I invited Donna Maria McCarthy to chat with me about gothic fiction, as I prepare to write my debut in the genre, and am immersed in studying the form. I hope ...
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  13. La Mareta signed to Odyssey Books!

    What an incredible start to 2018! I have just signed a publishing deal with Odyssey Books for La Mareta, a cosy mystery crime novel set on Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain. La Mareta is the sequel to The Drago Tree and continues my literary love affair with the islands that captured my heart long ago.

    Big thanks to Michelle Lovi, publisher at Odyssey Books, for believing in my work and for travelling to the island with me in 2016 to assist me with the research. We had a fascinating time and we both adored the gorgeous farmhouse we rented in Maguez. The front door opened onto a volcano! That house is one of the ...
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  14. A stunning review of A Perfect Square by Rachel Nightingale!

    You pour your heart and soul into a work, slave away for a year, maybe two, and if you are very lucky, a publisher sees merit in it. Then you hope that readers will as well. Sometimes your book finds its way into the hands of the perfect reader. This is one of those times. I am so grateful to receive this review of A Perfect Square.

    “When pianist Ginny Smith moves back to her mother’s house in Sassafras after her breakup with the degenerate Garth, synaesthetic and eccentric artist Harriet Brassington-Smythe is beside herself and contrives a creative collaboration to lift her daughter’s spirits: an exhibition of paintings and songs. ...
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  15. Artist Spotlight: Gabrielle Powell

    I have a lifelong passion for all the Arts, and especially visual art. I like to buy artworks when I can afford them, and I often include art and artists in my writing. So it was no stretch on my part to decide to run a series of artist spotlights. Here’s my first!
    I’m delighted to welcome Gabrielle Powell onto my blog. Gabrielle lives on the far south coast of New South Wales, Australia. I’ve long been in admiration of her work and also her values and vision. I’ve often wondered what makes an artist tick, so I asked Gabrielle some questions.

    What was the initial spark that turned you to pursue the creative ...
    Categories
    Uncategorized