#AllHallowsRead – Romantic Horror with Daniel De Lorne

by Daniel De Lorneallhallowsread1

What better time of year than Halloween to indulge your fearful fascination with monsters of a toothy variety. So lock the door, grab a crucifix, eat some garlic-flavoured popcorn and settle in to watch some of my favourite vampire movies.

1. Interview with the Vampire

interviewithavampireIf you’re a fan of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles and you want to see Brad Pitt as a vampire, then check out this classic. It chronicles the vampire Louis’ life as an immortal from New Orleans to old Paris as he tries to find meaning in his bloody existence. Tom Cruise plays Lestat de Lioncourt, the loveable Brat Prince, and Kirsten Dunst cuts a sad figure as the vicious child-vampire.

Favourite moment: Lestat’s return from the dead and subsequent burning. Nasty.

Note: Avoid the movie version of Queen of the Damned.

2. Only Lovers Left AliveOnly_Lovers_Left_Alive_poster

Tom Hiddleston? Tilda Swinton? What’s not to love? This slow-paced but infinitely rich film takes a looks at a slice of the lives of old vampires Adam and Eve. Adam lives in Detroit, enjoying life as a reclusive musical genius. But he’s troubled, and his wife Eve comes to cheer him up. There is further disturbance when Eve’s younger sister arrives. Lots of black humour in here and it’s more of a meditation on life than a bloodfest, but well worth a look.

Favourite moment: “You drank Ian!”

3. Underworld underworldDark, violent and action-packed, Underworld shows us a world where vampires and werewolves fight an underground war. The mythology behind it all is a lot of fun, Kate Beckinsale makes a mean fighter, and Bill Nighy rocks it as one of the vampires’ undead rulers. The other films in the franchise leave a little to be desired but the first film is good viewing.

Favourite moment: The final battle scene, particularly Selene’s skills with a sword.

4. What We Do In The ShadowsWhat_We_Do_in_the_Shadows_poster

This one will have you laughing more than hiding behind the covers. It’s a New Zealand “documentary” about four vampires who share a house in Wellington. It’s a great romp for any fan of the vampire genre. Werewolves and zombies also get a look in, as does the New Zealand Police Force.

Favourite moment: “We’re werewolves, not swear-wolves.”

5. Dracula Untolddracula untold_

A new vampire epic telling the story of how Vlad the Impaler became Dracula. Lots of special effects and battles, but surprisingly a decent storyline. Mixing in some horror, a bit of a love story, lush genre conventions and a strong hero with a really nice body.

Favourite moment: A giant weapon made of real-live bats

And finally, if you’re looking for some gritty and sexy vampires between the (book) covers, check out my novel, Beckoning Blood. It’s about twin vampires, Olivier and Thierry, the men they love and the terror and damage they wreak through the centuries. No sparkly vampires here. You’re in for a devilish treat.

Happy Halloween!

20835A gripping,  blood-drenched saga about twin brothers, the men they love, and the enduring truth that true love never dies  — no matter how many times you kill it.

Thierry d’Arjou has but one escape from the daily misery of his work at a medieval abattoir — Etienne de Balthas. But keeping their love a secret triggers a bloody chain of events that condemns Thierry to a monstrous immortality. Thierry quickly learns that to survive his timeless exile, he must hide his sensitive heart from the man who both eases and ensures his loneliness…his twin brother.

Shaped by the fists of a brutal father, Olivier d’Arjou cares for only two things: his own pleasure and his twin. But their sadistic path through centuries is littered with old rivals and new foes, and Olivier must fight for what is rightfully his – Thierry, made immortal just for him.

For a chance to win a copy of Daniel’s book, leave a comment sharing your favourite vampire (or incarnation of a vampire) in any media. Bonus points if you include a photo/fanart/drawing/etching.

Remember to include your email so we can notify you if you are the winner!

#AllHallowsRead – Romantic Suspense Scary with Elisabeth Rose

by Elisabeth Rosereflection_all_hallows_read_poster_by_blablover5-d7xwiqj

I must have been about six I think, (we’re talking late 1950’s) when Mum and Dad took me and my brother to see Hansel and Gretel at the movies. I think it was the same outing when my great aunt and uncle were with us and my Great Uncle Billy came back from the loo in the dark and almost sat on my brother which could well be my brother’s first scary movie memory. I don’t remember much else except being in the theatre sitting on those old fashioned fake leather flip up seats with wooden arm rests. Mum says every time the wicked witch appeared I hid under the seat until she said it was safe to come out.

Hansel-and-gretel-rackhamThe next scary movie I remember was a few years later when I was about twelve. I’ve no idea what it was but it involved a ventriloquist’s doll that came to life and did evil, scary things. It wasn’t Chucky; it was earlier than that but it put me off puppets for life. There’s something seriously creepy about them. The Muppets are about all I can take in puppet world now.

Next came Deliverance. I went with a boyfriend who arrived one evening depressed about something so we decided to go to a movie in an attempt to cheer him up. We didn’t know anything about it beforehand, unfortunately. Bad choice. Feral hillbillies with guns hunting city slickers in beautiful mountain scenery wasn’t an antidote to the blues. We were both terrified and he blamed me for taking him!

deliveranceAs a parent I think the scariest thing is the thought of something happening to your child. When he was about two my son wandered away from us at the shops. One minute he was standing with us while we looked at a stand of sun hats outside a chemist shop and the next minute he’d gone. Completely. It was the most terrifying experience of my life. My husband ran one way and I ran the other. Fortunately I found a couple of policemen who sprang into action. One immediately called it in to roving police cars in case he’d been abducted and one went off searching in the direction I’d been heading. A couple of minutes later that lovely constable came back with my sobbing, darling boy still clutching his little toy car. He’d followed the wrong person and ended up at the other end of the block.

I’ve never forgotten that mind numbing fear and whenever I see a missing child case on the news I know exactly what the parents are experiencing.

In Evidence Of Love my heroine Lara’s world revolves around her toddler son and she will do anything to protect him. When the past she has desperately tried to avoid catches up with her a parent’s worst nightmare becomes real. Her baby is taken.

20834She survived years as a gangland wife, sacrificing everything to the family. But now they’re threatening the one thing that she will never, ever give up — her child. 

When Maja’s abusive gang boss husband Tony is murdered, she takes the opportunity to flee, change her name, and leave her criminal family and her past behind. As Lara Moore, she and her toddler son Petey live quietly in suburban Sydney. Then, one act of kindness threatens to reveal her secrets and unravel the threads of her new life. But Detective Nick is dedicated and determined, the antithesis of everything she was brought up to believe about the police. Slowly, Maja finds herself drawn out of her shell and into his protective embrace.

Investigating Detective Nick Lawson doesn’t know what it is about the prickly, reclusive young mother that attracts and intrigues him, but as the facts about her crime-steeped family emerge, Nick doubts whether his career would survive this relationship, even if she were interested.

Then, to Lara’s horror, her past meets her present, and thoughts of love and a future are lost as the fight for her child begins.

To win a copy of Elisabeth’s book, leave a comment telling us the first scary movie you saw (or the first scary movie you can remember seeing). Bonus entry points if the movie is not, in fact, scary at all.

Remember to include your email address, so we can contact you if you win!

#AllHallowsRead – Science Fiction Scary with Ros Baxter

by Ros Baxter


Like all great philosophers, I do my most profound musing watching Disney Pixar films; most recently, that deep study of fear and courage, Monsters University.monsters-university-hd-7This time I was watching with a different lens. Halloween was almost upon us and small fry were clammering for trick-or-treating costume ideas (just another way to torture parents into requiring the kind of creativity of which their poor, tired brains are no longer capable). The ideas tank dry, I was doing what all good parents do – looking for some material I could plagiarise (err, I mean some inspiration I could adapt and make more excellent…) in the reliable scenes of Disney.

Anyway, in the way of Pixar, my baser motivations were soon forgotten and I was wrapped in the compelling story of two little monsters learning the art of the scare. After the credits rolled, I found myself reflecting on the nature of fear – more particularly, the critters that scare the beejezus out of us.

scary-sullyWhat Sully and Mike so ably demonstrate in that cult classic (they were so cheated out of that Oscar, by the way) is that fear is personal. Some kids (cough, grown ups) are scared of clowns. Some are scared of spiders. Not all the creatures that freak the hell out of us are nine-legged, fang-encrusted, soul-sucking slugs (although, you know, that would be kind of scary).

For me, some of the scariest dudes around are still JK Rowling’s Dementors (maybe it’s the name; that is one seriously cool monster name). Other special mentions are those baddies that mess with the order of your world – possessed dolls, evil kiddies, and the like. But mostly, it’s the hint of their darker motivations that unravels me. Why is the villain scarier if we know he was warped by some sick life event, and is now utterly intent on stealing your joy and perverting you in the same way?

When I penned White Christmas, I poured three concepts that chill me to the core into my monsters, the ice vampires of Tyver, and their story.

  • The first was the notion of pervasive cold – skittering, centipede-legged succulents that swarm under the ice, scenting and seeking human warmth to feed upon.
  • Then there was isolation – my crash-landed, newly reunited couple are huddled in an ice cave alone, with no help on the way, and no exit strategy.
  • Finally, anticipation – they can see the things coming – as distinct ripples undulating under the surface of the snow. They know they’re about to become a hot meal for some freezing cold dudes and it spurs them to tell home truths that might never otherwise have come out, and to look for creative ways to repel their advance (but I won’t give the plot away…)

What about you? Which baddie/villain/monster traits pick at your monster-under-the-bed childhood scars?

19729What if your only chance at survival was to seduce the man who broke your heart?

Seventeen years after the Apocalypse, Admiral-class Explorer Tabysha is caught up in a firefight and shot down over Tyver, where ice vampires hunt human warmth. Seeking shelter in an ice cave, she is instructed to stay put and await rescue. But after another ship crash-lands, and the Hunter Gatherers stalk its wounded pilot, Tabi breaks protocol.

When it turns out the survivor is the man who stole her heart then skipped out on her ten years before, it seems to Tabi that no good deed goes unpunished, and things can’t get any worse. But she’s so wrong.

As the Hunters pick up the escalating heat signature of the former lovers, Tabi has to tell Asha that there is only one way to repel the creatures stalking them.

And it involves picking up where they left off ten years before.

22578From the talented and versatile Ros Baxter comes the first full-length novel in her sexy, engaging, ground-breaking SF Romance series.

When everything else is gone, all you have is hope.

The year is 2098, and the people of New Earth have been homeless for seventeen years. Ruled by a mysterious Council and adrift in a fleet of space stations, their sole mission is to survive long enough to find a new home. They call it The Seek.

Kyntura is the first and only female Avenger — one of the secret, separate elite who stand on the frontline between the refugees of Earth and a universe that would do them harm. For Kyn, fight and pain are the only things that drive out memories of the Apocalypse…and of the boy she left behind when she enlisted. But a young recruit called Mirren and a deadly mission will bring her face to face with all she has tried to forget.

As she leads a squad of Avengers in The Seek, Kyntura will have to face her demons — and the boy whose heart she broke a decade before — to confront the truth about New Earth and save the future of humanity.

For a chance to win a copy of Ros Baxter’s White Christmas and an exclusive ARC of Ros’s upcoming novel The Seek, leave a comment letting us know your favourite (or least favourite) villain. Bonus points if you share embarrassing childhood fears.

Don’t forget to leave your email address so we can contact you if you win!

#AllHallowsRead – Paranormal Scary with MA Grant

by MA Grantspiders_all_hallows_read_by_blablover5-d7xwixy

The worst film I’ve ever seen starred Ryan Reynolds, which I didn’t think would be possible (except for The Green Lantern, which I consider a mulligan). Buried proved me wrong. Ryan Reynolds in a coffin in a desert for the entire movie.


I couldn’t even finish the dang thing. My pulse was erratic, my palms sweaty, and my chest far too tight to breathe normally for an hour and half. Once again, my claustrophobia got the best of me.

Lots of people are claustrophobic to varying degrees. Mine is bad enough that I can’t swim properly (freestyle requires you to put your face underwater…yeah, so not happening). I always leave my face sticking out from under the covers despite the cold Alaskan winter nights, and I’ve never worn a Halloween costume with a mask. Watching people crawl through tight cave tunnels leaves me physically ill. But these sensations are so primal and powerful I can’t ignore them.

I believe that a story’s dark moment should be like that. So gritty and real and unflinching that you can’t help but squirm a little in your seat as you read the scene. I know I’ve gotten the story’s dark moment right when I’m sitting at my desk fidgeting and shifting and trying to look away from the words I just put down on the page. My Sinclair boys have left me with those sensations more than any other characters I’ve written to date.

Maybe it’s their dysfunction or their tyrannically insane father, but Flynn and Connor have both pushed me past what I thought were my hard limits as an author. In Red Moon, Flynn may not be physically trapped, but his role as his father’s soldier and now as the alpha of a new pack means that he’s a victim to responsibility. The role he must fulfill is slowly suffocating the life out of him and he knows it. Connor fights his wolf for physical control of the shift in Blood Moon. I can imagine little worse than being trapped within a body without command of its functions, so of course I forced Connor into that nightmare. Flynn and Connor must face these battles though if they intend to keep the women they love safe.

Perhaps being brave enough to face that place of fear is what makes for true heroes. So maybe this Halloween I’ll go for one of those Grim Reaper black-out hoods or a zombie monkey mask. After all, if I can’t handle it, I can always use the experience as inspiration for my next hero.

18611Dark, moving and original, a story of family, survival, and getting on with life…

Flynn Sinclair understands pack loyalty — for years as his Alpha father’s enforcer, he has done things in the name of duty that he can’t ever forget. But the vast expanse of Alaska offers him a peace he’s never known. Alone, removed from pack life, he can focus on his research and try to forget his life before.

But duty has a way of inviting itself in, and Flynn finds himself doing two reckless things in one week: leaving the safety of Alaska to save his brother Connor’s life, and unwittingly falling in love with Evie Thompson, a woman who doesn’t deserve to be drawn into his terrifying world.

Connor carries news of their father’s descent into madness, and it looks like neither geography nor Flynn’s attempts at disengagement will put off a confrontation. Flynn had finally begun to believe that he might deserve something good in his life — something like Evie — but to move forward in the light, he must first reconcile with the dark.

21770The sequel to the critically acclaimed Red Moon, about a playboy werewolf, his shy roommate, the ties that bind and a battle for true love.

Dana Patterson never regretted the simplicity of her life in Alaska until she moved in with playboy Connor Sinclair. On the surface, Connor is the darkly seductive owner of Vegas’s hottest new casino. But in private, she gets to see a vulnerable side that no one else knows about — and the combination makes him a temptation she isn’t willing to resist any longer.

After Connor openly sides with his brother Flynn in the battle against their unstable lycanthrope father, protecting family and friends becomes a necessity. Having Dana move in with him was the chivalrous decision; sharing his bed with her was not. Dana may think Connor’s everything she’s ever wanted, but his scars run deep, and he can’t bear the thought of hurting her.

But war changes everything — and exposes dark secrets. As Rupert’s true plans come to light, Connor must decide whether he is truly the monster his father created, or the man Dana knows is hidden within the beast.

To win copies of both MA’s stories, please leave a comment sharing which movie or TV show that scared you so much, you had to turn it off. Bonus points if you share your own deepest fear.

Remember to include your email address so we can contact you if you win!

#AllHallowsRead – Urban Scary with Rebekah Turner

By Rebekah Turner

graveyard_all_hallows_read_by_blablover5-d7xwj4bI was a big fan of horror growing up. I consumed all of the movies in the genre I could get my hands on. Evil Dead trilogy, Manic Cop, The Howling, The Blob, Hellraiser and so on. I couldn’t get enough.

This changed, after I experienced The Event. See, one day, I found a little Japanese movie called Ringu, about an avenging spirit and a videotape that causes anyone who watches it to die several days later. I thought, hey, I’ve never seen Japanese horror before, I might check this out. At the time, I was staying at my parents and being a Friday night, it was time to seriously chill out. Popcorn was made, lights dutifully turned off and I settled back, ready to enjoy something new.

Poster for Ringu

Poster for Ringu

Cue to an hour later and I was feeling something I couldn’t put my finger on. It was a queasy sensation, deep in my stomach. The soundtrack to the movie was odd, like a constant industrial white noise. The imagery stark and ponderous. Lots of pauses. Lots of staring. And then … as the movie revealed the ending … The Event happened. As that scary Japanese girl began to do her…thing…I screamed. I cannot express how freaking scary that moment was for me. My parents ran into my room, thinking something was horribly wrong. All I could do was shriek some more and point to the television, where a male actor was looking equally horrified. The horror! The FREAKING HORROR!

Ahh! Not cool! Not cool!

Ahh! Not cool! Not cool!

My sentiments exactly...

My sentiments exactly…

Years later, the US did a remake. Since I’d never really seen a real scary American movie, I managed to convince my friends it would be a hilarious night out. Turns out, I was wrong and my friends didn’t talk to me for three weeks after. I slept with the light on for a long time.

While I still enjoy some horror to this day, the torture porn that Hollywood loves to make doesn’t anything for me and instead I find myself revisiting the golden oldies. Frankenstein’s Bride, Friday the 13th, An American Werewolf in London, Nightmare on Elm Street and one of my all time favourites – The Thing (young Kurt Russell with rugged beard + flame thrower = SEXY BEAST).

My books, Chaos Born and Chaos Bound, have some elements of scares, but nothing that will cause you to wet you pants or have an Event. Not with the main character, Lora Blackgoat to keep the squeamy-evils away with her trusty sword-cane. Sure, there’s a zombie dog. Maybe a couple of beheadings. But it’s all in good fun and that’s what it’s all about, right?

8211A fresh and exciting debut novel introducing the Chronicles from the Applecross.

Lora Blackgoat, smuggler and mercenary, has been lying low after a job gone bad made her a laughing stock in the industry. When a childhood friend turns to her for help, Lora leaps to restore her reputation and starts hunting a killer who is stalking the gas-lit streets.

She never expects that her path will lead her to the Order of Guides, a sadistic militant religious organisation – or to Roman, a deadly and dangerously attractive half-angel warrior who also hunts the killer.

When Lora discovers that the killer has broken fundamental laws of magic to enter the city, she also uncovers a conspiracy that leads back into her own dark past.

19725The long-awaited sequel to Chaos Born takes us back into the Applecross, where Lora faces increasing threats to her survival and her chance at love.

Lora Blackgoat — mercenary and smuggler — has only just recovered from the last threat on her life and hasn’t even begun to sort out the mess of having both a nephilim warrior and a reborn hellspawn as potential lovers. Work should be a refuge, but a job finding missing persons puts her in the crosshairs of a violent gang and a merchant with a taste for blood sport.

Reluctantly, Lora turns to the two men in her life for help. Roman — the nephilim — professes to be her soul mate and turns to her when he feels the darkness of nephilim madness descending. But though Lora is drawn to Roman, it is Seth, ex-lover and reborn hellspawn, who Lora must ultimately ask to protect those she loves. Can she trust Seth to save Roman and her adoptive family, or will this be a fatal mistake?

To win a copy of each of Rebekah’s books, simply comment below telling us what scary story (film, tv, book, or music) made you have an EVENT. Bonus extra points if you tell us in embarrassing detail about your reaction.

iDon’t forget to include your email address so we can contact you if you win! 


#AllHallowsRead – all this week!

raven_all_hallows_read_poster_by_blablover5-d7xwiidWe’re supporting All Hallow’s Read this year, with four scary books, each scary in a different way. Visit the blog each day this week for thrills and chills – and your chance to win a copy of the featured book!


For more information on All Hallow’s Read, you can check out their website here.