Day 2 of the Creepy Halloween Blog Crawl

Piatkus Halloween banner

Today is our stop on the Creepy Blog Crawl!!  The amazing Kate Ellis writes our piece and gives you your letter! Tomorrow head to Book Mood Reviews for the next stop and once you have all five letters, visit, submit that word and you’ll be entered into their competition to win a bundle of Piatkus books and special Halloween sweets.  Good luck!

ROOM TWO Kate Ellis

My heart thundered in my chest as I hesitated in the corridor. Which door next? I had to make some sort of decision so I stumbled towards the first door to my right. I turned the handle and when the door swung open all I could see beyond the threshold was a heavy darkness. But somewhere beyond that door I knew there’d be a second clue. I stepped forward and the door slammed behind me.

I stood there quite still, my legs weak with fear, and suddenly I realised I wasn’t alone. Something was in there with me. Breathing. Watching. The air felt dank and I could smell decay; the smell of the grave. There was a faint rustle, like dry dead leaves blown by a fetid breeze, and a light appeared in the far corner; the flickering flame of a tall candle lit by an unseen hand. Then I heard a sigh, like air expelled from the lungs of a corpse after death.

With a huge effort, I summoned the courage to take a step forward. Whatever was in there with me, I needed to find that clue.

In the dancing flame I could just make out a shifting shape in the darkest corner. And, as I stared, the candlelight reflected off dark, glossy plumage. Feathers. Crow black. Shining like wet blood.

It slithered slowly across the floor towards me and my body tensed. It was a thing of evil – half-bird, half-serpent – and I forced myself to watch as it glided over the splintery floorboards. It breathed. It moved. I couldn’t see its form but there was a sour odour of decay, growing stronger as it drew nearer.

As I backed away the candle guttered and in that moment of brightness I saw something terrible. It was a doll with staring eyes and rosebud lips, open to reveal a set of sharp white teeth. It wore a cloak of black feathers and it was standing a few feet away, watching me. I could hear its rasping breath and I knew it lived. Then I heard a voice, like a child singing softly to itself.

‘Here comes the candle to light you to bed. Here comes the chopper to chop off your head.’

The voice was brittle, sweet yet knowing. The thing had me trapped and it was gloating. The rhyme was repeated again. Then again. Each time a little louder than the last.

‘ To chop off your head.’

I tried to scream but no noise emerged. The candle was burning dimly now and the creature was still watching me with its cold glass eyes. I shuffled back and stooped to pick up the candle, hoping its feeble flame would guide me back to the corridor.

I could see a light beneath the door. If the thing didn’t strike at me I thought I could make it. As I clutched the candle I could hear it moving again, still singing, stalking like a predator.

I reached the door and fumbled desperately for the handle. To my relief it opened and I fell on my knees into the corridor, twisting round to slam it shut behind me. To shut out that evil thing and its terrible rhyme.

I was still holding the candle. The hot wax had dripped onto my hand but terror made me oblivious to the pain. Then I noticed something drawn near the candle’s base; a dark, malevolent bird – a raven with a human face. And just above it I saw the letter R carved into the wax. I had the second clue.

If you need a reminder of all the stops and dates, you can see them here.

Creepy Halloween Blog Crawl

Piatkus Halloween banner

This Halloween, follow five amazing authors through five fabulous book blogs for the chance to win a grand prize with Piatkus.

Christopher RiceKate EllisTim O’RourkeKristen Callihan and Darynda Jones have joined forces to write a spooky story. Every day from 27th to 31st October, each author’s section of the story will feature on a different blog. Each section of the story will contain a single highlighted letter. Follow the story through the blogs, collecting the highlighted letters as you go and on 31st October you will have enough letters to spell a single word!

The creepy blog crawl starts here (you don’t need to collect a letter from this section of the story):

You wake up at the end of a long, dark corridor. Someone slams and locks the door behind you. There’s no way to go but forwards. At the end of the corridor is a heavy wooden door.

In front of you is an envelope with your name on it. You open it with trembling hands. It says, ‘You have been brought here for a reason. Prove that you are worth saving. Work out the five clues if you want to live.’

You stand up, clutching the letter, and run for the end of the corridor. On the door is a keypad, containing all 26 letters of the alphabet. Knowing, deep down, that it won’t help, you try desperately to open the door. It’s firmly locked. Turning round, you see five doors in the side of the corridor. Three to the left and two to the right. Five doors, five clues. You know what you have to do.

Day 1, 27th October: Head on over to Chicks That Read to read the first installment of the story from Christopher Rice and to collect your first letter!

Day 2, 28th October: Go to Bookthing to read the second installment of the story from Kate Ellis and to collect your second letter!

Day 3, 29th October: Click through to Book Mood Reviews to read the third installment of the story from Tim O’Rourke and to collect your third letter!

Day 4th, 30th October: Head on over to Opinionated Cupcakes  to read the fourth installment of the story from Kristen Callihan and to collect your fourth letter!

Day 5th, 31st October: And finally go to Fiction Fascination to read the fifth installment of the story from Darynda Jones and to collect your fifth and final letter!

Visit, submit that word and you’ll be entered into our competition to win a bundle of Piatkus books and special Halloween sweets.

Good luck!

Piatkus Entice – eBook romance!

Just received a note from Piatkus announcing a new romance eBook imprint they’re kicking off in time for Valentine’s Day.  From their press release,

Whether you’re lucky in love or still waiting for The One, we’ve got something guaranteed to inject a little romance into your Valentine’s Day this year …

February 14th sees the launch of Piatkus Entice, our brand new eBook-first romance imprint. With new titles each month from authors including Eloisa James, Laura Wright, Sarah MacLean, Mariah Stewart and many more, Piatkus Entice will be a one-stop-shop for romantic fiction, offering readers everything from virile vampires to fairytale endings, ravishing rakes and so much more besides.

The website is now live at Have a look around the site, then follow us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up to the Entice newsletter for the latest romance news straight to your inbox.

Since I’ve fallen in love with my Kindle, I’m really excited about this new imprint and especially looking forwards to reading more Eloisa James and Laura Wright.

Be still my heart, Piatkus, you are Enticing me 😉


Piatkus Blogger Event 2011

It’s not often I get an invitation out of the blue that makes me actually squee with excitement, and I think I scared my cats the day I got the invitation to attend Piatkus’ blogger event! Piatkus publishes a lot of the authors I love to read, and to get to have a look at what titles were coming up, plus meet the people who have been so kind to me, was a dream come true.

Normally, doing something like this twice in three months is out of the question for me, since I live so far out of London and have an anxiety disorder, but both Simon & Schuster and Piatkus were brilliant and understanding, and had no problem at all with me bringing along my friend Tracey (and fellow Piatkus fan!).  I believe she squee’d too, when I asked if she could chaperone me again 😉  We even walked to the offices from Liverpool Street Station which was fun and also good to avoid having to use the Underground.  Didn’t take very long either, only about 30 minutes.

The building Piatkus is housed in is very impressive and we had a bit of a giggle registering and going through security.  Who knew I could be outfoxed by how to call the lift!  The offices themselves were amazing; books!  Everywhere!  I think I was at risk of whiplash as I kept catching sight of much loved titles and authors on display.  I did ask if I could move in, but for some strange reason, they said no 😉

First off, we got to meet the staff who are responsible for publishing these lovely books, and I can honestly say they could not have been more welcoming and friendly.  One of the things that impressed me most, is how excited and passionate they are, not only about their own books, but their readers as well.  Normally I am very shy and try and hide in the background at gatherings of people and find it hard to chat, but they made it so easy and effortless to get involved in conversation.  It was a real pleasure to finally meet Paola who had been my main contact, such a nice lady!

HUGE thanks go to the wonderful staff at Piatkus :

Donna Condon, Senior Editor
Paola Ehrlich, Press Officer
Lucy Icke, Assistant Editor
Sophie Harris, Editorial Assistant
Madeleine Feeney, Publicity Assistant
Joanne Dickinson, Publisher Piatkus/Sphere
Steph Young, Marketing Manager
Kate Webster, Marketing Manager
Emma Beswetherick, Senior Editor

It was lovely to meet fellow bloggers as well, some of whom I had come across on the internet but not spoken to.  It was great to talk about my favourite subject and get different perspectives on things.  We all differed in the genres we read too, some crossover but it seemed we each had a favoured one.  So a shout out and wave to the others that were there :

Sarah – Feeling Fictional
Vivienne – Serendipity
Carolyn – Book Chick City
Ina and Tanya – Murder One Romance Book Club
Ayo Onatade – Shotsblog, Mystery Women
Kirstie Long – Mystery Women

I apologise if I missed anyone off!

Here is a great shot of us all!

Now… Onto the books, oh the lovely books!

We were treated to a great preview presentation of upcoming titles that they were really excited about and in turn, that made me really excited.  My own preferred genres are Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Sci-Fi and Crime and I have to say there were titles in genres I would never normally pick up.  They do sound so fascinating though that I think it might be time to broaden my reading horizons!  I will be doing additional posts over the next few days of the books we were introduced to in the presentation but I can’t end this post without mentioning a couple of my favourites!  Retribution by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Darkness Unbound by Keri Arthur (already reviewed by Tracey!), Lover Unleashed and Envy by J. R. Ward.  I can’t wait!  Seriously!

We were spoiled rotten with food and drink, and I had to try all the different varieties of cupcakes… just to be sure, and also indulged in a couple of beers.  Saying ‘no, I’m fine thanks’ to Donna Condon is impossible 😉  I do have to say I was really surprised that Bookthing had been invited to such a small gathering.  Compared to some of the other blogs, I am pretty small fry being the one person band that I usually am. I was both surprised and humbled to be even on their radar!  I even got told off for being too shy in asking for review copies, and I DID warn them that they should be careful what they wished for 😉  Or would that be what I wished for?

We left the offices to get back for our train and I was sad to go, but we did leave with big smiles and goodie bags that we couldn’t wait to dive in to.  We were given several lovely proof copies of books we’d seen in the presentation and to fix their way into our hearts, a chocolate bar.  Couldn’t have been better!

So I sign off here and apologise for this blog post being so late after the event but as usual life smacks me upside the head just when I don’t want it to!  Better late than never though 🙂





Black and White Giveaway – Results

The Giveaway is now closed and 59 names were placed into a bowl (didn’t have a hat big enough!) My lovely cat Fizz also wanted to ‘help’ but since she has a tendency to run off with scraps of paper, she had to be content with a spare piece.  The Following 7 names were the first to be randomly drawn.

*drum roll*

The winners of Black and White by Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittredge are :

Georgina Ball who wants to stop time so she can take a break at work.
Ruth Tesdale who would like to be able to communicate with animals.
Paul Hewison who would like to stop time so he can stop being late.
Jason Bateman who would like to bound continents in a single hop so he can surf.
Allan who wants to fly.
Vanessa who would also like to fly.
Heather Shaw who would love to be a witch.. and zap people!

Congratulations to you all, you have been notified by email and if you could reply to them with your postal addresses, I can get your books sent out.

Thanks to everyone who entered and sorry you didn’t win this time, check back soon as there will be more giveaways coming up!

Thanks to Piatkus who made this one possible!