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ImageThe story behind the Children of Manson was a way of expressing some of my views about some real life issues as an undertone, while the predominant storyline was horror.

It centres around a university student who is a bit of a social outcast, while another story runs parallel, which involves a much more sinister character. The situations are both building up in their own way, and erupt when their two paths collide, with catastrophic consequences.

I love that there are no limits in any aspect of fiction writing. You can change the world, and the people; you can create and destroy… it is a limitless playground for the imagination. This is something I have begun to explore with this book.

I have very much taken a proactive approach to the promotion of my work, and have my own website, alongside a large social media presence, including Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Please search for The Cathy Stories to find me.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope you enjoy my work.

About the book:

Would you allow an aggressive disease to spread? Would you watch with indifference as it devastated its host? I have a choice. And I, along with my Family, choose to act. Now you may choose. Join us… or die.

Lloyd feels time is short. From his care home he looks out over a world he feels has lost its way. But though concerned he has a plan.

Dee is a troubled university student, who finds it hard to fit in to a new environment. She struggles to make friends, and to come to terms with her sexuality. And then come the reports of the disappearances, and the mutilated bodies appearing around the town. will she get to the bottom of these grisly happenings before it is too late?

Author’s bio:

ImageCatherine Bell is the author of horror e-book The Children of Manson. Her other work includes a collection of short stories, entitled The Sick & Sombre Tales of Sinister Town. Horror is Catherine’s favourite genre, both to read and write, and is always on the lookout for new influences.

Her other hobbies include metal detecting, nail art, and watching/ reviewing horror films.

Feel free to contact Catherine at info@thecathystories.com

Link to author’s website or blog: http://www.thecathystories.com

Link to excerpt: http://thecathystories.com/e-book/the-children-of-manson/

Link to purchase page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Children-of-Manson-ebook/dp/B008SUE38E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366063705&sr=8-1&keywords=the+children+of+manson

 

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Blood Moon.jpg 250 x 375

Book Description

Book II of the Huntress/FBI Thrillers

Twenty-five years have passed since a savage killer terrorized California, massacring three ordinary families before disappearing without a trace.

The haunted child who was the only surviving victim of his rampage is now wanted by the FBI for brutal crimes of her own, and Special Agent Matthew Roarke is on an interstate manhunt for her, despite his conflicted sympathies for her history and motives.

But when his search for her unearths evidence of new family slayings, the dangerous woman Roarke seeks – and wants – may be his only hope of preventing another bloodbath.

Purchase BLOOD MOON

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon DE

My thoughts…

This novel was a hell of a ride. Sokoloff has a gift for creating engrossing plots and heart-racing thrillers. I read the first book in the series, Huntress Moon, and although I loved that first instalment, this second one was even better.

First of all, the whole thing about the female serial killer–actually, a vigilante–is quite compelling, especially because our protagonist, Roarke, develops torn, conflicting feelings toward her. And we can’t help but do the same! Sokoloff has done her research well and she incorporates lots of information about the mind of the serial killer. She does this skillfully, however, without including long information dumps like some other authors do. Roarke is a sympathetic hero with a high sense of honor and justice. There are lots of twists and turns, yet the story evolves organically, with the right balance of quiet moments between the thrills. Lots of atmosphere, lots of interesting setups.

If you haven’t read Sokoloff’s novels yet, I highly recommend you do. She’s one of my favorite authors these days and her stories never disappoint. One more thing, although Moon Blood is the 2nd one in the series, it holds well as a stand-alone book, as the author incorporates bits of backstory here and there to quickly draw readers right into the central plot of the series. In sum, if you’re a fan of suspense and thrillers, I strongly recommend you pick this one up. You won’t be disappointed.

Read my interview with Alexandra Sokoloff HERE.

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It’s a thrill to have here Alexandra Sokoloff as my guest today, not only because her books are awesome, but because she happens to be one of my favorite writers. Needless to say, I’ve read all of her books.

Alexandra is the Thriller Award-winning and Bram Stoker, Anthony, and Black Quill award-nominated author of multiple supernatural thrillers, and the Top Ten Amazon bestselling Huntress/FBI thriller series (Huntress Moon, Blood  Moon), which has also been nominated for a Thriller Award for Best E Book Original Novel.

alexs-bw-200The New York Times Book Review has called her a “daughter of Mary Shelley,” and her books “some of the most original and freshly unnerving work in the genre.”

As a screenwriter, Alexandra she has sold original horror and thriller scripts and adapted novels for numerous Hollywood studios. She has also written two non-fiction writing workbooks: SCREENWRITING TRICKS FOR AUTHORS (highly recommended, by the way!) and WRITING LOVE, based on her internationally acclaimed workshops and blog, and has served on the Board of Directors of the WGA, west and the Board of the Mystery Writers of America.  

Find the author: her websiteblog, on Facebook Twitter andPinterest.

Q: Hi there, Alexandra. Thanks for stopping by The Dark Phantom. Tell us why readers should buy BLOOD MOON.

A: If you’re at all interested in unusual psychological crime thrillers, this one will probably grab you. The main character is an FBI agent who is on the trail of what looks like a female serial killer, which Agent Roarke knows very well doesn’t occur in real life.  So there’s a real psychological mystery about who this female killer is and why she does what she does. Readers find their expectations challenged and their sympathies conflicted, just as Roarke does.

Q: What makes a good thriller?

A: I think different people are looking for different things in thrillers. There’s such a wide variety of experiences and sensations available from different books in the genre. Personally I am bored senseless by car chases and gun battles and international intrigue. What I love in a thriller is nail-biting suspense and psychological game playing and sexual tension and mystery and moral dilemmas and twists. So that’s the kind of thing I write, of course!

Q: What is a regular writing day like for you?

A: I start by seven or eight a.m. and write for seven or eight hours a day, much more if I’m on an intense deadline. Some of those hours are business, of course. But I’m a full-time writer, I treat it like a job because it IS my job.  One thing that is not like a regular job is that I change clothes a lot during the day.  Some days I am quite dressed up. I need to entertain myself some way other than eating!

Q: What do you find most rewarding about being an author?

A: Without question, having readers read my books and experience the world and the characters just as if they’re caught up in a film. And then being able to dialogue with them about the story and characters and their experience of the story. It’s such an intimate relationship. Incomparable.

Q: What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received that you’d like to pass to other authors?

A: For aspiring authors, “Find a small room in a big city and sit down at your desk in front of the window. When you stand up ten years later, you will be a writer.” That’s from Saroyan.

And for authors in general, “E-publish.”  It’s more complicated than that, of course, but you asked for the best advice!

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Blood Moon.jpg 250 x 375

Book II of the Huntress/FBI Thrillers

Twenty-five years have passed since a savage killer terrorized California, massacring three ordinary families before disappearing without a trace.

The haunted child who was the only surviving victim of his rampage is now wanted by the FBI for brutal crimes of her own, and Special Agent Matthew Roarke is on an interstate manhunt for her, despite his conflicted sympathies for her history and motives.

But when his search for her unearths evidence of new family slayings, the dangerous woman Roarke seeks – and wants – may be his only hope of preventing another bloodbath.

Purchase BLOOD MOON

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon DE

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R. Barri Flowers is an award winning criminologist and internationally bestselling author of more than sixty books–including thriller and suspense fiction, relationship fiction, young adult mysteries, true crime, and criminology titles.

Bestselling mystery and thriller fiction, including SEDUCED TO KILL IN KAUAI, MURDER IN MAUI, MURDER IN HONOLULU, KILLER IN THE WOODS, DARK STREETS OF WHITECHAPEL, STATE’S EVIDENCE, PERSUASIVE EVIDENCE, and JUSTICE SERVED.

Author Photo R Barri FlowersOther novels by the author include the bestselling relationship novel, FOREVER SWEETHEARTS, and young adult novels, COUNT DRACULA’S TEENAGE DAUGHTER, GHOST GIRL IN SHADOW BAY, and DANGER IN TIME.

Flowers has also written a number of bestselling true crime books, including THE SEX SLAVE MURDERS, THE PICKAXE KILLERS, SERIAL KILLER COUPLES and MASS MURDER IN THE SKY. He was editor as well of the bestselling anthology, MASTERS OF TRUE CRIME.

The author has been interviewed on the Biography Channel and Investigation Discovery.

Official Website: http://www.rbarriflowers.com/

Q: Tell us why readers should buy BEFORE HE KILLS AGAIN: A Veronica Vasquez Thriller.

A: BEFORE HE KILLS AGAIN is a crime thriller written by an award winning criminologist and bestselling author of such true crime books as THE SEX SLAVE MURDERS and thriller fiction, including MURDER IN MAUI and DARK STREETS OF WHITECHAPEL.

This book is about an FBI profiler and criminal psychologist who returns to her hometown of Portland, Oregon, to assist the police in tracking down a serial killer, who murders beautiful women in pairs.

As someone who has written extensively about real life serial killers, BEFORE HE KILLS AGAIN brings verisimilitude to the perpetrator and his psyche as he pushes the boundaries in handpicking his victims.

For readers who love thriller fiction where the villain is a frightening serial killer who matches wits with the beautiful protagonist and homicide detectives on the case—or are fans of TV series such as Criminal Minds, Dexter, and Hannibal-– this is a novel you are sure to enjoy.

Q: What makes a good thriller novel?

A: A good thriller novel is one in which there is a constant sense of danger and a suspenseful whodunit, with three dimensional characters who bring you along for the ride as they converge for a heart pounding conclusion.

Within this regard, the thriller should also convey a strong plot with smart twists and turns and deft pacing that will allow the story to play itself out while keeping the reader thoroughly engaged.

Some great thrillers that come to mind include Robert Ludlum’s The Aquitaine Progression and John Grisham’s The Pelican Brief. I believe that BEFORE HE STRIKES AGAIN also fits in this category.

Q: What is a regular writing day like for you?

A: A regular writing day for me involves getting up at 6 a.m. and heading to my computer at 7 a.m. (after an hour of working out and having breakfast)—where I spend the next five hours writing and rewriting my latest book.

After a noontime lunch and chores, I am back at it by 1 p.m., where I go at it on computer till 5 p.m. (sometimes 6 p.m., if really on a roll), typing away in faithfully sticking to the plot in my head.

I call it quits for the night after that and am back in the grind the next day.

This is a routine I follow seven days a week. I am the type of writer who is not easily distracted by other things—understanding that I get out as much as I put in as an author.

Q: What do you find most rewarding about being an author?

A:  What is most rewarding to me as an author is being able to successfully write in multiple genres (thriller, true crime, young adult mysteries, and criminology). As such, I have fans in these different genes, giving me a good reason to try and keep up with them in bringing out fresh material they can take pleasure in reading.

Aside from that, I enjoy the camaraderie with other authors, having found some great friends over the years to seek advice and words of wisdom from while returning in kind.

Q: What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received that you’d like to pass to other authors?

A: That’s a great question. Hmm… I’d have to say that the best writing advice I’ve ever received and have passed along to other authors came from a bestselling crime writer who told me when I first got started: “The thing that separates serious writers from those who aren’t in it for the long haul is the ability to shake off rejections and look at as constructive criticism rather than personal attacks—making yourself a better writer in the process with each rejection letter.”

Definitely words to live by for any writer willing to work at it to hone your craft till you get where you’re going in finding success in the business.

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Before He Kills Again_Cover

Book Description:

From R. Barri Flowers, award winning crime writer and international bestselling author of Dark Streets of Whitechapel and Killer in The Woods, comes a gripping new psychological thriller, Before He Kills Again: A Veronica Vasquez Thriller.

FBI psychologist and criminal profiler Veronica Vasquez returns to her hometown of Portland, Oregon to assist police in apprehending a ruthless serial killer dubbed “The Rose Killer,” who kills beautiful women in pairs, leaving a rose on top of each corpse.

Heading the investigation is homicide Detective Sergeant Bryan Waldicott. Veronica must win him over, along with the entire task force, and prove herself worthy of the job. Since losing her husband three years ago, Veronica had been focused on her work to escape the pain of loneliness and separation. A romance with Waldicott, who has issues of his own, complicates things for them both as they try to stop a serial murderer before he kills again.

When she begins to suspect that the new husband of her estranged sister Alexandra could be the killer, Veronica pursues that delicate angle and, in the process, becomes a target herself.

Before He Kills Again is tense thriller that will keep readers on edge till the very end.

 Purchase:

Amazon Trade Paperback / Kindle /Kindle UK / Kindle CA / Barnes and Noble Nook eBook / Smashwords / Kobo

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Before He Kills Again_CoverBook Description:

From R. Barri Flowers, award winning crime writer and international bestselling author of Dark Streets of Whitechapel and Killer in The Woods, comes a gripping new psychological thriller, Before He Kills Again: A Veronica Vasquez Thriller.

FBI psychologist and criminal profiler Veronica Vasquez returns to her hometown of Portland, Oregon to assist police in apprehending a ruthless serial killer dubbed “The Rose Killer,” who kills beautiful women in pairs, leaving a rose on top of each corpse.

Heading the investigation is homicide Detective Sergeant Bryan Waldicott. Veronica must win him over, along with the entire task force, and prove herself worthy of the job. Since losing her husband three years ago, Veronica had been focused on her work to escape the pain of loneliness and separation. A romance with Waldicott, who has issues of his own, complicates things for them both as they try to stop a serial murderer before he kills again.

When she begins to suspect that the new husband of her estranged sister Alexandra could be the killer, Veronica pursues that delicate angle and, in the process, becomes a target herself.

Before He Kills Again is tense thriller that will keep readers on edge till the very end.

My thoughts:

Before He Kills Again is indeed  a very entertaining read, one of those suspense thrillers that will keep you turning pages late into the night. At least, this was my case. I finished it in 2-3 days, as I couldn’t put it down. The heroine, criminal psychologist and FBI profiler Veronica Vasquez, is a sympathetic character, smart and independent but with a gentle side. I found all the information about serial killers fascinating, and thoroughly enjoyed all the setups, twists and red herrings devised by the author. Just when you think you know who the killer is, something happens to deter you from suspecting. The love story between Veronica and Homicide detective Bryan Waldicott  adds some spice without getting in the way of the mystery. The novel does have some graphic violent scenes, so if you’re squeamish about this sort of thing, be warned.

If you’re a fan of thrillers about serial killers, you should pick this one up!

Purchase:

Amazon Trade Paperback / Kindle /Kindle UK / Kindle CA / Barnes and Noble Nook eBook / Smashwords / Kobo

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Pic_8_-_Die_in_Paris_ebook_cover (1)Full Name: Marylin Z Tomlins
Title: Die in Paris: the true story of France’s most notorious serial killer
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN-10:
 1482752808
Genre: Serial Killer/War/France

Review by guest reviewer Susan Keefe

Wartime Paris and the life of a serial killer.
When we think of the war years, our focus tends to be with the horrors of wartime battles, and it is easy to forget that for ordinary people in occupied lands other crimes still happened.
In Paris, under occupation, the French people remained strong. Their ability to keep quiet and forget incidents when convenient was very necessary, and the resistance managed to save many thousands of people because of this. However, under this cloak of secrecy, other crimes were committed, but none as horrendous as the mass murders committed by Dr. Marcel Petiot even now France’s most notorious serial killer.
This book is a thoroughly researched and an interesting study into the life of this serial killer. In its pages, we discover the making of the man, his relationships, and how he evolved into the cold, callous monster he became.
The detailed descriptions of life in Paris at this time and the thoughts and lives of its people make it a fascinating read for anyone with a love of wartime history.
In conclusion, this book makes you yearn to be able to wander down those same streets now, look at the locations and imagine being there then, stepping into the scenes which the author has so clearly laid before you.
 

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