Book Review: The Fog by Caroline B. Cooney (Chilling)

I had to take a picture of my own copy of The Fog since I couldn’t find this cover anywhere online. It’s a bit battered but it first belonged to my older sis, Lucy, before I “borrowed” it a couple of decades back and forgot to give it back!

the fog

Christina is 13 years old. She’s an island child, excited to leave for the mainland, a small town in Maine, to start high school. Her older island friends, Anya, Michael and Benj warn her that the town kids will tease and mock her island ways. They tell her not to “yarn”. What they don’t prepare her for are the Shevvingtons. The high school principal with his strangely hypnotic but mocking eyes, and his ghastly wife with the tiny, yellow teeth and a cruel grin. Christina can hold her own against kids her own age, but how can she protect herself and Anya from the twisted nature of the man and woman they’re forced to board with all year, the same couple who run the high school?

A growing sense of dread and wondering how Christina would keep going in the face of such evil kept me turning the pages. I finished The Fog in two sittings, this time round. I first read this twenty or more years ago as a child. The first few pages brought it all back: the lonely imagery of the island, the harshness of the cruel sea lashing violently against the rocks, Christina’s isolation in the big house on Candle Cove, the feeling of powerlessness against those older and in authority, the despair that no grown ups will help or even believe her claims.

Christina is a force to be reckoned with. She is granite, unable to be broken, unlike Anya who doesn’t have half her strength or cop on. Christina is tough and resilient but achingly lonely.

One aspect I didn’t exactly get was that while Christina blames the Shevvingtons  for Anya’s rapid descent into insanity, Anya is actually acting on the strange side from the moment we meet her at home on her island, dreamily rambling about the sea wanting its next victim. I wonder if the rest of the books in the series will explain this.

I read many Caroline B. Cooney horror books as a kid. She’s an excellent writer. Though marketed as a teen book, I still found this story to be a chilling read. This is how young adult horror books should be written.

Key Points

  • Growing dread
  • The powerlessness of children against evil adults
  • The horror that no adult will believe, not even your own parents
  • The violence and power of the sea
  • Imagery of solitude, rock, granite, island, loneliness but also strength. Christina is alone but she is steely.

You won’t find ghosts or anything supernatural lurking here (unless you count the tales of the sea captain’s wife who threw herself from the roof of the Schooner Inne and is said to haunt Candle Cove), but this is a horror book.The evil here is of the human variety, the abuse of children while in the care of adults. Christina’s story is frightening and disturbing.

I never did find out what became of her and Anya and the rest when I was a kid, but this time I’m going to track down the rest of the trilogy. These books seem to be out of print so it’s off to ebay or Amazon I must go.

Add it on Goodreads.


Can you remember a book or story from your childhood that frightened you?


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#Free Read: Solstice Island by Mae Clair

Looking for your last, lazy, summer’s day read? Then I’ve got a treat for you.

End of Summer Sale: Solstice Island by Mae Clair is FREE 8/31 and 9/1
#cryptidfiction #romance #adventure

Solstice Island Final

I read this one myself when it was first released. My review from Goodreads:

“I want to be a cryptozoologist. It would definitely beat the day job. Solstice Island is the perfect summer’s day beach read. It’s light, fast-paced and romantic with a healthy dollop of mythology. The vivid descriptions of the cavern beneath the island put me right there beside Rylie and Daniel on their adventure. A charming read”

Let’s hear what Mae has to say.


I know summer isn’t officially over until the autumnal equinox rolls around mid-September, but by the time the calendar reads August 31, I’m already thinking fall. My husband and I will be closing our pool this coming weekend, Halloween stuff is stocked in most every store I visit, and the days are growing noticeably shorter. I live in the northeast where summer is much, much too short. Blink and it’s easy to miss. I love fall, but I thrive on summer. So…I’m lamenting the demise of my favorite season with an end of summer sale on SOLSTICE ISLAND, my breezy romantic adventure novella.

Why should you read it (other than the fact it’s like a shot of summer wrapped up inside Kindle pages)? I’m glad you asked. :)

The Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Read Solstice Island by Mae Clair:

10. You’ll meet a hot charter boat captain trying to live down his family legacy.
9. You’ll encounter a spunky heroine cryptozoologist, determined hot captain should embrace said family legacy and all the baggage that goes with it.
8. You’ll be able to impress your friends with your stunning new knowledge of cryptozoology.
7. You may find yourself struck by the uncontrollable urge to look up blurry images of strange creatures online or go on a cryptid hunt (think Loch Ness, Big Foot, and the Jersey Devil).
6. You’ll learn why you should never ignore a craving for mint chocolate chip ice cream.
5. The next time your boat is attacked by a rampaging sea monster, you’ll know precisely what to do.
4. You’ll be swept up in a tale of romance, adventure, and folklore.
3. You’ll uncover buried treasure, thwart a villain, and discover a new use for a boat oar.
2. As a 72 page novella, SOLSTICE ISLAND makes a quick end of summer read.

And the number one reason you should read SOLSTICE ISLAND:

1. It’s FREE on Amazon August 31 and September 1!

Solstice Island Final


Can an ancient leviathan work magic between a practical man and an idealistic woman?

Rylie Carswell is an amateur cryptozoologist in search of a mythical creature, the Sea Goliath. In order to reach Solstice Island, a location the ancient leviathan is rumored to haunt, she’s forced to hire charter boat captain, Daniel Decatur.

Initially, Daniel wants nothing to do with the trip or the fool woman waving double payment in his face. Convinced she’s yet another loony treasure hunter looking for gold on the remote island, he reluctantly agrees. An embittered neighbor wants to have his charter license yanked, so the extra cash will help him stay afloat.

It doesn’t take long for Daniel to realize Rylie is after the same beast his parents were tracking when they mysteriously vanished ten years earlier. He’s avoided all links to cryptozoology ever since, but the smart and sexy cryptid hunter has him second-guessing his oath and wondering what he’s signed on for.

Warning: A family legacy, glowing plankton and rough waters.

Mae ClairAbout Mae Clair:
Mae Clair has been chasing myth, monsters and folklore through research and reading since she was a kid. As an adult, she stumbled onto the field of cryptozoology and realized there were others like her who loved speculating about weird and wonderful creatures.

Her blog, From the Pen of Mae Clair, features a weekly post each Monday where she examines a different myth or urban legend. In 2013 and 2015, she journeyed to West Virginia to learn more about the legendary Mothman, a creature who will factor into an upcoming series of novels.

As a writer, she pens tales of romantic mystery flavored with a twist of myth or folklore. Married to her high school sweetheart, Mae lives in Pennsylvania. Her passions include cats, history and exploring old graveyards. Look for Mae on her website at

You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:
Website and Blog
Twitter (@MaeClair1)
Facebook Author Page
Amazon Author Page
Sign up for Mae’s Newsletter

Download SOLSTICE ISLAND Free from:

Add SOLSTICE ISLAND to your Goodreads TBR


Good luck, Mae.


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Song of the Summer – “Shut Up and Dance”

The summer here in Ireland has been fairly miserable. With grey skies and plenty of rain, July felt more like November. We finally got some sunshine this week so I made the most of my lunch breaks, lounging in the garden with a book and cold drink.

The song that’s gotten me up and dancing and feeling good this summer is “Shut Up and Dance ” by Walk the Moon. When I first heard it, I thought it was an 80’s tune I somehow had never heard before. Then I saw the video and fell in love with the tribute to that decade.

Have you heard this one and seen the video?

It’s just so happy and carefree, I adore the melody, lyrics and video. Makes me look forward to the next 80’s night I attend.

What songs have got you feeling summery this year?


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Cover Reveal: Needs of an Incubus by Ashley Ehlers

TGIF Friday, eh!

A while back, Ashley Ehlers shared her cover for Wants of An Incubus here on this blog.

Wants of an Incubus

She’s back with the sequel to Annabelle’s story, Needs of an Incubus (Annabelle’s Erotic Nightmare #2).

 Good luck, Ashley! I love the wispy font style.


Needs of an Incubus (Annabelle’s Erotic Nightmare #2) by Ashley Ehlers

Publication Date: August 14th, 2015

Genre: New Adult Fantasy Romance

 Needs of an Incubus600x900

Summary from Goodreads:

Henry is back and Annabelle couldn’t be happier, especially since it’s her chance to get away from her witch of a mother. But it isn’t long before the nightmares begin again. This time it’s more real than the first time, causing her to have no choice but to tell Henry everything that’s happened before he got there.

Awakening from her latest nightmare she finds yet another branding on her forehead. But this time it’s different, it’s green. The need to find out more leads them to a mental hospital for women where she finds someone that resembles closely to her, to her parent’s house where she finds out more than she wants to, and to an old woman that might actually be able to help them.

However, before she can end this nightmare she gets kidnapped by a group of women that only want one thing- their sister back. And the only person who can give them what they want is her mom- her real mother.

Annabelle’s nightmare isn’t over just yet and with the help of her boyfriend maybe, just maybe she’ll be able to finally move forward from this.

Readers 18+ for sexual content



Pre-order- here


 About Ashley

Author photoNewly married Ashley Ehlers now resides in San Diego with her husband who is currently stationed there. There in their cozy two bedroom apartment she finds the peace she’s been looking for. As they settle into the new chapters of their lives Ashley’s Muses are growing stronger than ever as inspiration is around every corner in her latest adventure.


Find Ashley online at:







If you’d like to sign up for an ARC, go here.

Or help out with the release, go here.


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Writing, Travel and Television

Well, let’s see. I’ve started again. For a long while there I was struggling, and to be honest, I still am. I was on a roll in 2011, 2012 and some of 2013, and then I got stuck. I thought writer’s block was just another name for laziness, but now I’m not so sure. 2014 saw me dabbling with short stories, attempting to write a closing story for James and Erin from Under the Desert Moon, and drafting a few ideas for erotica stories written under a pen name.

I’ve started a new paranormal story set in New Orleans, and for the first time have attempted to plot out a proper three act structure for it. Me and plotting and outlining don’t normally mix well together. For now, that story is for my own amusement, but I shall see how it comes together…

utdm title

I’m re-releasing Under the Desert Moon later this year, and just got the new cover artwork done for that, so I look forward to sharing that with you in due course.



london collage
I enjoyed a short break to Edinburgh in January and got away for the May long weekend to London. It was lovely to catch up with friends from school and college. I’ll be heading back to the UK next week, one week on a trip split between London and Bristol where I can do all the touristy things I’ve been meaning to do over the past several years. Visiting Highgate Cemetery is top of my list. Have a look at some images of this stunning cemetery. I read By Midnight and loved the imagery in it. Audrey Niffenegger (author of The Time Traveler’s Wife) also worked as tour guide there while she was writing Her Fearful Symmetry.

Wayward Pines has me gripped at the moment. I was worried after the first few episodes that the writers weren’t going to give any sort of explanation, and I’d be going to the books to find out what the frickin’ hell was going on in that weird little town with its creepy rules – Do not discuss the past. Do not discuss your life before. Always answer the phone, among others.

I also caught the finale episode of The Vampire Diaries, which was Nina Dobrev’s final episode. Personally, I found it to be a beautiful ending to Elena Gilbert’s journey. I was surprised to find myself quite emotional and experiencing a bittersweet sadness. The Vampire Diaries hasn’t affected me like that in years.

I’ve written previously how with the arrival of season four, what was once my favourite TV show barely kept me coming back week after week. But I stuck with it and after the lacklustre fourth and fifth seasons, something about season six made me enjoy the characters and stories of Mystic Falls once again. Yes, the dance with Damon in the finale was on the cringe-worthy side, but since he and Elena are not going to get to dance again for another lifetime, we can let that go. The fade to black followed by the changing of the seasons inside the tomb where Elena’s coffin rests almost sent me over the edge into full on break down crying. It was truly moving.

Lastly on the TV show front, I have to mention Sense8. The Matrix team are behind this. I called the show a “hot mess” on Twitter and mentioned how the scene of each character singing “What’s Up” together, despite the fact they’re countries apart and have never met was utterly joyous. Billed as a sci-fi show, I’ve found it to be a character study with a bigger look at what’s going on in this crazy, fucked up world we live in. Lots of people are going to see it as being a bit all over the map (it is) and gratuitous (possibly), but for me, I fell in love with the characters and it’s the show of the summer. I also squealed when I realised Max Riemelt was in it. I found him a few years back in the German vampire film We Are the Night. My review of that is here.


So that’s a little of what I’ve been up to. How about you? Any TV shows you think I should check out this summer? I’d love to hear from readers of this blog.


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