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Guest Blog by Simone St. James - Some of my Top Scary Reads - October 31, 2012

Please welcome Simone St. James to The Qwillery! Simone is sharing some of the books that scare her! Happy Halloween!!


Guest Blog by Simone St. James - Some of my Top Scary Reads - October 31, 2012


Some of My Top Scary Reads

This is the time of year for a lot of things – pumpkin spice, the smell of leaves, and, apparently, major hurricane monster-storms – but mostly, for me, it’s the time of year for reading scary books.

In honor of the season, here are some of my top scary reads:

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill. There is just no contest on this one – I have lost count of how many times I’ve read it, and it never fails to scare the absolute bejabbers out of me. A lean, tiny little novel, with nothing between the pages but pure scariness. Apparently Susan Hill’s assistant couldn’t be home alone while she was typing the manuscript, and I don’t blame her one bit. (Also: The movie, starring Daniel Radcliffe, was completely awesome.)

Guest Blog by Simone St. James - Some of my Top Scary Reads - October 31, 2012


Bag of Bones by Stephen King. King is my favorite writer, so it’s impossible to choose a favorite. Still, he doesn’t often write pure ghost stories like this one. It’s creepy – the basement, the fridge magnets, oh my god – but it’s also sad, and there is an event near the end that, were I ever to meet Mr. King, would cause me to have words with him. None of that stops me from reading this book over and over. It’s an overlooked classic.

Guest Blog by Simone St. James - Some of my Top Scary Reads - October 31, 2012


The Terror by Dan Simmons. Unlike the other books on this list, I admit that I have read this one only once, and have spent quite a bit of time ramping up the gumption to read it again. Simmons took the real history of the infamous Franklin expedition in the 1800’s – which vanished, scarily enough – and made it even more frightening. I’m not going to tell you how; I’ll just warn you that this is one terrifying book. It’s sitting on my shelf right now, staring at me, daring me to pick it up again.

Guest Blog by Simone St. James - Some of my Top Scary Reads - October 31, 2012


Dracula by Bram Stoker. “The sight seemed to paralyse me, and the shovel turned in my hand and glanced from the face, merely making a deep gash above the forehead. The shovel fell from my hand across the box, and as I pulled it away the flange of the blade caught the edge of the lid, which fell over again, and hid the horrid thing from my sight. The last glimpse I had was of the bloated face, bloodstained and fixed with a grin of malice which would have held its own in the nethermost hell.”
Yeah, that’s why.

Guest Blog by Simone St. James - Some of my Top Scary Reads - October 31, 2012


Special mentions – books I haven’t read:

It by Stephen King. I think this is the only King book I’ve never read, and I’m finally going to rectify this oversight. I plan to read it this winter.

Guest Blog by Simone St. James - Some of my Top Scary Reads - October 31, 2012


The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. I’m not sure how this series slipped past me, but for some reason I’ve never read it. Also going to be rectified this winter.

Guest Blog by Simone St. James - Some of my Top Scary Reads - October 31, 2012


The Farm by Emily McKay. Another YA, this one will be released on December 4 – about teens after the vampire apocalypse. YA is just a goldmine of good stories these days, and I can’t wait for this one.

Guest Blog by Simone St. James - Some of my Top Scary Reads - October 31, 2012


Your turn. What is your favorite scary read? What do you recommend I pick up – immediately?? I have a long, cold, dark season to fill up with great scary reads!




Novels by Simone St. James

The Haunting of Maddy Clare
NAL, March 6, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Guest Blog by Simone St. James - Some of my Top Scary Reads - October 31, 2012
Sarah Piper's lonely, threadbare existence changes when her temporary agency sends her to assist a ghost hunter. Alistair Gellis-rich, handsome, scarred by World War I, and obsessed with ghosts- has been summoned to investigate the spirit of nineteen-year-old maid Maddy Clare, who is haunting the barn where she committed suicide. Since Maddy hated men in life, it is Sarah's task to confront her in death. Soon Sarah is caught up in a deperate struggle. For Maddy's ghost is real, she's angry, and she has powers that defy all reason. Can Sarah and Alistair's assistant, the rough, unsettling Matthew Ryder, discover who Maddy was, whereshe came from, and what is driving her desire for vengeance-before she destroys them all?


An Inquiry into Love and Death
NAL Trade, March 5, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

Guest Blog by Simone St. James - Some of my Top Scary Reads - October 31, 2012
In 1920's England, a young woman searches for the truth behind her uncle’s mysterious death in a town haunted by a restless ghost…

Oxford student Jillian Leigh works day and night to keep up with her studies—so to leave at the beginning of the term is next to impossible. But after her uncle Toby, a renowned ghost hunter, is killed in a fall off a cliff, she must drive to the seaside village of Rothewell to pack up his belongings.

Almost immediately, unsettling incidents—a book left in a cold stove, a gate swinging open on its own—escalate into terrifying events that convince Jillian an angry spirit is trying to enter the house. Is it Walking John, the two-hundred-year-old ghost who haunts Blood Moon Bay? And who beside the ghost is roaming the local woods at night? If Toby uncovered something sinister, was his death no accident?

The arrival of handsome Scotland Yard inspector Drew Merriken, a former RAF pilot with mysteries of his own, leaves Jillian with more questions than answers—and with the added complication of a powerful, mutual attraction. Even as she suspects someone will do anything to hide the truth, she begins to discover spine-chilling secrets that lie deep within Rothewell…and at the very heart of who she is.




About Simone

Guest Blog by Simone St. James - Some of my Top Scary Reads - October 31, 2012
Adam Hunter
Simone St. James wrote her first ghost story, about a haunted library, when she was in high school. Unaware that real people actually became writers, she pursued a career behind the scenes in the television business. She lives just outside Toronto, Canada, where she writes in her spare time and lives with her husband and three spoiled cats.

Website
Facebook
Twitter












THE GIVEAWAY

What:  One commenter will win a copy of The Haunting of Maddy Clare and another commenter will win an ARC of An Inquiry into Love and Death from Simone! US/CANADA ONLY

How:   Answer Simone's questions:

What is your favorite scary read? What do you recommend I pick up – immediately??

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

There are a total of 3 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry) and Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry).  This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook or Twitter mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a US or Canadian mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, November 7, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Interview with Simone St. James - March 24, 2012

Please welcome Simone St. James to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Haunting of Maddy Clare, Simone's debut, was published on March 6, 2012.


TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Simone:  Probably that I do a lot of my first draft longhand in a spiral notebook. It's how I trick my writing brain into thinking I'm "not really writing" - I'm just making notes, see? Not really writing at all. Once I get a good handle on the story, I move to the computer and start typing.

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Simone:  I have too many favorite writers to name! To start, I'll name Mary Stewart, Stephen King, Laura Kinsale, George R. R. Martin, Susanna Kearsley, Michael Connelly, Deanna Raybourn, and Harper Lee. How's that for diversity!

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Simone:  I'm a pantser, but I'd like to learn to be a plotter for sure.

TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Simone:  Writing to a deadline has been a learning curve - as an unpublished writer, you can make as many excuses as you want. Making regular, productive time to write has been a challenge, and I work hard at it.

TQ:  Describe The Haunting of Maddy Clare in 140 characters or less.

Simone:  Temp girl gets assigned to be a ghost hunter's assistant - and stumbles on a mystery and a romance.

TQ:  What inspired you to write The Haunting of Maddy Clare?

Simone:  My wish, as a reader, to find a creepy ghost story that also had a good romance in it. It's just really the book I want to read, and I couldn't find it, so I wrote it.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for The Haunting of Maddy Clare?

Simone:  I've always been a history buff, and the 1920's is one of my favorite eras, so I already knew a lot about it. I did buff up on the technology of the era, including Alistair's recording machine. I also read up in depth about World War I and its effect on soldiers.

TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

Simone:  Sarah was the easiest, because as I wrote I just slipped into her shoes. I always knew her very well from page 1. The hardest was probably Matthew, because he's anything but an open book, and you only see him through Sarah's eyes.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in The Haunting of Maddy Clare?

Simone:  I do love the scene where Sarah first meets Matthew, when he bursts into the room. I also love the scene in which she sees his scars by mistake - that scene is almost exactly as I drafted it the first time, it wrote itself so perfectly.

TQ:  What's next?

Simone:  My next book, coming March 2013, is called An Inquiry Into Love and Death. It's another 1920s ghost story featuring a new set of characters. I can't wait for readers to get their hands on it!

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Simone:  Thank you Sally!


About The Haunting of Maddy Clare

The Haunting of Maddy Clare
NAL, March 6, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Interview with Simone St. James - March 24, 2012
Sarah Piper's lonely, threadbare existence changes when her temporary agency sends her to assist a ghost hunter. Alistair Gellis-rich, handsome, scarred by World War I, and obsessed with ghosts- has been summoned to investigate the spirit of nineteen-year-old maid Maddy Clare, who is haunting the barn where she committed suicide. Since Maddy hated men in life, it is Sarah's task to confront her in death. Soon Sarah is caught up in a deperate struggle. For Maddy's ghost is real, she's angry, and she has powers that defy all reason. Can Sarah and Alistair's assistant, the rough, unsettling Matthew Ryder, discover who Maddy was, whereshe came from, and what is driving her desire for vengeance-before she destroys them all?


About Simone

Interview with Simone St. James - March 24, 2012
Adam Hunter
Simone St. James wrote her first ghost story, about a haunted library, when she was in high school. Unaware that real people actually became writers, she pursued a career behind the scenes in the television business. She lives just outside Toronto, Canada, where she writes in her spare time and lives with her husband and three spoiled cats.

Website
Facebook
Twitter

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James

While reviewing the book list for this month, I found that I'd missed a March debut! I'm happy to announce that I will have an interview with Simone St. James later this month and her novel is included in the 2012 Debut Author Challenge.


The Haunting of Maddy Clare
Author:  Simone St. James
Format:  Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Publisher:  NAL (March 6, 2012)
Price:  $14.00
Language:  English
Genre:  Historical/Ghost Story
ISBN:  9780451235688

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James
Sarah Piper's lonely, threadbare existence changes when her temporary agency sends her to assist a ghost hunter. Alistair Gellis-rich, handsome, scarred by World War I, and obsessed with ghosts- has been summoned to investigate the spirit of nineteen-year-old maid Maddy Clare, who is haunting the barn where she committed suicide. Since Maddy hated men in life, it is Sarah's task to confront her in death. Soon Sarah is caught up in a deperate struggle. For Maddy's ghost is real, she's angry, and she has powers that defy all reason. Can Sarah and Alistair's assistant, the rough, unsettling Matthew Ryder, discover who Maddy was, whereshe came from, and what is driving her desire for vengeance-before she destroys them all?


2012 Debut Author Challenge - March 2012 Debuts post has also been updated.
Guest Blog by Simone St. James - Some of my Top Scary Reads - October 31, 2012Interview with Simone St. James - March 24, 20122012 Debut Author Challenge Update - The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James

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