Sunday, September 15, 2013

A COLD SEASON: A REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY ENDED 
A COLD SEASON
How Far Will One Mother Go To Save Her Child?
BY ALISON LITTLEWOOD

ABOUT THE BOOK:
It all starts out when Cass, whose husband was lost in the sands of the desert war on terror, seeks a fresh start with her young son Ben in Darnshaw, the remote village where her own family had once been happy.

Once they arrive in Darnshaw, though, Cass finds that they are the only residents of apartments in the renovated old mill and the locals aren’t as friendly as she had hoped. As Ben settles into his new life and school, Cass tries to put aside her unease and finds comfort and companionship in Theodore Remick, the sympathetic substitute teacher who has taken a liking to Ben.  But when Ben begins to display a hostility that is completely unlike his usual gentle nature, Cass begins to despair.

Finally, the blizzards thunder through and Darnshaw is marooned in a sea of snow that prevents Cass from investigating the secrets of the town and its insular inhabitants. Is she just being a guilt-ridden over-protective single mom, or are there some forces greater than even motherly love? Soon Cass finds herself pitted against dark forces she can barely comprehend. The cold season has begun…

A big fan of Stephen King, John Langan, and Peter Straub, whom she has joined on the pages of horror short story anthologies, Littlewood has created a terrifying and memorable novel which Ramsey Campbell, named Britain’s top horror writer by The Oxford Companion to English Literature, describes as: “atmospheric throughout, and disturbing to the end.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
ALISON LITTLEWOOD was raised in Penistone, South Yorkshire, and attended Northumbria University. She planned to study graphic design, but “missed the words too much” and switched to a joint English and history degree. She followed a career in marketing before developing her love of writing fiction.

Littlewood’s short stories have been selected for The Best Horror of the Year and Mammoth Book of Best New Horror anthologies, as well as The Best British Fantasy 2013 and The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime 10. Other publication credits include the anthologies Terror Tales of the CotswoldsWhere Are We Going? and the charity anthology Never Again.

She now lives near Wakefield, West Yorkshire, with her partner Fergus. Her second novel, Path of Needles, in which a fairytale might be the key to horrific crime, has just been released in the UK and will be published by Quercus in the US in 2014.

To learn more about Alison and her work, visit http://www.alisonlittelwood.co.uk/.

PRAISE FOR A COLD SEASON:
“Outstanding…one of the finest debuts published this year.”
—Alan Kelly, This Is Horror
“An utterly gripping, subtle and compelling occult horror story.
This one’s just crying out to be made into a modern Hammer film.
One of the best novels I’ve read all year. I loved it.”
—Gary McMahon, author of The Concrete Grove and Pretty Little Dead Things
“This is a very spooky story…Disturbing.”
Daily Express
“Littlewood’s fiction is set in a world where the possible and the improbable rub shoulders, and strange stuff creeps through the gaps in out of the way places. She is the real deal, a writer with a unique vision.”
—Peter Tennant, The Third Alternative
“An impressive debut novel, I’d say – the sense of unease that’s present from the start builds to a pervasive paranoid uncertainty, and the underlying dread escalates to scenes of real terror. Atmospheric throughout, and disturbing to the end.”
—Ramsey Campbell, Ghosts Know
“Hugely enjoyable – perfect reading for a dark winter’s night.”
The Richard and Judy Book Club
“It’s a dark fantasy with dark designs on our hearts, and I dare say it sets a high watermark for both Alison Littlewood and the genre fiction division her impressive debut heralds.”
—Niall Alexander, The Speculative Scotsman
A Cold Season is an intelligent, sensitive book. Its chills are delivered with precision certainly, but in subtle yet equally terrifying manner it’s the parts that aren’t scary which speak as loudly as the parts that freak you out.”
Spooky Reads
“With some wonderfully observed moments – especially between Cass and Ben – and some solid character building – Bert and his old dog Captain – this drags you in and then pulls the rug out from under your feet. From a shocking moment in the snow, up to the grueling (and startling) climax, this is an excellent book, by a writer assured of her craft and ability and I, for one, can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. Very highly recommended.”
—Mark West, author of The Mill
A scary read that will chill you to the bone.”
Crimesquad
“I thoroughly enjoyed reading A Cold Season, and would highly recommend it to anybody who loves to curl up with a good, creepy thriller on a long, dark winter’s evening.”
—Alan Toner, TheHorrorSite.net

SOME OTHER BOOKS/SHORT STORIES BY ALISON LITTLEWOOD:
                    

                   

                   

MY THOUGHTS/REVIEW:
Alison Littlewood has mastered her craft writing short stories that translate well in her debut novel, A COLD SEASON. With the protagonist, Cass, as the narrator, readers follow her and son Ben as they try to start over following their loss of husband/father Pete who is MIA in Afghanistan. Settling in Darnshaw, Cass’s childhood home, she thinks they will find a friendly, familiar place to put down roots. However, it is quite the opposite especially when a snow storm holds them hostage and the walls seem to close in on them.

Cass and Ben are well developed as Littlewood illustrates in their sharing this new experience. With the only villager to befriend them being the school‘s headmaster, Mr. Remick, Cass starts to see what she thought was a good relationship with Ben start to slowly deteriorate. As the snow storm worsens, so does the bond Cass has with her son. An increasingly sinister change in him creeps into their lives. As it worsens, she realizes that evil is a foot and has gotten hold of Ben and appears to be looking to her next.

A COLD SEASON starts a bit slowly but actually adds to the mounting tempo of the story. The narrative draws you in as the suspense grows with each twist and turn building to an astonishing climax. Alison Littlewood has given readers a delightfully spellbinding tale just in time for the Halloween season.
GIVEAWAY
THANKS TO JEANIE AND THE GOOD FOLKS
AT QUERCUS BOOKS, I HAVE ONE COPY OF
A COLD SEASON TO GIVE AWAY TO ONE
LUCKY FOLLOWER OF MY BLOG
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GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST, SEPTEMBER 21
GOOD LUCK!
A "WISE OWL" SPECIAL GIVEAWAY
(In this case, meaning one that was scheduled before my break from blogging)

28 comments:

debbie said...

This sounds like a book I would really enjoy. I love these kind of horror stories. I would like to see what is happening with her son.
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Sue Farrell said...

Sounds like a well-written book, but horror stories are just not my cup of tea.

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Margie said...

This sounds like an engrossing and exciting story. I don't usually like the Steven King type of novel, but this one sounds interesting. Thanks for the giveaway.
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