Friday 29 January 2010

Short story comp' a signed first edition hardback copy of Matt Hilton's SLASH AND BURN...

The top three 'action thriller' style stories chosen by Matt will be published on his blog and also on Thrillers, Killers 'n' Chillers, then readers decide winner by voting.

Click the title above for more details.

Sunday 24 January 2010

Can a mate truly review his mate's book? Matt Hilton's Judgement & Wrath - my take...

I reviewed my good mate Matt Hilton's debut novel, Dead Men's Dust, on Amazon and received criticism from one guy in particular who pointed out Matt and I are mates (what a bombshell - he must be good at Cluedo!). We're intrinsically linked for all to see over at TKnC for God's sake!

I wrote the review in my full name and never hid the fact we are mates (it never crossed my mind as I was speaking from the heart), so I guess in hindsight I was on a hiding to nothing. I don't quite get that Amazon thing where many people go to the trouble of slagging off hard-working authors under the pretentious premise of: 'just letting my fellow readers know so they don't waste their money.'

Well, one thing's for sure...your money's in safe hands with Judgement & Wrath...

From the outset I felt JAW was an improvement on DMD, which is no detriment to Matt's debut as I thoroughly enjoyed it. JAW's basic plot is ex-Special Forces Agent, Joe Hunter and his trusty sidekick, Rink, were hired to protect a female from her mega rich, bullying boyfriend. But when Hunter discovers things aren't quite what they seem, and into the mix is thrown a billion dollar pharmaceutical deal with the military and a psycho' killer known as dark angel, Dantalion, the proverbial shit hits the fan big time. So much so that the FBI become heavily involved and the contract killer is unable to accurately update his precious coded book that's chained to his side detailing his numerous victims.

Dantalion is arguably more crazy than the Harvestman, Tubal Cain, from DMD. I think he's certainly more cunning, cold-blooded and indiscriminate than Cain, which seems implausible to even suggest! The story alternates viewpoints between Hunter in the first person and Dantalion in third person. This works a treat and creates many plots twists whereby Hunter (and the reader) thinks one thing, yet in the next chapter you discover another more intriguing or disturbing angle.

If I was to be hyper-critical, like some reviewers who seem to revel in being negative, I noticed a few coincidences where luck played a part in life or death situations. On reflection, I feel this was realistic enough to be both acceptable and necessary to keep the story going, and was evenly spread between Hunter and Dantalion, as with the amount of conflict in this action-packed crime thriller there just had to be moments when things didn't go perfectly to plan for either character.

On a lighter note, I had to reach for my dictionary a few times and wondered if this book was really written by that down-to-earth bloke with the broad Cumbrian accent! This time round it was nice to get to know Hunter and Rink a little more and see they had a softer, more human side.

I must say I was surprisingly impressed with the research Matt must have put in to make JAW as authentic as possible. When I read a novel I like to learn new things and whether it be the Floridian landscape, insights into the military, unarmed combat or weaponry, I wasn't disappointed.

I won't give away the explosive climax, but to summarize: if you like rapid-paced action thrillers with penetrating end-of-chapter hooks throughout; plus sprinkles of dry humour and the thrill of the chase when good meets evil, then look no further than Judgement & Wrath.

Yours truthfully,

Hopefully I've answered the question in the title. Feel free to let me know either way.

Monday 18 January 2010

Thrillers, Killers 'n' Chillers' first anniversary today...

Yep, the last year has flown quicker than sparrowhawk with a duracell battery shoved up its butt! And around 250 stories and over 31,000 hits later we celebrate TKnC's first birthday with possible awards on the horizon, praise from creative writing teachers and interest from agents and publishers.

I wonder if my fellow co-editor and TKnC founder, crime thriller author Matt Hilton, ever envisaged what an awesome first year it would be when he started the site simply and selflessly to help new writers showcase their fiction.

I was one of those new writers who'd not really shown my writing to a wider audience until TKnC was born. So I'm living proof that Matt's foresight has worked, as seeing my initial tentative stories receiving constructive feedback really spurred me on and a year later I'm more on track than at any stage in my writing journey.

When Matt asked me - six weeks after the site's inception - to be co-editor I was so thrilled I nearly killed myself laughing (me an editor?) n cracked open a chilled beer (or ten) to celebrate! (That's corny, but it's staying in.) Reading, assessing n uploading well over 100 mixed-genre stories has certainly improved my own understanding (and hopefully my writing) of the short story and the possiblities therein.

It's been, and will continue to be for as long as I breathe, an absolute pleasure and privilege to be involved in TKnC, and witnessing many other new writers feel that buzz too has to be the over-riding positive in our first year. And long may it continue.

Many thanks to all the readers and contributors the world over who have made TKnC what it is today. The quality of submissions has confirmed to me that there is a plethora of undiscovered talent out there and 2010 could be THE year that, with the right application, some of that talent will be spotted and finally recognised.

I'm glowing with pride, like the candle on TKnC's virtual birthday cake!


Ps. I say, 'virtual' cos I've scoffed most of it!

Saturday 16 January 2010

Win a serial killer novel courtesy of Nicole Hadaway...

Horror writer, Nicole, is running a contest over on her site from Jan 15th until Jan 29th - giving away Dwayne Kavanagh's novel A Child's Wound, which is a suspense thriller.

The contest is for one (1) trade paperback for US and Canada residents; and/or 1 e-copy to those elsewhere in the world. Contestants need to email Nicole at with their answer to this question: What's your favorite serial killer movie?

Nice n simple n well worth a pop!

Thursday 7 January 2010

A mention at the RAP SHEET & a polite request...

I'm pleased as punch to have had another mention over at top American site, the Rap Sheet. You have to scroll down a bit as I'm not a headline act...yet! Editor, Jeff Kingston Pierce has done yet another quality post, this time on happenings around the blogosphere, and my recent online flash fiction win with FRANTIC is included.

Also there's an award for the best ezine, webzine, fiction zine, call it what you will, over at Critters Writers Workshop called the Predators & Editors Readers Poll. Personally I voted for my favourite ezine A Twist Of Noir, but our very own Thrillers, Killers 'n' Chillers is also on the list so feel free to offer your support.

Voting is easy, but please do so before January 14th at...

Sunday 3 January 2010

My flash fiction - FRANTIC - wins Writers News Talkback online comp!

Like any writer giving it a go, I'm really pleased to announce another first place for my flash fiction over at Writers News Talkback Forum for December's One Word Challenge. It's particularly pleasing as the competition was fierce (in a nice way). The idea is to write up to 200 words on a word chosen by the preceding month's winner - who then becomes the judge for the following month, if you get me drift.
Well, anyway, the word was 'Frantic' and the winning story is below...


The superstore was abuzz with shoppers. Clocking the newspaper headlines, “Local Paedophile Escapes,” Ged whisked Beth and Josh to the next aisle.

‘Right, stay close. No wandering.’

Ged became engrossed in reading the back of the supermarket’s own brand of Choco-pops. Instinctively looking down, his heart flickered.

‘Where’s Beth?’

Blasé, Josh clutched a box of Shreddies. ‘Daddy, can I…?’

‘Where’s your sister?’


Ged scanned left and right. He sprinted, stopped at each aisle.


Glancing behind, Josh wasn’t there. Panic swamped him. Torn, he back-tracked. His head pivoted back and forth like an owl on speed.

That headline! Shit. Make a decision.

Frenetic now, he ran for the exit, dodging shoppers. He bumped into a shelf-stacker. ‘Pleeease...lost my kids...Beth n Josh!’

He patrolled the exit foyer, head spinning, eyes manic. Children’s voices amplified, teasing him. Every man was a paedo’, every woman an accomplice. Lips pinched, fists clenched, teeth gritted.

The Tannoy boomed their names. Tears welled, palpitations intensified.

A security guard emerged from the crowd, Beth in one hand, Josh in the other.


Sobbing, Ged hugged his kids like never before.

A wide-eyed man in a trench-coat strolled past them, sighed then exited the store.

© Col Bury December 2009