Here are some nice things that nice people have said about my novel (which is decidedly not nice).
“Lee creates an atmosphere of unease and foreboding that culminates in explosive violence and terror. Rife with frightening imagery, ghosts, and visceral horror, this tale will please the most ardent of horror fans.” – Booklist
“HEARTHSTONE COTTAGE is a nonstop riveting read and the suspense never slackens. Prepare to lose sleep.” – The Haunted Reading Room
“A story which is worthy of being on the big screen! Full of tension, suspense & good old-fashioned heart-thumping scary bits” – Stardust Book Reviews
“This was a fantastic spooky read! The writer pulls you in and does not let you go until the very last page.” – Secret World of a Book
“Hearthstone Cottage is the first folk horror book I’ve read, and what a great introduction to the subgenre…Every chapter represented a new horror for the protagonist as he delved deeper and deeper into madness. Frazer Lee is fantastic.” – The Bookdad
“Gripping from beginning to end, Lee knows how to spin a horror story that makes your flesh crawl. Filled with suspense and tension you will struggle to look away.” – Bunny’s Pause
“Outstanding writing, intriguing layers, the tension and suspense was edge of your seat stuff, relatable characters that I could see myself getting along with and the twists and turns left me aching for more. The author certainly has gained a new fan. Thank you, Frazer Lee, for scaring the crap out of me!” – The Coycaterpillar Reads
“This book had me on my toes until I reached the very last line…I really, really, really enjoyed it.” – Nightfall Mysteries
“I was actually scared to go to sleep at one point…part of the book hit me so hard, I actually had to put it down and have a break…a great read if you enjoy being on the edge of your seat, it was very creepy and suspenseful” – Ally’s Book Corner
“A trippy tale of isolation set in the Scottish countryside that really takes the reader off guard.” – Hedwig’s Books
“A fun, creepy read” – Book Reviews by Shalini
“This is a fantastically creepy tale, with a sense of gradually building menace. Gripping, spooky and thoroughly entertaining.” – Lesley Budge, Orlando Books Blog
I did mention it’s only $0.99 until January 24, right?
Synopsis: Mike Carter and his girlfriend Helen, along with their friends Alex and Kay, travel to a remote loch side cottage for a post-graduation holiday. But their celebrations are short-lived when they hit and kill a stag on the road. Alex’s sister Meggie awaits them in the cottage, adding to the tension when her dog, Oscar, goes missing. Mike becomes haunted by a disturbing presence in the cottage, and is hunted by threatening figures in the highland fog. Reeling from a shock revelation, Mike begins to lose his grip on his sanity. As the dark secrets of the past conspire to destroy the bonds of friendship, Mike must uncover the terrifying truth dwelling within the walls of Hearthstone Cottage.
Robin Hardy was a true original, and his 1973 film The Wicker Man is often and justifiably hailed as the finest British horror film ever made.
The book is a cracking read, too!
The story of the film’s conception is perhaps as fascinating as The Wicker Man itself, with a studio unsure of what it had on its hands butchering Hardy’s masterpiece in the process of its clumsy and half-hearted initial release.
My own personal obsession with Hardy’s work began when I saw (the theatrical version of) The Wicker Man at a special screening at Glastonbury’s Library of Avalon. A discussion followed the screening of the film about its pagan themes, and I was well and truly hooked.
Those were the early days of VHS video and I managed to track down an alternate cut of the film on a yellowy, fifth-generation pirate copy from Australia. This was later cleaned up using the best possible source materials and released on DVD as The Director’s Cut of the film.
Years later, with the advent of home-HD and the Blu-Ray format, The Wicker Man – The Final Cut arrived, providing a fitting epitaph to Robin Hardy’s life and career as he finally got to release the version of the film that he deemed closest to his original vision.
In 2011 I was very lucky to meet Robin Hardy, for a brief “Hello!”, in person at FrightFest, London. Mr Hardy was there to present the premiere of his sequel The Wicker Tree, adapted from his novel Cowboys For Christ. He was a true gentleman and eccentric – very warm and wickedly funny. (Read my capsule review of the rather wobbly, but joyously bonkers, sequel The Wicker Treehere.)
One unsung hero in the whole Wicker saga is Anthony Shaffer’s brilliant script, which really is one of a kind. The basic storyline was based on Ritual, a novel by David Pinner, which has recently been republished. The novelisation of the film (also written by Shaffer & Hardy) is well worth tracking down (a new edition was published by Tor in 2000) – with some lovely embellishments to the screen story, not least its haunting and ambiguous ending, it provides yet another version of The Wicker Man for us all to enjoy.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, it is time to “keep my appointment with The Wicker Man.”
R.I.P. Robin Hardy, 1929-2016
Quoted in The Wicker Man novel by Robin Hardy & Anthony Shaffer