So grab your old wicker picnic basket, cardboard box or plastic bag and fill it with the best picnicky foods you can lay your hands on, then grab a rug, a bottle of vintage champagne, chilled rosé, fresh spring water or lashings of ginger beer, whichever is your taste, and find yourself a spot where you’ll not be interrupted, because we have a real treat for you . . . and I’ve been sitting on it for five months, waiting for the perfect time . . .
Which is now!
Yes, today is the First of June and, granted, there’s a lot to celebrate – and not just the eponymous Glorious First of June in 1794; surely no one needs reminding about Britain’s triumph in the first naval battle between Britain and France during the French Revolutionary Wars? Nor am I talking about 1215, when Genghis Khan ended the Battle of Beijing when his hordes captured the city**. Or even the first written record of Scotch Whisky appearing in Scotland’s Exchequer Rolls in 1495*** . I’m not talking about Anne Boleyn being crowned Queen of England in 1533, or the homing pigeon who completed the 55-day 6,835-mile-trip from Namibia to London in 1845. I could, of course, be thinking of the publication day in 1857 of Charles Baudelaire’s Fleurs du mal, or the day General Robert E. Lee assumed command of the Confederate Army in 1862 or the first Zeppelin air raid over England in 1915 . . .
For what better way to while away those lazy summer days than by dipping into dark places with two of our most acclaimed horror writers? Seasons of Mist by Alison Littlewood includes Path of Needles and The Unquiet House as well as the Richard & Judy bestseller A Cold Season – and just in case that wasn’t special enough already, there’s a sneak preview of the long-awaited sequel, A Cold Silence.
And Tom Fletcher’s Thin Places has his loosely linked sequence The Leaping, The Thing on the Shore and The Ravenglass Eye, and a bonus taster for Gleam, the first book in his incredible new Factory Trilogy.
With two such imaginations on offer how could you not already be rushing to buy? But there’s more: for the whole month of the promotion these treats will be on offer for a mere £5.99 each – and you need to watch the blog, because we’ve got stuff happening every single day – and some of it is free stuff – and we know how much you like a competition giveaway!
So pick up a terror tale and start chilling out: the best possible way to welcome summer!
*The British fleet masterminded by Admiral Lord Howe; taking on France’s Vice-Admiral Louis Thomas Villaret de Joyeuse
**Hordes, generally Mongol
***The distiller, one Friar John Cor of Lindores Abbey in Fife, was a Tironensian monk – the Tironensians were well regarded for their skills as alchemists and horticulturalists, as well as whisky-makers (or is that alchemy too?) So it’s not for nothing that Lindores Abbey is known as the ‘Birthplace of Scotch Whisky’.