#Author Spotlight Shani Struthers and #BookReview ‘Eve: A Christmas Ghost Story’

On Luccia Grey’s blog talking about ‘Eve’, ghosts and future projects.

Rereading Jane Eyre

What do you do when a whole town is haunted?

In 1899, in the North Yorkshire market town of Thorpe Morton, a tragedy occurred; 59 people died at the market hall whilst celebrating Christmas Eve, many of them children. One hundred years on and the spirits of the deceased are restless still, ‘haunting’ the community, refusing to let them forget.

In 1999, psychic investigators Theo Lawson and Ness Patterson are called in to help, sensing immediately on arrival how weighed down the town is. Quickly they discover there’s no safe haven. The past taints everything.

Hurtling towards the anniversary as well as a new millennium, their aim is to move the spirits on, to cleanse the atmosphere so everyone – the living and the dead – can start again. But the spirits prove resistant and soon Theo and Ness are caught up in battle, fighting against something that knows their…

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A Trip to the Tower…

When Ruby and Cash met Kindred Spirits!

Jennifer C. Wilson

Ruby, Cash, lovely to see you, so glad you could make it along to the Tower today, to celebrate Crooked Cat Publishing’s paranormal-themed promotion week. Sadly, it’s a bit of a busy one for me this week, so I’m going to hand you over to Anne Boleyn, once we can track her down – she always was a good hostess.

Cash: Ruby, Ruby! Did you hear that? We’re going to meet Anne Boleyn.

Ruby:  Yeah, I know, but once you’ve met one ghost you’ve met them all.

Cash:  How can you be so flippant about it?

Ruby:  Cash, for goodness sake, keep your hair on!

Cash:  My hair on? Don’t you mean–

Ruby:  Shush, here she is. What should we do, take a bow or something?

Anne, it’s good to see you! This is Ruby and Cash, they belong to Psychic Surveys; I thought you…

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Putting the ‘normal’ into the Paranormal

Psychic Surveys

Horror is my favourite genre – it always has been, always will be, but it can become tiresome. The reason? Horror is often dealt with by authors and filmmakers gratuitously – therefore, the gorier, the more outrageous, the more ‘in your face’ the material, the better. Well, yeah, every now and then, one of those is fun but I thought it was time for something a little more down-to-earth. And before you scream ‘but surely that defeats the object’ – I don’t think it does.

imagesFor me, the best ghost stories are the ones that deal with the spiritual world more subtly. The Haunting with Claire Bloom is a great example – all through the film the suspense is built but you don’t actually see anything frightening – it’s all left to the imagination, and mine ran riot after that one! The Woman in Black by Susan Hill, not the film but the book, was also very subtle, building suspense beautifully right up until the end. The Others with Nicole Kidman springs to mind too, which relied on a good story rather than effects.

Haunting of Highdown Hall Cover MEDIUM WEBInspired by these I wanted to write a paranormal that largely dispenses with theatrics and relies on characterisation, plot and mystery instead. Ruby Davis, who owns Psychic Surveys, a high street consultancy specialising in domestic spiritual clearance, is young, modern and accessible. She doesn’t go round in tie-dye clothes or smelling of incense, she wouldn’t stand out in a crowd. It’s only her job that’s out of the ordinary – to make contact with grounded spirits in your home (ghosts to the layman!) and encourage them towards the light – or ‘home’ as she and her team call it. Her team, too, are down-to-earth, there is the young and vibrant Corinna (a sensitive rather than a psychic) and more mature ladies, Theo and Ness, the latter who also works as a psychic for Sussex Police and Brighton and Hove Council. Throw in IT Consultant, Cash Wilks and an attachment in the shape of ghost dog, Jed, and you’ve got the dream team. Keenly aware of how people feel towards ‘psychics’ – sceptical at best, frightened at worst, they deal with ‘assignments’ in a no-nonsense and practical way – charging a sliding scale of fees depending on the client and the problem.

Their reputation is spreading, largely via word-of-mouth, and cases come flooding in. The team may want to play it cool, sometimes, however, the ghosts don’t…

HH Teaser 6

Psychic Surveys Book One: The Haunting of Highdown Hall available on Amazon this week for the special discounted price of 99p/99c.

The Haunting of Highdown Hall

UK http://tinyurl.com/lak4ub2

US http://tinyurl.com/l29wj78

Something for the Weekend with Cameron Lawton!

Ailsa and Cam

On the blog today, welcome Cameron (half brother to author Ailsa Abraham), Rory and Jack  – it’s always great fun with these boys around and today they’re on top form, telling us about the books they feature in Yours to Command and Cancel Christmas – check them out on Amazon but first they’ll tell you a bit about them…

Hello, Shani! Happy New Year. (kiss kiss) As you can see, Rory is true to his Scottish heritage and won’t enter a friend’s house until the second week of January without a small gift. He’s brought you some whisky, Jack brought some flowers and I made shortbread. I have nothing but a plea for sanctuary!

Oh, Shani, we were so sorry not to see more of you when you came house-sitting at the Bingergread Cottage but (as usual) Ailsa’s characters just took over so we thought it would be smashing to get you to ourselves for a little while. Oh thanks. I think a cup of tea would go very well with the shortbread.

Sis? (I’m not pulling that face, Jack, you know better, I how much I support her in her writing, even though we three were at it before her). She’s fine thanks, Shani and sends her love. She is absolutely delighted with the work you did notating the plots for Books 3 and 4. She’s closeted away with the characters getting stuck into it. So she sends thanks and owes you one. (Stop saying one what, Rory, get your mind out of the gutter! Honestly, I would have thought you two were fit to be out in public, being officers and all! Well you both are now, Staff Sgt. Jones!) Excuse them, Shani. They haven’t been on active service with the Army in ages and are getting bored and fractious.

They’re in the Royal Army Military Police, the cops in uniform. That is the basis for their adventures; the sexual tension undercurrent is just present as it usually is in most detective shows on TV. Well, yes, apart from Poirot, Miss. Marple and Midsommer Murders.

(Jack, I know Sis has asked you not to do that before. Please don’t keep asking people if they’ve read our books. It’s not polite and very pushy. They aren’t to everyone’s taste, even if we do have to put an over-18 label on them.) Sorry, Shani. What was the question?

Yes, basically they are detective stories with the added slant of being based in the military. In the first one, Yours To Command, we just set the scene and show how awkward it is for gays in the military, even in these days.

Excuse me again…(Listen you two. I only brought you here because you promised to behave. I’m trying to portray you as a normal, hard-working pair of detectives who just happen to be gay. So could you stop giggling whenever I mention the fact that you’re a couple. OK OK yes you did get off with each other in the first book, that is what it was there for, scene-setting! Take that misty look off your face, Jack, you’ve had far more serious since then!)

Sorry. Cancel Christmas is far more about the job. They get called over to an army base in Germany just before Christmas where a particularly grisly murder has been committed. They get on with solving it and cement their relationship. I particularly love Cancel Christmas because we get to explore the boys’ pasts and characters.

Graphic? Oh I suppose so. Well, yes it is but as it’s part of the story and not gratuitous we’re rather pleased with it. I can write that stuff you see. Sis can’t. When she is doing a “love scene” she has to get me to write the sex which means I do it from Iamo’s point of view because she can’t bring herself to write it. Weird isn’t it? I don’t think we’ve ever heard what Riga thinks of sex although we hear enough about how much she adores Iamo so…

Sorry, back to us three. Them? Oh they’d love to. Rank order please, chaps. Rory first.

Rory: Thanks, Shani. I’m Capt. Rory Sumner, typical gruff Glaswegian and yes, based on some of Cam and Ailsa’s family. I have a rather sad past life about which I don’t talk much but I’m divorced with no children and until I got together with Jack, no love-interest. I know Cam is very dismissive about Ailsa who I won’t call “Sis” cos she isn’t mine but I like her. She used to be in the forces too so we see eye to eye on discipline. She gets her hair off with Cam for being too fluffy although she’s not above nicking his expensive cologne!

Jack: Nice to see you again, Shani. Staff Sgt. Joachim (Jack) Jones currently on officer training course at Sandhurst so by Book 3 I’ll be nearer in rank to Rory and we can be seen to fraternise more as brother officers. (Cam! Will you stop that, you were the dick who was going to call Book 1 “Brothers in Arms”!) Excuse me. Yes, Ailsa jumped in on the back of Cam’s success and has since hogged the writer title in the house but we are hoping to make a comeback if our publisher will take us. Yes, I have a large family. My mother is German, my dad was a sergeant in the Guards and met Mum while on duty. My sister lives in Australia with her husband and two small daughters. They are both veterinary surgeons. Rory and I have been to stay with my parents in Spain where they have a campsite now Dad is retired. Yes, that was a little joke-ette of Cam’s – the boys go to a camp-site for their hols! Tsk.

Cameron: Thank you for having us all, Shani. It’s been lovely and we would love to invite you over to the Bingergread again. A little bird tells us that you have a Book 3 out soon too! Well I won’t say “race you” but do come on over and tell us about it nearer the release date. Salute? Oh of course we will.

Attention! Officer on parade, gentlemen! Dismiss!:

(All three salute smartly and exit)

Bio and Links

Cameron Lawton does not have a biography, being an international man of mystery who disappeared from his sister Ailsa Abraham’s life, only to re-appear in his early 50s with a murky past and no partner. If asked he will smile and say he was a long time dead and it’s nice to be back.

Find his books at http://bit.ly/1hjP6Ci

 

 

 

 

 

Something for the Weekend with Rumer Haven!

Welcome today to the very lovely Rumer Haven, talking about her forthcoming book ‘What the Clocks Know‘ due out in early 2016. I had the pleasure of beta reading this fantastically written novel with a distinctly paranormal edge a few months ago, I loved it. I’ll be giving it a shout out once again when it’s on the shelves but for now here’s Rumer to tell us all about it.

Thank you for inviting me here, Shani, and hello, everyone!

WhattheClocksKnow2015 has been a lovely year to look back on, and 2016 promises to be a happy new year indeed with the publication of my second paranormal fiction, What the Clocks Know. Just as my debut novel, Seven for a Secret, is a Valentine to my sweet-home Chicago (and more specifically my time there as a single twenty-something around the New Millennium), What the Clocks Know is a tribute to my more recent years as an American expat in London.

Now on the verge of British citizenship, I’ve certainly learned my lessons on UK soil and could relate a more rounded, mature perspective on my experiences in this beautiful land, but several years ago, the initial going was rough. I was naïve and lost, quite frankly, and in navigating my way through international relocation, I had to renegotiate my identity as well—but from that early turmoil, this story was born. And if there’s anything else I’ve learned from London, it’s that it’s a haunted city—how couldn’t it be, with so many layers of history densely packed onto one spot? I can’t turn a single street corner without stumbling on some fascinating fact, legend, or just a bit of soulful inspiration, so I wanted to give homage to that as well. As a result, much like the past haunts the present in Seven for a Secret (which alternates between 1920s and Y2K Chicago), What the Clocks Know is a ghostly love story where modern and Victorian London collide.

Blurb:

To find what makes her tick, twenty-six-year-old Margot dumps her New York boyfriend, quits her Chicago job, and crashes at her friend’s London flat for the summer. Rather than find herself, though, she only feels more lost. An unsettling energy affects Margot from the moment she enters the old Victorian residence, and she spirals into depression. Frightened and questioning her perceptions after a while, she gradually suspects her dark emotions belong to Charlotte instead. Who’s Charlotte? Margot doesn’t know either. But the name on a local gravestone could relate to her dreams and the grey woman weeping at the window.

Of course, it could all be tricks of the eye and mind. Coincidence. Margot exhausts logical explanation until belief in her sanity hinges on belief in the supernatural—that somehow her soul search has found Charlotte’s spirit. Yet it’s a greater leap of faith for Margot to believe she might be haunting herself, that perhaps it’s not the first time her footsteps have tread through that old house…nor the first or last time an eternal love triangle will bind her to Charlotte.

What the Clocks Know is due for release in early 2016 by Crooked Cat Publishing, and you can find Seven for a Secret now (print and ebook) at the following:

US Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Seven-Secret-Rumer-Haven-ebook/dp/B00PNQG6EA/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

UK Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Seven-Secret-Rumer-Haven-ebook/dp/B00PNQ14KG/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Simon & Schuster: http://books.simonandschuster.com/Seven-for-a-Secret/Rumer-Haven/9781623421106

Other Retailers: http://books.simonandschuster.com/Seven-for-a-Secret/Rumer-Haven/9781623421106/retailers

Rumer HavenAbout the Author:

Rumer Haven is probably the most social recluse you could ever meet. When she’s not babbling her fool head off among friends and family, she’s pacified with a good story that she’s reading, writing, or revising—or binge-watching something on Netflix. A former teacher hailing from Chicago, she presently lives in London with her husband and probably a ghost or two. Rumer has always had a penchant for the past and paranormal, which inspires her writing to explore dimensions of time, love, and the soul.

Find more at www.rumerhaven.com and Goodreads.

Five Guns Blazing with Emma Rose Millar

It’s a busy week on the blog this week – as well as Friday’s guest, we’ve got two extra joining us. In the hot seat today is Emma Rose Millar, co-author of Five Guns Blazing. Here she not only shares an extract and the blurb (there are buy links too at the end of the post) but also what inspired her to write it. First up, that extract…


fgb coverWe were separated, my mother and I in a most barbaric act; I was dragged screaming from her skirts, seized with a fit of panic, a horrible notion that I might never see her again, but my mother herself seemed to be trying almost to prise me from her.

“Pay no attention to him, Mrs Beedham,” said the matron brusquely. She set her lips and her jaw settled squarely. “We find most of the children react like this in the first place, but they soon get used to it. In fact, the crying stops mostly the minute they leave the room. There is a lot of camaraderie among the young boys, not always to be encouraged, I might add,” she continued, cutting a brief look at one of the gentlemen at the table, “but it prevents them from missing their parents too much we usually find.” She was a sturdy woman, whiskery and stern-faced with thick brown hair and a complexion as blotchy as white pudding. “Come along now, young sir. My goodness, what a fuss! There is no room for hysteria here; I could always take a strap to you if you wish.” Emma Rose Millar and Kevin Allen, Five Guns Blazing. 

My grandfather was orphaned at the age of three and was sent with his two older brothers to one of the poor law schools in London. I grew up hearing stories about what conditions were like for the children there: tales of hunger and insufficient food, of my grandfather being forced to stand with his arms outstretched, holding two heavy boots. If he lowered his arms, he was beaten with a stick – this was the punishment handed down after he attempted to run away. Such institutions have always held a certain morbid fascination for me. My research into eighteenth-century workhouses for my novel Five Guns Blazing, was often harrowing, but in some way, it brought me closer to my beloved grandfather who sadly is no longer with us.

crumpsall workhouse

Children could be sent to the workhouse for a variety of reasons. Many were illegitimate, orphans, deserted children or children of felons. Once inside, children over seven years of age were usually separated from their mothers; parents were allowed daily interviews with their children. This usually depended upon the discretion of the guardians though, and there were no prescribed minimum lengths of time for parental interviews.

Strict rules were put in place for the treatment and punishment of children in workhouses and poor law schools, particularly in relation to corporal punishment:

  • No child under twelve years of age shall be punished by confinement in a dark room or during the night.
  • No corporal punishment shall be inflicted on any male child, except by the Schoolmaster or Master.
  • No corporal punishment shall be inflicted on any female child.
  • No corporal punishment shall be inflicted on any male child, except with a rod or other instrument, such as may have been approved of by the Guardians or the Visiting Committee.
  • No corporal punishment shall be inflicted on any male child until two hours shall have elapsed from the commission of the offence for which such punishment is inflicted.
  • Whenever any male child is punished by corporal correction, the Master and Schoolmaster shall (if possible) be both present.
  • No male child shall be punished by flogging whose age may be reasonably supposed to exceed fourteen years.

There were numerous cases of children being treated even more cruelly however than these regulations allowed:

In 1894, The Times reported that:

“At a special sitting of the magistrates at the Brentwood Police-court, Ella Gillespie, aged 54, formerly nurse at the Hackney Training Schools, Brentwood, was charged with having on various dates between the months of April and October, 1893, wilfully ill-treated and exposed several children as to cause them unnecessary pain and suffering.
Clara Good, aged 13, deposed that in August last the prisoner knocked her head against the wall because she had been talking to another girl. Two days later witness had to go to the infirmary on account of her head. The prisoner had knocked witness’s head against the wall six or seven times prior to August last. In the spring of 1892, whilst witness and two other girls were scrubbing the nursery floor, the prisoner entered and knocked over two scuttles of coal. Then she turned over four pails of water, and rubbed witness’s head into the wet coal on the floor. This was because witness bad helped another girl to scrub the corridor, the girl hawing been set to do the work as punishment. Witness saw the prisoner on one occasion strike a girl named Newman with a bunch of keys, cutting her head and making blood Bow. Last July witness saw the prisoner knock down Eliza Clarke (now dead) and her head against the bedstead. This was done because Clarke had been speaking to another girl. Witness also saw the prisoner dip a boy’s bead in a bucket of water on more than one occasion. During the winter prisoner gave the children “basket drill.” They were compelled to walk round the dormitory in their night-clothes, in their bare feet, and with a basket on their heads containing their day clothes. The children were kept at basket drill for an hour after being dragged out of bed.”

Children in workhouses often lived in horrendous conditions. In 1838, a physician who visited the Whitechapel Workhouse noted that:

“…the pale and unhealthy appearance of a number of children in the workhouse, in a room called the Infant Nursery. These children appear to be from two to three years of age; they are 23 in number; they all sleep in one room, and they seldom or never go out of this room, either for air or for exercise.”

In 1841, GR Wythen Baxter’s wrote his infamous The Book of the Bastilles, which was a compilation of various court proceedings and newspaper reports. One example was the case of John Stokes, the porter of the Kidderminster Union workhouse.

“[Stokes] was brought before the county magistrates on the charge of ill-treating a pauper boy in the house, named Perks, aged 8 years. From the evidence it appeared, that the child had a disease of the bladder, which gave great offence to the defendant, who had often punished the boy for the involuntary effects of the complaint. On the previous morning, groans were heard issuing from a sack hanging up from a beam, and on the Governor of the Workhouse cutting it down, the child was found doubled up within the bag, in which state the porter had kept him suspended all the morning ; this ferocious act had been previously perpetrated on several other occasions.”

Most instances of child abuse however went unreported. It is likely that the cases that went to court were only the tip of a very large iceberg.

Five Guns Blazing is available now on Amazon:

“Never had she imagined she would be brought so low, and all for the love of a very bad man.”

1710: Convict’s daughter, Laetitia Beedham, is set on an epic journey from the back streets of London, through transportation to Barbados and gruelling plantation life, into the clutches of notorious pirates John ‘Calico Jack’ Rackham, Mary Read and the treacherous Anne Bonny.

In a world of villainy and deceit, where black men are kept in chains and a woman will sell her daughter for a few gold coins, Laetitia can find no one in whom to place her trust.

As the King’s men close in on the pirates and the noose begins to tighten around their necks, who will win her loyalty and her heart?

meAuthor Bio:

Emma Rose Millar was born in Birmingham – a child of the seventies. She is a single mum and lives with her young son who keeps her very busy and very happy. Emma left school at 16 and later studied for an Open University degree in Humanities with English Literature. She has done a variety of jobs including chocolatier, lab technician and editorial assistant for a magazine but now works part-time an interpreter.

Emma writes and edits historical fiction and children’s picture books. Her first novel was shortlisted for the Chaucer Award in 2013 and she won the Legend category of the Chaucer Award with FIVE GUNS BLAZING in 2014. She is now working on her third novel THE WOMEN FRIENDS which is based the painting of the same name by Gustav Klimt.

Five Guns Blazing with Emma Rose Millar

It’s a busy week on the blog this week – as well as Friday’s guest, we’ve got two extra joining us. In the hot seat today is Emma Mooney, co-author of Five Guns Blazing. Here she not only shares an extract and the blurb (there are buy links too at the end of the post) but also what inspired her to write it. First up, that extract…


fgb coverWe were separated, my mother and I in a most barbaric act; I was dragged screaming from her skirts, seized with a fit of panic, a horrible notion that I might never see her again, but my mother herself seemed to be trying almost to prise me from her.

“Pay no attention to him, Mrs Beedham,” said the matron brusquely. She set her lips and her jaw settled squarely. “We find most of the children react like this in the first place, but they soon get used to it. In fact, the crying stops mostly the minute they leave the room. There is a lot of camaraderie among the young boys, not always to be encouraged, I might add,” she continued, cutting a brief look at one of the gentlemen at the table, “but it prevents them from missing their parents too much we usually find.” She was a sturdy woman, whiskery and stern-faced with thick brown hair and a complexion as blotchy as white pudding. “Come along now, young sir. My goodness, what a fuss! There is no room for hysteria here; I could always take a strap to you if you wish.” Emma Rose Millar and Kevin Allen, Five Guns Blazing. 

My grandfather was orphaned at the age of three and was sent with his two older brothers to one of the poor law schools in London. I grew up hearing stories about what conditions were like for the children there: tales of hunger and insufficient food, of my grandfather being forced to stand with his arms outstretched, holding two heavy boots. If he lowered his arms, he was beaten with a stick – this was the punishment handed down after he attempted to run away. Such institutions have always held a certain morbid fascination for me. My research into eighteenth-century workhouses for my novel Five Guns Blazing, was often harrowing, but in some way, it brought me closer to my beloved grandfather who sadly is no longer with us.

crumpsall workhouse

Children could be sent to the workhouse for a variety of reasons. Many were illegitimate, orphans, deserted children or children of felons. Once inside, children over seven years of age were usually separated from their mothers; parents were allowed daily interviews with their children. This usually depended upon the discretion of the guardians though, and there were no prescribed minimum lengths of time for parental interviews.

Strict rules were put in place for the treatment and punishment of children in workhouses and poor law schools, particularly in relation to corporal punishment:

  • No child under twelve years of age shall be punished by confinement in a dark room or during the night.
  • No corporal punishment shall be inflicted on any male child, except by the Schoolmaster or Master.
  • No corporal punishment shall be inflicted on any female child.
  • No corporal punishment shall be inflicted on any male child, except with a rod or other instrument, such as may have been approved of by the Guardians or the Visiting Committee.
  • No corporal punishment shall be inflicted on any male child until two hours shall have elapsed from the commission of the offence for which such punishment is inflicted.
  • Whenever any male child is punished by corporal correction, the Master and Schoolmaster shall (if possible) be both present.
  • No male child shall be punished by flogging whose age may be reasonably supposed to exceed fourteen years.

There were numerous cases of children being treated even more cruelly however than these regulations allowed:

In 1894, The Times reported that:

“At a special sitting of the magistrates at the Brentwood Police-court, Ella Gillespie, aged 54, formerly nurse at the Hackney Training Schools, Brentwood, was charged with having on various dates between the months of April and October, 1893, wilfully ill-treated and exposed several children as to cause them unnecessary pain and suffering.
Clara Good, aged 13, deposed that in August last the prisoner knocked her head against the wall because she had been talking to another girl. Two days later witness had to go to the infirmary on account of her head. The prisoner had knocked witness’s head against the wall six or seven times prior to August last. In the spring of 1892, whilst witness and two other girls were scrubbing the nursery floor, the prisoner entered and knocked over two scuttles of coal. Then she turned over four pails of water, and rubbed witness’s head into the wet coal on the floor. This was because witness bad helped another girl to scrub the corridor, the girl hawing been set to do the work as punishment. Witness saw the prisoner on one occasion strike a girl named Newman with a bunch of keys, cutting her head and making blood Bow. Last July witness saw the prisoner knock down Eliza Clarke (now dead) and her head against the bedstead. This was done because Clarke had been speaking to another girl. Witness also saw the prisoner dip a boy’s bead in a bucket of water on more than one occasion. During the winter prisoner gave the children “basket drill.” They were compelled to walk round the dormitory in their night-clothes, in their bare feet, and with a basket on their heads containing their day clothes. The children were kept at basket drill for an hour after being dragged out of bed.”

Children in workhouses often lived in horrendous conditions. In 1838, a physician who visited the Whitechapel Workhouse noted that:

“…the pale and unhealthy appearance of a number of children in the workhouse, in a room called the Infant Nursery. These children appear to be from two to three years of age; they are 23 in number; they all sleep in one room, and they seldom or never go out of this room, either for air or for exercise.”

In 1841, GR Wythen Baxter’s wrote his infamous The Book of the Bastilles, which was a compilation of various court proceedings and newspaper reports. One example was the case of John Stokes, the porter of the Kidderminster Union workhouse.

“[Stokes] was brought before the county magistrates on the charge of ill-treating a pauper boy in the house, named Perks, aged 8 years. From the evidence it appeared, that the child had a disease of the bladder, which gave great offence to the defendant, who had often punished the boy for the involuntary effects of the complaint. On the previous morning, groans were heard issuing from a sack hanging up from a beam, and on the Governor of the Workhouse cutting it down, the child was found doubled up within the bag, in which state the porter had kept him suspended all the morning ; this ferocious act had been previously perpetrated on several other occasions.”

Most instances of child abuse however went unreported. It is likely that the cases that went to court were only the tip of a very large iceberg.

Five Guns Blazing is available now on Amazon:

“Never had she imagined she would be brought so low, and all for the love of a very bad man.”

1710: Convict’s daughter, Laetitia Beedham, is set on an epic journey from the back streets of London, through transportation to Barbados and gruelling plantation life, into the clutches of notorious pirates John ‘Calico Jack’ Rackham, Mary Read and the treacherous Anne Bonny.

In a world of villainy and deceit, where black men are kept in chains and a woman will sell her daughter for a few gold coins, Laetitia can find no one in whom to place her trust.

As the King’s men close in on the pirates and the noose begins to tighten around their necks, who will win her loyalty and her heart?

meAuthor Bio:

Emma Rose Millar was born in Birmingham – a child of the seventies. She is a single mum and lives with her young son who keeps her very busy and very happy. Emma left school at 16 and later studied for an Open University degree in Humanities with English Literature. She has done a variety of jobs including chocolatier, lab technician and editorial assistant for a magazine but now works part-time an interpreter.

Emma writes and edits historical fiction and children’s picture books. Her first novel was shortlisted for the Chaucer Award in 2013 and she won the Legend category of the Chaucer Award with FIVE GUNS BLAZING in 2014. She is now working on her third novel THE WOMEN FRIENDS which is based the painting of the same name by Gustav Klimt.

Something for the Weekend with… Olga Swan!

Untitled1Thanks so much for welcoming me onto your esteemed blog!  I’ve flown up specially from Gaillac, S.W. France to be with you, even though I’m also hosting my own Crooked Cat book launch event right at this minute too! Readers: I do hope that, once you’ve read Shani’s blog today, you’ll also pop over to my events party anytime today (23rd October 2015) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. EU time. Hint: there’ll be exclusive pics of me in my dancing ‘folies bergere’ days! Here’s the link to make it easy for you: https://www.facebook.com/events/909706395761162/

Someone once told me that writers should only write about that which they know. So, after working for thirty years at a leading English university, this was clearly good material for writing ‘3rd Degree Murder’.

I use the nom de plume of Olga Swan as a way of remembering my late brother: it’s an anagram of his name. Quiz: see if you can work out what it is. (Answer* at the end.) I have been writing for over forty years (!), in many genres. Two historical mss, covering the period 1912 – 1967, are currently being considered by Crooked Cat Publishing as we speak. I am also self-publishing a series of seven novels for children, in my own name (Gillian Green – http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B013IDLQ4O,) , each set in one of the seven modern wonders of the world. Additionally there’s a self-published non-fiction book about two self-deprecating seniors who move to France. In fact, I was thrilled that my publishers bought this recently and are shortly to write a review on Amazon. To find out more, go to my facebook and amazon author pages. http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B013IBD4PU

Here’s a description of my current Crooked Cat novel ‘3rd Degree Murder’, released today:

University intrigue. A prestigious Vice-Chancellor receives two formal complaints just before he is due to retire. The underlying theme throughout weaves a potent, cultural mix between Maliha, a Muslim student and Jenny, a Jewish secretary. How do they get on, especially working for the same hated professor? Maliha suffers a horrifying rape at university. How will she cope? And the Jewish secretary suffers constant anti-semitic comments. Embroiled in the intrigue are a family at war with modern society, disgruntled lecturers, a V-C with a suspect background and a crazy office cleaner. So, in the end, who actually killed Professor Axel Sloan? This is a tale of revenge and blackmail; indeed a dish best served cold.

Did you or a member of your family attend university? Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes along the hallowed corridors of English academia? All is not how it seems. To find out, here’s the link to buying 3rd Degree Murder, now available on Amazon all over the world.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/3rd-Degree-Murder-Olga-Swan-ebook/dp/B016NM2Y4I/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1444896523&sr=8-2&keywords=3rd+degree+murder

It is also available on Smashwords in many different formats: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/585154.

You can pre-order or download a sample.

For an exclusive extract from 3rd Degree Murder: go to www.olgaswan.blogspot.com (my weekly Sunday blog about everything French and lots more besides.)

In due course please leave a review. I’d love to hear your views.

* My dear late brother’s name: A. Olswang.

Introducing Lucy Deslandes and ‘Bruised Banana’

image1A big warm welcome to fellow Brighton author, Lucy Deslandes, who has just published her debut book, Bruised Banana – a trip into a world beyond our world, full of charm and magic realism. Described as ‘fantastic, compelling and totally mind-spangling’, here she shares the first chapter and tells us what inspired her to write it. Sit back with a cuppa and enjoy the read. We’re sure to see a lot more of Lucy over the coming years. Take it away, Lucy…
Talk about the book(s) you’ve written. What was the first seed of an idea you had for your book? How did it develop?

I have written several short stories, but Bruised Banana is my first published work. The idea of the book came to me whilst I was on my writing course at Sussex University. Every week we were set a new task to interpret Greek Mythology stories into our own. It was great fun. It was around that time that I formed a character called Marah. She was very dark – a tortured soul and I felt her mourning. The physical image of her came from one of my paintings. I had previously been a foundation course at Brighton City College. The lady in the dress was a widow, she was in a collection of women I had drawn and stitched for the end of year show. My theme was about ‘Love’ and these six women were all on different journeys. I attached a piece of writing about each of them and put a belonging of theirs in a glass box. Marah the widow had a tiny wooden coffin tied up with string. It was meant to symbolize her sealed love. She was never going to love again. When the chance came up to write about her, I let go and she led me. I had no idea where it would take me and then I found Kat.

How would you describe your writing process? Do you outline? Let the muse lead you? Or something else?

My writing process is free. I can’t think ahead. I’ve been writing short stories like this for years. The ideas come to me in the process. When the characters form, they really come alive and then they start playing tricks.

How has writing this book changed you?

I feel like I lived another life writing this book. I’ve gone on the journey with these people. I can’t help but love them. Just as well because they wont leave my head. And that has changed me.

How do you handle major rewrites?

Rewrites! Ha ha… big challenge. I had a great editor and if and when she requested a rewrite – I did it. I wiped out thousands of words, pages in blocks, including the material I loved – but I trusted her. If I didn’t have the confidence in her I wouldn’t have changed anything.

What do you keep in mind as you write? An overarching question? A theme? The last line of the book?

The last line of the book – I like to add surprise. Plots unravel at the end and then I stir it all up and expose them. The lovers, the liars and the saints all have their finale.

Is there an aspect of writing that you favor over others, e.g. dialogue, exposition, description of a scene, setting, or character, etc.? Is there one that is more difficult for you?

I favor scene writes any time. I find the backdrop easy. Dialogue is fun but it can take hours just to get a few good sentences. I work hard thinking how my characters move and express their tension.

Tell us about the funniest/craziest/most interesting thing that has happened to you as a writer.

Lots of funny and weird things happy to me, I think I attract it. Once when I was sketching in a ‘life class’ my art teacher moved me to the front of the studio, thinking I would get a better view of the model. I had been at the back of the class for very good reason – the model – a man- really was quite beautiful. When I shuffled to the front all pink faced, I was squashed in a tiny space and had to perch below the model. I couldn’t look up and draw his ‘thing’ because he kept looking down and smiling at me.

What is the best piece of advice about writing that you ever got or read? What would tell aspiring writers today?

Best advise with writing: when you’ve finished some work that you think is done, leave it. Shut it in a drawer and then in a month take it out. Read it with fresh eyes. Advice to aspiring writers: write and keep going. If you believe in yourself and you have the dedication then you can do it. You might write a chapter in twenty minutes and then another in a month, but stick to it. Make the time. Have a bond with your characters and they will call you to work.

IMG_2795Bruised Banana – Chapter One

I wait for my sister to stop reading her emails from my laptop. She scans the screen as she talks to me, in short cut sentences, half listening. It begins to annoy me. I’m dying to bite in and say something like, ‘Can you stop checking your fucking Facebook?’

But instead I say, “Do you want another coffee?”

She doesn’t look up. She’s frowning at her phone, watching it pulsate in her hand. It has rung like this several times.

“Aren’t you going to answer it?” I say.

She shakes her head. “I’m not in the mood to speak to him right now.”

“Who’s him?” I ask, peering over at the photo on her phone screen.

“Tim Rogers.” She blows out a short breath. “He’s called me five times already.”

He’s wearing a polo shirt. My sister has a type. “Maybe it’s urgent?”

She looks down at his flashing picture before cutting him off.

I ask, “Is he the guy from your office party?”

She twists to look at me. “No, not Tony. He’s long gone. I met Tim at the film festival.”

I stand there thinking: Tony and Tim.

Then she taps my leg. “Are you going to make that coffee?”

But I’m thinking. “Hang on. Didn’t you go to Cannes with an old film director?” I snap my fingers, trying to remember. “With the Greek one. Bald headed…”

“Stavi, yes.”

“Yes. Stavros. Tubby. You called him cuddly.” I refill the kettle with water and click it on. “Didn’t he have a problem? Couldn’t get it up or something?”

“God, did I tell you that?”

I nod.

“But I didn’t tell you about my Timmy adventures?”

“No,” I breathe and feel the knots start in my stomach.

“We met in the elevator.” She looks at me with her cat-green eyes. “We went up and down the lift for twenty minutes.”

I have visions of the door opening and closing and my sister’s short dress hitched up over her thighs.

Freda’s neck starts to break out in red patches. “But Mr Timmy didn’t tell me he was married.”

“Oh!” I say, dropping the lid off the coffee.

She sighs. “My luck to meet another bored, married man.”

I cut in. “Another?”

“But I do feel quite sorry for him. His wife… she’s a bit weird – she doesn’t like sex and she collects weird dolls. I’ve seen them all in their packets. It’s like a creepy girls bedroom. Tim said it’s getting too much now, she’s taking over the house. Oh that reminds me–”

“What?”

“Do you still see that therapist?”

“Yes… why?”

“I was thinking I could give Tim the number number.”

“What’s wrong with him?”

“No, for her. His wife?”

“Bloody hell, Freda, why do you think she needs a therapist?”

“Oh come on. Do you think it’s normal, a grown woman collecting dolls?”

My sister frowns.

I ask, “How old is she?”

“Same age as him… thirty four, I think.”

I say, “Maybe she wants a baby.”

“Well I can tell you, he doesn’t.” Freda rolls her eyes at me. “Where’s this coffee?”

“I’m on it,” I say. “So what are you and Mr Timmy going to do?” My voice sounds deliberately patronising.

Freda opens her make-up bag and takes out a mirror, she checks her lashes. “Oh God… well I don’t have visions of a future with him. I’m certainly not folding his pants away.”

I had folded Eddy’s pants away this morning. I came across a new pair. They were red. Expensive. Support your crotch type. I pause for a moment, thinking about them. I drop two heaped spoons of coffee in each cup, add the water, and put the mugs on the tray with the biscuits.

I bring them over and sit back down. Freda takes her mug and picks out a chunky biscuit from the tin. “Have you been baking?”

“No, your lovely daughters made these.”

She tests the edge of the biscuit with her tongue.

“Ginger, treacle, marmalade, mint and chocolate chips.” I inform her.

She pulls a face. “Is that why you saved them for me?”

“They’re actually quite nice.”

She bites in reluctantly. “My girls are weird.”

I look at her mouth plunge round the biscuit and I ask: “Where do you do it? You and Tim?”

She stops the biscuit from flying out her mouth. “Seriously, Kat?”

I shuffle on my chair. “Yeah?”

“Well…” She takes another bite. “His place, my place. It depends on how randy we’re feeling, sometimes we have to stop in the car.” The thrill in her voice stops. “He wants to tell his wife about me.”

I look at her stricken face. “Okay…and that’s not good?”

“No, not at all. Have you got a cigarette?”

I shake my head. But I know I have.

Freda digs her hand inside her bag. Her pretty freckled face is smoothed over by her foundation, but she has missed a bit around her neck. She sighs, “I thought I had a packet on me.”

“Okay,” I say, standing up. “I have some in my emergency pack.”

I walk to the drinks cabinet and reach my hand behind the door, locating the packet. There are three cigarettes tucked inside, along with my pink neon lighter.

“I knew not to throw them away.” I hold them up triumphantly and open the French doors to waft out our smoke. I see the birdhouse has fallen down, spilling all the seed. Brown birds are pecking on the grass.

I light two cigarettes, sit down and hand one to Freda.

“You’re good at these things,” she says, as she exhales a puff of smoke. “What should I do?”

“Well, do you like him enough to break up a marriage?”

“No!”

“You have to walk away then.”

Freda sits up. “But it’s not just him.”

I wave my smoke away. “What do you mean?”

She takes a deep drag on her cigarette. “I’ve been naughty.”

I stretch the saucer to her as an ashtray.

She takes it. “I have to stop.” She flicks her ash. “I’m not nice.” She looks out the window. “I need to tidy up my life.”

“So, it’s not just Tim?”

“Tim’s one of the easier ones.”

When her phone vibrates on the counter, we both look at the flashing photo. She cuts him off.

She takes another drag on her cigarette and then puts it out.

I squash mine out too, into the ash.

Freda sighs. She gets up and washes her hands at the sink, running the water from the purifier tap. She looks at me – changing the subject now. “Are you getting out of your bed clothes today?” She wipes her hands on the back of a towel. “You need to get out of that manky tracksuit, and get your hair sorted. Even Eddy said it’s a mess.”

“Eddy…when did he say that?”

“I saw him yesterday.”

“Did you? Where?”

“Outside my hairdressers. Didn’t he tell you?”

I shake my head.

“It was brief, darling. He beeped me. We only had a quick chat.”

“Was he in Putney then?”

She nods.

“That’s strange. He said he was in the office all day.”

Freda flicks her nails testing their strength. “He probably had a quick meeting.” Her eyes spy on a biscuit crumb on my top. She takes the tea towel and flicks it off. “Look why don’t you make yourself look nice. Get out of this house. Put some heels on?”

I look at her in her killer heels. “Your skirt’s a bit short.”

She glances down at her bare brown legs. “I’m just showing off my best features.”

I fold my arms.

“Oh, stop it, just because you dress like a bag lady. You never used to be like this.”

“But that skirts not even meant to be high wasted.”

She laughs. Then edging closer to me, she points her finger under my nose. “You’ve grown a tash.”

I tap my finger over my lip. “Have I?”

“Hon, don’t give me that. You’ve tried to bleach it.”

I feel the soft downy hairs. “Is it obvious?”

“Yes. Bloody wax it off. ” She looks me up and down – I know it’s coming. “Kat, when was the last time, you went out? And had some fun?”

I look at her blankly.

“You’ll lose him… if you don’t do something about it.” The red rash appears around her collar. I know what she’s going to say and l watch the birds fly away outside. I hear her velvety soothing voice. It starts with my name. There’s a pattern to it, like Morse code, where her words tap and pause with her breath, and then there’s a raise in her voice. It pitches to a higher frequency when she mentions words like hospital, baby, and death. I feel the cold and oily memories. I blink back the tears.

Freda places her hand on mine. “You have to stop punishing yourself and start to live your life.”

My voice cracks. “I try.”

I look at her lips move. “Don’t you think shutting yourself away, makes things worse? I stare at her. Even her freckles look beautiful. “You, are blessed Kat. You don’t need to worry about money and you have a beautiful house, and a man that supports you. And you still look gorgeous in a manky tracksuit.”

I well up even more. “And I can fold pants.”

“And you’re good at folding pants.” Freda’s teeth look so white.

I wipe my sleeve across my face. Hot tears sting up my nose. More tears come.

Freda fetches some kitchen roll. She tears off a big sheet for me to wipe my eyes.

I dab my face. “It’s alright for you,” I muffle under my tissue. “You have a different life. You have your kids and your career and you travel. I feel like I have no focus.”

She steps back. “Darling, I have debts. I owe so much money. I work my arse off, to pay for my kids to go to a decent school. And the little fuckers don’t even like me.”

“Is that why you’re a sex addict?”

Her face crumples. “I was married to a man for fourteen years who didn’t even touch me, because he liked other men.”

“Sorry…” I sniff

She tidies a strand of blonde hair off her shoulder. “He sent us a postcard yesterday! He sends them to the girls, not me. He’s in Italy now. Rome. Can you believe it? He’s supposed to be broke… stupid arsehole.”

I sigh. “But you’re so strong?”

“I have to be.” She levels her eyes at me. “Now, are you going to be alright?”

I try to smile. “Yes.”

Then she clocks the time. “Shit!” She reaches for her bag and jacket off the chair.

I decide to share my news: “I’m off the medication.”

She mutters to herself. “What? Really…? Are you sure you should be off it?”

I nod. “I think it’s time too.”

She wipes her fringe back. “Okay, but if you start feeling funny or anything you will speak to me this time?”

“Yes, Yes.” I say, looking away, avoiding her penetrating stare.

Then she checks in her bag, but she has her car key in her hand already. It amuses me.

I ask, “Where are you going?”

“I’m meeting Mum, ” she says it quickly. “Do you want to come?”

“No.”

She tilts her head. “Dad’s coming.”

“Dad? How awkward is that going to be?” I know I sound bitter.

Freda’s, eyes narrow. “You know Mummy is desperate to see you, she only has another few days before she flies back. You’re just bloody attention seeking now.”

“Attention seeking… Really?”

She snaps at me now. “Pull yourself together.”

I follow her out into the hallway. Freda puts her hand on the latch and opens the door into the morning light. I watch her get into her silver sports car. She pulls her seat back and adjusts the mirror. The radio starts and she clicks on her belt. As she reverses out of the drive- way, I wave pointlessly from the doorstep, until she is out of sight. Then I close the door. The house feels quiet now. I climb up the stairs with my hand on the banister – the wood feels smooth. I need to have a shower to wash her off me.

Amazon UK http://tinyurl.com/p6m988r

Amazon US http://tinyurl.com/pkpbvwp

Lucy on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lucinda.deslandes?fref=ts

Father of Lies – Sarah England – Horror at its Best!


FOL with purple heading

‘Father of Lies’ by Sarah England debuts today on Amazon. A horror in the true sense of the word, this book even comes with a warning! I, for one, however, am immensely looking forward to getting stuck in. I have a feeling this is going to be something of a bestseller! Here Sarah tells us about what inspired her to write it, gives us a synopsis of what it’s all about and an excerpt too. There are buy links at the end of the post if you fancy reading more. Over to you, Sarah…

This book is a culmination of many factors – firstly I originally trained as a nurse and then went to work as a medical rep, eventually specialising in mental health, so much of the medical angle comes from my own background. As part of my my job I worked closely with the psychiatrists treating schizophrenia and depressive illnesses, setting up workshops and conferences, analysing clinical papers and taking a keen interest in the subject area. After I retired from the pharmaceutical industry, I spent over a decade writing fiction – mostly short stories and serials for magazines, but also one novel and a collection of thrillers; and so, when I met a lady who suffered from what used to be called multiple personality disorder (now called Disassociative Identity Disorder), I felt it all came together and was compelled to write, ‘Father of Lies’. Around 90% of cases of DID are attributable to child abuse, and thus, although there is nothing graphic in the novel, there has to be a start – a reason – for my main character, Ruby, to be the way she is. Sadly and shockingly, this still goes on today, and that’s why I describe the root cause as the heart of darkness. I hope that, by looking at the consequences of such evil, a strong message will come across – that we cannot turn a blind eye to what happens to thousands of children around the world, with the resulting damage to both individuals and society. That was the point of writing this book, which also, of course, is designed to scare the reader witless!

Synopsis*

Ruby is the most aggressive and unresponsive psychiatric patient ever to be treated at Drummersgate secure forensic unit, situated on the bleak Derbyshire moors.
Admitted nearly two years ago following attempted murder in an isolated mining village, Ruby appears to have no family and no identity. No one knows who the violently troubled twenty-seven year old is, least of all Ruby herself.
Family man, Jack McGowan, Medical Director and Consultant Psychiatrist, decides to try something radical in order to discover the root of her trauma. The staff are exhausted and agree to his idea – using hypnosis in conjunction with LSD.
The results are catastrophic. For Jack. His team. And his family.
However, Ruby makes a miraculous recovery – now displaying clear symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder, which involves switching from one deeply disturbing character to another. Jack had planned to be able to treat her at this stage. Instead, he’s suffering from a bizarre type of mental breakdown – rushing around giggling to himself, cancelling his own appointments before turning up for them, and having horrific nightmares. At least he thought they were nightmares – but as the darkness takes on a pulsating, breathing life of its own, he’s no longer sure.
Specialist Registrar, Claire Airy, contacts D.I.D. expert in Leeds, Dr. Kristy Silver. Kristy has a client with an almost identical profile to Ruby in Leeds – a client who grew up in Woodsend, the same mining village in which Ruby attempted murder. Perhaps there is a connection? Kristy decides to investigate further with a proposed visit to Ruby; and on the way home that evening she decides to visit Woodsend.
From that point on, unnerving events escalate: Kristy has an unwanted, gruesome passenger in her car; back at the hospital Jack has barricaded himself inside his office; and Becky the ward sister, has a sudden and violent accident.
Every mental health professional involved in the case then goes on to experience some kind of inexplicable and de-stabilising incident, and soon a terrifying picture begins to unfold. One which challenges the very fabric of society, and those in whom we put our trust. One which leads us directly back to the heart of darkness, and the Father of Lies.

Excerpt from Father of Lies:

The journey home was a blur of shock. Kristy gripped the steering wheel with ice-numb fingers. Her heart pulsed through her body in thick, sickly waves. Everything was so much worse than she’d feared. The whole visit had been on a whim, a hunch, curiosity…call it what you will, but now…now it was like having walked through the back of a wardrobe into a fairytale horror and not being able to get home again. Something was very, very wrong in Woodsend.

She turned up the heater and flicked on all the lights because at this speed no one would see her coming. The Audi powered at 80 mph through thick, grey fog, driven by a woman with the devil on her back.

On either side, the waterlogged moors seeped darkly. As if in wait for that second’s loss of concentration, a swerving of the wheel, a screech of tyres, and the sucking of metal drowning in the bog.

Squinting into the mist, her eyes flicked to the lit dashboard – how odd – that’s what she thought – the temperature was dropping rapidly. Why? The car had just been serviced. Her breath steamed on the air. Muscles rigid. She wriggled her toes – no, nothing – no warmth from the engine at all. There should have been heat surging through by now. Instead it was getting colder than it was outside. Freezing, in fact.

A creeping awareness was how it started, she recalled later – as she lay awake night after night trying to understand, to rationalise what happened next – a musty smell like unwashed clothes on an unwashed body; a sigh of sour breath on the side of her face; a feeling that someone or something, was on the passenger seat beside her, waiting for her to take her eyes off the road and look round. No, not waiting – willing her to…

A shape. Growing. The sound of salivating, raspy breathing. Like a very old man smacking his gums, drawing air from diseased lungs.

Kristy concentrated hard on the road ahead. This was just fear talking. It had a hold on her mind. Focus on the job in hand – on driving safely home – reduce speed and don’t take your eyes off the road for a moment…The car’s headlights reflected their own swirling white light. A fragment of memory – being in a plane – engines humming in a blanket of grey over the North Sea – the unrelenting aborted landings, one after the other, and being unable to see a damn thing. Then suddenly the tarmac and a crack, a bounce, and the relief of touching ground. Soon the lights of town would be ahead and the fog would lift.

But someone really is in the passenger seat.

The strength of presence grew, along with the irresistible desire to turn and see who it was.

A smell – putrid now, decaying, salty blood and sulphur – permeated the air.

Keep looking ahead at the road – each millisecond more is another moment of life….don’t look around…don’t look…

The presence was squelching – shape-shifting – into a recognisable form. Kristy’s side vision deciphered an old hag with ancient, tissue-thin skin and heavy, gnarled features. She knew the look in the woman’s eyes would be older than time itself, and if she met that look the car would go off the road in a heartbeat.

This was a journey she could never relate to another living soul. No one would believe her. Imagine trying to describe it at a dinner party – a few shudders, some more wine-pouring, meaningful glances exchanged – another psychiatrist having a breakdown…Especially since most of her friends were doctors. Well, all of them. How terrible to be thought mad when you were supposed to be saner than sane. To experience what seems real but cannot be. To have to lock all this inside because you can never tell.

Lock what inside? What was this?

The temptation to look at her passenger grew stronger with every passing second, the pull like a magnet.

Don’t look round – whatever you do, Kristy – do not look…

That voice – it was her late father’s…

 And then the sharp descent began. The Audi’s headlights picked out the rear-lights of a truck. The belt of fog broke, and ahead lay the metropolis – a basin lit with yellow lights.

The temperature shot up. And the presence evaporated.

***

Real fear. Well if that’s what she’d gone to find, that’s what she’d got.

She parked, locked up and then quickly ran up the steps to her apartment block, not daring to look over her shoulder. On entering, she walked briskly from room to room switching on all the lights, then poured herself a double scotch from the bottle kept only for Christmas.

And then another.

Sarah EnglandSarah’s Bio

Sarah qualified as an RGN in Sheffield before working for nearly 20 years in medical sales and marketing. She has been a fiction writer for magazines for over 10 years now and has a comedy novel – ‘Expected’ – and a collection of 25 tales from the dark side of life – ‘3am and Wide Awake’ – also available in digital and paperback form on amazon. All three books are now either newly published or re-published on EchoWords – her own company, which also offers proofreading services. http://www.echowords.org

*’Father of Lies’ is a supernatural horror novel with content which some readers may find very disturbing, and possibly offensive.  

Amazon UK: http://tinyurl.com/oakg7yr

Amazon US: http://tinyurl.com/nc288rp

You can also find Sarah on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SarahEngland4?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SarahEngland16