Tag Archives: book giveaway

Elizabeth Clansham

Here’s an exclusive from Contemporary Woman’s novel Elizabeth Clansham by Catherine E Chapman and this book is free for the next few weeks so don’t forget if you like it download it now!

Browsing pulses in the tinned-foods aisle, thinking that a chilli would be a good pick-me-up for him and a peace offering to Dorothy, Angus became aware of a small, fair-haired girl watching him intently.

She stood at the end of his trolley, her head barely visible above it, but the bright red coat she wore barring him from going any further without acknowledging her. ‘Hullo,’ she said. ‘My name’s Lauren. What’s yours?’

‘Angus,’ he replied. ‘Did your mammy never tell you, you shouldn’t speak to strangers.’

‘You’re not strange,’ she said.

Angus laughed.

‘You’re quite hairy.’

He laughed again. ‘Where’s your mammy, then?’

‘Frozen foods,’ said Lauren.

‘Shouldn’t you go and find her?’ Angus suggested.

‘She’ll find me,’ Lauren assured him. ‘Are you a farmer?’

‘No but I do work on the land and I work with animals.’

‘Are you a zookeeper?’

‘Lauren!’

Angus looked up and saw, at the head of the aisle, a Viking princess. She wore tight jeans and a cerise top that was too small for her and her long, blonde, flowing hair enhanced the animation caused by her distress. She advanced towards them.

‘Lauren, don’t go wandering off like that ever again. And don’t talk to strangers.’

‘See,’ Angus said to Lauren.

‘He’s not strange,’ Lauren insisted. ‘This is Angus. He’s a zookeeper–’

‘I’m not actually a zookeeper,’ Angus admitted, holding out his hand to the warrior princess.

She shook it half-heartedly but looked less aggressive. ‘I’m very sorry,’ she said. ‘This one can be a real pest; I hope she hasn’t been annoying you.’

‘Not a problem,’ said Angus, wondering whether Lauren had a father.

‘Come on then, chipmunk,’ the princess said, extending the hand he’d shaken to her daughter. ‘I’m really sorry,’ she repeated.

‘Until we meet again,’ Angus said to Lauren but really to her.

‘Yes,’ Lauren replied definitely.

The princess dragged the chipmunk away, the chipmunk turning and waving to him as she went. Angus noted that the Viking warrior princess wore a very new, very sturdy-looking pair of fawn, suede boots, trimmed with fur around their tops. They were incredibly incongruous with the rest of her attire but incredibly sexy with her long, powerful legs in their tight jeans. He wondered what could be her name: Brunhilde? Isolde?

When Angus went to the checkout he saw them again, two tills down. They were alone – his hopes were raised.

‘Earth calling Angus, Earth calling Angus,’ Lena mocked as she began to swipe his purchases.

‘Oh, how are ye?’ he asked.

‘Not half so lovesick as you by the looks of things,’ she remarked astutely.

‘Get away with ye,’ Angus said, fearing he was blushing.

As he went to the end of the checkout, he snuck another look at her. She was bending over the end of her checkout, packing her bags, but looking up and smiling at someone approaching her from the aisles.

Angus turned to see the bloody rock star waving a leg of beef in the air, signalling to the cashier not to total the bill until he’d reached them. His heart sank.

‘She goes by the name of Laetitia,’ Lena said, without having to look at what Angus was looking at to know what he was looking at.

‘And she’s what, Andrew’s girlfriend?’ Angus asked, trying to sound matter-of-fact.

‘According to Agnes McGinty but then, personally, I don’t think Agnes’s word is the most reliable. She could be his sister,’ Lena suggested, wondering why she was being so nice to him when he never gave her so much as a look.

‘Aye,’ he said, brightening.

‘Although, she is very blonde and he’s very dark – so maybe not.’ She saw Angus’s smile subside and felt glad she’d undermined his optimism. ‘That’ll be thirty-six pounds and seventy-two pence, then.’

When he’d given his card to Lena, Angus looked over again to see them departing. He didn’t think she’d noticed him – why should she? He was slightly comforted to see that, walking side-by-side, Laetitia was at least an inch taller than Andrew. As he looked on, Lauren turned and waved a rather ugly, half-hare-half-human entity at him.

He waved to her and smiled.

‘Put your pin in, for goodness’ sake Angus,’ Lena instructed.

 DOWNLOAD FOR FREE FROM AMAZON NOW!

DOWNLOAD FOR FREE FROM SMASHWORDS NOW!

Advertisements

Safe Haven

Safe Haven is a story set before The Running Game. I wrote the story after I published The Running Game as a sort of companion piece, but it is also a great introduction to the feel of the series. This story is available for free from most online retailers including Amazon so if you like what you read please give the full story a go – I promise you won’t be disappointed. And don’t forget you can leave comments and feedback at the bottom of the page.

 

The world was white. So white the dark night couldn’t penetrate the layers of snow suffocating the surrounding forest. Each breath Isobel managed to push out crystallised in the air around her small mouth, sparkling under the moonlight. She pushed forward, the snow swallowing her legs to the knees in hungry gulps. Her hands and feet were numb but her thighs burned furiously with each agonising step.

It was late and she was so very tired. The last night was spent in the back of their Landrover, fighting for space on the backseat with her little sister while their Dad kept watch. It had been a cold, broken night, but Isobel would give anything to be back there now. Anything not to be walking through Red Forest in the middle of December.

She sniffed and looked behind her. Rachel was only six, three years younger than Isobel but at that moment it felt like there was a lifetime between them. Rachel didn’t understand why they were in the middle of the wilderness. She had no idea why they had to leave their mother. She had slept through their uncle running into the cottage, screaming that the army was coming. She had no idea of the danger they were in. Isobel stared at her sister as she struggled in the snow and envied every tiny, oblivious step she took.

Rachel fell and started to cry. She was sobbing for their mum, looking around the expanse of nothing for her. But Isobel knew they would never see their mother again. She took a strong heavy breath, close to tears herself. She wanted to move to help her sister but her legs refused to go back, not after the effort they had put into going forwards.

Instead she called out. “Dad!”

He was ahead of them, scoping out the safety of the forest. When he saw Rachel he hurried back, covering the ground in five easy strides. Despite the cold and fatigue Isobel broke a smile. Her father was the greatest man, he could still do anything in her eyes. Despite the snow sticking to his beard, the creases in his weather worn face, he was still her hero. He lifted Rachel effortlessly into his large arms, brushing the snow from her hair. And that’s when the gunfire started.

“Run! Isobel run!” He screamed.

He grabbed her coat as he ran past, but she stayed, looking through the trees at the erupting lights, as though the night sky had sunk to the earth.

“Isobel!” Her father shouted and she came to her senses.

They were coming! She started to run. Her feet leapt into her father’s footsteps, following his shadow as he weaved through the trees. The foliage became denser, the snow thinner. She found her feet striking firming soil, frozen dirt and icy puddles. She leapt over a ditch and her father caught her. His hand pulled her close and they huddled together into a dug out burrow off the path.

“We need to work together,” he whispered, so softly Isobel thought she was imagining them. “We’re not here,” he told them both. “Say it with me girls. We’re not here.”

Isobel closed her eyes, sinking into the warmth of her father’s wax coat. She reached for her sister’s hand and concentrated. “We’re not here,” she repeated. “We’re not here.” Over and over she focussed on the words, hearing the echo in the baritone voice of her father and the small squeak of her sister.

Time started to twist, the cold subsided and she felt herself floating against the body of her father. The explosions around her, the shouting, the danger, all started to melt away. But the power running over her wasn’t hers, it didn’t even belong to her father. The dominant voice inside her head became her sister’s, small and yet entirely commanding. She focused on it, echoing it as best she could and then she felt herself merge into nothing.

How long had they stayed like that? Isobel had no idea, but when her father broke free of their spell the militia had gone, leaving a stunned silence in their wake. The surrounding trees were torn apart with gunshot. Pieces of bark and bullet shells scattered the ground around them. It had been ferocious whatever had come their way.

“Daddy,” Rachel asked sleepily. “What’s going on?”

Isobel waited. She’d asked the question herself the night before, but she was sure her father wasn’t about to repeat his answer. How could he tell a six year old the truth? That they were caught in the middle of a civil war, insurgents and militia intent on claiming land that never belonged to them? How could he explain to her that these men didn’t care who got caught in the crossfire? That this wasn’t a fight for freedom, or liberty or any sense of lost righteousness? That this was about control and power? How could he tell his youngest daughter that she had never been in more danger, because if they found out what she was, what all three of them were, both sides would lock them away and do all kinds of experiments on them?

“We’re playing a game,” he said, stroking his younger daughter’s hair, while at the same time squeezing Isobel’s hand. “It’s called the Running Game. We have to run and hide, concentrate on not getting caught. Wherever we go, whatever we do we keep moving, counting the exits, planning our escape routes so nobody can ever find us.”

“It sounds like a stupid game,” Rachel said.

Their dad laughed softly. “It does, but you get a prize if you play it well.”

“What prize?”

“You get to live Rachel. You get to grow up, to keep running. You have to keep running baby. Always be ready to run because they’ll always be coming for you. Whatever happens, they’ll always be coming for you.”

“When will they stop Dad?” Isobel asked.

Her father held Rachel close, as though he were protecting her from the next confession.

“They’ll never stop,” he said. “Right now we need to rest. The secret to winning the game is knowing when to run and when to wait. You’re tired. You’ve done so well today. Try to sleep now, we’ll try to get out of the forest in a few hours.”

Rachel was asleep in moments and Isobel had a suspicion her father had put her to sleep using his powers. She snored quietly, looking almost peaceful.

“There’s a lot of ground to cover,” he said to Isobel. “We’re going to make our way south, to S’aven. There’s a man there. A priest called Father Darcy. He’s an old friend. We can trust him. He’ll help hide us until all this is over.”

Isobel nodded, understanding these were instructions, not reassurances. She rolled the name in her head; Father Darcy. She had to remember it.

“Your sister, her powers…” he shook his head and sighed. “If they find her it will be bad for all Reachers.” He turned to her, his eyes warming. “If they find either of you, it will be bad honey. You’re so young, this isn’t the life I wanted for you. You need to be strong now sweetheart, you need to look after your sister. I wouldn’t trust her to anyone else.” He pushed the hair from her face. “My beautiful girl, look at you, you’re so grown up already. You make me and your mum so proud.”

She felt a lump swell in her throat.

“Whatever happens you look after your sister. Can you do that Isobel?”

Her father was a good man and she would have done anything to make him happy. She stared into his dark blue eyes and the look he gave her betrayed everything that was about to come – his death, their journey, her future.

“Can you do that Isobel?”

Would he have asked if he had honestly known what it would mean – what she would do to keep her sister safe?

“Isobel?”

 

This book is available to download for FREE. Get it from Amazon Smashwords or Kobo 

And you can add your book and others in the Reacher series to your Goodreads


Cover Poll – The Unlucky Man

Never judge a book by it’s cover. But what about when that’s all you’ve got to go on? Today we are getting interactive.

Check out this cover from H T G Hedges’ debut The Unlucky Man and tell us – based on this cover alone would you buy the book? Vote below for a chance to win a copy of the book:

 

The Unlucky Man

 

Leave a comment – even a simple hello – and one of you will be chosen to WIN an e-copy of the book on Saturday! 


Clash of the Clans

Today we’ve got an exciting post, not only is there an exclusive extract but also a GIVEAWAY! So please give a warm welcome to martial arts author L Benitez and check out all the details about her book Clash of the Clans below ….

Greetings! Or as one might say in Japan, Konnichiwa!

My name is L. Benitez and I’m a self-published author of the Martial Arts fantasy Shinobi 7 Series. I have one book out called Shinobi 7: Trials of a Warrior, the first book of my ongoing series. However, today I’m here to discuss my newest release, Clash of the Clans, Shinobi 7’s very own companion book!

Clash of the Clans is not the official sequel to Trials of a Warrior, it’s a short story involving the characters from the Shinobi 7 universe. For those of you who have read Trials of Warrior, this is a nice bonus to get you excited for the official sequel/second installment. For those of you who have not read Trials of a Warrior, Clash of the Clans will give you a solid sample of my writing and peak your interest for each of the characters.

As read in Shinobi 7: Trials of a Warrior, the evil shinobi clan known as Blackthorn has started a war in the world known as Shaaku Den. The only warriors left to defend the innocent people are the Kitsune Clan, where the members of Sector 7 are introduced. Sector 7 must not only train to be soldiers, but they must grow together as a team and learn to rely on each other through the times of battle.

In this companion novel, there is no war in Shaaku Den, and the Blackthorn Clan was never formed. Therefore, all thirteen ancient shinobi clans are still around and the pressure of battle doesn’t weigh on the students of the Kitsune Clan. However, peace and harmony isn’t awaiting the six members of Sector 7… misadventures lie ahead!

I’m a Martial Artist myself and an active participator of Shotokan Karate. I’ve been in many tournaments. This book is about the nerves of competition and overcoming them, the pressures you place on yourself to perform, and the support that can come from your friends and teammates. It’s not about being the best, it’s about trying your best and having fun!

Here’s an exclusive excerpt from Clash of the Clans. The current point of view is from Tabitha Meko, one of the young girls and main characters in the story. Please enjoy!

You can enter the giveaway to get a copy of the book here:

https://www.facebook.com/shinobi7series/app_228910107186452

We arrived at the Black-Sho Clan early the next morning. Akira stayed true to her word and returned to our camp at five in the morning. She merely said, “Let’s go,” before we took off again. Today wasn’t like yesterday, our team wasn’t rushed to travel. Akira probably wanted the six of us to conserve our energy, that or the school wasn’t too much farther from us.

The forests of Viper Country began to get thinner and thinner as we walked. It was only an hour before I saw the outline of a building off in the distance. It was still far away because the building looked like the size of my thumb. I’ve still got a long way to walk.

Therefore, I chose to walk next to Kuroi. It wasn’t for the sake of his company! I walked next to him to try and get information out of him. My team leader has been at the Kitsune Clan for three years and for two of them he was all by himself. He knows a lot about the shinobi clans, even if he chooses to be a jerk about it and refuse to clue his team in.

“Getting awfully close there, Meko-Chan. Hoping my badass skills will rub off on you?” I purposely gagged after hearing Kuroi’s comment. “You wish!” I exclaimed.

He smirked at me. Smirks from Kuroi Kaze weren’t nice, they were always intended to be taunting.

“So why walk so close to me, then?” he asked me.

Dang it, Kuroi caught onto my plan. “I’m just walking,” I replied.

“So go walk next to your gal-pal, Yami-San.” Kuroi often teased Yami about how sensitive he was and constantly told him to “be a man.”

“Quit being a jerk. I just wanna ask you more about Battle Month.” There, the truth finally came out of me.

Kuroi gave a short snarl. “I shoulda guessed that you or Yami-San would come bother me about that. It’s not like I’m some expert or whatever, I’ve only been to a Battle Month once.”

“Really? You’ve been there once before?” I asked with enthusiasm. My eyes instantly glued to Kuroi, I wanted to hear what he had to say more than ever.

He nodded. “Yeah. Once. Three months after I arrived at the clan.”

Back when Kuroi had his old teammates, I thought to myself. A red flag went off in my mind. Kuroi never talks about the old Sector 7, never. I need to be careful and not ask him about that.

“Which clan was it?” I asked him. I lost a peg of previous enthusiasm.

Kuroi furrowed his thick eyebrows, anger making its way into his face. “This one,” he growled, “the Black-Sho Clan.” Uh-oh.

I turned my head around to the front of me. We were almost at the building! A moment ago the place was miles and miles off, now it’s almost in my face. What in Shaaku Den? I thought.

Kuroi saw my look of perplexity. “It’s called an illusion, Meko-Chan,” he told my dryly.

The Black-Sho Clan was all indoors with an infrastructure made of creamy marble. The building was shaped like a large rectangle but it was hard to tell because of how big the place is compared to how small I am as a human. The open doors were almost as tall as the ceiling, which ascended above us by two stories. We stepped through the threshold and into the clan.

“Wow,” Cassie and I awed simultaneously.

The ceiling was made out of glass and the view of the bright blue skies was overhead. The floors were a simple concrete. On the outside wall of the clan, it was creamy marble that covered the building. Once I walked inside, the walls were a shiny black marble that gleamed and glistened brightly. That’s so cool!

My awe didn’t last long. I paid attention to what was in the room versus the room itself. There was plenty of open space around us and the room was already crowded with hundreds and hundreds of people. All these people… they’re all shinobis… oh spirits!

You can enter the giveaway to get a copy of the book here:

https://www.facebook.com/shinobi7series/app_228910107186452

But if you can’t wait, or are naturally unlucky order your copy of the short story Clash of the Clans on Amazon.com when it releases September 20th!

http://www.amazon.com/L.-Benitez/e/B00K1JBRH0/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

And you can add the book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7077413.L_Benitez

And don’t forget to like L Benitez’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/shinobi7series


The Unlucky Man

Being a beta reader means I get to read a lot of great books before anybody else and then when it comes to promotion I can pick my favourite part of the book to showcase. This is a great scene from The Unlucky Man by H T G Hedges and you can download this book for free on Saturday.

 

A figure was seated at a huge, dark wood desk that curved majestically into the centre of the room, a glass decanter atop it filled with amber spirit.

“Mr. Happen,” Baldman said with deference and a strange almost half bow to the figure behind the desk before retreating to stand in the shadows behind him. I was pleased to see him remove his ridiculous sunglasses as he did so.

So this was the Make It Happen Man. He was not at all what I had expected.

He was a tall, gaunt figure, old but in no way diminished by age. Thick white curls rolled back from his brow, flowing above a face of weathered and thickly lined leather skin. His was not a kindly old face, however, but rather the unyielding countenance of a feared and respected teacher. Old ink showed on his skeletal fingers and across the backs of his hands, faded sigils and angled characters in a spreading blue green that may once have been black.

But it was his eyes that surprised me the most: one dark as oil, the other rheumy and white and surely blind, peeking like a marble from beneath a scarred and puckered lid. He smiled very slightly at Corg, a glint of sharp gold teeth catching the light cast by the oil lamp on the mammoth desk.

His voice, when he spoke, was deep and resonant, at odds with his advancing years. “Alexander,” he said, “It has been some time.” He raised a hand in a vague gesture taking in the room around us.

“Please excuse the mess, but we find ourselves living in interesting times.” He grinned a big, predatory golden grin, picking up a heavy based tumbler and swirling the liquid within. “And to what do we owe this unexpected pleasure?” He inflected the final word with enough venom to make it plain that we were far from welcome in his rotten castle. Behind him I caught Baldman’s smirk.

Corg spread his hands in an imploring gesture.

“We’re in trouble Mr. Happen,” he said earnestly, “We could use a place to lay our hats for a while, whilst the storm dies down.” His words sounded small, muffled and swallowed by the thickly scented hostile air.

From out of the shadows Baldman re-emerged, hand on the gun concealed under his dark jacket, but the stricken old man at the desk waved him back. His eyes still bore into mine, both of them, thought I had the disquieting notion that the cold marble orb was the one he was really seeing me with. Cherry red droplets dripped unnoticed from his fingertips.

“It’s you,” he rasped and the look in his eye said he recognized my face though I knew we’d never met before. “You,” he croaked, “The Unlucky Man.” His words tumbled out atonally, like those spoken in a dream and I heard them both from his pale lips and echoed in my head, drumming at my temples with every syllable.

“I knew you would come. I’ve seen it.” His skin looked suddenly thin and pale as paper. “Chaos follows you; death is in your footfalls, Unlucky Man.” He spat the words at me and, as I heard them, something shifted once more in my head and I felt the dark particle coil and flex itself, almost like an animal that recognizes its name being spoken. Happen, too, it occurred to me was touched by the same darkness.

“You should not have come here.” Mr. Happen still spoke like someone asleep but his gaze didn’t flicker from my face. “You bring chaos everywhere your crow shadow touches. It will be drawn to you.” There was pain etched in his features, a thin line of blood ran from his felt nostril. If this was a parlor trick, I thought, then it was a damn good one.

“We’ve done terrible things,” Mr Happen whispered, “And you are our reckoning. I knew you would come, I wanted to be ready.” He shut his eyes, his face creasing with an emotion I couldn’t even begin to read.

“It will be drawn to you,” he repeated in a whisper.

An enormous booming crash rocked the building. It felt like some massive object had collided with the outer walls. Everything shook, plaster drifted in torrents from the ceiling, the light flickered as the floor bucked and swayed.

“What the hell was that?” Baldman grunted as the door opened and Loess stepped into the room, white and anxious.

“Time to go,” she said urgently, a worried look on her face. The sudden cacophony seemed to have roused the Make it Happen Man from his trance as, with an effort, he pulled himself up onto his feet.

“We cannot help you,” he repeated in a whisper. “We will show you the way out and then you will go. Take your troubles with you.” Without another word or a backwards glance he limped from the room, wiping the blood from his face with the back of his hand. We followed, subsumed by his entourage, into a long austere green corridor much like the ones we had entered through, at the end of which was another door leading, I guessed, to a staircase back to ground level.

We were about halfway along the floor when the far door opened, a cluster of figures emerging from the gloom beyond. They looked at first glance for the most part like our escorts – grim, dishevelled, grimy – but there was a uniformity to their unkempt appearance that was lacking in Mr. Happen’s ragtag ensemble.

For a long, tense moment they looked at us and we looked straight back, suspended in a moment of perfect stillness. But it couldn’t last.

The first bullet took Baldman through the lens of his wraparounds. I heard the glass pop as his head cannoned backwards then his legs splayed and he went over like an unruly mannequin. Somehow, as he fell, I got a hand under his jacket, popped the clip on the holster, and brought out his pistol, firing off round after round into the shadowy gaggle of figures at the end of the hallway as more shots followed.

To my left, Loess had her weapon out and was firing too, whilst everyone else seemed frozen in icy shock. The noise was incredible in the confined space, every shot a boom of thunder, every burst as bright as lightning. Penned in the narrow confines of the doorway they never stood a chance.

The echoing silence after the last shot had fired was deafening as the door at the end of the hall quietly slid closed, cutting off the bilious tableaux beyond. Two of our group were fast cooling on the wormy carpet: Baldman and another whose name I’d never learned and never would.

Loess was the first to speak. “Come on,” she said. “We need to find another way down.” We reversed our footsteps, heading back the way we had come and taking a right into a room that must have cornered the building. A great, dirty window looked out over the desolate wasteland below.

“Who the fuck were those guys?” Corg demanded.

“No coincidences,” Happen growled. “Chaos draws chaos like a black-hole swallowing light.”

“Which way now?” Voices were raised in a clamor of differing opinions but I was no longer listening. Through the glass I could see that it had finally stopped raining, but the sky was so dark and thick with churning cloud that it could have been night once more. It was not so dark, however, that I could not see the figures moving about below. These weren’t Mr. Happen’s men, of that I was certain.

A glint of light caught from something shining for a brief moment out of the murk, a long, cylindrical object being hefted to a shoulder, its bearer kneeling awkwardly in the sticking sludge. I rubbed at the grime on the window, spreading it like green algae under my palm, squinting down, trying to make out what was going on. Suddenly it swam into focus and was only too clear.

“Shit!” I shouted, pushing away from the window. “Get out of here! Down!” But it was too late. I caught the plume of smoke through the glass, heard, or imagined I heard, the keening whistling whine of the rocket, and then everything exploded in a crunching ripple of shattered glass and crumbling masonry. Someone was screaming, maybe several someone’s, as the world went red.

And then I was falling as the ground rushed up to meet me – gray and massive – with crushing speed as, in a moment of pain and exclamation, everything melted mercifully to black.

 

Buy the book now from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Unlucky-Man-H-T-Hedges-ebook/dp/B00N2V7DXQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410871209&sr=8-1&keywords=h+t+g+hedges

 

And like H T G Hedges’ Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/HTGHedges


The Running Game

I’ve been promoting authors for the past three weeks and – well you might have already seen – I also write books. This week one of my own stories is reduced to $0.99/£0.99 so I thought today I would shove the other authors out of the way and bring you an extract of my book The Running Game and don’t forget your comments are encouraged and welcome.

 

 

Five past eleven. Rachel’s shift should have finished three hours ago. She slammed her time-card into the machine. Nothing. She gave it a kick, then another until it released, punching her card and signing her out for the night. The hospital locker room was unusually quiet. There was a nurse signing out for the night, two doctors signing in. Nobody spoke to each other – it wasn’t that kind of place. Grabbing her threadbare coat from her locker, she drew it over her scrubs – the only barrier between her and the unforgiving October night. She walked through the ER waiting room, eyes fixed on the exit. You had to ignore the desperation. Three hours over a twelve hour shift, you had no choice but to pretend like you didn’t care. Push past the mothers offering up their sick children like you could just lay your hands on them and everything would be better. Push past the factory workers bleeding out on the floor. Push that door open and get out. Get home. You had to. In six hours the whole thing would start again.

The first blast of cold air slapped the life into her aching body. The second blast nearly pushed her back inside. She tightened the coat around herself, for the good it would do. November was coming, and coming fast. She quickened her pace, trying to outrun the winter.

She hurried past the skeletal remains of another fallen bank, a relic of the days when there had been an economy. Now the abandoned building housed those left to the streets; the too old, the too young, the weak, the stupid. Cops would be coming soon, moving them on, pushing them from one shadow to another until dawn or death, whichever came first. But for now they sat, huddled around burning canisters, silently soaking in the heat as though they could carry that one flame through winter. They didn’t notice Rachel. Even the really bad men lurking in the doorways, waiting for helpless things to scurry past, overlooked the young doctor as she made her way home. Nobody ever saw her. At least they never used to.

Three – two – one. Right on cue. She felt someone watching her. It was always the same place, opposite the third window of the old bank. He was hidden, not in the bank but close. So close she could almost feel his breath on the back of her neck. She’d watched muggings before, these were desperate times and people took what they could when they could. There were rapes too, five this week, at least five that had needed medical care. It was a dangerous city and getting worse. But this was different. He – and for some reason she knew it was a he – did nothing. For a week he had been there, never betraying his position or his intentions, but she could feel him and the longer he waited the more he tormented her. He knew where she lived, where she worked, the route she took to the exchange store. And he escorted her home each night without ever showing himself. It made no sense. And that made it so much worse.

She wasn’t intimidated easily, doctors in St Mary’s couldn’t be. It didn’t matter that she was only five feet tall and looked like a strong wind would knock her down, she had to take care of herself. But the stalking had spooked her. The sleepless nights followed, wondering who he was, what he wanted, if he knew.

There was nowhere for her to go in the city, no place she could hide, no escape. If she wanted to eat she had to work and he would be waiting for her outside the hospital – watching, doing nothing. She was tired of it, tired of everything, but there was something she could do. She could make it stop, one way or another. Whatever he had planned, whatever he wanted to do to her, he would have to look her in the eye as he did it, because she was done running.

She stopped walking and turned.

The street was empty. But she could still feel him there. The buildings pressed their darkness into the street and the spattering of hissing lamplights did little to expose the nocturnal danger below. There was noise, there was always noise; voices, vehicles, the persistent buzzing of the electricity struggling to reach the edges of the city. So much going on, so little to see – a perfect place to hide.

“Okay you pervert,” she whispered to herself. “Where’re you hiding?”

The road stretched back into a tightrope. Gingerly, her feet edged back towards the ruined bank. She scanned the buildings around her, the upper windows, the ground level doorways, waiting for him to pounce. One step – two step. Look. Nothing. She retraced her steps to the next building. Then the next. He felt so close – why couldn’t she see him?

“You want me, well here I am, you freak. Come and get me!”

There was a shout from the bank. Someone running. A man. Her stomach clenched. She braced herself. He pushed by her, hurrying away. It wasn’t him.

She turned confused and warm breath touched the back of her neck.

“Get down!” The world went white.

 

You can download this book for $1.66/£0.99 for this week only

http://www.amazon.com/Running-Game-Reachers-Book-ebook/dp/B00G7VJ0GG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410981330&sr=8-1&keywords=the+running+game+l+e+fitzpatrick


Inside Evil – FREE!!!

There are a lot of perks to being a book blogger and that is the great authors I get to meet and help. And today is an even better day because not only is it Saturday, but also it’s a double whammy of posts.

So up next is an exclusive interview with Geoffrey Wakeling who has been talking to me about his series Inside Evil. Here’s what he has to say and at the bottom of the page is a link to all the places you can get his awesome work for FREE!!!!!!!

 

600wx375h option 2

 

The Inside Evil Series is set in a secluded town on the English/Scottish border, can you tell us a little bit more about the setting of the story – is it a real place or based on a real place and what is it like to live in your town?

I love the setting – Ridgewood – I always think of it as a character in itself. As a child all my family holidays were spent either in the Lake District or the fringes of Scotland. We’d drive there, and I remember that after miles of motorway, the hills would start to soar, dry stone walls would creep in and there’d be nomadic sheep dotted across the landscape – and roads. I’d always be SO excited. The scenery held such mystery as well as a sense of foreboding. I wanted to bring this to the story and have a little town where people isolated themselves from the rest of the world, and that’s how Ridgewood came to be. So in answer to your question, it’s based on a feeling and a collection of memories rather than any one place.

 

Roberta Arlington is your lead character, can you tell us a bit more about her – what type of woman is she?

When we join the story, Roberta’s become caught in Ridgewood’s a are; she’s young and single, but seemingly quite content to remain hidden away in this forgotten town, despite being an immigrant.

She’s quite fallible, worries a lot and takes her time coming to realisations. Saying that, she’s also extremely determined to do what’s right and has an uncanny way of staying alive. In the first book, Roberta’s character is somewhat obscured by the curse, so she begins to breathe properly in the later novels.

 

There is an evil in Ridgewood, where did you get the idea for this evil?

In all honesty, I have NO idea. This is a book I started decades ago and I can’t, for the life of me, remember where the initial inspiration came from. I used to play the Sims a lot – like, obsessively – and had a website where I created stories; it’s possible I even thought of the idea for that. Either way, it’s grown more than I could have ever imagined!

 

I’ve heard this book is scary – will I get nightmares and what is that compels you to scare your readers silly?

See, to me, it’s not THAT scary! I guess it depends on your disposition. But yes, I’ve had reviews saying it’s made people’s blood run cold; which I suppose is a good thing. I think my main focus was to write something new, that hadn’t been done before. I wanted to shock people as well as surprise readers so they didn’t see what was coming.

 

You’ve got 5 books planned for the series. Do you think 5 will be enough and did you always plan to do 5 stories or have things evolved from your original plans.

Originally there were four books planned but I realised that cutting off the end of the story and having it as a fifth book made far more sense. It gave me a chance to collect my thoughts too. Writing a series is hard, especially when you’re creating parallel worlds, rules for curses and crossing between realms etc. it means all those threads need neatly tying off.

That’s not to say things didn’t evolve. They did; to a great extent. I had milestones and plot points that needed writing, but everything in between? Complete in-the-moment inspiration.

 

Without giving any spoilers to the plot can you tell us a bit about the series as a whole and what Roberta has to face throughout the five stories.

The series starts as a mystery as readers piece together what’s happening in the small town. There are several POV’s in each book, with Susan Lingly, Sam Carter and Karl Frans also taking leads.

As the books unfold, each character is sent along their own path; Roberta’s is of self-discovery and learning that whether she likes it or not, she’s the one to stop all the dramatic events unfolding. Susan, following her daughter’s death, is on a quest for answers, whilst Karl wants to rectify the past and ensure the cyclical natures of the strange deaths never happen again.

The series is set in three worlds; Earth, Gathin and the veil between. There are doppelgängers, talking creatures, potions, murders, mystery and all sorts of other dangers for the characters to face.

 

Are there any other characters that have a strong presence in the story and can you tell us a bit about them.

Yes, as mentioned, there are other POV’s too. Susan’s middle aged, runs a bookstore with ‘mad Martha’ and after discovering her daughter’s death becomes a lynch pin in solving the entire mystery. Meanwhile, Karl is a policeman who moved away from Ridgewood after he was unable to solve some prior murders. Finally, Sam is Roberta’s old university friend who’s in town writing a thesis. They all play their part in help Roberta survive. In fact, without them, I’m sure she’d have perished!

 

What do you think is the best thing about the book and in fact the series?

That it’s completely different and a mash of genres; though that doesn’t make it easy to market, I can tell you! There’s elements of horror, mystery, paranormal, fantasy and SF rolled into one; it’s a bit like marmite – people either love or hate it.

As the writer, I love it. I just wrote what was in my head and took my cast on a tumultuous journey. There’s joy and pain throughout, as well as eclectic characters you can help but love despite their flaws.

 

So you’ve obviously got to get back to book 5, but what comes next for Geoffrey Wakeling once the Inside Evil series is finished?

Yes, book 5 is almost done now. It’s with the editor, so for my part, I’ve practically said a sad goodbye. It was hard to write, frustrating at times, but everything ends up where I wanted and I’m happy to let me cast off the hook for some quiet, uneventful times.

Now I’m back to my SF Dystopian series; CRYO. I have two books out, so need to write the third and see where John and his cryonic podmates have journeyed too!

 

So here is the blurb to the first book in the Inside Evil series, also called Inside Evil:

Life in the secluded town of Ridgewood is charming, simple, safe – isn’t it? The bubble that isolates the hamlet protects, or so the eclectic residents believe. Lurking in the background of everyday life is a curse that comes in cycles and picks off the innocent as it pleases. But this time there’s something different, this time the curse wants more.

Roberta Arlington’s life changes the moment she finds one of her pupils, pale, frozen, DEAD. Her mind is filled with uncharacteristic thoughts, dreams and visions create bizarre scenes, and her blood boils as she lashes out at those she loves. Amidst her turmoil there are friends, and enemies, who come to her aid, piecing together the puzzle laid before them.

But with the ancient evil having struck down so many through the centuries, Roberta will have to muster every ounce of strength she has to survive. An entire world, a strange land, has unveiled itself. If Roberta knows one thing for sure, it’s that she alone won’t be able to escape as death comes calling…

Inside Evil 1

  Download for free:

AMAZON US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007JIH0EU/

AMAZON UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B007JIH0EU/

Barnes & Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/inside-evil-geoff-wakeling/1110621721?ean=2940033163106

SMASHWORDS – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/141521

Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Inside-Evil/book-b4J5z2f9JkGYSrspso3nCg/page1.html


The Wronged Wife

It’s another extract from author Margaret Brazear, this time from her novel The Wronged Life.

He left Madeleine playing with her dog and made his way to his bedchamber where he laid down on his bed and put his hands behind his head to stare at the ceiling. His feelings were in so much turmoil, he had no idea what he should do or indeed if he should do anything. Were it not for his daughter, he might simply write to Philippa with an apology and leave it like that, but he could not do that, could he?

His memory was showing him more than he wanted to see. He closed his eyes and she was in his arms, her soft breath against his neck, her soft breasts against his. She whispered his name, told him she loved him, wrapped her arms around him and her breathing came in heavy gasps as he buried himself inside her, as they rose together to such heights of passion, he thought he would explode from the pleasure. These past years he had been afraid to remember that, to recall those wonderful nights in her arms, for fear he would imagine her with Stephen, giving that same passion to him. She was a sensuous woman and if he thought at all, he thought it likely the year of abstinence had been too much for her and she had turned to Stephen to fulfil that need. What a fool he was!

He stood up and went to the window which looked down on the gardens. He made up his mind as he watched Madeleine sitting on the grass, her arms wrapped around her very wet dog. He could almost smell the creature from here, but they both looked so happy. There was only one thing to do and he must do it, painful though it would be.

He went downstairs and outside and walked toward her; she jumped to her feet when she saw him and he noticed her frock was soaking and trails of wet mud decorated the fabric from shoulder to knee. She was almost a woman, but he could never imagine her in voluminous skirts and heavy material, with fancy collars and delicate sleeves. Puddle raced toward him and he stepped back, out of the way; he did not want to have to change his clothes.

“Madeleine,” he said. “Please go and get changed, clean that dog as best you can and ask Nurse to pack your clothes, all of them.”

The child’s eyes grew round as she stared at him.

“Why, Father?” She asked after a moment. “Where am I going?”

“I am taking you to your mother,” he replied. “It is a very long journey and we will have to stay overnight somewhere, possibly two nights, depending on how much time we can make.”

“See Mother?” Her eyes grew wider as she stared at him, as though she were afraid to speak lest she had misheard. “Really?”

Her wide eyed expression of sheer wonder almost broke his heart. A child’s visit to her own mother should not be something so bizarre as to cause her disbelief.

What the hell had he done?

“Yes, really,” he replied.

“Puddle too?”

He smiled indulgently. He had no idea how the animal would cope with such a long journey, but he could hardly ask Madeleine to leave him behind, not when his intention was that she should not return to London.

“Puddle, too,” he answered. “You had best be sure he has a bowl and lots of water, as well as food for the journey.”

Still she stood and stared at him, looking concerned.

“We are really going to see Mother?” She persisted and he could hear a little catch in her voice.

“We are, and not before time. Now hurry, please. I want to make a start before it gets too late.”

The dog had to be lifted into the coach as the step was too high, and he was a big dog. They would have to stop for him to attend to his natural business a few times and each time it would be up to Richard and the coachman to lift him inside. It was worth it to see the sheer joy on his daughter’s face and he wondered how she had kept her counsel all these years, how she had resisted the temptation to ask him questions about her mother.

He could only suppose she sensed it was not a subject he wanted to talk about and she had respected that. She was a remarkable child.

Now he felt her eyes on him and he knew she was longing to question him, to find out why after all these years and all the precautions he had taken to prevent her knowing too much, suddenly he was taking her to see her mother.

“Madeleine,” he began hesitantly. “I am sure you are wondering why I have had this sudden change of heart. You are old enough now to understand a little, I think. At least I hope so.”

She said nothing but her eyes never left his, as though she was trying to anticipate his words before he spoke them.

“The fact is, I am ashamed to say that seven years ago I made some terrible mistakes and I did the worst thing anyone could do to a woman.” He watched her eyes grow even rounder and she looked angry. “I took her child away from her,” he went on. “I thought I was doing my best for you, but I was wrong; I was very wrong. I hope you will forgive me one day.”

 

Read more here:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Wronged-Wife-Margaret-Brazear-ebook/dp/B00KZMIFLO/ref=pd_sim_sbs_kinc_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0K03QYSPFN4VSPPH4T2T


Day Zero

This is the first post for this new blog so I should probably introduce myself. I’m L E Fitzpatrick, or Lynzie as most people know me. I’m an indie writer and I have been for several years now. I’m by no means successful, but I’m still in the game. I’ve got 5 full novels out and a couple of short stories and all of my short stories are ranked 3* and up. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bragging, but so often as authors we feel that we must prove that actually we are good writers and not just here to waste your time.

So that’s me. I write. But more importantly I’m an indie writer – which basically means everything I do is done off my own back when I have time and money to do it. It’s hard and usually full of pitfalls and throughout my self-publishing career I’ve found that there have been moments when it would be nice to know someone has my back.

I want Limelight to eventually grow into something that indie writers and readers can benefit from so at Day Zero I am setting out my plan. Limelight will take over the world… okay maybe too ambitious… how about: Limelight is going to be an effective free promotional tool for indies world wide. It is going to offer only exclusive material so readers world wide have something interesting and original to read (and not the generic blurb posts that appear everywhere). We are also going to offer services such as proofreading and beta reading, as well as being open to your suggestions as to what we can do to make our site better.

So are you coming along for the ride?

Also I wanted to post my one and only disclaimer. I would love people to help other indies with beta and proofreading services. If you spot any deliberate typos in any of my posts then why not consider offering your keen eye to other indies to make their work error free (did you buy that? Oh well, it was worth a shot).

First off. I want your advertisements please everyone. If you have a book, a competition, a giveaway – anything then I want to hear about it. I’m going to kick things off.

You have six hours left to win a copy of my book The Running Game and Border Lines from the Reacher series. Click on the link below to enter.

http://tinyurl.com/lo3szb3

Now it’s your turn. Email your posts to: lefitzpatrick@hotmail.co.uk

 

P.S. Really sorry about my giant head at the side – when I figure out how to make it smaller I will.