Tag Archives: I Belong to the Earth

I Hold the Tide (Unveiled book 3) Sneaklet

Okay so earlier this week, I said that if I got a certain number of likes, I would post a sneak preview of my third Unveiled book – I Hold the Tide – which is due out on 20th October 2017. So here you go, this is an excerpt from Chapter Two, which doesn’t give too much away. Amy and Emlynn are staying at a guesthouse in Cornwall and there’s strange doings afoot. Enjoy 😉 

 

My eyes snapped open. I was curled up on the broad windowsill, the first golden fingers of morning stroking my face. I felt vile. As if I’d been out drinking all night. My head ached, my eyes were scratchy-hot and my upper left arm near the shoulder throbbed. Pain deep in the bone. I groaned and sat upright, fingers seeking for the small hole left by a lead ball in my upper arm. They met only smooth unblemished flash. No injury. Nothing there. No reason to think there would be – except that I knew I’d been dreaming some long dead person’s memories.

I didn’t want any of this again. I wanted to be left alone. But a deeper part of me still craved the excitement and mystery. Craved danger? Never had a dream where what I experienced as somebody else left me in physical pain, though. I tried to close my left hand, but I couldn’t get all my fingers to meet. As soon as I bent my thumb inwards pain screeched up my arm into my shoulder socket. I bit back a cry. Could you accidentally break your own arm in your sleep? Ridiculous, but the pain was real even if the cause wasn’t. Eyes watering, I rubbed my upper arm. Gradually the pain faded, lingering only in a slight numbness of my left hand. Eventually that disappeared too.

When I tried to make a fist again, my fingers obeyed with only a slight stiffness. I swung my shoulder in a full circle. No phantom pain. Which left me with only one question. What the hell was going on?

Are you alright, Em? 

That’s what Amy should be saying about now. It was a weird thought to have but Amy’s version of the Touch nearly always meant she knew when something was wrong. Which meant she turned up. Was she okay? In sudden panic, I stumbled to the connecting door and threw it open.

Amy was sitting cross-legged on her bed, typing away on her laptop with her headphones firmly plugged into her ears. I stopped, deflated. Whatever Amy was doing, it was engaging enough that she’d been able to ignore the Touch. I tried to smother the little voice that said Amy had moved on. That I mattered less. I tried to drown it with logic. Amy’s gift worked differently. It was less strong – and less of an affliction – than mine, so I couldn’t expect her to react to every bad night I had.

Yes but I was shot. 

No, the person you were in the dream was shot. Get a grip. Amy probably didn’t even know anything was wrong. Were you going to tell her anyway?

No, but

But nothing. It was a dream not the end of the world.

No, it’s just meant that pretty much every time in the past so far…

Do you want your little sister always on call in case you decide to let her in on your paranormal shenanigans? Do you? Doesn’t Amy get to have her own life, her own friends?

Her own boyfriend?

The guilt was hot, acidic and immediate. Everything I kept expecting to feel when I thought about what had happened to Rhys, but that had never come. I felt it now. And I’d named the evil. Amy has a boyfriend. Why should that feel like the world was dropping out from beneath my feet?

“Em? Are you coming in or is there something magical about the doorway?” Amy pulled out one earbud and cocked her head to the side. She looked impatient. The sinking feeling in my gut grew worse. I relaxed my grip on the doorframe.

“Yeah,” I said illogically. I meant ‘I’m coming in’ but I didn’t feel welcome and the word turned to ash in my throat.

“Could you whack the kettle on then?” Amy turned back to her laptop. She left the ear bud out but it was clear she wasn’t paying attention to me.

I mechanically went through the motions of filling the kettle and laying out the complimentary tea and coffee. A tight band of pain circled my head. A sidelong glance showed Amy reading something on her screen, her mouth curving in a smile so unconsciously tender, I felt as if I was spying on her. She looked up when I shoved a cup of tea under her nose, her smile more open and less intimate now it was aimed at me. I couldn’t help noticing that she rested one hand on the lid of her laptop, ready to slam it shut the moment I tried to take a peek. If Amy was aware of the cords of tension strung across the room she gave no sign of it. Feeling childish but unable to stop myself, I ostentatiously stirred sugar into my own tea. It was stupid, attention seeking behaviour. But Amy knew I only took sugar when I was particularly shaken after a bad psychic storm. If she was going to notice anything…

Amy typed one further sentence, then started shutting the computer down. She was oblivious to both my battle to keep my mouth shut and my shakiness. I sipped the sweetened tea, torn between wanting to know what Amy was up to and a thin, constricting pride that tightened around me, forcing the words back in my throat. If she wasn’t going to notice that there was a problem, I wasn’t going to tell her.

“Good job we’re at the top of this house,” Amy remarked. “The wifi is dreadful. I bet you can’t get any signal at all on street level.”

“Y-yeah well that’s C-Cornwall for you,” I muttered, still trying not to sulk. But Amy had given me an opening. “What were you up to anyway? You c-can’t have sk-school work already.” My attempt at teasing came out flat. Amy gave me a sharp look but didn’t comment on my tone.

“Just chatting to someone,” she said lightly.

“Muh-must have been some chat.” It was there again. The coldness in my voice. I couldn’t stop myself.

“You know how I get when I start talking ‘science nerd’,” Amy said but there was an edge to her tone. Leave it alone, the edge said. I couldn’t.

“D-don’t think you’ve t-told me anything about Geneva.”

“Really.” Amy’s expression shut me out.

I hated it. I hated this distancing. Was this a new thing? How had I not noticed? Anxious frustration laced even more tightly around me.

“Are y-you actually g-going t-t-to?” I demanded. The tenser I became, the worse my stutter grew. I didn’t mean to sound like I was interrogating her but something had snapped inside me. I was desperately trying to claw down the walls between us that I’d only just realised were there.

Amy shot me a look that was so cold and disappointed, I sucked in a breath. For a moment she wasn’t my little sister but a formidable woman I didn’t even know. “For your information I’ve told you pretty much everything about Geneva. If I’ve kept anything back it’s because it’s private. Can’t I have anything that’s mine? Or do you have to approve all my friends and everyone I talk to?”

“Amy…I…I–”

“I haven’t finished,” Amy said. “You of all people know how horrible it is to be talked over!”

I stared at her, mortified. If anything she was only getting angrier, which meant this had been building for a while. I shook my head but not in denial.

“Have you told me everything? Or even anything? No. You’ve been stuck in your own little world like always.” Amy’s frostiness cracked. A pleading note crept into her tone. “What happened in Dorset, Em? Why won’t you talk about it?”

“Nuh-nothing happened! I t-told you everything.” Everything I can tell you anyway.

Amy’s face was closed and cold. “No,” she said very calmly. “No you didn’t. There’s something going on with you. Why won’t you let me in?”

“There’s nuh-nothing going on!”

“Oh really,” she flared. “Then what happened with Ciarán? What’s going on there? He came back and you’ve spent the last two weeks acting like you wish he hadn’t!”

“That’s n-not f-fair!” I said, stung. “And h-how is that your b-business anyway?” My own temper was rising now, molten lava through the ice.

“It’s my business because I like Ciarán. And I hate watching you hurt him by dangling him and stringing him along when you’re supposed to be together. I don’t know what happened with that Lucas bloke, but he’s not someone you ditch Ciarán for.”

“H-how is th-this about my love life?” I snarled. “I’m n-not with either of them. Wh-when d-d-d-did you become the kind of girl wh-who thinks someone is f-f-failing unless they’ve got a sodding b-boyfriend?” How dare she say I was dangling him! I had reasons – good reasons – for not getting involved with Ciarán again. I don’t deserve him I squashed the thought under a layer of fury. Who did Amy think she was? After everything I’d been through, I was selfish?

“H-has it occurred to you that m-maybe there’s m-more to it? That we’re n-not supposed to be t-together? Or were you so b-busy with your great n-new life you n-never th-thought?!” I snapped in a tone I would never in a million years have thought I’d ever use on Amy.

Instead of recoiling, Amy leaned into blast. “I know that you’re frigging everything up for some stupid reason you won’t explain! I know you’re so busy playing the martyr you don’t care you’re hurting anyone else!”

“Shut. Up.” The words whipped out of me on an electrical charge that left a burnt taste in my mouth. I saw them hit my sister. I saw them work. Her scowl went from anger – and a certain reckless enjoyment that we were airing the things that bothered her at last – to surprise and consternation when she opened her mouth and no words came out. Amy shook her head as if to clear it and tried again. Mouth open. Mouth closed. No words. It would have been funny if it wasn’t so awful.

Two weeks ago, I’d told someone else not to speak and they never had again. Admittedly Rhys had died soon after. Maybe it would have worn off. But what if I’d robbed Amy of her voice forever?

Amy looked up at me, mouth still working. Her anger had collapsed and she seemed to be trying to laugh but there was a hint of panic in her eyes.

“Amy? Oh shit. Amy sp-speak to me,” I half-reached for her and then let my hands drop. “Speak.” The word sizzled on my tongue. I closed my eyes in shame.

“Okay. That was weird,” Amy said, sounding freaked out.

“Um…” Relief mingled with the horror in my twisting gut.

“You know when you have something you want to say on the tip of your tongue and you just can’t get the words out?” Amy said, disturbingly calm.

I raised an eyebrow at her, feeling sick. My hands were shaking.

“Of course you do,” Amy went on conversationally. “Well that was nothing like that.”

I forced myself to meet her gaze. “W-what do you m-mean?”

“I mean it was like someone was actively stopping me from talking.” She gave me an odd look and I wilted under her scrutiny.

Now. Tell her. Now is the time. Explain about Rhys and his ability which is now yours. Tell her what you did and why you can never be with Ciarán. Make her understand…

“Wuh-weird,” I murmured.

Amy looked disappointed for a moment, then set her shoulders as if steeling herself. “Did you… you didn’t…do that? …did you?”

“What?” I vacillated between coming clean, explaining about the unwanted extra ability – that using it had been an accident – and saying nothing because I wanted Amy’s good opinion. I was horrified at the evidence of Rhys’ evil ability within me. But there was something else stopping me. That same stiff pride that quelled my horror, which told me I had made my decisions and did not need to explain myself to anyone. That I knew what was best and since I was the one who had to live with everything I’d done, it was my business, no one else’s.

Amy’s composure was being overtaken by bewilderment. I was sure she knew it was my fault, but she couldn’t see how it could be and doubted herself. Before she could reason her way through it, I leapt on that doubt. Encouraged it.

“S-sometimes I g-get so angry I l-l-literally can’t speak,” I offered. Maybe that’s what happened to you.

“Yeah but…” She shook her head again. We both heard the unspoken words. Yeah but you have speech problems.

“I’m suh-sorry,” I said miserably. Sorry I can’t tell you. Sorry about Ciarán. Sorry I just silenced you. Sorry I was angry and scared and possessive. Let her take it anyway she liked.

“Me too. I’m sorry I yelled at you. If you want to tell me anything…” She shrugged. “I’m here, is what I’m saying. When you’re ready.”

“Th-thanks.” I tried not to sound sour. “Th-think I’m going to go for a walk. Clear my h-head. It’s hurting today.” Maybe if I made it sound like one of the headaches I got on a fairly regular basis, Amy would put my bad mood and the resulting argument down to that.

“Do you want me to come?” Amy said.

“I’m n-not good company r-right now.”

Amy looked at me properly for the first time. “You’re mega pale, Em. And your eyes… Did you sleep alright? You don’t look well. Are you sure you should be going anywhere?”

“M’fine,” I murmured. “R-really. J-just need some fr-fresh air.”

“O-kay,” Amy said doubtfully but I was already returning to my room.

Launch Day – And a Free Book!

Ok, it’s finally here. Launch day for the second novel in the Unveiled series. I have been a bit rubbish about promoting ‘I am the Silence‘ here  – possibly giving in to my natural urge as a writer to hide whenever a book I’ve written is released.

Anyway, the usual anxieties around book releases aside, I am really excited that Book 2 is now available. I feel that I’ve really found my voice with this book and that it’s even better than ‘I Belong to the Earth‘ – and it appears there is a growing consensus of opinion to that end, so it’s nice to know that I am not entirely delusional 😉

Released 19th January 2017 ebook and paperback

“Have you found your inner darkness, Emily Lynette?”

A year after breaking the Pattern, Emlynn no longer fights her gift. She’s become adept at sending the Dead on to rest. Perhaps a little too good…

Sent to investigate reports of a haunting, Emlynn finds herself facing a crushing embarrassment, and worse, a deep betrayal. Deciding it’s time to leave the supernatural alone for a while, she travels to Dorset to stay with her childhood best friend, Beth. The Milton Abbey festival of music should take her mind off everything; Ghosts, betrayals and disappointments. Except Beth has changed. She’s definitely running with a new crowd – a cooler, dangerous group whose leader, Rhys, has an unhealthy interest in Emlynn.

As if that isn’t enough, Emlynn’s violin tutor turns out to be a young man she used to know. Lucas has definitely changed – hostile, volatile and rude, but also intense and disturbingly compelling. That’s one mystery Emlynn can’t leave alone. Torn between her connection with Beth’s troubled younger sister and the terrifying black beast that stalks Emlynn in her dreams, there’s no rest for the weary psychic. Facing the reality of what Beth is mixed up in, Emlynn may have finally picked a fight she cannot win…

I’ve mentioned in the acknowledgements that this was a really hard book to write and it’s no exaggeration, so I am also strangely relieved that it’s now available for general consumption. I am looking forward to hearing what you all think.

Also available for those who enjoy the Unveiled series – two novellas and a short story. You don’t have to read these before you read ‘I am the Silence’ – or at all for that matter, but there are easter eggs and snippets of back story that give a richer reading experience if you decide you want to. (Only available in ebook at present.)

 

 

 

Free Book – Ciaran’s Chance

Anyone been wondering what Ciaran has been up too since he exited stage right at the end of ‘I Belong to the Earth’? This companion novella to ‘I am the Silence’ will tell you all.

There are things we do in life that we can’t ever take back. Bad things that follow us, no matter how we wish we could change them. So I needed to find him. See the man. And the monster.’

A year after the events in Arncliffe and Ciarán is giving up hope of ever being able to return. Marked by what he did that night, he is no longer the person he thought he was. Surly, directionless and irritable, he reconnects with an old friend whilst staying with his sister. Somewhere between friendship and hatred, he starts to pick apart the strands of whatever darkness hides inside him.

A trip to find his father and confront his past turns into a nightmare that dates back centuries. Because something hunts the men of Ciarán’s family. Something ancient that cannot be reasoned with or bribed. Amongst the O’Connors, the sins of the father really are visited on the sons. If Ciarán ever wants to be able to see Emlynn again, he must succeed where all his ancestors have failed and stop the creatures that have stalked his family for generations.

This book is ONLY available through my website BUT I am giving it away FREE.

All you need to do to claim your copy is join my Readers’ Group . 

(I send newsletters around once a month or less, no spam – promise. And if you don’t like the content then you can always unsubscribe. You’ll still have the free book 😉  )

That’s it for now but there will be more updates in the days to come. I’ve been silent but extremely industrious – there are many more books on the way. Thank you for reading and to everyone who’s been part of the journey so far, and to everyone who has contacted me to ask about writing or for book recommendations or just because they liked something I’ve written. I love hearing from you – you all rock.

An especially big thank you to everyone who has reviewed my books. Seriously, authors live and die by word of mouth so every time you recommend one of my books or write me a short review (or a long one!) you are making a difference and ensuring I can write more books for you.

Ok so back to finishing book three it is then…

 

 

Back in Print and Better than Ever!

Just a quick update post to say that I Belong to the Earth is now once again available as an ebook (Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk). The shiny new print version will be available around mid October 2016 – I’ll keep you posted. This second edition has been tidied up, given a new and improved formatting and interior design, any errors eradicated (hopefully!) and includes the FREE and exclusive short story ‘Friendly Fire’.

All for the special introductory price of £0.99 or $0.99 -depending on where you live.

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In addition, Unveiled #1.2 – Girls’ Night In (a short story) is also available for the princely sum of £0.99/ $0.99. (Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk)

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Happy reading 🙂

(And if you can spare the time – whether you love it or hate it – I really appreciate an honest review – just a line or two would be great! 😉  )

P.S. Look out for this week’s episode of Dissecting Dragons on Friday 29th September 2016 – I’ll be talking about the inspiration behind the books in the Unveiled series and just why I wrote such an unusual and in many ways, disadvantaged, MC – all with my fabulous co-host, M.E.Vaughan.

Cover Reveal – I Belong to the Earth

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Artwork copyright – J.A.Ironside

Cover Design copyright – M.E. Vaughan

From the back cover:

“There.” Grace pointed towards the moor and I saw it: there was a shape in the dark. A tall, masculine shape. No, not a man; a piece of darker darkness in the shape of a man. We were being watched.

Seventeen-year-old Emlynn knows all about grief and guilt, not to mention secrets. Being able to sense the Dead wasn’t so bad before the accident which killed her mother. Now it’s taking over her life. Broken and shut off from the world, Emlynn is horrified when her father moves the family to a remote Yorkshire vicarage: a house that stands at the centre of a centuries-old curse born of betrayal, jealousy and poisoned love. A curse that feeds on the lives of young girls. A pattern about to repeat itself once more… When her older sister, Grace, gets involved with local bad boy, Haze, Emlynn knows she has to act fast. Somehow Haze is connected to the curse. Is Grace his next intended victim? Hurtling towards another family tragedy, Emlynn must find the strength to stop running from her gift, or risk losing the rest of her family for good. Only the dead have the answers she needs. If she can bring herself to speak to them…

 

Available from Amazon on 25th September 2016 (Paperback to follow October 2017)

 

I BELONG TO THE EARTH – SECOND EDITION COVER REVEAL!

WINTER

 

I am so excited about releasing the new cover for I Belong to the Earth, that I just had to write a sort post about it.

The new cover for Book one of the Unveiled series will be released tomorrow at 6.00pm GMT.

 

If you haven’t read it yet, I Belong to the Earth is a YA paranormal fantasy about a young girl named Emlynn, who has an affinity with the Dead. After surviving a horrific car accident leaves her with brain-trauma and a strained relationship her family, Emlynn finds herself further adrift when her father moves the family to a lonely vicarage on the North Yorkshire Moors. Withdrawn and wary of trusting anyone, Emlynn wants nothing to do with her strange ability, let alone with a centuries old repeating Pattern of rage, jealousy and poisoned love. But when her hostile older sister gets involved with the local bad boy, Emlynn has to confront her power or lose the rest of her family for good. Only the Dead have the answers she needs. Rushing towards another tragedy, can she bring herself to ask them?

 

This  second edition of I Belong to the Earth will be available from Amazon on 25th September 2016. (Paperback to follow in October, release date TBC). If you happen to have read the first edition, the story has not materially changed. Instead, as a more experienced writer, I have tightened up the prose a bit and removed a few continuity errors (I’m actually surprised I didn’t get called out on those!) So the second edition is not a new book but a cleaner, better, tidier version. I promise I have not gone George Lucas on it 😉 In addition there is also a brand new, never seen before Unveiled short story included because hey, if you’re a fan, you’ve had to wait ages and that is no way to treat your readers. A gift to you from me.

 

A bit about writing the book; I Belong to the Earth is my debut novel. I’ve written more books since then but I can honestly say that I have yet to feel compelled to share a story in the same way.

I was strongly influenced by three things. Classic literature, folk lore and genuinely wondering what it must be like not to be able to read or articulate your thoughts? I mean, being able to read and to communicate is a real gift – one I had sort of been taking for granted. At this point in her half-timid, half-take-no-prisoners way, Emlynn charged in and demanded the story be told.

I also wanted to look at the relationships and power dynamics between sisters. It was something I felt I hadn’t seen enough of in books and Emlynn, together with her older sister, Grace, and younger sister, Amy, were perfect for telling that side of the story too. Some people leave you better for having known them. I can now swear to the fact that some characters do the exact same thing – and Emlynn isn’t done with me yet.

Goodies and extras; Whilst going through my files when I re-edited this book, I discovered all sorts of snippets, extras, sneaklets and short stories. The pick of the bunch will soon be available to read FREE here on my website. Look out for the ‘extras’ button on the main menu.

See the new cover tomorrow at 6.00pm  GMT on my tumblr, facebook, webpage and goodreads.

 

 

Announcing the third Random Anthology

The Random writers have not been idle in their silence. And here it is – the new anthology!

Stalking Leviathan – A Bestiary of Tales 

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“It’s out there. I can feel it in my water. I can hear it…”
 
Twelve tales that go in search of creatures of myth, legend, and the spaces between the real and the imagined. From the overwhelming confusion of the Irish Civil War to the eerie expanse of modern day Bodmin Moor; from Elizabethan England to the skies above Persia, the Random Writers quest for an answer to the question – What is the nature of the beast?
I am proud to have been an editor on the project, and I and my fellow dragon -co-host, M.E.Vaughan, as well as historical fiction co-writer, Matthew Willis and long term writing buddy, Shell Bromley, all have stories included in the collection.
Get ready for creatures that personify the wild, guard and guide the dead whilst helping the living out of grief, non-binary Unicorns, beasts that personify the madness and destruction of war or the gift of life and nature itself.
Release Date: 29th September 2016 in ebook and paperback formats.
(Special thanks to M.E.Vaughan for the fabulous cover.)
Final bit of news: Tune in the same time tomorrow for the grand cover reveal of
I Belong to the Earth – second edition.

I am the Silence – Get your free esampler now!

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(please note – not final cover)

I am the Silence – Unveiled Book 2

My feet refused to move. I was going to die a horrible death right here, right now, because I could not run.

From the other side of the fire, a huge dark shape slunk forward. I gasped in smoke and hacked it out. The shape from my nightmares. I watched as its mouth opened, lips peeled back over teeth as long as my fingers. The beast snarled and sprang…

A year after breaking the Pattern, Emlynn no longer fights her gift. She’s become quite good at sending the Dead on to rest. Perhaps too good – her overconfidence is about to lead to a fall…

Sent to investigate reports of a haunting, Emlynn finds herself facing a crushing embarrassment, and worse, a deep betrayal. It’s time to leave the supernatural alone for a while. Get away from it all. Staying with her childhood best friend, Beth, for the Milton Abbey music festival should take her mind right off everything. Ghosts, betrayals and disappointments. Except Beth seems to have changed. She’s definitely running with a new crowd, whose leader, Rhys, has an unhealthy interest in Emlynn.

As if that isn’t enough, her violin tutor is a volatile, hostile and rude young man, whom Emlynn knew a long time ago. Lucas has definitely changed and that’s one mystery Emlynn can’t leave alone. Caught between her connection with Beth’s troubled younger sister and the terrifying black beast that stalks her in her dreams, there’s no rest for the weary psychic. Facing the reality of what Beth has got mixed up in, Emlynn may have finally picked a fight she cannot win…

I am the Silence is book 2 in the Unveiled series. You can get a free downloadable esampler of the book by clicking on either of the links to join my Readers’ Group. This will also give you access to other freebies, competitions and release dates.

This book is available for limited time only.

Happy reading 🙂

(Since I am trying not to irritate my subscribers with needless mail, if you are already a member of my Readers’ Group and would like this free esampler, please get in touch via the ‘contact me’ page and type ‘Silence’, your name and your preferred email address and format – mobi or epub – into the message field. I will be happy to send it out to you.)

I’m temporarily out of print but…

WINTER

I decided after much soul searching that it just wasn’t working out with my old publishers, so we have amicably parted ways. (Since then, they have shut down. Pretty sure it wasn’t anything to do with me – more in a future blog post maybe?) So I have my rights back but I Belong to the Earth is temporarily out of print. I say temporarily because I will be releasing all of the Unveiled books, short stories and novellas under my own imprint. This means that those of you waiting patiently for book 2 – I am the Silence have just had the release date brought forward by 18 months. Can I get a whoop whoop?

Anyway, for those of you interested, I thought I’d provide a release schedule of dates to keep an eye out for:

 

Unveiled Book 1- I Belong to the Earth (second edition, new content, new artwork) release in ebook – 20th September 2016, in paper back – 10th October 2016 (roughly).

Unveiled short story – Girls’ Night In ebook release – 27th September  2016

Unveiled Novella #1.5 – Amazing Grace ebook release – 1st October 2016

Unveiled Novella #1.9 – Amy’s Academicals ebook release – 30th October 2016

Unveiled Book 2 – I am the Silence – ebook & paperback release – 19th January 2017

Unveiled short story – The Black Dog of Lyme – ebook release – 25th January 2017

Unveiled Novella #2.1 – Ciaran’s Chance – ebook release 2017 … or is it 😉 (Check back, you won’t hear Ciaran’s story anywhere else!)

Unveiled Book 3 – I Hold the Tide – ebook and paperback release June 2017 (approx)

Unveiled Novella #3.5 – untitled – ebook release July 2017

Unveiled Book 4 – I Rule the Night – ebook and paperback release December 2017

There will be regular cover reveals, short stories, other novellas and freebies coming up so keep your eyes peeled!

Hopefully I’ve given you all something to look forward too. However, if you’ve read book one and you just cannot wait until January, I will be giving away an e-sampler of the first five chapters of I am the Silence free, here on my website. (If the ‘Get your free Sneaklet’ button isn’t up on the main menu yet, please check back later. Otherwise, click away and find out what is in store for Emlynn in book 2.)

Finally, in the next couple of weeks Emlynn will be visiting haunted houses and other spooky areas all over Britain. Check back for more details or follow #EmlynnsTrail on twitter, instagram and tumblr.

 

Throw back Thursday: Announcing the First Novel

(Originally posted on my old blog 29th July 2014 – how time flies. I can now look back on this with nostalgia and affection rather than terror 😉  )

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Since the good folks at illusio and baqer have given the signal, I can now talk about my debut novel, I Belong to the Earth, which is due in early 2015.
Here is the announcement. 
What to say about my book? Having spoken to a lot of other writers now, I can safely say that when you’re starting out, talking about your writing is very difficult. There is a first 15mins, half an hour when all you seem to be doing is making ‘gluh’ type sounds as you attempt to unglue your tongue from your soft palate. At the same time this is absolutely your favorite subject. This is your passion. You care about this in a way that is unique. All wrapped up – it’s like having visited the country on the other side of the wardrobe only to be forbidden to talk about it. Magic is real…but don’t upset the world’s equilibrium by telling anyone.
It’s maddening to say the least.
That aside there are a few things I can tell you. I did manage to stumble through a few questions when asked them by a non-writer friend.
Where did you get the idea for the book?
Three places. Firstly, although my earliest memories go back to when I was eight months old (reliably), I cannot remember a time when I couldn’t read. I know I learned but I could read before I went to primary school, to an extent, before I went to nursery school. The thought came to me one day ‘what if I couldn’t read?’ closely followed by ‘what if my ability to read, my ability to articulate, was taken away from me?’ This forms one of the early plot points of the book.
Secondly, while I haven’t re-written Wuthering Heights, I am heartily sick of it being described as a love story – especially in YA fiction. It’s so much cleverer and more multi-layered than that. I’m also a bit fed up of love triangles as a trope in YA fiction. What if there was real jeopardy involved? What if the MC is not trying to chose between two boys, what if she is choosing between her boyfriend and her sister? What if she is the lowest point of the triangle? I wanted to take both ideas and turn them on their head, or in the case of Wuthering Heights, put it right way up again.
Thirdly and finally, the dynamic between sisters. It’s a complicated relationship, especially growing up. Take three utterly diverse personalities that spark and clash, each one trying to take up the mantle of ‘lady of the house’ without being fully aware of the fact, and force them to live in close proximity. Worse still, they all love each other but so much has happened to the three sisters in the story, that they’ve lost sight of that. Add a few other pressures in and… BANG. No one can get under your skin like a sibling. You can have a dirty, no-holds barred fight with them in a way you couldn’t with anyone else, even a spouse. And the closer you are to each other, the more you really hate each other at times too. Looking at that, I can’t imagine why I wanted to explore that relationship but I did.
Why write an urban fantasy or a ghost story?
Why not? Seriously though, 98% of what I write comes out with a speculative twist, even when I don’t intend it too. In a practical sense, a  tale ‘of ghosts and goblins’ reinforced the inability of Emlynn, the main character, to talk about the problems or seek help. It forced her to dig deep and try to communicate with people when all she had been doing after the ‘accident’ was hiding; closing herself off from the world.
Besides, everyone needs a good scare 😉
Did the story turn out exactly as you expected?
Er no… I knew roughly how it would end. I always do when I start writing. But I had no idea how I would get there. In this case, since it’s a paranormal mystery as well, I had no idea who dunnit until I wrote through it – which I did in 14 hrs straight for the last quarter of the book – I just had to know how it all tied up. It was a bit of an eye opener! Not going to say more here 😉
There were other questions but I think that’s probably enough for now. Maybe you’ll get to meet Emlynn in another blog.
Just pray you don’t meet Haze…

 

What IF…? When the characters from the Unveiled series are put in some tricky situations.

(This was originally posted on my old blog May 2015…and it’s even funnier now that Book Two – I am the Silence – is finished and with my editor at illusio&baqer!)
Who is doing WHAT with whom?!
Who is doing WHAT with whom?!
From now on, I vow to have a little more fun with all this writing business. Mix things up a bit. To that end I have taken part in this quiz, which was put together by M. E. Vaughan, to see what would happen if my characters ended up in situations that they are not likely to encounter in the books. The results are eye opening…
Just a wee warning before you read on – while I have striven to keep any spoilers out, if you are an adept of the laws of narrativium you may catch a glimpse of things to come. So if you’d rather not know, come back after book two 😉
And for those of you who have read I Belong to the Earth, this includes one new character who turns up in book two – Lucas. You’re going to be seeing a lot of him. Read on at your own risk and enjoy!
Multiple OC (original character) Questionnaire using characters from the Unveiled Series.
Character 1 – Emlynn
Character 2 – Ciaran
Character 3 – Amy
Character 4 – Lucas
Character 5 – Mrs Cranford (Aunt Mary)
Character 6 – Grace

 

If Character 1 and Character 2 were to fight, who would win?

 

Er…fisticuffs? Well probably Ciaran. Battle of words or wits, Emlynn.

Character 3 and Character 4 decide to leave the country together – where do they go?

Ok that is just sooo surreal… Florence. Lucas has some er history there and Amy is pretty much up for anything if there is adventure and museums involved.

Character 5 and Character 6 enter a drinking game – who wins?

 

I really want to say Mrs Cranford…and I think despite Grace being 63 years younger, Mrs Cranford would have had more practice so yeah. Grace would lose.

Character 1 and Character 5 are lost – whose fault is it?

Hahaha. Probably Emlynn’s for opening a gap in reality by accident. But very likely also Mrs Cranford’s for having a private agenda that she conveniently forgot to disclose 😉

Character 3 and Character 2 fall in-love. How did this happen?

 

I assume the world ended and no one saw it coming! Since Ciaran is kinda involved with Amy’s older sister and Amy is only 13… Still in a few years they might have made a good enough couple. Particularly if thrown together and forced to depend on each other during a zombie apocalypse or something, with everyone else they know dead. Man that’s bleak.

Character 6 and Character 2 are locked in a room together, what will inevitably happen between them?

After what happened in I Belong to the Earth? Embarrassed silence. Accusations. Arguments. Possibly Grace swinging a punch at Ciaran – not that he really deserves it but he thinks he does.

Between character 1 and Character 3, who has the worse temper?

 

Oh easily Emlynn – artistic temperament? Frustration at not being as physically articulate as her internal narrative is? Anyway Amy is just really cheerful 90% of the time.

In a life and death situation, would Character 5 ever betray Character 2?

 

Yes, Mrs Cranford would betray her godson, Ciaran, but only if it meant saving a greater number of people by doing so.

Who, between Character 4 and Character 6 would be more likely to be arrested for indecent exposure?

 

Probably Lucas, for reasons I cannot disclose…

Character 4 and Character 1 get into a bar brawl? How did it happen, and what do they do?

They were in the same bar. That’s it. That’s all they need. The rest of it is just emotional space debris pulled into the orbit of their mutual loathing. The fact that they would then need to team up to save each others’ behinds wouldn’t help. Ultimately, they would both manage to get out, with a few judicious punches and pints of beer thrown, while the fight was at its peak, before anyone remembered who had started it in the first place. They are both quite strategically minded like that and neither of them actually enjoys fighting or is all that good at it.
Character 5 and Character 3 are part of a squadron of Spies, one of them is a traitor – how would the other find out?
 

Amy would find out that it was Mrs Cranford (acting with the best of intentions as usual) because she is super-bright and just can’t leave a puzzle unsolved. Eventually, Mrs Cranford would forget one crucial detail in her enthusiasm. That’s what she normally does to give herself away.

Character 4 and Character 6 are on TV, how did they get there and what are they doing?

 

Lucas is being interviewed about the Milton Abbey music festival when Grace storms over to have a go at him for how he’s been treating her sister. She doesn’t see the camera until she’s already socked him one. Hilarity ensues.

Character 2 is believed to be dead, how does Character 6 react?

 

Grace is upset but mostly because she has no idea how she is going to break it to her sister, Emlynn. Ciaran doesn’t mean as much to her as an individual. She’d be more worried about Em emotionally checking out again.

Character 3 goes crazy and tries to kill Character 1, how do they go about it? And do they succeed?

This very nearly happened in book 1! But enough possessed people had tried to kill Emlynn by that point… Anyway, it would have to be a similar situation with Amy not aware of her actions at all, just completely taken over or brain washed or something. And Amy herself would probably succeed because she’s clever. Gradual poison would be the most likely method. Or an accident resulting in a fatal fall of some kind. No one would ever suspect sweet little Amy… If it had happened in I Belong to the Earth then ‘Amy’ would have attacked Emlynn when they were on the moor in the rain – plenty of places to fall – and she would have had supernatural strength thanks to the circumstances.

Character 5 is suddenly landed with a baby and appeals to Character 4 for help, how does Character 4 react?

I am now crying with laughter. Neither of them is overly equipped for a baby although I imagine Mrs Cranford would do better than Lucas. Yeah asking Lucas for help…not all that useful. Although there is a very amusing nappy-changing scene now writing itself in my head…

Character 1 goes to a haunted house and demands Character 6 comes with them. What happens?

Well of course Emlynn goes to a haunted house, it’s what she does. Taking Grace along with her would be very unusual though. Grace hates ‘that weird shit’ and doesn’t think much of her sister’s bizarre ability. There would be bickering. They’d find they couldn’t leave the house and then a confrontation with the malevolent spirit – because why would you bother with any other kind. Grace might pull it together long enough to distract it while Emlynn opens the gates of death and shoves it through. Grace would probably have something very snarky to say at that point.

Character 2 has been in a terrible accident, and it’s up to Character 4 to keep them alive. What was the accident, and how does this work out?

It would be more reasonable for Lucas to cause an accident for Ciaran, then change his mind at the last minute and have to save him. I can see Lucas pushing Ciaran into the sea in North Wales at high tide…during a storm…at night… If it worked out how Lucas wanted, Ciaran wouldn’t come back but Lucas isn’t all bad so Ciaran with amnesia would probably suit him. There really isn’t a universe where those two are going to play well together.

Character 3 suffers a blow to head and loses all of their memory. Character 6 finds them – what happens?

Grace would take care of her little sister, and find someone to wreak vengeance upon for Amy hitting her head in the first place.

Character 5 has been acting strangely, disappearing on midnight expeditions, avoiding conversation and appeared distracted. Character 1 goes to investigate. What do they find?

 

Emlynn finds that Mrs Cranford didn’t tell the entire truth about certin events coming up in book two. That’s all you’re getting. Sorry… 😉

Character 3 has been kidnapped by slave-traders, and only Character 4 and Character 2 can rescue them. How do they go about it?

Oh my holy gods, yeah that might be one of the very few situations that would make them work together. Lucas has the cunning and Ciaran has the physical courage – it would be a bad day to be a slave trader. In fairness Amy should not be underestimated in that situation.

Character 5, Character 1 and Character 6 all share a common hatred – what is it?

 

I can’t say just in case anyone who hasn’t read book one should happen to read this. The second common hatred would be being made helpless, by circumstance or injury, though.

Between Character 3, Character 6 and Character 2 who is more likely to lose their mind and go on a killing spree.

 

Amy. She hasn’t found her own darkness yet. She can’t really be that cheerful…

Character 5 has been brain-washed into thinking they’re Character 1! How does Character 1 react?

When Emlynn has picked herself up off the floor and stopped laughing, I imagine she’d be quite distressed to find that Mrs Cranford believes herself to be a 17 yr old girl in love with her own godson!

Aliens attack and Character 2 reveals themselves to be an android scout sent to help destroy the Universe. Can character 4 convince Character 2 to do otherwise?

 

No. Not a chance. Lucas would only make the situation worse.

Character 5 And Character 3 have sex, how does Character 1 react upon finding them?

 

I really don’t think I should answer this one… 🙁

Character 4 and Character 6 decide to elope, how do Character 2 and Character 3 feel about this?

Grace eloping with Lucas? I’m pretty sure Amy and Ciaran would just be utterly baffled.

Character 6 is caught stealing and put in jail, does Character 2 leave them there, or break them out?

Ciaran would break Grace out. Out of loyalty to Emlynn if nothing else. Besides there’s the whole guilt thing from book one.

Character 1, Character 3 and Character 5 form TEAM A, Character 2, Character 4 and Character 6 form TEAM B. They enter a series of Mini competitions.There is an eating competition, which team members do TEAM A and TEAM B nominate? Who wins?

Amy for Team A and Ciaran for team B. Ciaran would win – Amy is tiny.

TEAM A are given a foul when one of the team members tries to put laxatives in the other teams tea. Who was responsible?

Mrs Cranford. She has a practical alls fair in love and war outlook.
A TEAM B member and TEAM A member start consorting, who are they?
 

Can’t answer this without future spoilers.

A TEAM A member throws a fight, so a TEAM B member can win, who would do that and why?

And again, Can’t answer this without future spoilers.

TEAM B are in the lead, but TEAM A gain several points in what kind of competition?

 

Psychic detective skills 😉

TEAM B and TEAM A are tied, and go onto the questionnaire round. Between A) Sports, B)Current events and Politics, C) Literature and D) General Knowledge, which topic to each Team choose?

There would be a lot of squabbling in Team B about this but they’d pick general knowledge. Team A would choose literature.

TEAM A and TEAM B swap a member, who and why?

Team A wouldn’t be willing to make the swap. Team B would be trying to swap Lucas.

Between TEAM A and TEAM B who would win the last challenge of an obstacle course relay race?

Team B. Better overall athletic ability.

How does the winning Team celebrate?

 

There’s a pub nearby, right?

Do both teams remain friends, or is it time for Round 2?!

 
Friends but largely because Team B won…