Shani PicI’m delighted to welcome Shani Struthers back to my blog today.
Shani writes fantastically readable supernatural mysteries. Her brand new novel EVE: A CHRISTMAS STORY  is a stand-alone prequel to her Psychic Surveys series that begins with The Haunting of Highdown Hall. I also recommend her novel, Jessamine, a powerful romantic and supernatural tale.


Thank you for hosting me on your blog today! My new book, Eve: A Christmas Ghost Story launches on the 24th November on Amazon and is the prequel to the popular Psychic Surveys series. Featuring two of the Psychic Surveys team – Theo Lawson and Vanessa Patterson – it’s set between 1899 and 1999 and is loosely inspired by a true event.

In my fictional re-telling, Theo and Ness are asked to investigate a town weighed down by the sorrow of what happened 100 years before…



What do you do when a whole town is haunted?

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

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

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

They’ll need all their courage to succeed and the help of a little girl too – a spirit who didn’t die at the hall, who shouldn’t even be there…

 Eve 2


As Theo turned round to face the double doors, she had a feeling that someone – something – was rushing at her, as fleetingly as whatever had been in Adelaide’s house. Refusing to let fear get a stranglehold, she turned back, her aim to confront it. A black wisp of a shape, like wood smoke, sideswiped her, before fading into nothing. Staring after it, wondering what it was, something else caught her attention. At the far end of the second room was something more substantial: a little girl, staring at her.

Theo’s eyes widened. “Oh darling, darling,” she whispered. She took a step forwards, tried to remember the names of the children on the list from earlier: Alice, Helen, Bessie, Adelaide’s ancestor, Ellen Corsby perhaps. Which one was she?

She inched closer still. “Darling, your name, tell me what it is.”

The little girl’s arms moved upwards, she stretched them out, her manner beseeching although she remained mute. Theo tried again, told the child her own name.

“It’s short for Theodora. I bet you’re called something pretty.”

The girl had a dress on; long, brownish, a course material – linen perhaps? Nothing special but if it was her party dress then maybe it was special to her. Her boots were brown too – lace ups, sturdy looking. She was around eight or nine but it was hard to tell. She could have been older just small for her age. Her hair was brown and tangled; she had a mane of it. Everything about her seemed to be brown or sepia, maybe sepia was the right word, as though she’d stepped out of an old photograph.

“I’m here now, sweetheart, I’ve come to help. You’ve been here for such a long time. Too long. You need to go to the light, go home, rest awhile.”

Up closer, Theo could read her eyes. The longing in them stirred her pity.

“Let me help you,” Theo persisted, her voice catching in her throat. As glorious as the other side might be, she still felt it unfair to be felled at such a young age. Often this was a good existence too and it deserved to be experienced fully.

She was close now, so close and still her arms were outstretched.

Harriet – the name presented itself whole in her mind.

“Your name’s Harriet. Is that correct? It’s lovely, it suits you.”

Was that a smile on the child’s lips, the beginnings of trust? Soon she’d be able to reach out and touch her. What would she feel like? Cold? Ethereal?

“Darling, I’m here,” she repeated, no more than a foot between them. “I’m here.”

Joy surged – one spirit had come forward – it was an encouraging start.

Just before their hands touched everything changed. Hope and joy were replaced with confusion as something sour – fetid almost – rose up, making her feel nauseous.

“Don’t be afraid,” Theo implored. Yet there was nothing but fear in her eyes now. No, not fear, that was too tame a word – terror.

“I’m not here to harm you,” she continued. “I’m here to help.”

As the words left her mouth, other hands appeared behind the child, a whole sea of them – disembodied hands that clawed at her, forcing her backwards.

“No!” Theo shouted. “Stop it. Leave her alone!”

But it was no use. Her words faded as the girl did. She’d been torn away, recaptured; the one who’d dared to step forward. Theo could feel sweat break out on her forehead, her hands were clammy. She clutched at her chest, her breathing difficult suddenly, laboured. Her heart had been problematic of late, a result of the pounds she’d piled on. She must go to the doctor to get some medication. Struggling to gain control, it took a few moments, perhaps a full minute, before her heart stopped hammering. And when it did, she remembered something else. The girl’s eyes – her sweet, brown, trusting eyes – when the expression changed in them they hadn’t been looking at her, they’d been looking beyond her. Was it at the thing that sideswiped her? Theo couldn’t be certain. She wasn’t certain either if that ‘thing’ was a spirit or much less than that – something with no soul, but with an appetite, an extreme appetite: a craving. Something, she feared, was insatiable.


UK http://tinyurl.com/nmnajss

US http://tinyurl.com/pe5f6db



Author Bio

Brighton-based author of paranormal fiction, including UK Amazon Bestseller, Psychic Surveys Book One: The Haunting of Highdown Hall. Psychic Surveys Book Two: Rise to Me, is also available and due out in November 2015 is Eve: A Christmas Ghost Story – the prequel to the Psychic Surveys series. She is also the author of Jessamine, an atmospheric psychological romance set in the Highlands of Scotland and described as a ‘Wuthering Heights for the 21st century.’

Psychic Surveys Book Three: 44 Gilmore Street is in progress.

All events in her books are inspired by true life and events.

Catch up with Shani via her website http://www.shanistruthers.com or on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.


Facebook Author Page: http://tinyurl.com/p9yggq9

Twitter: https://twitter.com/shani_struthers

Blog: http://shanisite.wordpress.com

Goodreads http://tinyurl.com/mq25mav

Eve 5


I’m delighted to post an extract from the beginning of Emma Rose Millar’s FIVE GUNS BLAZING. It’s a thrilling adventure that includes pirates, slavery, crime and love (but not particularly in that order).


“You have been brought before me again, Mrs Beedham!” The magistrate looked at my mother over his spectacles. She must have considered him an idiot if she thought that a flash of her ample cleavage and of her fine eyes would win her any favour. He took the monocle from his breast pocket.

“Theft of a handkerchief, soliciting, affray, the attempted theft of a lady’s purse.”

Her lips twisted at the corner into a little smile, which she quickly straightened, but she looked almost pleased with herself as the charges were read out. I could picture her clear as day, proudly emptying her stolen trinkets out onto our mattress, all shiny and gleaming in the dipping glow of the rush-lights, as a child might present a parent with a painting or piece of needlework. My mother’s eye was as keen as a magpie’s for anything sparkly; she could pick out at ease the glint of a cufflink or a hairpin in the dullest of crowds and would glide her way after it, completely unseen. Later, she would stand back to admire the baubles and bits of finery with her hands on her hips and a look of satisfaction in her eyes, then quickly her face would fall as if she had suddenly noticed they were tarnished or broken and she would snatch them back and wrap them away in her cloth.

Hers was the first case of the day; the beak had seen her at least three times before. Needless to say, my mother was well acquainted with the good magistrates of Holborn; such was her fondness for relieving wealthy ladies and gentlemen of their belongings; handkerchiefs, pocket watches and so on. The magistrate thumbed through a pile of papers on his desk, a history of her sordid misdemeanours, seemingly oblivious to the swelling underclass packing his courtroom, with their poor diction and their sticky fingers. The public gallery was full of them: undesirables and reprobates, sweating, scratching. There were women employed at their needlework, old men dozing, and a girl with some younger children who spread a muslin cloth upon her lap, then proceeded to break up a meat pie and divide it between them. And of course there was me, Laetitia Beedham, the accused’s daughter who had weaved my way through the tangle of legs and crouched behind a man who I imagined might have been a farmer, or gamekeeper. He stood solidly in front of me, cleaning the dirt from underneath his fingernails with a blade.

“Oh, don’t hang me, sir, I beg of you!”

The court seemed suddenly excited by her outburst. It was all entertainment to them; the law after all is only theatre; it did not matter much if one was hanged or not, it was all part of the drama.

“I only did it for my daughter, who was sick and in need of medicine. My husband’s dead, sir, what is a woman to do?”

I felt a blush burning from my collarbone to my temples, and someone laughed and shouted, “She’s a liar, sir! The girl is the bastard child of two thieves!”

There were gasps and then the magistrate, with his grey brows knitted together and an air of concern upon his countenance, asked, “Where is she now?”

My mother caught my eye for the briefest of moments. “I don’t know,” she sighed, dabbing her cheek with a cotton handkerchief. “We’re all alone and friendless in the world. She’s begging, most probably, on the streets of Holborn, unless someone’s cruelly snatched her and is taking advantage of her as we speak.” She fell into sobs and covered her face though still managing to peep through her fingers at the exasperated gentleman. “I can’t bear to think of what callousness may have befallen her now she has not the protection of her mother! London’s nothing more than a cess pit, simmering with the most ruthless, the most merciless…the…the…”

“See that the girl is rounded up,” said the magistrate to the constable, who quickly jumped to attention, “and repair them to the Florence Street Workhouse so that they might be fed and clothed and instructed in the ways of Christian honesty.” His words hit me like a fist in my chest and I began forging a path back through the jostling crowd, whose whoops and cries had me quite disorientated.

The whole building resonated with a tremendous holler: “Stop that girl!” Then another, and another until the echoes melded together and swelled out in riotous harmony. “A shilling to the man who takes her!”

A woman snatched at my dress. “Come here, you little wretch,” but I wriggled free from her, seeing the door before me and the yellow light from the world outside. Then just as I thought I could make a dash for it, the constable swiped his stick against the back of my knees, taking my legs right from under me. A loud “huzzah” went up from the crowd and I lay on the floor with my cheek pressed against the constable’s boot. “Vipers,” my mother called them. She would have more respect for them had they been paid; everybody had to earn a living, after all. These men did it for the love of it; they were dazzled by the power they had over others, that was all she could think.

“It is clear that you do not have the means to provide for yourself, madam,” the magistrate continued. He banged his hammer against the gavel, and a stout looking man wearing a waistcoat pulled me roughly to my feet. “You will regard this as a kindness, Mrs Beedham, in years to come; do not let me see you here again. I shall not be so lenient next time.”

To find out what happens to Laetitia and Mrs Beedham click on the cover image above or click here.

Alternatively – go to Smashwords



Michael Moorcock’s Multiverse

THE LAW OF CHAOS: THE MULTIVERSE OF MICHAEL MOORCOCK is now out in paperback and eBook formats.

Jeff Gardiner’s ‘The Law of Chaos’ is a must for any fan of Michael Moorcock’s work. Here you’ll find fascinating stories about the author’s life, but also a thorough appraisal of his vast catalogue of work, plus an examination of the enormous influence Mike has had – and continues to have – upon the SF and Fantasy genres. A work of love – and written with colour and style.’                                                                 Storm Constantine

LOC final cover

From Jerry Cornelius and the Eternal Champion fantasies to Pyat and more recent novels, THE LAW OF CHAOS is an entertaining reader’s guide that explores the life and achievements of MICHAEL MOORCOCK, one of modern literature’s most influential figures. All Moorcock’s works are examined and discussed in detail, from early fantasies to his later philosophical novels.

With an introduction and other material by Moorcock himself, THE LAW OF CHAOS travels the moonbeam roads through the enigmatic multiverse of a celebrated literary icon that is accessible to all.

 “Jeff Gardiner’s excellent book has offered me many fresh insights into my own work. I can genuinely celebrate the publication of this book.”                                                                                                                 Michael Moorcock


headpress logo


Read a sneak peek here:




‘A well-written overview of Michael Moorcock’s complete works. This is an ideal book for anyone looking to get a quick critical grasp on Moorcock … very illuminating.’                            Stephen Theaker



Available from:


Amazon US

Amazon UK




Emma Rose Millar – Five Guns Blazing

Sarah CI’m delighted to welcome the wonderful author Emma Rose Millar to my blog. Her second novel, Five Guns Blazing is out now from Crooked Cat Publishing. It’s a thrilling adventure that takes the reader from London to the Caribbean, exploring life as a slave and as a pirate. It’s a work of fiction that weaves some historical characters and situations into its action-packed narrative. Five Guns Blazing was topping kindle charts just from its pre-release sales, so don’t miss out on this treasure (luckily not buried). Click on the book cover to purchase it or the links below.

  1. Why did you decide to write Five Guns Blazing?

Hello, Jeff. Thanks for inviting me over. My first novel was extremely dark and for some time I’d wanted to write something more up-beat. I love historical fiction and I wanted to write an historical adventure, something that I could completely lose  myself in. Then one day I was at a barbeque and I had a chance conversation about an old Adam and the Ants song called Five Guns West, which contained the lyrics, Ladies can be captains and ladies can be chiefs, just like glorious Amazons, Anne Bonny, Mary Read. During that conversation I learned that Bonny and Read were both pirates. Not only were they pirates, some sources suggest they were lovers, and although John Rackham captained the ship, it was the women who were the most vicious members of the crew, wielding pistols and machetes, lighting fuses, cursing and swearing and ordering the men to kill their captives. Anne in particular was slippery as an eel and managed to escape execution on numerous occasions.

How does a woman become a pirate? I was intrigued. The more I read about the pair, the more fascinated I became.


  1. Tell us more about the main character and her dilemma.

Laetitia Beedham is a pauper from the backstreets of London, the bastard child of two thieves, who in 1710 is transported to Barbados along with her conniving mother, Molly. Laetitia is a vulnerable but surprisingly resilient character who survives two years in the workhouse, seventy gruelling days on the open sea and a punishing regime on a Caribbean sugar plantation. On her eighteenth birthday, Laetitia is sold to pirate captain John ‘Calico Jack’ Rackham but soon finds herself torn between her admiration for the captain and her feelings for his beautiful but treacherous wife, Anne Bonny. As the King’s men close in on the pirates, Anne hatches a devious plan, set to speed Laetitia straight to the noose.

  1. How did you go about researching the sections about slavery and pirates?

Before I even got to that point I immersed myself in eighteenth century literature. I wanted an authentic feel to the book and for the narrative voice to be credible. I then carried out extensive research on conditions in eighteenth century London and in British workhouses. My grandfather was orphaned at age three and spent his childhood in a poor law school, so I’d grown up hearing stories of that type of communal living with its own doctrines and rules. I also read a lot about conditions at sea, especially for transported convicts. Luckily a friend of mine did his degree in Naval History and had a wealth of eighteenth-century maritime articles ranging from the treatment of scurvy to the fight against piracy and conditions on-board slave ships. I soon realised that slavery and piracy were intertwined. It was at that point I enlisted the help of Jamaican born author Kevin Allen, who had spent many years researching his own genealogy and the slave trade.

  1. What are the pros and cons of the ‘co-authoring’ process?

Co-authoring is great; it opens up all kinds of possibilities for a novel when two people from different cultural backgrounds work together. Five Guns Blazing is a story of a white woman from England who finds herself working among black slaves in the Caribbean. The story demanded co-authorship and I truly believe that without Kevin, the manuscript would still be sitting somewhere on my laptop, never to be read again. However, the writing has to be seamless, so once Kevin had finished his part of the story, I had to then weave that into the narrative. We have very different writing styles so it took a lot of adapting. You also have to put equal effort into writing and marketing, and you have to trust each other one hundred percent, which I think we do, and to be able to give, (and take) constructive criticism.

  1. How do you go about writing a novel?

I usually start a novel as a set of bullet points which I use as a basis for a short story of about five to ten thousand words. Then everything seems to mushroom out from there with me adding imagery and dialogue and incorporating bits of my research. It’s probably not a very methodical way of doing things, but I do seem to live in chaos most of the time, and this is probably reflected in my writing style.


  1. What advice do you have for less experienced writers?

I wouldn’t class myself as being very experienced at all, but along the way I have learnt that even if you think your manuscript is finished and ready to submit, it probably isn’t. Finding a good editor is so important; they can make suggestions about character and plot, about weaker parts in the storyline and point out clunky phrases and grammatical errors along with many other things. Even after several drafts, I’m still seeing things that could be improved upon. Also, when the writing stops, the hard work really begins; marketing. There are millions of books on Amazon these days. It’s so difficult to make any book stand out.

  1. What are you currently working on?

I’m writing a novel called The Women Friends, which is based on a painting by Gustav Klimt of the same name. It’s set in Vienna between the wars; it too could do with a co-writer though. I also write children’s picture book texts for my five year old. I’d say children’s stories are my favourite things to write. I’ve completed a series called The Amazing Adventures of Nathan Molloy, which is based on the antics of a little boy who simply can’t stay out of trouble. I can’t think where I got the inspiration for that!

  1. What would your perfect day be?

I waited a very long time for my son to come along and now that I’ve got him really every day is perfect. But if I was going to have a day all to myself I would have a luxurious spa day followed by some Italian food and wine and then either some live comedy or live music – with more wine. I may have that day in about thirteen years’ time!

  1. Name a book or a film that means a lot to you.

I love Alice Walker’s The Color Purple – book and film. I saw the film when I was fifteen and I can’t even remember how many times I’ve read the book. The story has so many themes but Celie’s journey and the strong female relationships really resonate with me, even though the novel is set in a completely different time and place.


Five Guns Blazing is now available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Five-Guns-Blazing-Emma-Millar-ebook/dp/B014LPAQ76/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1441922863&sr=8-1&keywords=five+guns+blazing



FIVE GUNS BLAZING – cover reveal


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


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

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

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

‘Five Guns Blazing’ by Emma Rose Millar and Kevin Allen is out on 15th September from Crooked Cat Publishing.
Come and join the online launch party:


accentya logo (2)‘PICA’ – book 1 in the Gaia Trilogy – will be published in March 2016 by Accent Press.

I can now finally reveal the fantastic cover.

Pica Pica is the Latin name for magpie.  The novel is set in the modern day exploring the awakening of ancient magic and our relationship with nature.

Pica Final

And … yes, that is a cover quote from the great Michael Moorcock!


See more on the publisher’s website: http://accentya.com/

Like the Facebook Page  or become a reviewer:  https://www.facebook.com/AccentYA?pnref=story

News about my novels, short stories and non-fiction.


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