Category Archives: Author

FALCO is now out

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“Ancient powers are stirring”.

Luke discovers a new identity and realises that only he can stop humanity from destroying our beautiful planet. But what can one teenager do? Is one person able to change the attitudes of billions of people? How will he influence governments and corporations to change their ways? If only he had the ancient magic of Nature at his fingertips. And Gaia is finally awakening…

Buy FALCO from Amazon

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FALCO NOW AVAILABLE ON PRE-ORDER

FALCO is the sequel to PICA, further exploring the ancient magic of nature in a contemporary setting.

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Click on the image above to take you to Amazon UK

or here for Amazon US

Here’s the blurb:

Ancient powers are stirring.

As Luke continues to develop his skills as Felis, he finds himself hunting, surviving and using feline instincts, as well as fine-tuning his powers over nature, becoming more powerful than he’d ever dreamed.

However, Luke’s parents find him tearing away and struggle to understand how their son is changing so much – not realising the true extent of it. When a new transformation forces him to leave, he flies across the world and learns how to survive, meeting others who share his powers which opens up a new world to Luke, one he must learn to co-exist alongside.

falco

Igboland – “A great book that was hard to stop reading.”

A lovely new review has just appeared for ‘Igboland’ on NetGalley: 

Set in 1960’s civil war era Nigeria, this book tells the story of Clem a Methodist Missionary and his wife Lydia who settle in Biafra/Igboland to work with the local populous and churches, clinics and schools. The story is told from Lydia’s point of view and grips from the very start with such attention to the smallest details whilst opening your eyes to the cultural, religious and political differences that they are challenged with.

“Set over a few years it shows the strain that a missionary’s wife has as someone without a ‘role’, ie she is not the missionary, but his wife and the search for self-recognition and finding her own identity. However, war, love, the local villagers and illness all drive wedges between the couple and the pressure on their relationship is huge.

“The story is very well written and you are there with them as they face West Africa together and come to terms with their lifestyle adjustments. The author has created something very special here that really gave me cause to want more of this style of writing that’s alive and thoroughly researched.

“A great book that was hard to stop reading!”

Click here to purchase
Click here to purchase

Author Interview: Astrid Arditi

allard_eng_0012I’m delighted to introduce Astrid Arditi, fellow Crooked Cat author, whose first novel, A Cunning Plan, is out on Friday.  It sounds like a delightful and insightful read, for both men and women…

  1. What are the main ideas or themes in your book?

A Cunning Plan is a romantic suspense with a strong dose of humor. It’s about women, their insecurities, their own brand of crazy, and how unexpectedly strong they can be.

  1. What is the setting or context of the narrative? Why is it important?

Sloane lives in London. Her life is small, predictable, and she likes it that way. She’s a normal woman to whom incredible things happen.

  1. Tell us more about the main characters and their dilemmas.

Sloane Harper has been married most of her adult life. As such she feels she can’t manage life on her own. She’s shy and weak willed, a human doormat. When her husband, the main reason for her insecurities, leaves her for another woman, instead of embracing it for the blessing that it is, she feels compelled to get him back. She stalks his mistress, which puts her in the middle of an investigation she wants no part of and threatens to shatter life as she knows it.

Cunning Plan - High Resolution

  1. How do you go about writing a novel? Is it a simple or complex process?

I write a novel like I’d do a puzzle. First I start with the outline then I start filling in the blanks. I spend a few weeks writing random scenes from the book, snippets of conversation, interactions between my characters. When the story begins feeling real enough that it can surprise me, then I write in a more linear process.

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

Write for yourself first. Get excited about your story. If you see writing as a job it will make the whole process tedious. Keep it fun. Publishing does not make you a writer, writing does.

  1. What are you working on currently?

Book 2 of the Sloane Harper series.

  1. What would your perfect day be?

An island, the feeling of the sun on my skin, a nice breeze and a nap! With a toddler and a newborn at home, I am so tired these days!

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

Life of an Unknown Man from Andrei Makine. Just beautiful.

  1. If you could leave a message to the world, what would it be?

You don’t need a reason to be happy. Just decide to see how lucky you are to be alive.

BLURB FOR A CUNNING PLAN:

Cunning Plan - High ResolutionDetermined to put her family back together, Sloane Harper stalks her ex husband and his annoyingly stunning mistress, Kate. But she’s not the only one. Handsome IRS agent Ethan Cunning is surveying them too, but not for the same reasons. He is attempting to nail Kate’s playboy boss.

Ethan and Sloane decide to help each other, which sends Sloane’s wobbly life spinning out of control. She’ll have to face danger, humiliation, and scariest of all, the dating scene, to lure her daughters’ father home.

Losing control was the best thing to happen to Sloane… until it turned lethal.

AUTHOR BIO

allard_eng_0012Astrid Arditi was born from a French father and Swedish mother. She lived in Paris and Rome before moving to London with her husband and daughter back in 2013.

After dabbling in journalism, interning at Glamour magazine, and teaching kindergarten, Arditi returned to her first love: writing.

She now splits her time between raising her kids (a brand new baby boy just joined the family) and making up stories.

A Cunning Plan is Arditi’s first published work.

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cunning-Plan-Astrid-Arditi-ebook/dp/B01D7H7O42/

Amazon US http://www.amazon.com/Cunning-Plan-Astrid-Arditi-ebook/dp/B01D7H7O42/

IBooks https://itunes.apple.com/fr/book/a-cunning-plan/id1102554468?mt=11

Nook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-cunning-plan-astrid-arditi/1123657004?ean=2940152965568

Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/a-cunning-plan-5

CONTACT INFO

I blog at www.astridarditi.com

Facebook Astrid Arditi author https://www.facebook.com/Astridarditiauthor

Twitter @astrid_arditi https://twitter.com/astrid_arditi

 

Shakespeare: the Naked Truth by Sue Barnard

Fellow Crooked Cat, Sue Barnard, gives us a timely reminder of Shakespeare’s importance to all writers – and speakers – of English…

This coming Saturday (23 April 2016) commemorates the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare.  Many people believe that he was England’s greatest ever poet and playwright.  Whether or not this is true is a matter of personal opinion, but in any case he’s definitely up there with the front runners.

1564-1616 englischer Dichter.Bedeutendster Dramatiker der Weltliteratur.CDV-Foto 5,4 x 8,3 cm, nach einem Gemälde,  Nr.1198.

One thing which cannot be disputed is how much Shakespeare has contributed to the English language. A surprisingly large number of words and phrases in common use today were first penned by the Bard himself.  If you’re on a wild goose chase and find yourself neither here nor there, feeling faint-hearted (having not slept one wink), waiting with bated breath for the naked truth, and all of a sudden find yourself saying “Good riddance” as those who have eaten you out of house and home whilst playing “Knock, knock, who’s there?” vanish into thin air – you are quoting Shakespeare. The world is [your] oyster, but for goodness sake, don’t wear your heart on your sleeve and end up looking a sorry sight in a fool’s paradise.  Truth will out, and it’s a foregone conclusion that you can still have too much of a good thing.

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The Bard of Avon has certainly inspired much of my own writing.  One of my first successes as a poet was winning a limerick competition, in which I summed up the plot of Macbeth in five lines:

          On the strength of a witches’ conjection

          a regicide’s planned to perfection,

          but revenge is prepared

          by a tree-moving laird

          who’d been born by Caesarean section.

One of my long-term projects is to produce a limerick for each of the plays.  That’s still very much a work in progress, but in the meantime, two of Shakespeare’s other plays – Romeo & Juliet and Julius Caesar – formed the basis of two of my novels.

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The Ghostly Father takes a new look at Romeo & Juliet, and asks the question “What might have happened if the events of the story had taken a different turn?”  If, like me, you love the original story but hate the ending, here is your chance to read an alternative version – one with a few new twists and a whole new outcome.

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The Unkindest Cut of All is a murder mystery set in a theatre, during an amateur dramatic society’s performance of Julius Caesar.  What really happened to the actor playing the title role, during the final performance on the infamous Ides of March?

Shakespeare-themed celebrations will be taking place all through the anniversary weekend.  My humble contribution to these celebrations is to offer a special discount on the ebooks of these Shakespeare-inspired titles.  For a few days only, they will cost you just 99p each.  That’s two books for less than the price of a regular cup of arty-farty coffee.  And if you usually prefer to spend a little more and go for a large coffee, then why not splash out another 99p and treat yourself to my other novel, Nice Girls Don’t, which is also reduced?  This book isn’t directly Shakespeare-themed, but the Bard does get a couple of mentions.

Just click on the book titles above to be taken to your local Amazon links. And you’ll still come away with change from £3.

Happy reading!

About the Author:

Sue Barnard author picSue Barnard was born in North Wales but has spent most of her life in and around Manchester. After graduating from Durham University, where she studied French and Italian, Sue got married then had a variety of office jobs before becoming a full-time parent. If she had her way, the phrase “non-working mother” would be banned from the English language.

Since then she has had a series of part-time jobs, including some work as a freelance copywriter. In parallel with this she took several courses in Creative Writing. Her writing achievements include winning the Writing Magazine New Subscribers Poetry Competition for 2013. She is also very interested in Family History. Her own background is stranger than fiction; she’d write a book about it if she thought anybody would believe her.

Sue has a mind which is sufficiently warped as to be capable of compiling questions for BBC Radio 4’s fiendishly difficult Round Britain Quiz. This once caused one of her sons to describe her as “professionally weird.” The label has stuck.

Sue joined the editorial team of Crooked Cat Publishing in 2013. Her first novel, The Ghostly Father (a new take on the traditional story of Romeo & Juliet) was officially released on St Valentine’s Day 2014.  This was followed in July 2014 by her second novel, a romantic mystery entitled Nice Girls Don’t.  Her third novel, The Unkindest Cut of All (a murder mystery set in a theatre), was released in June 2015.

Sue now lives in Cheshire with her extremely patient husband and a large collection of unfinished scribblings.  You can find her on Facebook, Twitter (@SusanB2011), or follow her blog here.

 

Tom Williams launches ‘Back Home’.

Tom williamsI’m delighted to welcome fellow Accent Press author, Tom Williams, to my blog. His new novel, ‘Back Home’ completes his Victorian London series, The Williamson Papers. The tagline on the cover reads: ‘Desperation can drive you to do terrible things’… Tom offers us an insight into his world followed by a short extract with links for further details.

People often think that historical novels are form of escapism, and I guess many of them are. But the stories that people tell about history often reveal more about the world of today than about the past. Many years ago, when China was just opening to the West, we were able to visit there. We soon realised that in a country where open criticism of the government was impossible the stories that people chose to tell about their history were often not especially subtly coded comments on the political events of the (then) 20th century.

My series of books about the (fictional) John Williamson and his adventures around some (very non-fictional) events of the mid-19th century was always intended to allow me to raise issues that are more about 2016 than 1850. Back Home completes the trilogy and is the most overtly political of the books.

Back Home

While The White Rajah and Cawnpore explored issues around colonialism, Back Home sees John Williamson back in England and it looks at the social structures in this country that underlay Britain’s colonial adventures. The London of 1859 shares a surprising number of characteristics with the London of today. The city was undergoing a period of massive growth, much of it fuelled by cheap immigrant labour (from Ireland). The gap between rich and poor was enormous with the poor seeing few benefits from the economic success of the country. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, left-wing political extremism abroad was spreading to this country with Communism establishing itself here. The state responded with intensive surveillance and, where necessary, the substantial use of force.

We still hear, occasionally, politicians talk about returning to Victorian values. In Back Home John Williamson returns to the country where these values are being formed. Perhaps, before we blindly follow our leaders back 150 years, it is worth joining him on his journey to discover what those values actually were. This is where that journey begins:

When I had last been in England, King William was on the throne. Sailor Bill had seemed a cheery fellow. The war with France had ended less than twenty years before and King William’s reign always had something of a celebratory feel to it. Now, though, our monarch was Queen Victoria, and England presided over the greatest Empire the world had ever seen. Even in the Devon countryside, life moved with a purpose. Every man toiling in the fields, every woman hanging out her laundry – all played their part in the business of Empire, bringing, though the labourer might not have the leisure to appreciate it, unparalleled prosperity to the nation. Here was the very mainspring of that machine that sent its armies and its missionaries across the globe, to bring civilisation and Christianity to the peoples of the world, though, in my experience, they might be ignorant of their want of either.

The sight of so much industry was at once both impressive and unnerving. I felt as if I were a mere bumpkin, plucked from some obscure backwater and suddenly at the busy heart of things, but the people that I met were civil and, when I stopped for refreshment at a tavern, the ale was good and the landlord as friendly as might be. So I carried on my journey in an uncertain frame of mind, part excited and happy to be back in England, part apprehensive at the changes that I found.

Accent Press
Back Home
is published by Accent Press on 18 April.

 

LINKS

The White Rajah: myBook.to/WhiteRajah

Cawnpore: myBook.to/Cawnpore

Back Home: mybook.to/backhome

And here are the stories about James Burke.

Burke in the Land of Silver: myBook.to/LandofSilver

Burke and the Bedouin: mybook.to/Bedouin

Burke at Waterloo: myBook.to/BurkeWaterloo

 

I blog at http://thewhiterajah.blogspot.co.uk/

My Facebook author page is https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTomWilliams/

My Twitter handle is @TomCW99

Back Home

Interview with an Author: Jenny Kane

Jen and Abi's House 1I’m delighted to welcome bestselling author, Jenny Kane, to my blog – here to tell us about her positively wonderful novels…

What are the main ideas or themes in your book?

A typical ‘Jenny Kane’ story works around the idea of friendship, kindness, and coffee. The modern world is full of television shows that are based on laughing at the humiliation of other people, soap operas designed to depress, and reality programmes that work off the exploitation of failure. I try and make my books an antidote to that current popularity of negativity.

Without being sickly-sweet or twee, my books are about good people, trying to make their lives, and the lives of other people better. Usually while drinking a cup of coffee!

What is the setting or context of the narrative?

At the moment I am proofing the final round of edits for my next novel, ‘Another Glass of Champagne’, which will be out in June.

This is the fifth book in my ‘Another Cup of Coffee’ series, which is set in and around the Pickwicks Coffee Shop in Richmond, near London. With the popularity of coffee shops and cafes continually on the rise, such an establishment seemed the ideal location to bring together a group of characters to base my stories around.

As a daily coffee shop visitor myself (I am writing this from my personalised corner in my local cafe), I know that cafes are a hotbed of inspiration for stories!

Another Cup of Coffee - New cover 2015

Tell us more about the main characters and their dilemmas.

In ‘Another Glass of Champagne’ the main characters are each facing a new challenge in their lives. When the first book, ‘Another Cup of Coffee’ was written, Kit, Amy, and Jack were all in their 30’s. Now they’re in the 40’s, and rather than their lives calming down- they are just as complicated as ever.

-Kit is coming to terms with her children leaving home.

-Amy is facing motherhood, just when she’d given up ever being a parent

-Jack on the other hand, is simply trying to start a brand new career- not to upset everyone- and maybe find himself a boyfriend that won’t let him down.

Why did you write this novel? Any other issues or ‘big ideas’ behind it.

I never dreamt that I would write ‘Another Glass of Champagne.’

When ‘Another Cup of Coffee’ was written it was going to be a standalone novel. It was a story that I had always wanted to write, about what might have happened to me if I didn’t make one major decision (that I did make) after university. I’m not going to tell you what that decision was- you’ll have to read ‘Another Cup of Coffee’ to find out!

I had no hopes to expand, it. But thanks to luck, and kind readers, I was asked to do a short Christmas sequel- and then another- and then another! ‘Another Glass of Champagne’, (a full length novel this time), will be the last one of this series.

How do you go about writing a novel? Is it a simple or complex process?

I find writing a novel fairly simple. The complex bit is finding the time to sit and write in between my three part time jobs and looking after my family.

What advice do you have for less experienced writers?

Be patient. Success in writing usually comes slowly- and it can’t be counted in monetary reward. Your success has to be assessed via the number of people you have made happy with your words.

What are you working on currently?

I am currently writing the sequel to my Cornish romance, ‘Abi’s House’. This new novel, ‘Abi’s Neighbour’, will be out in Summer 2017.

What would your perfect day be?

Coffee to hand, a fresh notebook and pen at the ready, and no ‘real’ work demands stopping me from writing!

If you could leave a message to the world, what would it be?

Be kind.

Thanks, Jenny, for your thoughts and for telling us about your wonderful books. All the best with your writing projects.

Many thanks for inviting me along today, Jeff.

Jenny xx

Buy link for ‘Another Cup of Coffee’ – mybook.to/cupcoffee 

Jen and Abi's House 1

Jenny Kane Bio-

With a background in history and archaeology, Jenny Kane should really be sat in a dusty university library translating Medieval Latin criminal records, before writing research documents that hardly anyone would want to read. Instead, tucked away in the South West of England, Jenny Kane writes stories with one hand, while working for a Distance Learning Company with the other.

Jenny spends a large part of her time in the local Costa, where she creates her stories, including the novels Abi’s House (Accent Press, June 2015), Romancing Robin Hood (Accent Press, 2014), the best selling contemporary romance Another Cup of Coffee (Accent Press, 2013), and the novella length sequels Another Cup of Christmas (Accent Press, 2013), Christmas in the Cotswolds, (Accent Press, 2014), and Christmas at the Castle, (Accent Press, 2015).

Her next full length novel, Another Glass of Champagne, (Part 5 of the Another Cup of… series), will be published by Accent Press in June 2016.

Jenny Kane is also the author of quirky children’s picture books There’s a Cow in the Flat (Hushpuppy, 2014) and Ben’s Biscuit Tin (Hushpuppy, 2015)

Keep your eye on Jenny’s blog at www.jennykane.co.uk for more details.

Twitter- @JennyKaneAuthor

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JennyKaneRomance?ref=hl

Jenny Kane also writes erotica as Kay Jaybee. (www.kayjaybee.me.uk)

 

Angela Wren – Messandrierre

Angela WrenI’d like to welcome author Angela Wren to my blog. She’s going to tell us more about her writing and why she loves France as the setting to many of her books, particularly her well-received crime novel, Messandrierre.

Having spent most of my life to date travelling and spending time in France I’m now at a point where I find myself re-visiting old haunts or exploring places I’ve just driven through in the past.  But one thing that never changes is the camping experience.  There is always something to laugh about, cry about or be shocked by.  And most of these experiences – and yes they are all mine – are the starting points for my James et Moi stories which feature every other week on my blog.  Next month I’m starting a series of stories that are all based on things found in showers.  And that’s got you thinking already hasn’t?  Later in the year there will be a whole series of stories dedicated to my abject and total failure to handle things electrical or mechanical.  Naturally, it has taken me a lifetime of study to perfect this.  I mention this so that you will understand that in writing my James et Moi stories I am speaking not just from personal experience but also with the gravitas that comes with lengthy and detailed research!

AngelaWShort pieces of comic and amusing fiction are one thing, but my time in France has also provided me with a wealth of material for much longer works.  Couple that with a scrap of an understanding for putting words together and I found I had my first novel in a series of four even though I only set out to write one.  And that story is Messandrierre, set in the Cévennes – a rugged and sometimes wild area that’s sparsely populated and covered with vast forests – and featuring Jacques Forêt.  When I thought about my setting, a rural village nestled in the shadow of Monts Aigoual and Goulet; I knew the story had to be a murder mystery.  Using a real village that I know very well as my model, I took some time to completely people it with characters – well you never know when you might need someone to be a killer or a victim!  Then I moved the chateau, added a tiny gendarmerie, felled a few trees that obscured the view from my heroine’s hunting chalet and then began the serious task of putting the words on paper.

I hope you will enjoy my story if you decide to read it.  You can find it by following the links below :

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Smashwords

Website : www.angelawren.co.uk

Blog : www.jamesetmoi.blogspot.com

Facebook : Angela Wren

Goodreads : Angela Wren

AngelaW

FIVE GUNS BLAZING: a rip-roaring page-turner

Click here to purchase
Click here to purchase

Five Guns Blazing by Emma Rose Millar is an unforgettable historical adventure whose main character gets caught up in poverty, crime, slavery and piracy. It was justly awarded first place in the Legend category at the Chaucer Awards.

What the reviewers are saying:

“Hoist sail without delay and get your copy of Five Guns Blazing today, as it launches to the wide world. You’ll not regret it!”

“Disconnect your phone. Don’t answer your door. This book, a pot or two of coffee, and a comfortable chair, and you’re set for the day with this rollicking, seat-edged adventure.”

“You won’t want to put it down.”

“A gripping account … well researched and written with great sensitivity.”

“A dark, compelling tale, which captures the imagination, wonderfully written, rich, treacherous and jaw-dropping.”

“Rich in historical detail and vibrant characters the story pulls you in and keeps you turning the pages.”

“A fast paced, rip-roaring adventure from the filthy backstreets of London to the pirate seas, which kept me guessing right until the very end.”

“What a fabulous book; had me completely hooked from the beginning. Would recommend without reservation.”

“This is a real page turner with a central character you will connect with from the very start.”

“Kept me up several nights to continue reading and pulled me into the story right from page one.”

Links:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Author’s website: https://emmarosemillar.wordpress.com/

 

Emma Rose Millar

Publisher’s Website: https://crookedcatbooks.wordpress.com/2015/09/15/new-release-five-guns-blazing-by-emma-rose-millar-kevin-allen/

Image result for crooked cat

 

EVE by SHANI STRUTHERS

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…

eve

Blurb

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

Excerpt

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.

 Eve

UK http://tinyurl.com/nmnajss

US http://tinyurl.com/pe5f6db

eve3 

 

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