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Saturday, 21 October 2017

A thriller set in the seedy world of London's drug rings: Hamelin's Child by .@debjbennett #thriller

Hamelin’s Child
Debbie Bennett

Michael Redford died on his seventeenth birthday – the night Eddie picked him up off the street, shot him full of heroin and assaulted him.

Now he’s Mikey and he works for Joss. With streaked blond hair and a cute smile, he sleeps by day and services clients at night. Sometimes he remembers his old life, but with what he’s become now, he knows there is no return to his comfortable middle-class background.

Then he makes a friend in Lee. A child of the streets, Lee demands more from friendship than Mikey is prepared to give. But the police are closing in on them now and Mikey’s not sure anymore who he really is – streetwise Mikey or plain Michael Redford.

Hamelin’s Child was long-listed in the UK Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award.
A thriller set in the seedy world of London's drug rings, this book contains strong scenes and adult material.

Excerpt from Hamelin’s Child

Michael Redford died on his seventeenth birthday – the night Eddie picked him up off the street, shot him full of heroin and assaulted him.

Michael had been drinking steadily all night, matching Jenny’s Breezers with export-strength lager, and when he saw Jen wrapped around his mate’s brother across the dance floor, he didn’t feel at all inclined to slow down. Totally oblivious to observers, they were all hands and lips – a human octopus of limbs on the red chesterfield sofa with Jenny’s long dark hair covering both their faces. She’d dropped an E in the toilets; he could tell by the shine in her eyes and the way she moved when they’d been dancing earlier – she always came onto him when she was high, then pulled away when he got interested. Michael kicked the pillar next to him in disgust. He hated nightclubs anyway.

‘She came with you, didn’t she?’

Michael turned to see a man standing next to him. Blond hair, cream chinos, polo shirt and too much jewellery. He seemed older than the rest of the punters.

The man waved his hand in Jenny’s direction. ‘The girl,’ he added, by way of explanation. ‘I was watching the two of you earlier.’

Michael nodded. ‘Don’t think she’ll be leaving with me.’



‘Evidently.’ The man smiled sympathetically. ‘Women are bitches, aren’t they? He’s a dealer, by the way – saw him outside the bogs before. What’re you drinking?’ He pointed at Michael’s empty glass.

Michael shook his head. ‘No, thanks.’ Now fuck off, creep. Something about the stranger made him uneasy.

Suit yourself.’ The man shrugged and went off to the bar, returning a few moments later with a pint and what looked like a whisky chaser. He held the pint out. ‘Got you one, anyway. You look like you could use it.’ He had an impressive assortment of gold rings on his hand, which suggested serious money, even if the guy was a poser.

Oh, what the hell…Cheers. Michael emptied half of it immediately. He had less than a fiver left from the eighty quid his dad had given him earlier that day and not enough for a taxi home. Still, he couldn’t complain – there weren’t many parents who’d let their underage son celebrate his birthday in a club, and it was largely due to the intervention of his elder sister Kate that they’d let him go at all. On top of that, she’d even managed to talk them into giving him enough money to enjoy it in style. The money had come with strings of course, but listening to the ten-minute evils of drink and drugs lecture had been a small price to pay for his freedom.

Seventeen today. Or was it yesterday now? It was well past midnight. Some of his mates were on the other side of the dance floor; Jenny and her new friend were all but shagging on the sofa and everyone seemed to be one half of a couple apart from him. Glancing sideways, he saw the man had melted into the crowd. Michael wondered whether he should just go home and he was starting to consider the idea seriously when the stranger appeared at his side again.

‘Still here?’ The man smiled. ‘D’you want me to have him warned off?’

‘No.’ Who is this prick? Some kind of gangster? ‘He can have her.’

‘What’s your name?’

‘Michael.’ His voice sounded weird – in fact, everything sounded weird. The music seemed distorted and hollow and it echoed around his head, the bass making his teeth ache. Too much booze, Redford, that’s your problem. And far too much imagination. Sure, the guy was a bit strange, but – shit – wasn’t everyone in this dump?

‘Hi, Michael. I’m Eddie.’ He touched Michael’s shoulder with an air of concern. ‘Are you OK?’

Michael shook his head, trying to clear it. His pulse was pounding in time with the music. ‘What is this?’ He held out what was left of his drink, wondering whether the man had spiked it with anything.

‘Holsten. It’s what you were drinking earlier.’ Eddie sounded hurt. ‘It’s all right, isn’t it? Chuck it, if it’s off, and I’ll get you another.’

‘No … I don’t know.’ The lights seemed brighter and sharper, the music burning into white noise. He stared at the pint in his hand. What the hell is in this drink? He took a step forward and staggered, but Eddie caught his arm and deftly took the glass out of his grip.

‘I think you’ve had enough, Michael,’ he said softly. ‘Let’s go get some fresh air, shall we?’

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Authors Wanted for a 'Current Affairs' article written by YOUR protagonist #blog #guestpost #characterarticle #article #fiction

Beginning soon on WWBB is a 'current affairs' theme and authors are invited to write 300 - 900 words approx., in the POV of their character, about anything they like as long as it's current where they are, and send it to: wiselouise(AT)gmail.com or HERE

Readers invest a lot of time getting to know characters in books, and sometimes they'd like to know more about how they tick, what they think and how they'd manage in today's fast-paced world.

Possible 'current affairs' ideas:

If your character wields magic would he/she use it to stop climate change? If your character is evil would they be rubbing their hands together at human suffering? Or maybe they’d be the ones to have caused it? Maybe your character is an animal and doesn't understand how humans can ignore the suffering of dogs from the local doggy pet shop? Or maybe they don’t understand humans, full stop! Your character could even be an alien, and wonders how we live in such close proximity (population). Maybe your character loves/hates Donald Trump? Or maybe your character just hates/loves the Kardashians!

This is your article, and your current affairs from your neck of the wood.

Also send in:

Author media:
Purchase links (up to three) of the book to be advertised.
Cover pic (of said book)
Blurb (as above).

Bio of character.
Photo of character.

So take advantage of this FREE promo event and write 300 - 900 words approx., in the POV of your character, about anything you like as long as it's current where you are, and send it to my EMAIL.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Cowboys, Vampires and romance. Oh my! by @cowboyvamp

The Cowboy and the Vampire:
A Very Unusual Romance


Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall

“I cannot believe one person is worth this much trouble.” She leaned forward and tapped her clove cigarette into the ashtray. Julius patted the back of her hand. The scented smoke irritated his sinuses, as she was well aware, but he smiled frigidly through the haze of it and through her pettiness.

“Elita, my dear, jealousy is so unbecoming.”

“Julius, I have known you a great number of years, too many perhaps.” He maintained his smile, but it failed to reach his eyes.

“And you know I have nothing but respect for your judgment,” she said, pausing long enough to measure the effects of her remarks. No change was visible on his pale countenance.

She shrugged her shoulders, a delicate motion. “Why not simply take her and be done with it? Why make such a fuss out of it?”

“Fuss? You have adapted well to the clich├ęd words of this era, my dear.” His expression abruptly changed and, smooth as the velvet texture of his words, he leaned forward, drawing her close with a fierce stare. “I wonder, Elita, how you can question me at all.” His voice reverberated with buried passion. “You, of all people, should fathom the importance of her blood. In her veins run two thousand years of royalty. The first family. And with it, the power of the uncreation. Our people will have their due, and I shall be the one who gives it to them. We will honor the past by seizing the future.” He leaned back into his chair and luxuriantly sipped a cognac.
“This,” he waved futilely, setting the snifter on the table, “this centuries-old Diaspora will end. The Adamites had their chance. We let them play their little games and live their little lives in the sun. We have hidden away from them as if they were to be feared.”

He reached across the table and stopped her hand in midair as she moved her cigarette toward her lips. “My dear, I have seen the future and the future is Elizabeth Vaughan. Are we clear on this?”

She nodded sullenly and stood. As she did, every man in the bar stopped to study her: the pale skin, the silky black hair falling to her shoulders, the cling of the dress to her narrow hips, the erotic strength flowing from her. Women turned too. Elita, aware of the eyes but heedless, ran her fingers through her hair, arranging it behind her ears to reveal her slender throat. Bending toward the table, she stubbed her cigarette and brushed at imaginary lines in her dress as she straightened.

“Very clear,” she said. “Far be it from me to stand in the way of your machinations. As if I could. Elizabeth Vaughan. Such a tedious name. Now, if you’ll excuse me.”

He tilted his head in agreement, his lips forming a dismissive but appreciative smile. Elita turned and walked toward the door. Pausing by the bar, she laid her hand on the shoulder of a young man sitting alone. Leaning close to him, her lips brushing against his hair, she whispered in his ear. He nodded vigorously, gulped at his beer and slammed the glass down. Quickly he stood, marveling at this turn of extraordinary luck.

With eyes mocking her young victim’s adoration, Elita twined her arm around his waist. Smiling over her shoulder at Julius triumphantly, she disappeared into the night, hips swaying, her conquest in obedient tow.

He paused, savoring the taste of his own words, and then dropped his voice to a low, soft growl, a mesmerizing tone. “That is about to change,” he said. “I caution you, lovely Elita. It would serve you to remain on the winning side. Should you take it upon yourself to make some misguided effort to turn back this tide, well, I would miss you.”

End of Prologue

Back page book summary for A Very Unusual Romance (Book 1):

Welcome to LonePine, Wyoming, population 438, where the best of the west faces off against the rise of the undead. It's a love story for the ages when a broke cowboy and a glamorous big city reporter fall lipstick over boot heels in love. But she carries a 2000-year-old secret in her veins that will test their unusual romance to the very edge of death, and beyond.

Saddle up for a hilarious, sexy, existential gallop through the dying American west with an army of ancient bloodsuckers in hot pursuit.

First published in 1999 and now re-released in its third printing, the definitive author's cut,” The Cowboy and the Vampire: A Very Unusual Romance is the first book of The Cowboy and the Vampire Collection. A genre mash-up that deftly navigates the darkest sides of human nature while celebrating the power of love, it's been called everything from a campy cult classic to a trailblazer in its own new genre: Western Gothic.

Let 'er buck!
Review quotes:

“Pour yourself a shot of the good stuff and settle in for a wickedly good read. It’s sexy, it’s funny, it’s scary, and it will get your heart jumping like a pickup truck on an old county road.” East Oregonian

A thrilling page-turner…an outstandingly entertaining series. Introducing racial issues isn’t the only adjustment the authors have made to the vampire mythos, but it’s more than just the details that set this series apart. Rather, it’s the way the authors utilize those details to create meaningful conflicts and world-altering choices for the characters.”Kirkus Reviews

Friday, 13 October 2017

If you have an affinity with Los Angeles, Italy, seduction and vampires, then this read is for you! .@MJacksonBeverly

A Secret Muse

Mandy Jackson-Beverly

UCLA art professor Coco Rhodes knows little about her family’s association with the ancient clandestine organization The Allegiance and wants to keep it that way. She dislikes secrets—they’re a painful reminder of her childhood experiences that were erased as a result of her parents’ tragic deaths when she was four years old.

After a brutal attempt on her life, and the arrival of a birthday letter from her dead mother, Coco demands explanations from her brother, Christopher, a high-powered D.C. lawyer and member of the Allegiance.

Christopher guides Coco to her birthplace, Italy, insisting she’ll find her answers there. Enter the enigmatic Gabriel, a powerful warlock with a vampire father, and the ethereal Prudence, keeper of the Allegiance.

When a close friend is murdered, Coco’s life takes a dark turn. With only a faded portrait torn from a lost sketchbook, and one of her mother’s unfinished paintings, Coco unravels clues from her past, in the hope of saving those she loves.

A Secret Muse

Chapter 1

Professor Coco Rhodes contemplated the image before her: a female cloaked in a shadowed background, her eyes closed—and a man standing in the foreground poised in a defensive stance. Both were drenched in tones of deep crimson. Blood tones. Had one of her students painted this picture, Coco would have perceived that the artist was hiding something, holding back from her full potential, or afraid. But Coco had created this image and it signified her personal creative interrupta. She hadn’t painted anything in three months, since the headaches and visions of blood “had begun. That time also marked the initiation of the nightmares in which she searched continually for something she had lost.

Splatters of red paint, once bright in hue, had dried on the cement floor of her studio classroom and had become dulled beneath the heavy foot traffic. Coco became transfixed by the splatter marks, which seemed to pulse outward and then suddenly contract. She froze as the image of a woman’s bloodied face flashed in her mind.