New Look for ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’, & the End of My First Kindle Countdown Sale…

WebsiteWUNew Look for ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’…

Finishing up on the last in my latest run of ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’, I have taken a break from writing to rethink the covers for the series. For anyone who has stuck around long enough, you will have seen the covers change four or five times. Starting from the ugly to the acceptable. I will admit, I was daunted at having to get another 11 covers done. While I can have my insecurities about writing, I know one thing with a certainty–I am not an artist. And, after doing 2 or 3 new ‘art’ elements for the covers I decided that my stories deserve better than what I can produce with pen and paper. So, for each individual story I have opted for photo elements, and I am dropping individual art elements for each story–only the number and title of the story will change. The collections will remain as the leather look with just a few tweaks as I do like that classic style.

I spent hours trawling shutterstock for images. People who tag these images have a very loose interpretation of Victorian. Regency isn’t Victorian. Images ranged from original period, to Gothic romance cover, to cyberpunk, to… well, ‘sexy’ Victorian… There has always been one image I have fancied as Darkwood, and ended up just going for that one in the end. What I have always liked about is that her hat hides much of her face, so the reader can keep her looking just how they think she looks. That set me the task of finding a male with a similar hat over face style. I ended up having to do a bit of cutting and pasting for Hobbs, and both had to be recoloured, but I was pleased with how they turned out. I wanted some kind of detailed background, and trawling images of Victorian London and fog, I ended up just lifting a smoky element I use in my banner. That was handy. So… here is what the standard cover will look like:

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‘Harvest’ 99p/c October Halloween Sale!

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Craig Digby lives in a high-rise block of flats at the heart of Camden and is striving to make a life for himself away from the family business. But when a child goes missing from her locked ninth floor home he realises he is sitting on a story and an opportunity to begin the writing career he yearns for. The mystery deepens and becomes more sinister as other residents disappear, become uncharacteristically violent, or are killed. Something has been unleashed within the tower. Craig and a handful of disparate residents must overcome their personal beliefs, conflicts and fears, to unite against an evil that can reach into homes, control minds and corrupt flesh, for they alone realise the true nature of what is happening, and only they can stop the Harvest…

Available to download now from Amazon UKUS & other markets.

Life, Horror Podcasts, TV, Film & Books this October…

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To misquote Stephen King–“I have seen the face of horror, and it is moving house“. Yes, that’s right. We’re 5 months into our house move, in a chain of only 3 properties. And we still haven’t exchanged contracts, so it could all fall apart at any point. Our buyers have been dragging their feet all the way through–not instructing their solicitor for 2 months, then taking ages to settle their mortgage, then at the last minute requesting an electrical safety check–our property is modern, so not really required–and they have now gone on holiday for 3 weeks just at the point of settling things. On top of that, we’ve found out that their solicitor hasn’t even confirmed their identity or given them the contract papers to sign. Ours were all done in the first month. The people we’re buying from are losing patience, and are threatening to put the house back on the market or rent it out. Stress is not the word. I tell you, if this move actually goes ahead, I am going to Google ‘how to summon a lesser demon’ the morning we leave and make our old home as haunted AF.

So, as you can imagine, I have needed plenty of distraction… Thankfully, Halloween is my favourite time of year and I have found plenty to entertain me in recent weeks.

Podcasts

I have a thing for podcasts. I just wish I had more time to listen to them. There are some great shows out there.

A couple of notables in my ears at the moment are ‘American Hysteria’, about social panics–like Satanic panic, D&D scares, queer fear, stranger danger and urban legends; and ‘Relic Radio–The Horror!, which are old horror radio shows, complete with contemporary ads. Honestly, hearing an ad from the 60s for products to free up women’s time to spend more time with their husbands is just the best. True horror.

TV

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‘The Pack’ 99p/c October Halloween Sale!

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DI Joe Carter is called upon to investigate the deaths of two fellow officers who are savaged by dogs while pursuing a criminal organisation. However, it quickly becomes apparent that this is no ordinary investigation or isolated incident—all across London man’s best friend begins biting and tearing at the hand that feeds it. The dogs are forming a pack that grows as quickly as the victims it creates; the dead, the injured, and the people the dogs infect with their madness. Yet, to Joe the attacks still seem to be connected to the criminal organisation, and he has a fight on his hands to keep the case and make sense of what is happening. He is convinced that behind the vicious pack of animals is the hand of man, but is unprepared for the truth that will shake his understanding of the world…

Available to download now from Amazon UKUS & other markets.

‘Ivory’ 99p/c October Halloween Sale!

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Martin Roberts has made a successful career from painting as an artist and lecturer. Yet he is finding that his creativity is slipping away—stifled by family life. That is, until he is responsible for running a teenage girl down in his car. Miraculously the girl survives, but stranger than her lack of injuries is her striking physical appearance; stark white hair and skin, and jet black eyes. Being mute, her condition and background remain a mystery. That night should have been the last Martin saw of this girl called Ivory, but he finds he is haunted by her looks, and she has stoked the embers of his creativity. He realises he must paint her and seeks her out in London’s streets of vice, facing dangers of this world and another, pursuing an obsession that he discovers has led to the deaths of others before him and could unleash bloody chaos upon the world…

Available to download now from Amazon UKUS & other markets.

‘The Room’ 99p/c Halloween Sale!

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The Room

After an assault at work, Tom Willis is left with Post Traumatic Stress-Disorder: noises and closed doors arouse debilitating bouts of irrational dread as to what might lie behind them. He is at risk of losing his job and his girlfriend, but when those closest to him start to share his terror of something lurking behind closed doors, he realises it is not only his sanity at risk, but his life and the lives of those around him. To unlock the secret of his fear Tom must revisit a childhood he has done his best to distance himself from. A time when he was an orphan living in a children’s home. In his hometown, with his childhood best friend, and in the basement of their ruined home, he will face a battered and scarred door. To challenge the room that is haunting him, he must confront the past, and ignore the persistent warning in his mind—“Don’t open the door…”

Available to download now from Amazon UKUS & other markets.