#CoverReveal #MirrorInTime by D. Ellis Overttun @neoverttun #scifi #philosophy #politicalthriller

I’m very excited to reveal the latest cover for Mirror In Time by D. Ellis Overttun, now over to David for a bit of background for you:

It’s great to be back on On The Shelf Reviews for the cover reveal of my fourth book, a standalone time-travel story, Mirror in Time. Believe it or not, this is the third one. LJ participated in the last one, Prophecy: Eve of Darkness, and a makeover of Genesis: Vision of the New World

I probably sound like a broken record, but LJ has been the motivating force behind these visuals. She was the one who very politely suggested I should try for a more eye-catching cover for the original cover I did for my first book, Universe: Awakening. That recommendation spawned a revamp of that cover by my wife, Natasha, and all the ones that followed. 

As always, LJ, thank you for your continuing support and encouragement!

* * * * *

Our story so far…

ARC “Prologue” posted on Witty and Sacrastic Bookclub     

ARC eChapter 1 – “Debriefing and Consultation” posted on FromBelgiumWithBookLove   

ARC eChapter 2 – “History” posted on On The Shelf Reviews   

ARC eChapter 3 – “Newbie” posted on Like Herding Cats Blog  

ARC eChapter 4 – “Static” posted on The Swordsmith  

Mirror in Time Themes posted on FanFiAddict  

As night falls, a lone atmospheric vehicle has come under attack on its final approach to a high-altitude research facility known as the “Jomo Langma Mountain Observatory”. Stars that should fill the sky have been obscured by a random patchwork of contrails that have come to be known as “ribbons in the sky”.

Ribbons in the Sky | Natasha Evelyn Overttun

However, Prefect Godvina, AV Sundog’s lone passenger, is now recovering in the Observatory’s medical facilities, a result of stress caused by the evasive maneuvers of the episode. Director Jo’el, head of the Observatory, has been keeping vigil at her bedside. His concern for her is personal. Was this the reason for her visit?

We learn the attack was the anticipated result of a plan to draw out dissident elements. Prefect Tarsus, architect of the plan, is pleased on two fronts. About the mission was to be expected. However, as to Godvina’s condition has come as somewhat of a surprise to Agent Thalia, Sundog’s pilot, and Agents Mica’el and Gabri’el, two of her escorts. It spoke to rumors of a prior relationship between the head of Security and the head of the Cosmological Data Collection and Compilation Center. These rumors are seemingly confirmed when an angry Godvina bursts into a secure room to confront Tarsus, and Thalia is later tasked with covert surveillance of the fiery Prefect to determine the exact nature of her visit to the Observatory.

Jo’el’s tenure as Director of the Observatory had been a direct result of the ribbons in the sky and their seeming adverse causal affect on seismic activity and climate of the planet. His research had led him to conclude the ribbons were an extinction event. He has found a solution, a portal to another universe. However, there was no way to access it. If only there was more time…

His plan: Go back in time before access to the portal becomes compromised.

He will not be going alone. His two lifelong friends, Chief Psychology Officer Auberon and Chief Physician Kyros, will accompany him on this one-way journey. However, temporal mechanics was not his main area of study. That is why he has asked Godvina to come to Jomo. He needed a sounding board, someone to check his logic and his calculations. There was no one better than the prefect of CD3C.

He had originally intended a purely academic discussion. 

However, Thalia’s scrutiny has thrown a spanner in the works. She had been unable to eavesdrop on their meeting, a result of one of Auberon’s very unique abilities. It would only be a matter of time until it would draw unwanted attention to Jo’el’s plan. Now, he had no choice but to flee Jomo with his two friends and a recently recruited CD3C Prefect. Their objective: Exit a facility under military jurisdiction, make their way through some of the most inhospitable terrain on the planet and head to the very people who attacked AV Sundog.

Do they get off the mountain and travel back through time? Of course! Without it, there is no story, but how do they get there, what do they find, and do they make good on Jo’el’s plan?

Mirror in Time will take you on a journey beyond the galaxy then to the ancient world of Ziem as a band of intrepid time travelers struggle to save existence.

* * * * *

Now, about the cover…

My wife, Natasha (@neoverttun), does all my covers and visuals for my guest posts. I am so lucky to have her support. At this point, I would also like to clarify she sources all the artwork she uses from Pixabay and similar sites. She then combines and manipulates them in Photoscape, GIMP and word. Is the result original? I think so because it’s all about proportion and balance. Take sulfur, carbon and potassium nitrate. They are distinctive and unique in and of themselves. But mix them in the proper proportions, and you get gunpowder. So, to quote one of my favorite chef’s, “BAM!” Let’s take it to the next level.

Shades of gray dominate the cover. That palette combined with a hooded woman gives it a gloomy, gothic feel. It could imply our MCs are going back to a period in time like that. On the other hand, it might be a reference to time itself. The past is shrouded in mystery. Tomorrow is dark. Tomorrow unknown.

The woman stares back at us, a cryptic Mona Lisa smile on her lips. I have seen that look before. She knows something, something we don’t know. What could it be? One interpretation is the story itself. She knows what’s in the pages that follow, and the reader doesn’t. So, this is an invitation to journey past the cover and delve into the story. 

Her smile could also be a bright spot in an otherwise dreary color scheme. Again, it is a hint of what is to follow. Our MCs will be faced with impossible odds, but there is always hope.

On another level, it could be like looking in a mirror, and this is our own reflection. This asks the reader a question: What are you thinking?

The bottom half of the cover is also a reflection. Natasha blurred it slightly to make a distinction to the top half. For me, the fact it’s upside down makes it clear enough, but I think it’s a nice touch. We have two more. One is the inverted “r” in the title and the title itself. Natasha wanted to do something similar to my name, but I said, “Enough with the reflections already. I think they get the point.” We had a little “discussion” after that. To summarize, she “said”, “This is an artist’s prerogative.” I “said”, “Less is more.” She finally agreed. I include the episode here, not to gloat but as a record I am right on occasion.

The accent color is green. It appears in the globe of light and around the lettering. No interpretation is required to know the tendrils represent plasma. Because it’s there, it has to have something to do with the story. It does. Although, in the story, it’s a mist. Natasha could have feathered and blurred it to make it consistent, but she felt it would lose it’s immediate and unmistakable connection to power. (This is an artist’s prerogative.) It’s in front of the woman, implying you have to go through it to get to the end of the story, which you do.

Now for the thing you’ve been waiting for, the fabulous cover:

Terra Nova Book 1 – Universe:  Awakening  

Background to Universe: Awakening posted on Zooloo’s Book Diary

Terra Nova Book 2 – Genesis:  Vision of the New World

Themes in Genesis: Vision of the New World posted on The Book Hole

Terra Nova Book 3 – Prophecy: Eve of Darkness


Themes in Prophecy: Eve of Darkness posted on The Bookwormery

Keep My Secrets by Elena Wilkes @Elenathrillers @HeraBooks @BOTBSPublicity #Extract #BookPromo

Hello lovelies and happy Sunday! Today I have an exclusive extract from Keep My Secrets by Elena Wilkes as part of the blog tour organised by Sarah at Books On The Bright Side Publicity. First a little about the book:

Title: Keep My Secrets by Elena Wilkes

Publisher: Hera Books 

Date Published: 28th April 2021

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Description:

A life built on lies – now the truth could destroy her

Frankie Turner knows what it’s like to be unwanted; she was brought up in care. Now as a social worker to kids in the same system, she’s someone who understands … But Frankie is hiding an unthinkable secret: one that may have its roots in the murder of a young, beautiful woman fifteen years ago.

Yet the past is out there. Someone knows what Frankie is hiding – and now they’re back to shatter her perfectly constructed life, terrorising her with menacing letters and silent calls to the house she shares with husband Alex.

She may have reinvented herself, but Frankie’s past is back to haunt her – and now, there’s nowhere to run.

A gripping psychological thriller that will have you hooked. Fans of Lisa Jewell and Erin Kelly won’t be able to put this one down.

Extract:

Frankie walks quickly towards her car from the children’s care home. It’s still raining hard and the wind is getting up. The only sounds are the echo of her footsteps on the black tarmac; it’s so dark she can’t see her own feet moving. 

Over in the distance, the bulky outline of Caer Caradoc and the trail of the Long Mynd hills sit blackly against the darkening skyline of the Welsh border. Tucking her chin closer into her jacket, she blips the immobiliser. It flashes a reassuring orange into the ghost outline of the hedges as she drops her case into the back.

There are no streetlamps this far out of town. Slipping into the driver’s seat, she fumbles a little for the ignition as the engine turns over. The squeal of the wipers startles her and sets her heart racing. She finds her hands are shaking. 

I’m not scared, she tells herself. It’s just the adrenaline from all that earlier bravado

You’ve done good today, Frankie. She presses her lips together in determination. Concentrate on that

Taking a deep breath, she begins to pull away. The road is quiet as her car picks up speed. 

Come on, get a grip, Frankie. Thirty minutes and you’ll be home.

It’s Friday, well after going home time and the road is eerily dark. Her car headlights leap awkwardly, illuminating only a small stretch of the black tunnel ahead. 

Letting the air slowly out of her lungs, she tries to relax her shoulders from up around her ears and she glances warily into the rear-view mirror. No one would believe this was the same woman who’d been trying to talk a teenager from a roof just half an hour ago. She wavers a smile at the memory. She doesn’t think that getting up on a line of ridge tiles in the pouring rain is high priority on her regional manager’s job description, but that’s precisely what she did.

She closes her eyes briefly. See? Think about the good stuff and block everything else out. 

The radio fizzes and floats in and out of its station and her eyes sweep again and again into the shadows in the hedgerows. She concentrates hard on the shining road in front of her. But her eyes keep flitting back. 

This isn’t working. 

There’s something about being in the car at night: that feeling of not really being alone. She keeps thinking that there’s something else in here with her—

Her eyes flick up to the mirror. 

That back headrest is just a headrest. She’s fully aware of that. It’s not a man sitting with his head bowed. Don’t be ridiculous Frankie Turner, you’re thirty-three years old, not three.

But her three-year-old self knows that if she keeps watching she’ll glimpse a movement, a darkness that will slowly detach itself, and if she keeps listening she’ll detect the quiet draw and pull of someone breathing.

No. 

Stop it.

There’s no one there. You know there’s not. She chews her lip. You know this because you deliberately checked the back seat.

The rain is beginning to slant in fine shards through the beam of headlights, the skeins twisting down the windscreen, forcing the wipers to dash pointlessly back and forth. She grimaces, screwing up her eyes, trying to peer through the pouring streams.

Home soon, home soon, home soon…

What’s with all this front, Frankie? her head says.  Who are you trying to kid? Just look at you – Look at you in your fancy Range Rover, desperate to get back to your nice upmarket husband and your upmarket country cottage. You’re such a fraud, you know that? Drive as fast as you like Frankie-girl, the past is coming up right behind you.

She swallows and stares hard into the lashing water. All she has to do right now is stay in control and not get spooked. It’s not difficult; she’s been doing it long enough. All she needs to do is stay in control of the car… Of herself… Of her life.

About The Author:

Elena Wilkes grew up in Walsall in the West Midlands and then worked for eighteen years in H.M Prison Service. The people she met there provided the basis for all her novels.

Many of the prisoners there came across as very ordinary people who had committed the most appalling crimes but would, one day, walk straight back on the streets.

This begged the question: how much do we know about anyone, really? The people who live amongst us may seem no different from us at all, but when you scratch a little deeper, you realise they hold some very dark secrets.

Twitter: @Elenathrillers

Facebook: @elenawilkesthrillers

#CoverReveal Secrets of Windwood by Jack Reese @CayellePub @lovebooksgroup @lovebookstours 

Hello lovelies! Today I have a cover reveal for Secrets of Windwood by Jack Reese organised by Love Books Tours but first a little about the book:

Title: Secrets of Windwood by Jack Reese 

Publication Date: 22nd June 2021

Publisher: Cayelle Publishing

Genre: Horror

Description:

Simon Lord has it all—the beautiful fiancé, the loving family, the sprawling mansion, and the famous last name. Little does he know that what is supposed to be the happiest day of his life will become his last. The little town of Solomon’s Wake has managed to keeps its secrets hidden for nearly a century, but no darkness can lie dormant forever. It only takes one fateful night, one storm, one wedding, for a vampire to rise, a werewolf to escape, and a witch’s age-old curse to rise again.

Decades later, the Lord family is a shadow of its former self. Windwood, the Lord family ancestral home, sits in near ruin as Simon Lord lies in a coma, but life goes on. That is until Joshua Lord makes the fateful decision to return to Windwood with his young family. Curses, as young Jenna Lord finds out, do not have an expiration date. The Lords and their friends find themselves battling vicious werewolves, homicidal grandmothers, the unrelenting spirit of a vengeful witch, and their own dark pasts. The only question is, who will make it out of Windwood alive this time?

Now for the chilling cover:

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon – https://amzn.to/3aDvWVU

#CoverReveal Between You And Me by Carol Mason @CarolMasonBooks @rararesources

Today I have a fabulous cover reveal for Between You And Me by Carol Mason organised by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. First a little about the book:

Title: Between You And Me by Carol Mason 

Publication Date: 22nd June 2021

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Description:

Is her new husband really who she thinks he is?

When young doctor Lauren Matheson meets Joe, an older divorced businessman, at a glittering poolside in California, it’s a chance encounter that seems life-changing for them both. Back home in London, their feelings only strengthen. But Lauren soon discovers that building a happy future with Joe is going to be an uphill struggle…

She’s determined to be a good stepmother to his children, four-year-old Toby and complicated teen Grace. But under the watchful eye of Meredith, Joe’s intimidating ex-wife, Lauren can’t seem to do a thing right. Why won’t Joe ever take her side against Grace? And what really happened between him and Meredith?

As her husband retreats into a cold, secretive version of the dashing man she met in California, Lauren starts to wonder if she’s made a costly mistake. Was Joe ever the man she thought she married?

Now here’s the atmospheric cover:

You can pre-order your copy here: https://amzn.to/2Pu9BCM

About The Author:

Carol Mason is the Amazon Charts and Kindle #1 bestselling author After You Left (more than 300,000 copies sold), The Secrets of Married Women, The Last Time We Met, The Shadow Between Us, Send Me A Lover and Little White Secrets which hit the Bookstat digital bestsellers list top 3 in the week of its launch. She was born in the North East of England where most of her novels are set. She now lives in Canada with her Canadian husband, a rescue dog from Kuwait and a three-legged cat. When not writing, Carol loves to read, cook and binge watch Netflix. 

Social Media Links – https://www.facebook.com/CarolMasonAuthor

https://www.instagram.com/carolmasonauthor/

#Excerpt #Amalie by EJ Wood @E_J_Wood @zooloo2008 @QuestionPress #QuestionMarkPress #ZooloosBookTours #Promo

Hello lovelies! I’m very excited to have an excerpt from new release Amalie by EJ Woods as part of the first ever blog tour organised by Zoé over at Zooloo’s book tours! First a little about the book:

Title: Amalie by EJ Wood

Date Published: 15th April 2021

Publisher: Question Mark Press

Genre: Historical Thriller 

Description:

HEY MURDERED FAMILIES
THE FUHRER CANNOT PROTECT THEM NOW

It’s not wise to murder the family of a budding assassin. Created by Auschwitz, her skill is honed by revenge.

A very different type of serial killer is loose in 1950s Europe. In Britain, a Brotherhood of powerful men takes notice and enhances the expertise and artistry of a killer.

DCI John Owen was born to serve. Recruited by MI6, he tracks an accomplished executioner whose love of luxury and the arts is second only to the love of watching an early death come to those who truly deserve it.

Join the chase. Then ask yourself…
Can there ever be only one winner?

Excerpt:

Wiesenthal without a doubt was soon on the rise to becoming one of the most famous Nazi hunters the world would ever see. A survivor of Mauthausen, he began to dedicate his life in the war crimes section of the United States Army gathering evidence to convict German war criminals. He wasn’t about to let anyone who had committed the crimes against humanity just walk away.

Another such man was called Hanns Alexander. Although Alexander was born in Germany during World War 1 into an assimilated wealthy household, his Jewish family had fled to Britain when Hitler’s rise to power threatened his family. His father was a popular doctor who was known to hold elaborate parties for the social elite including Albert Einstein. After the war ended, Alexander was one of the first volunteers wanting to investigate war-related crimes. A deep-seated rage fuelled his interest, and he’d drive around Europe with a dead Nazi strapped to his car. Amalie smiled as she recalled the  memory when she read about his mission, she felt it far more interesting than the capture of Rudolf Höss; the exact details are unknown but he was either beaten by Jewish soldiers or forced to walk naked along a snowy road. However his fate ended, it wasn’t enough, and later he was taken into custody and hanged a short while later. 

William looked into Amalie’s eyes. ‘What will you do when you have completed your quota?’

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08XQRPJ7C

Amazon USA – https://www.amazon.com/AMALIE-J-Wood-ebook/dp/B08XQRPJ7C/

About The Author:

She’s just a storyteller!

E.J. Wood is a thriller writer from England.

Although British born, she now resides in Spain, speaks English, and Spanish, and is currently learning German.

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/AuthorEJWood/

Twitter : https://twitter.com/E_J_Wood

Website : http://www.ejwoodauthor.com/

Amazon : https://www.amazon.co.uk/E-J-Wood/e/B0784K3N4W

Goodreads : https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7050248.E_J_WOOD

Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/e_j_wood_author/

#CoverReveal Technopaladin by Elizabeth Corrigan @ERCorrigan @RRBookTours1 #Technopaladin #RRBookTours

Hello lovelies! Today I have a fabulous cover reveal for Technopaladin by Elizabeth Corrigan organised by R&R Book Tours. First a little about the book:

Expected Publication Date: May 2021

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/ Fantasy

Description:

Clarity’s paladin order forbids her from entering the Azure District, the one location in her high tech city that refuses paladin rule and technology. When she receives an illicit invitation to violate the prohibition, spurred on by rumors of suffering in the district, she passes through the crumbling brick entryway into no-man’s land. Within, she finds the residents lack not only the ocular implants and three dimensional computers she takes for granted, but also medicine to fight a disease infecting the children.

Clarity knows her order isn’t perfect—after all, they stole her from her parents when she was a small child to raise her with their values—but she cannot believe they know what’s going on in the Azure District. When she confronts the head of the order, he refuses to aid people who have rejected his help in the past, even the children. Unwilling to take no for an answer, Clarity enlists the help of the leader’s son Cass and takes matters into her own hands.

Desperate both to cure the children and keep her place in the order that is her only home, Clarity engages in increasingly questionable behavior—deleting official records, lying to her friends, and manipulating people who can help her. As the nefarious nature of her actions tarnishes the purity of her cause, she must determine what it truly means to be a paladin, in both name and action.

Now here’s what you’ve been waiting for, the gorgeous cover:

About the Author:

Elizabeth Corrigan has degrees in English and psychology and has spent several years working as a data analyst in various branches of the healthcare industry. When she’s not hard at work on her next novel, Elizabeth enjoys playing tabletop role-playing games and cooperative card games. She refuses to watch most internet videos and is pathologically afraid of bees. She lives in Maryland with two cats and a very active iphone.

Elizabeth Corrigan | Twitter | Facebook

Cover Reveal Organised By: 

R&R Book Tours

Q&A A Chance Encounter by Rae Shaw @RaeShawauthor @rararesources #BlogTour

Hello lovelies! Today I have a fantastic Q&A with Rae Shaw, aka Rachel Walkley, as part of the blog tour organised by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources but first a little about the book:

Title: A Chance Encounter by Rae Shaw

Date Published: 24th March 2021

Genre: Thriller

Description:

Julianna Baptiste, a feisty bodyguard, finds her new job tedious, that is until her boss, the evasive Jackson Haynes, spikes her curiosity. Who is behind the vicious threats to his beautiful wife and why is he interested in two estranged siblings?

Mark works for Haynes’s vast company. He’s hiding from ruthless money launderers.

His teenage sister Ellen has an online friend whom she has never met. Ellen guards a terrible secret.

For eight years their duplicitous father has languished in prison, claiming he is innocent of murder. The evidence against him is overwhelming, so why does Mark persist with an appeal?

Keen to prove her potential as an investigator, Julianna forces Mark to confront his mistakes. The consequences will put all their lives in danger.

You can buy your copy here:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08X1PN4VH

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08X1PN4VH

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57237006-a-chance-encounter

Trailer – https://youtu.be/g2U11opEcqs

Q&A with Rae Shaw:

Can you tell me a little bit about your book? 

Julianna has quit a good job as a government agent to work as a chauffeur and bodyguard. She’s lost her way but not her curiosity. So when she suspects her boss’s wife is having an affair, she can’t stop herself from spying. What starts out as a personal mission ends up being a far greater threat to her life.


Where did the inspiration for your book come from? 

The idea for a bodyguard who doesn’t play by the rules was the catalyst and from there, Julianna developed into a kind of PI who sometimes takes investigations too far.


If you could describe your book in one sentence what would it be? 

Murder takes seconds, revenge takes years.


What is a typical writing day like for you? 

I used to write full-time. These days I grab a few hours when I can at the weekend.

If you could recommend just one book to read what would it be and why? 

The Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett. They have everything you could want in a story.


Who are your favourite authors? 

I have reliable favourites – Isabel Allende and Robert Goddard are both brilliant storytellers. I have a fondness for procedural police novels and especially American writer Ed McBain. Although he passed away some years ago, I read his books over a span of thirty years, from when I was eleven until his last book in the late 1990s.


Is writing your only job? If not, what is your other job? 

I work as an information scientist and I spend my weekdays analysing scientific texts rather than writing.


Tell me something interesting about yourself (that’s not in your author bio!) 

I’m a biologist.


What are you currently working on? 

I’m working on the third book of the Julianna Baptiste series, the second is written and ready to be published. I’m also editing another book which will be published in a different genre using my real name – Rachel Walkley.

About The Author –  

Rae Shaw is a pen name for the author Rachel Walkley.

Rachel is based in the North West of England. She read her first grown-up detective novel at the age of eleven, which proved to be a catalyst for filling many shelves with crime books, which still occupy her home and grow in number whenever she visits a book shop.

As well as crime, Rachel likes to unplug from the real world and writes mysteries that have a touch of magic woven into family secrets.

Social Media Links – 

https://raeshawauthor.com/

Rae Shaw Facebook page

Rachel Walkley

Pixeldust by T. K. Arispe @rararesources #Promo #Excerpt

Hello lovelies! Today I have an excerpt from Pixeldust by T.K. Arispe as part of the blog tour organised by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. First a little about the book:

Title: Pixeldust by T. K. Arispe

Date Published: 20th July 2020

Genre: NA Urban science fantasy

Description:

Maria Elena thought she’d sworn off gaming forever. But she hates her new internship, so her brother Balt convinces her to play Heroes of Avonell, a cutting-edge virtual-reality video game with such complex programming that it’s like the non-player characters are self-aware.

Disappointed with the usual cliché job class offerings, Maria Elena’s character Quinny stumbles through a glitch in the game and ends up in Caed Dhraos, a strange city populated with friendly monsters. Quinny decides to work for the resident dark lord as part of his magic personnel, but she can’t tell anybody she’s playing in off-limits areas of the game—not even Balt. Soon Quinny finds herself getting to the bottom of a mystery surrounding an ancient demon and why Caed Dhraos is suffering from the Blight.

But the artificial intelligences in the game really are self-aware, and some of Avonell’s so-called “heroes” have decided they don’t like humanity very much. The game has gone out of control, and Maria Elena and her new friends have to find a way to set things right. Can she save Avonell – and Earth – while juggling her real job and trying to salvage her crumbling relationship with her brother?

Pixeldust is a dive into a fantastical, fun virtual world where the universe may be made of data, but the dangers, friendships, magic, and lessons learned are very real.

You can buy your copy here: 

https://www.amazon.com/Pixeldust-T-K-Arispe-ebook/dp/B08DD612GR (ebook)

https://www.amazon.com/Pixeldust-T-K-Arispe/dp/B08DBZD91T (paperback)

Excerpt:

Intro: In the MMO Heroes of Avonell, Maria Elena’s player character Quinny has just taken a job working as a lucent mage under the mysterious Lord Zaragoz, in an area of the game Quinny isn’t sure she’s supposed to be in. When Zaragoz’s fortress staff discovers Quinny has pixiedust, she finds out what pixiedust is used for in the dismal city of Caed Dhraos.

As they walked through dimly-lit corridors and down several flights of stairs, the architecture looking much more primitive than the rest of the fortress, Quinny felt an odd sense of foreboding fall over her. She shuddered and had to remind herself that this was just a game and she wasn’t in any real danger. Still, something felt off, in a bad way, and it set her on edge.

“What is this place?” she asked, and the darkness seemed to choke her words as they hit the air.

“The oldest part of the fortress,” Zaragoz said. “Most of what you’ve seen so far, my subjects and I built up after we found this place. It was once just an abandoned ruin. We never did find out who had lived here before.”

Finally they reached a corridor that dead-ended at a wall with a faded mural painted on it. As Quinny approached, she inspected the ancient pigmentation, trying to figure out what she was looking at and why it filled her with such terror, like a nightmare. It appeared to be a painting of a black mass with shadowy tendrils that curled out to fill all the space on the wall. In the middle of the mass sat a gaping round maw ringed with sharp teeth.

Zaragoz stood in front of the mural and held up the dust vessel. “Shargothi!” he said. “I bring you pixiedust!”

The mural pulsed with power, and Quinny’s feelings of dread heightened. It was almost enough to make her want to log off of the game, and she wondered why a video game would make her feel so unsettled. It wasn’t real, after all. So why did it suddenly feel so real?

Black mist began to leach from the wall. It was subtle and weak, and seemed to strain as if trying to get more of itself out. A sound like thousands of whispers filled the air, and Quinny found she didn’t want to hear what they were saying.

Two vaporous tendrils latched on to the dust vessel. The top of the vial started to glow, and the sparkling pixiedust coursed out of the vessel and through the tendrils, into the wall. A noise like a satisfied sigh filled the heavy air, and then the black mist withdrew and the wall fell dormant.

“Shargothi thanks you,” Zaragoz said as he gave Quinny back her dust vessel.

The dwarf fastened it to her belt with trembling hands, wondering why she felt ill all of a sudden. “Wh-what was that?” she asked.

“The demon Shargothi,” Rin said. She tried to sound nonchalant, but she shifted her weight as her tufted tail swished nervously.

“Don’t let Shargothi frighten you,” Zaragoz said as they walked back to the lift. “She is benevolent. Someone sealed her away down here long ages ago. When my subjects and I found these ruins and decided to call them home, I discovered Shargothi. I needed her help to build Caed Dhraos back up into a suitable kingdom, but she could not utilize her full power in her weakened state, and required nearly all of our pixiedust to aid us.”

“Is that why you don’t have any pixiedust?” Quinny asked as they boarded the lift again.

“Not quite,” Zaragoz said. “Pixies used to live here in abundance. But when we’d gotten Caed Dhraos up and running, the land began to wither and die. All of the pixies left. We called it the Blight, and none of our magic or engineering could cure it. In fact, lately it’s been getting worse and those chaos beasts have been cropping up.”

“I’m sorry,” Quinny said. “I wish I could do something to help.”

The dark lord looked down at her in surprise, and then he smiled. “It’ll be all right,” he said. “Shargothi told me that she can cure the land. But she’ll need much more pixiedust to do so. So I thank you for your donation.”

About The Author:

T. K. Arispe is an illustrator, gamer, and unashamed nerd with a background in animation and webcomic production, including the webcomic Trainer Wants to Fight! which somehow got its own page on TVTropes. She loves interesting stories, well-crafted worlds, and memorable characters, and is passionate about creating quality, intelligent, slightly offbeat media that everyone can enjoy. Most of her story ideas come from random research binges, usually in the fields of theoretical physics, computer science, or oddly enough food history. She lives in California, where she enjoys not having to deal with snow because it is terrifying.

Social Media Links – 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tkarispe

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tkarispe/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9833615.T_K_Arispe 

#Excerpt Captain Clive’s Dreamworld by Jon Bassoff #CaptainClivesDreamworld @jonbassoff @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

Hello lovelies! Today I have an excerpt from Captain Clive’s Dreamworld by Jon Bassoff as part of the blog tour organised by Emma at Damppebbles blog tours. First a little about the book:

Title: Captain Clive’s Dreamworld by Jon Bassoff

Publisher: Eraserhead Press

Date Published: 1st October 2020

Genre: Horror

Description:

After becoming the suspect in the death of a young woman, Deputy Sam Hardy is reassigned to the town of Angels and Hope, which, within its borders, holds the once magnificent amusement park, Captain Clive’s Dreamworld. When he arrives, however, Hardy notices some strange happenings. The park is essentially empty of customers. None of the townsfolk ever seem to sleep. And girls seem to be going missing with no plausible explanation. As Hardy begins investigating, his own past is drawn into question by the town, and he finds himself becoming more and more isolated. The truth—about the town and himself—will lead him to understand that there’s no such thing as a clean escape.

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/39c2WnU 

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/39he8Qx 

Excerpt:

He drove for five, six hours across a relentlessly barren landscape dotted by tumbleweed, the sun shining cruelly, the highway cracked and discolored. Vehicles appeared every so often and then less often and then barely at all. The radio played hazy country music that became more and more frightening; eventually, he turned it off. Silence except for his own disjointed thoughts. He reached into the console for some beef jerky, the first food he’d eaten that day, tearing open the bag and chewing slowly, all the while staring out the dust-coated windshield. Gripping the steering wheel tightly, he felt like he was the only person in the world. Then, for a quick moment, he squeezed his eyes shut. None of this was real, he decided. Dreamworld. He was just drifting, drifting, drifting… 

North on Highway 23 the directions said, sixty miles until Angels and Hope, but Highway 23 was in bad shape. The letters on the old sign were barely visible beneath the rust, and the asphalt was covered with dirt and shrubs and tumbleweed. He thought about turning around, driving until the world ended, but he needed the job, needed the money, so he pressed down on the gas pedal and crossed over a gully, the bottom of his car scraping against brush. As he drove down the nearly abandoned highway, he couldn’t help but think that things would end poorly. 

His car was bouncing all over the place, and the sun never seemed to lower in the sky. Fifty, sixty, seventy miles per hour. Along the side of the beaten two-lane, there were occasional remnants of the past: a boarded-up motel, an abandoned gas station, a broken-down car. Soon the asphalt of the highway became harder and harder to see, becoming, instead, a dying garden. A murder of crows followed his car, and he heard the disquieting yelps of a coyote. His hands were trembling, sweat dribbling into his eyes. The air conditioner wasn’t worth shit, and that was the way of the world. The farther Hardy drove, the more he saw her face, and the only way he could rid himself of it was by gritting his teeth until his jaw and temples ached. 

Desperate, face slathered with perspiration, Hardy turned the radio back on, hoping for something familiar. Now static, static, static. But at the end of the AM dial, the faint voice of a preacher: “Offer, brothers and sisters. Offer up what is most valuable and precious. Because only then will he offer to you what is most valuable and precious. A reading from Genesis 22: ‘Isaac said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together. When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.’ Thus, with Abraham’s knife pressed to Isaac’s throat, the reading ends. Now we know, brothers and sisters, that God’s angels eventually rescued Isaac from this terrible fate. But I am here to tell you that the rescue is less important than Abraham’s unswerving trust. He was willing to kill his own son because of that trust. And you must be willing to do the same. You must be willing to sacrifice that which means the most to you. For in this selfless act, you will be rewarded. But if you are selfish, if you hide your loved ones in the attic or help them escape in tunnels beneath the desert floor, your squirming bodies will be placed in the Lake of Fire, pockets filled with stones…” 

Hardy slammed off the radio, and despite the straightness of the highway the world seemed to be spinning, flashes of his past mixed with flickers of his present, his future vanished forever. Images of crows in the steeple and fire on the highway and rats in his skull. And his own voice, mumbling into his hand: the sins aren’t mine, they’ve never been mine. 

And that’s when Angels and Hope appeared. 

Just beyond an old-fashioned water tower emblazoned with the words “Dreamers Dream” stood a tall, shiny white fence, and beyond this fence the desert ended and the Promised Land began. A place where neighbors greet neighbors in the quiet of summer twilight. Where children chase fireflies. Where porch swings provide easy refuge from the cares of the day. Why, then, was Hardy saddled with the premonition that this was where he’d burn? 

About The Author:

Jon Bassoff was born in 1974 in New York City and currently lives with his family in a ghost town somewhere in Colorado. His mountain gothic novel, Corrosion, has been translated in French and German and was nominated for the Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere, France’s biggest crime fiction award. Two of his novels, The Drive-Thru Crematorium and The Disassembled Man, have been adapted for the big screen with Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild; Once Upon a Time in America) attached to star in The Disassembled Man. For his day job, Bassoff teaches high school English where he is known by students and faculty alike as the deranged writer guy. He is a connoisseur of tequila, hot sauces, psychobilly music, and flea-bag motels.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jonbassoff 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jon.bassoff 

Website: http://jonbassoff.com/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jonbassoff/

#CoverReveal A Chance Encounter by Rae Shaw @rararesources @RaeShawauthor

Hello lovelies! Today I have a fab cover reveal for A Chance Encounter by Rae Shaw that will be released on the 24th March! First a little about the book: 

Julianna Baptiste, a feisty bodyguard, finds her new job tedious, that is until her boss, the evasive Jackson Haynes, spikes her curiosity. Who is behind the vicious threats to his beautiful wife and why is he interested in two estranged siblings?

Mark works for Haynes’s vast company. He’s hiding from ruthless money launderers.

His teenage sister Ellen has an online friend whom she has never met. Ellen guards a terrible secret.

For eight years their duplicitous father has languished in prison, claiming he is innocent of murder. The evidence against him is overwhelming, so why does Mark persist with an appeal?

Keen to prove her potential as an investigator, Julianna forces Mark to confront his mistakes. The consequences will put all their lives in danger.

You can Pre-order your copy here:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08X1PN4VH

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08X1PN4VH

Now here is the fantastic cover:

You can watch a quick trailer for the book here – https://youtu.be/g2U11opEcqs

About The Author:  

Rae Shaw is a pen name for the author Rachel Walkley.

Rachel is based in the North West of England. She read her first grown-up detective novel at the age of eleven, which proved to be a catalyst for filling many shelves with crime books, which still occupy her home and grow in number whenever she visits a book shop.

As well as crime, Rachel likes to unplug from the real world and writes mysteries that have a touch of magic woven into family secrets.

Social Media Links – 

Rae Shaw Facebook page

Rachel Walkley