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Tuesday 22 December 2015

YULE LOVE THIS - a guest post by Ailsa Abraham

Today I welcome back my dear friend Ailsa Abraham, who has asked me to share news of a very special Yuletide offer.  For two days only, both her novels are available in e-book format for just 99p or 99c each!

I must tell you now that I have read both of these amazing stories and I cannot recommend them highly enough.  But let Ailsa tell you herself...

We celebrate the Winter Solstice or Yule, so as my gift to you readers I would like to present – for the two days of 22nd and 23rd December only – BOTH books in the Alchemy series at 99p or cents each for an e-book.

Come on, that’s less than a cup of coffee!  And it lasts longer and keeps you awake better!
Click on the titles below to see them on Amazon in YOUR country.

Plenty of five star reviews for both books, and the third one is on the way - grab them while they're this price!


Book 1 ALCHEMY  

A world without war? Professor Sawhele Fielding stumbles across an invention that would change the world; something so monumental, it could spell the end of environmental disaster and conflict. With the help of her father, a shadowy figure in the world of international banking, she begins to set into motion the biggest upheaval the planet has seen. But in a changed world, dark forces are threatening the fragile peace. Where modern technology is proving useless, old magic from a bygone era might just save the day. Adrian Oliver, expert in ancient religions is skeptical until faced with incontrovertible proof that ancient evil is abroad once again. How could a Utopian dream of free fuel and peaceful co-existence turn into a nightmare? Iamo, a priest of the Mother Goddess and Riga, a Black Shaman assassin captain, are thrown together - reluctantly at first - to face a threat that nobody could have imagined before "The Changes".  ALCHEMY is the prequel to Shaman's Drum which features the adventures of Iamo and Riga through their world in the near future, where the established religions of our own days have been banned.


England in the near future. Mainstream religions have been outlawed, and the old gods rule again. Iamo has been a priest of the Great Mother and is sworn to celibacy, but his love for Riga, a Black Shaman, a magical assassin, caused him to break his vows. After being imprisoned apart from each other for three years, Iamo accepts an offer to earn them both a pardon and the possibility of marriage. If they survive. Iamo and Riga must discover why demons are breaking through from the other side. Which of the cults are renegades who allow the demons through? Who can they trust? Combining their powers, they face the ordeal with the help of a band of eclectic pagans, spirit creatures, Riga's Black Shaman brothers, an undercover Christian granny, and three unusually energetic Goths. It's a tough assignment, but the hope of a life together keeps them fighting.

Monday 21 December 2015

THE 9th HOUR - a guest post by Claire Stibbe

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming fellow-author Claire Stibbe, who is here to tell us about a very special promotion.

Welcome, Claire!

Hi Sue!

Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog this chilly, snowy December morning. Well, it is here in New Mexico, USA, where cedar fires are burning in every hearth and people are already slugging down that eggnog by the jug.

I just want to say WOW, is it December already? That means National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) has ended. Congratulations to some of the Crooked Cat Publishing authors who took part in it and finished.

Crooked Cat Publishing released the first in my Detective Temeke series, The 9th Hour, in November of this year. One of the hardest obstacles of writing is the perfectionism we authors have with our books. Does it read well? Does it makes sense? Is it even interesting? 

We know that every word counts, and venturing onto that blank page with words that either stick or get deleted the following day is a daunting task. I’m always wandering between the park and my office in the search for scenes, words and great dialogue. I brainstorm, tell and re-tell. I watch the weather for signs, smells and sounds.

In my fictional world, the characters are the ones who lead the book. They take me to places my structure never knew existed and trample on any specific sequence of events I may have penned in advance. With fiction, it’s all smoke and mirrors and outlines… Eh? What’s an outline anyway?
I loved writing The 9th Hour because it became spontaneous, exciting and nothing like I imagined it would be. Detective Temeke strayed off those pages into a world of his own and I had to run to keep up. He can be downright stubborn and thoughtless, but his sniffer is the most accurate yet. The only problem is, Temeke is the one who, by hook or by crook, always raises the stakes. Any conflict with him is going to be high.

Malin Santiago becomes larger as the series grows. In the second book, Night Eyes, she is more settled in her role as Temeke’s partner. She watches and learns as one does in a new job. It’s not until the third book that she literally jumps off the page.  I have tremendous respect for her and Temeke as I do for real detectives in the real world. If it wasn’t for the detectives I’ve spent valuable time with, these characters would be as flat as a cow pat.

When I finished the second book, Night Eyes, there was a round of applause in my house and a time of great celebration. As I embark on the third in the series over the next nine weeks, I’m reminded of a small voice saying - finishing is the single thing that separates those who want to write from those who actually have. So I keep learning and I keep writing. There’s nothing I’d rather do.

If you enjoy psychological thrillers mixed with a little Scandinavian noir, The 9th Hour is available on, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo and Smashwords. It is also on sale for 99c / 99p for a short time over the Christmas season.

Thank you for hosting me!

It's been a pleasure, Claire.  Please come again!

Links: (all regions) The 9th Hour

Wednesday 9 December 2015

A SPECIAL REVOLUTION - a guest post by Tim Taylor

Today I have the great pleasure of welcoming back my friend and fellow-scribe Tim Taylor, who is here to tempt us with a very special offer!

Welcome, Tim!  Please, tell us more…

Hello, Sue. Many thanks for inviting me along!  As my novel Revolution Day is currently on special offer for Christmas at 99p/$0.99, I thought I’d share a short extract from the book. First, though, I’d better give your readers an idea of what the novel is about.

It follows a year in the life of Latin American dictator, Carlos Almanzor. Carlos has been in power for thirty-seven years and is now in his seventies. He is feeling his age and seeing enemies around every corner.  Yet he clings tenaciously to power, not for its own sake, but because he has come to believe that he alone can be trusted with the stewardship of the nation. He derives support from his secretary Felipe, who is trying to get him to show a more human face to the world through a video blog; and solace from his young mistress Corazon, who unbeknownst to Carlos maintains a discreet social life of her own.

                Carlos’s estranged wife Juanita, who has been under house arrest for sixeen years, is writing a memoir of his regime and their marriage, excerpts from which are interleaved with the main narrative.  It recalls the revolution that brought him to power and how, once an idealist, he came to embrace autocracy and repression, precipitating the catastrophic breakdown of their personal and political relationship. 

                Meanwhile, Manuel, Carlos’s efficient and ambitious Vice President, is frustrated with his subordinate position. When his attempts to augment his role are met with humiliating rejection, he resolves to take action. Lacking a military power base, he must make his move not by force but through intrigue, manipulating the perceptions of Carlos and others to drive a wedge between him and the Army.

                As Manuel begins to pull the strings, Juanita and Corazon will find themselves unwitting participants in his plans...

In the extract which follows, Juanita looks out from the house which has become her prison: 

It is just a line on the ground, a slight change in colour between the asphalt on one side and the gravel on the other, a few metres away from the door of my house. The same weeds grow on both sides of the line. After rain, part of it is concealed by a puddle. When I was free, I crossed this line hundreds of times without noticing it, except when the wrought iron gate lay closed above it. But even the gate had little significance. It was never locked in those days; its opening and closing were the task of a couple of seconds. Walking over the line made no impact upon my consciousness other than a rather pleasant, fleeting sense of entering a place of peace, of refuge from the demands of public life. Or – when I was going the other way – an odd mix of apprehension and excitement as I prepared to get back to work.

                The line has not changed in any way since then. It, and the gate itself – still the same gate, after all these years – continue to be ignored by all other forms of life but me. The birds fly over it. Snails and lizards move unhindered beneath it. My cat – how I envy her this – passes between the bars as if they were not there when she begins and ends her nightly prowlings. The gate is locked now, of course, but for the various men and occasional woman who come here for one purpose or another, that fact is of no consequence. They all have keys, and the act of unlocking it hardly delays their progress at all.

                But for me, the line, and the gate above it, are now an impermeable barrier. I have crossed it no more than four times in sixteen years, under armed guard. The trees on the other side of the road beyond the gate do not look any different from the ones I remember, the ones I could have walked among and touched if I had wanted to. They are no further away, in space. But I no longer see them as real trees. To me, they are like a picture of trees or, when the wind blows, a movie of trees swaying to and fro. They are beyond the line, and all that is outside it has for years been slowly fading out of reality.

More information and excerpts can be found on the Revolution Day page on my website:!revday/cwpf

Thanks again for hosting me, Sue!

My pleasure, Tim!  Please come again!

You can find out more about Tim and his books here:

Tim was born in 1960 in Stoke-on-Trent. He studied Classics at Pembroke College, Oxford (and later Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London). After a couple of years playing in a rock band, he joined the Civil Service, eventually leaving in 2011 to spend more time writing. 
                Tim now lives in Yorkshire with his wife and daughter and divides his time between creative writing, academic research and part-time teaching and other work for Leeds and Huddersfield Universities.

                Tim’s first novel, Zeus of Ithome, a historical novel about the struggle of the ancient Messenians to free themselves from Sparta, was published by Crooked Cat in November 2013; his second, Revolution Day, in June 2015.  Tim also writes poetry and the occasional short story, plays guitar, and likes to walk up hills.