Chasing Azrael – BBB

Chasing Azrael


Hazel Butler

Gritty New Paranormal Mystery Series Raises Vital Awareness of Bipolar Disorder

The ‘Deathly Insanity’ series uses gripping urban mystery and heaps of the paranormal to keep its readers on the edge of their seats. However, the series is also serving a vital dual-purpose by openly examining societal attitudes towards Bipolar Disorder and Depression. The first volume, ‘Chasing Azrael’, sees author Hazel Butler serve up the perfect start to what’s poised to be a best-selling series.

When Andee Tilbrook’s husband died, her preoccupation with death turned to obsession. Thanks to her unique ability to commune with the dead, her husband remains all too close, yet never close enough. Mired in grief, she clings to James’s spirit, slowly losing touch with the world, her friends, and any desire to continue living.

But when her friend Josh becomes the target of Natalya, a jealous, capricious and violent Russian beauty, Andee somehow finds the strength to free herself from her misery long enough to help him. They soon discover that Natalya is wanted by the police for her involvement in a series of grisly murders, and Andee is dragged into the inquiry by the same man who investigated her own husband’s death.

Torn between new feelings for Josh and fear that he might be involved in the murders that seem to threaten anyone who comes close, Andee must face the realities of her life, her past, and her very nature—and do it all in time to save her own life.

About the Author


Hazel is a twenty eight year old author, artist and archaeologist from Cheshire, England. She is currently in the final year of her PhD, which focuses on Gender Dynamics in Late Iron Age and Early Medieval Britain. She studied archaeology at The University of Manchester, then Bangor University, and spent two years doing corporate archaeology and research excavations, both in Britain and Austria. She has had papers published in international journals and online.

Since 2010, she has been working on Chasing Azrael, a Gothic Literary novel and the first in the Deathly Insanity Series, a set of Paranormal Mystery/Urban Fantasy novels with overlapping character and plot-lines. Although these novels have a strong supernatural element they also explore themes of mental health, in particular Bipolar Disorder, which Hazel herself has suffered from since her early teens.

Whilst many authors write for fame and profit, Hazel Butler is publishing books to garner attention of a very different sort – attention for Bipolar Disorder. Because many either misunderstand this condition or shun it completely, Butler uses a unique fusion of urban mystery, the paranormal, and a hint of romance, to study exactly how society perceives mental illness and what it is like to live with such conditions, both for patients and their loved ones.

The ‘Deathly Insanity’ series will delight fans of Kelley Armstrong, Charlaine Harris and Laurell K. Hamilton – or just about anyone else enjoying adult-geared fiction with a twist of the unexpected. A Paranormal Mystery series set to delve into the darkest aspect of human (and inhuman) nature, the series’ first volume is ‘Chasing Azrael’.


I knew nothing but the rhythmic slap of my feet on wet tarmac. It was the only thing I could focus on, and my focus was slipping.

I’m still running, I thought fuzzily, I have to keep running.

The back of my skull throbbed. Thick, cloying blood oozed into my hair, mingling with the rain, cherry streams running down goose-pimpled flesh. One bare, frozen foot landed badly. I tripped, knee slamming into the kerb. A car hurtled by, horn howling at my presence in its path, the glaring lights of its eyes forcing my own shut. When I opened them again, I was transfixed by the sight of my arms, waxen and tinged red in the fading glare of tail lights. I watched intently as bloodied rain dripped down them and into the gutter.

“James!” I screamed, but the night swallowed his name.

The injured leg dragged behind as I ran on, a dead weight, more blood now seeping between my numb toes. Rain pounded in my ears, the taste of blood biting at the back of my throat. Again I stumbled as more lights flashed in my eyes, stationary this time. Clustered before me stood a crowd of cars branded with words that should have offered comfort, but instead only confirmed my worst fears: Police, Paramedic. Squinting against the onslaught of headlights, I lurched past them. Voices added their cries to the night, but they were not my own, and they were not his, so I ignored them, the world twisting around me as my head grew ever lighter and the lights grew ever brighter.


Chasing Azrael, published by Aädedian Ink, is available now.

For more information, visit

Felinity – BBB


An Anthology Collected By

Sammy HK Smith

Felinity, noun, plural fel-in-ities. 1. The quality of being cat-like. 2. A divine being, a cat.

Felinity Cover

Grimbold Books is proud to present our first Kristell Inkling, a collection of feline inspired flash fiction stories written by authors from all around the world.

This collection celebrates what we regard as the most important factor when writing: write foremost for pleasure. The stories showcased in this book are full of laughter, grit, odd contraptions and a lot of fur, with a loud purring nod to our beloved genres of science fiction and fantasy.

From A.F.E Smith’s unique twist on Schrödinger’s cat, to Joel Cornah’s world-jumping old queen, from Clare Neilson’s steampunk creation to Tina Closser’s dragon fighting dreaming kitty, these alternate feline worlds are bound to delight sci fi/fantasy readers and cat lovers alike.



Interview With A Contributor

WILL MACMILLAN-JONES is a fifty-something lover of blues, rock and jazz. He presently lives in Wales, a beautiful verdant land of myth with a rich cultural heritage. He does his best to support this heritage by drinking local beers and shouting loud encouragement at the TV whenever Wales is playing international rugby.

He has just fulfilled a lifetime ambition by filling an entire wall of his study with bookcases, and then (over)filling the bookcases. When not drinking beer and watching rugby, he remembers to write the occasional horror book or to add to his comic fantasy series, The Banned Underground. Links to all his work can be found on his website:

Hi Ross. I don’t think that I’ve been on your blog before. Nice curtains…are they fireproof? Just asking.

Where do you live and write from?

Although I was born in God’s Own Land of Lancashire, I presently live and write in Wales. It’s a lovely, verdant, land full of myth, mystery, excellent beer and sheep. And hills. I walk on the hills a lot with my camera: I haven’t met a dragon yet, but there’s always hope, you know? Although knowing my luck the dragon would sound more like that Cucumberpatch fellow than Joanna Lumley.

Do you have a specific writing routine?

I have a very specific routine, yes. I turn on the computer, open the current document – or whichever opus I have decided to try and ignore that day, look at the blank screen or in extremis the last few lines written the day before, raise my hands above the keyboard with the fingers poised…and see what’s on Facebook this morning. Like everyone else I’m too easily distracted.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I must be in touch with my feminine side, as the answer to both questions, is… both. Some works I have carefully plotted in excruciating detail. Others I have just set my eyes on the longer for final page and just gone for it… It’s the same with the writing speed. My second book, The Mystic Accountants, was completed to first draft in a little over a month. There’s a work called The Picture which I hope to complete in a few weeks which has been a year in the writing. For me it’s very much a mood thing: I write what I’m in the mood to write. That sounds horribly indisciplined, but because I write in different genres I’m always in the mood to write something.

What genres do you write, and which is your favourite?

I write fantasy; YA fantasy; comic fantasy; dark fantasy/horror and childrens’s books. This is why mood is so important to my writing: if I’m in a dark place it isn’t easy to write pages of laugh-a-minute gags ( a bored American once calculated that one of my books hit 3.2 jokes per kindle page – now that’s funny, the idea of someone meticulously adding up all the jokes. I never do that myself) and conversely, if I’m rolling around laughing I can’t write something scary.

Tell us about your contribution to Felinity.

The Hunt. The Hunt was easy. I woke up at three am one morning with the whole story there. All I had to do was to write it down, originally at about 1800 words. I had it easy, didn’t I? Can you imagine trying to get all of Zanadu down, in that complicated rhythmic structure in one go? No wonder the poor bloke forgot the ending, is it? Anyway, that was The Hunt. A dream. I just caught it as it passed by.

Felinity is inspired, obviously, by cats. Was it easy for you to find feline inspiration?

Is this where I get the chance to be catty about my ex? No? Oh well, please yourselves then. Any resemblance between the characters and real people is purely co incidental. And imaginary.

I have trouble keeping short stories short, but this is flash fiction – do you find it difficult to write something that’s so short?


7a. A bit more than that?

All right. I actually write quite a bit of Flash. I thoroughly recommend it as a good discipline for writers, many of whom are inclined to run off at the mouth for ever, without thinking of the poor reader left to follow on as best they may. It’s also a great way of breaking a block. If you are stuck on a story, open a new file and stare at the blank screen until something comes out. Very likely it will be rubbish, and you’ll throw it away: but I have several book projects that have started as a piece of flash fiction and then grown. I did win a respected national Flash Fiction Competition in 2013, so it’s always worth trying your hand in the field.

What other projects do you have in the pipeline?

I’m under contract to produce two comic fantasy books in my Banned Underground collection a year until we hit twelve books, so there’s always one or two of those on the go. Plus I’m now aiming to finish one horror book and one children’s book a year as well, so that’s why I’m always writing, and wearing out keyboards.

Give us your important links!

I thought you’d never ask!

Websites: Where you can see the full range of stuff I write, and see a bit more about me. Where my major comic fantasy series hangs out. Gags, excerpts, reviews, trailers, all the usual stuff we authors put on these sites to pretend we are interesting. Plus loads of book links. The blog, where I talk to other writers and occasionally muse about stuff.

Try these then:

The Satnav of Doom The Banned Underground #5: a serious High Fantasy involving a dwarf Rock N Roll band, some accountants who are also Dark Wizards, dragons, and some mystical beings who have turned their Fairy Hill into an International Merchant Bank. And an anarchic SatNav.

Snort and Wobbles:

Dragons are not real. Everyone tells you that. So what do you do when you are eight years old, and meet a dragon living at the bottom of your garden? You have the adventure of your life!

When Wobbles and her family move into their new home, she is delighted to find that a green dragon is living in secret at the bottom of the garden. But Snort the dragon is not the only one: underground a gang of Goblins have also made their home, and when they capture Wobbles’ big brother Jeremy, it is up to her and Snort to save him: before the Goblins roast him on their barbecue.

Written for those children who are just becoming confident in reading for themselves, and for those parents who (like the author) are addicted to reading bedtime stories to their children and grandchildren, Snort and Wobbles is a thrilling, captivating adventure for 6 – 10 year olds.

Thanks, Will!

In The Shadows – BBB

In The Shadows:

An Outsiders Mystery


Susan Finlay

In The Shadows Cover

There is a stranger amongst the residents of the cave-riddled village of Reynier, France. Suspicious, they believe there’s only one reason Maurelle Dupre would be lurking in their small village—she’s a gypsy, a thief. But a former Chicago detective turned mystery author, Dave Martin, who happens to be visiting his French grandmother, isn’t so sure about the beautiful stranger when happenstance causes them to meet. He wonders why she seems so frightened and distrustful. He knows he shouldn’t get involved. The last time he trusted a woman in distress, the consequences resulted in the loss of his detective’s shield and his wife. But, as always, the detective in him can’t seem to leave well enough alone.

However, what Dave couldn’t know is how persuading Maurelle to reveal herself will ultimately unveil something far worse than mere theft.

In the Shadows is a story of trust, belonging, and murder.


MAURA BARRINGTON PULLED back the curtain and stared out the second story window of her shabby hotel room in Paris’ 18th arrondissment. A young couple strolled by, pushing a pram. They stopped and the woman bent forward to check on the baby. When she straightened, the man with her reached over and tucked a loose lock of her hair behind her ear.

Maura let the curtain fall back in place. She turned to look at the bed where her new clothes lay strewn about, waiting to be packed away in her duffel bag. Two days ago, her first day in Paris, she’d spent all her time observing people and figuring out what she needed to wear to blend in. Yesterday, she’d gone shopping.She picked up one outfit, a blue-and-green flowered blouse and coordinating skirt, and took it into the bathroom. After she got dressed, she copied the woman’s hair style—a classic French twist. Lastly, she stuck her feet into the stiff high heels, put away the rest of the clothes, and zipped up the bag. On impulse, she reopened her duffel bag, lifted the false bottom, and verified everything was still there. She hid the bag under the bed and left the room, locking the door carefully. Following the worn red carpet down the creaking staircase, she stopped at the next to last landing, where the musty darkness mixed with a smell she couldn’t quite identify. The hotel felt abandoned. Continuing, she reached the ground floor and was about to step into the dingy hallway when a door directly across from the stairs swung open, startling her. In the doorway a big-bellied man with greasy hair stared at her. His deep-set eyes swept over her, and he grinned widely. Maura hurried past him along the corridor, her footsteps echoing on the cracked tiles, but not loudly enough to cover up the sound of his laughter. A brown mouse darted in front of her and ran under the sofa in the lobby.

Outside, she rushed down the worn steps, but had to stop at the street curb to wait for a string of cars to go by. A ragged-looking dog wandered up to her and sat down beside her as she waited. When the light changed, Maura lifted a foot to step off the curb, but the dog barked loudly, causing her to hesitate. In the next instant, a bus zoomed through the red light and past her, sending a gray plume of exhaust spiraling into the air. Maura swore under her breath. She whirled around toward the dog, but it was already gone.

She crossed the street and walked two blocks, rounded the corner onto bustling Boulevard de Barbès, and continued on to Chateau Rouge train station. It was one of the poorer areas, populated by African and Arab immigrants, yet it was vibrant and alive. As Maura walked through the train station, the frequent train announcements, clatter of metal, and odor of dust and rubber brought to mind London’s underground system, a place she practically knew by heart. She stopped and closed her eyes, savoring the vision of what she would never again see for real, until someone bumped against her. Her eyes popped open. Instinctively, she wrapped protective hands around her handbag, and scanned the area.

Maura proceeded to the platform and found her train already waiting. In the process of rushing aboard the train, something snagged one of her heels causing her to stumble. She almost fell into a man’s lap. “Pardon,” she muttered as she pulled herself together, trying to hide her embarrassment. Once seated near the rear of the train, she glanced cautiously at the people around her. Everyone was busy reading papers or typing text messages on their mobile phones. She removed her shoes and checked the heels to make sure they weren’t damaged. Thankfully the shoes were intact. High heels might be fashionable, but she despised wearing them.

When the train eased to a stop at the Montparnasse station, she exited and climbed the stairs, emerging into the pleasant air of early evening. Ten minutes later, she stood in front of Le Bistro du Nord, an attractive restaurant occupying the ground floor of a tall brick building. On the outside patio, customers sat at silver tables shaded by the building’s dark-green awning, enjoying their dinners and drinks. Her French, though not good enough to pass as a native-speaker, was good enough for a bar job. But she was far from confident in her ability to wait tables well enough for Paris. She took a deep breath, steeled herself, slid past the tables, and entered the bistro. At the hostess station, she greeted the attendant.

“Table for one, or are you meeting someone?”

“Oh, I’m not a customer. I saw the advertisement for a waitress position. I’d like to apply if it’s still available.” The hostess, a slender blonde woman with tanned skin and shimmering lip gloss, looked her over critically. “Of course.” She bent down, and pulled out an application from a drawer at the station. “Please have a seat in the bar area and fill this out. Be sure to return it to me when you’ve finished.”

“Merci.” With the form in hand, Maura turned, and stepped right into the path of a waiter. His quick reflexes avoided a crash, but Maura felt heat rise up her neck, instantly embarrassed. Fortunately, other than the grumbling waiter, no one else seemed to notice.

She stood for a few moments and surveyed the dining room. Judging from the customers, it was classy enough to lure in couples wanting a romantic dinner and business men and women wanting a neutral place to meet with clients, and yet relaxed enough to bring in families with young children. A waitress breezed past her, expertly balancing a tray of several attractive plates of food. The aromas made Maura’s stomach growl, and reminded her of her meager lunch that had consisted of a stale roll, a chunk of cheese, and tea.

Overall, the bistro was rather dark, lit only by its lovely ornate stained glass lamps hanging over each table and by the light bouncing off its mirrored walls. Shouts and raucous laughter drew her attention. Against the farthest wall, illuminated by dozens of candles, was a gorgeous sculpted wooden bar, so highly polished that it shimmered in the candlelight. Glasses of all shapes and sizes lining the wall behind the bar sparkled like stars in the flickering light. A group of at least a dozen men and women were gathered around the far end of the bar, the apparent source of the shouting and laughter.

Moving to the bar area as she was instructed, she selected one of the few empty tables and sat down with her back to a large television screen. After spreading out the three-page application form, she withdrew a pen from her handbag and began filling in the form. For her name she wrote Anouk Allard, and gave the hotel’s address. Meanwhile, more people arrived nearby, after which several explosive bursts of laughter firing in machine gun fashion, distracted her. Maybe she should move to the dining room, she thought. But when she glanced toward the hostess who had specifically sent her to this area, she squashed the idea.

Halfway through filling out her application, she took a break and glanced around her. Her attention fell onto the back of an English newspaper that the man sitting next to her was reading. She scanned the page and stopped abruptly, recognizing a photograph of herself. A gasp escaped her. The man turned and glanced at her. With her heart pounding, she folded up the application and tucked it inside her handbag, scooted back her chair, stood up, and as quickly as she could manage without drawing attention, walked tall and confidently toward the door.

About the Author

Susan Finlay is a newly published author who loves writing, blogging, traveling, and taking photos. She was born in Germany, but grew up in the U.S. A mother of two grown children, she lives in Missouri with her husband and their three cats. Before becoming an author, Susan worked in bank auditing and in a bank department that investigated suspicious activity.

Her first novel, and the first in a series, In the Shadows: An Outsiders Mystery, was published on October, 30, 2013. Here’s a brief blurb about the book: Dave Martin is a former cop from Chicago, who travels to Reynier, France, a small village riddled with caves and troglodyte cave dwellings. There, he meets a mysterious young woman who is desperate to hide a secret, but the detective in Dave can’t stop trying to figure out what’s going on.

The second book in her series is in the final editing stage. It’s called, Where Secrets Reside: An Outsiders Mystery, and is due for release in late April, 2014. Here’s a sneak peek at that book: After one of the locals makes a startling discovery, the residents of the peaceful, close-knit village of Reynier, France, find themselves victimized by a serial killer, a puzzling criminal whose actions force them to look at themselves and each other in a new light. Is the killer an outsider, or one of their own? Who will be the next victim?

Her third book, a suspense novel tentatively titled, Liars’ Games, is set in Denver, Colorado. That book is in editing right now and is expected to be released in the second half of 2014.


Kindle (£2.54)

Paperback (£8.80)


Susan’s Personal Facebook

Facebook Author Page



Artificial Absolutes – BBB

This time, because the sequel has recently been released, I’m posting two in one! So here’s the first:

Artificial Absolutes


Mary Fan

Artificial Absolutes

Publisher: Red Adept Publishing

Release Date: February 25, 2013

Genre: Science Fiction (Space Opera/Cyberpunk/New Adult)

I have been reading this for the past few months (I am a very slow reader, and haven’t had much chances to read). I’d hoped to be able to write a review of it, but I’m only about halfway through. So far, though, I am enjoying it. It’s far from the typical know-everything hero travelling the galaxy, and apart from anything else, this helps makes action scenes far more tense. She has no training to fall back on; no experience. I’m looking forward to continuing when I get the chance, and I already have the sequel, Synthetic Illusions, ready for when I do.


Jane Colt is just another recent college grad working as an Interstellar Confederation office drone—until the day she witnesses her best friend, Adam, kidnapped by a mysterious criminal. An extensive cover-up thwarts her efforts to report the crime, shaking her trust in the authorities. Only her older brother, Devin, believes her account.

Devin hopes to leave behind his violent past and find peace in a marriage to the woman he loves. That hope shatters when he discovers a shocking secret that causes him to be framed for murder.

With little more than a cocky attitude, Jane leaves everything she knows to flee with Devin, racing throughthe most lawless corners of the galaxy as she searches for Adam and proof of her brother’s innocence. Her journey uncovers truths about both of them, leading her to wonder just how much she doesn’t know about the people she loves.

Purchase Links:


Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble




Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble


“I’d have to say this book combines some of the best robotic AI, like Asimov… It is unlike anything I’ve read before on this subject.”
James M. Butler, author of the “New Dawn” sci-fi series

“…Engaging characters and a story with conflicts and struggles that are universal to all humans across time…”
BigAl, reviewer for BigAl’s Books and Pals

“A cracking tale of fights and escapes and conspiracies, set in a wonderfully and intricately evoked future world. The story rattles along at a fine pace, twisting and turning its way to and fro across the galaxy.”
Mark Roman, author of “The Ultimate Inferior Beings”

“One hell of a sci-fi ride… The mystery in this story was incredible and really kept me at the edge of my seat… It really goes beyond the some other sci-fi reads.”
Diana, reviewer for Offbeat Vagabond

“Artificial Absolutes is much more thanspaceships and robots… It is a timeless exploration of the complexity of family dynamics, the conflicts between faith and non-belief, and what truly defines a human being.”
Julie H. Hughs, reviewer for Random Musingsof a Curious Mind

Synthetic Illusions


Mary Fan

Illusion is the only reality.

Synthetic Illusions

Publisher: Red Adept Publishing

Release Date: January 4, 2014

Genre: Science Fiction (Space Opera/Cyberpunk/New Adult)


Jane’s new career as a composer is a dream come true, but her blossoming relationship with Adam is marred by his terrifying nightmares. When Jane receives a warning that a shadowy agency is targeting Adam’s seminary school, she rescues him in the nick of time, but the only way she can protect him from such a powerful enemy is to run.

In a shocking betrayal, her brother wasn’t the one who warned her about the attack on Adam. Instead, Devin was leading it. As Jane struggles to keep one step ahead of Devin, Adam’s exhaustion gives way to horror: His nightmares have begun to touch the real world.

Jane can’t abandon Adam to a fate worse than death, and far more than Adam’s life hangs in the balance. As Jane pushes further into the dark unknown, she must challenge everything she once believed in, and she faces the most wrenching decision of her life: choosing between the two people she loves most.

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK and US

Barnes & Noble


About the Author

Mary Fan

Mary Fan lives in New Jersey, where she is currently working in financial marketing. She has also resided in North Carolina, Hong Kong, and Beijing, China. She has been an avid reader for as long as she can remember and especially enjoys the infinite possibilities and out-of-this-world experiences of science fiction and fantasy.

Mary has a B.A. in Music, specializing in composition, from Princeton University and enjoys writing songs as much as writing stories. She also enjoys kickboxing, opera singing, and exploring new things—she’ll try almost anything once.

Author Links:



Facebook (author page)

Facebook (book page)






Other Works From Mary Fan:

Flynn Nightsider and the Edge of Evil (Perhaps one of the best titles I’ve ever seen, and immediately screams ‘best seller’)

Publisher: Glass House Press

Release Date: Summer 2014

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Dystopia

Part dystopia and part high fantasy, Flynn Nightsider and the Edge of Evil is the first book in a YA series that follows a spirited teen’s efforts to overthrow an evil government while battling supernatural beasts.

Long ago, the evil Lord of the Underworld ravaged the Earth. The Enchanters, magical guardians of the Earth, defeated him, but his monsters lingered. Nearly a century later, the Enchanters have turned the former United States into the totalitarian Triumvirate, where non-magical humans, known as Norms, are treated as second class citizens.

Flynn, a Norm boy, was ten years old when he witnessed his mother’s death at the hands of an undead giant. No one would tell him where the giant had come from or what his mother had been doing that night. After six years of wondering, he finally finds a clue and is determined to uncover the truth – whatever the consequences. His journey takes an unexpected turn when he accidentally commits an act considered terrorism by the Triumvirate. He soon finds himself hunted not only by the government, but also by supernatural monsters and a man with power over the undead. Rescued by underground rebels, he is enticed by their vision of a better world and joins their revolution. But as he struggles to reconcile what he sees with what they tell him, he starts to realize that the rebellion is not everything it seems.

The Firedragon

Publisher: Glass House Press

Release Date: 2014

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Dystopia (Novella)

Before she fought the Triumvirate with Flynn, Aurelia “the Firedragon” Sun the star Cadet at the Academy of Supernatural Defense. This is her story.

Almost a hundred years ago, the Enchanters defeated the Lord of the Underworld in one of the most fearsome wars the world had ever seen. The public thinks that this victory means the people are safe. But they’re wrong. The supernatural beasts the Lord unleashed remain on the earth, multiplying and ravaging what’s left of civilization. As long as these monsters exist, mankind will be in danger. And though the government, ruled by the magic-wielding Enchanters, seeks to protect their people, they are too few in number. They need the Defenders – a special class of non-magical humans – to fight the monsters. The Defenders are an elite force, and mankind’s only hope against the horrors that live beyond their gates.

Fourteen-year-old Aurelia “the Firedragon” Sun has been training since she could walk to become a Defender, and her extraordinary combat skills have earned the attention of the powerful government. In fact, she’s been tapped to represent her nation in an international monster-fighting competition, which pits champions from across the globe against creatures of the Underworld in a violent spectacle. If she wins, she will become a full-fledged member of the Defender force.

But as Aurelia moves deeper into the competition, she realizes that all is not as it appears. There’s something sinister behind the competition, something that could change the way she sees everything … and the Enchanters, it seems, are not the heroes she thought. Aurelia begins to ask questions. But before she can discover the truth, she is pitted against the most dangerous monster in the competition – one that will take her life if it can.

The Binding – BBB

The Binding (Chronicles of Azaria #1)


Sam Dogra

What do you do when you can’t trust your heart?

The Binding

All seventeen year-old Eliza Bryant wants is to avoid a Binding — the ancient spell that forces couples into a lifelong bond. It cursed her sister, and for the last two years it’s tried to claim her, too. Her monthly hiding ritual worked brilliantly, until the night she ran into Ryan, a mysterious bounty-hunter. Now Bound to him, Eliza must spend every moment at his side, else she’ll transform into an Unbound; a lifeless husk without mind or soul.

Unfortunately, Ryan’s not looking to settle, and Eliza is dragged into his crazy life on the run. Still, she’s not going to take this lying down. Between grappling with the false feelings conjured by the spell and fleeing an unseen enemy, she plans to find a way to break her Binding; a feat nobody’s achieved in two thousand years. The key to her freedom lies closer than she thinks, and it’s deeply connected to Ryan’s past.


4.5 Stars. This exciting tale for New Adult/Older YA crosses genres making it difficult to categorise in any one area. Set in another world it has elements of sci-fi, fantasy and a just touch of steampunk. The characters are magnetic and quickly draw you into this exciting world where curses and magic become real. This passionate tale becomes unstoppable leaving you devastated that the second instalment is yet to be published – not a cliff-hanger, just totally addictive writing. – Tracie, Goodreads

Awesome! Can’t wait for the next one!!! – Molly Bonville, Goodreads

The Binding, by Sam Dogra, is an excellent read, with superb settings and characterisation. I really cared what happened to the main protagonist and the first person point of view, really helped me to become immersed in the story. Only one minor criticism.The, use of the word “to” instead of “at”. For example: “Ryan looked to the moon”, or “I looked to my lap”. This jarred me a little, but apart from this nitpick, this is an almost perfect story and one readers of all ages will enjoy. Highly recommended. – Kate Jack, Amazon


E-book UK and US

Paperback UK and US






About the Author:

Sam Dogra

Sam Dogra is a junior doctor working in the UK, and is currently training to become a General Practitioner. Between reviewing drug charts and X-rays, taking blood, saving lives and getting grilled by consultants, she also writes fantasy fiction and is a fantasy artist. She has co-written ‘Fated: A Timeless Series Companion Novel’ with author Lisa Wiedmeier, and has also published her first novel The Binding, and its sequel, The Parting, with a third book in progress.

She’s widely traveled, and has enjoyed her visits to France, Germany, Norway, Greece, Egypt, Israel, Rhodes, Turkey, Cyprus, Lesvos, India, Dubai, Australia, Canada and Idaho, Washington, New York, Seattle and Alaska, USA.Her other main interest is fantasy art.

In what little spare time she has, Sam also enjoys reading, baking, shopping, watching movies and anime, astrology, video games, collecting cuddly toy animals, and photography.

Shadow Over Avalon – BBB

Shadow Over Avalon


C. N. Lesley

Following two threads of time, CN Lesley’s fresh take on the Arthurian tales of old delivers the perfect blend of science fiction and fantasy.

Shadow Over Avalon Cover

Beyond the mists of time, a dying warrior binds his soul to his sword with an oath to protect his people. His shade rides with the Wild Hunt while he waits for the call of greatest need, but when it comes, he doesn’t know it is a lie.

In the undersea city of Avalon, Arthur nears the end of his acolyte training. But he doesn’t want to spend his life serving the Archive, he wants to fight side by side with the air-breathing people to defeat the predators who are determined to ensure their own survival no matter the cost.

Ashira, War Maid princess of the surface-world, is ready to sacrifice her life to defend her kin, but when she is betrayed she must choose whether to die with honor or become one of the creatures her kinsmen fear and loathe. Fortune twists in the strongest hands. This is no repeat; this is what happens next.

Shadow Over Avalon will be released 31 October by Kristell Ink.

About The Author

CN Lesley

Elizabeth Hull, writing under the by line of C.N.Lesley, lives in Alberta with her husband and cats. Her three daughters live close by. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth likes to read and to paint watercolors. She is also a keen gardener (despite the very short summers) and now has a mature shade garden. Once a worker in the communications sector, mostly concentrating on local news and events, she now writes full time, and fusses over her cats. She was senior managing editor of FlashMe Magazine and now is assistant flash fiction editor for Abyss and Apex.


C. N. Lesley’s Website

C. N. Lesley on Amazon (UK and US), (Shadow Over Avalon is available for pre-order)

Abyss And Apex Magazine

Editorial Review

BY JEANNE HASKIN, Author of ‘Love, War and Magic’, Artema Press

Author C.N. Lesley’s second novel, Shadow Over Avalon is an exquisite science-fantasy that portrays a world divided with masterful skill and detail. Undersea is the city of Avalon, a place of technology and manipulative experimentation in psi powers and genetics. It is Arthur’s birthplace and, if he does not defy the Seers who control him, it will be his prison.

Arthur’s hope lies in a woman of the surface world, a Gold Band War Maid named Ashira, who means nothing to her father, but will come to mean everything to her husband and the Earth’s resistance movement. Against creatures in deep space, whose food supply is the human herd, surface-dwellers like Ashira, who are ignorant of their function and unaware of their enemy, stand no chance of survival if they are found to possess psi powers. The sentence for this is unmaking—an assault on one’s very being—a torture so cruel and inhuman that those who survive as Outcasts must bond together for survival.

Except Ashira’s fate is to move between both worlds. Undersea and above-ground, she is the liaison between two powers that together could change Earth’s future. More importantly, her strong will and militant determination are the catalyst for Arthur’s own development much more than he can know.

But unbeknownst to both, there is a third player in this war: a shadow man who haunts Arthur’s dreams, as only one manifestation of who he truly is. It is the secret of this being—and Arthur’s need to unravel its intrigue—that will determine who is left standing and whether Arthur’s long-ago promise to fight mankind’s greatest battle will be foiled or fulfilled.

Inspired by literature’s most-loved King, this novel remains true to his purpose yet breaks every boundary to portray his challenge in the future. In all aspects, from the brilliant characterization to the warriors’ undying courage, this story is a journey like no other. Brought to life with breathtaking prose that is emotive and compelling, this book, like its inspiration, is destined for the halls of legend.

C. N. Lesley’s previous novel, Darkspire Reaches, will be free between 21 October and 8 November.

The Art Of Forgetting – BBB

The Art Of Forgetting: Rider


Joanne Hall

Art Of Forgetting

Gifted and cursed with a unique memory, the foundling son of a notorious traitor, Rhodri joins an elite cavalry unit. There, struggling with his own memories of his father, he begins to discover a sense of belonging. That is, until a face from the past reveals a secret that will change not only Rhodri’s life but the fate of a nation.

About the Author

Joanne Hall lives in Bristol, England with her partner. She enjoys reading, writing, listening to music, gaming, watching movies, eating cake and failing to exercise.

A full-time author since 2003, Joanne’s “New Kingdom” fantasy trilogy was published by Epress Online, and was a finalist in both the PLUTO and EPPIE awards . Her short stories have appeared in many publications, both print and online, including Afterburn SF, Quantum Muse, and The Harrow.

She has had short stories published in several anthologies, including “Pirates of the Cumberland Basin” in Future Bristol, and “Corpse Flight” in Dark Spires. Her short story collection, “The Feline Queen” was published in March 2011 by Wolfsinger Publications.

For the last four years, Joanne has been the Chair of BristolCon, Bristol’s thriving science fiction and fantasy convention. She also runs the Bristol Fantasy and SF Society Facebook group, and occasionally works in an editing position for Dark Ocean Studios, a small comics company based in San Jose, as well as taking on freelance editing projects.

She is the co-editor with Roz Clarke of “Colinthology”, a tribute anthology to their friend Colin Harvey, which also includes her short story “Lukewarm in Lynhelm.” “Colinthology” was published as an ebook in October 2012 by Wizards Tower, and a print edition may be forthcoming.


Buy from Amazon UK and Amazon US





Interview with the Artist

This time, instead of interviewing the author, I have interviewed the cover artist, Evelinn Enoksen. You may recognise that name from the Out of the Dark post, as she is one of the contributing artists for that.

How did you come up with the cover art for The Art of Forgetting?

Joanne was very good at explaining what she wanted as well as showing me some photos. I also got to read a little of the book, hehe, gotta love them job perks 😉

How does creating book cover artwork differ from straight-forward art pieces? Is it easier or harder?

Sometimes having themes and restrictions are a good thing, I’ve got so much stuff going on in my head I easily confuse myself or get lost. But creating without limits is usually easier, though mostly because only I know what it’s going to be when it’s finished.

Do you create the fonts used in the title yourself?

Ken Dawson made the font; he’s a fantastic artist and a lot more skilled at digital art than me. He’s made the font for my own book too, and it’s simply awesome.

A lot of book covers use at least a combination of photo manipulation and original artwork. Did you do this for The Art of Forgetting? Or do you prefer to create from scratch?

Most of “The Art of Forgetting” cover is sketched, and then manipulated in Photoshop. The water on the back cover is from a photo, but otherwise it’s out of my head. I started looking for the drawings now, but ‘organized’ and ‘order’ are just words to me, their meaning has been lost somewhere in my office… Don’t go in there; you might not come out again…

Is it fair to say that you are drawn, artistically, to gothic/gothic fantasy artwork? What is it that draws you to that?

I grew up with sci-fi fantasy loving parents, and also have lots of artistic family members. I’m not exactly sure why I paint, draw and write what I do, perhaps it’s because it’s the ultimate vacation. A vacation as far away from this world as possible, but also without completely losing my footing.

I can just about draw a convincing polar bear in blizzard scene. Is your artistic talent completely natural, or did it take a lot of hard work to develop it?

I have an unfinished art-school background, but most of what I do now comes from never giving up. If I’m crap at something that I really want to do, I practice until I can do it, but I have a lot of fun along the way too, of course, otherwise I probably couldn’t be bothered. Also my family background plays a role in my artistic developments. They used to critique me a lot, but they’ve stayed suspiciously silent the past ten years… I guess that’s a good thing 😉

You are working on a graphic novel at the moment. I can probably guess the answer, but if you absolutely had to choose, would you choose artistic ability or story-based creativity?

Wow, that was a difficult question; it’s like asking me which sense I’d rather choose, say between sight, or hearing. As a writer I can create colorful, magical, dreamy worlds, but the reader provides a lot of that themselves. Writing is like filling a canvas with a half-finished masterpiece where the reader will have to color it in. While painting is mostly a completed visual; but it can still stir up emotions and daydreaming in the watcher. I will choose not to choose, and be thankful that I have so many ways to express myself.

Evelinn’s Website

Evelinn on DeviantArt

Non-Compliance – BBB

Non-Compliance: The Transition


Paige Daniels

I used to matter… But now I’m just a girl in a ghetto, a statistic of the Non-Compliance Sector.

Non-Compliance: The Sector, Paige Daniels’ popular début (that’s the fancy spelling) novel, is getting a sequel! Non-Compliance: The Transition releases on 30 September!

Non-Compliance - The Transition

Three months have passed since Shea Kelly and the rest of Boss’s crew eliminated Danny Rose from the non-compliance sector, but their troubles are far from over. A new, more dangerous opponent has emerged, causing those once considered enemies to strike a tenuous truce. Secrets about the vaccine, the chip, and the past threaten Shea’s budding romantic relationship and even the very existence of the crew.

The Transition

Book 2 takes the reader back to the Non-Compliant Sector and the characters we’ve come to love. Old enemies become allies, and their troubles never seem to be far away. If you enjoyed Paige Daniels’ début novel Non-Compliance: The Sector, then you’ll love this. Released 30th September 2013, in paperback and ebook and available where all good books are sold.

To do my part to promote this sci-fi sequel, I did very little except sit and write a few questions. They, and Paige’s answer to them, are right hither. Or under hither, anyway.

When you’re not writing, you are pursuing the very girly interest of electrical engineering. How do the two connect? Does your ‘proper job’ help in any way with your writing?

Actually there is a fair amount of writing I have to do with my job. Granted it’s not the fun creative type of writing, but I still have to be very clear and concise in my thoughts so they convey the proper message. I think that comes through in my writing for the book, because many people have remarked that I have a very sparse writing style. I like to get to the point and not mess around with a lot of flowery explanations.

According to your Facebook page and blog, you like to listen to music while writing (mostly rock, it seems). But are there any scenes that you need quiet to write?

I do listen to a lot different genres, but it seems for this book I listen to a lot of rock. I think I do better with lots of commotion around me: kids talking, TV blaring, music. When my husband sees I have the earphones on he knows it’s a sign I’m in writing mode so usually he doesn’t bother me, that is unless “Sharknado” is on. Sometimes I need quiet to hash out difficult plot twists. When that’s the case I’ll run or take a shower and something usually comes to mind.

I’d guess Quinn may be your favourite character to write, because you get to picture Adam Baldwin. But who’s your next favourite, and why?

Yes, I love writing Quinn, because of the Adam Baldwin thing, but there is a lot of my husband in the character too. I’ve stolen more than one of his one-liners. I really like writing Shea, in particular the scenes where she’s being a smartass, which is nearly all of them. It’s kind of an outlet of things that I wish I could say to other people, but don’t really have the nerve to.

How do you write? Through divine inspiration/winging it, or through meticulous planning and outlining?

I’m an engineer and therefore an anal retentive planner, so I outline a lot. However, if while I’m writing I come up with a new plot twist or idea that wasn’t in the original outline that makes more sense or just sounds cooler I’ll run with it. This usually results in copious amounts or re-outlining.

Non-Compliance revolves around an invasive implant, and those people who refuse to have it. For me, this seems dangerously close to reality, but how were you inspired to write about it?

Actually back in college (you know before email and the internet and when we used 3.5 inch floppy disks), I read a story in a magazine where this guy said the Mark of the Beast would come in chip form. I thought it was an interesting idea. So on and off, for more years than I’ll admit, I thought about how that would pan out and how there could be another fringe society that refused to be chipped. As technology progressed with smart phones and such I started seeing how this has kind of already happened.

Tell us all the important things we need to know about your upcoming novel, Non-Compliance: The Transition.

In the second book, the readers will learn a lot more about Shea and her crew and their pasts. The vaccine will rear its ugly head and if you thought Danny was an evil bastard just wait until you meet some of the baddies. The readers will also get a glimpse of what life is like on the Compliant side and what would a novel be without just little bit of that romantic stuff?

Do you have anything else in the works?

I have some really awesome potholders I’m crocheting for Christmas gifts and I’m probably going to be making some cider jelly with the apple cider I pressed last weekend. Oh, wait, you mean writing. I’m working on Book 3, which should be the last book in the series. I’ve been tinkering around with a superhero type book, because I love comic books. But honestly, I’m a work-in-serial type of gal. It’s really hard for me to focus on multiple writing projects unless it’s short stories. The Non-Compliance series has kind of consumed me. I’ll actually be kind of sad when it’s done.

If you were to write in another genre, what would it be?

Good question, I’m not sure. I’ve thought about doing a fantasy story with a twist, but I don’t know how comfortable I’d be with that. I like reading some fantasy, but I don’t know if I could write it, maybe historical fiction about a woman scientist. That’d be cool.

How did you get started in writing?

I wasn’t one of those people who always wrote. I remember thinking in middle school that I liked to write and for whatever reason I changed my mind. Then one day after I was finished with my Master’s Degree I thought, “Hey, there’s nothing on TV and I have an idea for a story, and I’m bored. What the hell.” So I wrote and wrote and wrote. Not very glamorous.

Now, to steal a little from your own blog, I’ll ask a handful of quick questions:

Mal or Jayne? (As though it weren’t obvious!)

Jayne all the way, baby!! Although Mal ain’t so bad either.

Star Wars/Trek or Firefly?


E-book or physical?

Ebook (I can read them in the car without puking)

Electrical engineer or freedom fighter?

Electrical Engineer, I’m a lover not a fighter

Yes or no?

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!!

About the Author

Tina Closser, AKA Paige Daniels

Tina Closser, AKA Paige Daniels

Tina Closser grew up in various towns around Northern Kentucky reading and watching as much science fiction and fantasy as humanly possible. When it was time for college it was clear that she watched one too many episodes of Star Trek, because she chose Physics as her major with the intent of being an Astrophysicist. After graduating from Northern Kentucky University with her Bachelors of Science in Physics, she knew that academia was not the path for her so she chose to get an Electrical Engineering degree at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. Armed with two science degrees she went to work for the Navy in Indiana.

Throughout high school and college she had millions of ideas for stories running through her head, but never had the courage to write any of them down. Thanks to the reality TV craze she turned off her television and worked up the courage to write down a story that had been worming its way into her brain for years. She wrote “Non-Compliance: The Sector” under the pen name of Paige Daniels over the course of several years. In November 2012 it was published by Kristell Ink. It is a fast paced science fiction, cyber punk tale with elements of humor and romance with a strong heroine. It explores different themes such as family, government control, and how one seemingly insignificant person can make a difference.

Despite being surrounded by a bunch of Hoosiers, she has lived happily in Indiana for the past fourteen years. She has had held several different engineering positions in the past, but currently she is a Science Technology Engineering and Math Coordinator in which she acts as a liaison to schools and gets kids excited about careers in science and technology.

She is also very active in her local chapter of Society of Women Engineers, doing many outreach programs to inspire girls to consider the field of engineering as a career. Part of the proceeds from her book, “Non Compliance: The Sector”, which features a woman engineer as the protagonist, will go to fund a partial scholarship for a young woman to go to engineering school.

In her spare time she coaches a robotics team and attends various robotics competitions. She also fiddles around with her viola and likes to pretend she knows how to be a farmer on her small hobby farm with her two kids and husband.


Paige’s Website




Trailer for NC: The Sector

Paige on Amazon

And just for the hell of it, here is a quick customer review of the first book:

I totally Devoured this book. Started reading this morning and could barely put it down. Now I’m suffering from ‘I can hardly wait for the next book in the series. Great work, very few typos or grammatical errors; a refreshing change for an avid e-book reader! Thank you so much for a definitely engaging read, hoping to read more about Shea, Quinn, Wynne and Boss! — Anonymous

Out of the Dark – BBB

Out of the Dark

Compiled and Edited by

Hazel Butler

Lost in Thought, by Debra Mason. Copyrighted - do not copy

Lost in Thought by Debra Mason. Copyrighted – do not copy

The Book:

Containing over two hundred images, and contributions from thirty-two artists from around the world, Out of the Dark is a veritable cornucopia of Gothic delight. Fifteen chapters, each packed with vibrant images, and pithy descriptions, showcase some of Gothic Art’s favourite themes, from Death to Lovers, Hauntings to Winter, and Lolitas to Lost Boys.

Many images are accompanied by commentaries from the artists, detailing their inspirations and methods, and why certain pieces mean so much to them.

The central feature of the book is a sixteen page spread on favourite Alternative model, Maria Amanda Schaub, including a biography, a selection of her favourite art pieces, and why she loves them so much.

Scaretale, by Liliana Sanches. Copyrighted - do not copy

Scaretale by Liliana Sanches. Copyrighted – do not copy

Maria Amanda Schaub:

Maria Amanda Schaub is an alternative model from Denmark and a fan favourite in Gothic circles. She is known for her waifish frame, platinum hair, and heavy black makeup, as well as her sense of style. She enjoys Gothic, Punk, Lolita, Fantasy and Cosplay shoots above all else.

Ookami, by Tim Lord. Copyrighted - do not copy

Ookami, by Tim Lord. Copyrighted – do not copy





The publisher’s preference is to sell via email at the moment (until the web shop is working properly again). So please send an email to to get your hands on a copy.

The Amazon links, if you’re a little lazy for that, are here for UK and here for US.


Aadenian Ink
Aadenian Ink Facebook

The Reluctant Prophet – BBB

The Reluctant Prophet


Gillian O’Rourke

There’s none so blind as she who can see…

The Reluctant Prophet Cover


Esther is blessed, and cursed, with a rare gift: the ability to see the fates of those around her. But when she escapes her peasant upbringing to become a priestess of the Order, she begins to realise how valuable her ability is among the power-hungry nobility, and what they are willing to do to possess it.

Haunted by the dark man of her father’s warnings, and unable to see her own destiny, Esther is betrayed by those sworn to protect her. With eyes newly open to the harsh realities of her world, she embarks on a path that diverges from the plan the Gods have laid out. Now she must choose between sacrificing her own heart’s blood, and risking a future that will turn the lands against each other in bloody war.

The Reluctant Prophet is the story of one woman who holds the fate of the world in her hands, when all she wishes for is a glimpse of her own happiness.


Days of inflicted pain, humiliation and cruelty brought me close to the brink of madness, closer to my gift, leaving me weary in body and spirit. I did not know which part of me hurt more, but when my eyes met those of the head priestess, the superior who would decide my fate, the keen pain of expected failure rose in my chest. Her dark eyes seemed to swallow me whole. I felt both hot and cold at once; days of obedience, suffering and fasting had blurred the days into one long torture. I longed to sit and weep, but my body was too sore to do anything but kneel slowly, stiffly into a submissive position. Many girls had failed, and now I was to learn my own fate. My ears were ringing and I almost cried out when my knee, cut open on a sharp stone during one of the tests, sent pain reverberating throughout my body. I kept my eyes upon the superior’s face. Lined and calm, her expression betrayed nothing.

I flinched when an unexpected vision assaulted my senses, propelling me from the room and into a place I barely caught a glance of. A trace of darkness; a laugh, a dark green eye. Each small glimpse offered me no more than a confusing jumble of images I could not piece together to make a whole picture. Swaying, I wondered if I was ill. My body throbbed and the days of fasting, beatings and silence became as fractured and unreal as my visions. The testing had taken its toll, but I needed only make it through this last moment. As I fought to return to myself, I worried again that I would make it this far, only to be rejected because of what I was: a peasant.

The superior rose. My awareness had been completely focused on her and I had not noticed an inch of the marble-columned room I had been brought to. The distracting sparkle of candlelight danced on a pool of water and I looked away quickly, not wishing to see the future reflected in those waters. The superior’s thin lips moved, but I heard no sound. The ringing in my ears worsened and my heart rate trebled. When she stood before me, she lifted her hand and smeared something powdery against my forehead. Her touch sent waves of premonition into my mind, making my skin shiver and creep. Fighting the urge to succumb to the sight left me weak and trembling.

I was not altogether myself when I managed to overcome the visions. My chest constricted when a distant voice – certainly not the superior’s worn croak – spoke to me, gently whispering, ‘Esther . . . Esther,’ over and over.

All the while the superior’s mouth moved, but I knew nothing of her words. The room tilted and the first spark of emotion lifted the older woman’s eyes from blankness. For a moment I believed I was succumbing to the visions her touch was invoking, but I slipped instead into waiting darkness.


Gillian O'Rourke

Before settling down in the Emerald Isle with her husband and three dogs, Gillian O’Rourke lived in Melbourne, Australia. She received her first fantasy book from an English teacher at the age of fourteen and has loved the genre ever since. Although she writes fantasy, she occasionally dabbles in the paranormal. Gillian currently works in the healthcare sector, helping adults with disabilities live as independently as possible.


Purchase Links:

The Reluctant Prophet was released on 1 September, but Amazon has not yet put it up for sale. The paperback can be ‘pre-ordered’ as below, and I’ll update with the Kindle link when it is available.

Paperback (ISBN – 978-1-909845-18-3)

Kindle ASIN: 978-1-909845-19-0

Smashwords (all e-formats) ISBN: 978-1-909845-20-6

Gillian O’Rourke: