Conundrum Cover

Conundrum is a Steampulp Fantasy graphic novel filled with mystery and suspense that will make you question: Who is God? Coming from the Derry, Northern Ireland, -based Uproar Comics, creators of the award-winning Zombies Hi. I have the benefit of being able to sit and listen to said creators talk about the graphic novel and get (over)excited about where it’s going and what’s going to happen, etc., so I can say for sure this is going to be particularly good (and I don’t generally read comics or graphic novels!).


Wonders and Curiosities are the height of entertainment and fashion before the turn of the 20th century where a great man, Professor Wilde, debuts Wildes’ Wondrous World’s Fair to the public with great acclaim. With new technological, cultural, and natural discoveries available to everyone, the world’s advancement exceeded expectations in all forms. With the greatest minds working on new and greater concepts, the world has become a fascinating place. With high-powered steam and the young electricity, no one ever thought we would need anything else. Over the next few decades there were no wars and all nations were working together for the prosperity of all. Then, after only weeks, an experimental atomic power station exploded with a thundering fire. No one could have survived it- and yet one man walked from the blazing fires unharmed. Some of the people believed him to be a god on Earth, an Übermensch, and he becomes widely revered when he exhibits strange supernatural abilities. No one could have anticipated this- except an elusive killer dubbed Zener, a mysterious stranger hell-bent on murdering anyone who stands in his way. But why?

A preview of issue 1 is live on the website, and there’s already a trailer:

Conundrum is coming this very Autumn! So…buy it. And pre-order it. But not in that order.

To keep up to date with Uproarious goings on, follow them on Facebook, Twitter and, of course, their website.

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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

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.


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