New Releases

Book Blitz: Beneath London’s Fog by Iona Caldwell

Beneath London’s Fog
Iona Caldwell
Published by: FyreSyde Publishing
Publication date: October 30th, 2019
Genres: Occult Fiction, Ghost Story, British Literature

Jonathan is the immortal master of Raven Hollow Manor – a decrepit mansion riddled with superstition, murder and restless ghosts. Beneath it lies a restless malice.

Its previous owner driven mad, violently kills his guests with a rusted ax, creating the perfect venue for Jonathan to seclude himself in a prison of his own device.

When the streets of London begin to run red with blood; the bodies exhibiting disturbing signs and baffling wounds, the identity of the killer remains elusive to police.

The bodies are just the beginning of Jonathan’s troubles. A mysterious letter accusing Jonathan of committing the murders appear, raising suspicion in the police. Hidden beneath the mangled bodies, Jonathan soon realizes he is being forced to face demons he thought died in a forlorn past he attempted to escape.

One thing Jonathan knows for certain: He must deal with the demons of his past if he is to survive his future. Not only him but those he has come to love as well.

For fans of Jim Butcher, Stephen King, Darcy Coates and Nick Cutter.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

EXCERPT:

The Streets Ran With Blood

I want it known before this tale begins – I am not a hero but a villain. I want no sympathy from whomever reads this recalling of my story; no mourning for the tragedy that befell my life. I am not an innocent man but a sinner forced to face the ravaging demons and ghosts of his own creation.

My story began as many do – a lie, a fire and murder. One of my kind murdered the woman I loved in the coldest of blood in one of history’s darkest times at the behest of a possessive noble.

After a run in with him in Nottingham, I soon found myself fleeing for my life from hunters, framed for a murder I had not committed.

Forgive me, I am getting ahead of myself.

Let me begin where this part of my story took place.

A bloody civil war ravaged London followed shortly by the Great Fire in 1666. A glorious time for me and those like me to take advantage of the chaos and remain hidden in the shadows.

I managed to pursue the one responsible for nearly getting me killed two centuries prior to the plague which befell London before the fire.

Within the shadows of the flickering flames of St. Peter’s Cathedral, I struck him down and departed the city, thus avoiding my demise.

I had yet to escape him, however, when his vengeful spirit devoured the souls of the innocent in a mad bloodlust.

Though greatly injured, I managed to drive his spirit to my new home Raven Hollow Manor in London, imprisoning him in stone coffin in the crypt beneath it.

Peace resumed in my life and nobles of all kinds enjoyed lavishly hosted parties within the halls of my estate.

Unfortunately, the short-lived splendor at the hands of the hauntings filled the ears of the locals and my beloved home decayed into a tangled web of blood-filled rumors and superstition.

My once glorious halls became infested with dust, its crystal chandeliers covered with cobwebs, their spiders fat on the insects buzzing around the decay and mold-covered wallpaper.

Yet, there I remained as it proved a decent place to not only contain my greatest sin but served also as a castle of solitude.

The tides of time swept by in a cacophony of modernization and the movement from superstition to things only mortal science could explain.

I still needed to venture into the city, not only to feed but also to purchase other items needed for everyday living.

It wasn’t until the winter of 1910 that my silence would be disrupted in the form of a girl named Holly, a young street urchin accused of theft. I took her with me after using a bit of “persuasion” on the local officers to let her go.

They did not need to know where I would take her and she soon grew into a wonderful messenger on my behalf. She became a rather attractive young woman with bouncy blonde curls who kept me company with stories of what went on in the city.

I am sure, at one time, she became infatuated with me. It did not surprise me. To mortals, my kind held a certain allure they found difficult to ignore. I ended her infatuation quickly following a stern talking to and dousing with cold water.

One day, while in my labyrinthine garden, Holly came to me in tears.

When the people of London learned where Holly lived, the townsfolk dubbed her a practitioner of black magic.

One day, I found Holly sitting on one of the marble benches in the garden, sobbing. I picked a flower and put it in my daughter’s hair, sitting next to her beneath the statue of a praying angel.

“You need not worry about them, dearest. Mortals are always quick to place labels on what they do not understand.”

Holly sniffled and sobbed, wiping her nose and offering me a smile. “But why do they avoid this place, Jonathan?”

“Mortals fear what they cannot comprehend. Pay them no mind. You are a wonderful young woman,” I purred, brushing a blonde curl from her face.

The words appeared to have placated her as she smiled and joined me in a moonlight stroll through the garden.

***

Around midnight, after dinner with Holly, I dismissed her to bed. Once she departed, I sought out sustenance in the city.

A dense fog rolled in due to the cool winter weather and the recent days of rain.

Combined with the darkness of the streets and alleyways, I managed to meet a young working woman on the corner and wooed her into joining me for a walk to the park. As with other women, I made sure she understood I respected her body with gentle caresses and loving words murmured into her ears.

Once I placed her deep under my spell, I kissed the tender flesh of the woman’s throat and exposed shoulder, thanking her for her gift.

My fangs pierced her flesh, earning a moan of pleasure as her body surrendered its precious life force without any significant damage. Her body pressed against mine, her moans increasing with pleasure at my kiss.

I preferred this method to those of many of my other brethren who tore their victims apart during a feeding, choosing power to subdue instead of sexual allure.

When signs of weakness began manifesting I released my hold, picking her up after licking the small puncture wounds, my saliva healing them, leaving no marks or scars.

To assure she received care, I took her to the nearest hospital and deposited her on the steps without anyone noticing.

As always, I used hypnotic suggestion to erase her memory and leave her with a pleasant dream.

During the wee hours of the morning, I tended to enjoy the calls of the birds and the chirping of the crickets to help relieve the burden on my mind.

Not a soul roamed the streets near the bridge where I liked to sit and write poetry or read a book.

In the midst of the silence, a horrifying shriek caught my attention, almost startling me.

My pupils narrowed to those one might see in a viper or a cat. I let my body dissipate into the form of a black mist, hovering over the city in search of the source of the scream.

I found it in the shape of the body of a mangled man.

The whites of his eyes consumed most of the portion of the glossy orbs in his skull, mouth gaped open mid-scream.

I knelt before him, my own brows furrowed in frustration at the recognition of the familiar puncture wounds on the man’s throat. This cannot be. No other has hunted here in centuries.

The disturbing find made something clear.

Many of my kind preferred not to hunt in one place occupied by another of higher status, or in another’s territory for that matter. We changed due to the growing number of human hunters who would kill any of us they came across.

Despite the city’s size, my reputation often kept others out of my hunting grounds, for which I remained grateful.

This new kill had been malicious.

If I allowed such behavior to continue, it could draw the attention of the hunters or the local police to my home.

Whomever the responsible party, I needed to locate them and have a word with them or kill them if necessary.

My eyes closed, a heavy sigh drawing up from within my lungs. I placed my fingers over the man’s eyes, using a gentle touch to close them. “Forgive whichever of us did this to you. You did not deserve to die in such a horrific manner.”

Searching through the pockets of his trench coat, I located his identification card and vowed to send some money and roses to his family.

Sounds of sirens and the calls of the corner watchmen announced the arrival of the authorities. I left them the man’s wallet so they could inform his family of their loss.

I lurked in the shadows listening to the inspectors scrutinizing the scene.

“Bloody mystery, it is. This is the second mangled body we found this week. One has to wonder if we might be witnessing the birth of another blighter of a serial killer.” One of the inspectors scratched his head beneath the dome shaped hat.

I recognized him as Bertrand Abrams, a well-known officer and one of the only men who aided Holly during her visits to town.

From his looks, one would expect him to hail from Scotland. A bushy mustache and stringy hair with the consistency of sheep’s wool held the color of fire. Dimples set into high cheekbones and a double chin made me smile. A portly belly betrayed his affinity for too many scones and perhaps Scotch.

He had been wrong. This death held no mystery. I merely needed to find the one responsible before it resulted in too much of a personal dilemma.

Following the release of the corpse to the medical examiner, I took the form of black mist and drifted back to Raven Hollow.

The beginnings of my night would be haunted by dreams of a past filled with love, vengeance and pain.

It would be filled with shining auburn locks and eyes the color of the fresh leaves of spring.

 

Author Bio:

Iona Caldwell is the lover of all things arcane, folklore, nature and magic.

She is the author of the British Occult Fiction, Beneath London’s Fog set to be published by FyreSyde Publishing October 2019. Her second title, Hell’s Warden is forecasted to release in February of 2020. When she’s not busy weaving worlds of the arcane and dark, she’s spending time out in nature. An avid lover of books, Iona claims her biggest inspirations are H.P Lovecraft, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman and Edgar Allen Poe.

She believes storytellers should tell the stories they want to tell. As such, most of her titles are stand-alone novellas she hopes will leave her readers immersed in magical worlds.

She is also an extremely active book blogger who will review primarily horror, suspense, supernatural thriller, mystery, and occult/gothic fiction.

Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Instagram

 

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

Follow me on other platforms:
Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Bloglovin | Facebook

 

New Releases

Book Blitz: #RIPJohn by Sian B. Claven @sianbclaven and @Shalini_G26

#RIPJohn - Combo#RIPJohn by Sian B. Claven
Occult Fiction, Occult Horror

Everyone wants a chance to fit in, and that’s all John King wants when he starts at his new school. A relentless bully, a blogger, and a pretty girl all have a different plan for him, though and after he endures all he can, John takes his own life.

The only problem left for Devan, Melinda and Jenny?

He doesn’t stay dead.

Trigger Warning: This book contains scenes of graphic bullying and suicide.

Add to Goodreads | Amazon

Excerpt

Ad 3How disgusting that the little nerd freak had bumped into her in the cafeteria. She had made everyone laugh when she insulted him, and for once in her life she felt noticed.

Melinda had spent the better part of her schooling career being invisible. Too plain to be popular, too normal to be teased, the only power she found she had was the words she wrote for the school’s blog and newspaper. There she discovered she had the power to either make or break the politics within the student body. Everyone read what she wrote and feared to cross her, but it wasn’t enough. She still felt invisible.

Then John bumped into her and she realised he was the latest victim of Devan’s bullying regime. She saw an opportunity and took it, calling him out for the disgusting little freak he was. He was so embarrassed and then the teacher confiscated the soggy comic book to add insult to injury.

With that taste of power, Melinda felt in her bones that she needed more. Much more. So she put together a little plan that was sure to get her to the top of the school’s food chain, and let others know who she was and, more importantly, that she wasn’t someone to be messed with.

Melinda needed the perfect plan to play her part in putting John in his place and came up with it not too long after the incident in the cafeteria. She needed just one thing to seal the deal and then she would be ready for her victim.

It took a few days before she managed to find someone willing to buy her the necessary tools, since she wasn’t of an age to purchase it herself, but once she had it she was ready.

_____

It was a beautiful day when John woke up. The sun was shining and he could hear birds Ad 8in the trees outside his window. Still, his heart filled with dread at the prospect of going to school and putting up with Devan and his goons. With a dark sigh, he got out of bed and got dressed, going downstairs to have breakfast quietly so he didn’t wake his mother and father.

Once finished eating and having washed his dishes, he shouldered his backpack and left the house, wanting to get to school as early as possible to avoid his bullies.

He got to his locker without incident and retrieved his books, stuffing them into his bag. He went to the library and sat there, reading his comic book until the first bell signaled and he had to rush to class. Getting there just before his teacher closed the door, he apologized and quickly went to his seat, amid snickers from his peers. He blushed and hid as much as he could in his seat.

“Since John is late I think he can graciously offer to fetch the television for our lesson today from the AV Room,” Mr. Willsmith said, holding out a key.

John nodded and got up, took the key from Mr. Willsmith and left the room.

“In the meantime, you can talk quietly amongst yourselves until he is back,” Mr Willsmith said, before sitting at his desk and picking up a book.

Author Bio

Sian Headshots
Hailing from Johannesburg South Africa, Sian B. Claven has enjoyed stories for all her life, whether she was reading them or making them. She has written for as long as she can remember, but Ensnared is the first book she decided to publish. Moving towards writing more for the horror / paranormal thriller genre, Sian has subsequently published the first two books in The Butcher Books series, Tatum and Kallista. When Sian isn’t thinking of ways to terrify people, she enjoys writing science fiction stories, poetry and rather long and gushy birthday wishes. When she isn’t working on her writing you can find her knitting, scrapbooking, reading, or playing Xbox. Sian previously reviewed for The Blithering Bibliomaniacs and still reviews in her private capacity. She clearly doesn’t know what the words rest and relaxation mean, at least not in the traditional sense.

Website | Facebook | Facebook Group | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads |
Amazon | WordPress | Newletter Signup | Booksprout | Bookbub

Digital Reads Book Tour Banner jpg

Follow me on other platforms:
Twitter
 | Instagram | Goodreads | Bloglovin | Facebook

New Releases

Book Blitz: Asylum II by Sian B. Claven @sianbclaven and @Shalini_G26

Asylum II
Asylum II
 by Sian B. Claven
Occult Fiction, Occult Horror

For cop killer Bradley Walker, pleading insane was the easiest get out of jail free card he ever played. Left in the hands of the cops to decide where he is sent, he is dropped off at an Asylum in the middle of nowhere. All is not as it seems and Bradley is left questioning his sanity when the orderlies, nurses and doctors all around him appear more insane than the patients.

 

Add to Goodreads | Amazon

Asylum II - Book Combo

Excerpt

A few minutes later the door opened, and a rather severe-looking man entered. He seemed flustered and busy as if this was the last task he wanted to do but had to do it anyway.

“Dr Brock,” he said gruffly, and Bradley instantly picked up on the foreign accent.

“You’re German. I want an American doctor,” he said quickly. “I don’t want no Nazi German touching me.”

“I am no Nazi,” Dr Brock said, sitting across from Bradley. “I am here to evaluate whether or not you are insane and therefore belong here.”

“I still want an American doctor.”

“Unfortunately, cop killers do not get to decide who treats them,” Brock said, opening a notebook and making notes. “Now tell me about your childhood. Was it particularly traumatic?”

“I’m not telling you anything,” Bradley said. “Bring in that other doctor – the fat one.”

“Dr Wellbottom is far too busy to see to any patients,” Brock scoffed and sat back. “You can either speak to me honestly, or you can spend the rest of the day in your room while I notify the courts you are mentally sound and able to go to prison.”

Bradley glared at him. “Fine! Whatever!” he blurted, like an errant child. “So, Doctor B, what do you want to know?”

“Well, I need to know about your past and present, so I can justify your presence here to the court.”

“I killed a cop, I am insane.”

“Being a murderer does not make you insane. It makes you a murderer. Now, tell me about your childhood.”

Bradley sized him up, but before he could say anything further the doctor stood.

“You’re wasting my time; time is precious. I’ll have you sent to prison.”

“Wait!” Bradley exclaimed. “I’ll answer your stupid questions.”

The doctor scowled at him before he sat down again. “Tell me, what was your relationship with your mother like?”

“I don’t know, I guess you’d call it normal,” Bradley said. “She would take me out for ice cream and stuff whenever my father was drunk and disorderly.”

“Was your father abusive?”

“Yeah, he was. More to my mother than to me, but the bitch had it coming, always back-chatting him and trying to tell him what to do and how to do it.”

“And you think it is normal behaviour to hit a woman who has an opinion?”

“Women are the lower sex.” Bradley leaned back. “Their purpose is to breed and feed and open their legs, and to shut their mouths except when servicing their men.”

“I see.” The doctor scribbled notes, and Bradley shifted in his chair, feeling uncomfortable. “Now tell me, when you first felt the thirst to murder?” the doctor asked, looking at him curiously.

Before Bradley could answer, there was a knock at the door.

“Come in,” the doctor called, and in walked a quiet-looking man, dressed in the same clothes Bradley wore.

Bradley could only assume he was a patient here.

He walked over to Doctor Brock and whispered, “She has a fever and infection. Come see.”

“I’m afraid my work calls me, Mr Walker,” Doctor Brock said, standing up and closing the file. “We will continue this conversation another time. Cecil here will have the orderlies take you to the day room. Do behave.”

It was a warning more than a request, and the doctor swept out of the room, his lab coat billowing behind him as he rushed out.

Bradley watched as Cecil went in the opposite direction, no doubt to tell the orderlies the fine doctor’s instructions. Bradley would be grateful to be out of the cuffs, at the very least.

Author Bio

Sian Headshots
Hailing from Johannesburg South Africa, Sian B. Claven has enjoyed stories for all her life, whether she was reading them or making them. She has written for as long as she can remember, but Ensnared is the first book she decided to publish. Moving towards writing more for the horror / paranormal thriller genre, Sian has subsequently published the first two books in The Butcher Books series, Tatum and Kallista. When Sian isn’t thinking of ways to terrify people, she enjoys writing science fiction stories, poetry and rather long and gushy birthday wishes. When she isn’t working on her writing you can find her knitting, scrapbooking, reading, or playing Xbox. Sian previously reviewed for The Blithering Bibliomaniacs and still reviews in her private capacity. She clearly doesn’t know what the words rest and relaxation mean, at least not in the traditional sense.

Website | Facebook | Facebook Group | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads |
Amazon | WordPress | Newletter Signup | Booksprout | Bookbub

Digital Reads Book Tour Banner jpg

Follow me on other platforms:
Twitter
 | Instagram | Goodreads | Bloglovin | Facebook