*Promo post w/excerpt* Hot Basque by Laurette Long

Hot Basque is the second novel of A French Summer by Laurette Long. The characters do cross over into book 2, however both novels can be read as stand-alones. I am looking forward to reviewing Hot Basque over the coming weeks, and I’m sure it will be a beautiful, scenic contemporary romance! A perfect holiday read!! (Please read below for an excerpt and author bio!) 🙂

COVER HOT BASQUETitle: Hot Basque: A French Summer Novel 2

Author: Laurette Long

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Chick-Lit

Release date: May 11th, 2015

Length: 341 pages

Blurb: Sit back with a glass of chilled rosé and let yourself be carried away to the white sands and pounding surf of the French Basque coast. What could be more relaxing? Find out what’s going on at the Villa Julia, where Caroline and her honey are enjoying the song of the crickets, the glow of the stars and happy romps in the boudoir. Caroline is also doing some matchmaking between best friend Jill and the hot Basque himself, Antoine, he of the smouldering eyes and perfect teeth. And Annabel the sister from hell, is miles away, no need to fret about her. What could be more idyllic? Not a cloud on the horizon…well, maybe it’s looking a bit black to the north, but nothing to worry about, surely??

Read on to see how, in Edinburgh, Jill is preparing her body for that nail-biting June encounter with the hot Basque:


Jill stepped out of the cubicle, tugging down her swimsuit, and came face to face with the full length mirror at the end of the ladies changing rooms. She barely repressed a gasp of sympathetic horror. Jesus if that’s what these aquagym folks looked like she was certainly going to get a boost to her ego. She turned round as casually as she could for a closer look at the poor freak behind her.

The changing room was empty.

She swung round in the direction of the mirror again, leaned forward, blinked, and leapt back. The freak was herself!

Surely she hadn’t looked like that when she tried on her swimming kit in the bathroom of her flat a couple of weeks ago? Of course, the mirror wasn’t full length, and it was one of those rather flattering ones, the same sort they had in expensive boutiques, the ones that persuaded you that your derrière had shrunk to Kylie Minogue proportions thanks to that cute little black number you’d just tried on, the one with the four-figure price tag.

She advanced cautiously, turned to the right, then to the left. She was positively bulging out of her Speedo swimsuit! She really had to cut down on the G and Ts. And the chocolate biscuits. She turned full face again. An alien with the head of a fly had been grafted on top of her shoulders. No wonder she’d had all that trouble in the changing room, pushing and shoving to get her thick mop inside the small slithery rubber cap that kept shooting off one side of her head as soon as she’d managed to tug it down on the other. A bit like one of those old fashioned diaphragm thingies that women used to wear for contraception. She’d actually come across one at the back of her own mother’s drawer, shock horror, all dried up and yellow with age. Well it would be, she supposed it had been a while since Kathleen O’Toole had been needing it. Five strapping boys and finally the hoped-for girl. Her mother had been forty-five when Jill was born and on the point of giving up. She supposed the diaphragm had been chucked into its box as soon as Kathleen had got out of hospital and told Jerry O’Toole that if he didn’t get the snip Kathleen was going home to her mother in Dublin. Forever.

And now here was Jill, no longer a cute baby but a hefty thirty-something, ready for her first aquagym class, wearing her mother’s old diaphragm on her head and a swimsuit two sizes too small. She tugged the Speedo up, then down, trying to cover her buttocks and her boobs. It became obvious she’d have to accept that one of those two areas was going to be on display. Better the buttocks, she decided, after all they’d be under water for most of the time whereas if her boobs were popping over the top she’d probably put the men off their stride.

Men…were there any men in the class? She suddenly realised there was no one else in the changing rooms, that was funny. Maybe there were no women in the class, just her and a group of hairy males all having the same problem trying to get their bits inside their Speedos. Did they have to wear the funny hats too? Perhaps there’d be some prime specimens, all sleek muscles and washboard abs, like that Florent what’s his name, the one in the Olympics with the cute dimples.

No Jill, enough of that, she told herself sternly. Antoine is waiting for you, in his wetsuit, with his smouldering eyes and sexual techniques known only to the Basque nation.

In spite of her Nordic hill walking and her sessions at the gym, she had decided that more drastic measures were needed if she was going to be the Belle of Biarritz in June. She needed toning, as well as developing her heart and lungs, which both seemed to be in pretty good shape, especially her lungs, she thought, yanking at her swimsuit again. Apparently aquagym was the answer. Lots of stretching and tightening up those flabby thighs and bingo wings, twirling those funny pink and blue foam thingies that looked like giant noodles. It would be fun! She’d rummaged round until she found her old swimsuit from college and popped into Aquasports R Us to look at swimming caps. The snotty young assistant had said no, the cap with devil’s horns would not go down well at an aquagymn class. These young ones, no sense of humour. Miss Snootyface had informed her that what she needed was a slippery scrap of rubber which was the only device tight enough to prevent the least drop of water getting onto her hair and ruining its colour. Did she by any chance want to stop being a red-head and opt for green hair the texture of a horse’s dinner? Of course she didn’t.

Snootyface had omitted to mention that it needed ten minutes and steel talons to snap the thing in place and that not only did it keep the bloody chlorine out, it also, in a reverse or perverse action that probably had something to do with thermodynamics, was so eye-wateringly tight that it forced every brain cell downwards to the chin area making the wearer resemble Benny Hill.

She became aware of a sudden loud, regular tick. The clock over the door said 12h40. Fast, obviously. The class started at 12h30. But in that case, a small voice inside her head told her, why was the ladies changing room empty except for her?

She was late for her first class. Sweat broke out. Perhaps she could just sneak in, slide into the pool without anyone seeing? She pushed open the door into the shower room, hurried along to the end.

Uh oh. She could hear the voice of the instructor going on about ‘drop that head down, feel its weight, now turn slowwwwly to the left, now slowwwwly to the right…’

They’d started. She’d probably get a belt with a rubber hose or something. She hurried out into the pool area, tottering down the wet steps, careful, don’t want to fall smack on your increasingly exposed buttocks now, do you Jillian Benedicta? There seemed to be rather a lot of people down there in the pool. She got to the bottom of the steps, was making her way as unobtrusively as possible to the water’s edge when a voice rang out:


What? Was someone talking to her? The class had come to a standstill in the water, all eyes were on Jill in her Speedo and her diaphragm. The instructor had turned, hands on hips. And what hips! Jill couldn’t help marvelling at those toned slender meercat items dropping down to equally toned slender thighs and going up to, well she didn’t have much in the boob department, but Jill supposed that was what you looked like if you were a sports fanatic.

Or maybe it was the lycra. Her eyes, fascinated, got stuck on the instructor’s outfit. Pure, poured-on lycra. You could even see, well, she didn’t want to linger on the bit between the instructor’s legs, frankly it left nothing to the imagination, she wondered how anyone could have the nerve–



Jill lifted one side of her diaphragm.

‘You obviously haven’t been through the showers. Your swimsuit–’ the instructor gave a little sneer ‘–is bone dry. Didn’t you read the instructions?’

‘Oh. Er. Sorry. Sorry. ’

Jill fled back up the steps, turned on the cold water and gave herself a vigorous soak adding a few loud gasps for authenticity.

This time when she ventured to the edge of the pool she was able to step delicately down the steps and join her fellow aquagym-ers.

They were obviously regulars. The warm-up had finished, they were all leaping up into the air like Icelandic geysers, arms rigid at the sides, pushing down the water with their flattened palms. Jill joined in, jumping as energetically as she could ‘and push that water and push that water…’ She felt a kick in the back of her leg, turned around. A senior citizen in a cap covered in fake roses was glaring at her. Where was her diaphragm? In fact there were quite a few non-diaphragm pieces of headgear, now she looked. She’d have been better in the devil’s horns. Rosebonnet was saying something, over the sound of splashing.

‘Forward! Move forward!’ she hissed, in between jumps.

‘Oh sorry,’

Jill realised her energetic leaps had been taking her towards the back of the pool. She waded forward, gave another leap, then realised the exercise had changed, now they were all swinging their upper body from left to right, arms extended. Was that a snigger she heard from Rosebonnet? A knobbly finger gave her a karate chop below the ribs but the woman next to her had already swung round the other way. They were feral, this lot. Jill hopped a bit further to the left, started swinging, feeling her waist muscles give a nice satisfying tug.

Ten minutes later she was definitely getting the hang of it. It was a bit tougher than she’d thought, she’d asked the girl at reception what sort of level she ought to start with, intermediate or advanced? But the receptionist had smiled sweetly and suggested that maybe she could try ‘Beginners’, she could always move up to Intermediate and Advanced once she saw how she got on.

Beginners! Jill had capitulated, with bad grace. Now, in the brief moments when they were relaxing and deep-breathing she had time to do a quick recce of her fellow aquagymers. They were all, with one exception, senior citizens. And all, with one exception, female. There was one ancient wheezing grandad at the back, with sagging breasts and a gold necklace. The only other person who looked to be remotely Jill’s age was at the front of the class, under the watchful eye of Lycra-woman, and was heavily pregnant.

‘OK, floats!’


A pink noodle hit her on the head, then a blue one, good job they were made of foam but still she’d sensed a certain hostility in the way they had been hurled in her direction by a wizened old prune of ninety.

‘Everyone on their backs, legs together, flex those feet, now to the count of eight, scissor those legs, keep your back straight, tummy up, feel those tummy muscles working.’

Oh they were working alright. By the time she’d done two sets of eight Jill was puffing and panting like a steam engine. Around her the grannies carried on, scissoring fit to cut a rug, flashing their false teeth at Lycra-woman.

‘That’s wonderful Gladys! Keep going! Excellent Phyllis, those legs are really straight.’

But if she’d thought the scissors thing was bad, by the time they got to the abdo curls Jill was sure she was going to die. Not only that, either she kept drifting into other people’s ‘space’ or they kept drifting into hers, causing a lot of collisions and submersions and hissed insults.

As the lesson finally drew to a close Jill watched them emerge slowly from the buoyant water, totter up the steps like newborns, arms and legs like sticks, and putter off to the showers like arthritic tortoises. She could scarcely believe this bunch of pathetic creatures were the same lot of beasts she’d spent the last forty minutes with, exchanging sly kicks and punches under the water. She was going to be black and blue tomorrow. And her stomach muscles were on fire.


She was hauling herself out of the water and up the steps when she felt a pinch on her bottom. A decided, deliberate, old-fashioned, good-handful-of-flesh pinch. She turned round, outraged, ready to sock this fighting gran right out of her rose-covered bonnet.

Grandad was grinning up at her, gap-toothed, gold chain glinting in his grey chest hairs.

‘Welcome to wor class, lassie. Fair got a wee stiffie on me just watching yer do them jumps!’

He gave a leer and a wink as she shot up the final steps and made for the showers. What could she do, report him for sexual harassment? He must be at least a hundred and four. He’d never make it to the police station.


Laurette LongLaurette was born in the UK, near Brontëland. Graduating from the University of Leicester with a degree in English, she taught in the USA, UK and France, where she now lives.

Her forays into fiction writing when she was seven reveal her literary influences and distinctive style. “The Phantom Ghost Girl of Raven Castle” begins: ‘Vicky Dare, the girl detective and her big Alsatian, Rex…’ then stops. The Ruined Cottage” is longer and also demonstrates she is equally at home with either first or third-person narrator: ‘…it was a favourite haunt of mine and I never grew tired of it.’ In the chilling tale “The adventures of Carlotta”, the heroine ‘…dashed to the door her face white with horror’ while, surprisingly, in “The Secret at the Ball” ‘…a secret compartment was revealed! There glittering lay the Lane jewels!’

(Yes, she is a hoarder, incapable of parting with childhood books and notebooks.)

Aged 10 she developed a passion for the theatre, and throughout her career wrote plays for students. “A Midsummer’s Nightmare”, where Shakespeare’s lovers get into time warps in the wood, meeting Dracula and Little Red Riding Hood, was a tricky favourite. Everyone wanted to play Dracula. She had to wield authority. (Those with pointed canines had an advantage). Later, unable to find a textbook suitable for adult ESL students, she wrote one. Beguiled by an admirable work of French literary criticism about American writers in Paris, she translated it. (“Paris in American Literature” by Jean Méral)

(As well as being a hoarder she has also been accused of being bossy and a dilettante.)

Recently the ghosts of Vicky Dare and Carlotta nudged her into a return to fiction. “Biarritz Passion”, a contemporary romance, was inspired by the Basque country and its magic. (Go see!) An Amazon fan, she attempted self-publishing. After wrestling with formatting rules and sweating during the on-line tax interview, she finally hit the ‘submit’ button in March 2014, thus proving that even non-techies can do it. (Hoarder, bossy, dilettante and getting better with computers).

In spite of distractions–good friends, good food, Monsieur Wonderful, and a project to transform a hill of brambles into a Mediterranean garden–Book Two in the French Summer Novel Series, “Hot Basque”, was finally finished in May this year. Ouf.





BIARRITZ PASSION (A French Summer, Novel 1)



Keep up with Laurette’s thoughts about books and writing on her blog ‘Get Passionate’:


where all comments are welcome.

*Promo with excerpts* Out of the Shadows and into the Darkness by Senta Holland

Out of the Shadows and into the Darkness’ by Senta Holland is a literary erotic novel published by HarperCollins UK.

It was a bestseller in the UK in 2013.

Adult Content/18yrs+

Out of the Shadows and into the Darkness

Blurb: A deeply felt and superbly written BDSM love story, Senta Holland’s ‘Out of the Shadows’ explores the beautiful darkness in seven bedrooms. You’ve been enthralled by ‘The Bride Stripped Bare’ and ‘The Secret Diary of a Submissive’, now prepare to devour ‘Out of the Shadows’.

Senta, a thirty something Londoner, travels around the planet looking for the man who can match her. The one she finds is her ‘Nai’, a high society American in Asia. Senta’s story is both complicated and made more exciting by the fact that it unfolds in the dark world of BDSM, a world that can be hostile to single, independent females. Highly erotic, deeply romantic and insightful this book shows the BDSM experience from the inside out, as reality, not just fantasy.

This is above all an intelligent, insightful and deeply sensitive love story that will take you to places beyond your wildest dreams and open up the most secret aspects of your erotic identity. It will make you lust, think, feel and cry. Senta’s message to her readers is passionate and clear: Never give up looking for your true sexuality.

Real romantic BDSM with all the thrills (and more…) of fantasy, plus a real life size relationship and a positive message to women: ‘you can go for your sexual dreams’.


Amazon UK


Amazon US




Out of the Shadows and into the Darkness

Review Quotes

“Senta Holland, one of the new wave of erotic writers from heavyweight publisher HarperCollins…”

– Marie Claire Magazine, UK

“If you have an open mind and you are ready for a wild adventure, I definitely recommend that you read this. If you wanted a glimpse on how it feels and what it’s like to be living the lifestyle this is a masterpiece written for you.”

– Gelytayz, BookishTemptations

“The book has been described as an ‘eye opener’ by readers who mistakenly read it as ‘Romance’. It is only because of the absurd division into ‘literature’ and ‘genre’ that books like OOTS are not on the main shelf in the bookshop.”

– Ashley Lister, How To Write Erotic Fiction

“Written in a fast-flowing staccato voice, this book delivers on all counts. A fresh and intimate picture of a quest for, and enjoyment of, BDSM as a sexuality. From jungles to urban landscapes, it challenges our capacity to fantasize and imagine and has us melting with delight.”

– CoffeeCakeandKink, London

“This book is written in a poetic and beautiful manner, you could almost smell the air, feel the heat, and really, I got so caught in the story that sometimes I had to stop and pull away from the story because it literally sucked me in. M. Holland wrote a fantastic book, one of a kind, so different from what I expected but so much better than so many others out there.”

– Patricia Melo, Lost in a Moment”

“I’ve never read anything as adventurous, both sexually and narratively before.” Janny’s Books, Vanity Book Case

“Fifty Shades of Grey may have passed me by, but Out of the Shadows proved to be a deeply engaging glimpse into the world of a woman struggling to find her true self inside and outside the bedroom.”

– Dan Menhinnitt, London

Out of the Shadows and into the Darkness

Author Biography Senta Holland

Senta Holland lives and loves in the shadows, in a world of BDSM from the inside out. Her passion has to be lived in secret. If the shadows don’t lift, you will never meet her and the only way to get to know Senta is through her book. Open the pages, and she will lead you deep inside her beloved darkness. But maybe you have met Senta already. Maybe you hear her soft voice in your dreams, maybe she is sitting right next to you on the Underground. And maybe you, yourself, are Senta in the shadows.

Out of the Shadows and into the Darkness


Excerpt 1: Deeper into the Darkness

Darkness had fallen utterly, above the city of ancient kings.

High up in the tower, my Nai was waiting for me.

He had insisted on that journey, on taking me from Bangkok, the city of the present, further up the slow night river to this other, older, more mysterious place, entangled in time and passionate longing for a life of promise after death.

So I came out in my little dress and my steel-heeled shoes and I stood and was looked at.

Was looked at for a long time, while his body changed and his look changed and he started to smile like the snake king.

‘You look like a wicked slut,’ he said.

I smiled. My body shivered.

He rushed towards me and lifted me up, I was carried high in his arms and he threw me on the bed. I thought just for a moment but I’m too heavy for him, but he will drop me, I will crash through his arms. I will sink down and down through the pillows through the bed through the floorboards through the concrete in the basement into the earth itself. But not.

With one hand he held me down, the other he pushed under my dress until he found the top of my knickers. ‘Ah,’ he said with satisfaction, ‘here they are.’

He held me even more firmly and then he pulled my knickers down over my bottom. They knotted in front and got entangled with my pubic hairs so I tried to push myself up again but he forced me down until my head was almost smothered by the pillows. He ripped the knickers along my legs until they hung halfway between my ass and my knees and then he gave me a good slap. Hard slap. Right in the middle of my ass. The upturned face, the top of the hill, the smooth curve just as big as the imprint of his hand.

You really get to know a Dom by the way he beats you. Beating styles are just as individual as fucking or kissing or as a unique accent when you speak.

I love love love love to feel his hand on the crest of my ass. Just resting there. His fingers, his palm, his thumb. I could draw an outline for the blind school. I lie on my face, on my stomach, naked, vulnerable, turned towards him, so tender, so white, so smooth. He holds me down and I can feel his power. The tiny hairs on my back and thighs stand up in slow shared electricity. I know he is going to spank me.

Suddenly I get nervous. I slurp the air in little puppy breaths. I want to run away in my sheets and knickers.

People say you can’t feel what your senses don’t tell you, so if you can’t see or hear or taste or smell there is no way of getting information, but I don’t know. I felt his hand hovering above my ass. I could feel how he was thinking, waiting, watching me. I waited, too. I waited and the waiting filled the space between us.

His delight and excitement was all his own, just like his voice that changed and sunk down almost an octave deeper into his chest when he got to this point in the session. It was as if he became part of something greater than himself, but still uniquely him. He had a very special way of responding to my responses, with sometimes a little time delay as he adjusted to an unexpected reaction. He loved those moments.

He later said that Doms were the ‘uber subs’, watching and listening for the submissives’ signals all the time, the moans the shouts the little squeaks of delight, the big screams of pain and ecstasy, the faintest echo of terror so they can stop if we need it before we even know.

How the colour of her skin changes. How she is warm or cold.

How she breathes.

Right now I breathe hardly at all.

I can’t see him, I can’t hear him, I can’t feel his touch, but my whole being is tuned into him. Sometimes I wish this part would last forever. Sometimes I dream of lying there, suspended, for a very long time, not knowing what will come. Knowing what will come.

He arouses my passion, he serves my passion. He expresses his passion on me. On my body. On my soul by driving me so, so forcefully, so harshly, so relentlessly into surrender.

Now I can take his passion into me. My body is there for only one purpose: to receive his beating. I enter a plateau of pain and passion. I am surrendering to the violent shaking of my body. My body becomes his. His to use, his to beat, his to own and transform.

The inside of my vagina is humming. My lips are aching to be touched. The strokes on my ass wake up all the connecting channels between my sexual organs.

I want, I want, I want, I want, so much to be fucked. Right now. Now, now, now, under the beating. Simultaneously. Beaten and fucked. Fucked and beaten. I want a hard penis in my vagina, I want it to be rammed in and I want to be taken as hard inside as I am beaten.

My screams change to deeper moans, I can hear the change myself, I’m not controlling it, it just comes out of my body, out of my voice, out of my mouth. I’m not controlling my voice, my master controls it. My master controls me. He plays my whole body like a big drum.

I feel submission rush through my skin from head to foot. To lie here, dress pushed up, knickers pulled down, on my face, on my stomach, to be pushed into the corner of the bed, to be held down by my Dom. To be spanked. To be beaten. I am getting a beating from my Nai. He dominates me.

He works on me, he works for me, he is the master and the magician’s assistant, he sends me where he himself cannot go.

I am so free. I am flying through the night, high above death. Finally, the wild savage physical sensations match the wildness of my inner life.

I am just my wildly vibrating, hugely stimulated, beaten, flying, surrendered body.

 Out of the Shadows and into the Darkness

Excerpt 2: Power exchange

I am looking at him.

No, he is looking at me. And I am taking it in, the way he looks at me.

There is promise and thrill in this exchange. And a lot of love and trust. I am strong, I am free, I am wild. Just as he, in everything.

And I am here by my own choice.

I take in his energy. I let it go down into my very core.

He can see exactly what is happening. I hold the moment. I am in control. He humbly waits for my decision.

I choose to surrender.

Slowly, the balance of power between us shifts.

I give myself to him. He takes my power from me.

This is a complex, sophisticated process.

And it is wonderfully erotic and deeply fulfilling and dizzyingly wild. And it can happen without a word, without touch. Breath by breath.

I submit. I submit to his domination.

That is what I want. That is what he wants.

I am his submissive. Maybe for a lifetime, maybe just for now.

The tension between us is generating its own charge.

Submission to him arouses me. This is my true sexuality. Not my social role, not at all, but my sexuality.

Like many sexual orientations, it needs the right match to thrive.

Looking at each other, we have found it.

I am naked.

He is fully dressed.

He reaches out towards me.

He could do so many things to me, right now.

My submission calls for them. My vagina is opening her soft red mouth.

I want to yield and I want him to meet my softness with ruthless force.

I long to be subjected. In my way.

He touches my hair. Follows the long strands down over my shoulder and to the tip of my breasts. I am still.

My hands are bound behind my back.

Safely, in soft wide leather cuffs.

Securely, I cannot undo them, not that I want to or have ever tried, and I am powerless before my lover.

My dominant, my Dom.

He touches me, any way he wants.

I hold still. He gives, I receive. And I am in his power.

I don’t know what he is going to do next. And he doesn’t say.

That is another kind of power.

He tells me to go down on my knees.

My vagina gives a satisfied little tug.

My mind plays with the infinities of erotic subjugation.

I sigh.

I kneel on the floor, naked. He stands over me, still fully dressed.

‘Look at me,’ he says and slaps me softly in the face. A very light touch, almost a caress but not quite. I understand it perfectly. I should have looked at him without being told. This is part of his discipline. The understanding between us is part of the power exchange. We are very tuned into each other.

I look up at him.

My perspective has changed. I am much lower down now. This is my new and rightful place. At his feet.

I am getting dizzy. I am getting closer to the place of powerlessness, to the place of total yielding.

He slides his hand over my hair again but this time he grabs it, hard. All the nerve endings on my head start to scream. I have goose bumps all over my skin. He is making his domination physical.

I look into his eyes the whole time, although mine are filling with tears. He smiles. My subjection has been forced out into the open.

When he is satisfied, for now, he lets go of my hair and I kneel, hands bound behind my back, head dizzy in more than one way.

My master’s hands wander to his own body.

I am getting very moist. I think I know what is going to happen.

‘Watch,’ he says.

I do.

Slowly, very very slowly, my master is taking off his belt.

The sound as he undoes the clasp is humiliatingly, exhilaratingly familiar. I couldn’t stop looking if I tried.

He draws the belt out. Long, wide, well-worn leather. He slowly runs his hand along its length. I’m going to give up breathing.

He takes a step towards me until he stands so close that his crotch is pressed to my mouth.

I don’t know what he is going to do. Whatever it is, I will submit.

He is my master.

‘Down,’ he says quietly.

I understand. I obey.

I bend forward and lower my head until my face touches the floor, right next to his shoes. My bound hands sink into my back and come to rest on my shoulders.

Power has been exchanged.

He is the owner of my body and my soul.

He will do with me what he wants.

He may use his belt, on my naked, pale round ass, exposed and presented to him. He may turn round and take me from behind. He may play with the deep band of female arousal that goes from my ass to my clitoris, until I forget my name and even that I used to be a simple human.

Oh – what is this, exactly? Is there a name?

People call it BDSM. Yes it’s a Californian committee term.

I call it my sexuality.

My true sexuality, hidden under transparent veils.

Out of the Shadows and into the Darkness

Excerpt 3: The curious backpack

The backpack was old. A little torn at the top, where you had to draw a string together to keep it closed, and with rough edges that showed a pinkish colour underneath the black skin.

It was the backpack he carried on the night when I first met him. When he had looked so much like a man who had remained behind from former times.

He told me later: ‘I was very surprised, on the first night, when you said you would have sex with me’.

‘But,’ I said, ‘but you had your backpack.’

‘Oh yes,’ he said, ‘always keep the doors open.’

It was a lot to carry just for an open door.

And then there were the freshly cut bamboo sticks. He had cut them that day in his garden.

All the objects in the pack had been put carefully together. They were both a snapshot through the layers of that moment in his life and a collection from his whole history in BDSM.

There were soft scarves, some with a whip or a flogger wrapped inside them, there were laundry clips and suction tubes, there was a heavy collar and a furry blindfold. There was a strong little paddle.

And – he had an old well-used belt. Yes he did! I shivered with excitement and recognition when I first saw it.

It was wide, and thick, and softened with usage.

He saw how I looked at it.

In that moment we passed an invisible threshold.

It was a moment of extraordinary electricity, miles of film footage of possible scenarios raced past our eyes. Then we connected again, very directly, in this moment.

He picked the belt up and held it in front of me.

I was lying on the bed in the retro-colonial room, looking up at him, half curious, half seductive.

When he showed me the belt, I slipped off the edge of the bed so that I knelt and presented my bottom.

I was already naked.

He was still dressed.

I looked up at the belt, mesmerised with all the possibilities and meaning. I felt his hand on my head, pushing me towards it. He was a little rougher now, just a little.

I submitted and followed him until my face touched the worn leather.

Then I stuck my tongue out and licked it. I licked it from the end where it was already disintegrating a little, slow wide strokes with my tongue towards the buckle. I trembled with adoration and submission. He caught me by my hair, pulling my head up slowly and powerfully so that I had to lick the entire length of his belt.

Even through my own shivers I could feel him shake, too, his whole body shook as he held me and held up the belt for me to lick and then kiss.

It was a moment of great luminosity, come to shine into our shadow lives.

I started to cry and pushed my face into the sheets, still shaking.

Then I felt the cool leather slide onto my back, curling up like a snake. My Nai arranged its coils into perfect positions while my skin yearned for its touch.

‘Hold still,’ he said.

As if I could have done anything else!!

He stood and looked at me, for a long time. I carried his belt on my naked back, the instrument of my future pain and humiliation. Strongly desired, by him and by me.

I held my own breath and only heard his. I, a warm living woman, was the image from his dreams.

It took a long time, in that first session, before I was allowed to feel his belt.

First, as he always would in the future, he told me I would get spanked by his bare hand. A lover’s hand. He slipped the belt off my back, he wanted me naked and vulnerable all over my body.

I pushed my ass in the air, quiet, quiet, quivering in quiet. This waiting and submission was so sweet.

All the sensors in my skin expanded. It made me exquisitely sensitive. For what was to come.

Even then, he caught me off guard. He didn’t like me to be prepared. He enjoyed that last little edge, where I wasn’t able to give my spanking to him, where he overwhelmed me with it.

He was a true connoisseur of spanking.

Maybe he also waited because he knew he was on the threshold of showing himself, as he really was. The first stroke was incontrovertible proof of his unacceptable and savage desires. Maybe he was assaulted by doubt and fear.

Just like me.

And as the object of those savage desires he chose me, me of all women. I was there, to receive his beating.

I was witness to his need.

Then he gave me my first hard slap, across both cheeks with his open palm. It pushed a little shout out of my throat. He gave me the next one deep on my sitting bone and I yelped, and then I laughed and we were no longer afraid.

It turned into a long-drawn-out, hard, wild, fast, and increasingly painful spanking. My Nai spanked me harder with his hand than many other men with implements. And, even that first time, he was so tuned in to my body, my voice, the slightest changes in my being and responded to them easily and fiercely.

But all that time while he gave me his hand, hard on my ass and my ass turning hot and sore under his strokes, he placed the belt so that we could both see it, in front of my eyes on a white pillow.

When I shouted out loudly, when I struggled and jerked with the impact of his open palm, he pushed me down on the bed and held me there and said, just said in his dark slow voice, a voice that had emerged only with his first blow: ‘Look at the belt.’

Out of the Shadows and into the Darkness

Excerpt 4: I was a BDSM hermit

I was a BDSM hermit.

Sometimes, most times, I could live with it.

I said to myself: yes, I want to be a Submissive to a Dominant in real life.

But I couldn’t be.

I said to myself: yes, but I’d like to have my own opera house too.

Some dreams are only possible for a fortunate few, a very, very fortunate few.

So then I was lying in my bed, awash with longing.

So much longing it spilled out in tears.

I saw my shadow on the wall and it was all I had.

I did have lovers.

Of course, throughout my long life before I found my Nai, of course I had lovers.

But they were not the lovers I saw in my deepest dreams.

I had sex, but I did not live my true sexuality.I

What was it like, in the long, long years before I found a way to meet my Doms? (Yes, I did meet them, on my journey, even before I met my Nai.)

Before I even thought of having the courage of trying to devise a way to go and find them?

Telling a man

Lying in his arms, holding him tight and wishing he would hold me tighter, feeling his hand on my naked skin.

My body there, and my mind was dreaming and longing.

I sighed and shivered, but not from my lover’s touch.

Outside I was with him, inside I was with him too, but with a different version of him. Him as the Dom.

Inside myself, I tried to magnify his tentative stroking of my back so that I could imagine a spanking. When he put his hand between my legs I longed for him to be more forceful. I wanted him to take me completely and shake my whole body. I wanted to look into his eyes and see the joy and triumph of domination.

Instead I was alone, trying to amplify faint signals on my skin into the huge waves and towering storms that are my true home.

I often felt like a hollow doll.

Then sometimes, though less and less often as I learned from experience, I would tell him.

How to tell? So difficult. Particularly when what I wanted was still only a desire, a reality inside, the inner life of the doll, stuffed full to bursting but divided from the air by her porcelain shell.

Now it is easier, now I can start by telling a story from my life. I can hint lightly. I can watch out for signs with so much more knowledge.

I can also not have sex with vanilla men. At all.

But then?

When I was very young I sort of knew you weren’t supposed to be into BDSM. But at the same time I was so joyfully aware of the full range of my sexuality that it was hard to take that seriously.

I liked to welcome a penis in my vagina. I equally liked to welcome a hard hand on my ass, and a rope forcing my wrists together.

The men I dated then were very young too.

Maybe that was the reason.

Maybe it just was the times. People just emerging from the deadly shadows of enforced respectability.

But every single time I brought the subject up, stammering, blushing, fearful and hopeful, I got the same reaction.

I was rebuffed, rejected and despised.

The nice boy looked at me and told me I was disgusting, I was sick, I had a mental illness.

I was a pervert. He was not. He was normal.

I stood there like a witch found out. In my white shift of condemnation. I was lucky I wasn’t burned.

Only thrown out and quarantined from his healthy life. I don’t know what he told others.

There were a few of him until I shut up. For many, many years.

Before I travelled round the world.

Before I found myself, high above the dark red city of ancient kings, forced naked through the liquid glass by my master, by my Nai.

Out of the Shadows and into the Darkness

*Promo with excerpt* Revelation: The Todor Trilogy #1 by Jenna Newell Hiott

RevelationTitle: Revelation: The Todor Trilogy, Book One

Author: Jenna Newell Hiott

Genre: Fantasy

Book Synopsis:

Do you love fantasy adventures? Let Revelation take you on a magical journey that will leave you questioning your own reality.

>>>”Careful, this book is addictive.”

In a land where magic was created through the spilling of blood, turmoil is looming. Grief and despair flood the land of Todor, and its creators–the omniscient Deis–consider destroying it altogether. That is, until a single spot of joy attracts their attention: the idyllic village of Aerie. Believing in the hope found there, the Deis give Todor one more chance. They place three infants within this village who are unknowingly tasked with ending Todor’s suffering and saving all creation.

˃˃˃ “You will fall in love with these characters!”

As the three chosen ones grow, they discover that their beloved village is a haven of secrets, and nothing is as they believe. Can Gemynd, Soman, and Numa move beyond the secrets of Aerie in order to learn the truth about themselves and the world they thought they knew? With impending war, passionate love, and the heartbreak of separation facing them at every turn, will they do what is required to save Creation?

˃˃˃ “Newell Hiott’s gripping style of writing completely immerses the reader in the story.”

An imaginative fantasy debut from Jenna Newell Hiott, Revelation combines intrigue, passion, and magic to create a mythic tale like no other. The first book in the epic Todor trilogy, Revelation introduces readers to a unique fantasy realm, intelligent and layered with hidden truths, it will stay with you long after you’ve read the last page.

Author Bio:

JennaAuthor, healer, all-around kook, Jenna Newell Hiott boasts of having a limitless imagination, unless it’s nap time. While many of us had an imaginary friend as children, Jenna had an entire imaginary family—complete with a second set of parents and three siblings—all of whom lived in a make-believe world of Jenna’s own creation. One could say she’s been writing fantasy fiction since she was old enough to use words. And she never outgrew it. Out of this hyperactive imagination, Jenna created the land of Todor: a world of magic, intrigue, and power plays.








“One of the most important laws of Todor that we must follow has to do with the building we’re sitting in right now. Do any of you know why this is called the Wishing Hut?” 

Numa shook her head and saw that Soman and Gemynd shook theirs as well. Gemynd glanced at her and the look in his eyes seemed to say ‘now we’re going to find out the real secrets of Aerie.’ 

“The legend says that many thousands of years ago the ancients came to this very spot because they believed it had the power to grant wishes. Of course, there was no hut on the land then. There was no Aerie either. Just the Baldaquin tree, the waterfall and that piece of rock sticking out of the ground,” Keeper Clary said, pointing at the ground in the back of the room. 

Numa looked and saw that underneath the lowest shelf on the furthest wall was a jagged piece of clear rock. It looked like a large, colorless jewel. And it was plain to see that this was only the very top of the rock. The rest of it was buried beneath the ground. 

“I never noticed that before,” Soman said. 

“Me neither!” Gemynd agreed as he ran across the room to inspect it.

“The ancients believed that rock had very special powers,” Keeper Clary said. 

“What kind of powers?” Gemynd said. 

“The power to grant wishes. They would come from all over Todor to perform the wishing ritual wherein they would spill their blood upon the rock as they wished for their greatest desires.” 

“You mean there’s ancient blood on it?” Soman asked and got up to join Gemynd at the rock. 

Keeper Stout chuckled. “Most likely the blood was worn off long ago,” he said. “Now, please join us back over here. Elder Keeper has more to explain.” 

“What did the ancients wish for?” Gemynd asked as he sat back down. 

“Such a smart boy,” Keeper Clary remarked. “You ask just the right questions.” 

Numa gave Gemynd a smile, feeling proud to know the boy who impressed the Elder Keeper. “He always asks all the questions,” she said. 

“To answer this one, I am certain the ancients wished for many things. But there were four in particular that are important to us today. One of them came to the rock and wished for a simple life filled with Peace and Joy. Another came and wished for great physical strength while the third wished for superior intelligence. The fourth wished to be able to have control over all of nature itself. And do you know what happened?” Keeper Clary asked and Numa found herself utterly mesmerized. She’d never heard a tale such as this one. “Their wishes all came true.” 

Gemynd jumped to his feet again. “I’m going to wish that my father was still here,” he announced and ran back to the rock. 

 “Gemynd, stay here, please,” Keeper Stout scolded. 

Numa didn’t want to get scolded, but she secretly began thinking about what she would wish for as soon as she got the chance.  

“The powers of the rock were all used up that day and it no longer grants wishes,” Keeper Clary said and Numa felt her shoulders sag with disappointment. “But the remarkable thing that happened was that those ancients created new races of people. The people who wished for a simple life and those who wished for special powers. And these races divided Todor into regions.” 

Numa scrunched up her face and looked to Gemynd to help her make sense of what Keeper Clary was saying. But Gemynd just shrugged and looked as confused as Numa. 

“The region of Todor that Aerie is in is called the region of Terrenes,” Keeper Clary continued. “Terrenes are ordinary people-the people who wished for a simple life, just like the people you know in Aerie. But outside of the region of Terrenes live people who have special abilities; abilities that go beyond what a normal person can do. These powers are called glinting. As you grow, it is possible that one or more of you will begin to glint. If this happens, do not be afraid. It is a marvelous thing to be a glinter, or so I am told. If you discover this about yourself, simply come to Keeper Stout and tell him about it. You will then be sent to a special school where you will be trained on how to use your powers. And here is the most important thing to remember: it is against the law of Todor for glinters to live in the region of Terrenes, which includes Aerie. So, if you find that you are a glinter, you may choose to return to Aerie after your training only if you vow to never use your glinting powers. Anyone who glints in Aerie is banished. Now, surely you must have some questions.” 

Numa stared wide-eyed at the Keeper and noticed that her mouth had fallen open.    

“Are you a glinter, Keeper Clary?” she heard Gemynd ask, though it sounded far away. 

“I am a member of Aerie,” he replied simply. 

“Are any of the other people I know really glinters?” Gemynd asked. 

“All the people you know are members of Aerie and there is no glinting allowed here,” came the reply. 

Numa felt dizzy and was only vaguely aware of being ushered from the Wishing Hut to the Meeting Yard to join the feast. She felt disoriented and confused as she was seated between her friends at the head table. Platters of food were placed on the table and there was a swirling of colors before her as dancers glided and spun to music that seemed to be coming from the sky itself. All the things she had learned that day buzzed through her mind. The mine tunnel. The Laws of Todor. Glinting. It was all too much to take in. She looked around, trying desperately to find a familiar face to focus on, but it felt as though she was seeing it all for the very first time. 

“Glinting,” Soman murmured next to her. “I guess there really was a big secret we didn’t know.” 

Numa looked to Gemynd to make sense of it all. For seven years she had counted on him to be the voice of reason, to figure everything out for her. But now she saw only a far off gaze in his eyes. 

“Nothing is what it seems,” he whispered.

*Promo* Hunter’s Haven by Linda Thackeray

Hunter's HavenTitle: Hunter’s Haven

Author: Linda Thackeray

Genre: Dystopian/Action

Publication Date: December 25, 2014

Blurb: After taking revenge on a drug lord and his crew for murdering his sister, John Hunter is a wanted man. It’s 2030 and in the aftermath of the great plague, John makes his way to Haven, craving sanctuary and peace but instead runs into a rogue religious group who wants to play God even as they run rife with corruption. But they haven’t counted on meeting big bad John who’s meaner than they could ever be. And just when they think they’ve put him out of their misery, he’s resurrected from his hospital bed and hell hath no fury like a hunter scorned…who’s become a devil with a cause!

HUNTER’S HAVEN is an action packed thriller that grabs you by the throat and won’t let go until the end of the book. To miss this incredible adventure would be criminal! Get your copy today and enjoy the read of a lifetime

Author Info:

Linda ThackeryLinda Thackeray is a freelance writer who has only started to self-publish in 2014. When she isn’t writing, she works in the publication of safety standards at a recognized national body. Linda has been writing in numerous genres over the past twenty years, including science-fiction, romance, dystopian and fantasy.

At present, she is working on republishing the very first book she ever wrote ‘Children of the White Star’ while a sequel to the Avalyne series is being edited. She will soon begin work on the second part to ‘The Guardian’ series.

In her spare time, she is an active member of the Author’s Cave, writes reviews on Amazon and also indulges in the occasional Play By Email Role Playing Game. She lives in the coastal town of Woy Woy, meaning Big Water, in New South Wales, Australia with her long-haired ginger cat named Newt and spends more than normal time thinking bout Michael Fassbender.

Website address: http://www.scribe31oz.com/Originals.htm

Twitter: @Scribe31oz

FB: https://www.facebook.com/Scribee31oz

Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/lindathackeray

Book link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QF9OAJM


*Double Promo* ‘Forgotten’ and ‘Arranged’ by Catherine McKenzie

We are delighted to be working with Catherine McKenzie this year, Canadian author of Spin and Spun (novella sequel to full novel, Spin) – both of which are on my review list, as well as her Forgotten, and due for release on February 1st, Arrangedwhich is to be reviewed by Tina. These contemporary romance/chick-lit novels have been translated into French, Portuguese, and several other languages, and are international bestsellers, as well as being freshly released in the UK!

Please find below information for Forgotten and Arranged, with links for further details, and a short bio on the author.

Caroline xx


When everyone thinks you’re dead, how do you start your life over again?

Emma Tupper, a young lawyer with a bright future, sets out on a journey after her mother’s death: to Africa, a place her mother always wanted to visit. But her mother’s dying gift has unexpected consequences. Emma falls ill during the trip and is just recovering when a massive earthquake hits, turning her one-month vacation into a six-month ordeal.

When Emma returns home, she’s shocked to find that her friends and colleagues believed she was dead, that her apartment has been rented to a stranger and that her life has gone on without her. Can Emma pick up where she left off? Should she? As Emma struggles to recreate her old life, everyone around her thinks she should change: her job, her relationships, and even herself. But does she really want to sacrifice everything she’s working so hard to gain?

“McKenzie has created a charming character in Emma, witty, extraordinarily level-headed, and blessed with grace under fire in the most trying of circumstances. Forgotten is the story of one young women’s life, broken down, reconstructed, and forever altered. It is an endearing story of discovery and transformation and the importance of turning lemons into lemonade.”— BOOKLIST

For more info on Forgotten please check out the following links:


Amazon UK

Amazon US


Anne Blythe has a great life: a good job, good friends, and a potential book deal for her first novel. When it comes to finding someone to share it with, however, she just can’t seem to get it right.

After yet another relationship ends, Anne comes across a business card for what she thinks is a dating service, and she pockets it just in case. When her best friend, Sarah, announces she’s engaged, Anne can’t help feeling envious. On an impulse, she decides to give the service a try because maybe she could use a little assistance in finding the right man. But Anne soon discovers the company isn’t a dating service; it’s an exclusive, and pricey, arranged marriage service. She initially rejects the idea, but the more she thinks about it-and the company’s success rate-the more it appeals to her. After all, arranged marriages are the norm for millions of women around the world, so why wouldn’t it work for her?

A few months later, Anne is travelling to a Mexican resort, where in one short weekend she will meet and marry Jack. And against all odds, it seems to be working out-until Anne learns that Jack, and the company that arranged their marriage, are not what they seem at all.

“With good dialogue, three-dimensional characters, and page-turning scenes, McKenzie expertly explores what makes a successful marriage work and the lengths to which some people will go to find true love.” –Publisher’s Weekly

For more information on Arranged please click on the following links:-


Amazon UK

Amazon US

Author Bio:

Saturday, August 8, 2009.   Photo/Robert J. Galbraith).A graduate of McGill University in History and Law, Catherine practices law in Montreal, where she was born and raised. An avid skier and runner, Catherine’s novels, SPIN, ARRANGED, FORGOTTEN and HIDDEN, are all international bestsellers. She is currently working on her fifth novel, SMOKE, slated for release in 2015. Her novels have been translated into French, German, Portuguese Czech, Slovak and Polish. And if you want to know how she has time to do all that, the answer is: robots.

Website: www.catherinemckenzie.com

*Promo Post* Lion by B.B. Sorores

Lion BB SororesAuthor: B.B. Sorores

Title: Lion

Genre: New Adult Paranormal/Shapeshifter

Release Date: October 2014

Publishers: Secret Cravings Publishers

Length: 78,363 words

Blurb: The City is everything Adam Reid could possibly have hoped for – power and potential. And his scholarship to the prestigious Harton University is his ticket to it all. A chance for a fresh start. A chance to hide from his dark past.
But the City has secrets and its doors only open if you know the right people. People like Jack, Adam’s new louder-than-life room mate, and Lia, who yearns for a soul uncorrupted by the City.
Then Castalia Vallas stalks her way into Adam’s life. Intoxicated by the seductive professor, Adam learns to confront and control the desire he dares not speak of.
But who is the hunter and who is the prey?

Excerpt One

Stop!” he cried. And the night fell silent. He blinked. The eyes were gone. The zoo quiet. The enclosure black.

He turned and hurried up the path. Weird. What the hell kind of zoo was this? He paused on the pathway and looked back again, one more time. He saw a figure, crouched in front of the enclosure. He stopped. Great, had they been there the whole time, watching him freak out? Shit, he’d better say something, try and make out like he wasn’t being a dick.

Hey, um. Hi!” he called.

The figure didn’t move. He could hardly see in the dark now, like the park lights had grown even dimmer. He could tell it was a woman, definitely a woman. Going by her profile, what a woman.

Hello?” he called again, taking a step back down the path.

She stood, running her hand down the pane of glass. The light cast a dim glow over her body. She wore a gold dress, low cut. Adam could just see the rise of her breasts, the curve of her hip, the line of her long legs. He took another step, wanting to see more, but then stopped. There was something about her, something strange, something that made him feel like he shouldn’t get close. But something also drew him in, like walking into some unknown, unnamable danger, but finding it irresistible all the same.

Can—are—hello?” God, he couldn’t even form words. What the hell was he doing?

Stop,” said the woman. She held up her hand to him. Adam stopped, frozen to the spot.

Go back, Adam,” she said.

Do…do I know you?” he asked, straining his eyes to try and see her better. How the hell did she know his name? Had she been at the barbecue? Did she know Lia?

Just turn around and go back.”

But…” But what? But I want to see you, properly, because you look incredible from here and I bet you look even better up close. God, what a loser.

No way. If this woman knew his name, didn’t he have a right at least to know hers? To see her? He walked forward.

I said stop, Adam.”

But he kept walking, a strange drive compelling him forward. He wanted to drink in that body, find out who on earth this woman was.

Then the rumbling started, pulsing up from the ground, it growled through his legs, stopping him mid-stride. His legs turned to jelly. His knees buckled under him. The noise rippled through his whole body, stunning him. He closed his eyes and held his head. Stop, please stop. He hunkered down, curled up in a ball, wishing it away. Then, as quickly as it started, the growl stopped. He opened his eyes. Everything still and black. He was alone.

Excerpt Two

Sweat trickled down him now. Hot, so hot. It seemed, with every breath he took, the heat intensified. He thought back to that day in the woods, his last day hunting. The animal heat of it, building up around him.

He was back there now, but this time with her. He lay on the patch of long soft grass looking up at a dark moon lit sky. The trees dipped their branches low, nearly brushing the ground. The sound of cicadas buzzed thick in the air. The babbling pool nearby. He heard a rustle in front of him. He propped himself up on his elbows and watched as she crawled toward him along the soft grass floor, her smile curling, teasing him. He leaned back as she got close and closed his eyes. He felt her move around him, then close in, her breath hot against him.

She let out a mock growl as she took his shirt buttons in her mouth and ripped them off, spitting each one to the ground. He opened his eyes. She stood above him now, looking down, her hair cascading around her face. She smiled, then stepped back, faint glints from the starlight catching the gold of her dress. Then she undressed, slowly, languidly and just stood there. He tried to move, to get closer, to see her, but he couldn’t. She shimmered, backing away. He could only just make out patches of her golden skin. A slice of her long thigh, a tantalizing hint of what lay between her legs.

She came close again. Her eyes were pools of black, watching him, wanting him, drinking him in. She leaned down and he saw her lips, red and glossy, asking for him, pleading for him. She lay down beside him and the heat of the woods pulsated all around them, matching their heartbeats, their sweat mingling, their mouths tasting each other’s salt. He kissed her face, her neck, the rise of her breasts.

This was too much to hold in. He wanted her, to gorge on her, to feed on every wondrous piece of her. The surge built up inside him, growing, like a living snarling thing. A thing that swelled and grew until he couldn’t hold it any more. He wanted to bite into her flesh, devour every last bit of her. With a force he didn’t know he possessed he lunged forward, an ancient, guttural scream escaping from his lips. His arms wrapped around warm flesh and then—nothing.

BB Sorores LionAuthor bio

I live in a little house near the sea with a temperamental black cat and my shaggy loveliness of a husband. I love all things glam, especially pin-up girl dresses and great shoes. Sparkly shiny things bring me great joy and delight. I relish munching into a fat juicy steak or a succulent roast chicken. I love Christmas, especially putting up the tree laden with twinkly things and sitting beside it after dark when it’s all lit up. I like lots of art on walls and ornaments and plush rugs and big soft pillows. I like the sky when it brings bright bold colours and sunny days so I can go for long walks and breathe in the fresh air. When I write, I like to have a favourite cocktail close to hand. For me, each book requires its own special cocktail to match it. For Lion, I chose the gimlet. The mix of gin with tangy lime, and a sugar and salt mixed rim made a perfect match for the sweet and sour mood throughout the book.

Author contact links




Buy links

Amazon US



Book Strand

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Secret Cravings Publishing

**Promo Post with Prologue and (partial) First Chapter** Blue Wicked by Alan Jones

After reviewing debut author, Alan Jones’ The Cabinetmaker last week, I am excited to be introducing our readers with his second novel, Blue Wicked. Not a sequel to his first novel, albeit still a gritty crime thriller.


Title: Blue Wicked

Author: Alan Jones

Release Date: October 2014

Genre: Gritty crime thriller

Length: 167 pages

Blurb: The tortured corpses of young alcoholics and drug addicts are turning up in Glasgow and only unlikely investigator Eddie Henderson seems to know why. When he tries to tell the police, his information is ridiculed and he’s told to stop wasting their time.

One officer, junior detective Catherine Douglas, believes him, and together they set out to discover why the dregs of Glasgow’s underbelly are being found, dead and mutilated….




Eddie looked around at the crime scene. As usual, it looked nothing like those on the cop shows he’d seen on TV. No photographer, no blue and white police tape or flashing blue lights; just him and his little black case. A small crowd of onlookers surrounded him and to be fair, they gave him a little room to work, but that may have been because of the smell.

This was the third of three similar cases that Eddie had worked in the space of two years, and he briefly wondered if they could be connected. Flies buzzed around his face and he flapped his hand at them ineffectively. The victim had been dead for a couple of days, and there was a sticky pool of blood and faeces on the ground below the body. A length of wood extended from the anus, and another from the mouth; from the position of the body, Eddie surmised that it was the same piece of wood, because it was supporting the corpse in mid-air across two rusty steel barrels, as if it were a spit roast about to be barbecued. Eddie hoped that death had come before the skewering.

He was concentrating hard, so it gave him a bit of a start when a voice interrupted his thoughts.

“Hey mister, who the fuck wid dae that tae a fucken cat?”




Ever since he could remember, Eddie had wanted to be a vet. As one of the few vets in Scotland who specialised in animal abuse and poisoning, he was often called out by the SSPCA when an animal was suspected of having been poisoned or tortured, which is why he found himself in the middle of a patch of waste ground on the outskirts of Glasgow.

He had started out as a fairly ordinary vet, qualifying with a veterinary degree from Glasgow University including distinctions in medicine, pathology, physiology and biochemistry. This was all the more remarkable when you knew his background; one of four children from a one-parent family brought up on one of Glasgow’s toughest housing estates, Castlemilk. University had been a struggle at times, both financially and emotionally, although he had coped better with the academic side of the veterinary degree, being, according to his friend Brian, “a clever cunt”.

Despite his upbringing he had almost fitted in, but he couldn’t quite manage the don’t-give-a-fuck attitude that some of the better-off students had and, although he joined in with many of the social activities normally associated with students, most of his fellow classmates considered him to be somewhat stand-offish, perhaps with a bit of a chip on his shoulder. Eddie himself would have told anybody who asked that he enjoyed his time at university, but that he’d had to grow up a lot quicker than his fellow students, helping to bring up his three younger siblings and working from an early age to earn enough to help with the housekeeping and have a little money for himself.

He took some photographs of the unlucky animal in situ, measured the length of the wood impaling it, and then, using the small hacksaw from his case, he cut the wood close to where it emerged from both ends of the cat, which allowed him to place the animal into the thick polythene bag that he’d brought for that purpose. As he did this, he thought of his first few years in practice, when he had soon become bored with much of the daily routine work that he needed to get through. He wasn’t really a people person, so it was often an effort to be “nice” to the clients, although he generally got on a little better with his patients. None of the pet-owners in any of the practices where he’d worked particularly disliked him, but he’d never developed a loyal following of clients like some of the other vets he’d worked with.

He’d also struggled at times to fit in with the other practice staff until, about five years earlier, he’d moved to a small-animal practice in Paisley, just to the South West of Glasgow. The senior partner and the other vets in the practice realised before long that in Eddie, they had a very useful addition to the team. His strong interest in medicine and pathology made him indispensable in handling the kind of lengthy and complex cases that they struggled with, and his solid knowledge of lab work combined with his scientific and ordered approach meant that his work in the background let the other vets get on with keeping the customers happy and doing most of the day-to-day stuff that he found tedious. As a result he was offered a partnership in the practice, which he had accepted two years after joining them.

Encouraged by his position as the practice “expert” in biochemistry and post-mortem work, and his interest in the occasional poisoning case that the practice dealt with, he decided to take the unusual step of studying for a certificate in veterinary forensic pathology. It meant that he had to attend seminars and lectures periodically at Cambridge University, which was a bit of a bitch, but the practice paid for it, and he soon found himself involved in intriguing, though sometimes horrific, animal welfare cases.

Strangely, Eddie had fitted in at Cambridge. The other post-grads he studied with at the veterinary faculty were similar to him in many respects. Their backgrounds varied enormously, but they all had the same drive to learn, and a benign disdain for anyone who didn’t strive to further their knowledge. He even had a brief fling with one of his fellow students, Anna, but bizarrely, their post-coital chat was usually about forensic pathology rather than any plans they might have to carry on the romance away from the university’s rarefied environment.

The crowd had dispersed with the disappearance of the sorry corpse, and Eddie laid it gently in the large plastic box that he kept in his car for the purpose. Putting his case in the car as well, he took one last look around then pulled off the blue overalls that he usually wore for such jobs, more to keep himself clean than for any forensic reasons. He checked the cat for a microchip which, if present, would enable Eddie to identify its owner.

Eddie groaned when the reader pinged and the number appeared on the screen. It meant a particularly unpleasant phone call he’d have to make later, breaking the news to a distraught owner, getting their permission to do a post-mortem examination and send appropriate samples off to the lab. He headed back to the surgery, anxious to get on with it; it would mean a very late finish, as he also wanted to write up his interim findings and send his preliminary report to Mike George at the SSPCA before going home.


BlueWicked_300DPIMORE INFO

To read a larger sample about how Eddie’s investigation of a series of animal killings draws him into one of the biggest serial murder enquiries Scotland has ever seen, read four free chapters at www.bluewicked.co.uk, where there is also an online audio dictionary.

You can also check it out on Goodreads.


Amazon UK

Amazon US

Previously reviewed was Alan Jones’ The Cabinetmaker. We awarded this an amazing 5* on Goodreads and Amazon!

The CabinetmakerSynopsis: The Cabinetmaker, Alan Jones’ first novel, tells of one man’s fight for justice when the law fails him. Set in Glasgow from the late nineteen-seventies through to the current day, a cabinetmaker’s only son is brutally murdered by a gang of thugs, who walk free after a bungled prosecution.

It’s young Glasgow detective John McDaid’s first murder case. He forms an unlikely friendship with the cabinetmaker, united by a determination to see the killers punished, their passion for amateur football, and by John’s introduction to a lifelong obsession with fine furniture.

This is the story of their friendship, the cabinetmaker’s quest for justice, and the detective’s search for the truth.

This unusual crime thriller contains some Glasgow slang and a moderate amount of strong language.

To check out our 5* review of The Cabinetmaker please click here.

For more info on The Cabinetmaker, check it out on Goodreads.

The Cabinetmaker by Alan Jones is available at Amazon UK and Amazon US.