With Silent Screams is on sale for only £1.
Click here to pick up a copy.
His name is Nathan Garrett, but he’s also known as Hellequin. And murdering one of his friends and trying to blow him up is a good way to get this centuries-old sorcerer’s full attention…
An old friend’s dead body, a cryptic note, and an explosion that almost costs him his own life propel Nate headfirst into a mystery involving a new threat from an old foe. Now he must piece together the connections between a grisly series of tattooed murder victims, an imprisoned madman, a mysterious alchemist, and a deranged plot to usurp the throne of the hidden realm of Shadow Falls, rival to the power of Avalon.
Can Nate avert the coming slaughter, or will he become the latest to fall in this clandestine war?
With the story careening between modern-day New York and Ontario and 1977 Maine, With Silent Screams continues the gritty and action-packed mix of urban fantasy and ancient mythology that mark Steve McHugh’s popular Hellequin Chronicles.
Review by Liz Barnsley:
This is definitely a set of books that has grown in stature since its humble beginnings as Nate and the mythology surrounding him has grown, developed and taken on a life of its own. So, all in all a terrific 3rd book in a series that is now absolutely one of my favourites in the Urban Fantasy stakes alongside Felix Castor and Alex Verus. Possibly not for the faint hearted but if you like your Urban fantasy absolutely Urban and fantastical these will probably bring great satisfaction.
Note: With Silent Screams can easily be read as a standalone book with no problem whatsoever, so if you fancy starting with this one, go right ahead!
Well the time for the release of Lies Ripped Open is almost upon us (25th August), so in preparation, here’s the prologue and cover reveal for those who haven’t seen it. If you want to pre-order the book, just click on the cover.
November 1888. London.
It’s not every day you get to meet the Queen of England. It’s even rarer when a human who rules a country gets a visit from someone in Avalon and the human ruler is happy to see us. But Victoria was a tough old lady, and someone I respected, if not liked. I’ve met her a few times since she took power, but only once since the death of her husband, Albert, some twenty-seven years ago. I found her to be a strong, honest woman, who said what she thought and rarely cared one way or the other about offending anyone. She was the queen; if you were offended it was your problem, not hers. But she wasn’t exactly easy to get on with. She resented Avalon’s influence in the world, and by extension resented the visits from Avalon’s emissaries, such as myself.
But on this occasion I actually got a smile from her that didn’t look like she was considering whether or not to attack me with a walking stick.
She’d thanked me, and then as she hurried away, clutching the small item I’d brought her, I’d been asked to leave so that she might have a moment alone. It was a fair request; I had returned something of her husband’s, after all. Something that had been stolen by an annoying insect of a being by the name of Alan Daly.
I stepped out of Buckingham Palace and walked the few miles to where a carriage was waiting for me. It was outside of a house in Whitechapel that the SOA—the Shield of Avalon, Avalon’s internal security force—used when spending time in London. The two horses were busy eating from their feedbags, although I didn’t see either of the SOA agents that were supposed to be watching the prisoner. I reached the horses and patted one of them on the side of his neck. He flicked his ears in response, but was clearly more interested in his food than in me, so I left him be and checked the coach, but found it empty.
On the one hand, the locks were still in place and there was no blood inside the comfortable carriage, but on the other, Alan was a slippery little bastard. I entered the house and checked every room, but it was empty, too. One of the rooms had been changed to a prison cell, complete with rune-marked walls and floor, but it had been decided that we’d transport Alan the second I returned, so he’d been moved to the carriage.
His absence didn’t raise any immediate level of concern. The likelihood was high the two SOA agents had taken him into the seclusion of nearby streets to give him a good kicking. They’d wanted to do it all day, and with Alan’s almost continuous taunts about their wives, sisters, girlfriends, and in one particularly rage-inducing speech, their mothers, I figured he’d probably brought it on himself. Ordinarily I’d have left the agents to their fun, but they were liable to kill Alan, and for all of his irritating qualities, he didn’t deserve to die.
I made my way back outside and walked off into the nearby gloomy streets in the hope that, just maybe, I’d find them before one of the many criminals in the city decided to find me.
Whitechapel, like a fair amount of East London, was riddled with crime and death, and large numbers of people doing incredibly unsavory things, a lot of whom lived in squalor. I’d questioned why they’d put a safe house in the middle of the area, but had been informed that it was the safest place to put anything. No one asked questions in Whitechapel, probably because they were afraid of the answers.
Even during the recent spate of horrific murders a few months earlier, no one had come forward to say they’d seen anything. And no one ever would. Either the police would resolve it, or the local people would get to the killer first, and then no one would ever find him. Those living in the East End of London trusted your average copper probably less than they did your average criminal, and people taking the law into their own hands was fairly common.
I had a pretty good idea where the SOA agents would have taken Alan. There was a small park down an alley a few hundred meters from the safe house. It was somewhere I’d heard that the police took suspects to question them when needed. It was dark, and from what I’d heard, it was a well-known area to stay away from, even in Whitechapel.
I reached the alley after being propositioned by half a dozen women, although I noticed that no one stood close to the mouth of the alley, as if it were creating its own barrier of fear.
I walked down the alley. The light from the street lamps appeared to be pushed back by the darkness, which was a stupid thought to have, but even so it still made me pause. Something about this place wasn’t right. About half way down I heard grunts and groans.
“That’s enough,” I called out while using my fire magic to give me a semblance of night vision.
One of the SOA agents sat hunched over, leaning against the wooden panels that surrounded the park’s long grass.
I walked over to the second agent, whose back was toward me as he stood a little further into the park, and placed my hand on his shoulder. “That’s enough,” I repeated, but he spun around and all of the breath left my body at once, followed immediately by pain as it exploded across my torso. I glanced down as a shimmering blade of ice was pulled free from my chest. It was covered in my blood. I dropped to my knees and watched as the magical weapon vanished from view. The pain forced me to abandon my night vision, and the darkness once again took control.
The overwhelming thought that bounced around my head was that neither of the SOA agents had been sorcerers.
My attacker crouched beside me. “They interrupted me and my prey got away,” his accent was from East London, but sounded slightly different from many of those living in the city. As if he’d been away from here for a long time, and had not quite remembered how the accent was meant to sound.
I glanced up at him, still unable to breathe; the blade had punctured a lung. It wouldn’t kill me, but it would be a few hours until I was back to normal, and without my night vision I could have been staring into Merlin’s own face and I’d never have known.
The man got back to his feet and kicked me onto my back. “I should make sure you remember your time here, but I’m sure your comrades over there will be able to do that better than I could.”
He sat on my chest—the weight of him making me gasp as the remaining air left my body—and placed his finger to my forehead. He moved his finger slowly, removing it every few seconds before returning it, newly wet against my flesh. “Don’t go forgetting me now,” he said, before almost jumping off of me and running down the alley.
“Anyone conscious?” I wheezed.
“Your agents are dead,” Alan said. “I hope you weren’t friends.”
I closed my eyes and sighed, trying to control the anger that flared inside of me, while at the same time managing the pain that still coursed through my body.
I rolled onto my side. “What happened?”
“Your companions took me here to give me a good beating. But we found that man and a woman already here. She got free and ran for it, so he took it out on the agents. He had a knife.”
“Not that blade of magical ice?”
“No, a real knife. He cut your boys to pieces.” There was an unmistakable strike of match, and a sudden flare of light. Alan held the meager flame against a piece of paper he took from his pocket and soon there was enough light for me to see him.
“Holy shit,” I whispered. “Did he cut you?”
Alan shook his head. He was drenched in blood; it covered every single part of him that I could see. “All of this blood belonged to your friends. He killed them while they were next to me.” He raised his wrist, showing me the sorcerer’s band—a small metal band that stopped him from using his powers. And would explode if he tried to remove it. “I couldn’t do a damn thing.”
“You could run now,” I said. I coughed, which caused more pain, but once it had eased off I finally managed to sit up and use my own fire magic to illuminate the area. Night vision took too much control for me right now.
“Shit,” I continued. One of the two bodies was in the deep grass, invisible to me as I’d entered the park. The side effect of my magical night vision was that everything was in shades of orange and yellow, so blood was harder to pick out.
“I’m not going to run,” Alan told me, his tone hard and full of anger. “I used those agents to get me here so I could escape. I wasn’t going to do this to them though. No, I’m going to help you find the man who did this. And then I’ll escape.”
I chuckled. “Deal. But first we need to get back to the safe house.”
“Actually, first you need to know what that asshole wrote on your forehead,” Alan told me.
“It’s in blood.”
“What does it say, Alan?” I demanded, anger dripping into my words.
“It’s just two words. It says From Hell.”
In amongst all of the writing (of which there’s been a lot) and editing (again, a lot), I really haven’t played many videogames this year. I picked up a bunch of them while in sales, but never really got round to doing much with them, Borderlands I’m looking at you.
I was always going to get Batman: Arkham Knight. Arkham Asylum is one of the best games of all time, and Arkham City is excellent, but not quite as good. Origins is treated a little unfairly simply because it exists in the shadow of its much better brothers, but it’s hardly a bad game.
I got Arkham Knight yesterday, so I can’t say if it’s the greatest thing ever or anything like that, but I figured I’d share a few thoughts from the two hours or so I’ve played.
What I like:
The fact that you don’t have to start your upgrades from scratch. You have quite a few that you’d have already unlocked in previous games, which certainly makes getting around the city a lot easier.
The story is very interesting. At least at the moment, the opening ten minutes are breathtaking and there have been quite a few interesting little bits and pieces.
The mission wheel. Oh how I love the mission wheel. Basically side-missions and main story missions all show up on this wheel, you can select which one you want to tackle and it’ll show you how you’re doing. It’s basically what RPG’s have done forever with quests, but it works brilliantly with this sort of game too.
The controls are still great; the fear takedowns are a wonderful addition.
What I’m unsure about:
The Batmobile. I want to love it, and I certainly like it more than I did when I first started, but it takes some getting used to. It’s very twitchy and until you’re used to the controls you will crash into everything in sight.
However, I will say this. Jumping off a ledge, dive bombing to the ground, summoning the Batmobile and then gliding into the cockpit is one of the most Batman like feelings ever. In fact this game goes a long way to make you feel like Batman. It depicts him as both a badass ninja, and a detective, and has done a good job so far.
What I don’t like:
The overly expensive season pass, and the pre-order horse crap. Neither detract from the game itself, and I have no problem with season passes if they’re a good price and the developers say up front what you’re getting (and it’s worth the money), but to say, there’s going to be stuff coming out, not say what it is and then expect people to pay a ludicrous price for it is frankly a shitty practise. And getting different pre-orders from different places sucks, stop doing it, all it does it piss everyone off.
Like I said, I’m not far into it, but so far it’s an very solid game. If you liked the last games, you’ll want this, if you didn’t, well… there’s something wrong with you. And if you never played them before, you’ll probably want to read up on their plots before picking this up. But if you have any interest in Batman then pick it up, because seriously, it makes you feel like the goddamn Batman. What more could you ask for?
This is a quick post today, just to let everyone know that Crimes Against Magic is currently on sale in the UK for the sum of 0.99p. Click the picture below to go take a look.
In case you’ve never heard of the book, here’s the blurb:
How do you keep the people you care about safe from enemies you can’t remember?
Ten years ago, Nate Garrett awoke on a cold warehouse floor with no memory of his past—a gun, a sword, and a piece of paper with his name on it the only clues to his identity. Since then, he’s discovered he’s a powerful sorcerer and has used his magical abilities to become a successful thief for hire.
But those who stole his memories aren’t done with him yet: when they cause a job to go bad and threaten a sixteen-year-old girl, Nate swears to protect her. With his enemies closing in and everyone he cares about now a target for their wrath, he must choose between the comfortable life he’s built for himself and his elusive past.
As the barrier holding his memories captive begins to crumble, Nate moves between modern-day London and fifteenth-century France, forced to confront his forgotten life in the hope of stopping an enemy he can’t remember.
“I don’t think I have ever been so pleased to see the great words “Book 1″ in the title!” Liz Barnsley
“Crimes Against Magic is definitely a debut that should not be missed for all readers who want a great urban fantasy read” – Fantasy Book Critic
“I am thrilled I am able to read and review this series, since I do love my urban fantasy.” BittenbyBooks
Well now that the launch for Prison of Hope has finished and the book has been almost universally enjoyed, it’s time to look forward to August’s Launch of Lies Ripped Open.
There’s no cover yet, but there is a blurb. Which is below.
Over a hundred years have passed since a group of violent killers went on the rampage, murdering innocent victims for fun. But even back then, sorcerer Nate Garrett, aka Hellequin, knew there was more to it than simple savage pleasure—souls were being stolen.
Nate’s discovery of the souls’ use, and of those supporting the group’s plan, made him question everything he believed.
Now the group Nate thought long dead is back. Violent, angry, and hell-bent on revenge, they have Hellequin firmly in their sights. And if he won’t come willingly, they’ll take those closest to him first.
The battle begins again.
You can pre-order the book by clicking the links below.
Today I have both an interview and review over on Romorror Fan Girl’s blog. Here’s part of the review.
“The plot is a page turner type, full of twists and turns, with great action scenes, witty dialogues and some romance. I’m amazed how the Author was able of bringing two worlds together in such a wonderful way, the writing is impeccable, the words flow and the plot develops on a fast pace that keeps you really entertained from beginning to the end, is not an easy read but a highly enjoyable one!”
Click the cover below to read the rest.
Today’s blog tour is a 5 star review of Prison of Hope by Paranormal Romance and Authors that Rock
I’ve got two things going on today.
First of all, I have a guest blog over at Unabridged Andra, which you can go read by clicking the link.
Secondly, I have a guest blog and I’ll be chatting with people over on Bitten by Books. Click the link again to go ask any questions and take a read.
Both give you the chance to win a gift certificate (although they’re 2 different prizes, so twice as much chance of winning).
And after a quiet weekend, I’m back for the second week of the blog tour. Today I’m over at Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews, giving an interview about writing, and being a ninja.
As per usual. Anyone going there can enter a competition to with a $25 gift certificate from Amazon. Click the cover below to go take a read.