Category Archives: With Silent Screams
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!
There’s currently a sale on Amazon.co.uk, where you can get all 3 Hellequin Chronicles books for only £1 each. Click the book covers to go to the books.
So, if you’re yet to take a read, now’s your chance.
Review from Liz Loves Books:
If you like Urban Fantasy you will love this. If you love Thrillers and Mystery but have not yet dipped your toe into the world of UF, then this is for you – you will get the best of all worlds. I don’t think I have ever been so pleased to see the great words “Book 1” in the title! “Born of Hatred” Book 2 is now sitting on my Kindle and I will be heading back to see what Nate is up too very very soon. You should come too…
Review from Bitten by Books:
“Nate is going on my list of favorite urban fantasy characters after reading Born of Hatred. I appreciate his absolute ruthlessness against evil, and his sense of integrity. While some might consider him an antihero, I definitely feel he is a good guy, even if he wears tarnished armor at times.
I definitely recommend the Hellequin series to readers who enjoy urban fantasy. They will find a lot to appreciate in these books, especially if they do not mind some gritty and violent content that is integral to the storyline.”
Review by Liz Loves Books:
“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.“
April 30th this year marked 2 years since I decided to try self-publishing and released Crimes Against Magic on an unsuspecting world. A lot has happened in 2 years. So, I thought I’d go through some of the highlights in, sort of, chronological order.
Selling a copy.
On the opening day of release in 2012, I sold 28 copies of Crimes Against Magic and was, frankly, astonished. I wasn’t really to know how things would change over the next year, but it was a hell of a start.
Getting e-mails from people.
This never gets old. Not once. I always love to hear from people who have enjoyed my work. I’d be crazy not to.
Breaking the top 10 in my genre
A great moment for me. I think the first time it happened, in July 2012, I got to #8 in urban fantasy in the US.
Publishing my second book
Born of Hatred was also self-published in Dec 2012.
Getting to the top 10 in my genre the UK.
Jan 2013, I had both books in the top 10 Urban Fantasy in the UK. It’s always nice to do well anywhere, but it was pretty special to get it that high up in my own country.
Feb 2013 I got a call from my now publisher, 47North who offered me the chance to work with them. I said yes. Turns out that was a pretty good call on my part.
September 2013, both Born of Hatred and Crimes Against Magic are re-released by 47North with edited content and new covers.
Top 100 part 1
Oct 2013 was the first time I broke the top 100 in the US and Canada.
I release my first novella, Infamous Reign. I’m quite proud of that little story, even if it did take me longer to write than Born of Hatred.
Top 100 part 2
By Feb 2014, Crimes Against Magic was in the kindle top 100 in US, Canada, UK, Germany and Australia. Born of Hatred was in UK, US and Canada.
With Silent Screams
Feb 14th was the release of Book 3, With Silent Screams. It went in the top 100 in several countries, as well as hitting the number 1 spot in 7 genres, and appears to have gone down well.
Getting a phone call from Waterstones to be asked if they can stock my books because people are asking for them was a massive moment for me.
April 2014, I got myself an agent in the form of Paul Lucas from Janklow and Nesbit.
It’s been a crazy 2 years, and I’ve met some awesome people, specifically my 47North brethren who have both incredibly fun to get to know and more help than I could possibly hope for. If there’s a closer group of writers working for any other publisher, I’d be astonished.
I’m writing Book 4, Prison of Hope, and should have a release date for you about both that and book 5 soon enough. I’ve got other things I want to write too, so I’m hoping to start the first book in a new series at the end of the year. Other than that, I have no idea what the future holds, but so long as I continue to enjoy writing and people enjoy reading my ramblings, I’ll be pretty happy.
The Hellequin Chronicles seems to have struck a chord with readers. People tell me they enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them, and I can’t ask for anymore than that.
Yep, another day and another guest post. Today I’ve got an interview on Liz Wilkins blog, who recently did a fantastic review for With Silent Screams, where she said;
“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.”
Click the cover to go take a read.
The time is here. After over a year of waiting, Hellequin Chronicles book 3; With Silent Screams is live.
It already has 2, 5 star reviews, with one reviewer saying, “I can not recommend these books enough. Steve… is well on his way to becoming a major new fantasy writer.”
Hope you all enjoy the book.
Click on the cover for the link to the book.
The release date for With Silent Screams: Hellequin Chronicles book 3, is just over 2 weeks away. In fact, I have an event going on over on Facebook about the release, where people can ask questions and the like, so feel free to click on the cover below to be magically taken there.
However, as the title says there’s a competition to run. To celebrate the release of book 3, for the next 6 months, 1 winner per month will get a signed copy of With Silent Screams (along with other goodies). So, if you don’t win this month, you’ve got 5 more tries.
Just click on the enter to win button on goodreads. Here’s a link for you.
This is a very quick thing.
There’s a Goodreads competition going on for 20 lucky people to win copies of With Silent Screams. All you have to do it click on the cover below and it’ll take you right there. You’d best hurry though as you only have 12 hours to do it.
This is for those who live in the US only. Sorry if you live elsewhere.
Here’s the first chapter from the upcoming Hellequin Chronicles book 3: With Silent Screams. Any spelling/grammar issues are because this isn’t the final edit. If you haven’t picked up the first 2 books yet, you can get them for $0.99 at the moment by using this deal.
Toronto, Canada. Now.
Sirens wailed as I parked the Mitsubishi Warrior next to a row of police cars and climbed out into the cool night air.
“You can’t park there,” one of the cops said as he made his way over to me. “You’re going to have to move.”
“He’s with me,” Sky said as she followed me out of the truck and showed the cop her ID.
“Sorry, Ma’am,” he said and stepped aside, allowing us through.
I pushed down the part of me that screamed to run toward the house—it wouldn’t do anyone any good. Body bags were already being carried into the house. The building itself was a fairly old brick structure, with two floors and probably four bedrooms. It certainly looked big enough. The nearest neighbor was a few hundred feet away, and with all the open ground and trees around it, I doubted anyone had heard a thing while its inhabitants died.
“Damn it,” I said as we reached the front door and I saw the splatter of blood inside.
“Hey, who the hell are you?” a male detective shouted as he strode toward us. Sky flashed her ID again.
“Oh great, a spook, that makes things much better.”
Sky’s ID just had a badge and a picture of Hades’ logo on it—a raven sat atop a shield. Like all of the more powerful members of the world, Hades had his own business empire and security force. Very few humans knew that the Hades from mythology was real, although the two barely matched up in reality. The majority of law enforcement in Canada had heard of Hades as an organization, and most thought it was a secretive, CIA-esque authority. They were only partially correct.
“I’m not here to argue, just look around,” Sky told him, replacing her ID in her pocket. “What can you tell us?”
“Well as you can see,” the detective said waving his arms behind him. “It’s a home invasion gone wrong. Some punks probably broke in and started searching, the old lady found them and they fought. She died with a stab wound to the throat.”
“And the man?” I asked.
“Yeah, I figure the little bastards enjoyed killing her and took their time with him. Probably figured he was holding out on riches or some shit. We’ll find them, though.”
“No, detective, you won’t,” I said and walked passed him and into the nearest room.
Blood saturated the carpet and a man in white overalls was examining the body of an elderly lady, looking for clues, while his colleague searched the room.
“Did she die in here?” I asked them.
The one kneeling beside the body turned to face me. “Yes, on the floor just here. It looks like she was stabbed in the throat. The spray of blood on the wall there suggests she was standing when it was done.”
I stared at the wall, and as the man said, the blood spray suggested she was standing when stabbed.
“Have you found a knife?” I asked.
He shook his head. “We’re still looking.”
“Can I see the body?”
The man glanced over at his colleague, neither of them wanted to say yes.
“He’s with me,” Sky said again. I got the impression she enjoyed showing off her ID.
Hades would probably get a call about an employee of his walking onto a murder scene, but I doubted he’d be too concerned. Hades allowed his employees the freedom to work as they needed to, and Sky, as his daughter, was given more than her share of allowances.
The coroner moved aside, and after placing some gloves on my hands, I crouched beside her and took a look at the body of Mrs. Vivian Moon. She’d bled out from the massive gash on her throat.
“You okay, Nate?” Sky asked as she joined me.
“No,” I said softly, hoping to keep my temper in check.
“Where’s the male?” Sky asked the coroner.
“He’s been taken out already, but you can go to the bedroom where he died,” he said. “First on the right.”
I removed my gloves and threw them into the hazardous waste bag as we left the room, then followed the man’s directions upstairs, the smell of death growing ever stronger. I grabbed a second set of gloves from a box outside the room, with Sky following suit, and we opened the door to whatever horrors the coroner had warned us about.
There were two detectives inside, one male and one female and both of them did their best to not glance at the blood-soaked bed. At some point the man who’d been on it had been a detective by the name of William Moon. He’d been a good man, an ex-Marine who had served his country during the Vietnam War and who had come back determined to do something good in the world. That good had eventually gotten him killed.
“Bill,” I said softly and made my way to the bed. “What the hell did they do to you?”
“You knew the victim?” one of the detectives asked.
“Yeah, he was a cop,” I said. “Retired a while back, but we worked together on something a long time ago.”
“Can’t have been that long,” the man said. “You’re what, thirty?”
“I’m older than I look,” I said. About sixteen hundred years older. “What did they do to him?”
“They cut him up and beat him pretty badly,” the woman said. “The coroner says they broke a lot of bones, and then they decided to partially skin him. They eviscerated him in the end. He died hard. The coroner had the body removed about twenty minutes ago.”
“Can you both give us a minute?” Sky said, showing them her ID. They nodded and left the room.
“Nate, what did he call you for?”
“He said people were dying and he needed my help. He told me to be here at six and he’d explain everything. That was four hours ago, which is pretty much exactly how long it took to get you and drive here. The call was cut off when he was about to tell me something else, though”
“Any idea what?”
“Don’t know. The phone just went dead. There are storms in the area, so I assumed it was a problem with the phone itself. When I couldn’t call it back, I rang you.”
“I’m going to talk to my father. I’ll see if I can get him to take the case over. I know this is human on human, and not even Avalon touches those, but I figure we can make an exception. We’ll find out who did this.”
“I know,” I said. “And then I’m going to kill them.”
Sky placed a hand on my shoulder and I placed my hand on top and squeezed slightly. There was a time when we had almost been more than friends, but time and personalities had ensured that it never happened.
Sky removed her phone from her pocket as I noticed a business card that had fallen onto the carpet beside where Bill would have laid on the bed.
I picked up the black card and found that it belonged to a hotel in Manhattan, the Scepter Hotel. A bloody mark stained both sides of one corner. At one point, I would have used my blood magic to try and get some insight into who the blood belonged to. But those days were gone. Since my necromancy had reared its head nearly a year ago, my blood magic had vanished. Hades had told me that necromancy and blood magic can’t coexist, but it was a huge thing to lose, and something I still had trouble getting used to.
“You ever heard of this?” I asked Sky, passing the card to her as she told someone on the other end of the phone to wait a moment.
“It’s a fancy five-star place. You think this blood is Bill’s?”
“Maybe. It’s worth looking into.”
“I’ll bag it up,” she said and took it from me as she started talking on her phone again.
I walked over to a nearby door and pushed it open, revealing a clean ensuite bathroom. Directly in front of the door was a mirror above a white sink. Someone had written “welcome back” on the glass in blood. I noticed the small camera, positioned on top of the mirror. And then my world exploded.
No amount of magic at my disposal could have stopped the destructive power of the explosion as it rushed toward me. A hastily assembled shield of dense air robbed it of its potency and left me alive, but the shockwave still picked me off the ground as if I were made of paper, flinging me back through the nearest window with a crash.
I slammed into the solid earth with a crunch, tumbling backward until a large tree stopped any further movement with a definitive thud.
I lay there, covered in blood, dirt, and brick dust as my brain tried to catch up with what had happened.
The first port of call was pain. It washed over me, hunkering down in every conceivable place on my body. My ribs felt as if on fire, turning even the simple act of breathing into a battle. My left arm was numb, and my back felt wet, but I couldn’t move enough to find out what had happened. I coughed and the pain roared through my body until I spat bright blood onto the grass beside me. Probably a punctured lung.
All in all, I was lucky. I might not have felt it, but if I’d been human I would have most certainly died.
My magic had started to heal me—my ringing ears faded back to normal within a few seconds, so I just sat still as the thoughts of Sky and the officers in the house filled my head. Were they okay? Did I take the brunt of the blast? The more I thought about it, the angrier I got. Unfortunately, I couldn’t move.
A short while later, a young woman walked out of the woods beside me toward the ruins of the house. She glanced around briefly as flames leapt from the giant hole where the bedroom and bathroom used to be, then turned toward me. Her high heels and knee-length dress were an odd sight, but the smile on her face suggested she was not here to help.
She ran her hand through her shoulder-length brown hair and stood a few feet in front of me, the smile never wavering from her beautiful face. I’d never seen her before—there wasn’t even a glimmer of recognition on my part—but from the callous grin on her face, I got the impression that she certainly knew me.
She took a few steps toward me and breathed deeply before placing one of her heels against my shoulder and pushing down. The strength of the woman was incredible as the heel tore into my shoulder, causing me to yell in pain as she turned her foot left and right.
“I’d love to make you my new pet,” she said and removed her foot, her heel dripping blood onto my arm. “My last one didn’t make it.”
“You triggered the explosion,” I said. A cold rage began to fill me, but I couldn’t have fought her on rage alone—I’d have been killed. Instead, I was forced to sit still, watch, and listen, which did little to improve my mood.
The woman made a contented sound, like a purr. “Of course. I wasn’t meant to come say hello, but I just couldn’t stay away. I wanted to see how you’d handle this . . . warning.” She raised her head and listened as the sounds of voices coming closer.
She sighed and bent down in front of me. “Such a shame we have to cut our relationship short. I’d kill you, but I don’t want you to leave the fun just yet. See you soon, Mister Garrett.” She pressed one finger into the hole she’s made with her heel a moment ago. I yelled out once more until she withdrew the finger and licked it clean. “You taste good. Maybe when we meet again, I’ll be able to get my fill of you.” She kicked me in the head so hard, it would have moved a car. I blacked out.