The release of Hellequin Chronicles book 3: With Silent Screams, is only a few months away, so I thought it would be nice to share the cover with everyone.
So here it is, the cover to With Silent Screams.
Before anyone asks (because someone will), no that isn’t Nate.
You can pre-order the book from Amazon. It’s been a long time coming, so I’m both very excited and a bit nervous about the release.
Have a good Christmas/holiday/whatever you’re planning on doing.
I’m pleased to be able to present to you all the new cover for Crimes Against Magic, which is being re-released by 47North on 17th September 2013.
Book 1 in the Hellequin Chronicles.
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.
The book has edits and changes to the original story that was published April 2012, and is available to pre-order:
And for Amazon.com
Welcome back to the 3rd Wednesday Wippet, where I post a snippet of my WiP, Born of Hatred, the sequel to Crimes Against Magic.
This week as it’s the 20th, you get something from chapter 20, which happens to be a flashback chapter.
And now the here’s part of chapter 20. As before, these wippets are not from a finished draft, so may contain spelling/or grammar issues (although I’ve tried to remove any).
“What needs to be done,” I said absentmindedly. “Goddamn it. Get out of the tub.”
“What?” she asked, but I was in no mood to ask again. I grabbed her arm and removed her from the tub with one pull, dropping her onto the floor with a splat as her wet flesh hit the wooden floorboards.
“Get your ass in that chair,” I snapped.
She dragged herself into the wooden rocking chair, her arm was red where I’d grabbed it. As far as I was concerned, she was lucky to still have both arms.
I removed the ropes from the window, usually used to tie the curtains back, and tied Stephanie’s arms behind the chair, making sure that she couldn’t get up. I took second rope and attached one end to the first, using the other end to tie it to the handles on the chest of drawers. If she started yanking at the rope, she’d get out, but it would take a while.
“You want me still so you can kill me,” she said and spat at me, missing by a few feet.
I stood in front of her and rolled up the sleeves on my shirt, letting her watch the orange glyphs that lit up on my arms. “If I wanted to kill you.” A small sphere of flame appeared in the palm of my hand, Stephanie’s eyes opened as wide as possible. “You’d already be dead.”
The flame vanished and I put on my coat. “You’re going to give your friends in this town a message. They have forty-eight hours to leave. To run as far away as they can. Because in two days I’m going to come back, burn this entire fucking town to the ground and piss on the ashes.”
So, it’s the 2nd Wednesday Wippet, where I post something from my WiP, Born of Hatred. The only rule is, it has to be something that’s relevant to the date. So, as today is the 13th, I’ll post something from the 13th chapter.
Like last week, this hasn’t been edited, so there might be the occasional spelling/grammar issue, as I don’t want to spend tons of time going through it, as it defeats the point.
I hope you enjoy it:
“Anything else, Doc?” I asked.
He removed a thermometer from inside the wound. “It’s hard to give an exact time of death, but I would say about four to five hours ago. Whatever is doing this, it’s like nothing I’ve seen in my hundred and ninety years of life.”
I thanked him and, with a head full of information, went off to find Tommy and Sara. Instead I found one of the agents who had been the contact for the killer. “Agent Reid,” I said and offered my hand, which he took.
“Are you helping with the investigation?” He asked.
“Just a fresh set of eyes, I’m not trying to step on anyone’s toes.”
He raised an eyebrow. “You pissed off some people earlier. That would be akin to jumping up and down on people’s toes.”
“I get that a lot,” I assured him. “Do you mind if I ask you a few things?”
“The killer, Olivia says he calls you.”
“He calls Greaves,” he corrected. “Usually a few hours after he’s killed them. Greaves got the call just over an hour ago. We came here first and then contacted Director Green.”
“Greaves is a werewolf, yes?”
“Yes, I am,” I rough voice snapped from behind me. “Is there a problem with that?”
I turned toward the surly man with a smile on my face. “No problems. I just wanted to know if you caught any scent.”
“And I should tell you why?” He jabbed a finger at my chest. I glanced down at the digit and wondered if I should break it.
And that’s it for another Wippet. It’s much harder work than I’d thought, trying to find bits that don’t spoil anything, while still giving a taste of what’s in store.
Next week is the 20th, so you’ll be getting a glimpse of what the flashbacks in the book are about.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a prequel of sorts to Crimes Against Magic, by the name of Small Time Vengeance. It was a flashfriday piece, my first ever, and since I spoke about it, I’ve been asked by a few people if I plan on posting it on my blog. Well, as I’ve been very busy this week, and haven’t had time to write anything interesting. I figured now was as good a time as any.
So, I present you to you. Small Time Vengeance.
Near Soissons, France 1414.
The only reason the man wasn’t dead was because he hadn’t taken part in the raid. He swung gently from the rope I’d wrapped around his chest and under his arms, before I’d hoisted him off the ground. After gaining the information I’d needed about his friends, a cloth gag ensured he would make no sound, and if he woke up and thought about making problems, the four corpses of his comrades, lying clearly visible below him, would prove I wasn’t someone he wanted pissed off.
The four had died while they slept, their throats cut without a sound by the light of their campfire. They’d deserved no less, but my anger would be saved for the man who truly deserved it, the chief of the bandits I’d decimated.
I sat on the thick branch of the old oak tree, high above the ground, watching the man swing slowly back and forth beneath me.
My patience was rewarded as the moon reached its fullest and the sound of laughter came through the forest. The newcomers called to their friends in the camp, their laughter dying when there was no reply. Weapons were drawn and their leader barked orders, as he realised that there would be no answer from his erstwhile followers.
I stepped off the branch and white glyphs erupted over the backs of my hands and up my arms, as my air magic slowed my descent. When I was just over head height with the bandits, I forced the magic down toward my feet, so that I smashed into the ground with a roar. Leaves and dirt were thrown into the air, causing enough confusion and panic that the two closest bandits died before the leaves had drifted back to the earth. A blade of white-hot fire cut through their throats as I moved past them, out of the clearing and into the darkness of the forest, where the blade vanished from my hand.
Four were left in the circle of their camp, their eyes flickering frantically at the merest hint of movement.
The chief grabbed the nearest minion and pushed him. “Get in their and find him,” he barked.
I used my fire magic to see in the dark, turning my vision into a mixture of reds and oranges without casting any visible light from me.
Two large men crept into the forest, their daggers drawn. I moved behind them and took the first one with a blade of air into the base of his skull, almost decapitating him. He fell forward, alerting his companion who turned toward the noise, only to have a gust of air lift him off his feet and crash him into a nearby tree. The angle of his neck suggested he wouldn’t get back up.
“What are you fucking idiots doing in there?” the chief shouted from the tree line, his voice full of barely concealed anxiety.
I charged out of the forest and caught him in the jaw with a blast of air that threw him onto the ground.
I sprinted to the final bandit and he swiped at me with his sword, but I dodged aside and broke his knee with a swift kick. He screamed in pain and fell back, but I caught him and snapped his neck before he hit the ground.
The chief had gotten back to his feet and drawn a dagger, waving it in my direction. A gust of hardened air removed the danger and a second shattered his arm. He howled in pain and I punched him in the stomach, doubling him up, and then pushed him onto the ground.
“Who are you?” The chief’s voice was raspy with pain.
The noise had woken the hanging man, and he watched wide-eyed as I picked up the dagger and crouched beside his boss.
“You terrorised that village. You went there time and time again to steal and have your fun. And when a boy of twelve stood up to you, you murdered him in front of his parents and maimed the man who tried to stop you.”
I smiled down at the chief as fear oozed out of him. “You did everything in your power to break them. But you know what? When I arrived there two days ago, the first thing they did was offer me hospitality.
“They warned me of you and your bandits. They made sure I was going the other way. They wanted to keep me safe from you. Even though you tortured those people, you couldn’t break them.”
“So?” he groaned as I placed the tip of the dagger against his stomach, drawing blood.
“So, clearly you’re very bad at your job. And someone that terrible needs to be shown how to do it properly. So allow me to educate you on the fine art of breaking someone.”
The chief’s screams and pleas lasted only a short time. I gained no enjoyment from what I did, but it needed doing.
The surviving bandit begged me to spare him as I cut him down and removed his gag.
I nodded. “But you’re going to do something for me in return for your life.”
“Anything,” he said immediately.
“You’re going to gather up every last coin and item of worth from your fellow bandits here, and you’re going to take it back to the village you stole it from. You will do this tonight. You will beg for forgiveness. And if you fail to do any of these things, I will find you.” I dragged him over to the body of his chief.
“And I will make what I did to him appear as a tap on the wrist, are we clear?”
The man nodded repeatedly.
“One more question,” I said. “Have you heard about Soissons?”
“You don’t want to go there. The French army murdered everyone. I’ve heard stories of monsters and demons roaming the city.”
“Monsters and demons?” I smiled. “Sounds like my kind of city.”
I hope you enjoyed it.
There are a few links this week, that I suggest you all go and check out.
The first is actually on my blog. An interview with the very talented Colin F. Barnes. My first ever in fact, although not my last by any stretch of the imagination.
Colin also repaid the favour and interviewed me, which was a lot of fun.
Speaking of fun, Tom Harris had be take the Badger, which I assure you is not some weird euphemism. It has to be read to be believed.
Debra L. Martin also did an interview with me this week.
The fantastic Keri Lake conducted the last interview of the week with me.
And last, but by no means least, Kendall Grey allowed me to steal her blog for the day to talk about the day before I published my book. Something I hope you find both fun and interesting.
As for Crimes Against Magic, well it’s doing okay. A sixth, 5 star review was superb, and i’ve had a few people e-mailing me to tell me how much they loved it. Thanks to all of you who took the time.
That’s it for this week.
And as he proved so popular last time, I’ll leave you with one image.
And now for Chapter 2.
That night my dreams were of who I might be.
A decade previous, I’d woken up in an abandoned warehouse with no memory of anyone or anything, including myself. Beside me was a Heckler and Koch USP compact, with a full magazine of silver bullets. Along with the gun, there had been a wooden cane with a sword inside and a piece of paper with the name Nathan Garrett on it, which I discovered was in my handwriting.
I spent the following year trying to figure out who I, or Nathan Garrett, was. When no results became apparent, I decided to use the name as my own. What I did discover was even more baffling. I understood languages that I could never remember learning—French, Spanish, Japanese and more. I also had an appetite for learning about all periods of history and mythology, although I never saw anything that triggered a memory.
My dreams vanished from my grasp and I woke up in my hotel bed, staring at the ceiling as I reflected on the previous night. The first time I’d used my magic I’d blown a window out of the warehouse, the glass embedded itself deep in the nearest tree trunk. I thought I’d gone mad. It took me that first year to find out what I was—a sorcerer.
After that, I met someone who explained the concept of magic to me. Sorcerers are born with an innate ability to tap into magic, which is passed down from parent to child. Magic is raw energy, which gifts us with a multitude of abilities. For starters, magic makes sorcerers near immortal, keeping us alive for hundreds, even thousands of years. It heals and stops, or at least slows, the aging process.
Although I didn’t know who I was, I took comfort in the knowledge that I at least knew, what I was.
The phone beside me rang, waking me out of my trance-like state as I answered the call.
“Hey, Holly,” I said.
“I wake you? Sorry, I figured you’d be up early.”
“Don’t worry about it, I was already up. What can I do for you?”
“Just thought I’d ring to see how it went.”
I’d met Holly about eight years previously when I helped her with the problem of a possessive, soon after ex, husband. My involvement had been an accident, but it just happened that she was part of a rather well-known family, one with connections throughout the underworld. She suggested an alliance. Her dad, a man I’d done work for in the past, told me she’d do a good job. I trusted him, so I trusted Holly, and we’d done well ever since.
“Fine,” I said. “No problems at all.”
“You sound funny, Nate.”
“Not the best night’s sleep. Had a few crappy dreams.”
“Memories coming back?” she asked. She’d always been a little concerned I’d discover that I used to be a cop. And with her family that wouldn’t be the best outcome. Truth be told, that sort of worried me too.
“No, nothing like that.” I swung my legs out of bed. “So you want to meet up? You’ll need to get paid.” Although the job hadn’t gone through Holly, she had helped with background information on the target and so deserved her share.
“I’m meeting my dad for lunch this afternoon. I’ll give you a call later to let you know where.”
“Sounds good, see you later.” I hung up and went for a shower. Once finished, I got dressed in dark combats and a blue t-shirt, picked up an empty rucksack and decided to go get paid.
After finishing the previous night’s job in Southampton, I’d driven to London and stayed at a pre-booked hotel room, ditching the Audi on a nearby road. As it was only seven in the morning, I had plenty of time before I needed to meet Holly. She lived in London, not too far from St Paul’s Cathedral, giving her amazing views of one of the most beautiful buildings I’d ever seen. Granted, I only remembered ten years back, but it would have probably been pretty high up the list of impressive structures even with full recall.
Holly usually arranged to meet her dad near her place. There were a lot of restaurants and bars close by, and we regularly used them to meet after a job. It’s easy to blend in with all the business workers and lawyers constantly having meetings. My hotel was close to Tottenham Court Road, so it only took five minutes at most to get there on the tube. In fact it took longer to get through the tube stations than to actually use the train.
I took the Northern line to Embankment, crossed to the District Line and took another tube to Whitechapel. Whitechapel is famous for one reason—Jack the Ripper. Mention the place to almost anyone on earth and their first thoughts will be those six murders back in late eighteen eighty-eight. In a sea of death and horror at the time, people remember only those six. It’s probably because he was never caught, but giving publicity to brutal murders and the perpetrator felt… wrong. After a hundred years, the line between murderer and celebrity blurred to the point of nonexistence.
I made my way past the start of the Jack the Ripper tour, where a large group of people were all waiting for their chance to walk in the steps of history. I continued on to an alley about half way down the street. At the end of the alley stood a large, barrel-chested man in a dark suit.
“He know you’re coming?” he asked in a deep voice.
“No, I thought I’d just pop in. It’s been a while since I’ve last had a good girlie chat.”
“Don’t piss about, Nate. You know he gets shitty if I don’t ask.”
“Yes, Jerry, he knows I’m coming.” I glanced at my watch. “Although I’m about two hours early.”
“Ah fucking hell, he doesn’t like that.” Jerry rubbed the dark goatee that was a few inches long, cut to a point to resemble a hairy spear tip. The cogs turned as he thought what might happen if I went in early. “Okay, you can go in, but if he complains I’ll say you threatened me.”
I stared at the almost seven foot tall, three hundred pound frame of the mountain in front of me. If I threatened him I’d better do it from behind a tank. “Say I used mind control on you,” I suggested.
Jerry smiled and moved aside, showing the door he’d been hiding. He pulled back the steel gate with a nasty creak and nodded as I opened the thick wooden door and stepped inside.
On my first trip to Jerry’s boss many years previous, I’d expected the door to lead to a small office or shop. Instead it led to a tiny room with dingy white tiles on all the walls. You could go from one end to the other in about three steps. But Jerry certainly wasn’t trying to stop anyone from gaining entrance to a tiny, dirty hole. His presence was to stop people from using the stairs it contained.
Easily the length of the longest tube station escalators, the stairs started in the tiny room and led down. I followed them as the lights on the stairs flared to life, illuminating the same dingy white tiles lining the walls.
After a few steps the door behind me slammed shut. A rush of air flew over the back of my neck and I sighed.
“You know the whole creepy vibe doesn’t really work well when I’ve been here dozens of times before.” I continued to the bottom of the stairs and out onto an abandoned subway station. It was so old, that no one knew its original name. I’d heard that it wasn’t even on any of the old underground maps. A nice little hidey hole, tucked away for use only by a select few.
At one end of the small station platform was an archway, which led to the portion between where I was and an identical platform on the other side of the station. It contained a makeshift shop with dozens of items all set out on dark wooden shelves and benches. More items hung from metal hooks, welded to a large metallic grate next to an arch identical to the one I’d walked under. A middle aged man sat behind a large metal desk. He was examining a pocket watch through an eyepiece. His other eye was covered with a black patch.
He looked up at me. “You’re early.” He brushed his long grey hair off his shoulders, revealing a deep scar along one cheek.
I glanced at the huge man sitting in the corner, his arms crossed over his gargantuan chest. He nodded at me once and went back to pretending to be invisible.
“Robert will never speak to you, Nathanial,” the middle-aged man said.
“Too well trained,” I said. “And the name is Nate, or Nathan. You know this, Francis.”
The man smiled and gestured towards the silent bodyguard, who opened his mouth to show a stub where his tongue should have been. “You see, someone cut it off a long time ago. He cannot talk.”
For all the times I’d been to see Francis, his bodyguard’s lack of tongue had never come up before. I just thought he was quiet. “I’m sorry,” I said to Robert. His shrug suggested he’d gotten used to it long ago.
“And why do you care what I call you? Do you even know if Nathan is your real name?”
“No matter what I may have been called, I’m now Nate. That’s real enough for me.”
Francis waved away my concerns. “So, Nate, did you bring it?”
A small smile spread across my lips. “Of course I brought it. You hire me and I deliver.”
I removed the satin pouch from my pocket and placed it on the shining counter by Francis. He hungrily spilled the contents onto a velvet cloth.
“I take it that little book is exactly what you wanted.”
Francis carefully turned the leather bound book over and over in his hands, a smile of glee across his lips. “Do you have any idea what this is?”
“It’s a book. I assume an old, expensive one.”
“It’s a very old copy of the Iliad.”
“Someone wanted a copy of Homer’s Iliad? Couldn’t they get one from the library?”
“A client requested that I find her a copy. A very specific copy in fact.”
“Why that copy?”
Francis shrugged, causing his hair to spill over his shoulders. “No idea. But she paid quarter of a million for it. And for that I don’t ask too many questions.”
I couldn’t help but smile. “Oh yeah, getting paid that much money for an old book is perfectly normal.”
The noise from the man in the corner almost sounded like a chuckle. Francis didn’t seem to find the humour in it. “I did check her out, Nathanial,” he said tersely. “But this book is nearly two thousand years old. The amount of money I was paid for this is but a fraction of its true value.”
I knew Francis was exaggerating, but I decided it was best just to take his point and let him live in his moment of happiness. “So do I get paid then?”
Francis carefully inserted the book back into the pouch and placed it on the counter, which he reached under and withdrew a small black bag. “Fifty grand,” he said. “And more importantly, you no longer owe me any favours.”
I had no concerns that he was going to steal it back from me, or that he’d have his men attack me. That wouldn’t be good for business. Contrary to popular belief, there is honour amongst thieves. It just comes in a green paper form.
Francis had been the man to not only tell me about the world I live in, but also explain magic. He explained that a sorcerer’s magic is bound to two different schools. The first is Elemental—water, earth, fire and air. Most users of magic start in this school, the magic I’d used in my target’s bedroom was air, hence the white glyphs which crossed over my arms. Each type of magic corresponds to a different colour glyph—orange for fire, green for earth and blue for water.
Sorcerers start by learning one form of magic in the Elemental school. But over time, anywhere from decades to centuries, they can learn a second. In my case the second element I had control over is fire, meaning I was a lot older than my early thirties appearance suggested. This second form can never be the opposite to one already learnt, so I could never learn earth or water magic, no matter how much I tried.
The second school of magic was called Omega magic. The magic is too powerful to be wielded by a novice. For this reason, any sorcerer wishing to use Omega magic is usually millennia old at least. It consisted of mind, matter, shadow and light. As with the Elemental school, each magic corresponded to a different colour, although I wasn’t powerful enough to use any of the four types.
Over the years, I’d heard rumours of a third school. Blood magic. But I’d never found anyone willing or knowledgeable enough to talk about it at length. The only thing I did learn—it scares the shit out of people.
“The robbery isn’t on the news yet,” he said, bringing me out of the memory of his teachings. “How did it go?”
I stuffed the money in my backpack. “Easily. Footballers have too much money.”
Francis chuckled. “Do you have any other jobs on?”
I shook my head. “I plan on relaxing for a few weeks.”
“When you need more work let me know. I can always find something for you to… acquire for me.”
“Enjoy the book,” I told Francis, who hurried away to make a phone call. I said my good-byes and left the station, opening the main entrance door and nodding to Jerry as I stepped back outside into the daylight.
The cold, crisp air was a bit of a shock to the system after the heated underground, but I soon warmed up once I‘d made my way back to the tube station.
As I descended the steps, deep in thought about the possibility of some time off, an attractive young blonde woman bumped into me, brushing her hand against mine. I was about to apologise when suddenly my world started to spin. I steadied myself against the side of the stairwell as noise rang in my ears. By the time I’d recovered, I’d noticed that the mystery woman hadn’t even paused. She’d continued on her journey up out the mouth of the tube entrance, vanishing into the increasing crowds above. I darted up the stairs after her, but searching produced no results. I rubbed my hand where she’d touched it and wondered what had just happened. I wasn’t poisoned, I was certain of that, and the noise and dizziness had left me as suddenly as it had arrived. Maybe I was tired, or maybe my memories were beginning to come back. Either way I felt normal once again, so I shook my head and continued on my journey.
If you’re a book reviewer and are interested in receiving a copy of Crimes Against magic for review, please contact me here with your name and URL of your blog/website. I’m also available for Interviews/Guest Blogs and Giveaways. Thanks!
I’m happy to exchange author interviews or blog posts. If anyone is interested in hosting me, then I’ll gladly host you. Please contact me here with your name and URL of your blog/website. Thanks!
It’s going to be a short one this week, mostly because I’m trying to finish book 2 before the end of March (or at least get the draft and edits done) as well as get Crimes Against Magic ready.
I actually had a whole piece ready about what software I use to aid me in my writing, I’ll probably post it next week. In the meantime. I’ve got something a bit more exciting to share.
After weeks of waiting, I’m finally ready to reveal the cover to Crimes Against Magic, created by my very talented friend Eamon O’Donoghue.
It feels almost weird that my cover is right there. Weird but very, very cool.
As those of you who read my introduction know, I’ll be self-publishing my very first book this year. In fact the publishing date will be in early April.
It’s both exciting and terrifying, rapidly switching from one to the other depending on how often I remember how much work I’ve got to do. Apart from getting the book ready, I’ve got to sort out reviews, marketing and still get book 2 finished, but we’ll talk about that last point at a later date.
For now, here’s some information about the first book – Crimes Against Magic
It’s been almost ten years since Nathan Garrett woke on a cold warehouse floor with nothing but a gun, a sword, and no idea of who he was or how he got there. His only clue … a piece of paper with his name on it. Since then, he’s discovered he’s a powerful sorcerer and has used his abilities to work as a thief for hire. But he’s never stopped hunting for his true identity, but those who erased his memory have never stopped hunting for him. When the barrier holding his past captive begins to crumble, Nathan swears to protect a young girl who is key to his enemy’s plans. But with his enemies closing in, and everyone he cares about becoming a target for their wrath, Nathan is forced to choose between the life he’s built for himself and the one buried deep inside him.
Crimes Against Magic is an Urban Fantasy set in modern day London with Historical flashbacks to early fifteenth century France. It’s the first in a series of books called the Hellequin Chronicles, which shows the life of Nathan (Nate) Garrett, a sixteen-hundred year old sorcerer.
In the coming weeks I’ll talk about the various things I’ll be doing to get the book ready to go and unveil the cover once it’s finished. Like I said, both exciting and terrifying.
That’s it for this week, short and sweet. For now I’m off to do more work on book 2 and check the grammar and spelling in Crimes Against Magic. Again.