BOOK: Faith
AUTHOR: Chris Parker
Hello everyone! Here’s presenting an excerpt from CHRIS PARKER’S FAITH
Mike Coopland QC hadn’t slept all night. He hadn’t even tried.
Instead he had walked up and down his large, south-facing lounge
rehearsing his opening speech, letting his mind race from one
aspect of the case to another, connecting the dots.
He had made his first cup of coffee half an hour ago. Now he
was on his second. He’d pour the third at 5.30. On trial day the
caffeine barely affected his system; he was too adrenalised for that.
Three strong early morning coffees were simply part of his pre-
trial routine. Just like staying awake all night and prowling the
lounge. Like having a single slice of toast for breakfast instead of
his usual porridge. Like making sure he arrived at court ninety
minutes before the trial was due to start. The pre-trial routine
was an essential part of his success. It meant he was ready before
everyone else. It put him several steps ahead before the race to
battle even started.
Mike stopped pacing, drank a mouthful of coffee, and looked
at the framed photo taken on the day he had been appointed a
Queen’s Counsel; the day he taken silk. His wife, Gemma, was
standing on his right. His two daughters, Sally and Joanne, were
on his left. He was standing there, arms reaching out around them
all, proud as punch, a huge self-satisfied smile on his face.
The photo had been taken twelve years ago. He could remember
it as if it were yesterday. Twelve years of prosecuting and defending
some of the most challenging cases seemed to have gone by in a
flash. But even with twelve year’s experience trial day still made
him tremble with adrenalin, still made his mind race.
Mike found it irresistible. Confidence came with the adrenalin.
Confidence spiced by the memories of his rare defeats – and just
how painful they had been. He was, he knew, part of the best legal
system in the world. Its combative nature brought out the best in
all concerned. No one wanted to lose. For all sorts of reasons.
‘Imagine trying to explain to the world that to be a great silk you
have to be an addict.’ Mike looked at his younger self, still holding
on to the bodybuilder’s physique even though he had stopped
training a few months before the photo was taken. ‘Wouldn’t that
shock and confuse more than a few people?’
He finished his coffee and turned away from the photograph, his
mind switching back to his courtroom narrative. He ran through
the content and the style, the sequencing, the key messages he
needed to share to the jury and the facts he could offer to support
his version of events.
As he taught less experienced barristers, to convince a jury you
not only had to tell the most plausible story, you had to be the
most believable and engaging storyteller. You also had to know
how to turn the jury against your opposition.
When all was said and done, people were influenced by other
people far more than they were by so-called facts.
Mike had known that forever.
Now he was a master at telling a good story whilst making jurors
like him and dislike anyone who tried to tell a different version.
And, no matter how concerned Peter Jones was about Ethan’s
ability to influence or, even, hypnotise people around him, Mike’s
storytelling experience coupled with the way he would ensure
Ethan was presented to the court should make it a slam dunk.
‘And that’s why this particular trial is going to be – ’
‘- Who are you talking to?’
Mike spun round. Joanne was standing in the frame of the
open door. Her long auburn hair was tousled. Sixteen years old.
Precocious. Argumentative. Demanding to be treated as an adult
every time she didn’t get her own way. Still wearing Mickey Mouse
‘I was running through my opening speech, getting myself
ready. What are you doing up so early?’
‘Couldn’t sleep. Came downstairs for a glass of water. Mr
Tomkins says revision and rehearsal the night before a test only
get in the way of a good performance. He says if you’ve prepared
properly the best thing to do is forget about it and make sure you
have a good night’s sleep.’
‘And when, pray, did Mr Tomkins ever try a case in Crown
Joanne shrugged. ‘He’s been in charge of Upper School for
ever, he’s helped thousands of kids do well in their exams. He
must know something. He says last minute revision only affects
the short-term memory, and proper revision means that you get
things fixed in your long-term memory.’
‘Perhaps I should see if I can arrange a lesson with Mr Tomkins?’
‘Don’t see the point.’
‘You’re not the learning type.’ Another shrug. ‘I mean, you must
have been once. You must have been good at it then. But you’re
too fixed now. I think the rut’s too deep for even Mr Tompkins to
get you out of.’
‘Thank you for the vote of confidence.’
‘Just keeping it real.’
‘Real, young lady, is the – ’
‘- Best story, best told. I know. You’ve told us a million times.
That’s my point. I’ve never heard you say anything different.’
‘That’s because it’s true.’
‘You don’t deal only in the truth. You’ve told us that, too. You
said you also have to make people believe you. You’re a good
belief-sharer. And you wouldn’t be so successful at that if the jury
saw you in your dressing gown talking to yourself in the dark.’
‘Once you have created a system that works for you, it makes
sense to keep using it. I’m sure Mr Tompkins must have told you
something about that?’
‘Fair point.’ At least this time he earned the briefest of nods.
‘But a good learner would have worked out how to streamline
their preparation after all these years. They wouldn’t just stick
automatically to the same old thing time after time. That’s more
like superstition than professional practice. Anyway, I’m going
back to bed. Hope you slay ‘em.’
Mike heard her bare feet on the first steps of the staircase. He
realised he was open-mouthed. For the first time ever his pre-
trial routine had been disrupted and demolished. Suddenly, the
adrenalin wasn’t filling him with confidence. He took a large
swallow of his coffee and pulled a face. It was cold.
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BOOK: Raven’s gathering

AUTHOR: Graeme Cumming

Hello everyone! check out the excerpt of RAVEN’S GATHERING by GRAEME CUMMING

In the darkness of his bedroom, he wondered for a moment whether the drums had just been part of a dream. Then he heard something familiar from downstairs. The rhythmic rattle of a latch hitting a strike plate. It was the sound his mother regularly complained about when he came in from playing and didn’t close the door properly. Someone had left a door open, and it was swinging back and forth in the night air.

Sitting up in bed, he rubbed the sleep from his eyes. In truth, the sleep was illusory, the pause an unconscious effort to give him a moment to rein in his emotions. And those were wide and varied, covering a range that ran from puzzlement to fear. He realised it must be the middle of the night. The only illumination was the faint glow of a nearby streetlamp through his curtains. So why would his parents leave a door open?

His bed was close to the window, so he pushed the bedclothes back and knelt up, leaning forward to lift a curtain to one side. The street was deserted. Looking to the left, he saw no sign of life. To the right, there was barely enough light to see anything. Just one streetlamp 50 yards away, then nothing.

He had hoped a quick look outside might explain everything, but it didn’t. Now he had to face the prospect of getting out of bed and negotiating the darkness of the house. And the first thing he had to concern himself with was the crocodile under the bed.

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Hello everyone! check out the excerpt of CALCULATED DECEPTION by K.T.LEE

Before the week was over, two FBI agents wearing Indiana Polytechnic sweatshirts and carrying shoulder bags arrived at the mechanical engineering building at 8:55 a.m., just before Dr. Ryland’s first class. If their intel was accurate, her colleague had left for a conference the previous day, and Dr. Ryland’s shared office would be empty inside of five minutes. While Mike and Parker preferred to perform the search at night, when the risk of being caught was lower, Dr. Ryland wouldn’t be careless enough to leave anything important behind in the evenings. Since Enterprise, Indiana, wasn’t usually the epicenter of FBI investigations, this part should be straightforward. Still, Parker had been in the business long enough to know that things often went sideways when you least expected it, and saying anything was “straightforward” was one of the best ways to invite disaster onto your investigation.

Parker and Mike both wore earpieces so they could talk freely without too much notice, even though Dr. Ryland’s office wasn’t on a busy floor. There was no sense in being careless just because there weren’t many people around. Mike edged into the lead position as the two men changed their respective paces to put some distance between them. When Parker caught up to his partner, Mike had positioned his back in a corner. This spot would give him visibility down both hallways that led to the automotive safety lab and his phone would stream the surveillance feed from adjacent hallways. Parker would depend on Mike for defense, and a camera embedded in Parker’s glasses would collect evidence without him needing to extract anything physical during his search. It was as good as it was going to get, considering they were conducting a covert search on a busy campus in broad daylight.

When Parker reached Dr. Ryland’s office, he eased the door shut behind him and began to work. Given the time constraints, he kept his search localized to the office space.

Mike waited a few minutes before giving in to his curiosity; impressive, considering Mike didn’t have a lot of patience and was used to watching a live feed. “Finding anything, buddy?”

“Nothing yet,” Parker said, as he flipped through the files in Dr. Ryland’s desk drawer. Fortunately, the weather was cool, and it looked as if Parker just hadn’t removed his leather gloves upon coming inside, rather than his more calculated motivation of ensuring he wouldn’t leave fingerprints behind. The lab was lined with windows to the hallway, but there was a door separating the lab and the office. He had closed it upon his arrival to minimize exposure, noting the position so he could open it back up again before he left. Parker lifted stacks of papers on her desk and flipped through them. He took a few minutes to read the contents of the papers but didn’t find anything outside of a lot of calculations and diagrams. He carefully arranged them back into the neat, color-coded pile he had found them in. It took a few extra moments, but his attention to detail would ensure he left no evidence of his visit. He pulled out his lock picks and went to work on the only locked desk drawer, briefly glancing at the clock to note the time he had left. The simple lock clicked open and he began to examine the contents of the drawer.

“Shit.” Parker’s body tensed. While he had been reminding his brain that she might be guilty, his gut thought they were chasing the wrong lead. However, he had misjudged the seemingly good-natured Dr. Ryland. “Mikey, she brings the gun to work.” Parker carefully lifted a gun with the muzzle pointing at the floor from Dr. Ryland’s handbag so Mike could see it on video later as adrenaline seeped through his system.

“What is it?”

“Small Glock with a trigger lock.”

“A criminal that locks up her piece out of her possession near the scene of the crime? Too easy, Parker. Keep looking.” Since Mikey was occasionally right, Parker bit his tongue instead of telling his partner that not all criminals were masterminds, and sometimes evidence was easy to find. Parker placed his hand back inside the bag, and his shoulders relaxed a fraction as his mood flipped from angry to amused.

“I just found her concealed carry permit. It matches her purse. Did you know you could buy a purse with a gun pocket and matching concealed carry case?” Parker quipped. Dr. Ryland wasn’t off the hook, but in his years at the Bureau, he hadn’t found a lot of hardened criminals who kept the appropriate paperwork in a stylish case next to a secured weapon. He placed the weapon and paperwork back into the handbag and fiddled with the inexpensive drawer lock until it clicked back into position. Checking his watch, Parker quickly mounted a small surveillance camera in the vent over Dr. Ryland’s desk.

“Class lets out in five minutes, P, and the hallways are about to get busy. You need to get a move on,” Mike’s voice reminded him. Parker opened the door between the lab and the office to precisely the same position he had found it in and took one last look to ensure her office showed no evidence of his visit. It would be nearly impossible to know he’d been there, and while he didn’t have the information he needed, they had a surveillance camera in place. It was a start.

After her class, Ree dropped into her chair, and the air hissed out of the old cushion in response. Teaching could be both exhilarating and exhausting. She swiveled the chair, then placed her feet on the floor to come to a sudden stop. Something was off. Straightening the stack of papers in front of her, she did a quick scan of her lab and made a mental note that she needed to find a lab assistant this semester. Yes, something was definitely off – the lab door usually swung back a bit from full open, no matter how hard she pushed it, but it didn’t seem like it was in the same spot it always settled into. Maybe maintenance had worked on the door or something. Besides, it was just a door, and it wasn’t off by more than a fraction of a degree. Between almost hitting the ceiling when a student came to talk to her several days prior and thinking that same student was trying to hit on her, her internal radar was off in a big way and obviously could not be trusted. Shaking her head to clear it, she opened her laptop and started checking emails when she heard a tap on her door.

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BOOK: The Cold Cold Sea

AUTHOR: Linda Huber

GENRE: Suspense

Hello ladies and gentlemen, I’m hosting the blog tour of THE COLD COLD SEA by LINDA HUBER. Here’s an excerpt from the book that would make you want to read more from it.

The day after Olivia’s disappearance, and the strain is increasing for Maggie and Colin.

Back at the cottage, the helicopter had gone. Howard had told them it would only be searching at low tide today, and the thought that it would be looking for a dead child felt unreal to Maggie. Yesterday’s agony was gone, along with today’s brief hope, and in their place the new heaviness was making every movement so difficult she didn’t know how she was managing to stay upright. She was moving into uncharted waters now. Whatever happened, her life would never be the same again. And with every second that passed, the already miniscule likelihood of getting Livvy back alive was growing smaller, and the dread of what was almost certainly coming was quite unbearable.

Colin strode into the bedroom and yanked the case out from under the bed. He pulled clothes from the wardrobe, squashing t-shirts, jeans, everything in any old way. There was no expression on his face now but Maggie could tell by the set of his jaw that he was at the limit of his endurance.

‘Col, we can’t leave now,’ she said, standing in the doorway. ‘We have to be here in case… when…’

He stared at her, his lips pressed together. He was furious, she could tell, but when he spoke his voice was quiet. Not a gentle kind of quiet, though, but guarded, as if he was afraid of saying too much.

‘Maggie, I just can’t look at you and think of what happened. I have to get away. I’m going to Looe; I promised Joe I’d be back before bedtime. You stay on here if you want, or go back to Carlton Bridge. You know they won’t find her alive now.’

‘No,’ she said, reaching out to him, but he pushed past her to get his things from the bathroom. ‘Colin. Please. We have to get through this together. Joe needs us to be his–’

‘Livvy needed us too,’ he said, and his use of the past tense hurt her even more than the news that it had been a girl called Meredith she’d spent so long staring at today, not Livvy. She watched as he finished packing and then followed him out to the car. He was going to leave again, and this time he wasn’t going to come back.

‘Please, Colin, please don’t go.’

‘No, Maggie. I just– I can’t.’

He flung himself into the driving seat and stabbed the key into the ignition.

This time she didn’t wave as the car bumped away from the cottage.

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BOOK: Bone Deep

AUTHOR: Sandra Ireland

GENRE: Mystery


BONE DEEP by SANDRA IRELAND is a sick and twisted story dating back to secrets of centuries ago.

A young girl, exempted from her house, comes to a new place for a job as an assistant to an aged woman author. They both are extreme personalities and learn to live with each other. They both have some secrets that could ruin lives. Learning to start life anew, they both struggle with their inner demons and their ever changing circumstances. And just when you think you have seen it all, the climax will reveal a secret that will shake you to your core.


It is a book that once picked up, will not be put down until finished. It is such a twisted book that you have to close it once in a while to catch your breath. The character development, entwinment with past, and story line will keep you hooked till the ending.

The author has done a commendable job on this book. The reference to history and including it in the present reflect the work of an artist. The contrast between old and young, & old and new, will fascinate the readers and will them crave for more work by the author.


Sandra Ireland was born in Yorkshire, lived for many years in limerick, and is now based in Carnoustie. She began her writing career as a correspondent on a local newspaper but quickly realised that fiction is much more intriguing than fact. In 2013, Sandra was awarded a Carnegie-Cameron scholarship to study writing practice and study at the University of Dundee, and she graduated with a distinction in 2014. Her work has appeared in various publications and women’s magazines. Her first novel, Beneath the Skin, as published by Polygon in 2016.

Bone Deep






BOOK: Implant

AUTHOR: Ray Clark

GENRE: Crime Fiction


Witness a small town’s big tragedy. A sadistic killer is on the loose in the Bramfield town, targeting victims from all walks of life. Detectives Stewart Gardner and Sean Reilly have to race against time in order to catch the killer before its too late. A killer that’s too dangerous and too ruthless, detectives whose life revolve around their duties and people whose life is now in danger, read IMPLANT to get to the chilling climax.

The characters, the plot, the very essence of the book is chilling. you can feel the adrenaline and the need to discover who the culprit is, along with the characters.

The author has done a tremendous job in spinning such a mystery. From the very first page, the book will suck in the readers with its powerful plot and won’t let go even when they are done reading it.


Ray Clark Author Image

The British Fantasy Society published Ray Clark’s first work in 1995 – Manitou Man: The World of Graham Masterton, was nominated for both the World and British Fantasy Awards. In 2009, Ray’s short story, Promises To Keep, made the final shortlist for the best short story award from The Tom Howard Foundation. Ray is based in Goole, and has set his Gardener and Reilly crime series in nearby Leeds.





BOOK: Do No Harm


GENRE: Mystery, Thriller,Suspense

DO NO HARM by L.V.HAY is a thriller and mystery novel destined to make readers go crazy with it’s brilliant and chilling plot.

A couple, trying to start a new life find themselves surrounded by many calamities. The unbearable and psychotic ex-husband, the responsibility of a child and the newness of a new relationship; seem to overwhelm them in a way they weren’t expecting. However, amidst all this, a threat is looming over them and their happiness; and the person behind their woes is the one that you cannot see coming.

Readers reading this book, be prepared to have your mind blown. The plot building, the character development and the mystery, all the factors which make the ‘thriller and mystery’ genre a hit, are all on point. The tale is spun in such a way that it ropes in readers and they cannot put it down until they have discovered everything that is meant to be the suspense.

Kudos to the author for exhibiting such a fine penmanship and creating a memorable tale.