Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Cover Reveal - Sacrifice of An Angel (Cozy Mystery) by Sophie Duncan and Natasha Duncan-Drake

Welcome to the cover reveal for the relaunch of 
Sacrifice of An Angel (The Haward Mysteries #1).

Sacrifice of An Angel, new cover 2016
Sacrifice of An Angel was one of the first books Tash and I published back in 2011. We have learned a great deal since then, and we decided this murder mystery entwined with magic deserved some more love.

Hence, in January 2016Sacrifice of An Angel is getting a relaunch, which includes a re-edit and this wonderful new cover.

Inspired by both the Golden Age of Detective Fiction and our love of contemporary fantasy, Tash and I like to think of the The Haward Mysteries Series as Midsomer Murders meets Harry Potter, which, basically, puts it plum in the middle of the cozy mysteries genre, something we had never heard of when the book was first published, but now we feel this series has found its true home :).

What do you think?


For information about Sophie's books, sign up for The Wittegen Press Newsletter:

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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Wittegen Press Seeking Pre-Release Reviewers for eBooks

Wittegen Press Seeking Pre-Release Reviewers for eBooks

So Tasha and I are currently looking for people who would be willing to be pre-release reviewers for Wittegen Press. Before you click on to another page, this involves FREE books :).

We are seeking individuals who would be willing to read and give honest reviews of advanced copies (ARCs) of our books prior to general release. If you would be interested please:
  1. Fill in the Google Form at the bottom of this post.
  2. If you are accepted we will then add you to the Wittegen Press Reviewers mailing list.
Don't worry, people on the mailing list will NOT be expected to review all books. We totally understand that there are times when we all do not have time to drop everything to read a book or a particular book may not be within our genres of choice.

The system for reviewing will be as follows:
  1. An email will be sent to the Wittegen Press Reviewers list with details of the book to be reviewed.
  2. Those interested in reviewing it will respond by filling in a Google form for that book.
  3. We will select a group of reviewers from the pool.
  4. Those selected will be sent an ARC of the book in their format of choice with the proviso they will read it within a certain time, which will be stipulated with each book.
  5. If we have more reviewers than required, those not selected in that particular instance will be notified.
  6. Individuals will then give an honest review of the book at Amazon and any other places they frequent on the web.
Many thanks to all those who are interested.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Birthday Bargains! 50-100% OFF eBooks

Birthday Bargains! 50-100% OFF eBooks

It's my birthday :)

Coincidentally it's also my darling twin, Tasha's birthday too, shocking I know ;), and we have decided to celebrate by giving back to our readers and having a
1 day sale on our eBooks.

Most of our 99c books are FREE today and our other books are all 50% off.

The links will take you to Smashwords where you can use the code below each book at the checkout stage and it will give you the listed discount. Smashwords has formats for all eBook readers.

Instructions for those unfamiliar with uploading files to their eReader:

Kobo | Kindle | Nook (FAQ Library 12.)


50% OFF
Code: YK56E ($2.99 $1.50)
Code: NL76B ($3.99 $2.00)
Code: RC88P ($3.29 $1.65)
Code: TW59A ($2.99 $1.50)
Code: NK42G ($2.99 $1.50)
Code: JH96V ($3.29 $1.65)
Code: HY46X ($1.99 $0.99)
Code: AB22K ($1.99 $0.99)
Code: HQ98K ($1.99 $0.99)
Code: EL44K ($2.99 $1.50)
Code: UK22K ($3.99 $2.00)
Code: FS25R ($1.99 $0.99)
Code: EU58T ($1.99 $0.99)
Code: DB24G ($2.99 $1.50)
Code: TR76G ($2.99 $1.50)

And of course there are still our permanently free books as well.
Permanently FREE

If you would like 2 more FREE eBooks, just subscribe to our Wittegen Press Newsletter using the form below. If you were already a subscriber you would have had all this information earlier to give you more time to pick up the bargains.

We'll send you details of book releases, competitions and other news from our authors, BUT we WON'T spam you, or pass your details on to anyone else.
Wittegen Press

We will also give you 2 FREE ebooks just for signing up.

* indicates required

Thursday, 19 November 2015

777 Challenge - Page 7, Line 7, 7 Sentences of your WIP

I was tagged by Natasha Duncan-Drake for the 777 challenge, so here I go :).

777 Challenge
Page 7, Line 7, 7 Sentences

The 777 challenge requires you go to Page 7 of your work-in-progress, scroll down to Line 7 and share the next 7 sentences in a blog post. Once you have done this, you can tag 7 other bloggers to do the same with their work-in-progress. (see further down for those tagged), so here I go :).

So, my WIP is called, Witch Blood. It's the second in The Night Blood Chronicles:,
When coming of age means a taste for blood. Tom Franklin is haunted by his dreams, nightmarish images of dark places and even darker instincts. Learning they are repressed memories from his early childhood, Tom must face the heritage from his birth-father, a savage vampire known only as Raxos.

Page 7 of my word document takes the reader into Tom's memories of when he was with his father as a small child. The first book, Night Blood, dealt with revelations and extremes of emotions, but in Witch Blood, Tom is beginning to explore what his father's heritage means to him, and that involves remembering what it meant when he was a child.
He [Tom] wobbled a bit, because everything was blurry and he kept thinking about the taste of the blood in his mouth. It was gone now, clean like his face and hands, that Papa had wiped, but he was still tingling with the excitement of chasing the rabbit and he kept remembering the bite. It took him a moment to realise they had stopped and he just stood there when Papa crouched down to his level. Papa smiled at him. Tommy blinked back.
[You did well tonight, Tommy], Papa praised and he felt pride that was not his own slip into the back of his thoughts.
The happy feeling slowly made Tommy smile too, but it was one of those funny times when he knew it wasn't all him...
 Thanks for reading, I hope this excerpt piqued your interest.

So, now I am tagging these wonderful writers:

Good luck to you all! :D

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Book Review: The Haunting of Highdown Hall by Shani Struthers

A slow starter, this book grew on me.

The Haunting of Highdown Hall (Psychic Surveys, #1)The Haunting of Highdown Hall by Shani Struthers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this story, and since it's set in Sussex, the county right next door to my own, I enjoyed the localness of it all as well. The only reason I didn't give this book 5 stars is that it deviates into explanations quite a lot: there's far too much of the author telling me what she knows about the local area and not just what, as the reader, I need to know.

The book starts well - a flashback to Christmas Eve 1958 and an English movie star, Cynthia Hart, celebrating her 31st birthday. She's a diva, she's a flirt, she drives men wild - and she dies that night of a heart attack. However, when we arrive back in the 21st Century, the first few pages dive into a totally unnecessary background information dump that could have been achieved in the first scene with the modern-day characters, Ruby Davis and her band of psychics.

Despite this detour, the start had intrigued me enough that I kept reading, and, gradually Ruby began to grow on me. This is a book that sounds written from the heart. Shani wants to tell me everything about Lewes that both she and Ruby clearly adore - it's just that most of the time I didn't need to know all that detail and I did end up skipping whole paragraphs that I began to recognise as the 'local colour' ones.

I actually ended up really enjoying this story. The characters are interesting and convincing, the plot, which is concerned with finding out why Cynthia is still in the manor she called home, had some twists that kept me reading, and I read the whole second half of the book in one sitting. I liked it enough to go and buy the second book in the series.

View all my reviews

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Share a Scare - Spooky tales - Halloween Blog Hop 2015 + Trick-or-Treat Blog Hop

Welcome to Share a Scare - the Halloween Blog Hop 2015. This hop is all about sharing scary stories, art and ideas (see below for details of other participants) and today I am going to share with you a scary story.

So I'm going to tell you about something that happened to me a few years ago. I have taken some dramatic licence, but the bare facts are true :). I've combined some characters in the story, so don't expect to recognise yourself ;). I have also changed the name of the hotel, all I will say is that it is a very nice one in the middle of the Kent countryside.

Expecting Company?
by Sophie Duncan

I yawned, put down my empty glass, and then smiled at Lucy, one of my IT colleagues who was helping me prop up the bar as the whole team gradually drifted to bed.

"Well, I have to say that was better than the average team building event," I offered as I slipped off my stool.

"Yeah, we can pat ourselves on the back as part of the organising committee," Lucy agreed, finishing her own drink.

I shrugged: I didn't feel I'd done a whole lot, just thrown in some ideas at the start of the planning process.

"And now we get the perk of staying in the main house," Lucy beamed, as if that was a wonderful thing.

I bit my lip, because this is the bit I'd been dreading all evening, because I'd looked up the history of the place and, well, I'd have rather been in the new build sections of the Manor House Hotel. The reason was some suggestions on various websites that the main manor, after which the place had been named, was haunted. I didn't know which number room, but, knowing my luck, I was going to get it.

I said goodnight to Lucy and, exhausted by a day of team building exercises and an evening of games, I plodded off to find out what my room number actually was. All that had been handled by hotel staff when we arrived, so it wasn't until I was given a key by the front desk that I discovered my room was number 8. I'd never been to the hotel before, so I had no idea what to expect, so, when I opened the door I have to say, my jaw dropped: the place was palatial.

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$3.99 | £2.87
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Hotel rooms I'd been used to for business trips were the kind where the bathroom is usually to one side as you walk in and then the bed and a desk and a TV fill the rest of the room. This place left me thinking if I spoke too loud it might echo. Beautiful period decorations ran round the walls and the windows were huge, their curtains, in dark blue, fall from ceiling to floor. As I crossed the large space between door and bed, passing a table as I went, I discovered the carpet wasn't your average hotel carpet either. And then there was the bed, oh my god, and it deserved the use of that exclamation, because it was huge, and I don't just mean width. It was king sized luxury raised on a platform, and the bed itself was also tall enough, so that when I walked up to it, the top of the mattress met my waist. Now, I'm not short, but that bed took a run up, a dive and a scrabble for me to get onto it - not the most dignified of ascents on the mattress mountain and I was glad there was no-one to see me!

Or at least, right then I was too busy with logistics to think there was anyone watching.

Of course, once I was up on the bed, there was the issue that I hadn't unpacked, performed my normal ablutions before sleep, or anything like that, so I was going to have to get off, but I lay back and enjoyed the luxury for a minute. I think it was the moment I paused that I first felt uncomfortable. Maybe I was predisposed to thinking something was wrong, after all, I have a very active imagination and it had been well primed about the hotel, but I was used to hotel rooms as I travelled a lot for business, and I don't usually scare myself with the lights on! Therefore, when the bridge of my nose began to itch and the hair on top of my head raised, I found myself glancing around the room. There was nothing to see, just the very nice decor, but I still kept looking over to the far wall, not sure why, but uneasy about looking anyway.

Nerves, or not, however, I needed to get some sleep if I was going to be fit for breakfast and the travel back to the office the next day. So, I made the descent off 'mount poshbed', which was much more elegant than the ascent, and, grabbing my bag, headed into the bathroom. The bathroom was equal in stature to the rest of the room with a huge shower in one corner that looked like I needed a manual to be able to turn it on, and a beautifully shaped sink. So, I washed, I changed into my night clothes and then I headed to bed.

Scrabble, scrabble, flop and I was back in bed and this time snuggling under the crisp sheet and blankets. My usual routine for hotels was then to flick out the light, pull the bedclothes up to my nose and disappear into the multitude of pillows that are available to a single person in a double bed. This time, however, I flicked off the light and, thanks to its blackout curtains, the whole room disappeared in darkness. It took all of ten seconds for my hackles to rise and then I flicked the light right back on again.

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I know, I know, I just panicked, and I can't explain why, but I just knew instantly that I did not want that room to be invisible to me. I actually sat up staring round the room for a good few minutes, not really knowing what I was looking for. Eventually, though, a yawn reminded me I was actually tired and so I compromised, I turned off the main light, leaving one of the bedside lamps alight. That meant there were some cooky shadows from the mouldings on the walls and ceiling, but I could still see everything. Finally, then, I lay back down and yanked the blankets up over my head.

When I get to sleep, nothing short of an earthquake will wake me, in fact I have slept through storms that brought down trees outside my window. However, I do take a really long time to get to sleep and, with my nerves prickling, I knew that night was going to be an even longer toss-turn session. I did slip into a dose a couple of times, I think, but what with the light and the need to glance around the room every few minutes, by 2am I was beginning to wonder if sleep was a total loss.

I don't know what happened then, the clock wasn't chiming ominously or anything, but my nerves went from, I'm-being-silly-but-there's-nothing-I-can-do-about-it to shit-shit-shit-I-really-don't-like-this, and I sat bolt upright staring around at all those damn shadows the side light was creating. There was nothing in front of my eyes, nor my ears, but that sense no human admits to having in the light of day, the one that kicks in the flight response before you even think about it, that one was telling me something was not right and my attention zeroed down on the right hand corner of the room, right next to the dark, velvet curtains.

Well, my focus might have been being drawn over there, but I didn't want to look. I did the only thing I could think to take my mind of the standoff between me and my flight response, I turned on the TV. Now, this, like the rest of the room, was no ordinary TV, it was a huge wide screen job that matched the size of everything else. It was a pity the programming in the early hours was not as impressive. I spent the next interminable hours in the company of a mixture of old, old drama and infomercials. And all the time, I kept glancing back into that corner. I didn't fall asleep until the sky lightened and I opened the curtains nearest to me.

I never did see anything, but I was very, very glad our work event only involved one overnight stay.


Do you have any spooky experiences you'd like to share - tell me about them below?


Today my sister and I are also participating in this hop over at Wittegen Press too, where there is a free spooky book from us for all our visitors to download. From tomorrow (1st Nov) it will be for sale, but if you want it FREE - go GET IT NOW :). Wittegen Press - Share a Scare - Free Fiction - Halloween Blog Hop 2015

Plus, there there are lots of other folks who are also sharing a scare, so check them out below.

Share a Scare participants:

Today we are also part of The Trick-or-Treat Blog Hop - where the idea is to give away books instead of candy to those who comment.
Trick or Treat Blog Hop
  The Trick-or-Treat Blog Hop

These are the book I have on offer - I can send either a Smashwords code (means you will be able to redownload the file if you ever lose it - ePub, Kindle, pdf, rtf, lrf, pdb, txt) or the book file directly (Kindle, ePub, PDF).

Please let me know what you would like when you comment as well as the book title you are requesting (click the book image to visit the full book listing).

In The Event of Death When Darkness Beckons Book of Darkness Cursed

Trick-or-Treat participants:

About the blogger: Sophie Duncan is an author of genre fiction from paranormal adventure to murder mystery. For information about Sophie's books, sign up for The Wittegen Press Newsletter:

We'll send you details of book releases, competitions and other news from our authors, BUT we WON'T spam you, or pass your details on to anyone else.
Wittegen Press

We will also give you 2 FREE ebooks just for signing up.

* indicates required