DEAD INSIDE by Noelle Holton @KillerReads @HarperCollins #bookreview #vigilantejustice #crime

It’s always exciting to feature highly anticipated books, in this case DEAD INSIDE by Noelle Holton. I was thrilled to be given an advance reader copy from the publisher (KillerReads) via Netgalley and to be invited on this  exciting Blog Tour.

Book Description

DEAD INSIDE‘Kept me hooked … excellent pace and a very satisfying ending’ Angela Marsons

‘An excellent read’ Martina Cole

‘A brilliant debut – gritty, dark and chilling. Noelle Holten knows her stuff’ Mel Sherratt

A dark and gripping debut crime novel – the first in a stunning new series – from a huge new talent.

The killer is just getting started…

When three wife beaters are themselves found beaten to death, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she is facing her toughest case yet.

The police suspect that Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood – who is connected to all three victims – is hiding a dark secret. Then a fourth domestic abuser is brutally murdered.

And he is Lucy’s husband.

Now the police are running out of time, but can Maggie really believe her friend Lucy is a cold-blooded killer?

Book links:  US flag    US here    British flag     UK here



WOW! WOW! WOW! What a fabulous book AND not surprisingly one of the most anticipated books of the year. Having read the blurb, I was expecting to feel uncomfortable, riled up and then relieved at the end. Any emotions a reader has while reading a book is always down to the writer. What I did find was that Holton has a unique way of intertwining the characters. You soon learn the strong points as well as the deficiencies of the individuals who make up the heart of the story.

Two violent openings – a rape and a murder – mark the overall mood of Dead Inside. Not an easy book as for me, but this is a book that speaks for so many victims who don’t have a voice and made all the more authentic since the research was from Holton’s own professional experience as a PO. That says a lot, in my opinion.

I was blown away by Patrick. What a lowlife! Probably one of the worst characters I’ve ever read in this genre. Every time he staggered back in the house, I could smell the reek of alcohol and feel the tension. It was wild. The more I read, the more I wanted Lucy to seek help earlier, to get Siobhan to safety. I guess I was looking for that open door. But not all victims realize they’re victims, and leading a double life in order to keep her dignity added tension to the pace. The six million dollar question is what you don’t know can’t hurt you.

I don’t think there was any part of this book I didn’t like, and in order to help other readers I try to add equal measures of likes and dislikes. But in this case, there are only likes. I won’t rehash the plot but just say that the ending was one I didn’t see coming. Taking notes helped me to keep up with all the characters. Not that there are that many, is just the different functions of Maggie’s team and Lucy’s family, friends and work colleagues. More from the aspect of trying to work out who was responsible for committing these horrific crimes.

I like the way this author writes. The action scenes are intense and well described leaving the reader to feel as if they are standing to one side watching it all happen. Maggie’s ongoing investigation gets even more interesting as more bodies are added to the death toll. The action intensifies and the puzzle becomes ever more involved.

But from the moment I opened the book, I was drawn in and totally hooked, knowing that I’d be a wreck all day if I didn’t finish it. When a book does that, you know it’s going to be good. The story was the perfect mixture of mystery, thrills, hope and tragedy. Holton did a fantastic job of weaving together each point of view, hitting me with curveball after curveball and leaving me guessing the entire time. Be prepared to read deep into the night just to finish “one more chapter before turning out the light”. I recommend DEAD INSIDE to anyone looking for a writer who delivers a memorable story.

Many thanks to the publisher, @KillerReads @HarperCollins and to Netgalley for the advance copy in exchange for an honest review. And thank you to @BOTBSPublicity for letting me be part of this fabulous Blog Tour.

About the Author

Noelle Holton 2Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and a regular reviewer on the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast. Noelle worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of cases including those involving serious domestic abuse. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, author-stalking and sharing the booklove via her blog.
Dead Inside is her debut novel with Killer Reads/Harper Collins UK and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Connect with Noelle on Social Media here:

Twitter: (@nholten40)
Blog FB page:
Instagram: @crimebookjunkie


New Covers!

Hi everyone.

I’m pleased as punch to tell you that the Detective Temeke Crime series The 9th Hour and Night Eyes are being given two brand new faces. While there are no additions or subtractions to the books themselves, they will soon have a different look.

the-ninth-hour-finalThe third book in the series, Past Rites will also be available in eBook and paperback via all retailers by December 15. Most of all, I want to thank all those who helped spread the word and to the readers who have told me how much they love the series.

But what is it that makes these books so real? Is it the characters themselves, the unique New Mexico landscape, or the extensive research into the finer workings of law enforcement?

For me, I don’t want a book to just amuse me for a few hours. I want a book where my life becomes the book for days on end. If I find a fictional character who is brave, funny, charismatic and suffering from some kind of life trauma, it spurs me on to build an emotional bond with them. I enjoy the messes they create, the pain and the tears, and where I find their problems may not be so different from mine. The big difference is, how they were able to overcome them. How they became a better person in the end.

As I crack on with the fourth Detective Temeke novel, I am reminded how grateful I am to the brave men and women of the Albuquerque Police Department. For taking time out of their busy schedules to teach us about the police department and its many units. I thank God for their sacrifice, their dedication and for their professionalism. And for helping make these stories so real.

img_1765It was a privilege to attend the 50th Citizen Police Academy ‒ a tuition free, twelve-week program designed to introduce members of the community to the Albuquerque Police Department. The Academy is designed to teach citizens about the philosophy, policies, and guiding principles of law enforcement and ethical conduct governing police services in our community. Please see the website here.

This was a three month training which included units such as firearms training, special weapons and tactics, crimes against children, bomb squad, use of force, active shooter, violent crimes, crime scene investigator, K-9, reality based training and scenarios, and so many more.

The 9th Hour was inspired by a violent case involving a fugitive who exploited young female victims by impersonating an authority figure. He decapitated at least 8 women keeping the severed heads as mementos. This man, whose name has been changed for this book and whose MO was based on folklore, suffered from antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) a condition which describes many serial killers. But no matter how horrific the crime, we will never forget the victims.

Even though the past often casts a shadow over the present, the Detective Temeke series always sees each investigation in a whole new light.


A very big THANK YOU to all those who nominated the first in the series, The 9th Hour as a finalist for the 2016 New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards. I’m really chuffed! The awards dinner promises to include an auction and a fabulous menu at one of the most beautiful country clubs in Albuquerque.

Happy Thanksgiving!





Red Gold ~ A Gabe McKenna Mystery Review

Red Gold (A Gabe McKenna Mystery Book 1) 

Red GoldGabriel McKenna is grieving the loss of his wife and marinating in a sea of liquid gold, but nothing can prepare him for the surprise that awaits him in New Mexico. It’s easy to appreciate the history, the setting and the characters, especially for Albuquerque residents. As we follow Gabriel through a helter-skelter of incidents, a threatening white envelope on the windshield of his car and a Pueblo Revival style house he can now call his own, there is always that inescapable feeling of tension that kept me riveted.

Kidera’s writing is first rate and keeps at a consistent pace. From the development of Gabriel’s character and to his dry sense of humor, I enjoyed everything about him. He’s human, likeable, and will resonate with a multitude of readers. If you like a book that will keep you turning the pages and makes you shiver with anticipation, then this is just the ticket.

A five star Amazon review by Claire Stibbe.

Book Description:

Shaken by the death of his beloved wife and wrestling with powerful personal demons, Professor Gabriel McKenna leaves New York City for New Mexico to claim an inheritance from mysterious distant relatives. He finds something other than a Land of Enchantment.
Unseen enemies threaten his life. Old friends turn up and rally to his side. Together they plunge into a lethal struggle for a 19th Century treasure, the fabled Lost Adams gold. McKenna enters a world of violence, passion, sexual abuse, deceit, and death that cause him to question his core beliefs and values, and even his sense of self.
Desperate to find a way home, McKenna must first unearth the secret of an old family manuscript and risk his life against overpowering odds. He must rekindle his long-dead fighting spirit and discover new reasons to live and love.

“If you enjoy first-class suspense and an author with a unique voice and style, then you will love ‘Red Gold.’ This novel is a masterful blend of mystery, action, and love story, all wrapped up in a wonderful cast of characters and beautifully-described scenes of New Mexico. Robert Kidera’s first novel is a real treat that will have readers demanding more.”
—Joseph Badal, award-winning author of the Danforth Saga and “Ultimate Betrayal”

“Red Gold” earned the Tony Hillerman Award as Best Fiction of 2015 at the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards. It was also named as Best Mystery of 2015 and the best eBook of the year.


“Author Robert D. Kidera owes me big time. His debut novel in the promised McKenna Mystery series, ‘Red Gold,’ kept me up all night. Who can resist a good old-fashioned treasure hunt? ‘Red Gold’ is a thriller packed with deceit and danger but also compassion. McKenna is a damaged hero, but also one to root for.” —Vincent Zandri, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of “Everything Burns,” “The Remains,” and “The Shroud Key”

Author Bio:

Robert KideraAward-winning author Robert D Kidera’s debut novel “Red Gold” earned the Tony Hillerman Award as Best Fiction of 2015 at the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards. It was also named as Best Mystery of 2015 and the best eBook of the year.

“Red Gold” is the first volume in the Gabe McKenna Mystery Series from Suspense Books. A sequel, “Get Lost”, will be available on March 8, 2016. “Cut.Print.Kill.”, a third Gabe McKenna mystery, is targeted for release in 2017.

After an early fling in the motion picture industry and a long and successful career in academia, Kidera retired in 2010. With his desire to play major league baseball no longer a realistic dream, he chose to fulfill his other lifelong ambition and became a writer. He is a member of Southwest Writers, Sisters in Crime, and the International Thriller Writers organizations.

The author lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife Annette and two cats, Otis and Woody. He has two daughters, a grandson and granddaughter. You can reach the author through his website:

Why not visit Robert Kidera at his website here

Take a look at Robert’s profile and books on Amazon




The Challenges of Writing

Author Margaret K. Johnson invited me to her blog this week and asked these great questions. I wanted to share them with those of you who have expressed an interest in writing books for the first time.  Writing isn’t easy and the challenges of being criticized, blown to the curb or worse, are very real.

What challenges have you had to overcome or deal with in order to write?

claire's deskWorking full time has always been a challenge since there are so few hours left in the day to sit down in a dedicated space and write. Now that I’m a full time writer, my main challenge is social media, updating webpages, editing, blogs, proofreading, reviews, formatting and Facebook. Each tiny distraction takes away precious minutes and hours from getting back into my writing zone. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told myself not to be sidetracked by the onslaught of bestselling workshops that promise essential writing tips, marketing and promotion. All are excellent by the way, but there’s only so many you can take.

How do you think this challenge has impact on your writing?

I love doing it all. That’s the problem. But these commitments need to be managed. Having succumbed to an egg-timer and doing only one hour a day for twitter and Facebook, I have found a large chunk of time to write. My contemporary crime books don’t really fit the blueprint of thriller & suspense. They tend to fall somewhere between literary and mystery rather than being branded to one or the other. So I call them Myst-Lit (or Mis-Fit). I love doing pottery (a first-time potter, you understand) and gardening, and during these times a tape recorder is handy to record inspired chapters and plots.

What was your greatest fear when you first started to write?

Criticism. There are so many writers out there who have folded under that big giant, lost all their drive, passion and nerve. It’s awful to watch. I fell victim to the thought that making a book public would attract a queue of literary critics and I’d be buried under a morass of one star reviews. I remember going to a dinner party in London several years ago and sitting next to a man who kept referring to my writing as ‘a little project’ and ‘did I understand that writers must have a PhD to be considered for publication.’ I decided to load my sling and be a David to that Goliath. Any advice and/or reviews can be harsh, but we need them all the same.

Here’s my review puppy. I trot him out when reviews are scarce. Who can resist those little boot-button eyes…Doggone 9th


What advice would you give to someone who wants to write but is feeling held back by circumstances and/or challenges?

All books are subjective and reviewers are only doing what comes naturally― evaluating the story. Take constructive criticism on the chin and learn from it and take no notice of the one star bandits. All the best authors have them so why shouldn’t we? Trust your gut, change what you feel you need to change and leave the rest. Write until you croak.

Tell us about something you’ve written that you’re really proud of, and something you’re writing now.

The 9th Hour, is a contemporary mystery/thriller set in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The first book in a seven-part series introduces Temeke as the MC, an English detective who couldn’t be further from his native stamping ground. He is not much liked by his peers and due to a barrage of poorly chosen words finds himself ousted from Homicide and sent to Northwest Area Command. The conflicts in his own background means he will never fit in any more than his partner, Malin Santiago, will. She must deal with her own insecurities in a hostile working atmosphere, especially where gallows humor and tough talk is prevalent.

billboard subway

When the ninth young girl falls into the clutches of a serial killer, maverick detective, David Temeke, faces a race against time to save her life.

The Duke City Police Department in Albuquerque, New Mexico is no stranger to gruesome murders, but this new serial killer on their block keeps the body parts of his eight young victims as trophies and has a worrying obsession with the number 9. The suspect is incarcerated in the state’s high security penitentiary but Unit Commander Hackett is faced with a dilemma when another teenage girl goes missing.

Detective Temeke and his new partner, Malin Santiago, are sent to solve a baffling crime in the dense forests of New Mexico’s Cimarron State Park. But time is running out. Can they unravel the mysteries of Norse legends and thwart the 9th Hour killer before he dismembers his next victim? This is the first in the Detective Temeke Crime series.

Night Eyes is the second in the series and was released on March 25, 2016 –  last week. I think this is my favorite book so far.

Night Eyes bus stop

When the young son of Albuquerque’s Mayor is kidnapped, Detective David Temeke and his partner Malin Santiago are called to investigate.

Meanwhile, a ten year enquiry into the murders of several young boys has gone cold. No witnesses, no suspect. Or so the police believe. But a mysterious phone call leads Temeke and Santiago to the remains of a young boy found near the ancient ruins of an Anasazi settlement. Is this a random act or the work of the serial killer?

Drawn deeper into the wilderness by a man waging a war with his past, twelve year old boy-scout, Adam, must use everything he has learned to stay alive. Temeke and Santiago are pushed to the limit in the second book of this thrilling, fast-paced series set in New Mexico.

As author Jean Gill says:

…We are equally drawn into the limited understanding of a boy scout; limited because he’s too young to comprehend the adult scenes he’s witnessed and limited because he has no idea why he’s been kidnapped. Neither has the reader although we pick up on little clues and wonder… as do the detctives when they find the paper trail this ingenious youngster is laying for them.

An electrifying new edition to the Stibbe arsenal, Night Eyes confronts the relationship between husband and wife, father and son, detective and villain. Temeke comes to understand that he is dealing with a perpetrator who will put him to the test, both professionally and personally and, at the same time, battle the darkest demons in himself. Not since Marklund’s Annika Bengtzon series, has there been a novel with as much insight into spiritual warfare. Fast-moving, riveting reading which ranks with the best thrillers out there. ~ Noble Lizard Publishing.

All eBooks and Kindle formats are now priced at only $2.99. Regular price $3.99.

To find out more about Claire’s books, visit her website here

Also by Claire Stibbe

For updates on new books, book signings and regular blog features, why not sign up for her occasional newsletter here

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Claire is also a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors, New Mexico Book Co-op and the Southwest Writers Association.

4 Book Banner Blog


Keep Calm & Write A Book


Writers see the world differently. Every voice we hear, every face we see, every hand we touch could become story fabric. – Buffy Andrews

Ever wondered what makes authors so unique? I have.   

If you know an author, you probably know they see the world through a different lens. Authors have stamina and an ability to adapt to several habitats. They tend to be introverts and at times, socially inept. Their brains tend to fire on several cylinders simultaneously, working on two projects at once, or at the very least, writing two books in tandem. They have markings which help them blend into any given environment and can follow someone without being arrested for stalking. Here’s a brief outline of what makes them so special.

Authors are closely related to psychologists. They study human behavior, dissect mental processes and select reactions to suit any given scenario. They are storytellers who can spin a yarn without drawing breath. Worldwide, there are many subspecies that have flooded the market, causing the most skilled of authors to become endangered. But there are several things that separate excellent authors from their subspecies.



  1. Study: Authors don’t simply watch people. They study them. This is an art form that requires sitting in public places for several hours, observing a target and tuning into his/her conversation. In extreme cases, an author might appear as a disinterested third party with the ultimate aim of picking up dialogue with or without the use of a tape recorder.
  2. Strengths: Authors narrow down behavior patterns and tap into moods. It’s an ability to see and connect the dots, an ability to get into someone else’s head, an ability to fine tune a profile to suit a certain character.
  3. Emotion. Authors empathize, fantasize and scrutinize in a world where most people stagger through each day in a blank haze. They are intuitive, able to soar to euphoric heights one minute and plunge into despair the next. All for the purpose of making their characters convincing.
  4. The Thrill of the Quill. Authors love to take chances and start new projects. It’s the rush of the challenge because their imagination is fueled by raw curiosity. Given the right environment ― a study sealed off from the rest of the house, a coffee shop, a restaurant, a library ― they will excel.
  5. Determination: Authors will edit their work until it’s perfect. They will design, format and learn new tricks without tiring. They will continue writing until they croak. There is no ‘off’ switch for an author. They never shut down.

If any of the above applies, then there’s definitely a story in you. So keep calm and write a book.

All Books

For any of the above books, please find the author links below:

Claire Stibbe

Jean Gill

B.A. Morton

Karen Charlton

Elizabeth Horton-Newton

A Warm Welcome to author, Kristin Gleeson

Kristin Gleeson

Photograph by Jean Gill

I am really excited to welcome author Kristin Gleeson to my blog today. Kristin is originally from Philadelphia and now lives in Ireland, in the West Cork Gaeltacht, where she teaches art classes, plays harp, sings in an Irish choir and runs two book clubs for the village library.

She holds a Masters in Library Science and a Ph.D. in history, and for a time was an administrator of a national denominational archives, library and museum in America.

Myths and other folk tales have always fascinated her and she combined her love of these tales with her harp playing and performed as a professional harper/storyteller at events in Britain, America and Ireland.

Kristin has given us an excerpt from The Imp of Eye, Book 1 of the Renaissance Sojourner Series.

Excerpt from The Imp of Eye

London 1440

Imp of Eye(Barnabas, a thirteen year old orphan, is employed by the woman known as the Witch of Eye, Margery Jourdemayne, placed there by his guardian, Canon Thomas Southwell. He’s just been reprimanded for refusing to do a reading in the showstone for the Duchess of Gloucester)

I knows where I’ll find a welcome. Off down to the river to me mate Tom, the wherry boatman. We’s been mates for a long time and I loves it there with him on the river. Sometimes he lets me row when he’s got no people on board. Then I feel like I can go anywhere. Even Spain, Jerusalem and them places where they had the crusades long ago.

Me luck’s wif me. Tom is there in his wherry just about to take off wif two men bound downriver. ‘Barney-boy! You’re late.’

I’m small and quick, so I jumps onto the boat as light as a feather. I’m good at this and Tom knows it and grins. We shove each other like pals do and I settle in the back. I ain’t sposed to be here wifout paying, like, but since we’s mates he says it’s okay as long as I pretends I’m his boy.

The water in the boat’s bottom seeps into me clogs but it don’t bother me. Some say the river’s stink could stun an ox when it’s summer time, but I loves it. I look out to the river and imagine meself on a fine big ship, sailing to places where there’s so much sand you can’t see nofink else and you feel warm all the time. The tide is with us, so the run is quick, and before you know it I’m at Queenhithe docks helping the two fine gentlemun out.

I decides to stay a while at the docks. Besides the barges, it’s full of cayers, cogs and caravels what have come from all over. It’s the place to see different kinds of people, like sailors with gold earrings and dark skin and strange clothes, hoisting cargo, coiling up the ropes and shouting all sorts. I tries to talk to ‘em. Most times they only speak their own strange lingo, but I do get lucky and find some what can understand me. And that’s the best.

Today I’m not so lucky, and I goes wondering for a while, just taking in the sights before I hear a shout and a stout hand grabs me collar. Father Thomas.

‘I thought I might find you here, you young cur,’ he says with a growl. ‘Why didn’t you come by yesterday as I instructed?’ He starts dragging me along the streets and it’s no secret to me where we’re heading. His own church, St Stephen’s in Walbrook. Nearly thirteen years ago some jade dumped me in a dung heap on St Barnabas Day and that’s where this man found me. Thomas Southwell, Canon of St Stephen’s Chapel in the palace of Westminster and rector of St Stephen’s Walbrook. And a physician too. All them titles don’t satisfy his need for more, though.

The duke and duchess of Gloucester

Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester and Eleanor, Duchess of Gloucester

We reach the church and make our way to his rooms in the building beside it. After a word to his man we go into his study and he locks the door. Next door is the room I used to sit with the other foundlings and learn me writing, reading and Latin. I loved it, but that learning is little use to me now. There ain’t no escaping Father Thomas and what he wants.


A moment later there’s a knock on the door and one of his servants brings in two steaming trenchers and sets it on the small table.

‘Hungry, Barnabas?’ he asks.

Me mouth waters. I sits down on the stool. The steam makes me nose run and I wipes it wif my sleeve. I can see the bone and gristle bobbing about on the surface. Boiled onion and some kind of greenery.

‘Eat up, we’ve much to do,’ Father Thomas says.

I takes up the horn spoon and slurp up the contents. I can’t say I ain’t hungry because ain’t I always? Wishing there was more, I lick the last drops on the spoon. I look up, and see his pale eyes watching me.

‘I need you to scry for me, Barnabas.’

I groan inwardly. Seeing spirits is what got me in a bother in the first place, and why Margery Jourdemayne took me on in her household. I’d as lief be a gong-farmer’s servant than work as a scryer. Never had no choice, though. Once Father Thomas found I could see spirits, he taught me the rest. Conjuring’s a burning offence, though. I’ve smelt them fires at Smithfield in me dreams and actually saw a burning once and I can’t forget it. It’s the smell of cooking flesh what gets to you, and then there’s the screaming. That’s another matter.

‘I’ve water ready in the bowl,’ says Father Thomas.

I wipes me mouth on the grease-stiff cuff of me sleeve and gives him a sullen nod.

The bowl’s heavy; black wiv heat and age. I reckon someone used to cook in it, but Father Thomas keeps it just for scrying now. I watches the liquid wobble against the sides and settle, and then I bends me mind to the task. The water’s smooth like the glass Mistress Jourdemayne keeps in her chamber. Her husband bought it as a gift, so she can admire herself. She caught me looking in it once and boxed me ears.

La Plauseance

La Pleausance

Fierce now, I shut out everyfink else and gets still-like and the quiet settles on me like a warm cloak. It’s a feeling I likes and I just let it stay there for a bit before I looks and stares at the inky liquid. In a wink me mind kind of opens up inside, so I’m looking and not looking into the water, if you know what I mean. It’s like I see through it and out into a different land. I like that.

A figure pops up and hobbles across me mind’s eye.

‘It’s Limpin’ Sam,’ I says out loud. ‘He’s got a partridge under his arm.’

I’ve seen this spirit before. He dresses in rags like a beggar, and his hands is blue wiv cold, but he has the merriest face. His eyes is the colour of blackbird’s eggs, and he’s a snub nose, dimples in his cheeks and a wide, curving mouth. Sometimes he sings, sweet as a chorister, but he don’t speak. He brings me fings instead. I’m supposed to work out what they mean. I don’t know who he is or was, but he likes me and he brings me stuff. This night it’s a bird.


‘It’s a fat partridge,’ I says. Father Thomas’ bref warms me cheek as he leans in to hear. ‘Sign of plenty, I reckon. Someone’s got somefink good coming his way.’

‘Ah!’ Father Thomas sighs wiv satisfaction.

‘He’s showing me a cooking pot over a fire, now.’ I watches Limpin’ Sam pointing to the bird and then sticking it whole into the bubbling water, feathers and all.

Wiv a squeal of surprise I jerk back.

‘What is it?’ asks the priest.

‘Forget what I said before. I got it wrong. There’s some fellow wiv fine feathers…wealthy, fat, thinks well of hisself…struts about and imagines he’s doing real well, but he should take care he don’t get into hot water. He ain’t very bright, by the look of it. He’s in for a rare shock. Somebody’s out to teach him a lesson. If you know him, Father, you should warn him to beware them what he’s offended.’

‘Enough!’ The priest’s voice is harsh now. He ain’t pleased wiv this information. ‘Summon Bethor, Barnabas. I want to be sure.’

But I don’t like this at all. Bethor’s a different kettle of fish from Limpin’ Sam. He’s a mighty spirit what can grant men priceless treasure, help them create miraculous medicines or be powerful likes a lord or somefink. It’s a chancy fing calling these spirits. They doesn’t like being told. Father Thomas says Bethor’s a good angel and won’t harm me. But Bethor comes in a great whirling storm and his face is bright as fire. I’d rather let them as wants to come to me, like Limpin’ Sam, than getting a proud angel to do me bidding. But I don’t argue.

I says the words what Father Thomas’s taught me so carefully, and wait, feeling me skin prickle and hearing the air rushing in me ears. The ritual has to be done right, he says, though I don’t understand half the words I have to use. The priest prompts me now and then.


It’s always a shock when Bethor’s voice roars in me head and dazzles me eyes with the blaze of his appearance. Flames leap like sun-rays round his head. The light’s so blinding I can’t make out his features.

‘What shall I ask him to do?’

The priest’s fingers is talons on me arm and his breath grows moist against me ear. ‘Tell him to bring us wealthy patrons,’ he whispers.

Me mistress needs customers, he means, and she’ll pay him a portion of what she makes from them. I nod anyway and do as I’m bid.

Medieval London

Medieval London

I feels Bethor’s desire to be free. He strains against me will and when I tell him what he must do, I knows he thinks we’re greedy bastards and he’ll make us pay. I lets him know in me thoughts like, not to blame me and that like him, I’m only obeying orders. He laughs. I let him go and he’s gone in a whoosh of burning flames.

‘What did he say?’ Father Thomas grips me arm tight.

‘He’ll do it.’ I says the words to send off the spirit what he taught me then, even though the spirit’s already gone.

‘Good boy.’ Father Thomas pats me shoulder.

But I’m seeing somefink else—a woman in the black water of the scrying bowl, and I can’t take me eyes off her. She’s dressed in a white linen shift and carrying a heavy candle. The flame of it flickers dangerously and the hot wax drips on cobblestones by her naked feet. What does it mean?

‘Enough, boy!’

The priest is shaking me back into consciousness. I smells the draughty chapel and musty old robes, and someone’s hammering on the chapel door.

‘Who’s there?’

Father Thomas is on his feet and snatches up the bowl. The water spills on the floor. His robe swishes as he crosses the floor, the lone candle in his hand, and he disappears through to the larger room.

The hammering continues and then I hears the slide of the bolt and the door creak open and some whispering. Father Thomas comes back in the room and a man follows him. I knows by his long gown and cap that he’s one of those learned men what Father Thomas likes to talk wif.

‘This is my boy, Barnabas,’ Father Thomas says. ‘No need to worry. He knows how to keep secrets.’

The man’s creepy an all—got a beaky nose and face like a skull. Before I knows it, Father Thomas wraps a musty, old cloak round me shoulders and he puts some wood on the ashes of the little fire. Thin green smoke trickles from it, making the man cough.

‘Sleep, Barnabas,’ Father Thomas says. There’s a note of warning in his voice as I curls up in the cloak.

They whispers away then. It’s just loud enough to keep me awake but not enough so’s I can understand what they’re saying. Eventually, I manages to drift off.

When I wakes I’m stiff wiv cold in the little black room. The fire’s out but I can see the dark lump of the priest on his pallet and another dark shape what I takes to be the man, huddled near the hearth. I tries to shut me eyes and crawl back into sleep, but I’m chilled to the bone. Me head frobs and me eyes is full of sand, and though I try shifting this way and that, it’s no use, cos me bladder’s full now. As soon as the light turns grey, I hauls meself up and creep to the little niche what the priest uses as a privy.

The man groans as I sigh in the relief of making water, even though I’m shivering. There’s a bite in the morning air what makes me arms all goose-flesh, and I wriggles me toes to stop ‘em from going numb.

There’s no sense in lingering. There’s nofink to eat here, and soon people will be filling this place. Father Thomas snores steady and deep now, so I rolls up the old cloak, leave it by the door and shoots back the bolts. The man stirs, but he don’t wake. I shake like a dog and sneaks out into the day.

Why not visit Kristin on her website

For more information about Kristin and her books, please visit Author Central on Amazon

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Night Eyes ~ Book 2

Book 2 of the Detective Temeke Series is finally finished and making its rounds on the editing circuit. This is probably the most important part of the process. But there are a few more points to consider before I can think of kicking back and catching up on the last season of Luther in a single sitting.2013-10-06-13_44_08

1. Feedback
Approaching readers from my target audience has been the best way to get honest feedback. I have four/five readers who always make valuable suggestions based on their expertise. They have been able to get into the thick of the manuscript, not just because some are editors and writers, but because they ‘get’ the characters and plot. Its important for me to take any suggestions/critiques on the chin and make changes where necessary.

2. Self-edit
This is the hard part. Having the patience to wait a good few weeks before attempting any self-edits. I need fresh eyes for this. I might be aiming too high if I say I want no grammar mistakes or typos. But aiming high is healthy. In a market saturated with independently published books, ours must rise above the rest. Editing is the key.

In a market saturated with independently published books, ours must rise above the rest. Editing is the key.

3. Choose a title
For my first crime book, The 9th Hour wasn’t an issue. The number 9 signified a large chunk of Norse legend necessary to the plot.  The second book, Night Eyes, was punchy and went well with the story. As for the third, I have two possibilities but the jury is still out on both.  five star 9th

4. Imagine your cover
If a book cover and title catches my eye, do I make an impulsive decision to use the ‘look inside’ feature on Amazon?  Absolutely.  If I want my cover to stand out in a crowd, it needs to convey the right mood – so giving the book designer a detailed brief is extremely important.  We all judge a book by its cover. No good pretending we don’t. If the format, layout, font and photo is great – so much the better. If not, a bad cover can destroy the chances of a well written book in less than three seconds.

We all judge a book by its cover. No good pretending we don’t.

Chasing Pharaohs Final full cover.png5. Blurb
Writing a compelling blurb is  a challenge and needs to rouse a buyer’s curiosity . Having sent my book description to 4/5 professional authors, it is now in the final stages.

6. Publishing 
Whether we resubmit to an existing publisher, send to a new publisher or self-publish, one of the most important things to organize is a launch party on Facebook to celebrate all that hard work!

Finally, I want to thank all those who have read, commented, made suggestions on Night Eyes. I couldn’t have done it without you!


The Most Excellent Worldwide Book Tour ~ Rachael L. McIntosh

Author Name:  Rachael L. McIntosh

Book Titles:

Security Through Absurdity

Book One: Little Yellow Stickies

Book Two: Bubbles Will Pop

 Book Three: The Big Show

Genre and Sub-Genre: Contemporary Literature  /  Fiction Political / YA>Fiction>US History>21st century

AUDIENCE : GenX, Young Adult, Conspiracy Curious


Based on a true story

Details of pre- 9/11 defense contracting, the US Housing Collapse, and the 2012 Republican National Convention (fictionalized), Dark Money, Black Budgets

Included school libraries in Rhode Island and Connecticut via RILINK system

Title is available from Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and select bookstores in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Florida. 

Author Bio

untitledRachael L. McIntosh is an accomplished visual artist who also worked for a major US defense contractor during the lead up to the Iraq war. She acted as a national media coordinator during the politically significant December 16, 2007 “Money Bomb”; an online fundraising frenzy that became the largest single-day fundraiser for any political candidate in US history. She has also appeared in the feature length documentary FOR LIBERTY. Currently, she is writing novels and homeschooling her two children in Rhode Island. Visit her website at

Book Blurbs

Security Through Absurdity

Originally written as one book, then divided into three books, SECURITY THROUGH ABSURDITY is the story of corporate shenanigans, an uneasy home life, and a quixotic presidential campaign. These situations propel Jocelyn through a believably bizarre journey and into dangerous psychological territory. In a matrix of life-threatening situations, she is forced to question the very fabric of her Gen-X American upbringing.

untitledBook One: Little Yellow Stickies – Jocelyn McLaren is a beautiful, hard working, yet naive visual artist who, through a twist of fate, ends up working for a major US defense contractor during the lead up to the Iraq war. She unknowingly witnesses and unwittingly participates in crimes that haunt her and are ultimately interlinked with the most nefarious psychopaths on the planet.


untitled2Book Two: Bubbles Will Pop –  Jocelyn McLaren, a former defense contractor, is now a new mother to twins! As she struggles to maintain what she imagines to be a normal family during the economic turmoil of the US housing collapse, she becomes involved in a political campaign and encounters troubling remnants of her life working for the military-industrial complex. These interactions haunt her, as well as the father of her children, and are ultimately interlinked with the most wicked forces on Earth.

untitled3Book Three: The Big Show – “The Big Show,” chronicles Jocelyn McLaren’s involvement with a presidential election. As her history of working for a US defense conglomerate collides with global finance and murder her future becomes increasingly unstable. Will she survive?



By Carolyn Boyce on September 3, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

Rachel L McIntosh is now my favorite author. This series of modern historical fiction is very entertaining, funny and timely. I look forward to her next book.


Billie James’s review   Sep 01, 15

5 of 5 stars

This series has three books. The first book “Little Yellow Stickies” is an absorbing look at the defense contractors of America prior to 9/11. The second book “Bubbles Will Pop” is the transition book and “The Big Show” is the culmination.

Jocelyn McLaren is central character and throughout the first book we learn about her role in the defense industry. In the second book she breaks away and in “The Big Show” she breaks into the political scene and becomes involved in a Presidential Election. Throw in thriller seeds like a murder and you’ve got yourself a thriller worth reading.

What I noticed most is that the author has become extremely close to the character of Jocelyn and makes her come alive. I would say that in terms of writing “The Big Show” is probably the best of the three. Read the first two and then make your way to this one for an exciting reading adventure. If you believe in the American dream you may want to stay away from this series though.

Book Links


Twitter: @EntropyPress



Linked In: Rachael McIntosh  Author / Artist / Communications Specialist