Halloween Promotion – Demon’s Reach by Will Macmillan Jones

Today I have a New Release for you, it is currently available for pre-order. Demon’s Reach is book five in the Mister Jones Mysteries, by my friend Will Macmillan Jones.  This series is scary and will keep you on the edge of your seat until the end.   I will bring you the others at a later date.  It begins with The Showing.

Will Demons Reach

 

Description1

All families have secrets or skeletons in the cupboard, hidden away from view. Most of those secrets are better left undisturbed, for very good reasons. When Mister Jones agrees to deal with the Estate of a recently deceased cousin, he finds that the secrets hidden by his family are very dark indeed, and that the skeletons in this cupboard are very real – and not yet entirely dead.

Drawn once more by Fate into a world where magic and myth are all too real and danger lurks at every turn, Mister Jones confronts a past that seeks again to become the present, and to plunge his future into a rising Darkness.

Can he escape the Demon’s Reach?

Summary

When Mister Jones discovers that he has been asked to be executor of the Estate of a cousin he wasn’t aware he had, he thinks that the request is innocent, a family matter. But when he travels to his late cousin’s home, he finds that the local village is a dark place, full of mistrust of his family and with unsettling whispers of a dark past.

Indeed, his arrival is enough to spark of an attempt by the villagers to destroy part of his late cousin’s home – and the first death. The mystery deepens as another lost relative finds Mister Jones – but is she all that she seems?

His first visit to his late cousin’s house is almost his last, for Mister Jones finds first evidence of Black Magical Rituals among the effects in the house, and then discovers that a Demon still walks the grounds. The Demon makes herself known to more than just Mister Jones, and the body count rises. Joined by another relative stranger who reveals that she is his half-sister, Mister Jones struggles to unravel the web of deceit and mystery and uncover the truth – only to discover that his half-sister is more involved than he believed and that the plot centers around his presence, there in the house. He is to be a sacrificial victim, in a Ritual that will restore his long-lost father to life – at the expense of Mister Jones’.

Can Mister Jones’ half-sister bring herself to sacrifice the brother she doesn’t know, for the father she fears?

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Coming Soon – Demon’s Reach by Will Macmillan Jones

Today I have a pre-order book for you called Demon’s Reach, it’s the fifth book in the Mister Jones Mysteries, by my friend Will Macmillan Jones.  These are awesome books and will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Demon_s_Reach_Front_Cover.jpg

 

Description1

All families have secrets or skeletons in the cupboard, hidden away from view. Most of those secrets are better left undisturbed, for very good reasons. When Mister Jones agrees to deal with the Estate of a recently deceased cousin, he finds that the secrets hidden by his family are very dark indeed, and that the skeletons in this cupboard are very real – and not yet entirely dead.

Drawn once more by Fate into a world where magic and myth are all too real and danger lurks at every turn, Mister Jones confronts a past that seeks again to become the present, and to plunge his future into a rising Darkness.

Can he escape the Demon’s Reach?

 

Praise for the previous book, The Curse of Clyffe House on Amazon:
4.4 out of 5 stars
4

 3.0 out of 5 stars

This is the fourth in the series of Mr. Jones supernatural mysteries. I’ve read this one and the first and I think they’re a hoot. If you are tired of “classic” ghost stories in which maybe the room temperature drops 2 degrees, or maybe there’s a little girl peeking in the window, or maybe a “shadow” passes over someone’s face, and if you want a ghost story that slaps you in the face every few pages, well this might be right up your alley.

The Jones books start off mildly. Mr. Jones visits his childhood home, or a neighbor buys a cursed antique thingy, or, as here, Mr. Jones goes on holiday to a remote cottage with a neighbor who wants some quiet company while she finishes writing a book. Then, some things go bump in the night, maybe there’s a ghostly apparition, maybe the lights keep going off. But, once we’ve laid the classic groundwork, anything can happen. NO SPOILERS, BECAUSE I’M EXAGGERATING, but you might get aliens, demons, ancient gods, sea creatures, or any variation on some of the eldritch things that writers like Lovecraft would pull out of the Elder Days.

Now, anybody can write books like that. I just started one a paragraph ago. But, Will Jones brings a fair hand to the table. His Mr. Jones is both solid and respectable, and steady under duress, but also open minded to the unknown. How many mildly bemused but doughty middle aged men do you find as heroes in these sorts of books? Supporting characters, here the neighbor Sheila and later the investigator Eric, have some spunk. The scenes are always nicely set – here we’re on the Welsh Coastal Path in a holiday cottage next to an abandoned creepy farm under the shadow of an ancient even creepier hill fort. This would be fun if all Jones did was walkabout at night on the Path in the fog looking for apparitions, (which, by the way, he does a lot). Heck, even listening to ghost stories in the local pub was fun.

It’s usually about half way in that the author pulls out all the stops and goes epic. AGAIN, NO SPOILERS, but in this book the plot just keeps spinning out, (remember the ancient fort/barrow), until, as the book blurb says, Mr. Jones confronts an ancient evil intent on wreaking devastation, one bemused middle aged hero at a time.

Will Jones alternates chapters between his hero’s first person account and a more traditional third person narrative. Instead of being annoying this makes the hero’s travails more personal and immediate, and helps to sell the more outrageous aspects of the story. When you combine this with a generally unsettling atmosphere, a vaguely uneasy nod to Welsh legend and pre-history, derelict buildings, a remote location, and a cliff above a raging sea, well, that’s a fine recipe for ghosty fun. Even when it’s a bit over the top, and this book is unabashedly over the top, it’s a ripping yarn.

 

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Halloween Promotion – The House Next Door by Will MacMillan Jones

Today’s scary book is The House Next Door, book three of the Mister Jones Mysteries, by my friend Will MacMillan Jones.   This series is very scary and will keep you on the edge of your seat.

will-the-house-next-door

 

Description1

Mister Jones thought he had finished with the supernatural world – but the supernatural hadn’t finished with him…

When Sheila Balsam finds herself compelled to buy a genuine antique in a strange little shop, she didn’t bargain for what came with the statuette – and Mister Jones finds himself once again drawn into the dangerous world of the paranormal : this time via the house next door.

An ancient evil has found a way to break from his enchanted prison and the only one who is going to stand in his way is the unfortunate Mister Jones, who seems destined to live in interesting times.

The House Next Door is the third in the highly regarded ‘Mister Jones’ collection of paranormal mysteries

The Wishing Shelf Awards ARC review said: A chilling story with plenty of twists and turns… keeps the expectant reader on tenterhooks.

What reviewers have said about the first two books: The Showing & Portrait of A Girl

‘An old-fashioned Dennis Wheatley feel’
‘A mad rush into danger that classic Horror lovers will adore’
‘The further I read, the more difficulty I had putting it down’
‘Entertaining, well-written, with a chilling ending!’

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Halloween Promotion – The Showing by Will MacMillan Jones

Today’s scary post is for The Showing, book one of Mister Jones Mysteries, by my friend Will MacMillan Jones.  If you want to be on the edge of your seat this is the story for you.

will-the-showing

 

Description1

‘His visit to the house has awoken that which was sleeping: how many must be taken before IT can be laid to rest?’

For Sale again is Mister Jones’ family home: a house he had known and feared since his childhood. On a nostalgic whim he decides to visit the house, with disasterous results. The house reacts to his appearance and the estate agent who is showing him around vanishes. Shortly afterwards the next agent appointed to handle the sale of the property also disappears.

Mister Jones wants nothing to do with the property. His visit has awoken old memories for him, and the memories are not pleasant. But it is clear that something else has also been awoken by his visit, and when he is begged to help find the young agent who has vanished, he can no longer avoid the responsibility of facing his legacy of evil, and dealing with the curse laid upon the house.

But what will happen when he faces IT, and who will emerge alive?

If you knew just how much of this story is true, how well would you sleep tonight?

The following books in the series of Mister Jones Mysteries are:
Portrait of a Girl
The House Next Door
The Curse of Clyffe House

You will find links to the next books in the collection on the author’s Amazon page.

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New Release – Working Title The Banned Underground by Will MacMillan Jones

Today I have a New Release for you, Working Title a Banned Underground book by my friend Will MacMillan Jones.  There is also an excerpt for you to read.

will-working-title-front-cover

Description1

Tolkien meets Spinal Tap!

The Banned Underground, the biggest dwarf blues band in the universe, are back. Their first album is finally mixed and about to be released on an unsuspecting world. But nothing is ever that simple is it? Their Record Company have the fiscal probity of the average politician and are being underhand with the Banned’s finances, aided and abetted by their accountants (who want to promote a rival group).

But wait: the Tour is about to be filmed, although the film maker has issues of his own – not least that he is worried that he too might not be paid. Then there’s the chip on his shoulder; and as he’s a RockTroll, it’s a pretty sizeable chip too. As the rival bands career around the country, followed by the cameraman, one question is on all their minds- will the beer money hold out until the end of the Tour?

Music, magic and movies collide in a kaleidoscope of fun, puns and technicolour jokes in the seventh adventure for The Banned Underground.

The Banned Underground collection of stories are all stand-alone books that can be read and enjoyed in any order at all. Meet a wild group of musicians, wizards, trolls, witches and elves – although as the elves have made themselves into International Merchant Bankers they have become a bit pompous about who they are prepared to meet, or at least whose existence they are prepared to acknowledge. So come and cheer for The Banned, as they discover that money makes the world go round. {An assertion disputed by the Flat Earth Association.}

The Prologue…

-Right!  Cue funky electronic weird music… I’m thinking Theremin, I’m thinking synthesiser with every dial turned to bizarre, I’m thinking psycho-pop on drugs, I’m thinking futuristic…

-Good! Now the Opening Sequence, let’s have lots of fleeting images, I want stars growing and melting and draining off the screen in all directions…

-That’s it! That’s it!  Let’s make it clear beyond doubt that there’s some serious time/space travelling going on.  What, Brian? Yes, time travel.  The past is another country you know, even if British Airways don’t fly there.  What? Yes, I know the low cost budget airlines feel like you’ve gone back forty years but that’s not the same thing.

RUN VT!!!

-You with the boom mic, drop it a bit further down towards the actor.  No, don’t bounce it off his head you cretin, just keep it low enough to pick him up clearly.  Then raise it whenever I want a close shot from Camera Two there.  How will you know? You watch me, and watch the actor at the same time.  I don’t care if you go cross-eyed! No one will be able to tell the difference anyway.

-And the actor, where is he? Has anyone seen the Lecturer? Oh, having a crafty smoke behind his lectern is he?  Boom Mic Bob (No, I don’t care if you think that’s not your name, it’s what you’re called on MY set) go and give him a quick kick and tell him I’ll set the sprinklers on him if he does it again.  He can smoke behind the bicycle sheds like normal people do in a real college…

-What? What?? That extra wants to go to the toilet as we’re about to start filming?  Tell him to wet his pants; he’ll be in character for a student on his first day at University then!

-Camera Three!  Start with a wide pan, then zoom in on the door when it opens and Terry comes into shot.  Boom Mic Bob (No, I know that’s not your name, do you want me to call you something else? Because I’ve got the perfect name for you right on the tip of my tongue you know…) Raise the mic whilst Camera Three starts with the pan shot, then lower it in time for the lecturer’s opening line.  What? He’s had a drink behind the lectern? Of course he has, he’s in character too!

-Quiet on Set!  Lights! Cameras rolling! Action!!!!!!!!

*

 

The door of the lecture room opened slowly, and the lecturer stopped speaking and turned to look at the new entrant who was still out of view in the corridor. “Well, it’s only the first class of your course on Cinematography, why should any lecturer expect all his students to turn up on time?”

“Sorry,” rumbled a low voice from the corridor.

 

“Well come in, come in.  It’s a visual arts course this, so it is appropriate that I can actually see my students!  Come in, sit down and tell us all your name…  Oh good heavens!”

“I’m Terry,” said the RockTroll as he came carefully into the classroom, and sat down on one end of a bench seat.  The other students grabbed wildly at the long desk before them as they rose into the air.

“What do you think you are doing here?” demanded the lecturer.

“Come to learn.  I want to be a cameraman.”

“But you aren’t a man, are you?”

“Cameratroll then.”

“Do you seriously expect me to teach you Visual Arts?”

Terry looked down at the floor, but didn’t move.  “I paid my fees, and I passed the entry for the course.”

“Look at you! How can you hold a camera?”

“Carefully,” replied Terry.  He stood up, and the other end of the bench returned to the ground, spilling students across the floor.  “Sorry,” Terry said to them.  He walked to the lecturer, and gave him a slip of paper. The lecturer read the sheet as Terry towered over him.

“I’m not happy about this,” said the lecturer. “But for now go and sit at the back and keep quiet.”

Terry frowned, then nodded and walked to the back of the classroom.  The students on the back row quickly gathered their bags and papers and moved forward, and Terry sat down in splendid isolation.  The lecturer scowled, and then turned to pick up the broken threads of his discourse.

 

Excerpt2

Concealed from prying eyes by spells, incantations, wizardry and (more effectively) by substantial bribes*, the enchanted Fairy Hill Banking Headquarters of the Edern in North Wales was the scene of unfrenzied activity.  The regular meeting of the Board of Directors was in session.

[*Obviously not naked bribes.  The weather is against that sort of behaviour in North Wales.]

Lady Hankey drew herself up to her full height and stared down her patrician nose at her colleagues on the Fairy Hill Board of Directors. “Gentlemen!” she said loudly, “The meeting is now in session.”

She sat down and opened the expensive, hand tooled leather file containing her copy of the agenda.  Lord Telem opened a bottle of champagne with an expert twist of his wrist, and filled two crystal glasses.  He pushed one across the table to Lady Hankey, avoiding the ridge mark in the centre of the table – the legacy of an old Boardroom disagreement and an axe wielding Chief Executive Officer.

“Where is Lord Blear, anyway?” yawned Lord Tosca from further down the table, as he toyed with a plate of smoked salmon sandwiches and investigated the contents of a bottle of single malt whisky. “He’s the CEO, he’s supposed to chair these meetings. It’s the only thing he actually does.”

“He’s otherwise engaged,” replied Lady Hankey. “You know that he and Lady Meillar have been offered some major honours?  The Investiture at Buckingham Palace is tomorrow, and they are checking their wardrobes.”

Lord Tosca was uninterested. “Why anyone would think Blear is a suitable recipient for any honour is beyond me.  What did he do to deserve such a thing?” he asked.

“Charitable Donations and Good Works are a traditional method,” observed Lord Telstar.

“Well, he argued that charity begins at home and awarded himself a large bonus,” agreed Lord Telem.  “But when that didn’t work he made a huge donation to the Prime Minister’s favourite charity.”

“I’ll bet that’s another charity that began at home,” sniggered Lord Tosca.

“And a large sum found its way into Party funds, I believe. Anonymously, so that it didn’t have to be declared.”

The Directors all nodded understandingly.

“Of course, he let the Party Treasurer know who was making the anonymous donation, just to make sure,” added Lady Hankey.

“I’m sure that he deserves the Honour,” said Lord Tosca carefully, in case the Boardroom was wired for sound and a recording was being made.  “Where’s Lady Meillar?”

“It seems that she’s getting her Honour awarded, too,” said Lady Hankey, a little sourly.

“Not jealous, are we?” asked Lord Telem.

“Such things are an outmoded anachronism in our modern, pluralist and democratic society,” Lady Hankey said firmly.

“And besides, you didn’t get offered one.”

“And besides, I didn’t get…that’s got nothing to do with it.”

The other Directors hid their smiles.

“Anyway,” Lord Tosca suddenly asked, “Why are you taking the meeting, Lady Hankey?”

“Lord Blear instructed me to do so whilst he is unavoidably detained.”

“At Her Majesty’s pleasure?” asked Lord Tosca, sceptically. *

[*The legal term for indefinite imprisonment.  Although Her Maj. no longer bothers to visit the prisons personally to jeer and point at those so held for her pleasure.  Isn’t it a shame when old traditions die out?]

“Can’t see the Queen enjoying Blear’s company,” said Lord Telem.

“Anyway, there aren’t enough of us here to form a quorum,” objected Lord Telstar, getting back to the matter in hand.

“There are four of us,” pointed out Lady Hankey.

“Is that a quorum, then?  I thought that was five of us.”

Lady Hankey smiled.  “As Acting Chair, I have a casting vote in the event of a tie.  So four of us are enough.  Anyway, there is a very short agenda.”

“That makes a change,” said Lord Telstar.  “Does that mean I can get back to some real work?”

“Are you suggesting that attending a Meeting of The Board of Directors is not real work?” asked Lord Tosca.

Lord Telstar examined his fingernails.  Whilst elegantly manicured, they also showed the unmistakeable signs of having hit too many keys on a computer keyboard. “Are you suggesting that it is?” he asked, mildly.

Lady Hankey gave Lord Telstar a very hard look. “Proper Corporate Governance requires rigorous and demanding efforts by responsible directors,” she said haughtily.

“In my experience of corporate affairs, responsible directors are like hen’s teeth.  The irresponsible ones are much easier to find,” said Lord Tosca.

“And more fun to work with,” agreed Lord Telem.

“In our client companies, maybe.  But we are supposed to be better than that,” insisted Lady Hankey.

Lord Telstar threw back his head and laughed openly; Tosca and Telem joined him in amusement.

“Lady Hankey,” said Lord Telem at last, “we understand that as Head of Ethics you might think that: but this is a modern International Investment Bank and we have a different approach to challenges.”

“More robust,” agreed Lord Tosca.

“Focussed,” added Lord Telem.  “On profit.”

“Profit need not be a dirty word,” objected Lady Hankey.

“Of course not,” smiled Lord Telstar, patronisingly.

“But we should have clean hands, both ethically and environmentally,” insisted Lady Hankey.

“We are bankers.  Of course our hands are clean.  We leave the menial job of actually doing things to other people, and just handle the money. Which is clean, even when it’s dirty, if you follow me.”

“Anyway, I’m bored,” announced Lord Tosca.  “Can we just do whatever we have to and then get on with something useful?”

Lady Hankey sniffed offensively, and produced her agenda from a leather wallet which had cost about as much as a small Rolls Royce.

“First item,” she announced. “ Renewal of the contract for maintenance of the car park.”

“Have we had competitive quotations?” asked Lord Telem, principally to get his name mentioned in the official minutes of the meeting.

Lady Hankey took a sheet of paper from her folder and read from it. “We offered the contract to three firms.  One did not reply, the existing contractor offered the same terms, and the third firm said that they were unable to undertake the contract without an extension of their funding from their bank.”

“Who do they bank with?” asked Lord Tosca.

“Actually, they bank with us,” replied Lady Hankey. “But their funding isn’t on the agenda until the next meeting, so there is really only one option available to us.”

“Then after mature consideration, we’ll renew the contract,” said Lord Telem, refreshing his champagne glass.

Lady Hankey relaxed slightly.  Her brief from the CEO was going well. “Next, the Board has to renew the formal instruction to the Finance department to make the regular payment of taxes on the payroll to Her Majesty’s Treasury.”

“What?” Lord Tosca sat up.  “I though Telem here had done away with that nonsense!  And what’s Blear up to, suggesting we pay taxes!  We are an investment bank, for heaven’s sake! Our job is to make money by financing the country, not to finance the country from the money we make. Otherwise the National Debt would be repaid, and that would be a disaster for us!”

Lady Hankey opened a second slim file from her folder and examined the sheet on the front page. “I believe it is being considered an emergency short term economic measure.”

“The Government said that about Income Tax nearly two hundred years ago*, and we still haven’t got rid of that!”

[*Entirely true.]

“I think the Government’s view is that the economic emergency is still going on, two hundred years later**,” observed Lady Hankey.

[**Also true. It’s probably the same emergency, caused by the same reasons: It’s only the politicians and the location of the wars that change.]

“Well that’s no surprise when you look at who runs the government, is it?” grumbled Lord Tosca.

“It will only be a token amount now though,” Lord Telem reassured him.  “Lord Telstar did make a stellar breakthrough last month.”

“Yes,” said Lord Telstar, smugly.  “After a year of continual research, we finally located an alternative reality in which taxation didn’t exist at all: and we were able to route most of our staff payroll through that version of reality.”

“No taxation at all?” asked Lord Tosca.

“No.  And I can report that using our portal and newly created financial links to and from the version of our Bank over there, we have been able to boost revenues significantly by marketing their service to Premier League football clubs over here.  They hate paying tax on their players’ huge salaries, so I foresee steady growth.”

“Excellent!” agreed Lord Tosca.

“Lord Blear feels we can exploit this as a way of ensuring we are granted tax free status as a Free Portal in the next Fiscal Statement, but that paying a nominal amount of tax now will smooth the path,” Lady Hankey read from her notes. “I personally have a number of ethical concerns, but they are for a different meeting.”

The others all nodded enthusiastically.

“So, motion to renew the payment passed?” asked Lady Hankey.

The others all nodded unenthusiastically.

“And finally, we have been asked to get involved in an ethical cultural investment.”

Lord Telem looked cautious. “What sort of investment might that be?”

“We have been asked to provide some funding for a small business to make a documentary film,” explained Lady Hankey

“Films are very tax efficient,” observed Lord Telstar, approvingly. “Who is the applicant?”

Lady Hankey looked at her brief notes again. “Local Council Industrial Estate Records.”

“Do they bank with us? I’ve never heard of them,” observed Lord Telstar.

“No.  They have been referred to us by their financial advisors, who are connected to Caer Surdin, I believe.”

Lord Telem sat up.  “Caer Surdin?  But we were at war with them! They are our enemies.”

Lord Telstar shrugged. “War is war.  Business is business.  Of course, sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference except for the paperwork, but…”

“Now, now: let’s not get into a fight,” said Lord Tosca.

“That seems to be Blear’s view,” Lady Hankey said, reading her brief brief.  “Hands across the Divide, reconciliation with old Foes, moving forward together to a new and prosperous future.”

“Not a chance!” said Lord Telem vehemently.  “It will be a trick, a stratagem, a subterfuge.”

“A what?”

“Caer Surdin are not to be trusted,” insisted Lord Telem.

“I agree,” agreed Lady Hankey.  “As Chair of the Ethics Committee, I have to say that we should have ethical issues over entering into business dealings with the Forces of Darkness.”

“We do business with the Government,” objected Lord Tosca.  “I can’t see the difference myself.”

“Does that mean we need to sell all those Government Bonds we bought last year?” asked Lord Telstar.

“They were an awful investment,” agreed Lord Telem.  “We’d have had a better return if we’d simply turned it into gold and buried it under the car park for five years.”

“You could say that about anything, though,” muttered Lord Telstar.

Lady Hankey sniffed.  “Lord Blear would be able to explain it, I’m sure. Especially with his nice shiny new medal to help him. Probably from buying all those Government Investment Bonds.”

“Why do they call them Bonds, anyway?” mused Lord Telem.

“Because you get tied up in them and can’t escape, I think,” grumbled Lord Telstar.

“Well, I think we should treat this as a straightforward business transaction,” insisted Lord Tosca.  “Can we examine the proposal?”

Lady Hankey dropped the brief on the table with distaste. “Putting it simply, they want to borrow a lot of money to make a film.  Of a group.”

“What group?” asked Lord Telstar.

“The Banned Underground.”

“But they are great!” exclaimed Lord Tosca.  “I mean, we hire them to play here and stuff!”

“How are they connected with the Dark Side, then?” asked Lord Telem.

“I see them as innocent…” started Lady Hankey.

“Innocent? That lot?” Lord Telem howled with laughter.

“Innocent of evil doing,” continued Lady Hankey.  “I think that they are innocent dupes of a cunning plan by The Grey Mage, and I think we should reject this application.”

“Well hold on a moment,” said Lord Tosca, leaning forward across the Boardroom table.  “They are getting popular.  If there’s a good percentage for us, we could make some money out of a film like that.”  He looked at Lady Hankey, and added: “Ethically, too.”

“He’s got a point,” agreed Lord Telstar.

“Oh very well, let’s vote,” grumbled Lady Hankey.

“For,” Lord Telstar said firmly.

“For,” agreed Lord Tosca.

Lord Telem shrugged. “I’m in favour, too.  I quite enjoyed their last concert here.  Let’s make it a condition that we get a free gig at our next Corporate Event.”

“Ha, good idea!” approved Lord Telstar.

“Oh, very well then,” sniffed Lady Hankey.  “I’ll make the notes.”

“No, The Banned will make the notes.  Minims, crochets, quavers, that sort of thing.”

*

In another room inside the enchanted Fairy Hill, Lord Blear (Chairman and CEO of Edern Enterprises and Merchant Banking) nodded in satisfaction, and turned to his personal assistant.

“You can turn off the spycam in the Boardroom, now.”

“Yes, sir,” replied the aide, and turned off the TV link.

“Remind me to have another discussion with Lady Hankey, though.  The Ethics Committee is there to explain to the Regulators why whatever we decide to do is right, not to tell us it might be wrong.”

“Yes, sir.  Lord Blear, may I say something?”

“Go ahead.”

“You cannot go to the Investiture at the Palace dressed in a basque, a thong, and fishnet tights.”

“But I’m awarded the Order of The Garter, and the invitation says ‘Dress Appropriately’!”

“No!”

“Of all right, fish out the Evening Suit, then.  Oh, and you’d better tip off Lady Meillar too.  She’s getting The Order of The Bath.”

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New Release – The Curse of Clyffe House by Will MacMillan Jones

Today I have a New Release for you, The Curse of Clyffe House, from my friend Will MacMillan Jones.  Will has given us a taste with an excerpt of what is to come.

WILL The Curse of Clyffe House Full Cover.jpg

 

Description1

The Curse of Clyffe House is the fourth in the Mister Jones Mysteries collection

It was supposed to be a holiday, time away whilst his friend and neighbour wrote a book about their last adventure. But as soon as Mister Jones arrives at the holiday cottage things start to go wrong, and waking up to find a skeleton in his bed is only the start. Terror stalks this cottage and before long Mister Jones discovers an ancient Evil is plotting to wreak devastation across the land; and it will start with his death.

Poison, fear and a horrific Shadow from long ago stand between their survival: can Mister Jones and his friend defeat the Curse of Clyffe House and live?

Praise for the Mister Jones Mysteries collection on Amazon:

‘I could not put the book down’

‘Creepy and unsettling’

‘Don’t read alone in the dark’

‘Sparsely told in a classic horror style’

‘A mad rush into danger that horror lovers will adore’

‘A classic, Dennis Wheatley feel’

‘Read it in one sitting’

‘Two days later, I can still remember every detail’

 

Excerpt2

Robert turned over in the antique bed and sighed as he heard the springs of the old mattress move under his weight. In that ethereal state between waking and dreaming he reflected that elderly beds in solitary ancient holiday cottages were a hazard to be accepted when on solo walking tours of the Welsh countryside: at least he was only here for the one night before shouldering his rucksack and moving on. Even the dubious delights of this place that both looked and felt as if it still belonged to the Middle Ages were better than sleeping outside. Especially, he thought, as the rain was beating intermittently against the small, single glazed window. He hoped the weather would be better by the morning.

Then Robert froze. The mattress springs groaned under the shifting weight of another body – yet he was here alone. He could feel the motion as the other person rolled over and sat up. Although he didn’t dare to move, Robert opened his eyes. Bright moonlight filtered into the room through the ill-fitting curtains. The intruder stood up, leaving the bed, and Robert heard the bedroom door open.

At last he found the courage to roll over and sit up. Warily turning his head, he saw that the bedroom door was now wide open and he could hear footsteps in the corridor leading to the main entrance. With a sudden surge of unexpected bravery, he flung the bedclothes away without noticing that the duvet on the other side of the bed had lain undisturbed. He heard the sound of a handle turning and Robert ran around the end of the bed and looked out into the corridor. The moonlight shone through the open front door, and he could see that he was alone.

The front door slammed shut, the sound terrifyingly loud in the silent cottage. Robert walked cautiously to the door, and looked out. Across the field, he could see a single figure slowly walking away from him. The person was wearing an ankle length white nightgown and had long auburn hair reaching halfway down the back of the gown: she was clearly female, and his instincts were stirred by her figure. Transfixed, he watched her walk away from him. Robert was inexplicably saddened as, driven by the wind, clouds drifted across the moon and she vanished from his sight. He turned back into the cottage and pushed his feet into his walking boots without bothering to tie the laces. He grabbed his jacket and strode out of the house, across the field. The light of the full moon shone again as the clouds shifted and there she was – ahead of him on the track that returned to the Coastal Path.

Her hair was mysteriously unmoved by the wind that tugged at his unfastened jacket, but Robert didn’t notice. He was completely confused; who was this woman, and how had she been in his bed? Why had she been in his bed? He wanted answers to these questions,  so he picked up his pace and walked faster towards her. Yet without seeming to increase her speed, she remained always ahead of him.

“Hey! Hey! Wait!” he shouted. She didn’t seem to hear, and Robert shouted again. “Who are you? What do you think you were doing?”

She reached the gate that opened onto the Coastal Path, just as the rain started falling again. Robert cursed as he hurried after her, occasionally slipping as the path became muddy under his feet. At the gate, he stopped to catch his breath, yet she continued walking at that same deceptive pace, southwards now along the cliff top. The earthen track showed an occasional footprint in the mud, footprints that slowly filled with dark rainwater and reflected the brilliant full moon. Robert wiped the rain from his face and licked the water from his lips. He tasted salt and realised that the water was not rainfall but sea spray, driven over the top of the cliffs from the waves that lashed against the rocks far below.

Half slipping now on the mud, Robert ran after the woman. At last, at a turn in the path, she stopped. Panting with the effort, he hurried towards her. The woman walked on for maybe ten paces and then stopped again. At last, thought Robert, he could catch this strange person. The surface became more slippery and treacherous under his feet, so he slowed his speed and walked towards her with some caution.

“No good going over the cliff,” he said aloud to himself and took care in placing his feet. The edge of the cliff was perilously close; indeed the woman was standing now on a dark grassy spur away from the path. Still she faced away from him, but now the wind tugged at her nightgown, revealing a full figure that stirred his blood. Her hair began to stir and fly in the wind. As Robert slowed his steps further and finally approached her, she spread her arms wide to the wind and tilted her head back to bathe her face in the light of the full moon.

“Right,” demanded Robert a little breathlessly, as he reached her. “Who are you, and what the hell were you doing in my cottage, in my bed? In my bed, for god’s sake?”

The woman lowered her arms and turned to face him. With a gasp, Robert saw that she had no lips, no eyes, and no face: just a white skull, gleaming in the moonlight. Skeleton hands reached out for him. With a stifled scream, he staggered backwards and lost his balance. His feet slipped on the wet grass and falling he slid over the edge of the cliff. For an instant his right hand scrabbled vainly for a grip on the grass, then with a cry, he was gone to the welcoming mouth of the raging waves that thundered on the jagged teeth of the rocks a hundred feet below the Coastal Path.

The clouds briefly obscured the full moon, and when they were gone the cliff top was empty and silent.

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New Release – Portrait of A Girl by Will Macmillan Jones

I am pleased to bring you a New Release by my friend Will Macmillan Jones, his new book is Portrait of A Girl, the second in his paranormal series.

 

Description1

 

Does lightning ever strike twice? It would seem so for the unfortunate Mister Jones. After a harrowing encounter with the paranormal in The Showing, once again he again finds himself in mortal danger on the borders of that shadowed world.

An antique painting holds a strange fascination for him – and others. What does the girl in the portrait want from Mister Jones and from the others who become entranced by her beauty? And can she be stopped before she unleashes her ancient evil into our modern world in a lake of blood?

‘Portrait of a Girl’ is the second in the collection of Mister Jones paranormal mysteries.

An ARC reviewer says;

This is a great read. I literally devoured it in less than 24 hours.  If you liked The Showing… it’s better. Spooky. It reads a bit like Sheridan LeFanu or Guy de Maupassant. Awesome. Classic horror short story, except this isn’t short. It’s a full novel. Just wanted to clarify, it READS like a classic horror short story. Tight, spare and invoking tons of imagination.
Excerpt2

The picture hung in the window of an art gallery in the arcade. Every day I walked through the arcade with its myriad of tiny exotic shops on my way to and from the station. As the arcade was narrow and roofed with curved glass for natural light, the reflections of the passers by merged with the reflections of the goods on sale in the various windows. Sometimes I had fun with the curved glass, making silly faces that bounced backwards and forwards across the street, from shop window to shop window. Other shoppers would snigger at me but I sometimes caught them doing the same.

Yet whenever I reached the art gallery I would stop and peer at the portrait of a young girl. She was pictured in the first flush of her beauty, a sweet smile on her lips, her head lowered slightly so that she seemed almost to peer upwards through her auburn hair. Her dress swelled and flowed and when the light twisted, to me, she seemed almost to move.

The label below the frame said, simply: ‘Portrait of a girl’ with no artist listed or named. I did go into the shop to enquire, but the price – well let’s just say it would take me a long time to earn that much money, let alone spend it on a painting by an unknown artist, however captivating. For it was captivating: at least to me. I found after a week or so that I couldn’t walk back to the station without passing the gallery. If I tried, I felt uneasy, insecure, and when I got home I had no appetite and slept indifferently and with disturbing dreams.

At last I decided that I must break this spell, and stayed away from the arcade for a week. A whole week, it felt like a lifetime. Then following a very long day in the office, I was hurrying to catch the last train home. A violent storm raged the skies and rain and wind battered the glass of the arcade as I followed the damp footsteps of the last lone hurrying commuter.

Rounding the corner of the arcade, I glimpsed a figure that moved against the glass of the gallery window, and seemed to shimmer. Panting, I followed the wet footprints that led towards the glass – and stopped. The footprints led through the glass to the painting, and I shook to see the girl gaze adoringly into the eyes of a lover. ‘Portrait of a couple’ read the label.

Will book pile

 

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