Posts Tagged ‘Crime’

It has been a while coming, but the latest instalment in the Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren series is finally here.

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Though releases like Sabrina may have kept your Siren cravings satisfied for a short while, finally book 4 in the main saga is here to answer questions about what happened to Fred, Siren, Rick and yes, Harry too.

“I wasn’t going to write more than three books in the main Siren narrative, but the Lily & Rose Saga was a book that just was begging to be written, after all, it didn’t feel right to leave the fate of Fred and Siren hanging in limbo forever.” – C.S. Woolley

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The Lily & Rose Saga is set a few years after the events of the Derek Long Saga, so there is a little bit of a time lapse that readers can fill in the gaps for. It is also the penultimate book in the main narrative.

“The only main narrative book that is left to do is Legacy. Once that is done, then it will be the end of the Siren series. Before Legacy comes though there are a fair few of the shorter infill books planned and there is a bumper collection of five books that will contain all the Siren stories in chronological order – just to make it a little easier to read.” – C.S. Woolley

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Though it is nearly the end of the road for the sassy private detective, the Lily & Rose Saga is out now in paperback and digital formats.

 

Once again we are back today with the Raven Siren in her continuing adventures, this time we’re taking an extract out of book 3 in the Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren series – the Kevin Metis Saga.

Derek Long Saga: an extract

For the first time in as long as I could remember, I was in the hospital but I wasn’t a patient. Granted I had been up until about half an hour ago but I had been discharged, for the first time, and I was still there.

“His condition is stable but he is showing no response to any outside stimuli. The machines are the only things keeping him alive right now.”

“That is just so comforting.” I sneered at the man who had spoken; the brown eyed and brown haired protégé of the comatose Fred Barlow, known to most people as Rick Clegg. I however was not yet ready to address him by any form of name. I had only met him once before today and that was after Fred had just been shot by Derek Long.

“So your reputation is well earned then.” Rick replied leaning against the door frame of Fred’s room.

“And which reputation is that then?” I snapped back as I sat watching the heart monitor.

“For being a bitch.” Rick said shrugging.

I chose to ignore him and reached out to take Fred’s hand.

“So you and he were close?”

Rick seemed to have a really annoying problem of not knowing when conversation wasn’t welcome.

“Is that any of your business?”

“Probably not, so do you mind telling me what happened to result in all the blood, guts and bullets?”

“Maybe I do mind. Maybe I don’t talk to strangers because I’m not a snitch.”

“They prefer the term verbally challenged.”

“Shut the hell up you annoying excuse for human life. There is nothing you can say or do that is going to make me tell you what went on in that house and if you decide to speak to me again, don’t bother, because if you do I’ll just shoot you.”

I was in the foulest mood I’d ever been in. It didn’t take much at the moment to make me want to rip the head off someone for asking me ridiculous questions.

“You may already know this, but threatening a police officer is a punishable offence.”

I drew my revolver and aimed it at Rick’s head.

“You wouldn’t shoot me in a hospital.”

“You really don’t know me very well, do you? Whatever you have heard about me hasn’t been exaggerated. If anything some of the stories have been downplayed for the sake of believability. So step away from the door and let me get on with what I have to do.”

“And what exactly is that?” Rick asked moving to block the doorway.

“Well if you don’t move, then firstly killing you and then finding the man who has so much to pay for.” I stood and walked towards Rick, the gun still aimed at his head.

“And here was me thinking you might want some help.” Rick said raising his eyebrow and slowly smiling.

”I don’t need any help.” I wasn’t exactly in the mood to try and be civil. The only time I ever tried to be civil is when Fred made me.

“If you need it, and I’m not saying you do, then you’ll know where to come to get it. I’ll be watching over Fred whilst you are…erm…busy.” Rick said as he walked past me, ignoring my gun and sat down beside Fred.

“Let’s just make one thing perfectly clear. There aren’t many people I trust and probably the only person I do trust is lying next to you unconscious. So don’t make the mistake of thinking that I’m going to come around to you pretending to be a charming nice guy, because I won’t. I’m not like the women you’ve met before; you have to earn my trust.” I holstered my gun.

“And how do I do that?”

“You don’t ask me stupid questions or try and manipulate me.”

“Well.” Rick leant back in his chair and rested his heels on the edge of the bed. “At least you didn’t shoot me.” He pulled out a packet of cigarettes, took one and lit it. He held it out to me.

“You aren’t supposed to smoke in hospitals.” I replied coldly.

“From what I’ve heard that’s never stopped you before.” Rick shrugged.

“The rules apply to you though. They never seem to have had the nasty habit of applying to me.”

Fred being in the hospital was a slight handicap to what I had to do now. Having him watching my back whether I’d wanted him to or not had always made my life easier; though I would never admit it to his face.

I never had to worry about what was sneaking up behind me because Fred was watching out for me. So I had one extra thing to think about, I couldn’t just tear around town trying to kill Long whilst someone else mopped up behind me and made sure I didn’t get a bullet in my shoulder or worse.

I didn’t like doing things in a low key manner either. It takes longer to do and requires people staying alive long enough to tell you what you need to know without them screaming. I actually don’t mind hearing people scream, it actually has become quite common place in recent years; screaming seems to be an unfortunate side effect of shooting someone during interrogation. What I don’t like is sneaking around, sneaking around makes you no better than – than an assassin.

Assassins are not my favourite people in the world. In fact you could probably go as far to say that of all the people in the world I have ever hated, assassins would come top of that list every time.

More about Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren

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Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren is a book series by author C.S. Woolley. Written in the first person, this modern twist on the private detective pulp novel brings a refreshing take on the film noir world. Nicolette Mace is the private detective known as the Raven Siren and the eponymous heroine of the five books that come together to create the main narrative of the series. There is also a sub set of books within the Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren series that come under the title of Filling the Afterlife from the Underworld. These books are shorter tales that are written to fill in the gaps between the stories in the main five novels and round out the universe that C.S. Woolley has created. Some of the volumes follow cases that the Raven Siren has taken on whilst others are comprised of shorter thoughts and exploits from the day-to-day life of the female private investigator.

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We’re staying with Nicolette Mace today for more from her adventures, but this time from the Kevin Metis Saga, book 2 in the Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren series.

Kevin Metis Saga: an extract

It was a dark, dismal afternoon, like they all seem to be these days, when I got this call. I could hear the rain battering the windowpane of my office when the phone rang.

“Nicolette Mace, the Raven Siren.”

“He’s back and you’re marked.” The phone went dead in my hand. Anonymous calls were always trouble; laying traps for the unsuspecting Private Eye, but this time it was more confusing than anything else. It wasn’t hard to believe that someone had painted a bullseye on my back; the hard part was believing that someone was warning me.

Eight years in a business like this and you don’t make any friends, probably why most P.Is have cats. The only social life a P.I has is with the scum of the earth (their clients), who in this burg are no better than those they ask you to catch, and the local police; you can tell dinner parties are always a blast to have. Usually a shotgun blast.

I could have kept my head down and waited for the hit, it would have saved me an awful lot of trouble and a few fingers as well, but that’s the deal with retrospect.

Two minutes after the phone call I had my coat in hand, my guns in their holsters and no cat to wish me luck.

Times have changed in this business from the days of Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe. The two of them didn’t have the modern world to contend with, the escalation of violent crime, the degeneration of society, in my mind those guys had it easy.

Some things though haven’t changed.

The first thing to do was to try and sniff out a lead, general snippets of news, new guys in town, old faces resurfacing, suspicious activities anywhere in the city.

There was only one guy to go to who’d know what was happening and who would actually talk, Alfie Dennis. Alfie Dennis, still in his early twenties, was the best snitch in the city. He took from both sides and consequently knew more about the city than either side was willing to admit.

He’s a pricey resource if you knew only one way to ask and after double-crossing both sides more than once, he knew how to disappear in the blink of an eye. Luckily enough for me though, he wasn’t immune to female charms.

Alfie wasn’t an easy man to locate and the rain made me irritable when I found him in a down-town pool hall. He wasn’t an attractive man, pug faced with a spot epidemic still clinging on from his teens, though he was never short of women, mainly hookers because even though his looks made any woman want to wretch, the depth of his pockets more than made up for it.

That night he wasn’t alone either, he had two girls hanging on his arms and another two throwing him glances from the bar. When I walked through the door, all eyes turned from their games to the door and back again. That wasn’t unusual, most people in there knew who I was and I knew who they were, if I left them alone, they’d leave me alone.

Simple arrangements like these tend to make life so much simpler, and by “simpler” I mean “longer.”

It wasn’t unlike any other night walking into that hall, but the moment I walked through that door I knew something was different, something about the pool hall was bothering me and the phone call was enough to get me on my guard.

I didn’t like it.

I felt cold like I’d been dropped in a snow bank in the middle of December. It struck me as odd that Alfie hadn’t looked up as I walked in. Normally he would have been watching the door intently, just waiting for business to walk through it. I’d seen him react to the police like a snivelling worm and to the underworld agents in the same way, but he always jumped and headed for the back door if it was me he saw. He hadn’t moved.

Damn.

It was a set up; I could feel it as my flesh crawled. I thought as fast as I could, trying not to give anything away. First thing that came to mind was backing out the door I had just entered through, but it would be being watched.

I stepped away from the door and moved to the bar, the two hookers leaning against it turned and grinned maliciously at me. There was something familiar about them. I was over the counter, guns in hand, before the first shot left its chamber.

More about Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren

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Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren is a book series by author C.S. Woolley. Written in the first person, this modern twist on the private detective pulp novel brings a refreshing take on the film noir world. Nicolette Mace is the private detective known as the Raven Siren and the eponymous heroine of the five books that come together to create the main narrative of the series. There is also a sub set of books within the Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren series that come under the title of Filling the Afterlife from the Underworld. These books are shorter tales that are written to fill in the gaps between the stories in the main five novels and round out the universe that C.S. Woolley has created. Some of the volumes follow cases that the Raven Siren has taken on whilst others are comprised of shorter thoughts and exploits from the day-to-day life of the female private investigator.

Sign up to our mailing list to get the latest news, releases and offers from Mightier Then the Sword UK.

The New Year is off to a flying start for all of us here at Mightier Than the Sword UK – some of the more interesting things you’ll all find out about in due course, but we felt that today was a very appropriate day to post an extract from Beginnings, the first book in the Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren series by C.S. Woolley (you’ll understand why in a few weeks time)

Beginnings: an extract

When I walked into the living room, Louise was sat on the sofa cleaning her favourite rifle. The coffee table was covered with a multitude of other weapons, including six revolvers, a colt that had been a gift from my dad to me, a shotgun and my dad’s favourite assault rifle.

I never thought it was fair for a P.I. to carry an assault rifle, but he mainly used it for intimidation since it had a high tendency to misfire. Most people tend not to argue with someone carrying an assault rifle, but then again there are always exceptions.

I can remember my father being hospitalised for three weeks after he had to use it against a small time gang that seemed immune to intimidation. Any normal person with any amount of sanity would have probably gotten rid of it after that, but honestly, I think it increased his love of the stupid thing.

At least it wasn’t a misfiring shotgun, though there were days when I am sure that Danny had tried to sell him one.

I walked over and sat beside Louise and picked up my colt. It was a beautiful antique six shooter that I lavished more care and attention on than spinsters do on their cats.

Louise always mocked me for it, said a love affair with a gun wasn’t normal – rather rich coming from her considering how much time she spent talking to her rifle.

What it came down to is that our weapons were our greatest friends, the only things we knew we could count on as long as we took care of them. Dad had taught us from a very early age that we couldn’t rely on each other, but if we looked after our guns – we could rely on them.

Louise took this very seriously. She spent more time cleaning and maintaining all our weapons than I have spent sleeping in my fourteen years on the planet. As I sat down next to her I picked up the small brushes and began examining my colt for the smallest specks of dust that could have gotten past my sister’s inspection.

It didn’t take long for my father’s voice to reach decibels that shook the building and caused glass to fall out of the rotting window frames.

“He’s getting worse.” Louise shook her head in despair. She always did think that dad lost his temper too easily, especially when he was on the phone to Danny.

“I don’t think he is, I think you’re getting less tolerant as you get old.”

“You mean older.”

“No, I know what I meant. Definitely old.” I said, staring down the inside of the barrel of the colt.

Louise would have retaliated for a comment like that, normally with some form of excessive violence, but it was this moment that my father chose to throw down the phone and storm into the apartment.

“We’re going out.” He growled in our general direction.

“Why?” I asked, putting down the little brushes. Louise hadn’t missed even the smallest speck of dust.

“Because Danny knows how to push the old man’s buttons and he thinks we have nothing better to do than come along.” Louise sighed as she polished the barrel of her rifle.

“You don’t have anything better to do.”

Dad was never very good at recognising we had our own lives to lead.

“Niccy doesn’t.” Louise shot back.

“And you do?” I always hated it when she called me that.

“I have my own case to work on.” Louise always was more independent than my father liked. After Laura had died, he’d always been very protective of us both – at least that’s what Louise always told me. She said that before mum had died, he’d been different, much more easy going than he was now, not quite so prone to violent outbursts of temper.

He wasn’t a man that doted on his daughters in the same way that I have seen most men dote on them. He didn’t try and buy love because he couldn’t really afford to – there were no ponies or promises of trips to Disneyland, there was no coming home from being on a business trip laden with foreign gifts – there was always the possibility that he would come home from the hospital; bleeding, carrying pizza, but that’s about as far as it went.

The way my father showed his love was teaching us to shoot, teaching us to fight and teaching us how to survive. Louise had learned these lessons very quickly. She had a tougher skin than even my father did, and her ability to shoot straight under pressure was legendary. I, on the other hand, hated the sight of blood, flinched at loud noises and missed every target I shot at.

Arthur said it didn’t matter, that I would get better with practise, but it didn’t seem to make much of a difference. I was beginning to feel like I wasn’t cut out to be a private detective, but then again, there was nothing at school that interested me either. It’s an odd feeling that you might not have a place in the world. But at fourteen, I hardly let that bother me.

“What case is that?” Arthur growled. He wasn’t very good at hiding when he was angry, or supporting what he disapproved of.

“It’s none of your business.” Louise said bluntly. She never liked sharing really, was always a problem when it came to our toys.

There wasn’t a lot that my father could say to that. He tried to form several sentences several times before he gave up completely. I was glad in a lot of ways that he couldn’t come up with a retort; it meant not having to suffer through the carnage of Louise vs. Arthur, round nine hundred and thirty seven.

Louise didn’t give my father the opportunity to argue back either; she dropped the gun parts on the table, grabbed her coat and headed out of the door. It slammed behind her and caused the walls of the office and apartment to shake like they were made from paper; to this day, I am not entirely convinced that they aren’t.

“Get your coat.” Arthur snapped at me and disappeared back into his office. Louise had gone out unarmed, but she was more than capable of defending herself without the use of weapons. The only thing I could take was my colt.

In the office there were plenty of places that my father had guns hidden that I knew existed but had never had any great success in finding. I realised that I hadn’t eaten yet so threw some of the leftover rabbit stew Louise had made two days before, into the microwave and turned it on.

There was a great crash, a smell of burning and the next thing I knew there was a flash of light, I was lying on my back and the smoke alarm was going off.

Arthur came rushing in to see the remnants of the microwave smouldering on the side, rabbit stew sprayed about the apartment with an assortment of electronics.

Who knew putting rabbit stew in a microwave would make it explode?

My father hauled me to my feet without a word, strode across the apartment, opened the window and threw what was left of the microwave out onto the street below.

“You can clean this up later. We have work to do.” He growled as he picked up my coat and threw it at me. I checked over my arms, legs, torso and face and found only four wounds. None of them were particularly deep, the bleeding mostly superficial and there weren’t any scraps of metal lodged in them.

Walking out of the building, my father was already halfway down the street; he didn’t like to be kept waiting. I stepped over the smoking remains of the microwave on the pavement and ran smack into someone walking the other way.

“Hey, watch it!” I shouted as I nearly fell backwards into the pile of ruined electronics and melted plastic.

“Sorry.” The man I had run into replied. I realised that I wasn’t falling because he had grabbed my arm to keep me on my feet.

I looked up to see a young looking man with blue eyes, dark hair and the shadow of stubble that had been left intentionally unshaven. I felt my cheeks flush as I looked at him.

“Colt!” My father shouted, dragging my attention away from the attractive man. I pulled my arm from his grasp and ran off down the street. I could feel his eyes watching me as I chased after my father and couldn’t put my finger on why him watching me didn’t bother me.

“Stay away from him.” Arthur said gruffly as I caught up to him.

“Why?” I said, frowning and turning my head to look back at the man who still stood by the smouldering remains of the microwave.

“Bacon has never been a very healthy thing for private investigators to associate with.” Arthur grunted. For those of you who suddenly feel offended at the thought that bacon, being possibly the greatest meat product after steak, could be seen as something that private investigators shouldn’t associate with; by bacon what Arthur meant was the police.

I didn’t say anything in response as I looked back at the young man. He didn’t look like he was a cop; he looked like he should have still been in high school, not locking up criminals on the street and getting in the way of the work of a private eye.

I hoped I wouldn’t come across him again, not because I have anything against the police really, it’s just they tend to end up getting shot by my father for interfering and surprisingly I didn’t want to see this nice young man end up with a bullet between his shoulder blades.

More about Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren

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Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren is a book series by author C.S. Woolley. Written in the first person, this modern twist on the private detective pulp novel brings a refreshing take on the film noir world. Nicolette Mace is the private detective known as the Raven Siren and the eponymous heroine of the five books that come together to create the main narrative of the series. There is also a sub set of books within the Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren series that come under the title of Filling the Afterlife from the Underworld. These books are shorter tales that are written to fill in the gaps between the stories in the main five novels and round out the universe that C.S. Woolley has created. Some of the volumes follow cases that the Raven Siren has taken on whilst others are comprised of shorter thoughts and exploits from the day-to-day life of the female private investigator.

Sign up to our mailing list to get the latest news, releases and offers from Mightier Then the Sword UK.

There have been no shortage of celebrations going on this morning in the Mightier Than the Sword UK office as C.S. Woolley’s book – Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren – Filling the Afterlife from the Underworld: Volume 1 has been in the top 100 since 13th December!

Our web gremlins may have gone and done a screen print just so everyone can see!

FTAFTU 18.12.14

 

Filling the Afterlife from the Underworld is a collection of short stories that take you into the world of Nicolette Mace in a completely different way to Beginnings, the Kevin Metis Saga and the Derek Long Saga. Instead of focusing on the overarching villains, the short stories look at the day to day grind of her life and offer some fun little insights, infill between the books and years that are jumped over in the stories and introduce you to other people in Siren’s life that are friends, enemies and sometimes a little of both.

Though these tales might not keep you on the edge of your seat, they are funny, sarcastic and a refreshing change to trying to cram a full mystery, thriller, suspense plot into a small word count.

Filling the Afterlife from the Underworld: Volume 1 is available in paperback and digital print from amazon.com.

As well as in paperback and/or digital print from the following retailers:

Waterstones Smashwords-Buy-Button Powell's Books nook Kobo Indigo indiebound_button iBooks half FoylesBook Depository barnes and noble Amazon Amazon Kindle Alibris Abe Books 

In honour of this achievement we are going to gift five copies of the digital and five copies of the paperback books to ten luck people! To enter see below. The contest begins at 12:00AM GMT on 19th December and ends on 24th December at 12:00AM.

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And how might you ask does C.S. Woolley decide to celebrate?

By going to see the Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies in 3D HFR wearing a cardboard beard…for the second time.

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We’d all love to say we disapprove but really we’re a little bit jealous that we don’t have one of our own. Especially since though there has been some spirited debate in the office as to whether the new editions to the realm of Middle Earth have been any good, we are all agreed that the Battle of Five Armies was amazing! Badass Elrond was well worth the wait. Though we are all just a little bit sad that there won’t be any more trips into Middle Earth (aside from the multiple re-watchings of the six extended movies) we can be consoled with the fact that we do have Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor to play on after we finish playing on Dragon Age: Inquisition and Alien Isolation that is.