Posts Tagged ‘Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren’

With things in the process of changing around the Mightier Than the Sword UK Publications offices, we’ve had some delays and reworkings of release dates. To make it slightly easier to know what’s due to be released and when here is our guide to March and April.

March 2017

The Arm Rings of Yngvar Collection is the 31st book by C.S. Woolley to be published. It contains FATE, WAR, WIFRITH, DOUBT, SKANE, SHIPWRECKED, FEAR and HOME all in a single volume.

Brother is the debut novel from Marlena R. Smith and is a Military Science Fiction story about brothers-in-arms.

All Hallows’ Eve in Stickleback Hollow is the second book in the series and takes place a few weeks after the first instalment in the series, A Thief in Stickleback Hollow (which is also the perfect gift for Mother’s Day).

April 2017

April sees the delayed release of WYRD, book 1 in the Children of Snotingas series and When Darkness Falls, the long anticipated sequel to End of Days.

April is also when we see the latest instalment in the Raven Siren main narrative, the Lily & Rose Saga, following on from the Derek Long Saga and finally gives readers some answers as to what happened to Fred and Siren.

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Today we are handing over the blog to C.S. Woolley as there is an answer to a question she wishes to provide:

tunnel-vision1

So a brief extract from my latest book has been shared and if you have seen it, you may feel like you recognise it. Yes, I am quoting Star Wars in the paragraph. The chapter the extract is taken from is called “A bad day at the Post Office”. This is what I call Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. The reason behind this is that the droid factory scene really does look like someone is having a bad day at the post office. It has stuck and I find it just as amusing now as I did when I first mentioned it to a friend.

As this chapter was given the same name, I decided to have some fun with it.

“In short the Post Office was the most wretched hive of scum and villainy, but it was our only hope.”

This sentence is a merger of Obi Wan’s line to Luke in Episode 4 and Leia’s message to Obi Wan in the same movie. The barman in the Post Office is George, which is an obvious reference to George Lucas who created the Star Wars series – the man who set up and runs the Post Office could hardly be called anything else, but don’t worry there isn’t a Jar Jar Binks in sight.

To give you some context, this is the extract taken from the book:

“The Post Office isn’t actually a post office. It used to be. It was supposedly abandoned now, but the boarded up front did nothing to hide the fact that it was being used as the biggest underground trading network in the city. If you needed information, guns, a new identity, a place to hide from the police or anything even remotely criminal, then the post office was the place to go to find it.

In short the Post Office was the most wretched hive of scum and villainy, but it was our only hope.”

If you want to get your own copy of Sabrina, it’s out now in paperback and digital formats from all good retailers, but you can download it direct from the Mightier Than the Sword UK etsy store for 19p less than on amazon http://etsy.me/2iBjdFt

For our fourth and final day of our Raven Siren extracts is the most recent of the full length stories in the Nicolette Mace universe, the Lily & Rose Saga.

Lily & Rose: an extract

Fred Barlow sighed as he hung his hat and coat behind his door and stared about the immaculate living room. He didn’t spend enough time here. He glanced at his watch, 1.30am; his days at work were getting longer.

He strode across the living room to his bedroom. It too was spotless. He sighed again as he sat upon the corner of his bed.

The bathroom door opened and a silhouetted figure stood leaning against the door frame. The silhouette had legs like a racehorse and the chemise she wore showed them off nicely.

“You’re late.” She said gliding across to him. She straddled his legs and kissed him as Fred grabbed her by the waist.

“Paperwork.” He said throwing her onto her back on the bed. “I hate it; it’s not about catching criminals any more, God it’s changed and not for the better.” He said as she rested her hands upon his shoulders.

“I wish Siren was still around. She at least kept bringing in criminals and was marginally entertaining whilst she did.” He shook his head.

“But she died a long time ago now.” She said as she kissed Fred again.

“Nic, don’t be ridiculous.” Fred smiled slightly, gazing down at his wife. She hadn’t changed in appearance in four years, only her dress sense had.

“If she hadn’t died we wouldn’t be together. I gave it all up for you and I don’t plan on going back…” She said stroking his face.

“God, I wish you would, if only to show the new mayor that at least someone still wants to get criminals off the streets.” There was defeat in his voice. He was tired now, almost too tired to fight against the corruption and restriction he faced every day.

Nicolette rolled Fred onto his side and nuzzled his neck.

“Nic please don’t do that whilst I’m ranting…” He groaned at her, there was still lots that he wanted to get off his chest without really knowing how to.

She nuzzled him more.

“What are you, some kind of cat?” He demanded trying to sound annoyed.

“Miaow.” She and Fred both laughed.

“I don’t know how you do it, but you always make me feel so much better.” He sighed as he looked at her. She was much happier now that she wasn’t a private investigator, much happier now that the two of them were together. Her abrasive and defensive nature had been replaced with joy and a gentle nature he had only hoped lay beneath it all.

“What else is a wife for?” She asked kissing him again. Fred rolled her back on to her back and whispered in her ear.

“To be my equal, to share everything with me, to show the world that I love you above all others and keep you happy. You aren’t just here to cheer me up.” He said lovingly running his fingers through her hair.

She smiled broadly and kissed his forehead.

“Now if you don’t mind, I would like to forget about work.”

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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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.

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Shroud of Darkness is the fourth book in the Chronicles of Celadmore, but it was the first book in the series to be written. It is also the first book in the Shroud of Darkness trilogy.

“When I started writing Shroud of Darkness I was 12. I had been inspired to write something epic, but it wasn’t called Shroud of Darkness until I was 15. Originally the book was going to be a single volume called Flight of the Swallow. The heroes and villains were the same, but the portals that feature in the series were used quite differently. Starting writing something when I was so young, it was hardly surprising that the book transformed into what it is now. This was partly due to me growing up and gaining more experience of the world, but also from the inspiration I drew from the trailer for Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring. Arwen threatening the Ringwraiths in the river gave me the inspiration to create the warrior women of the Anaguras and the appearance of Strider in the trailer gave rise to the Queterians. At that age I hadn’t read Lord of the Rings and I hadn’t even seen the movies before I started writing.”

Shroud of Darkness is an epic that sees Celadmore as a very different realm to the one that Kasnata and her people inhabited.

“Things have changed in the 400 years between the two trilogies. War still remains though. Celadmore is recovering from a twenty year war that has ravaged the land and the characters are all feeling the after effects of the events from the war. The Order is much more divided and the Valians are far more of a threat than they were in Rising Empire.”

Though the world has changed since Rising Empire, you also get to experience much more of the realm too. The central character in Shroud of Darkness is Venetia, one of the RAVEN queens of the Anaguras, the Queterians have their own king and though they are still one people, their lives, cities and military forces are split.

“Shroud of Darkness is a book that still holds a very special place in my heart, it’s the least serious of all the books in the Chronicles of Celadmore and the characters are living in a state where they are still celebrating the end of conflict and really don’t want to be drawn into another war and most don’t even want to admit that there is anything wrong.”

There are a few customer reviews to be found for Shroud of Darkness:

“It’s hard for books to distinguish themselves nowadays, especially books in the fantasy genre.

There are many books out there that are well marketed but when it comes to the text, it is always disappointing. This one is brilliant. It says it’s the third book in a series, but it’s the first one I have read and I was able to follow everything that was going on without a problem! The characters are a myriad of people that seem to be written in a very realistic way – you hate some of them, find some of them irritating, some of the stupid, some of them extremely unlucky, some of them that you fall instantly in love with and some you just like because they are, for want of a better word, cool. I’ve talked to my friend who recommended this book and their favourite character is completely different to mine.

The character of Caslo had to be my favourite, he isn’t a major character as far as the plot goes but I instantly fell for him and felt that that he was, to put it simply, cool.

The feel of the book is a bit like the writing of Tolkien but without the long drawn out conversations. The world you enter into is well fleshed out, complete with different languages, races of people, kingdoms, tensions and feels fully formed from the first page. The history is well established and it almost feels like you are about to go exploring the realm of Celadmore as you delve into the pages.

The plot on the face of it seems to give you everything upfront, but this is a ruse. There are many twists to the plot and C.S. Woolley has managed to keep the plot simple without being boring, focusing on key elements of what makes a good story and filling out the book with the many subplots that are woven together with the main plot line and flesh out the story into something wonderful.

I am now reading the next book in the series as the cliffhanger at the end demanded I read on before going back to find the other books in the series. I would recommend this to anyone who loves to read and especially those who don’t like the fantasy genre – it may just turn you!” – Taken from Amazon.com

“My favourite character in both the Chronicles of Celadmore and the Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren books first appears in Shroud of Darkness and there is a child-like quality to a lot of the characters. Most of them are still young and have a very narrow view of the world that has been forged by the war. There are a lot of insular attitudes and misunderstandings that come out of these. Shroud of Darkness will also always be really special for me as a book as it got to number 4 in the Kobo fantasy charts and was outselling George R.R. Martin, Raymond E. Feist, Robin Hobb and it was the first moment when I felt like a real author.”

Shroud of Darkness is available for £1.99 in digital formats and £9.99 in paperback formats from all good retailers. You can get your copy now from amazon.

Did you know?

Shroud of Darkness was originally over 1,000 pages long and comprised most of the events of Lady of Fire and End of Days. When C.S. Woolley finished writing the original draft, she decided there was just too much for it to be featured in one book and so split the story into three to let it develop more and ultimately led to a more satisfying story as well as the creation of the other 18 books in the series as well as the 20 part spin off series, The Dragonian Wars. For those of you that are counting, that’s 41 books in total!

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If you already own a copy of Shroud of Darkness, then the fun doesn’t have to stop there! A line of Chronicles of Celadmore merchandise has been created and some of it is already available for purchase!

Shroud of Darkness Mug

Shroud of Darkness Poster

Other Shroud of Darkness Merchandise

Chronicles of Celadmore Logo Poster

Map of Celadmore Poster

A range of notecards and other posters featuring the character faces and quotes (some of which you can see further up in this blog post) are due to be released along with a range of bookmarks and postcards** slightly later this year. The notecards and posters featuring the characters are being released to raising money for charity. 50% of the profits from every sale of the notecards and posters featuring the characters are to be split between two charities – 25% of the profits going to the Broad Appeal and 25% of the profits going to the British Heart Foundation. Though we don’t have an official release date for these yet, we do know you will be able to order them for collection at the UK Indie Lit Fest (that C.S. Woolley and Steven M. Caddy are attending) and you will be able to purchase them for delivery through this site as well as through Etsy.

** the designs for the bookmarks and postcards have yet to be released.

SoD Trio

When it comes to space, there is something about it that draws out the imagination. From TV and movies to games and books, we’ve gone through and found our favourite interpretations of life in space in honour of the release of In Exchange on 12th April 2016. So in no particular order:

Star Trek

Teleportation-Beam-me-up-Scottie-EatSleepDigitalsStar Trek as a franchise is possibly one of the greatest to ever exist. Not did the first series attain a cult status that led to some of the best space movies and reboot movies that have ever graced the silver screen, but the number of TV series to exist in the same extensive universe is mind blowing. Rather than pick a particular one, we’ve chosen to honour the franchise as a whole – this is partly as none of us can agree on which is the best series, but also because each movie and series has something in it for Star Trek fans to love. Besides, which other space based series can boast a commander that has to step over chairs to sit in them?

Mass Effect
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Image by Joe Black, Deviant Art

When it comes to games set in space (we’re not including No Man’s Sky just yet since it hasn’t been released) Mass Effect might just be the pinnacle of perfection. It is a game that can be replayed again and again and loved more every single time – even the first game, which is looking very dated now and feels clunky to play when compared to Mass Effect 3. It is packed full of some of the most imaginative characters and geeky references, throw backs and the best damn pilot in the galaxy. Though nobody ever has the same Shepard, every incarnation of the game’s hero is awesome and when you throw in the unstinting loyalty of Shepard’s companions – especially Garrus and Joker, you get one brilliant space adventure.*

Captain Harlock

The manga and anime genre has such a wide range of different settings, pulling one out of it that is exceptional is so difficult, but Captain Harlock: Space Pirate, really is one movie that distinguishes itself. Yes, the original cartoon was comical and a much more in depth exploration of the source material – the recent movie blows everything away and can easily be watched repeatedly. After all, everyone in Captain Harlock seems to be searching for their kind of redemption, so what could possibly go wrong?

Battlestar Galactica

Whether you like the original series or the more recent reboot and spin off series (Caprica), BSG has got so much to offer. Rather than being an exploration mission that involves hundreds of different races it gives a twist on the universe – humanity is alone in it, save for the technology it has created that now threatens to destroy them. The cylons and the fight against them is something that is easy to relate to and being set so far from Earth makes it all the more imaginative.

Firefly

The beloved and short-lived creation of Joss Whedon is something that sci-fi fans will never give up on seeing a second series of, and with good reason!

“Picture Star Wars, but the Rebellion is crushed. Han and Chewie escape to the Outer Rim, where they take whatever smuggling jobs they can find. The worlds are mostly tech-poor, so no blasters. Now, change Chewie into a hot woman soldier, give her a smart ass husband for a pilot, a rude mercenary for protection, a cute farmgirl mechanic, a smoking hot professional escort, and a couple of mysterious passengers. And that’s just the first episode.” – Jeff Struckhoff

What’s not to love? Packed with adventure, a struggle to survive, being chased by the authorities, haunted by the past and threatened by a race of mad cannibals that it turns out the higher ups in the confederation of planets created and you might understand a little of why so many still want more from this series.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Best Retro PC Games Star Wars Knights of the Old RepublicBefore this game came out, RPG games were a little bit samey, yes, they were enjoyable, but Bioware brought something new and fantastic to the table and created some of the best Star Wars canon around (the Mandelorian Wars). With fans working on transforming the old graphics of this game into pretty shiny new ones, we couldn’t be more excited! This game gave Star Wars fans the chance to run around, become a Jedi and save or condemn the galaxy as they saw fit and gave us the brilliance of HK-47, our own wookie friend in Zaalbar, a grumpy former Jolee Bindo and the chance to romance a character, that could go very well or extremely badly depending on how things played out. Besides all this, you were being racing against the bad guys and had one of the best gaming twists thrown into the plot to boot!

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

One of the most beloved and influential books of all time, there isn’t much we can say about the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that you won’t have heard before, all we have to say is that no we don’t know the question, but the answer is 42 and if you haven’t read it, well you should!

The Martian

Spending yet more money on rescuing Matt Damon, the Martian is an exceptional space movie that is a lot closer to home than other movies and TV series set in space. The reviews will give you a much better idea of how brilliant this movie is than we can!

Stargate

Though the movie has some merit, the series that the Stargate universe has spawned are what we adore. Whether it is the original SG1 team, the series set in Atlantis or Universe, there is plenty to get exited about when it comes to space.

Halo

Space marines in battle armour and genetically modified humans fighting alien races with the help of an AI – Halo not only has an incredibly rich back story and compelling plot that has spawned movies and comics to support the series, but it is amazing fun to play. Besides, there are very few franchises that can boast a spoof that is as funny and entertaining as the wondrous Red vs. Blue.

Cowboy Bebop

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Cowboy Bebop is space combined with film noir to create something that is just spectacular and irresistible cool. Not only does Cowboy Bebop follow bounty hunters in space, it is also one of the influences on C.S. Woolley‘s Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren series.

 

Star Wars

Need we say more?

*We would like to apologise to all those gamers who are now feeling the need to spend several hundred hours playing through Mass Effect from 1 to 3 yet again.**

In Exchange is currently available for pre-order for Smashwords, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Kindle readers, priced at $2.99, and will be officially launched on 12th April 2016.

**We’re really not all that sorry as we know that it will be freaking epic.

It’s finally here! MURDER IN THE FIRST has landed. The 9th book to be published in the Nicolette Mace: The Raven Siren series, Murder in the First is one of the Filling the Afterlife from the Underworld books and sees Siren investigating for Fred and Harry instead of behind their backs. This particular book is dedicated to C.S. Woolley‘s grandmother.

Murder in the First starts at just £0.66/$0.99 in digital format and £3.99 in paperback.

MITF Smashwords cover

 

http://mybook.to/murderinthefirst

https://store.kobobooks.com/…/nicolette-mace-the-raven-sire…

https://itunes.apple.com/…/nicolette-mace-rave…/id992577387…

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/539356

The bickering trio are back in this latest Raven Siren Case File Special! It’s a family affair as Fred and Harry come to Siren on bended knee to investigate a case that neither of them can get close to. Ryan Barlow, Fred’s brother and only living relative is in trouble, the kind of trouble that will end up with him in prison or dead, unless Siren can do something to help.

Sonya Lesner, a woman of some dubious reputation has been found murdered and Ryan is the prime suspect. Not only that, but the crime scene has been staged to send a message to one of the trio and Siren is certain that she has heard the name, Sonya Lesner, before. Of all the cases Siren has taken, there has never been more at stake as she digs into the past to try and find some answers.

Nicolette Mace is a private investigator out of necessity, not choice. With her family dead and nowhere else to turn she had to learn to stand on her own two feet and live the only way her father ever taught her to.

Life as a private investigator isn’t all big cases, excitement and arch enemies. Filling the Afterlife from the Underworld follows the day to day musings and activities of Nicolette Mace: The Raven Siren, taken from her online blog.

“My name is Nicolette Mace, but you might know me as the Raven Siren. I’m a Private Investigator living the 1930s romantic dream in this new and exciting modern age. I keep records of everything that happens; everything I have seen and done. Why? There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamed of in your philosophies.”

 

Filling the Afterlife from the Underworld: Volume 1 has made its way back into the Top 100 best sellers on amazon.com. What a great way to start the week for all of us here at Mightier Than the Sword UK.

We’ve got so much planned and so much we can’t talk about but hopefully you’ll start to see the fruits of our labour over the next few weeks.

For those who are anxious about upcoming titles we can reveal that Filling the Afterlife from the Underworld: Volume 3 will be published on 28th February 2015. Pre-orders will be available on some platforms from 19th January 2015.

End of Days is coming along nicely from what we have seen – and we must admit we are all itching to find out how everything ends for Venetia, Gruagadon, Gevana, Dominia, Cryxander, Merchi, Tatinia and all the other characters in this particular story arc of the Chronicles of Celadmore. We know it’s going to be a hard fight for them and we also know that C.S. Woolley isn’t afraid to kill off her characters!

Both Sarah Ransom and Harry Mirfin have some new books headed our way but as yet we don’t have any details we are allowed to let you have just yet – but gives time and we shall reveal all!

It’s also come to our attention that we still haven’t taken down the Christmas decorations in the office yet and the more superstitious amongst are number are starting to get quite irritated by the fact, so when we shut up shop tonight however draws the short straw will be boxing everything up for another year.

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