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Chasing Azrael: Gritty New Paranormal Mystery Series Raises Vital Awareness of Bipolar Disorder.

The ‘Deathly Insanity’ series uses gripping urban mystery and heaps of the paranormal to keep its readers on the edge of their seats. However, the series is also serving a vital dual-purpose by openly examining societal attitudes towards Bipolar Disorder and Depression. The first volume, ‘Chasing Azrael’, sees author Hazel Butler serve up the perfect start to what’s poised to be a best-selling series.

Chasing Azrael CoverWhen Andee Tilbrook’s husband died, her preoccupation with death turned to obsession. Thanks to her unique ability to commune with the dead, her husband remains all too close, yet never close enough. Mired in grief, she clings to James’s spirit, slowly losing touch with the world, her friends, and any desire to continue living.

But when her friend Josh becomes the target of Natalya, a jealous, capricious and violent Russian beauty, Andee somehow finds the strength to free herself from her misery long enough to help him. They soon discover that Natalya is wanted by the police for her involvement in a series of grisly murders, and Andee is dragged into the inquiry by the same man who investigated her own husband’s death.

Torn between new feelings for Josh and fear that he might be involved in the murders that seem to threaten anyone who comes close, Andee must face the realities of her life, her past, and her very nature—and do it all in time to save her own life.

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About the Author:

Author Hazel Butler

Hazel Butler

Hazel is a twenty eight year old author, artist and archaeologist from Cheshire, England. She is currently in the final year of her PhD, which focuses on Gender Dynamics in Late Iron Age and Early Medieval Britain. She studied archaeology at The University of Manchester, then Bangor University, and spent two years doing corporate archaeology and research excavations, both in Britain and Austria. She has had papers published in international journals and online.

Since 2010, she has been working on Chasing Azrael, a Gothic Literary novel and the first in the Deathly Insanity Series, a set of Paranormal Mystery/Urban Fantasy novels with overlapping character and plot-lines. Although these novels have a strong supernatural element they also explore themes of mental health, in particular Bipolar Disorder, which Hazel herself has suffered from since her early teens.

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Excerpt:

I knew nothing but the rhythmic slap of my feet on wet tarmac. It was the only thing I could focus on, and my focus was slipping.

I’m still running, I thought fuzzily, I have to keep running.

The back of my skull throbbed. Thick, cloying blood oozed into my hair, mingling with the rain, cherry streams running down goose-pimpled flesh. One bare, frozen foot landed badly. I tripped, knee slamming into the kerb. A car hurtled by, horn howling at my presence in its path, the glaring lights of its eyes forcing my own shut. When I opened them again, I was transfixed by the sight of my arms, waxen and tinged red in the fading glare of tail lights. I watched intently as bloodied rain dripped down them and into the gutter.

James!” I screamed, but the night swallowed his name.

The injured leg dragged behind as I ran on, a dead weight, more blood now seeping between my numb toes. Rain pounded in my ears, the taste of blood biting at the back of my throat. Again I stumbled as more lights flashed in my eyes, stationary this time. Clustered before me stood a crowd of cars branded with words that should have offered comfort, but instead only confirmed my worst fears: Police, Paramedic. Squinting against the onslaught of headlights, I lurched past them. Voices added their cries to the night, but they were not my own, and they were not his, so I ignored them, the world twisting around me as my head grew ever lighter and the lights grew ever brighter.

JAMES!”

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Look out for CHASING AZRAEL from your favourite book retailer.

The Felinity Cover

Felinity – An Anthology by Kristell Ink

Felinity, noun, plural fel-in-ities. 1. The quality of being cat-like. 2. A divine being, a cat.

Grimbold Books is proud to present our first Kristell Inkling, a collection of feline inspired flash fiction stories written by authors from all around the world.
This collection celebrates what we regard as the most important factor when writing: write foremost for pleasure. The stories showcased in this book are full of laughter, grit, odd contraptions and a lot of fur, with a loud purring nod to our beloved genres of science fiction and fantasy.
From A.F.E Smith’s unique twist on Schrödinger’s cat, to Joel Cornah’s world-jumping old queen, from Clare Neilson’s steampunk creation to Tina Closser’s dragon fighting dreaming kitty, these alternate feline worlds are bound to delight sci fi/fantasy readers and cat lovers alike.

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Sound interesting?

Sounds like the perfect coffee table book, right? Right?

Stay tuned… below is an interview with one of the FELINITY authors…

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Where to buy:

Note: Prices are those set by Kristell Ink. Amazon has a tendency to play…

Paperback

USA $5.49 UK £3.99

Kindle
USA $2.99 UK £1.99

ePub
USA $2.99 UK £1.99 (Smashwords = all Ebook formats)

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Meet the author: David Cohen

David is a member of the Dunedin Writers Workshop (of which I am currently President/Chair person), so when it was suggested that I interview one of the FELINITY authors, I eagerly took the chance to boost the signal of a local…

Take it away David…

David Cohen

David Cohen

Tell us about something that has just happened or is about to happen in your life that you would like to share.
I’m planning on doing some overseas travel to do some research for a book.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Yes I do, but what it turns into (Novella to series is all open) I’ll only know when the characters tell what they plan to do.

What books have influenced your writing? Continue Reading…

Phew!

DebE —  May 20, 2014 — 5 Comments

Quick update before I return to regular programming…

So, my NZMM turned into a bit of a fail this year… let me share the reasons…

So, my family took a “holiday” at the end of April. We decided to drive from Dunedin to Hastings (New Zealand), because it was half the price of flying and it’s a great way to show the child the country (and see it ourselves!)

First up, we didn’t leave as early as planned due to there having been a crash on the highway we needed to take, and no detours available…

We eventually left and still got held up for an hour. Turned out to be an incredibly tragic murder-suicide… Yep. Even in NZ…

So, about four and a half hours into the journey (and about half an hour from our accommodation for the night… in the heavy, heavy rain and dark) the exhaust (with it’s newly-fitted bullet-muffler) began swinging between the car body and the drive shaft (4WD car, so it has a drive shaft)… Of course, we did not know this at the time. All we knew was that the car had begun making a horrendous noise. The car is 1996, so all sorts of things can start falling off in 2014, right? Yeah…well, considering our history with the car (for instance the engine mounting bolt that fell off just as we pulled up in Nelson – 9 hours north of Dunedin – that one time…) we were freaking out. (I was picturing the drive shaft falling free and firing the car – and all of us – from the road…)

We made it to the camp ground and our cabin in the pouring rain (surface flooding) and… managed. Got some sleep.

Spent the following morning trying to figure out what the problem was… well aware that time was ticking as far as getting to our ferry crossing on time. It was very, very wet.

Then we called Roadside Assistance, drove (carefully) to the guy on duty and got the car up on a hoist to figure out the problem. Problem identified, but not exactly fixable (just manageable), we carried on.  Continue Reading…

So, a few weeks ago I told you all about how I had come into possession of some seeds and was beginning my own pot-garden…

…um, I mean…

Well, you know what I mean. I was beginning to grow edible plants in pots (because that’s how I roll when it comes to gardening).

So, I thought I might update you on progress.

Buttercrunch Lettuce

Buttercrunch Lettuce

Here is my first lettuce. Now, in that first sowing, I planted about 3 lettuce seed… yeah… this is the only one that did anything. Since then, I’ve sown another 3 or 4 lettuce seeds… no dice. However, Continue Reading…

Looking forward to eating better….

DebE —  November 16, 2013 — 1 Comment

I thought I might share with you my new garden:My pot garden (o;

Now, let’s get one thing straight: I am not a gardener.

However, about this time of year (summer is coming on here in NZ), I do seem to get itchy green fingers. Don’t know why. I guess maybe it’s because I’m only a generation removed from regular gardeners. Perhaps it’s still in there, somewhere.

Actually, in the past, I have had quite an interest in growing Bonsai. I guess it’s my love of nature combined with my transient lifestyle as a university student. And, even now, I don’t feel a sense of permanence here. We bought this house as a do-up-and-move-on… some 10 years ago… maybe only 9, but it feels like so much longer.

Anyway, the point I wanted to touch on was that I’m sick of paying supermarket prices for lettuce, and I’m also sick of the rather tasteless “fresh” foods we have available now. I remember much yummier veges when I was younger — and I still had to be coerced into eating them. No wonder my son isn’t interested. So, I figured it was about time we started growing our own. It’s going to be a bit-by-bit process.

In April this year, we discovered a wild-sewn strawberry Continue Reading…

Six years old… yesterday

DebE —  October 24, 2013 — 2 Comments
Someone's been rolling...

Someone’s been rolling…

I admit, I was in two minds about posting my latest pics of my baby, but, well… there he is in his natural state (o:

He hasn’t been all tarted up for photos. I went out to visit him in the weekend (just under an hour drive, now). I just took the chance to give him a brush down and look at his feet and re-acquaint myself with him. It’s been two months since he moved away. Where I had been keeping him (10mins drive away) wasn’t an option any more, and we still don’t own a property to keep him.

Was wonderful seeing him again. He’s such a lovely boy. Whenever I catch up with him I flap ropes and halters and whatever all around him, and he never reacts. He’s a really calm little man, and I’m so proud of him for that. (That being said, he’s got a little bit to learn when it comes to standing patiently while I work with him…)

So, yesterday (23rd Oct, NZ Time) he turned six. Well past time I started teaching him a few tricks. With a toddler to raise now, too, I haven’t done as much with Chino as I would have liked, but he’s now fully mature and ready to get on with things, so I’m pleased he now lives with people with experience in training minis for carting. So, this summer…. (o:  Good times ahead.

Some time when I go up and the weather is good – and set to be good for some time – we will give him a bath and see what his colours really look like. If you’ve seen my previous posts of him, you will have seen that, as a foal, he was strikingly bay/pinto… actually, more tri-coloured (he’s grey through the chest, bay at the rear). Even through his early years he kept these colours, and if I blanketed him over winter, he would be bold, too… Hard to know if he is roaning out or just dirty, now (o: So, bath time soon. There will be photos!

Really looking forward to having fun with my wee man (and my other one – the toddler – can come too).

Nothing much more to report. I shall keep you posted on progress, though! Continue Reading…

Those who have followed me for some time will know that I based Jonas’ horse, Chino, on my very own mini horse… Chino.

Looking gorgeous! I just adore this photo.

Looking gorgeous! I just adore this photo.

That’s him in his full-colour glory.

Now I want to introduce you to my inspiration for Llew’s Amico. I don’t know his real name. If I’d had a place to keep two horses, I would have done a little research into acquiring him, too.

Beeautiful!

Beeautiful!

What this photo doesn’t show is the tiny spot of chestnut on his shoulder. That sold him to me, I gotta say (if I’d had a home for him).

Of course, the fictional Chino is much taller and has a military background, & Amico has a history of carrying highwaymen. But having such a strong image in mind has helped me give both horses their own personalities in the books, even though they are clearly minor characters.

Both horses raised their heads as the pair approached the fence. Chino nickered, snorted and took a tentative step towards them before Amico rounded him up, threatening to nip his legs, and led him in a chase away from the couple.

Jonas and Llew grinned at each other to see the bold hack leading the warhorse in play.

Personally, I struggle to say my human characters look just like real people (horses are easier in that regard), but I think this is a great example of how character research can help us with our writing.

What about you guys? Do you keep photos of what your characters look like in your writing files?  Only human? Or animals, too?

Hey all.

So this week was the Healer’s Touch release day (the 31st). Pretty exciting times. Strange times, though. Everyone starts asking, “How are the sales going?”. My answer? “I don’t know”. I mean, I can guess, but really I have no idea. I have no way to check each and every sales channel and find out numbers and combine them to know anything… So, I don’t know.

Plus, unlike the big publishers that start getting reviews and building excitement months (sometimes a year or so) in advance, we didn’t do that. We’ve been hunting reviews in the weeks leading up to the release, but reviewers are pretty busy and some flat out won’t look at Indie Authors/Small Publishers. So, it’s a steep climb. It’s a “Hurry up and wait”… You put the book out there, and then you wait for it to take off… hopefully… (o: But you don’t sit back. You keep looking for someone to review it, and other ways to let people know it exists. That’s the big thing. No matter how good a book is, how are you going to sell it if people don’t know about it? So, each and every person who says “I read this book and it was awesome”, I love you.

Anyway, I felt like getting away from Books. I wanted to share a contrast I’ve noticed. I mean, I’ve seen this coming… Continue Reading…

Horsey Fun & I Suck At Stuff

DebE —  November 12, 2012 — 2 Comments

Do you know how many times I hovered over the WordPress drop down menu and clicked on the link to go to my home page, rather than going one step further to click on the link to create a new post? Five or six. I didn’t think it was important enough to start counting… maybe even seven. Enough times, anyway, to put my head in my hands. Yes, yes I did… Continue Reading…