I won the #awethors opening lines competition!

#Awethors opening lines Winner badge
#Awethors opening lines Winner badge

Hooray! I won the #Awethors ‘opening lines’ competition with the first line of my psychological dystopian thriller The Phoenix Project:

“Cold, dark terror trickled through Raven Kennedy’s veins, freezing him on the spot.”

I will now be featured on the #Awethors website and have earned bragging rights 😉

Dark, dystopian thriller The Phoenix Project - soon to be re-released through Booktrope
Dark, dystopian thriller The Phoenix Project – soon to be re-released through Booktrope

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Secrets of The Phoenix Project

Secrets of The Phoenix Project…

The Phoenix Project Cover - Booktrope

The Phoenix Project was an idea floating around in my head for 10 years before it finally saw the light of day. All the characters, locations and events were gradually built upon to become what they are today. So here are some of the early influences on the novel. 

When hunting through my old notes from the very early versions of the book, I found these pictures. I cut them from magazines when I was around 18 years old and for years they were the perfect images for my characters. My ideas have changed somewhat (especially for Khan, who looks far too sweet here!), but the main ideas remained the same.

Alexia, Khan, Kiri and Seraphia

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I even tried drawing some of my characters years ago! I have absolutely no talent in drawing so these are not very good – but they allowed me to get a better idea of the characters early on. Alexia and Raven

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Raven has also been a mixture of various people – both real and imaginary. I was working on the same character for a long time and he grew and developed into both Vincent Wilder from the Light and Shadow Chronicles, and Raven Kennedy from The Phoenix Project. Therefore, much of Raven’s character is from him. However, parts of him have been based around the following people:

Raven has always had dark hair and intense eyes. The first person I saw in a movie that really looked like my image of him was Billy Crudup as Tommy Marcano in the film ‘Sleepers.’

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Then I watched ‘Sunshine’ starring Cillian Murphy, and I loved the intensity of his eyes, and the haunted look he always has about him!

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Another good model for Raven is Aidan Turner – especially in ‘Being Human’. I like the darkness of his eyes, (though I think he may be a bit too ‘pretty’ for Raven!)

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The closest I’ve come yet to an actor who looks a lot like my image of Raven is Santiago Cabrera as Isaac in Heroes. As a character that deals with mental health issues, Isaac reminded me a lot of Raven and that brooding intensity he has is just perfect!

So, what do you think? If you have read The Phoenix Project why not drop me a line and let me know who you pictured when you were reading the book. Maybe your idea of Raven (or any of the characters) will be very different to mine, but I’d love to know!

Stunning new cover for ‘A Game For Assassins’

This month, thriller author James Quinn has re-released his edge-of-your-seat political thriller ‘A Game For Assassins’. This stylish new cover casts the perfect image for such a gripping, dramatic storyline.

A GAME FOR ASSASSINS COMPLETE

I spoke with James Quinn about his book:

Introduction:

In association with my publishers – Creativia Publishing – we have decided to spruce up the cover of AGFA.  It was felt that since the interior of the book had been brought up to a high standard in terms of story, proofing and editing, we should also afford the same courtesy to the cover.

What we have now is a stylish, theme orientated cover that oozes “Cold War” espionage and action and which grabs the reader’s attention.

I hope you all approve.

Please feel free to share and thanks for all your help

James Quinn

Synopsis:

The assassination of a Caribbean dictator….

The “hit” on a traitor in Beirut……

The brutal murder of a young CIA officer behind the Iron Curtain…..

It is 1964, the height of the Cold War, and British Intelligence is riding high with its top double agent network: Constellation.

But in the secret war fought across Europe the enemy is never far away and soon the agents of Constellation are targeted by an unknown team of assassins.  In desperation British Intelligence sends in their best agent to protect the network and hunt down the killers.

Jack “Gorilla” Grant isn’t your typical Cold War secret agent.  Short, tough, uncompromising, rough edged. He doesn’t fit in with the elitist spies and debonair intelligence agents.  He prefers working at the rough end of British covert operations.

But “Gorilla” is one of the best “Redactors” in the business.  He’s an expert at close quarter combat: quick to the draw and deadly accurate when it comes to the elimination of traitors and extremists on behalf of the British Secret Service (SIS).  He is soon drawn into a game of cross and double cross where nothing is as it seems and even the most perfect spy can die in a wilderness of mirrors.

“A Game for Assassins” is an action packed edge of your seat thrill ride played out across the global stage of the Cold War.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

James Quinn spent 15 years in the secret world of covert operations, undercover investigations and international security before turning his hand to writing.

He is trained in hand to hand combat and in the use of a variety of weaponry including small edged weapons, Japanese Swords and Hunting Bows.  He is also a crack pistol shot for CQB (Close Quarter Battle) and many of his experiences he has incorporated into his works of fiction.

He lives in the United Kingdom and travels extensively around the globe.

For more information check out the James Quinn Website:

http://jamesquinn.webs.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/James-Quinn/1558765681046413

Twitter: James Quinn – Author @Ape101Quinn

http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00VRR0DYI?ref_=pe_1805931_64002121

http://www.amazon.com/James-Quinn/e/B00VRR0DYI/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

The Phoenix Project Cover Reveal!

Cover Reveal for The Phoenix Project by D.M. Cain

It’s here! Dark, gritty psychological thriller The Phoenix Project undergoes a makeover in the brand new Booktrope edition. Completely re-edited and re-designed, don’t miss this stunning cover by the talented Amalia Chitulescu.

The Phoenix Project Cover - Booktrope

Dark and gritty dystopian thriller The Phoenix Project by D.M. Cain has undergone a complete revamp with US publisher Booktrope. It has been re-edited from start to finish with new background information on some minor characters, and a few scenes altered. The biggest change to the content is that the epilogue has been removed from the book itself and can now be found HERE.

To go with the changes in content, The Phoenix Project has had a completely new cover designed by the very talented Amalia Chitulescu!

The image was chosen very carefully to suit the tone and plot of the book. The man on the front (protagonist, Raven) is looking to the floor, to symbolise the guilt and sadness that weigh him down. Chains coil around his arms, indicating his captivity – both in the physical and psychological sense. The background is bleak and hopeless (a theme that is very prevalent in the book), yet the flames around Raven suggest the possibility of rebirth and regeneration.

The book will be available to buy soon from a wide range of digital and paperback distributors.

Author: D.M. Cain

Title: The Phoenix Project

Genre: Psychological thriller/Dark thriller/Dystopian

Book Content: Occasional adult language, graphic violence, and mild sexual content.

Original Cover Design from the first edition:  

Featured image

Synopsis:

How can you fight to the death, when you’ve given up on life?

A thought provoking and compelling dystopian world that will change the way you view justice…

A man fights for life—and redemption—in D. M. Cain’s riveting re-released novel, The Phoenix Project.

Britain has descended into chaos as violence and terrorist attacks seethe across this once-peaceful country. Outraged by the steady stream of lawlessness, citizens demand a harsher penal system, and the Phoenix Project is born.

In prisons across the country, inmates fight to the death in a weekly bloodbath while the nation cheers them on.

Raven Kennedy, a prisoner who has never forgiven himself for his unspeakable crime, struggles against his own guilt and self-loathing. But even as the real war wages on within himself, Raven is forced to battle some of the prison’s most ruthless killing machines. Can he survive long enough to unravel the anger and regret that shackle him—and one day find the forgiveness he seeks?

‘The Phoenix Project by D.M. Cain is a superbly written debut, soaked in tension and intrigue,’ Jack Croxall, author of the ‘Tethers’ trilogy.

Another #Writestorm session!

After yet another highly successful #Writestorm session this evening with a few fellow #awethors I managed to put together 1483 words of my latest novel in the Light and Shadow Chronicles series (title yet to be revealed!) in just one hour. (God, I love the Writestorm methodology! For more check out this link: writestorm – a concept that changed my entire philosophy about writing)

After each session, we share a short extract from the session. As I do at least one session a week, I plan to share extracts from my work on this blog to give my readers sneak peeks at the content of my next book. So, here is a tiny excerpt from today:

Drake grinned. “Do you know how long I’ve been waiting to get these grooves carved into my axes? They’ll make my swing faster and more accurate—aerodynamic, you know? I’ll fly through the air.”

Silas slapped his brother affectionately on the back. “Maybe you’ll save my ass a bit quicker next time we meet a Barlakess then.”

Drake threw a frown in Silas’s direction, ignoring the chuckling coming from Requiem. “You’re lucky I saved you at all. It would have been much easier to attack the Barlakess while it was busy chewing on your head.”

Silas threw his head back, guffawing loudly.

“Keep it down, weirdo,” Requiem muttered as they strolled into the darker regions of Belkeep’s underworld. “The gangs will hear and come looking for trouble.”

“Rubbish,” Silas said, but he lowered the volume of his voice as they began to wind through the tiny alleys of the slums, past hastily built shacks and gangs of street kids looking at them with hostile, narrowed eyes. They were about to enter the underbelly of Belkeep.

A Barlakess, by the way, is a vicious creature loosely inspired by both the Behemoth of the Final Fantasy games and the Nexu from Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones

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Launch day for ‘In Shadows Waiting’ by Stewart Bint

Today is the day of the official release party for one of the best creepy horror stories I have ever read. In Shadows Waiting had me jumping at every noise, but it isn’t just a mindless horror. It is a touching and fantastically well-written tale of love and loss too. So, here it is – the Booktrope re-release of In Shadows Waiting!

In Shadows Waiting Front Cover
Young Simon Reynolds lives a bucolic life at his family home, White Pastures, surrounded by a loving family and a charming community. Simon finishes his A levels and looks forward to unwinding while his sisters work on their tans. Meanwhile the tiny community of Meriton has been plagued by a spate of burglaries, and White Pastures seems to be next. A shadowy figure stalks the house, but the police can find no signs of an intruder. Inspired by the author’s real-life experience with the supernatural, In Shadows Waiting recounts a summer that changes the Reynolds’ lives forever. As the summer progresses, the shadows take on an altogether more sinister implication, and White Pastures begins to reveal a terrifying secret. The epicentre of an event that has scarred an entire community, White Pastures grows more and more dark, possessed by a shadow that yearns, a shadow that will not be denied. At White Pastures, someone will die – but love never will.

This is my favourite excerpt:

The creature’s triumphant laugh was something that would be with me until my dying day. And something I never wanted to hear again.

It was the strongest memory to stir as I looked at the photo whose colours had dimmed with age. Thirty-two years ago it was vibrant and full of life. Just like the faces staring back at me from the time before shadows. From the time before torment. From the time when we were happy.

It all reminded me of when the world was young and innocent—hell, when I was young and innocent. My two daughters both started sleeping with their boyfriends as soon as they turned sixteen, probably before then if the truth were told. If they had, it was something both they and my wife kept from me. But it was a different era when my sisters were that age. Helen and her Mark. Sarah and the succession of boyfriends she brought to our home, White Pastures.

I rarely smile now. Even after thirty-two years, the memories are painful. Fifty now. A half century. I was eighteen then. Yet in some ways it still seems like only yesterday.

Time plays tricks.

A tear rolls down my cheek.

Here is my review of In Shadows Waiting:

As an avid fan of Stewart Bint’s work I knew I was going to love his latest release, but I wasn’t prepared for how much it would suck me into the story! I read this book in mere days because the writing was so good I couldn’t put it down.

The book follows Simon, a young man barely out of college, and his family. They are an ordinary family with an ordinary life, until they begin to see flashes of movement and shadows passing the windows. Simon begins to feel a dark and mysterious presence in his house as an unwelcome presence manifests. The haunting begins as merely mischievous, but rapidly escalates into menacing, and eventually downright terrifying. This malicious spectre is no longer content to remain in shadows waiting…

I was dragged along by this book, desperate to read each page, and my mind worked furiously, trying to pull together the clues and threads that ran throughout. I love a good creepy horror story and this one had me jumping at every noise and shadow. A thoroughly enjoyable read and another triumph for Mr Bint’s literary career.

Cover Reveal for fantastic chilling horror novel ‘In Shadows Waiting’

One of my favourite authors, the fantastic Stewart Bint​, will be releasing his new horror novel very soon. Here it is, the brand new cover for ‘In Shadows Waiting’:

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Young Simon Reynolds lives a bucolic life at his family home, White Pastures, surrounded by a loving family and a charming community. Simon finishes his A levels and looks forward to unwinding while his sisters work on their tans.
Meanwhile the tiny community of Meriton has been plagued by a spate of burglaries, and White Pastures seems to be next. A shadowy figure stalks the house, but the police can find no signs of an intruder.

Inspired by the author’s real-life experience with the supernatural, In Shadows Waiting recounts a summer that changes the Reynolds’ lives forever. As the summer progresses, the shadows take on an altogether more sinister implication, and White Pastures begins to reveal a terrifying secret.

The epicenter of an event that has scarred an entire community, White Pastures grows more and more dark, possessed by a shadow that yearns, a shadow that will not be denied. At White Pastures, someone will die – but love never will.

Here is my review of this outstanding book: 

Review image of In Shadows Waiting