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Blog posts with exciting announcements.

Read an eBook Week 2018 – eBook Offers

Read an eBook Week 2018

It’s Read an eBook Week 2018 at Smashwords and to celebrate eBooks all over the site are marked down in price. We love eBooks at Wittegen Press, so we have enrolled many of our books in the promotion.

Some books are FREE and others have between 25% and 50% OFF.

The Chronicles of Charlie Waterman by Natasha Duncan-Drake

Title: The Chronicles of Charlie Waterman
Author: Natasha Duncan-Drake
genre: contemporary fantasy
Cat’s Call 100% OFF
Cat’s Creation 50% OFF
Cat’s Confidence 25% OFF

The Burning Web by Sophie DuncanTitle: The Burning Web
SALE 50% OFF
Author: Sophie Duncan
Genre: horror, ghost, LGBTQ+
Length: novella

Dead Before Dawn: The Vampire Curse by Natasha Duncan-DrakeTitle: Dead Before Dawn: The Vampire Curse
SALE 50% OFF
Author: Natasha Duncan-Drake
Genre: paranormal, LGBTQ+
Length: novel

Dreams and Reality by Natasha Duncan-DrakeTitle: Dreams and Reality (Dark Reflections 2)
SALE 50% OFF
Author: Natasha Duncan-Drake
Genre: sci-fi, LGBTQ+
Length: novel

In the Event of Death by Sophie Duncan & Natasha Duncan-DrakeTitle: In the Event of Death
SALE 100% OFF
Author: Sophie Duncan & Natasha Duncan-Drake
Genre: horror
Length: 2 short stories

When Darkness Beckons by Sophie Duncan and Natasha Duncan-DrakeTitle: When Darkness Beckons
SALE 100% OFF
Author: Sophie Duncan & Natasha Duncan-Drake
Genre: horror
Length: 2 short stories

Myriad Imaginings by Sophie Duncan and Natasha Duncan-DrakeTitle: Myriad Imaginings
SALE 50% OFF
Author: Sophie Duncan & Natasha Duncan-Drake
Genre: various genres
Length: Anthology – 28 stories

Night Blood by Sophie DuncanTitle: Night Blood
SALE 50% OFF
Author: Sophie Duncan
Genre: contemporary paranormal, vampire
Length: novel

Blood Sacrifice: The Avebury Legacy by Natasha Duncan-DrakeTitle: Blood Sacrifice: The Avebury Legacy
SALE 50% OFF
Author: Natasha Duncan-Drake
Genre: contemporary paranormal, vampire
Length: novel

The Chronicles of Charlie Waterman – Now In Paperback

The Chronicles of Charlie Waterman now in paperback

The Chronicles of Charlie Waterman – Now In Paperback

For those who love the feel of a holding a book, we are very pleased to announce that The Chronicles of Charlie Waterman by Natasha Duncan-Drake  are now available in paperback as well as eBook.

Book 1 – Cat’s Call
Book 2 – Cat’s Creation
Book 3 – Cat’s Confidence

Charlie Waterman is eighteen and, until he is assaulted by a cat figurine and wakes up with a tail, he is boringly normal. Seven great Spirits guard the universal Balance against the forces of chaos and it is time for them to choose new Questors to wield their power and be their mortal advocates. Charlie is supposed to be the Questor of the Cat Spirit, but no one bothered to ask him about it.

Cat’s Call has been re-edited and is now a second edition, so if you already have the book in Kindle or other eBook format, now is the time to download the new version as well.

We know that the lure of print is irresistible to some and that eBooks just don’t quite hit the mark, so we’re working to convert all our eBook (in some form) for our readers who are paperback lovers. Thank you so much for sticking with us, and look out for new titles in the new year.

~*~

Excerpt:

Cat’s Call

1 AN INAUSPICIOUS BEGINNING

It was a beautiful summer’s day. The sun was shining, there was the slightest breeze to keep the air moving and the park was calling Charlie’s name. He hadn’t said he’d definitely be there, but several of his friends had planned to meet up and kick a ball around.

He’d been helping his mum with some things in the morning, like the dutiful son he was, but now he planned to kick back and relax. It was his last summer before university. It was time to have fun. Glancing both ways up the road and seeing a gap in the traffic, he jogged across. The quickest route to the park was behind the Black Bull pub and down Baker’s Lane, but, as he went to turn left, something caught his eye.

The old magic shop that had been there for years, but always seemed to be closed, had a sign in the window that actually read ‘open’ for once. There were many silly rumours about the shop: it was owned by a famous magician who only sold to invited guests; it was haunted by the ghost of a spurned magician’s assistant which was why it could never be sold or let people in; it was a front for the local mafia. They got more ridiculous from there.

On impulse Charlie turned and headed for the door. He had almost worked there once, but circumstances had been against him. Of course, he, like everyone under twenty in the area, had always wanted to see inside.

The windows were full of brightly coloured scarves that gave an air of gayety, but the paint was peeling on the window frame, letting down the whole image. He peered in. It was dim beyond the scarves and he couldn’t see anything. All a bit ominous. He hesitated and then laughed at how absurd he was being. He didn’t believe in ghosts or eccentric magicians and he reached for the door handle.

After the brightness of outside, the interior of the shop was very dark. The first thing he had to do was stop to let his eyes adjust. The door shut behind him with a click and a final thunk. It made his heart beat a little bit faster for no reason he was willing to admit. Only after blinking a couple of times could he finally make out what was around him.

“You are not what I was expecting,” a voice said from the other end of the shop.

Charlie could relate. The shop was nothing like he had thought. There were no tricks, just shelves and shelves of things that some people might think were actually magic. Charlie didn’t believe in magic.

“You are too old,” the voice continued.

Peering through the gloom and slight haze of incense that was tickling his nose, he finally made out an older woman standing at the other end of the shop behind a counter.

“Sorry,” he said, “I thought you were open.”

He was sure the sign had said ‘open’, but now he was second guessing himself. The urge to flee was high. For some reason the woman made him nervous. It probably had something to do with the penetrating stare she had aimed right at him.

“I’ve always meant to come in,” he said, and he knew he was babbling, it was a bad habit. “I almost worked here once, when I was sixteen. Had a letter, but my bus broke down and I missed my interview. Um … I’ll be going then, sorry to have disturbed you.”

The woman narrowed her eyes and made an odd humming sound. It was unsettling.

“No matter,” she said just as he was about to turn away, “come in, look around, explore where your heart leads you.”

The whole situation was getting weirder by the second. Clearly the woman had mysterious and eccentric down to a tee. Of course, now she had invited him in, Charlie couldn’t just run away anymore. It would be rude.

He smiled awkwardly and escaped behind one of the shelving racks.

“How do you manage to get yourself into these situations, Waterman?” he muttered to himself.

The shelves were full of crystals and statues and all sorts of paraphernalia that held no interest for him whatsoever. Still, he looked around and did his best to pretend to browse. He didn’t want to offend anyone, even if they were peculiar and burned really strange smelling incense. Come to think of it, especially then, because he had seen enough horror movies to know who not to annoy.

His footsteps sounded far too loud in the almost silent shop, and the smell of the place was making him want to sneeze, but he kept it up for a good few minutes. How long was long enough for propriety’s sake? He had no idea. Wishing that there were rules to these things, he kept glancing at the door.

When he put his head round one of the shelves to see where the woman was, she was looking right at him. His heart skipped a beat. With yet another awkward smile he made his way to another set of shelves and prayed for deliverance.

He was slowly making his way back towards the door, past a floor to ceiling shelving unit, when something glinted at him. It made him stop because he was pretty sure there wasn’t enough light in that part of the shop to make anything glint. As he stared at the dark shelf, whatever it was did it again. This time he could tell it was green.

He stepped towards the shelf before he even thought about it. Only as he reached one hand into the darkness did he pause. It was probably just a fire detector or an incense burner with a flashy light. He almost pulled his hand back, but then the flash came again, twice.

As the saying went, curiosity killed the cat, and Charlie was definitely a curious sort. Now he needed to know what it was. He reached into the shelf the rest of the way, right to the back where he thought the tiny light had come from, and his hand closed around something. He pulled it out before he could change his mind.

It fitted neatly into his closed fist, so he didn’t think it was anyone’s lost phone or something like that. When he uncurled his fingers a stab of disappointment ran through him. He had to have grabbed the wrong thing. In his palm was a small cat figurine, sitting up smartly like it was on duty. It didn’t even look like it was painted, just made of brown clay.

Glancing back at the shelf he waited for the glint of light again.

A tickling in the palm of his hand made him look back down instead.

Shock lanced through his chest like cold fire, freezing him in place even as his heart beat madly. He swallowed hard.

The cat’s eyes, which had been closed, contented slits in the clay, were open. The little creature’s head was tilted up, looking at him, and its tail was gently twitching.

The cat gazed at him and he gazed back. It was all he could do.

Its eyes were hypnotic, even as a voice at the back of his brain screamed that this could not be real and something had to have happened to him. Those green orbs seemed to bore into his soul and freeze him solid.

Finally the cat blinked, but whatever held him did not release. He was left to watch as the tiny creature stood up and walked across his palm until its front paws were touching his wrist. A hysterical laugh was caught in his throat, because he could actually feel miniscule claws pricking at his skin.

His heart felt like it was trying to beat out of his chest. He had to gasp for tiny breaths that really weren’t helping. Still he could not move.

Had he been drugged? Was he having a seizure? Were some of the crazy rumours about the shop true? Were they modern day slavers trading in teenagers? Was that why the woman thought he was too old?

His mind hummed with questions as he point blank refused to believe that what he was seeing was real.

When the little cat dug its claws into the delicate flesh of his inner wrist the pain definitely felt real. All he could manage was a quiet whimper as his body refused to obey any of the instincts firing through it. That was nothing, however, to the agony that shot up his arm as the figurine began to dig its paws under the upper level of skin. Blood trickled down over his wrist and it was finally enough to break his paralysis.

He threw his arm sideways, hitting one of the shelves behind him in his wild flailing. But he could not stop the pain. It was as if the little cat was glued to his arm. He tried to brush it off with his other hand, but that just hurt more and he finally cried out.

“Help!”

He didn’t know what was happening, but he knew he needed assistance.

Stumbling backwards, he grabbed his arm with his other hand. His own flesh was betraying him.

The woman came round the end of the row and he held out his wrist desperately, but she did nothing. He wanted to yell at her, to demand she do something, but heat ran through his veins and took any breath he had away. His legs went weak and the room span as he shuddered from head to foot.

“Help,” was the best he could do in a tiny whisper as he fell to his knees.

His vision faded out, and then in, and then out again, even as he began to pitch forward. He never even knew when he hit the floor.

To read more please check out Cat’s Call at Amazon or your local online retailer.

Seeking Pre-Release Reviewers

We are currently seeking pre-release reviewers for Wittegen Press eBooks. We would like to have a pool of people who are willing to read and give honest reviews for books we are about to publish or re-release.

We live in an age where the Amazon review can buoy up a book or sink it without a trace so we are seeking individuals who would be willing to read and review advanced copies (ARCs) of our books prior to their general release. If you are interested in becoming one of our reviewers please:

  1. Fill in the Google Form at the bottom of this post.
  2. If you are accepted we will add you to our new Wittegen Press Reviewers mailing list.

Don’t worry, people on the mailing list will NOT be expected to review all books. We totally understand that there are times when we all do not have time to drop everything to read a book or a particular book may not be the genres of choice.

  1. The system for reviewing will be as follows:
  2. An email will be sent to the Wittegen Press Reviewers list with details of the book to be reviewed.
  3. Those interested in reviewing it will respond by filling in a Google form for that book.
  4. We will select a group of reviewers from the pool.
  5. Those selected will be sent an ARC of the book in their format of choice with the proviso they will read it within a certain time, which will be stipulated with each book.
  6. If we have more reviewers than required, those not selected in that particular instance will be notified.
  7. Individuals will then give an honest review of the book at Amazon and any other places they frequent on the web.

Many thanks to all those who are interested.

The Burning Web (Ghost Story) by Sophie Duncan AVAILABLE NOW – Perfect for Halloween!

The Burning Web by Sophie Duncan
The Burning Web

My newest release, The Burning Web, a spooky ghost story perfect for anyone getting into the spirit of Halloween, is available to buy now at Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Apple for only $3.99/£2.49.

Something more than guilt is haunting ex-copper, Tris McCall, when he and his husband, Xander, refurbish a crumbling Victorian mansion, Berwick House. Faced with disbelief and medical explanations for the spectral visitations from both his doctors and his partner, Tris must decide if it is the damage left by the brain injury he has suffered, or something darker that is speaking to him. Can he trust his own senses, and if he can, what are they telling him?

~

 I really enjoyed writing this book. I might have even scared myself a few times when I was editing it late at night at home alone! ;P I am a big, big fan of ghost stories: I read and reread the likes of Susan Hill and M R James when I want a good scare. That traditional, Gothic style of story with old houses, dark shadows and vengeful ghosts is my kind of book and The Burning Web is my tribute to those terrifying masterpieces.
I’ve written paranormal novels (The Night Blood Chronicles) before, and I have dabbled in horror short stories, but The Burning Web is my first novel-length foray into the ghostly genre. I wanted more space to explore the idea of what a haunting can mean to modern people, and I wanted to add that rational doubt to the Gothic feel of my plot. Tris and Xander are a modern couple, dogged by trouble.
Tris is an ex-police officer, who left the force after a shooting incident, the stress of which led eventually to him suffering a brain haemorrhage. The guilt of his mistake has followed him out of the force and renovating Berwick House is his means of escape from the past.

 

Xander, Tris’ husband, is a trauma surgeon and has become Tris’ carer during Tris’ recovery from the debilitating stroke. Part of the story examines how that responsibility has affected the relationship between the beleaguered couple as they start to emerge from what they think are the dark days behind them.

It is onto this backdrop of Tris and Xander’s relationship that I have overlaid  the ghost story. On his first night in Berwick House, Tris begins to sense something is amiss, but can he trust what his damaged brain is telling him? I will leave that up to anyone who reads the story to decide :).

Do you like a good ghost story? Share your favourites :).

The Burning Web (Ghost Story) by Sophie Duncan Available NOW for Pre-order

Wittegen Press Are Happy to Announce Available NOW For Pre-Order

The Burning Web by Sophie Duncan

The Burning Web

Sophie Duncan

Is it symptoms left from his brain haemorrhage, or a guilty conscience that is making Tristan McCall see things no-one else can?

Forced out of the police by scandal and illness, Tris is trying to rebuild his life through the renovation of the home he hopes to share with Xander, his husband. A sprawling Gothic pile, Berwick House is in need of attention, but Tris soon realises the attention is not all one way. Faced with a presence in the house only he can sense, Tris must decide if his damaged brain is playing tricks on him, or if Berwick House really holds a dark and dangerous message from beyond the grave.

The Burning Web is an exciting novel length ghost story to send shivers down your spine.

~

Excerpt

Payment Due
Tris blinked into the bright afternoon light and shielded his eyes with one hand as the natural shine was joined by dozens of flash bulbs. He’d tried to prepare himself for the glare he knew would be outside, but his head was thumping, had been since he’d been called back into the courtroom to hear the verdict. He was so tired he just wanted to get home and collapse next to Xander on the sofa. Yet, from the way Xander was gripping his hand and pulling him towards the top of the court building steps, Tris knew it wasn’t to be. He meekly followed his husband in front of the melee of reporters.

Each burst of camera light was like pins poking into his retinas, so Tris watched the back of Xander’s left ear. All he could really see was a dark patch of hair and his husband’s chocolate skin rather than any detail, since his eyesight was shifting in and out of focus. He had no more words, no comments for the horde that had been dogging him since this whole crappy business had begun, so he let Xander speak for him.

People were yelling questions from all directions and calling for them to turn this way and that, but Xander held up one hand in what to most would have looked like a very confident gesture for silence. Since the other one was clasped around Tris’ hand like a vice, Tris knew better. It worked though, and the crowd rumbled into mostly silence.

“Tristan and I,” Xander began, since it had been a long time since anyone reporting on the case had called him DC McCall, “would firstly like to thank everyone who has stood by us through the last eighteen months. It has been a difficult time, when Tris has been tried both by the media and by the law, and finally, justice has been done: as has always been maintained by Tris and I, he is innocent of any crime.”

“He still shot an innocent boy!” someone yelled from the back of the crowd and more flashes went off.

Tris kept his attention on Xander, forcing his face to stay straight, despite the knot of sickness that knowledge kept in the bottom of his stomach. Xander had to have felt him tremble though, because he squeezed his fingers reassuringly.

“As Tris has stated on many occasions, he wholeheartedly regrets the awful sequence of events that led to this terrible incident, but Abdi San ran at him holding a gun during a night of terrible violence on the New Cross estate,” Xander added, tone firm, authoritative. “A jury has now agreed with us that under those conditions, Tris had no chance of telling that gun was a replica and he reacted lawfully while defending his own life, those of his fellow officers and members of the public.”

A whole wave of more yelled questions started at that and Tris cringed. He rubbed his face, eyes half closed and chill sweat running down his back under the smart suit that was becoming unbearably tight at the collar. He didn’t want to think about this now, not any more. What had happened had been dissected every which way by two enquiries and, finally, thanks to public pressure, his trial for manslaughter.

Yet, then one question cut over all the others, a shrill, young voice demanding, “McCall, would you still have shot Abdi San if he’d been white?”

Tris couldn’t help it then, he reacted to the shock of that accusation and glanced around, wide-eyed, for its source.

“One thing my husband is not is racist!” Xander barked back defensively, sounding a lot less in control this time.

People were yelling at him again, but Tris needed to find that one accuser, to meet his eye and tell him exactly where he could shove his stereotypes. He winced at the daggers of light exploding in his face as he scanned the crowd, but most of the pain was inside and it had to come out. Everything was pretty much a blur, a mess of pinks and greys and brilliant white, but, suddenly, Tris’ world clarified on a face that still haunted his dreams.

Tris froze as, between the ranks of the unknown reporters, his gaze fell upon a frozen, cold stare. Abdi San, paler than that fateful evening when the Asian teenager had surprised him, no scream on those thin lips now, but the boy needed no voice to challenge Tris right then. Conscience did a much better job than any reporter and all his grief and fear hit Tris at once. Heart hammering, body shaking, the rest of Tris’ world exploded in brilliance a hundred times worse than any flashbulb and he was left with that flat, lifeless, denunciatory scrutiny boring into his soul. Nothing could take away the pain then, sharp and clear as it was, and the worst part of it was Tris knew he deserved it. He had taken a life, a young life that stood before him, phantom accuser, and there was only one price. Tris surrendered to the agony and everything went black.