Three of my gothic mystery horror/thriller novels have recently been unavailable, for tedious legal reasons not worth wringing my hands over in this blog post. However, the good news is they are back, having received a make-over with new covers, courtesy of the brilliant Yasmine Nuoraho.
Here are each of the new covers, with an introduction to each novel, to whet your appetite.
Spectre of Springwell Forest
Exeter, 2010. Lily Parker learns that her daughter Olivia is to move to the village of Springwell, near Plymouth. To the surprise of her husband Andy, this sends Lily into terrified despair. She tells him that Olivia must not move to Springwell, under any circumstances. Andy wants to know why, and Lily tells him what happened to her many decades previously, in 1979, warning him that she has a horrifying secret that she had previously hoped to take with her to the grave.
In 1979, Lily and her then six-year-old daughter Olivia, along with her first husband Tom Henderson, move to the sleepy village of Springwell. Here they meet a tight- lipped community of secretive villagers who seem to have something to hide. Lily discovers a painting of an abandoned railway tunnel in her attic, by a local artist, Alison Merrifield. Lily is strangely drawn to the painting, particularly the dark maw of the tunnel, and ends up hanging the picture in her hallway.
After meeting her neighbour and other mothers dropping their children at the local primary school, Lily is surprised to learn they all have similar paintings in their homes, all of them painted by Alison Merrifield, all of them showing the same abandoned railway tunnel. The other mothers dismiss this as something of a village in-joke, and when Lily visits Alison in her local craft shop, Alison herself insists she cannot understand why the paintings of the abandoned tunnel are so popular. But Lily senses she is being lied to.
Shortly afterwards, when Lily and Olivia go for a walk in the local forest, they come across a fenced off area in the heart of the woods where the barbed wire has been mysteriously torn apart. Investigating further inside the fenced off section, they discover the very same abandoned railway tunnel of the painting and enter the tunnel. A disturbing incident follows (which I won’t spoil).
After this incident, back home, Lily starts to make out a mysterious figure emerging from the railway tunnel in the painting. As time passes, the eerie figure becomes more clearly defined, but Lily is disturbed to discover no-one can see it but her. Worse still, as the sinister figure is revealed, Olivia starts to behave in an increasingly alarming manner.
Small-time actress Mia Yardley, recently widowed wife of renowned actor Steven Yardley, grieves in his ancestral family home, Elm House, near Plymouth. Her husband’s inexplicable suicide left her in possession of a considerable fortune, but she is unsettled. Her sister-in-law Jemima is openly hostile, and Mia also senses disapproval from hired staff, especially de facto housekeeper Liza. Only Verity, a part-time maid, is friendly to Mia, seeming genuinely sorry about the death of Steven.
Mia discovers Steven’s secret acting diary. It details appointments made with a psychic medium, Etta, who advised Steven on which roles to take. Mia visits Etta to question her over mysterious diary entries that hint at a more supernatural reason for Steven’s demise. Etta rejects such claims, but Mia senses she is hiding something, and explains as much to her best friend Bronwyn, when they go out horse riding. Mia also begins to see manifestations of what she believes to be Steven’s ghost in and around Elm House, and also at a nightclub.
Mia’s therapist tells her the visions of Steven are psychological, not spiritual. But Mia isn’t convinced, and begins an investigation into her husband’s death that gradually becomes an obsession. She uncovers the alarming story behind the last role her husband took, but every answer leads to more questions, opening dangerous doors to a labyrinthine world of terrible secrets. The deeper Mia digs into they mystery, the deeper she disappears inside her own inner darkness, crossing thresholds from which there can be no return.
The Irresistible Summons
Teenager Naomi Levinson laments the death of her boyfriend, Toby Lane. Toby and his entire family perished in a mysterious house fire, which Naomi comes to believe may have been started deliberately.
Several years later, Naomi is now an accomplished television producer making documentaries debunking the supernatural. When a shoot interviewing a possibly possessed killer in prison goes terribly wrong, the production company Naomi works for faces a lawsuit and possible closure.
Offered what could be her last job, Naomi is initially reluctant to take on filming a promotional video for computer game company Persephone. She considers the task beneath her talents. However, after production gets underway at the Persephone office block on London’s Canary Wharf, strange things begin to happen.
One member of staff inexplicably disappears. Ghosts are sighted, one of whom appears to be Toby. This re-opens old emotional wounds for Naomi, bringing back bittersweet memories of her strictly religious messianic Jewish parents, who disapproved of her teenage lover.
A horrifying conspiracy is gradually revealed. Cutting edge technology and ancient evil meet, leading to the discovery of a shocking and terrifying secret – one that could change the nature of life and death as we know it.