Welcome to the July newsletter!
Can you believe we're past the halfway mark of the year! We're in the second half and where the heck did the time go? I hope you've been spending your time reading a lot of great books! In this newsletter we have some great things going on! We're looking at the first chapter of My Life with Jack, seeing what Pre-Order's are available as well as a host of giveaways and sales that are happening in July that you will want to bookmark!
Have you Pre-Ordered your copy of #RIPJohn yet?
Trigger Warning: This book contains scenes of graphic bullying and suicide.
Everyone wants a chance to fit in, and that's all John King wants when he starts at his new school. A relentless bully, a blogger, and a pretty girl all have a different plan for him, though and after he endures all he can, John takes his own life.
The only problem left for Devan, Melinda and Jenny?
He doesn't stay dead.
Buy Link -> https://amzn.to/2EueKlG
My life with Jack tells Sarah's story. Growing up with Jack, he has been the one constant her whole life, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's good for her. When Sarah meets Darren and Michelle, her life takes some drastic turns for change and she's left wondering if she really is living a life with Jack.
Exclusive to my Newsletter Subscribers is the First Chapter *UNEDITED*
This is not a horror book at all and falls more into the General Fiction category but it is loosely based on a true story.
My bed is so soft and warm. It’s like I’m in a cocoon, a deep one. One that I don’t want to get out of. Everything is safe and secure and I feel as though I could stay here forever.
Then that nagging voice inside my head starts and it tells me I’m going to be late for work and I groan softly.
I can feel him shift around under the covers and I know my groan has stirred him. I can feel his arm snake it’s way under the covers and wrap around my body as he shifts me closer to him with a quick swoop. I giggle sleepily and give a big yawn. It’s harder to get out of bed with my back pressed against him, knowing how safe I am in his arms.
Everything I am, and everything I want, is right here in this moment.
My alarm goes off and it’s his turn to groan as I slither away from him, my arm braving the cold to turn my alarm off. I sit up in bed and let the covers fall off of me.
“Take the day off.”
“I took yesterday off.” I comment, swinging my legs out of bed and sliding my feet into my slippers.
“Claim a sick day again,” he mumbles.
“I can’t,” I say softly, “I’m running out of sick days to claim love.”
“Fine” he breathes out and turns over, flipping the covers off of his body and sitting up, “I’ll make coffee then.” He stood up and wrapped his gown around his body before leaving the room.
I stretch before I stand up and my spine clicks into place as I do so. It’s orgasmic. I stand up and go to the mirror. I look like shit. I always do.
There are dark bags under my eyes even though I am sleeping, at least for now I’m sleeping, who knows how long that will last. My hair isn’t just bed messy, it’s out of control curly messy and I sigh, because taming it is mission impossible. I start by brushing out my hair and tying it in an untidy bun, the only thing I think I can ‘pull off.’
I smell the coffee as I brush my teeth and I sigh. Coffee and a smoke before work, that’s just the way I like to start my day. I rinse my mouth and go get dressed before I head out to the kitchen where Jack is waiting for me.
Jack, my beautiful Jack, the one person in this world who completely understands me in every sense. I sit down at the kitchen island and reach for my coffee, sipping it slowly so I don’t burn. Jack watches me, the small smile playing on his lips, reaching his ears.
“Stay” he says quietly, “Stay with me.”
“I do stay with you,” I mumble, knowing that’s not at all what he means.
“No man,” he says, “Spend the day with me.”
“I already said I can’t.” He pouts at me and I shake my head at him, “You know I can’t. I spent yesterday with you.”
“I want to spend everyday of my life with you,” Jack says.
“You do,” I point out, “But we need to pay the bills so I have to go to work.”
Jack continues to pout and I have to admit, it’s really tempting to stay with him. Especially after yesterday.
The Previous day
I woke up slowly and found Jack sitting on the edge of the bed, watching me.
“You were crying in your sleep again,” He whispered to me. I reach up and touch my face to feel it is wet. It’s the nightmares again. It’s been awhile since I’ve had one but when I do, I always wake up crying.
The more I wake up the more I remember the nightmare I had. He was there.
He was laughing at me for being foolish enough to think someone I dated would not drug my drink, take me home and use me to do whatever they wished. Then he sat and laughed at me as I tried to move, as I tried to get away from him but I was still drugged, I couldn’t quite control my body.
Awake now I could still hear his laughter echoing through my head and I knew that Jack was sure of why I was crying. He knew what had happened to me those eight years ago. He knew what my then boyfriend had done to me and he knew I wasn’t over it.
How do you get over your own rape?
I had tried. Lord knows I had tried my best. Alcohol, drugs, rocky relationships - I had tried it all in an effort to numb the pain but nothing did, that pain always came bubbling back up to the surface one way or another.
Like today. Days like today when it is all fresh in my mind and I can feel my heart sinking deep inside of me, and I feel like I’m never going to surface from the darkness. I fell back into bed straight away and Jack pulled the covers over my head. He crawled into bed and laid there with me, staring at me under the covers as I cried and cried, letting my emptiness spill down my face in the form of salty tears.
I paused at some point to message Ryan, my boss, and tell him I wasn’t feeling well and wouldn’t be coming in.
Again? He had responded, “It’s the forth time this month.” He had sent shortly afterward.
That was all I could text back before I collapsed back into my bed and started to cry again. It wasn’t long before the hunger set in. I always got hunger when I was sad and Jack was quick to appease me, getting out of bed and going to make all my favourite desserts for breakfast.
He brought it to the bed for me and I sat there, crying and eating, as I always did when I was like this. Jack simply sat by my side, rubbing my back as I ate my sixth helping of strawberry ice cream.
Then I slept. Once full I curled up in bed and cried myself to sleep. My stomach aching from all the sugar but nonetheless I slept deeply and without interruption and only woke up in the afternoon again. Jack was waiting for me to wake up, he had made me lunch and fed me as soon as I sat up. Then we sat there in silence, curled up in bed for the rest of the day,
“Did you hear me?”
I look up and see Jack staring at me and I blush, “I’m so sorry, I was in another world.”
“I gathered,” he said, smiling, “I said you had better get going or you’re going to be late again.”
Late. That’s another thing that I always was and I hated it. It took so much to get me going and if I didn’t have Jack, well I’d be absolutely lost. I feel a pang of anxiety as I look at the time and I quickly get up, downing the rest of my coffee and snubbing out my cigarette.
“I’ll see you later, bye” I call as I make a beeline for the door, grabbing my laptop backpack and swinging it onto my back before I exit through the door. I hear a faint and sad bye from Jack just before the door shuts behind me. I run down the corridor, no time for the elevator today and as I take the stairs two at a time, I hate myself for being fat and eating so much. I pant for air as I reach the bottom and try to catch my breath, my throat burning and my nose starting to run as I push open my buildings door and start to fight my way through the crowded pavement, making my way towards work.
It takes me almost twenty minutes before I reach the front door of my office building and I don’t have to look at my watch to realize just how late I am. There is no way I’m taking the stairs to the fifteenth floor so I patiently wait for the elevator to ding before I climb inside.
The elevator music does nothing for my anxiety as I stare above the doors as the number slowly climbs until I reach my floor. I rush out and the first thing Karen, the receptionist, says to me is, “You’re late for the meeting!”
“Meeting?” I asked panicked as I slip my bag off my back and drop it behind her desk.
“Main boardroom, new staff.” She says simply, moving my laptop out of view as I rush down the corridor and into the main boardroom. Everyone goes quiet as I walk in and Ryan glares at me. I take the only open seat next to a woman with long black hair that I don’t recognize.
“As I was saying before Sarah walked in,” He cleared his throat for emphasis, “Was that we are welcoming two new members to the team today and I want you all to make them feel welcome. Allow me to introduce Michelle and Darren.”
Everyone gave a small clap and the woman sitting next to me smiled at everyone, pausing at me and winking. That was when I noticed the man to her left was also someone I didn’t recognize. He also smiled and nodded as he met everyones gaze.
“Michelle is a self-published author who is joining our editorial team and will be working with Sarah while Darren will be joining our host of literary agents representing various authors.”
Everyone started to clap again and I look at Michelle, the woman sitting to my side, and she grins at me. I blush and look away. I can’t believe I have to work with someone new, this is just the worst thing that could happen to me. I hate that awkwardness of getting to know someone and having to learn their ways and habits.
The meeting concluded and I get up, going over to Ryan.
“Written warning for being late. Next time, I fire you.”
I fight back tears and swallow, nodding. Ryan looks at me and sighs and says, “Everything okay at home?”
“Yes.” I say sadly, trying my best not to cry. “Ryan, do I have to work with Michelle. Can’t you team her up with someone else.”
“Sarah, you’re great at your job but there is no one else to team her up with. You won’t even notice she’s there I’m sure.”
I nod, knowing it’s silly to try and fight this. I will just have to suck it up, like I do most things, and move on from here. I was stuck with Michelle and would have to put on a smile and just pretend I was okay with it.
I go and fetch my laptop from Karen and go to my office. Michelle and Darren are in there and I pause at the door. Darren is busy helping her set up her laptop and decorate her desk, they are talking quietly to each other and I can’t make out what they are saying.
“Oh hello,” Michelle says to me as she sees me.
“Hi there,” Darren says, turning around to look at me.
I swallow hard and give my best smile that I can muster and say, “Hi, I’m Sarah.”
“I’ve heard all about you.” Michelle says, limping forward and holding her hand out so I can shake it. I take her hand in mine, it’s smaller than my hand but most woman’s are. Darren shakes my hand next and he has a firm grip. I stand there awkward for a moment before I move to my desk and start setting up my own laptop.
My desk is littered with papers and I can see Ryan has added several manuscripts to my ‘in’ tray since I’ve been away. No wonder he was pissed with me. I vowed to get through all the new manuscripts before I left for the day to redeem myself. I didn’t want Ryan hating me. Of course, he probably already did. Jack suspected he did and that was why he always picked on me, but I couldn’t verify that. He could just be a grumpy man constantly for all I know.
Darren and Michelle share a passionate kiss before he leaves to go sort out his own space and I’m left alone with Michelle. I can feel the awkwardness between us and I just know she already hates me. She moves some papers around her desk and then looks at me, catching me staring at her. I quickly look away and go back to my own work, staring to sift through the various manuscripts until I find one that seems interesting. I settle down to edit it.
When I’m busy working I don’t notice the time go by and on any normal day I wouldn’t stop until it was a time to go home but my train of thought is interrupted by Darren coming back. He’s carry a brown paper bag and it smells good. My stomach rumbles slightly but I ignore it, trying to focus on my forth manuscript for the day.
“I didn’t know if you would want something,” He says and I look up to see he is talking to me, “So I got you an egg mayo like Mickey.”
I blush crimson and say quietly, “Thanks, you didn’t have to do that.”
“Oh I know but since you two are going to be working together I thought it would be cool.” He holds a sandwich wrapped in wax paper out to me and I take it, setting it on my table. He hands Michelle her sandwich and sits beside her, unfolding his.
“Well?” he asks, looking at me again, “Eat.”
I can feel how hot my face is as I say quietly, “Thank you, I’ll… I’ll…” I look around for words, “I’ll eat it a little later.”
“Suit yourself,” He says, taking a giant bite of his sandwich.
As I work he and Michelle talk about how they need to unpack when they get home, having just moved to the area. I find it fascinating as their talk turns from what needs to be done around the house to what Michelle needs to do for her new book. She talks to Darren so passionately that I am immediately reminded about how Jack and I talk to each other.
Darren leaves again and Michelle and I return to our silent work. My sandwich laying on my table until it’s time to go home, when I pack it into my bag. I’m not sure if Michelle sees me do it or not and I’m worried now she has, and that she is judging me. God I can’t wait to go home and just be with Jack.
As I am about to leave I pause, not sure what to say to Michelle before I go. Do I say goodbye? Do I congratulate her on her first day? I haven’t said anything else to her the whole day. I can feel the anxiety setting in and I turn quickly to leave when I bump into Darren.
“Oh going already?” he says.
“It’s the end of the day,” I mumble.
“Indeed it is,” He says with a bright smile, “I’m here to get Mickey.”
“Okay,” I say quietly.
“Uh, you’re in the middle of the door.” He says, rubbing the back of his head with his hand and standing aside so I can pass. I pass him quickly, and don’t look back as I rush down the hall and into the elevator. I can imagine what they are saying about me and half an hour later when I get back to my house, Jack confirms it.
“Definitely talked about you,” He says as he cooks dinner. He’s feeling lazy tonight so we’re having hot dogs. I’m sitting at the counter watching him, having just told him everything that happened today. The egg mayo sandwich was devoured as soon as I got home because I was starving and I couldn’t wait for the hot dogs to be done so I could gobble them down as well. I have a pint of cola in front of me, and I’m sipping it slowly, savoring it even though I know it’s not doing anything to help me lose weight.
“Don’t think about it,” Jack says suddenly and I look up at him, “Think about what?” I ask.
“About losing weight, I love you just the way you are.” He smiles and I return it. “Besides,” He says, “There’s no point. You’ll always be big no matter what you do.”
I nod solemnly and down my cola, going to refill my glass.
“Feeling down?” Jack asks, “cause that’s okay. You can totally feel down.”
“Feeling overwhelmed” I say, sitting back in my spot as he starts to make my hot dogs. Another night he isn’t hungry so he makes me four. He sits the plate in front of me and I start shoveling them down, barely breathing between the three large bites it takes me to finish one. I can feel the sauce all over my face but I don’t care.
Jack comes to me and gently wipes my face, “Well, I know you wanted to try work on that book again but skip it. Let’s rather go sit on the couch and do nothing all night, okay?”
I nod. Doing nothing sounds like what I need and Jack always knows exactly what I need. Besides tomorrow is another day.
So what did you think of the first chapter of My Life with Jack? I am really excited and nervous to release this story to the world but release it I will. When? Oh, Pre-Order links will be available in the Mid-Month newsletter! We're looking at releasing around the 15th September so look out for the Pre-Order link (And possibly another chapter) in our next Newsletter.
Wait, September? What's coming out in August then?
Well that my dear friends would be Bullseye! I promised you Eleven Books in Eleven Months and by George I shall deliver!
What's Bullseye about? Well now....
Imagine just sitting on a park bench, or walking down a street, or just sitting on your balcony enjoying a cup of coffee and suddenly you're dead. Shot in the head by a serial killer who likes his deadly aim, and collects pieces of your skin as a prize. Marking you as his Bullseye.
Detective Danny Cox and Richard Jones are handed case after case when a killer with no discernible pattern starts killing people for the sport of it. Racing against the clock, they need to figure out what motivates the killer, how he picks his victims and who he really is before he kills again.
You guys are among the first to see the cover! This cover will only be posted on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram this weekend so no one else has seen it! I'm so excited to share it with you because quite frankly I'm in love with it.
I'll be posting the Pre-Order link for it in the next newsletter so you can order your ecopy at the special price of $1.99 - it will go up after it is released.
I've also just wrapped up writing Belladonna, a twisted mermaid horror story that will be sure to leave you a little sweaty and paranoid about bathing but that is for another newsletter, closer to that release date.
For now I'm going to sign off and say ado!
I have other manuscripts that need writing and marketing that needs to happen! I'm posting new graphics in July so feel free to comment and let me know what you think!
Have a super July everyone
Sian B. Claven
Book Recommendations for July
In the Outer Islands, gods and magic rule the ocean. Under the command of Captain Rafe Morrow, the crew of the Celestial Jewel ferry souls to the After World and defend the seas from monsters. Rafe has dedicated his life to protecting the lost, but the tides have shifted and times have changed.
His sister, the Goddess of the Moon, is on a rampage and her creatures are terrorizing the islands. The survival of the living and dead hinge on the courage and cunning of a beleaguered captain and his motley crew of men and ghosts.
What he doesn’t know is that her threat is part of a larger game. That an ancient, black-winged malevolence is using them all as pawns…
Come set sail with ghosts, gods and sea monsters.
Get it here -> https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078MS397S
Turns out, pretty far when your existence is considered an abomination.
According to the Feyfolk, I’m not human. I’m a camphelem, one of the most powerful Feyfolk born in centuries. The only problem is, I have no idea what that means. Two weeks ago, I didn’t believe in angels or Fey.
My name is Lili Trevil, and I don’t know if I’ll live to see tomorrow. All of the legends are real, and all of them want me dead. On the eve of my eighteenth birthday, my life changed forever. Angels stormed my home and murdered my father. Demons now hunt me everywhere I go. My chance at a normal life went up in smoke with my childhood home.
I thought I had my life figured out. Now I’m on the run, and I don’t even recognize my reflection. The angels and demons won’t rest until they have my head.
You'll love this epic dark fantasy series perfect for fans of magic, supernatural creatures, and vivid secondary world settings. Grab your copy today and join the magical world of Astryae.
Get it here-> https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07P417TFP
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