Tag Archives: Yorkshire setting

Blog Tour: Lluck by Tim Rayborn

Lluck | Tim Rayborn

Qwryk Tales #2

BANNER FB - Lluck

Release Date: December 26th, 2021

Buy Links:

Publisher | Amazon US | Amazon UK Barnes & Noble

Add to Goodreads

COVER - Lluck

Blurb

All Qwyrk wanted was a few winter days of rest of and relaxation in the small town of Knettles in Yorkshire, but of course, it all goes wrong immediately. She wants to spend time and with her young human friend, Jilly, but Jilly and her not-so-imaginary friend blip have just met a remarkable boy named Lluck, who seems to be able to bend events to his favor.

Lluck is on the run from some awful and obnoxious goblins. On top of that, Qwyrk meets a mysterious and beguiling woman, who’s also looking for the boy. And in the dark, something wants Lluck for itself, but why?

MEME1 - Lluck

Excerpt

“I’ll be dead in a few seconds… or worse.”

Still, he kept running, plowing through snowy lanes, stumbling more than once on wet cobblestones blanketed in a thin sheet of slippery ice and powder. His breathing was furious, his heart pounded, and he knew he was running out of time. He sprinted back out to a main street and worked his way through thronging crowds of holiday shoppers, trying to hide in their numbers.

“Blend in, shake them off!” But he knew his pursuers weren’t interested in these people; they were only after him. He ducked into another alleyway, sped for the exit on the other side, and almost crashed into a padlocked gate.

“No!” He slammed the bars with his fists.

They were near; he could smell them, like bad fast food and garbage, with a hint of cheap cologne. But he tried pulling on the lock, and sure enough, it came loose. He laughed and opened the gate. Dashing through, he shut it behind him and relocked it.

“Have fun with that, you knobs!”

He turned around and there they were: grotesque, lumpy goblin creatures with mottled grey skin, bulbous noses, and large, pointy ears. They were mostly bald, except for some wiry black curls under said ears. Their snarling grins revealed bared, off-white crooked teeth. Beady yellow eyes completed the horrific ensemble.

“Well, well, what ‘ave we got ‘ere?” the larger one grumbled.

“Looks like a lost waif in need of some assistance to get to where he’s goin’,” the other replied.

“I’m not going with you, you tossers!” he shouted, defiant. He raised his fists in front of him. They just laughed.

“You gonna take us on in a fist fight, little boy?” the big one mocked. “That oughta be entertaining. Maybe I’ll even let you get in a blow or two in before I mash your pretty face into the pavement!”

“Oh, I won’t fight you, you miserable troll! I’m just getting ready.”

“Ready for what, lambkin?” the smaller one sneered.

“For this!” He threw his open hands forward in one jerking motion, and at once, both fell on their behinds, slid on the ice, and smacked their heads on the stones. They groaned, but didn’t get back up. He stepped over them (well, on them really, just to make a point; he might have even dug his boot heels in a bit) and made his way back to the crowds.

Once on the main street, he looked around and saw the town hall in the distance, with its multitudes packed in to celebrate the holiday festivities.

“All those people milling about; you can lose them there. Then get the hell out of here and head south.”

He paused, took a deep breath, and ran again.

* * *

“I do love a good festive celebration!” Blip announced. Resembling a bipedal frog sporting a handlebar moustache and a proper Victorian-style mutton chop beard, he strolled along the pavement in his Regency riding boots, while swinging an ornate walking stick, every so often accidentally hitting a passerby and eliciting an astonished yelp. A red, woolen scarf wrapped snugly around his short, froggy neck completed the ensemble.

“I love it too! It’s so much grander than the one in Knettles,” Jilly Pleeth said in a hushed voice. She looked down at him, quite grateful that a magical two-foot creature who liked to expound on nineteenth-century philosophy couldn’t be seen or heard by anyone over the age of thirteen, give or take a bit. Of course, there were plenty of children about, a few of whom gasped and stared; but most ignored him, being far more fascinated by the lights of the Leeds Christmas market, the aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg, and chocolate, the sounds of carols and stall hawkers, and the general merriment of the season. It was all rather like one of those displays in a department store window, but larger, louder, and less garish.

“We’ll have to keep an eye on the time, though,” she continued. “I need to meet mum and dad back at the train station in about an hour. They’ll be done with their stupid real estate meeting and keen to get back home before it gets too dark.”

“Come, come, my dear, no need to be so reserved, at least not in this instance! It’s the holidays, and the day of your birth is also upon us—twelve years!—so just this once, it is entirely satisfactory that we kick up our proverbial heels and live a bit. The holiday market is splendidly arrayed in front of us, a fine old tradition that I am glad to see being kept alive. So, throw caution to the wind, and embrace the revelry!”

“Oh, it’s not that,” she whispered. “It’s just, since most people can’t see you, I look like I’m talking to myself, like I’m a bit mad.”

“Hm, well yes, I do suppose that could cause some to think that you are a suitable candidate for admission to Bedlam, but again, this is the time for inversions of the social order in a controlled way, don’t you know? The Feast of Fools! The Boy Bishop! Saturnalian silliness! So I say, let them think that you are singularly odd and be done with it! And other children can see me, so what does it matter?”

“Yeah, but they probably just think you’re one of Father Christmas’s elves, anyway,” she said with an impish grin.

“Do not mention that reprobate in my company!” Blip admonished. “You know very well that the Father Christmas affair is a bone of contention with me!”

“Are you ever going to tell me what happened between you two?” she asked.

“A gentleman does not duel and tell, I’m afraid.”

“You fought a duel with Father Christmas?”

About The Author

AUTHOR PIC - Lluck - Tim Rayborn

Tim Rayborn is a writer and internationally acclaimed musician. He plays dozens of unusual instruments that many people of have never heard of and often can’t pronounce, including medieval instrument reconstructions and folk instruments from Northern Europe, the Balkans, and the Middle East.

He has appeared on over forty recordings, and his wanderings and tours have taken him across the US, all over Europe, to Canada and Australia, and to such romantic locations as Marrakech, Istanbul, Renaissance chateaux, medieval churches, and high school gymnasiums.

On the writing side of things, Tim lived in England for nearly seven years and has a PhD from the University of Leeds. He has written books and magazine articles about music, the arts, history, and business. He currently lives amid many books, antique music reproduction devices (that is, CDs), and instruments, and with a demanding cat. He’s also rather enthusiastic about good wines, single-malt Scotch, and cooking excellent food.

Social Media

Website: https://www.timrayborn.com

Facebook Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/TimRaybornMusicandWriting

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Tim_Rayborn

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rayborn.esoterica

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3160656.Tim_Rayborn

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Tim-Rayborn/e/B00DWY5J8E/

MEME2 - Lluck

Giveaway

Tim is giving away an Amazon gift card with this tour

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Other Worlds Ink logoMEME3 - Lluck

I am so in love with Sebastian and Wesley

Proper Scoundrels CoverProper Scoundrels by Allie Therin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely adored Allie’s Magic in Manhattan Collection: Spellbound / Starcrossed / Wonderstruck with its 20s setting and a unique system of paranormal abilities and its Film Noir evoking mystery.

But this spin-off? OMG this spin-off is EVERYTHING. I am so in love with Sebastian and Wesley Collins aka Lord Fine.

Both men have been through some serious traumas and are dealing with the fall out. Sebastian was kept for three years as a prisoner through the use of blood magic and forced to use his abilities to harm others, he’s suffering with serious PTSD (accurately referred to as Shell Shock here in this world) that he can’t even acknowledge.

Wes was an officer during the War and a sharpshooter, he’s done things, and ordered his men to do them, that he cannot forget.

On top of that, Wes was dumped by his lover Arthur (see Spellbound) for an antiquarian half his age (Rory you are utterly delightful) and he’s only the Viscount Fine because his older brother was killed in the conflict.

He’s prickly, rude, entitled, snobbish and oh so very much in need of someone to love.

Thrown together almost by accident, these two former “villains” of the previous series both feel like they can never atone – in Wes’ case he really doesn’t want to atone for kissing Arthur in front of Rory either 😁 ) but both will find that fate has other ideas in store.

Allie takes the reader to my part of the world – beautiful Yorkshire, York and its imposing Gothic Minster firmly on the horizon – and then leads them into a high-paced, tension-filled ride of an adventure which also brings some old faces along with it.

It was lovely to see Jade and Zhang too, both as committed to each other as they were in the previous books, and we get to catch up with Seb’s cousin Isabel and her lover Molly, now both ensconced in Paris for the World’s Fair.

The villain is truly villainous, his sidekick is mad as a box of frogs, and I loved how Allie took a mythology which has a very strong Yorkshire connection – that of Dracula – and made it into the basis for a twisted paranormal’s very deadly power.

I won’t spoiler anything about the actual plot itself, only to say that it had everything I want to read in a romantic suspense, and the relationship element of this book is even stronger than Arthur and Rory’s.

It’s also more steamy and I was so grateful for that. My one criticism of the previous series had been how the intimacy between Arthur and Rory was never seen on page, other than odd kisses and the beginnings of their amorous encounters, before fading to black.

Here we not only get some of the best UST I’ve read in a long time, but Wes is also a bit of a secret Dominant (not in a true kink way though, but he has a very powerful personality and a need to “take care” of someone) and Sebastian is all for giving himself over to someone else to make decisions for him.

Wes is an arse, he’ll tell you that quite proudly, but his growth and change once he meets Sebastian is a wonderful thing to read. He doesn’t change FOR him but BECAUSE of him.

Sebastian is the biggest (and most dangerous) cinnamon bun with a marshmallow soul, he’s so desperate to atone for things which were beyond his control that you want to wrap him up in a fluffy blanket and never let the world hurt him any more.

The first time they finally kiss is stunningly effective in the narrative. It’s an understandable slow burn but oh my lord, is it worth the wait! There aren’t loads of sex scenes, the story doesn’t really need it, but when they happen, they’re beautifully written.

As you can tell, I absolutely adored this book. Allie has such a grasp on her plots that before you can blink, you’ve read half the book and it’s gone midnight 🤣 I did not want to put this one down from the minute I started reading it and that’s the mark of a wonderful writer.

I hope this isn’t the end of this wonderful world Allie has created. I would happily while away more hours with this bunch of disparate people time and time again.

#ARC kindly received from the author via Carina Press on NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review

View all my reviews

Blog Tour: Qwyrk by Tim Rayborn

Qwyrk | Tim Rayborn

Qwyrk Tales #1

BANNER1 - Qwyrk

Release Date: May 25th, 2021

Publisher: Thousand Acres

Cover Artist: C.S. Fritz

Length: 98,000

Buy Links: 

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Booksamillion | Blackwells | Liminal Fiction

Add to Goodreads

COVER - Qwyrk

Blurb

Qwyrk is having a bad day; several, in fact. One of the Shadow folk tasked with keeping an eye on humanity, she’s ready for a well-earned break in Yorkshire, but now she’s (literally) run into a girl, Jilly, who just saw something quite supernatural and truly awful happen in her town.

As Qwyrk tries to unravel the mystery, layers of villainy are exposed, and she’s stuck with an assortment of unlikely folk that she’d rather not have “helping” her.

Together, they confront ancient magic, medieval conspiracies, and the possible end of the world (that again?). It’s not the holiday Qwyrk was hoping for!

About the Series: Qwyrk is the first in a series of four novels about the adventures of a group of misfits at the edge of reality in modern northern England, a world of shadows, Nighttime Nasties, sorcery, intergalactic councils, tacky nightclub attire, an abundance of sarcasm, and even elves…though they are a bit silly.

MEME3 - Qwyrk

Excerpt

Qwyrk and her friends sat on the slanted rooftop of the Ecklesons’ large old home a little later on, quite annoyed. Now they were just trying to avoid all of the clatter and the obnoxious human adults stomping around below. Jimmy’s second outburst had no doubt earned him a grounding for the next month. Mr. Eckleson had let out a few stern words that were decidedly inappropriate for young Jimmy’s ears.

So Qwyrk, and her mates Qwypp and Qwykk, sat and surveyed the scene. It was a nice detached Edwardian home, with a lovely yard. Well, it would have been lovely except that it needed more tending than the Ecklesons were prepared to give it.

An old rosebush had grown to quite a size, such that its thorny branches often grabbed people as they walked by, often to gasps of surprise that then turned to annoyance as new victims found themselves unable to walk any farther until they became untangled. Those that ventured forward to smell the roses risked never being seen again.

At least twice a month, Mr. Eckleson threatened to hack the whole thing down, but somehow, he always got distracted by other weekend activities, such as football on television. And secretly, he harbored a slight fear of the thing, as if it were watching him. He worried that if he cut it down, a mob of rosebushes might return one night to enact a brutal vengeance. Mr. Eckleson needed a bit more fresh air.

Yes, it could have been a charming entryway to an old house, even with the disagreeable rosebush. But the plastic pink flamingos that Mrs. Eckleson had brought back from their Florida holiday and displayed with pride out front ensured that “charming” was not a word on the lips of guests. So did the bright blue ceramic garden gnome.

So, the trio looked down on the yard now: gnomes, flamingos, petulant rosebushes, and all. Humans could only see them as shadows with glowing red eyes, but up here, all alone, they saw each other in their natural form, which was basically like humans, except for their pointed ears. Humans would probably be disappointed by that. The occasional human—like a witch, a druid, a shaman, or some such—who could see them in their true form called them elves or fairies, which the Shadows resented. Elves were pretty silly, after all.

“So… what are we looking at?” Qwypp asked. Her bright red bob haircut clashed with her blue overalls and purple Doc Marten boots in a noticeable way.

“The rosebush,” Qwyrk sighed, as she ran her hands through her short but oh-so-stylish blonde hair.

“The rosebush,” Qwypp repeated. “And we’re looking at this rosebush because…”

“Shhh! Did you see that?” Qwyrk interrupted.

“What?” asked Qwykk, curling a strand of her long, wavy brown hair around her finger, and smoothing out wrinkles in her new designer exercise outfit. She obviously prided herself on being the glamorous one of the three.

“One of the branches moved.”

“Oh. My. Goddess!” Qwypp exclaimed. “You mean they have… wind up here in the north? We got here just in time!”

Qwykk stifled a giggle.

Qwyrk shot both of them an angry look. “It bent a little, like an elbow, you idiots! The rosebush is taking on anthropomorphic qualities. I’m sure I just saw it.”

“Anthro-what?” Qwykk asked.

“It means it’s becoming animated, moving like a bipedal being,” Qwypp answered, looking quite proud of herself, and smiling a smug smile.

“I don’t care what its sexual orientation is! That’s its own private business,” Qwykk answered in an equally snooty voice, clearly trying to sound impressive.

Qwyrk sighed and rolled her eyes. “Look, let’s just focus on it for a while, all right? It may do something else. We have to find out.”

“I wonder how that would work?” Qwykk mused after another minute of the three of them watching in silence.

“How what would work?” Qwyrk knew she’d regret asking.

“I mean, if you was a rosebush, how would you know who you fancied? Like, what if you had a knob with thorns? That wouldn’t be very pleasant! And even if you did know, what could you do about it? I mean… suppose you liked the rosebush on the other side of the street, how would you know if it fancied you back? And even if you knew it did, how would you actually get over there to get a snog? It’s not like you could move or anything. And how would you actually snog? Like, with what? Rosebuds on your branches? And suppose you actually fancied the oak tree next door instead, well, that opens up a whole new set of problems!”

Qwyrk almost put her face in her palms. Almost.

“Why can’t we just go downstairs and do some yoga?” Qwypp interjected, and for once, Qwyrk was glad for her whining.

“I told you…” Qwyrk started.

“You didn’t, though!” Qwypp said, annoyed. “Just that you’ve got a job up here to do, because of some funny reports.”

“Yeah, Qwyrk, what’s up? You dragged us all the way up here from London, when we were going clubbing this weekend, and we have a right to know why.”

Qwyrk assumed a mock pleasant voice. “Look, here it is again, in small words, so you’ll understand: that big rosebush has been doing some strange things over the last couple of weeks. It’s been moving like a human, and people have also been seeing things like ghosts, goblins, strange lights, and apparitions in the neighborhood; there was even a little earthquake a few days ago. When a plant starts moving by itself, it’s usually not a good thing, and if there’re ghosts and goblins involved, and the earth starts rumbling, it doesn’t usually lead to snogs and chocolate. All clear now?”

“But what are we supposed to do about it?” pouted Qwykk. “Now I can’t use my VIP pass to London’s ‘Club Nitro Ibiza Hedonistic Fun Dome’ this weekend.”

“The council wants us to keep an eye on it for a bit, to watch over everything. Our mate Jimmy down there is making that a bit difficult and making me question the wisdom of that order. I’ve a good mind to gag him tomorrow night.”

“The fact that we’re the ones that scare the bejeesus out of most kids who see us is somehow lost on the council, eh?” snarked Qwypp. “I don’t make the rules,” Qwyrk answered. “I just follow them.”

Qwyrk did ponder the irony of it all. “Well, what can I say? Sometimes kids are up far past their bedtimes and spot us. Then they get more scared of us than of the dangers we’re supposed to be watching for.”

It’s time for a change in policy.

BANNER2 - Qwyrk

About The Author

AUTHOR PIC - Qwyrk - Tim Rayborn

Tim Rayborn is a writer and internationally acclaimed musician. He plays dozens of unusual instruments that many people of have never heard of and often can’t pronounce, including medieval instrument reconstructions and folk instruments from Northern Europe, the Balkans, and the Middle East.

He has appeared on over forty recordings, and his wanderings and tours have taken him across the US, all over Europe, to Canada and Australia, and to such romantic locations as Marrakech, Istanbul, Renaissance chateaux, medieval churches, and high school gymnasiums.

On the writing side of things, Tim lived in England for nearly seven years and has a PhD from the University of Leeds, which he likes to pretend means that he knows what he’s talking about. He has written several books and magazine articles about music, the arts, history, and business, and undoubtedly will write more (whether anyone likes it or not).

He currently resides in Northern California amid many books, antique music reproduction devices (i.e., CDs), instruments, and with a sometimes-demanding cat. He’s also rather enthusiastic about good wines, single-malt Scotch, and cooking excellent food.

Social Media

Website: https://timrayborn.com/

Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/timrayborn

Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/TimRaybornMusicandWriting

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Tim_Rayborn

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rayborn.esoterica

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3160656.Tim_Rayborn

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/entity/author/B00DWY5J8E

Giveaway

Tim is giving away an Amazon gift card with this tour:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Other Worlds Ink logoMEME4 - Qwyrk

« Older Entries