Claudette in the Shadows

by M.J. Hearle

On October 4th I will be turning the ripe old age of 34. I’m a good deal grayer, wrinklier and softer round the middle than I was last year. That’s biology for you. Maybe this is why birthdays don’t excite me? What are they but an annual reminder of your bodies deterioration. I guess some people dig being the focus of attention and unwrapping presents. Not me. Well…not usually. You see next Fri I will be receiving a very special birthday present. My novella, Claudette in the Shadows,  will be available internationally on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Kobo through Momentum Books and I can’t help but feel excited. Even with the extra chub, wrinkles and gray hairs.

I think I’ve written a pretty cool book. Winter’s Shadow and Winter’s Light taught me plenty about storytelling and style and I’ve taken everything I’ve learned and poured that knowledge into Claudette. It just might be my thesis on the paranormal genre. Or at least until Winter Book 3 rolls around. There’s romance, mystery, magic, a liberal sprinkling of the supernatural and murder. Claudette Duchamp is most definitely not Winter Adams. She is no innocent naif, no lost lamb in the wild woods. She is the wolf in the dark. The monster in the shadows.

The story begins in Amsterdam on the eve of the 20th century. Claudette and her family have been living under an assumed name to avoid notice of Victor Bonnaire and his villainous Bane. Despite this fugitive existence, Claudette is happy or as happy as any sixteen year old girl can be. She has met a young man named Simon Fontellier and is experiencing the rush of first love. And then the nightmares begin…

Here’s the official blurb to wet your appetite:

Claudette Duchamp was born into a life shadowed by fear. Ever since she can remember her family has been running. Running from a man named Victor Bonnaire and the men in his employ, the Devil’s Bane.

Her family has a secret. One her parents refuse to tell Claudette or her twin brother, Blake. It has something to do with why Victor pursues them. And something to do with her dreams…

For Claudette has begun to feel a strange stirring in her heart. A wildness that is both thrilling and frightening. Soon, she will uncover the truth of her family’s haunted legacy. She will discover the world that lies on the other side of midnight. She will take her place in the shadows and embrace the darkness within.

As readers of the Winter novels may have guessed, Claudette in the Shadows is a prequel to Winter’s Shadow. This means you need not have read the other two books first. In fact, I specifically designed Claudette to serve as a standalone story and hopefully entice new readers to the Winter universe. However, fans of the books will recognise the characters Ariman and Madeleine, not to mention Blake. I suspect the large role he plays in Claudette will come as a welcome surprise to those readers who missed him in the sequel.

Over the coming week, I’ll be blogging more frequently – sharing the book cover along with a few cool things like videos and chapter excerpts so be sure to check back regularly. And please circle October 4th. The best birthday present I can think of would be for Claudette to find her readers. And to share with them her nightmares.