Powderfinger & Wyndwrayth by Keller Yeats Book Tour and Giveaway :)

Nick Swann Investigates Book 1
by Keller Yeats
Genre: Horror

"Powderfinger" is a present-day scary horror story set mainly on the decrepit, abandoned but soon to be redeveloped, bank of an old canal between two towns. It centres on an old tar works known as Raven's Gate. Nick Swann is a world weary mid-forties widower and Assistant Probation Warden at St Joseph's Hostel for young male criminals, situated overlooking the canal and Raven's Gate. A woman is brutally killed on the bank opposite the Hostel on a night when Nick is on duty. Nick believes his lads had nothing to do with it, though consequently Nick is suspended for issuing too many late passes at once. Then another woman is killed and Nick becomes drawn into discovering the culprit. He works with DCI Findlay and DS Deacon as the murder toll rises. Together with help from his old friends Alan and Hugo, Nick's research uncovers a long series of similar murders in the same area, stretching back through the centuries. "Powderfinger" as the killer is dubbed, appears to be some kind of ancient mellifluous, malevolent, murderous being that attacks anyone it considers to be disturbing its peace and quiet. Eventually, as the story climaxes, Findlay, Deacon, Nick and Alan set a trap to lure "Powderfinger" to his doom and rid the area of this beast once and for all. Yet, traps can swing both ways.

Curious,” he commented as a few of the unseen birds high above, started to get agitated again. ‘Surely, something has found its way into this place, before me?’ Alex began walking towards the regular sound of the dripping water, insistently calling to him, from somewhere within the darker shadows. O.K, let’s see what’s making that annoying sound,” he said out loud as he approached the suspected water tank. His attention, was then sharply caught by another noise, that seemed to be coming from somewhere within the darkness beyond the glistening pool, with its sound of rhythmic drops of liquid falling from above. This new tone, was akin to something scraping on a hard surface. Alex stood rigid, all his senses on alert, he got the distinct impression he was no longer alone in the shattered darkness, his breathing became shallow and quiet but his heart was pounding loudly, the hair on the back of his neck stood erect. Alex went into fight mode, Hello, who’s there. Show yourself,” he demanded of the darkness, but there was no response. “It’s no use hiding, I’m sure that we can work this out,” he heard himself imploring but again his plea got no reaction. He was beginning to get annoyed with this farce and reaching into his top pocket, Alex, pulled out his badge and held it up, in the beam that was being thrown by one of one of the shards of splintered light, emanating from above. I’m a Police officer,” he said with the most authority that he could muster, under the circumstances, “And I demand that you show yourself.” Again, nothing moved to come forward. Alex, was starting to question himself, had he imagined the scraping noise, or was it real? ‘Probably just a rat or something’ his rational mind asserted. He stood motionless for a few moments, just to be sure his supposition was correct and the noise had simply been the everyday sounds of yet unseen and trackless in-house wildlife. Satisfied, he again checked behind him just to be sure that, ‘The Scraper,’ was not sneaking out through the swinging door. Findlay had barely turned his head when there was a sudden huge splash, as if some giant piece of masonry had fallen from a great height into the pool behind him. Taken by surprise, Alex spun round to see what had created the loud noise. He stared into the fetid pool but to his alarm there was nothing, no masonry, not even ripples disturbing its oily, glistening surface. As he did so, the door slammed shut with a deafening thud and the invisible birds started to shriek piercingly again. Alex, felt the fear once more welling up in his soul, eyes wide, the hair on the back of his neck stood up, his breathing became as rapid as his pulse, sweat trickled down his neck and his mind screamed ‘Get out, get out NOW!’ The cacophony, from the unseen flock grew louder and louder, in his ears and he was beginning to feel a twinge of confusion in his mind. Quickly, he turned and looked for the door that he had come in through but it was gone, lost in the darkness. The only remaining light was being provided by the needles of scant illumination piercing the shadowy gloom from high above. The panicked flapping of the bird’s wings created a strobe effect and then the scraping sounds returned, louder and closer than before. GET OUT!’ screamed in his head as he became more disorientated. Desperately searching for his route out he had a stroke of luck, one of the shards from on high, picked out a couple of his footprints on the floor. Seeing this, his survival instincts clicked in and he quickly lurched forward to follow his steps back towards the exit. At first, there was no sign of any way out, so Alex, threw his head back, as if he was looking to the heavens for some sort of divine guidance. That’s when he saw them, the mass of dark birds, clinging to the pylons that supported the broken roof of the building. Their eyes glinted menacingly as they stared at him down below, in the dark. Shit,” he said, more out of shock at the number of birds, than out of fear, ‘Look at them all. There must be hundreds of the fucker’s up there’ and, trying not to panic, he redoubled his effort to locate the way out. He dashed across the darkened floor, in the direction of the footprints and almost ran straight into the door. He saw it at the last moment and stopping himself just in time, tried to push the entrance open, but it would not give. He felt the panic rising, he was trapped in here with all those birds and whatever was making that scraping noise and had thrown that huge slab into that fetid pool. He felt the sweat beads, trickling down his neck, as he groped for the fastening mechanism and his breath was becoming ragged. His mind again screamed continuously now, ‘GET OUT! GET OUT! GET OUT!.....’ His fingers clawed and scraped on the rusting metal tearing his nails and flesh as he grabbed for the latch, frantically trying to get out of this all-encompassing, claustrophobic darkness. The screaming of the large black birds grew louder and louder, the scraping sound was almost upon him, his heart pounded and his temples throbbed. The sweat was running freely down his face, trickling into his eyes obscuring his vision. As his anxiety grew unbearable he felt something like a sliding latch and grabbing it, yanked it back and at last, the heavy metal door silently swung open again, with ease. Alex, almost leapt through the opening and took several large loping strides out into the light, to get away from the perceived dread inside. Once outside in the open air, he quickly glanced over his shoulder, was he being pursued? Seeing nothing, he stopped and turned to face the door swinging on its hinges. Slowly, his feelings of dread began to fade, along with the deafening cries of the birds and he started to relax a little in the gentle warmth of the pale, Autumn sunshine. He stood staring at the door for several minutes, reluctant to turn his back on it. Gradually his breathing calmed and the throbbing in his temples eased, he took a handkerchief from his pocket and wiped the sweat from his face and the blood from his hands. Having regained his composure and assured himself nothing was going to jump him from behind, Findlay walked purposefully away from the old building, back through the works and over the bridge. Then, he couldn’t resist one final glance over his shoulder, at the decaying looming edifice, that was The Ravens Gate.

Nick Swann Investigates Book 2

This is the second horror novel in the Nick Swann series. This scary story finds Nick now living in an old stone farmhouse on the lonely and mysterious shores of Llyn Isaf, in Wales. He becomes intrigued by its mist-covered lake island, Ynys Y Niwl and its dark, ancient and long deserted mansion, Wyndwrayth.

Its moldering edifice holds many secrets and treasures, some of which draw Nick and his old friend Alan, into dangerous realms. Death stalks the island and as the dangerous spectral figures of The Millar of Souls, The Paladin and Gideon reveal themselves, it becomes increasingly difficult to discern between reality and dreams. 
As the death toll rises, Nick finds himself, along with his new partner, Wendy and her Wolf, Mir embroiled in a struggle not just to maintain sanity but to stay alive.

“I really must go and give that place the once over,” he said, casting his gaze towards the lonely island, which appeared to almost float on the water. Its real name, was Ynys y Niwl. However, in Nick’s mind, his anachronism fit perfectly well and ‘Fog Island,’ seemed to suit it much better than the old Welsh name, which for him was a bit of a mouthful. A constant mist seemed to float amongst the tree tops, making the place seem ever so inscrutable. In company, if he was trying to be politically correct, he would refer to the rock as “Innis E. Newel,” disrespectfully pronouncing its ancient moniker, as if it were a bloke’s name. However, it served its purpose. The Welsh just wrote it off as, ‘another example of English ignorance,’ laughing at ‘the incomers’ pronunciation. Well it saved all that spitting and throat clearing, which made up much of the Old Welsh language. Nick took one last toke on his joint, then got back on his feet and stretched his back. “Ooof!” He exclaimed as a couple of the vertebrae in his spine clicked back into place. “Oh yeah, that’s the way you do it,” he sighed, then chuckled as he broke wind. “Time to put Venezuela back in her boat house.” When he’d originally discovered there was a vessel in the boathouse, Nick could hardly believe it. At first, he reckoned it was probably a derelict but on unlocking the access door, there, sitting sedately on the water, was ‘June.’ She was a beautiful old lady, once bedecked in polished wood from head to toe, this Grande D’am, simply spoke to him. “Cooool,” he’d remarked in amazement, as he gazed in wonder at her just floating there in the dark water. She needed a great deal of repairs. Her woodwork and the metal fitments, leather and enamel work, were all in serious need of some renovation but during the two years since his mothers’ death, ‘June,’ became the positive therapy he needed as he brought her back to life. “You and me’s goin’ explorin’ tomorrah,” he informed the boat, as he lovingly stroked her refurbished bodywork. Then, he slowly cast his eyes back towards the letters on the stern of this gem and there it was, ‘Venezuela.’ He had changed her name, from ‘June,’ almost as a first act of ownership. ‘June’ sounded like a name from the thirties, authentic to her build but hardly inspiring. When he’d looked at the lines of this elegant, yet exotic creation for the first time, he’d simply commented, “No, you need something a little more imaginative!” His mind had slipped into overdrive, looking for that elusive, enigmatic, yet pleasingly suitable, alternative name. During those next few days, the name of the motor launch had many incarnations, none of them quite pictorial enough, until one day, he heard a song on the radio, being performed by a woman from Canada called Rita Connelly, whose song and title just felt right. “Venezuela,” he’d said, “I like it!” It was a quirky enough name, one which maintained Nick’s vision of himself as an artistic man and it seemed to just trip off his tongue, as he’d repeated it, over and over again. “Venezuela.” He’d said for about the twentieth time. “Yeah, that’s it!” He’d emphatically intoned, an air of finality in his voice and then, as if to prove the point to himself. He’d said it again, “Venezuela.” Even as the word was leaving his lips, he’d seen images of a warm azure blue ocean and an ice-cold beer, or two. “Venezuela! Yes, that suits you much better. You may have been built in the Thirties but you’re here now. ‘June’ was just altogether too ‘Famous Fivey’ for my liking …..” Smiling at these memories, the boat secured in her house, he casually made his way back down the gravel path towards the kitchen door. It was only a two-minute walk and to this day, he still couldn’t believe his luck. He was now the owner of a fantastic cottage, with a vintage motor launch thrown in to sweeten the deal.

Keller Yeats is a writer with a love of history and music. He has written several published articles about rock music and several unpublished short stories. He drew upon his years of experience working as a Probation Warden, for his first published novel, "Powderfinger." A horror story with a supernatural twist. "Wyndwrayth" is his second novel in this Nick Swann researches and investigates series, with more to come. In addition, he is a published graphic artist and a qualified, though no longer practicing, jewellery maker and designer. He now lives together with his wife, a Siberian Husky, a Welsh Collie and three cats, in a cottage by the sea in Anglesey.

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What inspired you to write this series?
The writing of the Nick Swann researches and investigates series: “Powderfinger” and second book Wyndwrayth were inspired by the appalling similarity and hackneyed use of vampires, zombies and werewolves in both horror movies and books. I wanted to write something fresh that I would want to read.

What can we expect from you in the future?
Shacklady Rest: the third Nick Swann novel.

How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
The concept for either story? They just arrive out of the blue, a kind of dream coalescence. The characters often arise as required but are usually based around my life experience and composites of observed behaviour.

Where did you come up with the names in the story?
The characters named themselves.

What did you enjoy most about writing these books?
When I write horror, it is always the death or killing scenes I enjoy writing the most. I like to find novel ways for my characters to die and I guess it’s one way of venting my frustrations!

How did you come up with the title of your first novel?
It’s all Neil Young’s fault!

Who designed your book covers?
A lovely lady and graphic artist called Bluebird.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Yes, whilst writing Wyndwrayth I learnt how to structure a complex story on more than one timeline.

If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
From the start, I have always seen Nick Swann as Kevin Bacon.

Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I would advise anyone starting to read this series to begin at number one, “Powderfinger” as this sets the background to the main character and how he becomes a researcher and investigator.

How did you come up with name of Wyndwrayth?
The book named itself.

What is your favourite part of each book and why?
I like the ending of “Powderfinger” because it brings together the cabal to hunt down “Powderfinger.” I think it’s exciting and unexpected.
Wyndwrayth has a part where Nick and Alan are in the cellar and begin to climb the secret steps up the tower. I like the way the confusion between reality and hallucination works.

If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
Nick Swann, no doubt. I would like to spend an evening with him at Bethyn Bryan, having a meal, listening to music and sharing his lifestyle. I’d probably need to stay overnight though.

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
My characters are usually a combination of my imagination, observed behaviour and elements of real people I have met.

Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
He,he! They always hijack the story but I try to weave it back around the original theme.

Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
I think my stories offer the reader a trip into an alternate reality; one that has unusual characters, scary spooky adventures, history, mystery and humour.

Have you written any other books that are not published?
Yes, I’m working on the second draft of one now.

If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?
Putrid flesh.

What did you edit out of each book?
In “Powderfinger” there was a lot about the first victim that was unnecessary and that was edited out.

In Wyndwrayth I decided to edit a lot of the police procedural stuff as I found it boring.
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