A quirkily dark comedic novel about loss, search for spiritual meaning and about how decisions taken in a split-second often come back to slap us in the face. It’s a tale about the absurdity of the human condition, specifically our heroine, Fran’s, absurd human condition. Bless her, she tries her best.
A Stormful of Pickles: When Nature and Desire Collide
It’s a week before Christmas, and the worst storm in twenty years is about to descend upon Maidstone.
Fran, youthful dinner lady and regular churchgoer, feels a storm building inside her, too. To escape her overbearing father, she has foolishly married Mr Edward Dobbs, a dull and pious fellow, not a bit like the manly heroes of her beloved erotic historical novels. And now she’s trapped behind walls of her own making. She has accepted her life of grey domesticity with stoicism, the only buffer to the monotony of her existence being her weekly visits to a lavish hotel tearoom, where she can indulge her modest fantasies.
But this is all about to change. Fran is about to embark on a roller-coaster of sexual frustration, desire and fulfilment. Not necessarily in that order. And she’s going to take the men in her life along with her.
As the storm hits, Fran huddles under a tree, waiting for a bus that doesn’t come. Enter not so Good Samaritan Peter Pearson, head of the school English department, with his warm dry car and his seductive Irish charm. While her dark-horse husband cavorts with a forbidden colleague on the other side of town, can Fran repel the charms of this broken teacher and chart a course back to the tranquil waters of her boring life? Does she even want to?
This storm is about to throw all their lives up in the air. And where they will land is anybody’s guess.
For centuries many have pondered the prospect of an afterlife and feared what came to be known as ‘hell’.
In the near future, we map the elusive ‘dark matter’ around us, only to find out that it is hell itself, and it is very real…
As the satanic President Razour attempts to bring forward Armageddon to prevent humanity repenting, the fate of us all rests in the hands of Cleric20, a hedonistic loner with a chequered past, and his robot sidekick, GiX.
An action-packed literary shock to the senses that mixes flights of comic fantasy with bouts of brutal violence. Mankind’s only hope seems to be having a very bad day.
Can Cleric20 halt Razour’s devilish plans after an experimental bioweapon deployed to kill him accidentally gives him superpowers?
Has the Devil inadvertently created a hero who could actually stop him?
Little can prepare you for this spiritually-charged, cyber-noir thrill ride.
Current customer reviews 4.6 out of 5 stars
Available now on Amazon – Kindle, Hardcover & Paperback
Discover more about the Darkmatters universe: artwork, merchandise, links to prequel short story, media and future plans at: www.Completedarknessnovel.com
“5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and thought provoking…. Matt Adcock shows a certain flair for storytelling whilst also presenting us with some thought-provoking ideas in his debut novel…. The book stands up well on its own as a fun and engaging read but also lays the foundations and builds anticipation for what might follow in the Dark Matters universe….” – Amazon reviewer
This is one of those books you feel like you’ve been waiting years for, and the moment it arrives you feel like you can’t put it down…. This could easily be translated onto the big screen one day, or maybe an HBO / Netflix super series?!” – Amazon reviewer
One of the quotes on the front cover describes the book as ‘an adrenaline shot into your mind’, and I couldn’t agree more with this assessment…. I would recommend Matt Adcock’s work to anyone who likes big ideas, big set pieces, big explosions, big chunks of gore, big robots, or big concepts expressed with skill, passion and humour.” – Amazon reviewer
**REVIEW COPIES AVAILABLE**
Would you like a **FREE** copy of Matt Adcock’s ‘Complete Darkness: A Darkmatters Novel’ in exchange for an honest review on Amazon (and anywhere else you usually write reviews)?
The author of the No. 1 bestseller Letters from Malta.
Emma Raven thought she knew everything there was to know about Andrew, her clever, ambitious, good-looking husband. They had been happily married for twenty-six years; they had even been at school together: Bernie Silver ‒ Andrew’s friend from university in the 1980s and partner in their Islington business, That Music Place ‒ thought he knew him, too.
How wrong they both were. When Andrew is rushed to hospital, and Bernie needs to look at a little red notebook kept locked in his partner’s desk at home in the Hertfordshire village of Pengate … a whole new side of Andrew’s character comes to light.
Can Emma stay true to her husband, knowing what she does? As her seemingly well-ordered life begins to unravel, in Waltham Cross small-time crook Garry Wade, despite having just come into legitimate money for the first time in his life, discovers that he has good reason to hate Andrew Raven. Should he seek revenge and risk going back to prison?
Her Almost Perfect Husband is a poignant story of love and deception, and the importance of human relationships set against material success.
“I enjoyed this read and couldn’t wait to find out where it would end. My expectations of where it would go were way off the mark. It centres on Andrew, his wife Emma, and Bernie, an old friend and business partner. Andrew has a chip on his shoulder about his ‘working class’ start to life, but when he suffers a stroke and Emma and Bernie are left to try and sort things out and keep the business running, they discover Andrew has been more or less leading a double life. The notebooks in his office are the clue. Other characters, Garry and Paula, I actually liked them more than the central characters (once I got to know them) and Trev, out of work actor, he was a star!”
“A fascinating and intriguing tale of revelations and secrets of many years coming to the surface. What seems to be an idyll is built on a hidden history and the unsuspected, the revelation of which changes lives and destinies. Beware those who cannot express their emotion except through money and all that it can buy… I very much enjoyed the characters and their development as the book progressed, as well as the intriguing nature of the plot itself. The tensions between the characters and the depths of the characterisations were very rewarding and absorbing. Additionally, the imperfections of the main characters’ emotional make-ups and interlinkings were fascinatingly played out. Those who have read Mary Rensten’s other novels (Letters from Malta and A Handful of Straw) and who have seen her plays will know to expect a well-crafted story with unexpected twists and turns. What was also fascinating is that there is so much detail and texture (or quality) to the situations or episodes in the narrative that it makes for a very immersive read. I experienced this as a very visual tale and could imagine this easily as a televisual or cinematic telling. I am waiting for the sequel – I want to know what happened next!”
“Everyone thinks Emma’s husband is ‘…everything you could want a husband to be’, but when he is hospitalised after a stroke it leads to a devastating discovery. Who should Emma turn to when Andrew’s secret is uncovered? Bernie, their best friend? Jacob, Emma’s son, who has been banished overseas by his father in order to become ‘a proper man’, rather than a ‘mummy’s boy’? Or Emma’s dependable big sister, Constance, who has ‘always looked after her’? Emma will soon discover that they all have secrets of their own. Throw into the mix, Garry, the ex-criminal, hiding a secret from his sister, and out for justice for his grandfather – ‘This time Garry, do the right thing’ – and you have a fast-paced novel which leaves the reader thinking about the characters long after the last page has been turned.”
“When we see this title, we know something is wrong. It sharpens our senses and stirs our curiosity instantly. Mary Rensten, our seasoned storyteller makes us alert before she leads us into her story of intrigue. Emma had no idea that Andrew, her ‘almost perfect husband’ could be anything else. Since they married in their youth, he had become successful with a little business that he started with his close partner Bernie. ‘That Music Place’, took time but they built it into an expanding success. Andrew and Emma’s only son Jacob, has now grown and is working in Africa. More financially secure, they lived a number of years like any enthralled couple, they hadn’t allowed anything but practicalities to mar their world, sex had always played a considerable part of their daily living. It wasn’t until Andrew’s sudden hospitalisation, for what many people considered to be a terminal problem, that his partner, Bernie, came to Emma’s aid. It was their discovery of a folder of press cuttings in Andrew’s desk, also learning of his connection to a small business in Brockwood, that Emma’s suspicions began to wrack her brain. The more she learns of his secret life, the more her security is shattered. How can she face Andrew about the secret in the Brockwood attic? How can she broach the subject of his Father’s other life to Jacob? Can she admit to herself her attraction to Bernie? You can find the answers from you armchair, it’s a story you won’t want to leave and easy to go back to. ‘Her almost Perfect Husband’ is as intriguing as her bestselling ‘Letters from Malta.’”
“The title says it all – we know from the start that Andrew must be far from perfect. But, Emma, his wife of 25 years, loves him and is happy. She misses her grown up son who is working abroad, but she has a lovely home and her husband’s business, which he runs with old university friend Bernie, is thriving. So far, so perfect. What could go wrong?
This is not the usual abused wife, abusive husband story but gradually we come to realise that all is not well in the Raven household. When Andrew has a stroke and is rushed to hospital, paralysed and unable to speak, Emma discovers that there are things about her husband that he has kept secret for years. The little red notebook locked in his desk intrigues her and she enlists Bernie’s help to try and figure things out. What they discover makes Emma wonder if she will ever trust Andrew again.
This is a riveting read which kept me awake till the small hours, eager to know what happens next. ‘Her Almost Perfect Husband’ has inspired me to read more of Mary’s books.”
“What a page turner! Emma’s husband Andrew has a stroke putting him in hospital and unable to communicate for weeks. Gradually she realises he is not the person she thought him to be. The narrative rattles along full of twists and surprises with tensions around sex, gender, class, money and snobbery, which contrast sharply with the other main character, Garry, from a very different background, who has unexpectedly come into some money from a mysterious source; at this point the two stories start to converge, with unexpected consequences for all the characters’ relationships. Part love story, part mystery, it has the themes of love, loyalty, betrayal and atonement culminating in a sort of resolution and partial redemption.”
Young furniture salesman Brody Caulson cracks when an obnoxious customer pushes him too far and, in a fit of anger, he commits the ultimate crime.
As Brody battles newly awakened impulses for violence and retribution, a neighbor disappears, and her young son turns to him for comfort and support.
Appeasing an ever-suspicious boss and diverting visits from the local police, it’s up to Brody to avoid discovery and control his dark side long enough to find his missing neighbor whilst babysitting Javier.
But, as the life he knows unravels, he must make a decision – to get her back, he will have to kill again. Can he control his vigilante side, or be lost to the darkness forever?
The Way Back: The sequel to LMF (THE LMF FILES Book 2)
by Malcolm Havard
Churchill tasked the SOE to set Europe ablaze – but it was the RAF who got them there.
It was the start of the Allies way back into Europe that led to D-Day.
For one burned out pilot who had been judged to be ‘Lacking Moral Fibre’ it was his own way back…
LMF (THE LMF FILES Book 1) has over 70 Amazon reviews!
On a bitter night in January 1944 one last RAF bomber struggles on to the target alone with one engine out and its crew terrified, driven on by its burned-out pilot who needs one last mission to complete his tour.
And all of them know that if they fail the RAF has the sanction of declaring them to be ‘Lacking Moral Fibre’… essentially cowards.
5.0 out of 5 stars “A interesting story”
5.0 out of 5 stars “Gripping story that feels like you’re on board this creaking bomber”
5.0 out of 5 stars “An engaging and intelligent read”
If you haven’t read it yet, you will find it here….
When her best friend dies of cancer just before her 50th birthday, and other friends move away from their hometown of Stoke, grief-stricken Jenny sinks into a depression that her job as a Marie Osmond impersonator only exacerbates.
Nine months later, while everyone else is moving on, Jenny is still struggling. Despite the love of her family, nothing can alleviate her heartbreak and she dwells on the female-shaped hole in her life.
When newlyweds move in next door, she hopes that the woman over the fence will become a new friend and help get her back on track. But instead she gets Dawn: loud, fat, tattooed and shouting the ‘C’ word within minutes of arriving.
Jenny’s GP suggests starting a course at the local college to bring her out of her reverie. And that’s where she meets Trudi. At last! Someone on her wavelength.
Will lovely Trudi be the friend she has so longed for? Will the creative writing class bring them together and add some much needed happiness to Jenny’s life?
“There are lots of angles in my story, Friends and Neighbours, but my favourite/most topical is the eco one. It’s a story within a story really, Jenny’s journey of self-discovery after the death of her best friend and her failure as a Marie Osmond impersonator, while husband Lonny is prepping the family and their home for climate change.” – Ruth Torjussen
Ruth Torjussen grew up in Stoke-on-Trent but now lives and works in Brighton as a Shared Lives Carer. She is a passionate advocate of eating local food grown through regenerative farming as the answer to climate change.
Laugh out loud funny, great characters and really strong narrative voice. Manages to be feel-good and optimistic whilst taking on serious themes that can be related to on lots of different levels – highly recommended.”
This book was such an entertaining read, with such a strong and fresh voice. It’s the perfect book to read right now, as it will have you laughing out loud and keep you thoroughly entertained, plus it really makes you think about the world and what we can do to change things for the better.”
After accepting a generous opportunity to start afresh, Leslie Wills, a young man from Stoke-on-Trent, eagerly begins his long-distance journey to the Scottish Highlands of Elphin, a settled village that sits huddled amongst the dominating mountains. Its people are welcoming, and the beauty of the land is great. But deep within its Highland paths, a location rests hidden from the public’s eye. A location which entices you to learn the truth of its troubled past. But once you bear witness to its sights and sounds, its presences will never allow you to forget.
Uncover the truth, Journeying back to a forgotten time. With a plot full of secrets and suspicion that will leave you longing for answers.
Born and bred in the county of Staffordshire. Matt is a keen reader of classical, horror and fantasy literature and enjoys writing in the style of traditional ghost stories. During his working life, Matt joined the ambulance service in 2009, transporting critically ill patients all over the UK. After writing his first novel, Matt was welcomed into the family of Question Mark Press publishing and now dedicates his time on future releases. His hobbies include genealogy and hiking, and he enjoys spending time with his wife, Emma, his children, and his family.
“Ghost stories are not really a genre I go to but when the chance came to read this book I started it with an open mind, and was glad I did. Leslie Wills, Stoke on Trent, only 1 of 5 remaining children at home when his Mum passes, he has no idea what life will bring now and in fact is happy if it brings nothing….however life comes calling via 1 of his brothers, now a property developer who offers him, free, Elphin cottage in the Scottish Highlands…without any hesitation he goes, wondering what he will find He finds remote Scotland, its beautiful landscape and secretive folk, Elphin Cottage is more ‘out on a limb’ than he expected and he soon finds out the cottage and the one opposite, Clais cottage, have a history, a dark history and it looks like he is going to become a part of it! An unlikely friendship evolves with Coulls, an old farmer and between them they are determined to put right the wrongs of the past Fascinatingly told in the present and including lots of interesting ( and at times upsetting ) history of the famines alongside really good descriptive narrative I did really enjoy this book, it wasn’t far-fetched but a good tale of the past now affecting the present day Reading the acknowledgements made it even better knowing the ‘cast’ had been named from his ancestors and Elphin and the cottage actually exist and the author spent time there as a teenager, the thrill of being an author came through in this acknowledgments and I really look forward to reading more from him ( this was his debut book ) It has to be a 10/10 5 Stars because it was a great read and I enjoyed a genre I expected not to.”
“I have to admit I have very rarely in my life sat down to read a book. But after living in Stoke on Trent for 40 years and having just moved to Penkridge noticed this book was by an author from Stoke on Trent. Curiosity took the better of me and I downloaded it. I couldn’t put it down, such a great wordsmith he had me hooked. I look forward to any future books Matt. If you can get me to sit and read you have to be an excellent author. Can fully recommend this book love everything about it, keep up the good work.”
“Loved the book from start to the end, I imagined Elhine cottage was like a place my son and I had to set up camp due to adverse weather conditions in the highlands. After reading the book I find out that ruined cottage was the place. Great book. Loved the style of writing and the history within the book. Loved the twists, a real joy to read. Look forward to reading many more books by M.L Rayner.”
1970, the height of the sexual revolution and independence for young people. Set in Cornwall, Charmian is worried her future is mapped for her and repressive. She craves that freedom and excitement. That’s not quite what she gets. Bird in the Hand is a story of making decisions for others which reaps heartache. Charmian has two birds and a third on the way. What’s a girl to do? Consequences can be tough. We cannot mould our children to fit our own expectations. Sometimes it’s better to be the familiar stranger. Charmian and her family have much with which to come to terms but it’s ultimately uplifting. Live, laugh, cry with, and love these characters. Lose yourself in a feelgood holiday read.
Treat yourself to this award winning read now….
About the author….
Ros Rendle was a head teacher previously but is now an award-winning author of contemporary and early 20th century fiction. She has seven novels either published or about to be. She became an Amazon best-seller.
Inspiration comes from ten years living in France as well as a myriad of ideas from time spent with family and friends.
What with writing, and between dog walking and dancing, though not always at the same time, her hours are filled.
The Cornish Confetti Agency is heading to Tuscany!
When Lexie Harrington is asked to choreograph a last-minute wedding for celebrity chef Nico Moretti and his fiancée Isla Sanderson, she can’t wait to get started, especially as the event of the year is set to take place at the spectacular Villa Fiore in the glorious, sun-soaked countryside just outside Florence. With its powder-pink façade, green-painted shutters and battalion of life-sized marble statues, it’s the perfect location for the intimate wedding the bride and groom want, away from the prying eyes of the paparazzi.
With handsome wedding columnist-turned-TV scriptwriter, Theo Barker, by her side, and quirky waistcoat-loving Jasper Curtis in the role of usher, Lexie’s confident that this time she’ll be able to deliver the glamourous, sophisticated, and most of all, hassle-free wedding the happy couple deserve; no pirate patches on family portraits, no confetti-filled hairdryers, and definitely no anchovies crammed into the air vents of the best man’s beloved Porsche.
But this is The Cornish Confetti Agency, and the words ‘straightforward’ and ‘stress-free’ do not feature in the promotional brochure. So when the Lexie discovers the Michelangelo-esque marble statues modelling a new line in paper thongs, and the groom’s swimwear has been substituted for something a little more risqué, she must once again turn amateur detective and unravel the mystery before the wedding becomes a Florentine fiasco.
A perfect Tuscan wedding?
Is there such a thing for The Cornish Confetti Agency?
A sun-filled, uplifting story perfect for the summer holidays, and the fifth book in the Cornish Confetti series, that can also be read as a standalone.
Praise for The Cornish Confetti Agency:
‘I love the way Daisy combines the romance and the drama with a large dose of humour and the feel-good element. Brilliant – five stars!’ says Ginger Book Geek.
‘Funny, romantic, unexpected, and poignant; this book has it all.’ Five stars, says Penny.
‘Daisy James does it again. Wonderful characters, food so beautifully described you could almost taste it (how did everyone fit into their wedding regalia!!), and fabulous Christmas settings so wonderfully depicted.’ Five stars, says Bookworm.
‘Daisy blends comedy, pathos, emotion, and suspense into a fabulous Christmas read I absolutely loved. Like your favourite Christmas rom-com, Christmas at the Cornish Confetti Agency will cheer you up and make you laugh out loud, and keep you gleefully turning the pages late into the night.’ Five stars, says Julie.
‘Once again, Daisy has created likeable, relatable, fun characters. Her descriptive writing is evocative and atmospheric, allowing the reader to really pick up on the Christmas vibe within the book.’ Five stars, says Karen Evans.