Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Penance List by S.C. Cunningham - Book Tour + Giveaway


 The Penance List
This one comes with a warning - a steamy suspense-ridden psychological thriller - think Silence of the Lambs meets 50 Shades and hold on tight! S C Cunningham writes with a skilled mix of fuelled tension, dark humour and pulsating sex scenes. Grab a glass of wine, close the bedroom door and read alone!



What happens when opposites attract - when a scorned childhood sweetheart grows into a gorgeous sexual tour de force - when a fun loving career girl, her racy girlfriends and insatiable lovers get caught in his revenge - when sex becomes a weapon, hearts become bait and straight tastes gay - when hi-flying careers, clandestine affairs and wannabe starlets are hunted by celebrity hungry press? Obsession, kidnap, murder... and he's just getting started! 

Purchase from Amazon UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Penance-List-David-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00B0HMTW4


Excerpt

The Penance List by S C Cunningham
The moment seven year old David changes from sweet choirboy to psycho killer. Love the boy, but fear the man he becomes.
 Heddington Hall School, Berkshire
His beauty was a curse. Even though he knew it was coming, his throat retched every time he heard his name summoned in assembly.
“And lastly, would David Howard report to the Headmaster’s study, directly after choir practice!” bellowed the Assistant Head to the army of three hundred bored, shuffling schoolboys that stood before him.
He stood on an old wooden pulpit at the side of the stage. The heat of the morning sun poured in through the vast windows, mixing musty smells of stale milk, wood polish, and body odour. Ghostlike particles of dust caught in the sunlight and percolated around his hunched shoulders, captivating the attention of the younger boys in the front row. He mumbled through the Morning Prayer and attempted to lead the choir in the final hymn, ‘The Lord’s my shepherd’, as usual, he was painfully out of tune.
Thankfully, the morning bell rang announcing the start of class. He dismissed the assembly hall. Two sixth formers heaved open the large wooden exit doors and the boys obediently marched out row by row, relieved that the tedious standing in silence was over. Noisy chatter filled the room.
As the teachers began to leave the stage, the Headmaster remained seated, his beady eyes followed David’s small frame. A satisfied grin pulled across his face as he contemplated the afternoon’s pleasure. He particularly enjoyed the boy in his choirboy robes.
David prayed each morning that the Head would tire of him, move on to someone else. That he would become a normal, innocent, carefree boy again. He spent hours in the school chapel tirelessly chanting the holy rosary, kneading the worn string of beads in his small hands. He didn’t understand the meaning of the words he was saying, but knew that they were important, what God wanted to hear, so he prayed and prayed over and over, begging for help.
He was a good boy; he didn’t steal, swear, lie or hurt anyone. He cleared his plate at mealtimes and completed his homework. He regularly attended early morning mass, sung his heart out in the choir, and lit countless candles asking for help, but to no avail. He began to doubt there being a God. If there was one, he’d been abandoned. Why? He obeyed all the rules, kept quiet, seen and not heard. Why was he not good enough to be loved by God? Surely God loved everyone?
The Head summoned him regularly for ‘private acts’, he frightened him into submission by telling him that he had the Devil in him, that he was a lost soul going to hell. The Head would graciously save him by exorcising the Devil and preparing his path for heaven. The exorcism occurred when they met in the Headmaster’s study, it was their ‘private act’. Their meetings were to be kept a secret; if anyone were to find out he would suffer the wrath of the Archangel. He would be tied to a wooden cross, slashed with a thousand knives to within an inch of his life and left to burn in the cauldron of hell. David often wondered in whose hands was the worse fate… the Archangel or the Headmaster.
He had thought about going to confession, telling Father Michael, the school priest, but the fear of the Archangel got the better of him. Even if he did find the courage to tell, he doubted the priest would help; he and the Head were best friends; they always sat together in the dining room at meal times, laughing and joking. He had a suspicion that Father Michael knew of the ‘private acts’. He was alone, frightened, dirty and ashamed.
As they marched out of the hall, a few of the elder boys glanced back at him. He lowered his head, he was sure they knew of his shame, of why he got extra attention from the Headmaster. He wanted to scream out that it wasn’t his fault, that he hated it, that it hurt when the Head tore into him, that he would do anything to make it stop. Did they know because the same had happened to them when they were small? Surely someone would speak up? Was everyone frightened of this man? Why did he have so much power?
And why had he been chosen? He’d been told that he had a cherubim face, whatever that meant. Should he put a blade to it, cut it up? Should he cut his body, his willy? Would that stop the Head calling him ‘his special boy’?
His shame kept his head low, unable to look students and teachers in the face. He’d learned to dress and undress alone, cried o from swimming and Physical Education classes, any activity that exposed his bruised, beaten, vile, ugly body to their pitying eyes.
He concentrated on surviving from one day to the next. Blocking out the pain. He’d changed from an innocent, cheerful, loving little boy into a lonely, degraded, dirty being that was going to hell.
His sister was a bitch, his father distant, the only person who truly loved him was his beautiful mother; he feared that if she ever found out what he was allowing to happen, that he would lose her also. He tried to keep up an academy award performance in his letters home. Inventing news of winning sports cups, gold stars, prefect badges, that he was a popular and studious pupil, but recently he didn’t have the stomach for writing.
He was as much to blame for keeping the guilty secret. The shame of people knowing was as bad as the act itself. He began to form a scarab shell, keeping up the pretence, hardening his emotions.
During the assembly’s closing hymn, he came to a decision, one that would change his life. He scoffed as he sang the empty words ‘The Lord’s my shepherd’... oh no he isn’t, he’s got the sack, the Devil is replacing him; things are gonna get better.
He dipped his hand inside his collar and pulled out the silver cross and chain that hung around his neck. Tearing the cross from the chain he threw it to the ground. Stamping his small foot on top of it, he venomously ground it into the floor, marking the wood.
With renewed strength, he stood tall and puffed out his small chest. Chanting his new plan under his breath, he marched out of the great hall, staring straight ahead, ignoring the serpent eyes that bore into him from the stage. The Devil would help him now, he would be loved, he was no longer afraid. He pushed through the heavy oak doors, defiant, caring less for the cusses from fellow pupils as he knocked them out of his path.
 
Author Bio –
British Crime Investigator & Crime Writer, Siobhan C Cunningham creates steamy psychological thrillers and kick-ass paranormal romance with a skilled mix of fuelled tension, dark humour, and pulsating sex scenes. Having worked in the very industries she writes about, her novels offer a fresh level of sincerity and authority, rare in fiction.

An ex-model, British born of Irish roots, she married a rock musician and has worked in the exciting worlds of music, film, sports celebrity management and as a Crime Investigator for the British Police (Wanted & Absconder Unit, Major Crime Team, Intelligence Analyst, Investigations Hub).

Abducted as a child, she survived; and every night for months afterward, she prayed to God, asking for a deal. This personal journey sparked the fuse behind the intriguing and riveting fictional world she portrays in The Fallen Angel Series. Twenty years later she crossed paths with a violent serial attacker who haunted the streets of London, the seed for The David Trilogy was sown, book one is The Penance List, and has been adapted to film screenplay.
She is the proud mother to contemporary Artist Scarlett Raven and is owned by three dogs. 

 
Social Media Links –
Giveaway – Win 1 x Signed Copy of The Penance List (Open Internationally)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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