Blog Tour: Echoes of Home – M.L. Rayner (Extract)

It’s my turn today on the Echoes of Home blog tour – a spooky ghost story that is generating some fantastic reviews – with thanks to the author, Zoé of Zooloo’s Book Tours and Question Mark Press. Before I share the exclusive extract I have for you today, here’s a bit about the book…

Blurb: 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.

Now, without further stalling, here’s a sneak peek from inside the pages:

Echoes of Home

Chapter Twenty

A sharp cramp shooting up my neck awoke me. The fire still burned bright, and I could tell without looking that the weather was still as persistent as before.

What a horrible dream, I thought through the discomfort clenching firmly at the back of my tender neck.

I stood, slightly off balance, narrowing my eyes to catch the time displayed. It was then as I turned, a flicker of light flashed in the opposite direction. It became immediately clear that the light source shone through the planks of wood, still hung nailed to the window of the empty room.

I panted in the dust-filled air, my heartbeat thumping inside my ears. As I focused my vision again through the large gap of the wooden boards, it became clear instantly. As expected, the light source was the distant lantern, violently swinging back and forth in the location of the ruined cottage on the hill.

Did my eyes deceive me?

No, after first glance, my senses appeared perfectly reliable. The more I focused, the more I saw that very same lantern shake from side to side. One thing was now certain, I again wanted a closer look.

Grabbing my coat, I trudged my way through the still darkened house and unbolted the front door. What hit me was the sharpness of the weather. With each gust, the snow continuously struck my face. No matter how I tried to conceal myself, the snow swept through, and with it, the feeling of tiny razors striking my flesh. I forced myself forward into the blistering cold and, cowering under the hood of my coat, I continued to stagger, finally reaching the end of the driveway.

There I stood. My squinted eyes strained through the harsh weather to the site of the lantern, its glow now appearing even more intense than before. Nothing more could be seen of the surrounding land, the snow had seen to that.

Deciding to take on the cold in the first place now seemed like nothing more than an unpleasant mistake. Again, shielding my already stinging nose, I turned and headed back towards the house.

Stupidly, the door was left fully open. On my approach, a thin layer of white snow had already blown its way in, covering the inside of the hallway with an icy layer.

I closed the door behind me with a forceful push, and it sent me immediately falling to the slate floor. My boots slipped on the icy surface, and with each attempt to regain my stance, I stumbled further. I regained my posture and held the walls firmly for guidance. And as I walked back to my chair, the interior of the house continued to darken as the night sky gradually set in for the evening.

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.

Echoes of Home is available on Amazon right now

You can find more from M.L. Rayner on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Goodreads, and don’t forget to stop by the other blogs on this tour (see the poster below for details) for more great content and reviews!


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