Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Guest Post with Gareth Worthington - A Time For Monsters

Photo Content from Gareth Worthington

Gareth Worthington holds a degree in marine biology, a PhD in Endocrinology, an executive MBA, is Board Certified in Medical Affairs, and currently works for the Pharmaceutical industry.

Gareth is an authority in ancient history, has hand-tagged sharks in California, and trained in various martial arts, including Jeet Kune Do and Muay Thai at the EVOLVE MMA gym in Singapore and 2FIGHT in Switzerland. His work has won multiple awards, including Dragon Award Finalist and an IPPY award for Science Fiction.

He is a member of the International Thriller Writers Association, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and the British Science Fiction Association.

Born in England, Gareth has lived around the world from Asia, to Europe to the USA. Wherever he goes, he endeavors to continue his philanthropic work with various charities.

Gareth is represented by Gandolfo Helin Fountain Literary Agency, NYC, USA.


Publisher ‏ : ‎ Vesuvian Books (September 28, 2021)
Publication date ‏ : ‎ September 28, 2021
Language ‏ : ‎ English


"Gareth Worthington delves into the mind of a female serial killer that is moved only by music as she tries to get away with murder. A tale of cat and mouse has the reader ask what she is trying to hide. An epic thriller and a fantastic read!" —Tanya Roberts @bookswihtanya, CER at Indigo Books, Québec Canada

"Engaging, stomach twisting, breathtaking, heart breaking, mind bending! Worthington pushes you relentlessly down a path of redemption and off the rough edges of unpaid dues--wherever they are hiding. All the way throwing society's complicity in your face. Not only craftily written but intelligently crafted, he ensnares all your senses while keeping you guessing. A must read for fans of Nordic crime and lovers of twisting storylines." —Dalilah Kőnig, bookseller at Orell Füssli, Switzerland

"A masterfully built story of abuse, pain, and possible redemption unfolds. Every twist and turn was unexpected and kept me wanting to know more. Can understanding the "Monsters" make you accept or condemn them? How Worthington made me actually love and understand a serial killer is beyond me." —Erin E. Forys, Barnes and Noble, Williamsburg, VA

"A hell-raising revenge tale for fans of Gillian Flynn, Stieg Larsson, and Karin Slaughter that forces readers down a dark road with an unexpected twist." —Bram Stoker Awards Nominee, Monique Snyman

  • 1. Kelly (Children of the Fifth Sun) – he swears like a sailor on leave but has a heart of gold. Based on me during a manic depressive period of my life.
  • 2. Freya (Children of the Fifth Sun) – A fierce mother, and ex-military, she is a force to be reckoned with.
  • 3. K’in (Children of the Fifth Sun) – a life form who evolved on Earth and is highly intelligent, he helps Kelly to feel again after a tragedy.
  • 4. Demitri (It Takes Death to Reach a Star) – a bio-engineered man who struggles with living in a perfect world while he hides his apparent multiple personality disorder. Demitri comes from my own psyche, hailing from a poor background and now living in Switzerland.
  • 5. Mila (It Takes Death to Reach a Star) – feisty and determined, Mila has no time for nonsense, yet underneath her bravado all she wants is to look after those she loves. She’s based on my own daughter, Mila.
  • 6. Vedmak (It Takes Death to Reach a Star) – the voice in Demitri’s head, who is horrible and degrading yet his humor is so dry you can’t help laugh. The villain you love to hate.
  • 7. Zaldov (In the Shadow of a Valiant Moon) – a Creed soldier, and android, reprogrammed to protect. He strives to feel, like humans do.
  • 8. Evan (Condition Black) – a brilliant scientist who happens to be on the autism spectrum. Evan loves his wife more than anything in the world. He is based on my son who is on the spectrum, Nikolaj.
  • 9. Billy (Condition Black) – a war veteran, who believes absolutely in doing what is right. He very much reminds me of my friend and co-author Stu Jones, who takes his duties as a police officer seriously.
  • 10. Jiji (A Time for Monsters) – ever the good friend to Rey, yet trodden on by everyone. She is the unsung hero actually. Based on my oldest friend growing up, Chris.
Plymouth, England, 1984

The kitchen had a curious set of doors. To Rey, they looked like cowboy doors. The kind found at the entrance to a saloon in a western movie. Though, she had no idea where she’d ever seen a cowboy or a western, or even how she knew what a saloon was. Her family didn’t own a television. Perhaps her best friend at playschool had told her?

The double doors were a light brown and sat in the middle of the door frame—that was to say, they left the top and bottom of the doorway completely open to someone who wanted to either crouch or stand on tiptoes to peer into the room. Yes, they were very odd doors, but Rey liked them. Crawling underneath them was fun. Her own private entrance into the kitchen.

There were never any sweets in the house, but her mom always had a bag of sugar in the cupboard. Rey found it easy to take a spoon, climb inside the cupboard with the bag and close the door behind. She’d mastered scooping out big spoonfuls in the dark and could munch down in secret. The crystals were sweet and crunched between her teeth.

But today, as Rey got down on all fours to crawl underneath the doors, the kitchen wasn’t empty. She peered through the gap and was greeted by a pair of folded bare legs. Rey climbed back to her feet and pushed through. Her mom sat on the floor, big curls of chocolate hair tousled about her red face, her shoulders heaving and shuddering with each sob. The cold returned to Rey’s skin and pain radiated out from her stomach.

Why is mummy crying again?

“Mummy?” Rey walked over and put her arms around her mom’s neck.

Soft hands slid around Rey’s waist and pulled her close.

“Mummy, why are you crying?” Rey asked.

Her mom didn’t reply. Instead, she shook her head, fits of sniffs and choked tears preventing her from speaking.

“C’mon, Mummy, let’s go. Get up.” Rey pulled on her mom’s arm. She could help because she was three and a half now. She was strong.

Rey’s mom shrank back to the floor, shaking her head, fresh tears running down her soft face. She ran a hand along her turned up nose and wiped away her tears. “No, sweetheart,” her mom managed. “I can’t.”

More tears fell and Rey’s mom wept like she’d never heard before. The sound hurt Rey’s insides. Her tummy and her chest ached as she stared into her mom’s big, brown, wet eyes. Rey didn’t know what that look was, why her mom couldn’t—no wouldn’t— move, but it made her want to cry, too. Her mom was the best person in the world. Rey didn’t want her sad. She wanted to help.

But no matter what she tried, her mom stayed fixed to the floor.

Rey gave up and settled into her mom’s arms, head against her mom’s chest.

The doors to the kitchen swung open. Rey’s mom stiffened, her limbs rigid and her chest still. Without lifting her head, Rey peeked through her sand-colored fringe. Her dad stood there, a nasty smell of cigarettes emanating from his skin and clothes. He wasn’t a tall man, but from the floor, he seemed to tower over them both. His dark hair was parted in the middle and fell about his face and ears, and his mustache looked like the letter n, tracking under his hook nose down either side of his mouth to his chin. His eyes were scary—bright blue—staring out from under thick black eyebrows. He always shouted a lot. Rey didn’t like it.

“I thought I told you not to move,” he said.

Rey’s mom, her whole body shaking, buried her chin into the top of Rey’s head.

Dull thuds resonated through Rey’s mom and into Rey herself.

They weren’t sharp slapping sounds, like when her dad spanked her bum or legs. These were muted—numb—as he struck Rey’s mom across the head. Her thick hair gave some kind of protection. Like a helmet. At least that’s what Rey thought.

A Nordic thriller in the vein of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets Death Wish, in which a female serial killer, who only feels emotion when listening to music, is hell-bent on revenge and must outwit a disgraced detective determined to redeem himself if she is to complete her carefully orchestrated plan and cover up the ultimate secret.

ONLY A MONSTER CAN DO THE WRONG THINGS FOR THE RIGHT REASONSDo you remember the first tape or CD you ever bought? Perhaps you waited for the local station to play the top forty songs on a Sunday so you could record your favorite band. Maybe you downloaded a certain track that reminded you of your wedding day or a graduation.

Reyna Blackburn remembers.

Every single song for every horrific event in her life. She remembers what song was playing on the radio the first time he hurt her. And she remembers what was playing through her headphones the first time she killed.

You can purchase A Time For Monsters at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you GARETH WORTHINGTON for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of A TIME FOR MONSTERS by Gareth Worthington.
1 Winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card
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