…remember, not all girls are made of sugar and spice. Welcome to the tour for House of Sticks, the sequel to House of Straw by Marc Scott. Read on for more details!
House of SticksPublication Date: February 2022Genre: Psychological ThrillerThey are united now, two sisters who were kept apart by the cruel twists in their lives. And, despite the fact these siblings grew up at the opposite end of the social ladder, they have discovered that they share an unbreakable bond. It is like a modern-day fairy tale coming to life.However, the pathway to their shared happiness is littered with misgivings and depraved memories from which they can never escape. Brianna is still haunted by the tragic death of her twin brother while Poppy finds it hard to let go of the ghosts of her abusive childhood.It seems that the forces around them will never leave them alone. Neddy, a ruthless drug dealer is hell-bent on revenge. A worried mother who is desperate to unlock the darkest of secrets. A stranger with tattooed fingers who must face retribution for his evil sins. These women must be strong to survive.But remember, not all girls are made of sugar and spice. Be prepared! This is not a fairy tale…
Liver and Lights never did visit Lucy on that bitter cold and frosty night, but the myth was enough to buy the silence of at least a dozen of the victims of the sadistic caretaker. A lifelong warning that would forever disturb the minds and souls of even the strongest of them.
The loud commotion at the back gate that night was that of Lucy’s father, who, following his release from prison, had driven south from Cumbria for eight hours in heavy snowstorms to be re-united with his daughter. The pair enjoyed a hearty breakfast the following morning before driving up to Kendal in the north of England. Life returned to normal, or at least as normal as it would ever be for young Lucy.
She never did tell her rescuer about the atrocities that went on behind closed doors in that Childrens Home. She feared that if she did, her father would over-react, as he had done with the ‘touchy-feely’ teacher at her school and beat the living daylights out of Sean Donovan. She did not relish the idea of her father going back to prison. But neither Lucy nor her father were surprised when they discovered that the Bluebridge Childrens Home was closed some years later, following several abuse allegations against members of its staff. Justice final caught up with the wicked caretaker more recently when a Paedophile Hunting Group caught him red-handed grooming two thirteen-year-old girls. He has served almost two years of the seven-year sentence he received for his crimes and had recently been placed in the isolation unit of the prison for his own safety.
Lucy Jones had carried the unwelcome burden of being an exceptionally pretty child. Her shiny blonde hair, silky soft skin and piercing blue eyes made her stand out in a crowd. It also made her a target for every sick pervert that crossed her path when she was placed into the care system. However, the girl had coped better than most did and is now a strong-minded survivor of the torturous nightmares she endured during those eighteen months.
She is twenty-seven years old now and is married to the manager of a clothing store. She lives two streets away from her doting father who visits her at least three times each week. She is a mother herself, twice over, two daughters, one of which she named Poppy, in memory of a brave young girl who had once put her own safety at risk to protect her.
She never fails to read her daughters bedtime stories, telling them tales of handsome princes and fairy queens who live idyllic lives in beautiful surroundings. But sometimes, just sometimes, when she slips those magical books back into the drawer, it all comes back to her. She remembers Donovan’s frightening tale of his phantom accomplice Liver and Lights. And on those nights, she will always watch over her children until they are soundly asleep. Occasionally, she finds herself caught up in the moment. And on those nights, she can be seen staring out of her children’s bedroom window, up at the surrounding darkness, shouting a few words she keeps locked away inside her head.
Available on Amazon
House of StrawPublication Date: November 2018Genre: Psychological ThrillerTraumatised by the tragic death of her twin brother, Brianna falls into a state of deep depression, isolating herself from the world and all those that care about her. When a twist of fate reveals that she has a half-sister she finds a new purpose in her life and sets out to find her sibling, desperately hoping she can fill the void left in her world.Poppy has not enjoyed the same privileged lifestyle as her sister while growing up. Abandoned into the care system at the age of eight, she has encountered both physical and sexual abuse for most of her life. Passing through the hands of more care homes and foster families than she can remember, the damaged product of a broken upbringing, Poppy has never found a place to feel truly safe. Kicking back at society, she turns to drug abuse and acts of extreme violence to escape from reality.When the two siblings are finally united, they discover that they have much more in common than their DNA. Their paths are shrouded with sinister secrets of betrayal and regret and both girls share a deep-rooted hatred for one of their parents. As the dark truths of their lives are unveiled they realise that nothing can ever be the same again…CW: Dark chapters involving child abuse and brutality, adult themesAmazon
About the Author
Marc Scott was born and raised in the heart of the East End of London. He spent more than 25 years working in the video and film industry, including a 12-month spell on a project in Los Angeles. More recently he has been involved with assisting at the rehabilitation section of the UK court service, working predominantly with young offenders. It was here where he met the people that would inspire him to write his first novel House of Straw.He is unapologetic for the dark backdrop and raw brutality in his books. ‘You can’t sugar-coat some of these damaged individuals that live in a broken society and make excuses for them.’ he says. ‘Not everyone wants the chance to redeem themselves.’His gritty writing style has earned him much praise from reviewers and bloggers. The second book in his trilogy, House of Sticks, will be available later this year. A story that Marc describes as, ‘An even darker and more twisted journey into the depths of depravity.’Marc lives in Halstead in England. He has a son and two daughters, who, he says, have given him the proudest moments in his life. He lists his favourite author as Kazuo Ishiguro, and his favourite book as ‘Birdy’ by William Wharton. He sums up his reading choices with a method which he applies to his own works. ‘When I read a book, I want to feel like a bystander, watching on, as an ‘extra’ as everything unfolds. If any of the characters in the book are bland and don’t affect you in some way, the author has wasted an opportunity.’Marc Scott
My thoughts: this is a very dark read, Poppy, has suffered and it’s left her damaged beyond belief. Her childhood is the stuff of nightmares, neglect, abuse, addiction. She’s being released from prison for assault and murder, into to care of her half sister Bree, herself a strange woman.
They’re a toxic combination, and Poppy’s desire for revenge and destruction threatens to overwhelm them both. Bree has a lot of her own issues, grieving her twin brother’s death, she’s vile to her mother and manipulative and cruel to her friends.
As events spiral out of control, there seems little opportunity for redemption or hope till the very end. Can they change their ways and become decent people?
Book Tour Organized ByR&R Book Tours
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.