Blog Tour ~ Cretaceous Canyon by Deborah Sheldon ~ Guest Post | Excerpt | Giveaway

Blog Tour ~ Cretaceous Canyon by Deborah Sheldon ~ Guest Post | Excerpt | Giveaway

Morning all!

Cretaceous Canyon by Deborah Sheldon, Dinosaur in the jungle, horror, survival

A ROAR-tastic welcome to the Blog Tour for Cretaceous Canyon by Deborah Sheldon! I just HAD to part of this tour, I mean, hello dinosaurs? But also horror and survival? Sign me up! I love both of those and I definitely hope to read this book~

For today’s post I got a ton of dinosaur-tastic stuff! Read an excerpt, I got a guest post, there is a giveaway you can join, and you can read all about the author + book!

Let’s get started! ROARRRRR!

Cretaceous Canyon by Deborah Sheldon, Dinosaur in the jungle, horror, survival
Genre: Horror, Action, Adventure, Dinosaur Lost World

Australia’s outback hides a mysterious canyon. Hidden deep within is a forest of pine tree that dates from the Cretaceous Period. A megacorporation sends in a team of experts to research this canyon for botanical riches.

The expedition enters a no-man’s land formed 100 million years ago when Australia was still attached to Antarctica, and dinosaurs ruled the super-continent. But the canyon has more prehistoric and dangerous species than anyone could have possibly imagined.

Trapped and terrified, unarmed and unable to communicate topside, the team’s extraction deadline is six long hours away.

The frantic race for survival is on.

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Buy this book here: Amazon

Cretaceous Canyon by Deborah Sheldon, Dinosaur in the jungle, horror, survival

About the author:

Deborah Sheldon, Author, PhotographDEBORAH SHELDON is an award-winning author from Melbourne, Australia. She writes short stories, novellas and novels across the darker spectrum of horror, crime and noir. Her award-nominated titles include the novels Body Farm Z, Contrition and Devil Dragon; the novella Thylacines; and the collections Figments and Fragments: Dark Stories and Liminal Spaces: Horror Stories.

Her collection Perfect Little Stitches and Other Stories won the Australian Shadows ‘Best Collected Work’ Award, was shortlisted for an Aurealis Award and longlisted for a Bram Stoker. Deb’s short fiction has appeared in many well-respected magazines such as Aurealis, Midnight Echo, Andromeda Spaceways, and Dimension6, been translated, shortlisted for numerous Australian Shadows Awards and Aurealis Awards, and included in various ‘best of’ anthologies such as Year’s Best Hardcore Horror.

She has won the Australian Shadows ‘Best Edited Work’ Award twice: for Midnight Echo 14 and for the anthology she conceived and edited, Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies.

Deb’s other credits include TV scripts such as NEIGHBOURS, feature articles, non-fiction books (Reed Books, Random House), stage plays, poetry and award-winning medical writing.

Find her here:      

Guest Post

At the start of 2023, after getting inspired by the thrilling stories written by Robert E. Howard, I was itching to write an action-packed novel. Severed Press has published two of my novels and two novellas, so I emailed to ask what kinds of novels they were currently buying. From their list, I chose ‘dinosaur lost world’. Now I had to come up with a story!
I’m an Aussie who likes to write Australian stories, which meant I had to choose Australian dinosaurs. My first question, and it’s an honest one: did we even have any?
Our most well-known prehistoric animals are the megafauna, which became extinct about 46,000 years ago. Picture humungous versions of Australian animals like the kangaroo and wombat. (One of my Severed Press novels, Devil Dragon, is about a giant lizard that used to roam the continent during Australia’s megafauna age.) These extinct animals have been thoroughly documented – including on a series of national postage stamps – but that’s it as far as our prehistoric animals are concerned. Australia’s dinosaurs aren’t in the public awareness.
My research into our Cretaceous Period was fascinating and eye-opening! It turns out we had similar dinosaurs to the famous velociraptor, brontosaurus and tyrannosaurus rex. I’m not sure why Australia’s dinosaurs aren’t given any love, but I’m hoping that Cretaceous Canyon might turn that around.


Excerpt

The hiss of the opening door drew everyone’s attention.
Good Christ! Alastair jumped to his feet.
It was Raj Devi himself, wandering into the conference room like a lost and befuddled grandfather, wearing slacks and a giant knitted cardigan. His hair and beard were salt-and-pepper, his seventy-two-year-old face frowning with its usual look of perpetual distraction.
Alastair raced towards the door and took its weight.
“Mr Devi!” he gasped, clumsily grasping his boss’s elbow. “What are you doing here?”
The old man glanced up, his gaze as sharp as darts, and whispered, “Rallying the troops.”
“Let me help you to a chair—”
“Thank you, I already know how to sit in a chair,” Raj said, and this time he lifted his voice, rolling it around the conference room, a deep and rich example of Received Pronunciation English, a baritone fit for the Shakespearean stage.
Alastair saw the effect on his recce team: everyone sat up straight. If he could figure out Raj Devi’s effortless ability to command an audience, then Alastair would rule the world.
“Everyone, pay attention,” Alastair said, his voice in comparison like a squeak to his own ears. “This is Raj Devi, your sponsor. You’re in the presence of a great man.”
Raj took Alastair’s chair and gazed around the table. No one rushed him. No one looked impatient. The silence was still and complete. He held them all in the palm of his hand, and Alastair both idolised Raj and hated him for this charisma, this absolute magnetism. Alastair had to remain standing, which was awkward, but the time for sitting was now lost.
With a half-smile, Raj nodded sagely. “I’m a believer in our power to make a better world,” he said, and the timbre of his voice sounded hypnotic; even Gloria was in thrall. “So, if you’ll indulge me, I’d like to tell you a story. A story about seeds. Leaves. Bark. Fruit. The human race has used plants to make medicines since before written language was invented. Traditional medicines date back thousands of years to Egyptian scrolls, Indian clay tablets, Chinese inscriptions etched on seashells and across the dried bones of oxen. Today, one in ten of our essential modern medicines is based on flowering plants. One in ten! My word.”
Lapsing into silence, Raj linked his fingers together on the table and closed his eyes. The seconds ticked on. Alastair checked the faces of his team and felt that he must say something, had to say something, or risk losing them. But what? God, the empty seconds kept ticking…
Alastair said, “Not just medicines! No, the plants we find today could also make new pesticides, and help farmers to breed disease-resistant crops—”
“All of us,” Raj Devi interrupted in his sonorous tone, “has taken a painkiller as simple as the aspirin. That miracle medicine was derived from the willow tree, its properties discovered by ancient Egyptians and other peoples such as Native Americans. Morphine is from the poppy. Today, plants help treat Parkinson’s Disease, diabetes, various cancers, heart disease, other ailments. Your work today could very well discover unknown plants that may herald a new age of medicine. Imagine, a cure for Alzheimer’s! It might be waiting for you, out there in that canyon. Waiting for all of us, the entire human race. Your hike has the potential to change the world, and save countless lives for generations to come. Oh, my goodness. What a legacy.”
The silence in the room was absolute. Alastair became aware that he was holding his breath. The team members appeared transfixed, mesmerised by the old man.
“Thank you,” Raj sighed. “Thank you for striving to help me make a better world.” He pushed out his chair, stood up, went to leave and then hesitated. “Please,” he added, “eat as much of the breakfast buffet as you can. It cost me a small fortune!”
He laughed and everyone joined in. Like Pavlov’s dogs to a bell, they automatically reached for Danish pastries, croissants, donuts, muffins, goat cheese tarts, fruit skewers.
Alastair stopped Raj at the door. The old man glanced up at him, cold and annoyed.
Taken aback, Alastair found himself stammering. “Gosh, sir, that was a…that was a…”
“What?”
“Such a terrific, inspiring speech—”
“I don’t take notes.”
“Oh, I didn’t mean—”
“Focus on the hike. Don’t fuck it up,” Raj said, and put his hand on the door.
“I’ve put together a competent team,” Alastair said, striving to appear confident. “I’m just wondering if you think it’s absolutely necessary that I go with them into the canyon.”
Raj gave a frosty smile. “Hmm. I don’t know. Do you think you’re necessary?”
“Well, yes, in the creation of the team—”
Raj raised his eyebrows. “And now that the team has been created?”
“Ha-ha! I’m sorry, I’m not sure—”
“You’re not sure if you’re necessary anymore?”
Sweat beaded on Alastair’s hairline. “No. I mean, yes. I’m still necessary, sir.”
“Okay.” Raj patted him on the arm. “Enjoy your hike.”
“Yes, sir.”
Raj left the room. Alastair watched him shuffle along the hallway towards the bank of lifts, where he would take a ride to the building’s top floor and probably take a fucking nap. Raj Devi walked like an old man in his seventies, which is what he was, and his refusal to put on a false front was admirable in a way that stuck in Alastair’s craw. Only a multi-millionaire could afford to drop the façade, wear slacks with a baggy cardigan, let his paunch hang out.


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This Blog Tour was organized by:
Silver Dagger, Tour Host, Black, Dagger, Green

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