Calling all Ayrshire book lovers!

Summer may be ending which only means one thing – Halloween is just around the corner.

Join writer, Hayleigh Barclay, for the month-long Big Bite Read-Along starting October 1 right through to Halloween.

The online event invites readers to join the Big Bite Facebook group to read and discuss Hayleigh’s vampire thriller, Girl of the Ashes.

The read-along encourages members to read the book throughout October and come together, online, to form a virtual reading hub.

Not only will the group offer the chance for vampire lovers to immerse themselves in a world full of ancient curses, kick-ass women, and Gothic delights, but the writer herself, will connect with readers by revealing behind-the-scenes gossip, video updates, and tit-bits of vampire lore.

Scottish-based writer, Hayleigh, 33, is a regular short-story contributor to online magazine, Disability Horizons, and, during the pandemic, co-edited the charity anthology Stories from Home, with proceeds going to The Ambulance Staff Charity.

Having completed a Doctorate of Fine Arts at the University of Glasgow in 2019, Barclay released her debut novel, Girl of the Ashes through Garmoran Publishing.

The story, split between modern-day London and Victorian Scotland, tells the tale of 18-year-old assassin and rebel, Elise de Volonte.

Caught in an epic war between the corrupt, religious cult, the Inservium, and the mysterious Phoenix vampire coven, she must rise to the challenge of an all-out battle to protect those she loves.

Girl of the Ashes is a fast-paced, action-packed, neo-gothic story perfect for older teens and adults looking for their next vampire fix.

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The book introduces a new generation of vampires where women, disabled and LGBTQ+ characters, and multiculturalism lie at the forefront of the tale.

Fans of Dracula, old vampire myths, and history will enjoy finding the hidden “Easter Eggs” woven throughout the book (hint: the story takes place in 1897 – a nod to Stoker’s eponymous blood-thirsty menace) and are encouraged to join the reading group to share their discoveries.

As stock is limited readers are encouraged to grab their copy early. The paperback is available online and can be ordered through Waterstones and WH Smith.

To join in, click here or search 'thebigbitereadalong' on Facebook. To connect with Hayleigh, find her on Twitter: @hayleighbarclay

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