Friday, 21 December 2012

The Brent Street Haunting etc etc

The Brent Street Haunting is my new novel. It is a paranormal thriller and will be about 75k words long. I started this on 30 October and now I have 50k words. I hope to do most of the remaining 25k over the Christmas holidays. It's hard work writing fiction part-time and that is why I have been so tardy in publishing my existing work. I have delayed publication of Summer Soldier, and hoped to publish on 22 December. However, I realise with the workload from Brent Street I have not been able to attend to all the issues with Summer Soldier. Therefore, I have delayed publication again until I finish the novel. Expect to see it free of charge on Smashwords and on Amazon in the New Year.

Summer Soldier is the fourth in the Lucy Harlow series, which was an attempt to write a series of crime short stories. All these stories with, the exception of TV Torment do not have a paranormal element, deliberately so. But from these came what I consider the best short story that I have done for some time - Double, and this almost certainly has a strong supernatural theme. Because of Brent Street I will only publish the last Lucy Harlow - Northern Star - probably in late February/early March. Double, which is an important story for me, will be out in the late spring, probably May. I intend to write an unconnected short story of about 3 - 5 k words with a paranormal theme in quarter one of 2013. I hope to get this out quick in June/July in order to pave the way for Brent Street which will be out in summer (late July/early August).

The Brent Street Haunting is by far the best thing I have done to date, and I think settles me into the paranormal mystery/thriller genre for the forseeable future. I feel comfortable with this kind of fiction, and will try to produce something every year, God willing.

As a writer, I don't blog as often as I should. I am focussed entirely on the work. I suppose marketing is everything, but if you don't have novel you ain't got anything to market. A catch 22 of sorts. Nevertheless, once Brent Street is out the way and into its review and revise mode, I do intent to make more of an effort with social media, publicity, book covers and everything else that goes with promoting my work.

For those of you who download Summer Soldier I hope you enjoy.

To everyone, most of all my readers, I wish you all a joyous and peaceful Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.

And speaking of Christmas, I have a little house party to furnish with a buffet and beer, so I'll dash off now.

Best wishes


Summer Soldier

Hi folks,

I was going to publish Summer Soldier as a freebie on Smashwords on Saturday 22 December 2012. However, I feel that there are on or two issues that need attending to. Therefore, I have decided to delay publication while I revisit the text. With hindsight, I have attempted to publish while I am fully occupied with Brent Street and consequently missed one or two things. Even though it is a free story, I would much sooner it be right, hence the change of heart. Expect to see it in the New Year.

Here's a synopsis.

After two particularly audacious attacks in May 2008, a lucky break brings about a sea change in the life of a serial rapist. The attacks stop and the trail goes cold. A bounty of fifty grand attracts Lucy Harlow to the case, but soon she’s as frustrated as the police. Meanwhile, a young woman on holiday in Spain proves a temptation too much for the latent rapist. But now he can’t run away from the scene and thus the trappings of his new successful life, and so the latest victim pays with her life. The murder seems totally unconnected to the rapes, but a foray into the macho world of carp fishing gives Lucy a new angle and puts her on the trail of Summer Solider...

Summer Soldier is the fourth in the Lucy Harlow detective series of short stories.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Opera Flowers - behind the scenes


Opera Flowers was published last week in midweek. I usually publish at the weekend to maximise exposure on Smashwords but decided to have a go on a weekday. This was my first title to be published after a while away over the summer, although the story was written in the spring, and out of laziness I gave it little publicity. Of those that have downloaded the story, a high proportion have retained it in their libraries so it must have some merit. As they say marketing is everything.

An interesting point about this story which hit me when I re-read it on my i-phone today (yes, it's out in the Apple store already!) is that it could be construed that Stella Grice knew about her husband's (Jack's) crimes and had contacted Lucy (of the Cambridgeshire murders fame) to get him nailed. Of course fit and tanned forty something Stella could then get about spending Jack's fortune and take the younger lover she craved.

I didn't write the story this way. I set out with the view that Stella believed Jack was cheating. But it's one of the great mysteries of writing fiction how things work on a subliminal level and how a story (or at least in this case a sub-plot) can be created in the subconscious.

I like this short story as it is, and can recommend it to you as FREE on all platforms, however, I can see how the plot could be adapted to introduce a scheming wife ready to get rid of her criminal husband and, as a result, could well lead to a longer treatment.

Anyway, here's the link again to this tale, the third in the Lucy Harlow series.

Best wishes


Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Opera Flowers - Published

Hi folks, I've published this little tale on Smashwords free of charge today

Here's the synopsis,

Opera Flowers is the third in the Lucy Harlow detective series.

Rich bored housewife Stella Grice hires Lucy to investigate her husband Jack, who she believes is cheating. But Lucy uncovers more than a platonic relationship with a local solicitor based upon a mutual love of opera, and is drawn into a race against time to save Susannah Young from a grisly fate at the hands of a sadistic killer.
Hope you enjoy it
Best wishes

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Autumnal Equinox

Hi folks,

Goodness, I just looked at the date I last posted - 19th May - doesn't time fly! During the late winter and spring I wrote a number of stories that I intended to publish more or less over the summer - these were Lucy Harlow detective stories to follow Oxygen Restriction and TV Torment - Opera Flowers, Summer Soldier, Northern Star and a mystery using some of the characters in the Lucy Series - Double. Rather than publish these new stories straight away, I had a change of heart and decided to take my time and see how the already published stories did. This also meant a break from writing, which I filled in by keeping busy in all other respects. I have been writing now for probably the best part of 20 years and have had breaks of months through to a couple of years but have always returned to what is my most enduring interest. So, after enjoying a summer break, and with the autumn equinox now upon us, it is time to get rolling again. I will therefore publish the aforementioned stories over the winter and spring, starting with Opera Flowers - a nasty little murder mystery. Look out for it on Smashwords and Amazon over the next couple of weeks - Free of Charge, of course!

Best wishes and regards


Friday, 18 May 2012

TV Torment publication this weekend

Hi folks, here's Lucy

The second story in the Lucy Harlow detective series will be published this weekened. TV Torment will be available on Smashwords and Amazon price 99c with a generous free sample. It is 16300 words long and here's the synopsis:

During a business trip to Cambridgeshire Lucy has a strange experience, similar to one she’d had in childhood. She hears the sound of the dead mingled with a TV news bulletin. Malcolm Margarson a deceased solicitor and pillar of the local community is being tortured in Hell by a vicious teenaged girl he calls “Angel”. Lucy learns that nineteen years ago Margarson was found dead in a lay-by off the nearby A10 with an axe buried in his skull. In the years that have passed no clues have come to light to point to the killer, and the conclusion of the police investigation that the murder had been the random act of a madman is widely accepted. But Lucy questions why a man unfortunate enough to be murdered at the age of 42 is suffering so much in the hereafter, and sets out the find out who his torturer was in life. In solving the riddle, she uncovers not only Margarson’s killer but also the leader of a gang responsible for the rape and murder of young women across the southeast of England...

A brief paranormal experience, the soundtrack of Hell, opens up an intriguing murder mystery with a tragic twist in the tail.

Look out for the story soon. I will post on Twitter and here when it's published, but probably it will be Saturday 19 May, UK time 1600 hrs.

Best wishes


Wednesday, 16 May 2012

TV Torment

Hi folks,

I am getting the 2nd Lucy Harlow Detective story, TV Torment, ready for publication now. I've been through it once this week. It needed only a few corrections. I will go through it again shortly then the text will be complete. I will write the long and short synopsis and, as the cover is done, it will be then be ready. The favourite date for publication is Saturday May 26th on Smashwords and Amazon.

I'll be writing more on here about TVT over the next few days.

Best wishes


Saturday, 12 May 2012

Double completed


I finished my latest short story 'Double' today. It s a mystery about a successful buisness man whose life takes a steady turn for the worst after seeing his double while on holiday with his wife and kids. It is 9400 words long and will be published later on in the summer for 99c.
I am very excited about this little tale and it fits in snugly with the type of work I produce.

The next task for me over the next couple of weeks is to get the next Lucy Harlow story, TV Torment, ready for publication. It has been put away now for quite a few weeks, so my eyes should be seeing it almost anew when I go through it. The cover is done and the text was extensively reviewed and revised before I put it away, so hopefully it will be out 26 May or maybe the week after. It is quite a long short story at about 16500 words and sees Lucy on the trail of a gang of serial murderers in Cambridgeshire.

I will be posting more specific details about my stories over the summer as they near publication.

Best wishes


Friday, 4 May 2012


I'm excited about this short story and have completed the first Chapter today ~ 850 words. The story centres on characters first appearing in the 1st Lucy Harlow (Oxygen Restriction) namely David Black (1st person protagonist) his wife Miriam and his Mistress Rachel Owen. Double is a Saul Moon mystery and will be published following TV Torment. I expect Double will take me about another week or so to write and then I'll get on with readying TVT for publication (now aimed at 26 May). I'll be posting more about Double as it develops, however I don't want to give the game away so its probably best left to the short synopsis to reveal what I want to be revealed.

Best wishes and regards


Wednesday, 2 May 2012


Hi folks,

Monday and yesterday evening I went through my latest and 5th Lucy Harlow Story Northern Star (9600 words). I have now put this away for a couple of months, before reviewing an revising again with fresh eyes. The plan is to publish this for 99c in September.

Tonight I completed the covers for TV Torment (2nd Lucy Story), Summer Solider (4th) and Northern Star. The cover for the 3rd Story  Opera Flowers was completed a couple of weeks back.

The way is now clear to start the final review and revision of TV Torment in readiness for publication. I plan to publish this on or around the 19th of May in all liklihood, although the 26th May is also an option. It will be one or the two. It is a long short story of about 16500 words and will be available on the usual outlets for 99c.

The other day I talked about having a rest from creativity. But I am finding this difficult to do at the moment. So I'll just ease down a bit, as I am happier if working on something new. I have come up with an idea for a follow up to Switch which is ready to write with the minimal of plotting. I'll plot it up over the next couple of days and begin it next week. It will be a genuine short mystery and I am hopeful for its success.

Best wishes


Sunday, 29 April 2012

Northern Star

Hi folks,

I completed Northern Star today, 9670 words and a nice little tale. It is the 5th Story in the Lucy Harlow detective series and will be published in September. For me this is the best story in the series so far. I will post more about the plot and show the book cover as the spring and summer winds on, and of course as the earlier stories are published.

I will be taking a break from writing new material for two months. The last two months have seen me write 55k words on the first five Lucy Harlow detective stories. That's over half a full length novel, fully reviewed and revised, in about 9 weeks. A big ask when you are working full time. I believe in quality rather than quantity and will not compromise the former for the latter. Dragging up ideas from nothing takes a lot of kilowatt hours out of the brain cells and when the old body and mind tells you its time to take a break it is in the best interests of the work to have a rest. Of course, I will be publishing the work I have in the can and I will also be working subliminally on Switch-2 a short story that follows the original.

The original Switch is a story that I don't think an awful lot about. However, it has proved to be really popular. Hence, I will produce a different story based on the same theme. The new one concerns two girls and will be written over the summer.

Best wishes


Monday, 23 April 2012

Northern Star - No 5 Lucy Harlow Story

Hi folks,

I'm 2200 words (3 Chapters) into Northern Star. The 5th story sees Lucy on the trail of a blackmailer, only to uncover something much worse.

Best Wishes


Friday, 20 April 2012

Oxygen Restriction - Published

The first Lucy Harlow story Oxygen Restriction has been published on Smashwords and Amazon.

Get your free copy here,

Best Wishes


Thursday, 19 April 2012

Lucy Harlow 1 - Oxygen Restriction out Tomorrow!

I will publish the first Lucy Harlow Detective Story - Oxygen Restriction on Smashwords Tomorrow Friday 20 April at around 4pm UK time. This first story in the series is Free of Charge!

I will also put it up on Amazon.

Oxygen Restriction sees young Lucy embroiled in a tale of fetish and murder on her first assignment as a budding sleuth.

Best wishes


Monday, 16 April 2012

Oxygen Restriction - A Lucy Harlow Story

Oxygen Restriction is almost ready for publication. This is the first story in a series featuring young sleuth Lucy Harlow. The files are done, so too the cover and synopsis. I will probably go through it once again in midweek with a view to publishing on Friday or Saturday. However I may go earlier depending upon how I feel. I will let you know on this blog when I am ready to publish. The story will be free of charge on Smashwords and is around 8000 words.

Here is the synopsis.

Incurably nosey Lucy Harlow takes a job as a PA to David Black, the owner of a specialist engineering firm, and lands in a small office taut with sexual tension. Beautiful but bitter secretary Rachel Owen is obsessed with Black and is already jealous of Lucy. But there’s something more sinister than unrequited love, with David refusing to travel, leaving the customer interface to a man he clearly finds distasteful, his technical director, Bill Turner. When David asks Lucy to babysit for him and his wife Miriam, Lucy takes the opportunity to find out what’s going on. She discovers a disturbing photograph of a naked Miriam in a wallet in David’s jacket, but little does she realise that it will set her on the trail of a serial killer...

Oxygen Restriction is a story of fetish and murder, and is the first case for budding young sleuth Lucy Harlow.

Best wishes


Friday, 13 April 2012

Oxygen Restriction - Lucy Harlow Story 1.

Hi folks,

This is what I wrote about Oxygen Restriction, the first Lucy Harlow story, when it was being drafted:

'Oxygen Restriction'. a tight little crime mystery involving five characters in the crucible of a small firm. Lucy, a nosey girl and fledgling sleuth, is on the trail of a serial killer of young women in the US. This story will be free of charge and will be published on Smashwords.

I finished the fourth Lucy story 'Summer Soldier' yesterday and have been through it today. I am happy with it and will put it away now for a while before revisiting it.

Oxygen Restriction was actually finished on 2 March (8000 words) and my intention was to publish it free of charge on 17 March.

However, since then I had a change of heart and thought I'd hold back on publication and actually concentrate on writing some more stories in the series. This is what I have done and, as said above, the fourth one is now done. Therefore it now seems the right moment to publish the first.

With this in mind, I did the cover today for Oxygen Restriction this afternoon. I was in a little bit of quandry as to how to theme the cover for this story, but I have come up with something to my satisfaction.

Oxygen Restriction has been reviewed and revised four times to date. But now with the benefit of not seeing it for a number of weeks I will give it two more reviews next week. After the first review I will draft a synospis. So hopefully it should be all systems go to publish this on Smashwords and Amazon next Saturday 21 April 2012.

That's the intention, and I'll keep you posted.

Best wishes and regards


Thursday, 12 April 2012

Summer Soldier Completed

Hi folks,

I completed Summer Soldier today. It amounts to just over 8700 words and is a neat little tale. I will go through it tomorrow and then put it away until August, with the aim of publication mid to late August.
I now have four Lucy Harlow detective stories to go to war with and the aim is to publish them over the months late April to August. As I have said the first, Oxygen Restriction, will be published during the last weekend of April. I am happy with the work that I have done in recent months, and I hope to start writing new material again in September when the summer is over. For now I am going to try to enjoy the summer such as it is in the UK, and follow my hobbies. I will keep the blog updated as I bring  the four Lucy Harlow stories to publication.

Best wishes and regards


Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Summer Soldier

Summer Soldier is story about Lucy Harlow on the trail of a serial rapist. It is the fourth in the series of Lucy's private detective tales, and after it is completed I will take a break from writing new material until the autumn. Summer Soldier is now being written and amounts to 3500 words so far. I anticipate to finish it before the weekend since I am not at work this week. After this has been drafted and had its first review (early next week), I will turn my attention to publishing the series.
First up will be Oxygen Restriction which will be free. I have targeted Saturday 28 April for this.
I will then publish TV Torment, Opera Flowers and Summer Soldier in sequence for 99c a piece over the summer (May thro' August). That's the plan.

I'll keep you updated

Best wishes


Saturday, 7 April 2012

Opera Flowers

I finished Opera Flowers, the third story in the Lucy Harlow series, yesterday. It is 12,500 words, which I consider a nice size. Therefore I have three crime stories in the can. The fourth, Summer Soldier, is taking shape, and I will be working on it over the Easter holidays. Once this story is moving forward I will publish the first Lucy Harlow story, Oxygen Restriction.

I wish you all a happy and peaceful Easter.

Best wishes


Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Lucy Harlow - update

Hi folks,

I've been busy writing my series of crime stories featuring Lucy Harlow private eye. I have written the first two Oxygen Restriction and TV Torment. I have finished 8700 words of the third - Opera Flowers. As a writer, I believe first and foremost in the work. I know there is a big thing about marketing especially for self-published authors (and indeed published authors too) but I can't get away from the idea that the work is the most important thing. Therefore, I have been concentrating my efforts on completing these stories. Over the Easter period I hope to be able to devise a fourth story and once this is on the way, then I will begin to move the first story to publication. The first two stories have been worked through, reviewed and revised. But there is nothing like being patient and putting them away for a while before revisiting them. Patience is a virtue and I am trying to be patient with these tales rather than rushing them.

Best wishes and regards


Friday, 16 March 2012

Lucy Harlow


All my writing energy is now going into the Lucy Harlow detective series. The text of the first two Oxygen Restriction and TV Torment have been extensively reviewed and revised. I will now put these away for 2 weeks before attempting to do the final edit. During that time I will write the third story Opera Flowers which is now fully plotted and researched. When OF is drafted, I will get on with moving OR towards publication. I hope to write a fourth story before mid year, but as ever it is a balancing act between homelife and the day job.

Best wishes


Saturday, 10 March 2012

You'll Never Walk Alone - Published

You'll Never Walk Alone has just been published and is available Free of Charge on Smashwords.

Best Wishes


Friday, 9 March 2012

You'll Never Walk Alone - Tomorrow

You'll Never Walk Alone, a nice little mystery with a twist in the tail, will be published tomorrow Saturday 10 March on Smashwords Free of Charge. 2700 words. Out 4 pm UK, 11 am Eastern US, 8 am West Coast.

Best Wishes


Lucy Harlow - Opera Flowers

The 3rd story in the Lucy Harlow detective series is a little murder mystery, which I am aiming to be around 8k (famous last words). All the plotting is done. Doing some research now and developing a new character, which will make a tight team of three for Lucy (with cameo appearances for her consultant - retired copper DCI Royston Reyolds). The team matures into a trio in this tale with Lucy PI, Tomasz (muscle) and Drake Julian (brains - technology).
The first two Lucy tales are written - Oxygen Restriction (8000 words) will be a free e-book. TV Torment (16700) words a 99c follow up. I am reviewing and revising these tales on a weekly basis. Will do the cover art work and blurb, and decide when to publish. Initial thoughts are Easter weekend for OR and a few weeks later for TVT. However, plans are fluid. These stories are all new material, written this year, will be contemporary, and seek to intrigue and entertain. They will form a series featuring Lucy our feisty little sleuth.

Best wishes


Wednesday, 7 March 2012

You'll Never Walk Alone - This Saturday

Phil March is about to lose his job but doesn't have the courage to tell Suzanne. The couple are about to land on hard times and Phil wanders about a local beauty spot in his lunchtimes mulling things over. A year after he is sacked, he sees his old boss following the same routine. The initial job cull did not cure the firm's finances, and the fate of the boss now walks in lockstep with Phil...

You’ll Never Walk Alone is a short mystery with a twist in the tail, and will be published Free of Charge on Smashwords this Saturday 4pm UK time.

Best Wishes


Monday, 5 March 2012

Read a E-book Week

The Scorpian Visitant is available on the Smashwords Read an E-Book Week for just 99c. Enter code REW50 at the checkout.

Best wishes


Sunday, 4 March 2012

The Scorpian Visitant - 99c this week

The Scorpian Visitant - is just 99c this week, available on Smashwords Read an E-book Week promotion. Enter code REW50 at the checkout.

Best wishes


Friday, 2 March 2012

Lucy Harlow et al


Oxygen Restriction has been finished today in draft. 8000 words.

TV Torment was finished in draft on 25 Feb. 16700 words.

OR will be published FOC on Smashwords on Sat 17 March.

TV Torment will be 99c and published on Smashwords Sat 31 March or Sat 7 April.

Plenty of time to tighten, review and revise the above two. Also to do artwork for covers. Got a great model!

You'll Never Walk alone, a decent little mystery, will be published FOC on Smashwords Next Saturday 10 March. Got the cover picture for this. Just needs last copy edit. 2800 words.

The Scorpian Visitant epic fantasy mystery will be just 99c for the week begining Sunday 4 March until the 11th as part of the Read an E-book Week (REW) promotion on Smashwords. Just enter the memorable code REW50 at the checkout.

Best wishes


Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Oxygen Restriction - Progress

The first story to be published in the Lucy Harlow series will be 'Oxygen Restriction'. This is a tight little crime mystery involving five characters in the crucible of a small firm. Lucy, a nosey girl and fledgling sleuth, is on the trail of a serial killer of young women in the US. First two chapters are now done with 3500 words in the can. This story will be free of charge and will be published on Smashwords in four weeks.

'You'll never walk alone', a mystery story written a decade ago, has been re-typed and revised. It is 2770 words and will be published Friday 9 or Saturday 10 March.

Best Wishes


Sunday, 26 February 2012

You'll Never Walk Alone

No folks,

I've not taken leave of my senses. I'm not a Liverpool fan, but a decade ago I wrote this short story about a guy who is about to lose his job but doen't have the courage to tell his wife. The couple are about to land on hard times and the protagonist wanders about a local beauty spot in his lunchtimes brooding and mulling things over. A year after he is sacked, he sees his old boss following the same routine. The inital job cull did not cure the firm's finances and the boss faces a similar fate to our protagonist...But what is that fate?

YNWA is a mystery short story and will be available free of charge. It will be published in 2 weeks.

This will the the last, for now, of my short stories written a decade ago.

The next stories to be released will be the Lucy Harlow detective mysteries.

The first Oxygen Restriction is now ready to be written. All the characterisation is done. All the plotting done. All the motivation determined. All the notes written. It will take about 10 days to write and the same again to review. It will be published free of charge in 4 weeks.

The second, which will retail at 99 cents, is written. It is 16,700 words and will be tightened, reviewed and revised with a view to publication in 6 weeks.

I will then do a number of these Lucy Harlow crimes stories. Target is one per month for the rest of this year.

Best wishes Saul.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Lucy Harlow - TV Torment

Lucy Harlow story TV Torment finished today - 17200 words - not too long - happy with it. Story took about 10 days to do. I will write the first in the series now, Oxygen Restriction, which will be free. Then review and revise TVT. OR will be published first. TVT will follow at the minium 99 cents. I will then publish another five or six Lucy short stories/novellas this year, again all at the minimum 99 c.

Best wishes

Saul Moon

Vacant Possession - Published

My free short story Vacant Possession has been published on Smashwords.

Best wishes


Thursday, 23 February 2012

Lucy Harlow - update

The second Lucy Harlow story TV Torment is coming on at rate of knots now. Around 14k words in the can. Next scene written out in the book. Will be finished over the weekend. TVT will be put away for a week, while I write Oxygen Restriction, which is a lot shorter. Then review and revise TVT. I am glad TVT looks to be around 17 - 18k words, which I guess is a novella. Not too long, and very happy with it.

My next short story Vacant Possession will be published Free of Charge on Smashwords at around 5pm UK time tomorrow (Friday). Download and enjoy.

Best wishes Saul.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Lucy Harlow - update

Hi folks,

A quick update on Lucy Harlow. The second story now stands at 13000 words and is I guess about 2/3 through so I expect it to come out at 19 - 20 k. I don't want it any bigger for it is a novella. However, it is a great crime mystery about Lucy tracking down a gang who have been murdering young women in the south of England. One of the gang's number, solicitor Malcolm Margarson, has been killed by another gang member as an imminent interview for Margarson with the police was discovered, and the solicitor was considered to be a weak link.

More to follow, but the above story is called TV Torment and has a paranormal element.

When this story is done I will write an introductory story to Lucy, Oxygen Restriction, a little bit kinky, but plot done. I will give this one away free.

Vacant possession, my latest short story will be published free of charge on Smashwords this coming Friday afternoon.

Best wishes


Monday, 20 February 2012

Vacant Possession - New Free Short Story

I will be publishing a new free short story at the weeken on Smashwords. Will also appear on Amazon.

Here's a synopsis:

Steve Boyce has left behind a violent adolescence to become a prosperous estate agent with a lovely wife and children. But when he is commissioned to handle the sale of the house in which he spent his first fifteen years, Steve’s past comes back to haunt him with devastating consequences. Vacant Possession is a disturbing mystery of the paranormal.

Download it free from Smashwords at the weekend!

Best wishes Saul.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Saturday night

Hi folks,

I have been thinking about "my imagination is inexhaustible" and it's true. Think of the most ordinary thing and you can make up a story. Just keep believing, keep on going, whoa here we go! Got loads I'm gonna share with you - Vacant Possession, a top story - Climb to the Stars - You'll never walk alone - but the Lucy Harlow series will be the best of the lot.

Best wishes


Friday, 17 February 2012

Climb to the Stars vs Vacant Possession

Hi folks,

I intend to publish a number of short stories I wrote about a decade ago. These will be free of charge. The first of these 'Switch' was published last Saturday and has been downloaded on Smashwords over 200 times, which I think is pretty good for a natural born fool from Maldervale.

I did intend to publish a story called Climb to the Stars next. The story is a love story about a young couple tragically parted in a car crash. The protagonist climbs to heaven, beset by his phobias. In reality, he is badly hurt but climbs to heaven only see his love taken into the arms of God. He of course falls back to earth and a horrific reality. There are two things with this story 1) some of the imagery of the climb needs improving. Not a problem, the ideas are set and can be embellished or indeed changed in certain instances. 2) I read this story this morning and find it very upsetting. To be honest I'm not ready to go there at the moment. So publication will be shelved for a few months.

However, while digging out Climb to the Stars, I found another story 'Vacant Possession'. I had forgotten completely about the existence of this story. However, it is a pearl. In my view at least the equal of 'Switch', but most probably better. The story concerns a poltergeist that moves from haunting a house to possessing the estate agent (realtor) who is selling the property, with catastrophic consequences for the protagonist. As ever there is a mysterious twist to this tale.

I am very busy at the moment, writing the Lucy Harlow novellas / short stories in my spare time. But I will take time out, probably this Sunday morning, to type and format 'Vacant Possession' for Smashwords. With a couple of copy edits during the week, hopefully the said yarn will be ready to publish on Saturday next week. If not the Saturday after. I will let you know the Thurday and Friday before publication on Twitter, Kindleboards, and here.

Best wishes


The Scorpian Vistant - Weekend Freebie

My novel, The Scorpian Visitant, is free to download at Smashwords until end of play this Monday 20 Feb. Enter code XG63F at the checkout.

Best wishes


Thursday, 16 February 2012

Lucy progress / TSV freebie

Folks, over 5000 words done on the second Lucy, but I'm going to see how thing go this weekend and if I'm up to schedule, I think I'll take an evening out next week to format Climb to the Stars. The introduction to this tale is formenting in my brain, even though I haven't set eyes on it for years. I'm looking forward to publishing it. Free of charge of course.

The Scorpian Visitant will be free of charge this weekend on Smashwords. Coupon posted on here and on Twitter Friday. Twitter feed appears on my author page on Smashwords so coupon code there too. Punch in coupon code in Smashwords checkout. Offer ends Monday 20 Feb.

I hope you download and enjoy this rollocking yarn.

Best wishes


The Scorpian Visitant - Weekend Freebie

Hi folks, the weekend is almost upon us, thank the Lord.

I wrote in yesterday's blog that I was considering an offer with The Scorpian Visitant. On the back of the very strong interest in Switch, my free short story, I have decided to allow The Scorpian Visitant to be downloaded over the weekend free of charge. I will generate a coupon on Smashwords tomorrow, Friday, and this will run until end of play Monday February 20. My motivation for this is that I would like the story to be read from start to finish. I really believe in this story, but as with all long tales it unrolls at a steady pace, so the the first 30% of the free download may well showcase the quality of the writing but not the unravelling of what I believe is an outstanding mystery, and an exciting adventure.

I will publish the coupon code on this blog, on Twitter and on The Twitter feed goes direct into my author page at Smashwords so the code will be available on the site.

You go to the checkout and punch in the code, and there you have your copy of The Scorpian Visitant free of charge.

Best wishes


Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Climb to the Stars

I am considering publishing a short story that I wrote over a decade ago called Climb to the Stars.
I have not looked at the story for years now, but from memory the plot involves the final tragic parting of a young couple in a car crash. The theme is fear of the climb to heaven, where the protagonist is beset by his phobias: a swarm of attacking birds, a closed green door at the end of the climb with a precipitous drop either side of the narrow stairway (the latter an image from a recuring nightmare as a child). The book also lends heavily on the imagery in the book of Revelation.

The story will be free, but I can't decide on whether to pick it up. It would take me only a weekend afternoon to re-type into Smashwords format. Though I am a bit tied up with Lucy at the moment - ha ha.

If I do publish, I would write a forward about the inspiration for the story.

Anyone out there think it sounds a good idea?

Best wishes


Lucy Harlow - TV Torment

Hi folks,

The  Lucy story is going remarkably well. Today, after work, I typed 1360 words. The writing was done yesterday in pencil. Total today and yesterday 1640 and this represents Chapter 3. The total so far is 4280 words. So it's probably going to be 12 - 15 k in extent. Most importantly it is a good murder mystery. Watch this space.

I was going to do more commentary on the characters of The Scorpian Visitant, but time does not permit today.

However, I  have news soon of an interesting offer concerningThe Scorpian Visitant. I will announce it tomorrow or Friday and it will last over the weekend.

Best wishes


Swich update

I am truly staggered by the response to this little story. It's free so get your copy from Smashwords

Best wishes


Monday, 13 February 2012

Monday - Lucy

I hope to resume my commentary on the characters of The Scorpian Visitant tomorrow. But time does not permit today.

Today I feel very humble at the response I have had to 'Switch' and sincerely offer my thanks to all those who have taken the trouble to download.

Monday has seen me back in the day job 8 till 4. On arriving home, I started Ch. 2 of the second Lucy Harlow story 'TV Torment'.

The way I write is by propelling pencil on the white lined paper of a wire bound book. I choose a pencil that doesn't break continually for pressure. Once I've written the scene, I ten finger type it onto the hard drive of one of my Dell laptops. I currently have a new Inspiron with core I3 processor, 3 Gb ram, 320 Gb hard drive, and an older less specced Inpiron 1525. I am using the new one now, but the keyboard took a bit of getting used to after four years or so on the 1525. Once written I revise the scene twice and then leave it. I've done 1000 words tonight, which I am comfortable with. I get a bit suspicious when I do an awful lot of words. Words are like babies they only come into the world when they are ready. In short, you can move a story on with 500 - 1000 words a day.

I was going to save this for another day. But now I'm typing I'll let you in on it.

TV Torment is based upon an experience I didn't have. My parents, younger brother, and I spent a week's holiday one July in the North Wales resort of Llandudno. It was a wretched week, the weather being cold, wet and windy throughout. The holiday flat  we stayed in was the rear half of a semi detached house under the Great Orme - a big seaside cliff. The front of the house was occupied by the landlady - a widow of about sixty. The lady greeted us with a rather startled look, that seemed to say 'do you really want to come in.' It was lashing down so we were only too glad to cross her threshold. Once inside, we were shown to a flat with fittings and furnishings from a bygone age, possibly from when our landlady was a young bride. There were two bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs, and downstairs a kitchen and TV lounge with a folding bed. The landlady, who occupied the front of the house, seemed very keen for one of us to occupy the folding bed. But my mother would not hear of it.

We got on with our holiday. The wind howled around the Great Orme outside our flat. The small window in our bathroom did not have a catch and clacked constantly in the wind, the din filling the house. My father closed the door in the lounge to shut out the racket as we gathered around the black and white TV at around nine in the evenings, after braving the blustery seaside town.

One evening, while the steely haired newsreader was delivering the nine o'clock news my father turned to my mother and said 'did your hear that?' My mother nodded and said, 'the heavy breathing?' They both looked hard at the TV screen and saw no respiratory distress from the healthy fifty something gent reading the news. But my parents say to this day that the sound of laboured breathing relentlessly issued from the TV - but only during the news bulletin. They insist the landlady knew the lounge was haunted with the spirit of her husband and perhaps she wanted someone to keep him company at night.

Me? I heard absolutely nothing, except the news and the wretched bathroom window clacking in the wind.

But the incident gave me the idea for the second Lucy Harlow tale, which is about our heroine solving the murder of several young women in Cambridgeshire.

Regards and best wishes


Sunday, 12 February 2012

Switch - thanks

Many thanks to all who have downloaded my free e-book from Smashwords. I really appreciate you taking the time to read the story. Thanks too to my reviewer. The feedback is valuable.

I have another story which I will look at publishing free of charge. Like Switch, this story has remained in its folder for a number of years. Naturally, I will have to revisit it again to see if it worth publishing.

My main efforts now are going to focussed on two new small ebooks. These are crime stories featuring my young sleuth Lucy Harlow. I intend to make the first one free of charge, and possibly the second too. Funnily enough I intend to write the second first and then backtrack into the first. Both plots are done, but the second is more uppermost in my mind and is possibly a lengthier tale than the first, which introduces the character Lucy.

If Lucy is well received, I will endeavour to produce something longer for publication this year.

Many thanks again and best wishes,


Saturday, 11 February 2012

Switch Published Free!

Hi folks,

I've just published Switch free of charge on Smashwords (click on the above link).

Switch is a humorous romantic mystery with a nasty (though not too nasty) twist in the tail.

The story is just short of 3000 words and was written about 10 years ago and has remained in a folder in my bedroom until recently. When I wrote this I was thinking about a series that ITV used to screen in the UK a number of years ago now. The show was called Tales of the Unexpected and went out quite late in the evening. The episodes were all of about 5 minutes duration, had mysterious quality and usually some unexpected twist at the end.

Hence I was inspired to write Switch, where a simple mix-up at jeweller's counter has unexpected consequences for the romantic fortunes of a pair of identical twin brothers.

I hope you can afford a short while of your time to read the story. And as ever I hope you enjoy.

Best wishes


Friday, 10 February 2012

Robbie's first encounter with Jade Finn

Hi folks,

Today I introduce the enigmatic Jade Finn. The girl who throws a spanner in the works of Robbie and Louise's love life and seemingly the quest for the black prism too.

Here's Robbie as he first sees her from the hill named Tor Capella, which overlooks Jade's back yard. Robbie is staking out Jade's property with a view to robbing it for the money and clothes he and Louise will need to survive in Oakwood.

Suddenly a tall girl appeared, struggling from the outhouse with a wicker basket full of washing. Robbie eased back a little from the hawthorn to watch her. Neither Tudor nor savage, wearing an emerald green dress to the calf, she was svelte with lovely dark-brown hair hanging about her shoulders in loose coils. She set down the basket, took out a white linen petticoat and pegged it to the line.

She held the next peg to be used in her lips, and Robbie watched her put out a baggy white shirt, a sleeveless garment similar to a waistcoat in maroon, a pair of knee breeches to match, and another petticoat. Her face was light-brown, broad at the cheekbone, vaguely exotic, and very attractive if not beautiful, and her long golden earrings glinted within her glorious locks as her head moved with the work. And yet, despite all this charm, which quite frankly had caused Robbie’s mind to wander from the job at hand, her big dark eyes were sullen and she seemed bored hanging out her washing, for she’d pause before dipping into the basket as if wishing the next item would be the last. Bloke trouble, speculated the distracted observer – but what sort of mug would get shut of a girl like that?

‘Jade!’ a woman’s voice called shrilly.

The girl turned her head towards the open portal, ‘Yes mother?’ Her voice was not high, but a little husky.

‘Have you taken out the pie?’

‘Just a moment.’

The girl turned on her heels and swiftly entered the house. Robbie was left with a slight gutted sensation as if short changed. Then he became aware of the smell of good cooking, of hot pastry, luscious beef stew and lashings of thick gravy, all this emanating from the open kitchen door to rise up and jab its savoury fingers into his flared nostrils. He realised then that he had not eaten since teatime yesterday. And the gutted feeling widened alarmingly to a horrible ache in the pit of his stomach.

He gazed into town to take his mind of it and thought about the girl and her situation. About nineteen or twenty, still at home with her mum – waistcoat and breeches probably her dad’s. People were emerging from alleys on the spine of the high street with a spontaneity that suggested attendance at a mass event. Like the girl, the women wore colourful dresses under their shoulder cloaks, some of the older ones covering their heads with scarves or bonnets. Across the way, a lady wearing a pinafore over a long matronly dress appeared at her front door to wave off her husband, who wore a cloak and tall hat. Though typical attire, long coats appeared equally popular among the gents, as were wide-brimmed hats, and all manner of tunics, even the silk doublet. Children now played happily, dancing noisily through the litter in the high street, whirling their colours in a riot of vivid dresses and two-piece suits. And the appearance of a few handcarts here and there, pushed by labouring types dressed not too differently from Robbie, signalled that the clean-up operation had begun.

Suddenly a crow startled Robbie. It flew close over his head beating its wings violently. He was always a bit frightened of birds and foolishly let his eyes follow the crow’s bobbing flight over the roofs of the town, over the huge temple and beyond, until it was but a speck in the blue sky above the pastures sloping to the silver river.

When his gaze returned to the yard below, the girl had returned. She was pegging out a crimson dress, a colour seemingly popular among the women in the high street. In design it was similar to the green dress she was wearing, with a chain of golden oak leaves around the hem and square neckline. But, for some reason, the girl looked a whole lot happier now and hummed a little tune as she put out the rest of the washing with newfound alacrity. Robbie’s eyes roved the red highlights in her dark hair, the golden earrings gleaming within those curls, her bare ankles and crimson toenails peeping from her flat sandals.

Without warning, she raised her chin and looked Robbie straight in the eye. A shock of adrenaline surged through him, and instantly he realised she had seen him when he had been gawping after the bird. But she was smiling wonderfully and, unless he was very much mistaken, though this was entirely possible given his limited experience, was giving him the glad eye. Quite involuntarily he smiled back at her, tingling in awe of the pleasure that now sparkled in her big dark eyes.

‘Jade, we must be on our way now,’ the shrill voice called from inside the house.

‘Coming, mother.’

The girl wiggled her fingers at Robbie in a little gesture of goodbye, and then took her basket towards the house. At the door, she stopped and gave him a rather wistful look. Her eyes were soft and gentle, and he had to swallow hard to avoid choking. Then she was gone. The door shut tightly and the bolts clattered home.

Later that day, when the house is only occupied by Jade's brother Jason, Robbie fires the barn next to the property. Jason is drawn out to the fire and leaves the back door open. Robbie steals money, food and the clothes off the line, including Jade's red dress. The dress, which is a little tight on Louise, proves to be a fatal mistake as we shall see in the next blog.

Best wishes


Thursday, 9 February 2012

Louise and Robbie's affair

On their first full day in Oakwood, after Robbie had returned from the town with money, clothes and food for him and Louise, Robbie kissed Louise clumsily. The kiss was a reaction, a need for human contact, when Robbie got frightened about what might happen to him if his arson and theft from a house in the prosperous north end of town was uncovered. The next day Robbie and Louise go into town and, after exploring, decide to have something to eat in a cafe, Hogg's Eatery. Here's how the physical attaction betwen the two grows...

Robbie carried over the holdall and sat down rather slowly opposite Louise.

‘What’s the matter?’

‘Didn’t have the foggiest what he was going on about, but he seems to think we’re foreigners.’

‘Well we are,’ said Louise, ‘and as long as he doesn’t think we are from another planet…’

Robbie shook his head, ‘No. Nothing like that. We’re Shaulan apparently.’

‘Hence that boy’s insult?’

‘We’re all friends now it seems.’

‘Even better,’ she said.

‘Yeah, but also did you hear the bit about Digbone’s daughter?’

Louise nodded toward the portrait, ‘She’s the ruler of this country.’

‘Okay, but don’t you think Morgan should have let us know?’

‘You can’t expect him to have told us everything about the place.’

Robbie looked at Louise askance, ‘It’s hardly an unimportant detail.’

‘That’s probably precisely what it is - something that we don’t need to know to complete our quest for the black prism.’

‘Oh, I’m not so sure, Lou. There’s something fishy about it.’

‘Listen,’ said Louise, ‘Morgan Digbone can’t travel here because he’s ill. He’s told you that much. And everything else has gone pretty much to plan hasn’t it, love?’ She reached across the table and gently placed her right hand on Robbie’s.

Robbie gazed at the long fingers wrapped around his broad square fist, enjoying the comfort and reassurance of her touch. ‘The café guy thinks we’re married,’ he said incredulously.

Louise gave Robbie a cool calculating look, ‘It might be an opportunity, love.’

‘You what?’

‘It would be good cover – I mean you can hardly let me stay in a room of my own - now can you?’

‘Well…I er…I er…,’ said Robbie, not knowing quite what to make of her. She was looking at him intensely now, a strange light in her china blue eyes, the kind of yearning he had seen, but had disbelieved, in the parlour of Wood Road on his birthday, when she had sat close and invited him to open her card in which she had put the unexpectedly large sum of two pounds. It could only be innocent, but either way he felt both astounded and inadequate. ‘You serious?’

‘Yes, entirely,’ she said primly.

He swallowed hard, glancing anxiously to the slim back of Hogg turning the bacon in the frying pan.

‘Robbie, I wouldn’t feel safe without you by my side,’ she said, smiling reassuringly.

‘Well…I…suppose…you wouldn’t.’

She squeezed his hand tight and gazed earnestly into his eyes, ‘Besides, we’d attract unwanted attention if we asked for separate rooms.’

Her pale cheeks were beginning to gently colour, and Robbie took this to be embarrassment associated with the touchy side of her perfectly reasonable request. Besides, she’d never to be mad enough to let anything happen between them, even more so after the awful hash he’d made of the kiss yesterday. There was nothing unusual about her wanting to room with a friend in this strange place, ‘Okay then.’

‘Ahem – he’s coming,’ she said, switching her eyes toward the bar servery and quickly back to Robbie.

As Hogg approached with a platter, on which much bacon was crammed between slices of bread as thick as doorstops, Louise let her hand linger on Robbie’s. However, she kept her left hand under the table and, since this was hardly appropriate to receiving their order, Robbie got the strong impression she was doing it deliberately. ‘Ah,’ she said, greeting Hogg, who smiled ruefully at the locked hands that were preventing him setting the tray down. Louise wasn’t in a hurry, and let her eyes feast greedily for a moment on the food. ‘Those sandwiches look delicious,’ she said.

‘Well you’ve certainly brought a fine day with you,’ said Hogg setting down the tray on the next table. By way of confirming the weather, he stood facing the window and gazed out into the square, which was growing busier by the minute as the bright morning progressed.

‘It’s a beautiful late autumn day,’ said Louise.

‘Ye-ess,’ said Hogg, giving her his lopsided smile, ‘’ave you been married long, my dear?’

‘Only a few weeks – we are on our honeymoon.’

Robbie cleared his throat.

‘As you’ve only jus’ arrived, ’spect you’ll be looking for somewhere to stay?’

‘Why, yes – can you recommend anywhere?’ she said.

‘Depends on what you wan’ to pay.’

‘Not very much,’ Robbie jumped in, adding hastily, ‘we’ve not got a lot of money, that is – are there any lodging houses?’

Hogg tilted his head to one side, his cunning grey eyes twinkling at Louise, ‘Oh, some of those can be a bit rough – now Dave at the Plough is quite reasonable.’

‘Perhaps we could have a look later, Robbie?’

Louise ate like a horse, ravenous, giggling, her eyes always on Robbie’s, pushing the crumbs that stuck to her lips into her mouth, shrugging her shoulders stiffly, finger on her lips as she giggled some more again.

For his part, Robbie held his sandwich firmly, unable to sink his incisors into the bread and meat. His heart raced. He felt faint, and at the same time elated, as if something terrific and powerful, something uncontrollable, was going to happen. It was like one of his fires kindling towards the point where it had its own wild destructive life beyond his control. ‘Eat up, darling,’ she said.

‘I can’t, Lou…I’m not hungry no more.’

‘You need to keep body and soul together.’

‘Can’t,’ he gasped. ‘I’ll have a scone after.’

‘Pass it over here,’ she said, nodding to the sandwich gripped between his fingers, ‘We shouldn’t waste it.’

He gave it to her. Her hand brushing his had an electric tingle. He gawped at her feeding on the bacon and bread and grease. He wanted to stay in this mad state for ever, teetering on the very edge of the abyss. He was scared after his plunge there’d be the rocky bottom.

Hogg was on his way again with a tray of scones, pats of butter and a pewter pot of tea with two cups. Louise’s left hand darted under the rim of the table. Now Robbie knew something was going on.

‘With folk leaving town after the celebrations, should imagine Dave’ll be able to put you up,’ said Hogg, setting down the tray and taking up the one on which he had delivered the sandwiches, ‘jus’ cut across to the west side of the square and out into…Deneb Alley….’ Opposite the window a cart had drawn up. A couple of strong men jumped down, and immediately began decanting oak wine barrels, rolling them to a pitch that was being erected nearby. Hogg looked toward the men curiously, with a pained expression of sympathy on his face, ‘Terrible business,’ he said under his breath, then brightening immediately before his young guests, whose recent arrival meant they could have no inkling of what was on his mind, continued with his directions, ‘Yes, follow through Deneb alley, turn lef’ into Tarazed Road, carry on until you come to a crossroads, then turn righ’ into Altair Street, go straigh’ ahead over the next intersection with Aquila Road and into Delphinus Street. The Plough’s about halfway down there on the lef’. Can’t miss it.’

‘’Sounds straightforward enough,’ said Louise smiling.

But Robbie detected there was something awkward about her smile, as if she was unsettled by the continuing presence of Hogg.

‘It’s very reasonable,’ said the café owner.

‘I’m sure it is,’ said Louise tersely.

‘Can I get you anythin’ else, Missis…’

‘No, no, that’ll be all.’

Hogg took the hint and beat a retreat to his servery.

‘What’s got into you?’ said Robbie.

‘Cut me a scone, please,’ she said.

‘Have you lost your hands?’ said Robbie, slicing through a scone. ‘Butter, Madam?’

Louise nodded. ‘I’m going to need a wedding ring,’ she whispered, giving Hogg a sly glance.

‘A what?’ Evasively, Robbie reached for the teapot and, as he did so, found salvation in the slip of yellow paper peeping from under a saucer. He unfolded the bill, ‘I mean…a ring sounds expensive…Lou…’

‘Well, I’m going to need one if I going to be your wife.’

Pretend wife don’t you mean, thought Robbie, keeping his eyes away from her by examining the bill in ridiculous detail.

‘How much is it, love?’

‘Six Sunshillings.’

‘They get married young here, Robbie. When we were crossing the square, I saw a girl a year or so younger than me wearing a ring on her wedding finger.’

‘We have to be careful with the cash, Lou.’ The hunger had returned and he decided to eat his scone.

‘All the money in the world will do us no good if our cover is blown.’

‘I don’t see why being married makes us any less suspicious?’

‘Robbie,’ said Louise, her eyes wide, ‘honeymoon couples hardly go about burning down farms.’

‘Huh? Oh, I suppose not.’

‘Besides, I wouldn’t feel comfortable…you know…if you won’t make that little commitment to me.’

Robbie took her in. She was a beauty, a cool beauty with platinum hair shining in the light of the window, all down and arrayed on the shoulders of her cloak. Her cheeks were less coloured now, and his eyes wandered her pale complexion, roving the light smattering of freckles extending from her nose. She leant over and wrapped her long fingers around his hand. Once more he teetered over the trapdoor of her glittering eyes. ‘I’ll...I’ll get you a ring,’ he said, fighting against his heaving breath.

Time stood still while they gazed into each other’s eyes. At length, Robbie started to think they ought to be going. Reluctantly, his eyes drifted away to search the walls for a clock.

‘Don’t worry, darling,’ said Louise, seeing his anxiety return, ‘we’ll be just fine.’

‘There’s no damn clock,’ said Robbie in a low voice, glancing at Hogg, who was standing behind his servery, his head tilted to one side, his craggy face written with his knowing lopsided grin. ‘Come to think of it, there was none in town either.’

‘Maybe they’ve not invented it yet,’ said Louise with a giggle.

Robbie glared at her in horror, ‘You better keep your wristwatch out of sight then.’

‘If they haven’t invented the timepiece – how will they know what it is?’ she said cockily.

‘And there’s you worried about not wearing a ring?’ he snapped.

‘I’ll wear that as a symbol of…our…l…little… arrangement…’

What, to share a room? he thought. He smiled bemusedly, ‘Oh, I’m sorry for biting your head off, Lou.’

She took her hand off his and fiddled a little under the table. ‘There, the watch is in my pocket. What’s the matter now, love?’ she said, as her eyes returned to him. He was staring out the window and, as he did so, all colour seemed to drain from his fresh face.

‘We really ought to be going now,’ said Robbie, hastily producing a few silver coins, which he plonked down on the tray. He pulled the hood up and over his forehead. ‘Cover your head too.’

Louise looked out the window in bewilderment. The wine stall was busy now with trade in full swing. Folk crowded around the pitch, and four people filled skins from the barrels at the rear of the stall, bringing them to the customers waiting three deep at the counter. It was all pretty normal, then again, unlike Robbie, she didn’t recognise one of those serving: a tall girl with a light-brown face and copious dark hair, which flowed in ringlets upon the shoulders of her fine emerald green cloak. Louise reached under the table and squeezed Robbie’s knee, ‘Relax, my darling, nothing’s going to happen, except that we are going to have a good time. We’ll get that black prism and then be off back to Maldervale.’

Robbie nodded feebly.

‘Now then, I saw a jeweller’s stall earlier,’ she said. ‘It’s just over on the west side…but first we’ll need…’

Robbie and Louise's relationship is consumated that evening in an attic bedroom of the Plough Inn. But, Robbie can't come to grips with Louise's feelings for him. He always remains suspicious and thinks their affair will end at any time. Perhaps that's the real reason why he goes off with the enigmatic Jade Finn. We will meet Jade, a central character in this epic fantasy, in the next post. However, she has already featured in this scene. She's the girl on the wine stall, a victim of arson and theft, courtesy of Robbie Higgins.

Regards and best wishes


Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Robbie's Love Life (1)

We’ve been with Louise for the last couple of posts and so its time to go with Robbie again.

It’s fair to say that seventeen years old Robbie is going through his sexual awakening. However, his clinging to his old habits of fire starting could well be an outpouring of his frustration at lack of success with the girls. The last thing on Robbie’s mind as he walks around Maldervale market in Chapter One is a love affair with his second cousin snobby Louise. Nevertheless, he is cheeky enough to squeeze her irreverently around the waist just before stealing the prism from the junk stall. Robbie’s real infatuation at this point in the story is with Louise’s friend Rachel Lewington, a curvy dark haired girl.

However on arrival in medieval Oakwood, Robbie finds a strange change in Louise’s attitude towards him. And after spending their first night together on the floor of a woodman’s shed, Robbie’s interest in Louise starts to grow. Here’s Robbie running through the forest on his way to explore the town...

Morning sunshine fanned through the frosty trees caressing their fallen leaves with warming fingers of gold. Robbie ran along the cart track, bursts of misty breath chugging from his ruddy face. He wore a battered brown leather tunic and a pair of hobnailed boots he had found in the shed. Of his own clothes, only the legs of his black hipsters tucked into the boots were visible. He hoped Louise wouldn’t do anything stupid when she woke. She’d been fantastic with him since they got here, but whether that would stretch to obeying his order, scribbled on the back of a chocolate wrapper, to stay put was probably a different matter. If anything was to burst the bubble of her marvellous mood then this was it. But there was nothing else for it. Gut feeling told him she’d never fit in here dressed up for a shindig in Maldervale. Moreover, she’d surely kick up a fuss about what he had in mind to do. And that could be fatal. So he’d left her curled up on the floor of the shed, eyes closed, platinum hair a mess, pearly teeth glimpsed between parted lips, breathing gently.

He’d never seen her sleeping before, or more likely never taken any notice, but it was a sight that had amazed him almost as much as her change of attitude towards him. Now he was running blindly with visions of her face covering his eyes. Her pale complexion, lightly freckled from nose to cheeks, was as flawless as a child’s. Slumber too made her appear younger. He’d always thought she looked a lot older than him, much more than the seven months that actually separated them, but not now. He figured the illusion must have been down to her being so tall. And he didn’t mind that either. He’d even taken a fancy to her nose, always big and bumpy when he had been ridiculing her. But he now agreed with everybody else that the bump on the bridge made it look even better. Seen in this fantastic new light her nose, and she, had character for sure, and he wasn’t talking about the harsh one that had glowered down on his incendiary antics in Maldervale. He also found it incredible she could sleep so soundly in this strange place.

Robbie began to think what would happen if he made a pass at her. The delight on her lovely face, his expert move to seal it with a lingering kiss - clever, snooty, fabulous Louise happy to be his girl? ‘Now don’t be such a bloody fool,’ he hissed. Even if you did have the guts to try it on, she’d put you down a flash. She’d laugh her silver head off. “You?” she’d say, (and imagining her prodding a long finger at her heart) “With me? - Haw haw haw”. You’d make a right Charlie of yourself, Robbie lad. Besides she’s your cousin - albeit a very distant one…Purely out of interest, I wonder if we are so far distant as not to matter…

He was really running, so distracted that he didn’t notice the dramatic thinning of the trees. Too late: like a hare escaping the shot only to be confronted by another gunman barring his way, he dug in his heels and skidded to a halt. The town was in full view. ‘Idiot’, he gasped, scrambling for the cover of a hazel tree.

In the next post we'll see an excerpt from a scene in an Oakwood cafe, in which Robbie and Louise decide to eat after going into town. But there's more going on between our couple than scoffing bacon and scones, namely the conversation that leads them to bed in the Plough Inn.

Regards and best wishes


Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Louise's Nasty Temper

Here's Louise reacting to Robbie on his return from 'exploring' medieval Oakwood alone.

With a spring in his step Robbie arrived back at the twin stacks of drying timber guarding the track into the clearing. It was a last-second decision to pull up, rather than go straight over to the shed where he and Louise had spent last night. Better safe than sorry, he thought, peering around the left hand array of beams. All appeared perfectly normal: the shed door was shut and the chimney issued no smoke. Though he hadn’t left explicit instructions about the stove, he expected Louise would have the sense not signal her presence by stoking up the fire. Robbie picked up his holdall, about to set off on the short walk over. Suddenly his head jerked right back.

A strong hand gripped his jaw and arched his throat back like a banana. He dropped the bag, fearing that his head was about to be wrenched off. Then he felt something cold, something sharp against his throat. In terror his eyes looked down to glimpse a gleaming blade. It was hopeless. He couldn’t move a muscle such was the power of the hold. Any second now he expected the knife would be drawn across his throat and he would drop to the leaf mulch to gasp out his last. It had been a nice try. But Morgan was crazy or too desperate for words if he thought their mission was ever going to work.

Robbie was on the point of fainting when a voice came distantly from behind him, ‘You ought to take more care, Robbie.’ It was a young woman that spoke – a girl even. But he was beyond caring that her voice was vaguely familiar. He just wanted to get the painful bit over with. Without warning he was propelled forward to thud against the stack of timber beams. He sank to his knees and gasped for air. Then the awful realisation faded in that his executor was perhaps not so committed to the quick end he had hoped for. Maybe they wanted a bit of fun first. Immersed in horror he turned to face his nemesis.

Tall Louise stood on the cart track, her shining hair upon the shoulders of her royal blue coat. Her pale eyes blazed at him, the angry light given full force by the vicious blade in her right hand.


‘You stink of smoke, Robbie,’ she said, her bitter gaze unrelenting. ‘Where there’s smoke there’s fire. And where there’s fire - there’s you.’

‘Only a little trifle, Lou,’ he said, rubbing his throat, not sure quite what to make of her, ‘It’ll be out by now.’

Ah, our snooty goody goody Louise likes playing with knives - where did that come from?

Here's Louise following Robbie's disappearance with a local girl Jade Finn. It a good job for the girl's mother, Leda Finn that Louise was not carrying her knife that evening. The scene takes place in an Oakwood inn...

Louise didn’t know where to put herself. Though she had accepted back in Leda’s kitchen that there was a high probability, for whatever reason, that Robbie had been with Jade, she was devastated to have it shouted out loud before a hundred smiling faces, as if some deficiency on her part had led him to wander. But the assault on her dignity by all those leering eyes would permit no tears. She fought back. ‘It would appear your daughter is no angel, Mrs Finn. It can only be she who has led him astray.’

‘You loose-mouthed Shaulan floozy,’ cried Leda, making a dart at Louise, only to be caught up short by the strong arms of Jason.

‘Me a floozy?’ scoffed Louise, pointing at her heart. ‘Everyone here knows your daughter is the town bike.’

‘Bike?’ said Leda, looking nonplussed amidst her anger.

‘It’s Shaulan for whore,’ screamed Louise. And it was a scream – a piercing shriek that blasted away those nearest to her. She clenched her teeth to stop more coming out. But it seemed to antagonise the terrible rage inside her, provoking it to action. She reached inside her coat for her woodman’s knife. If she had not left it at Tejat Road, starting with Leda and her son, who was looking quite timid behind his mother, she’d have run amok. In short, she wanted to cut Leda’s scrolled head off. Louise didn’t even know herself anymore.

‘Now, now,’ said Judith, her calm tones transcending all the bother, ‘let us not be apportioning blame.’

By now Leda was weeping against Jason’s shoulder. He seemed take courage and levelled his dark eyes, meeting Louise’s furious glare. ‘I’ll cut him in pieces if I catch up with him,’ he said.

‘You’ll do no such thing,’ said Louise. She thought Jason all talk. She pointed at him menacingly, to which Jason lowered his eyes. ‘That particular pleasure will be mine, and mine alone,’ she raged, ‘And, I’ll do your sister in the bargain.’ Louise’s veins and arteries were boiling with a lust for violence. Her temper demanded blood.

‘None of this is doing any good,’ said Judith, looking fearful, ‘least of all clearing up where Robbie and Jade might be.’

Our good girl gone bad. Louise, a fully grown seventeen year old athletic woman has no scruples about killing in The Scorpian Visitant. All this pointing to her true identity...

Tomorrow, I'll show you a little of Louise's love life and her infatuation with Robbie Higgins.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Louise Carlton

Louise is the central character in The Scorpian Visitant and its greatest mystery. Louise only discovers her true identity late in the penultimate chapter of the book.

The book opens with Louise and her cousin Robbie Higgins in Maldervale market. Louise is an orphan having lost her parents in a car crash three years ago when she was fourteen.  Her parents were relatively prosperous, her father running his own plumbing business. On the demise of her parents Louise came to live with her guardian, her only surviving relative, her second cousin Sue Higgins, Robbie's mother. Louise being a well brought up and quite a snooty girl saw this as a big social come down and can't wait to get away to university next October. Moreover, Robbie's incendiary activities represent at best a severe embarrassment to Louise, at worst the destruction of her reputation.

Robbie dislikes Louise. Here's what happens in Maldervale market when Robbie winds Louise up firstly over her prospective boyfriend's father, a local doctor, and then more venomously the death of her parents.

Their progress was halted by a particularly large gathering before a clothes stall. There was news of a consignment of sodden jeans and flannelette pyjamas which had survived a warehouse inferno courtesy of a drenching by the fire brigade. The fat ruddy stallholder stood on a crate and presided over the huddle. Holding aloft a pair of blue jeans in their plastic bag, which still dripped dirty water, he bawled, ‘I’m not asking for five bob.’

‘What do you mean about Graham’s father?’ said Louise, tugging back Robbie, who was trying to move off again.

‘Not asking three bob,’ the raucous voice shouted from the stall.

‘Louise, only last week poor Mr Lynton died at his hands - yet another fishy death.’

‘But he was old.’

‘I’ll grant you that. But at fifty-eight he might have expected a few more years. Don’t you think?’

‘Mr Lynton had worked with toxic stuff all his life and smoked eighty a day. He was a fitter in Ledbetter’s - just like you are learning to be, Robbie - breaking open pipes full of poisonous chemicals, not to mention the noxious waste products. He died at home - do you hear me?’

‘If you say so.’

Louise furrowed her brow, ‘In the bargain he’d been shot in the war. His nerves were bad too. And, he liked to drink. Graham’s dad is a professional, just like my father was. Do you hear me Robbie?’

‘Your dad was a plumber.’

‘He had his own business - he didn’t have to get his hands dirty - we were well off.’

‘That so?’ said Robbie, a twisted smile coming to his wide mouth of small teeth. ‘Then why didn’t he pay for a taxi home from that New Year’s bash?’

The moment the words left him, he was sorry. Not for her, but for the cruel look she was giving him. He found her pale eyes truly terrible at times like these, wicked yet wise, other-worldly even. Right then, if he could have sunk through the tarmac floor to a burning hell he would have done so.

‘How dare you.’

‘I’m sorry…Lou.’

Louise's dark side is hinted at here, and in another post later this week I will develop this.

Louise and Robbie become lovers on the second night of their mission to medieval Oakwood, and a further post will show the beginnings of this unlikely affair.

Regards and best wishes


Sunday, 5 February 2012

Eastern Rebels

Hi folks,

One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist. Here's the rebels, Gloria's problem in the east.

Two men sat at the head of a long table in an upper room. The windows faced southwards and three pools of wintry sunshine spilled to the highly polished surface of the table. Other than that central piece of furniture the room was dingy, with dirty fissures veining the whitewashed walls and sloping beamed ceiling. Behind the men a claret flag was pinned to the wall, its yellow emblem being an arc of seven stars above a pair of crossed swords.

The first man had some eastern blood and his round face was smooth and sallow. Despite a pair of worried dark eyes that roamed beneath a cap of silky black hair, he looked younger than his forty years. And fit too, for within his leather fighting coat George Pictor kept a broad and muscular body.

‘John, I’ll grant you we could cause some trouble with that gunpowder in the short term, but there is not enough for a concerted bombing campaign,’ said George, turning a couple of leaves on the pile of papers before him. ‘And it goes without saying that we have no prospect of getting cannon and shot.’

John Cygnus glared at the leader of the Mizar Liberation Army with a sparkling blue eye that missed as little as its blind white companion saw. Firmly in the middle years, tall and spindly, he was wrapped in a black greatcoat. His sparse grey hair was tied back in a single tatty knot, and dirt filled his fingernails and the long creases in his rubbery jowls.

‘Well it’s true,’ said George, stealing a timid glance at Cygnus. ‘For the sake of the Holy Sun why don’t you wear your eye patch?’

‘Just imagine what’s happening right now on the Sanin,’ said Cygnus, ignoring his comrade’s disgust at his blinded eye, ‘Gloria Digbone will not want to risk another damaging raid on an outlying arsenal.’ He stopped and waited for a reaction from George with the hanging open-mouthed expectation of a dog awaiting a treat.

‘Ack, even if she did gather all her gunpowder and take it to the Castle it would be far too risky to make an attempt on it.’

‘Look George, you’re not going to stop Gloria coming east this spring – our only hope would be if she had no powder for those guns.’

‘Or perhaps, we don’t get drawn into the set-piece battle she craves?’ said George. ‘We employ the usual hit and run tactics. Wear them down.’

‘What if Gloria then decides to turn her artillery on our towns?’

‘Then we will fight her in the rubble,’ said George doggedly. He got up and went to the fireplace, prodding the blistered log into action, ‘In any case, John, how can you be so sure that Mistress Digbone has no capacity to make more gunpowder?’

‘There are the rumours for a start. Before Gloria’s father went away, the few workers that were involved in the project are said to have mysteriously disappeared. Morgan is a cunning and devious man. He trusts no one. Not even his own daughter, particularly so with such a powerful secret.’

‘Humpff,’ said George.

‘You should strike while the iron is hot,’ said Cygnus. ‘Take the chance to rid the world of this menace once and for all.’

‘Then again, there’s no guarantee that Morgan Digbone can’t come back.’

‘Nooo…but Dorada’s sources indicate that if you disregard the usual bluffing from the Castle, the reality is that Gloria’s father hasn’t been seen for many years now.’

George sat back down and extracted another paper, letting his eyes linger on it, before sighing dejectedly, ‘I suppose Morgan reckons he doesn’t have to return, since he left a mad and powerless King behind him in the Seat of the Iron Realm.’

‘George, we all know the Protectorate of Mizar went with King Amenor’s sanity. But that was sixteen years ago. We’ve been doing all right on our own, especially lately.’

‘I’d stand to lose the best fighters from the Seven Towns, not to mention many of our Izarian mercenaries, in any attempt on the Castle – tell me, what would that do for our cause?’

‘Listen George,’ said the old terrorist, ‘if Gloria settles her differences with Shaula then you’ll have to act against that consolidated arsenal.’

‘Queen Ellen bears grudges in perpetuity,’ argued the leader of the MLA, ‘it’ll be no different with Gloria.’

‘Maybe,’ said Cygnus. ‘But equally, you couldn’t just stand by and let those Shaulan animals loose in our towns. You’d have to go out and confront them.’

Oh, those rebels.

Best wishes and regards