fiction and other writing

Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

The Truth Finder and The Visualizer -FREE

The Truth Finder is a story about Earth in the fifth millennium and a young man, left on his own in a dangerous world, but he has a gift. He can read people’s minds. His gift is both a blessing and a curse as it can help him out of trouble but also put him in danger.

The ebook of The Truth Finder is free from 2 to 6 September. Why not download your copy here?

The Visualizer is a story about Earth in the fifth millennium and a young woman who is searching for her family and place in the world. She has a gift which others want to exploit, so she must keep it hidden from all, except those she can trust? But who can she trust?

The ebook of The Visualizer is free from 2 to 6 September. Why not download your copy here?

The third novel in this series is The Healer. It should be available early next year.

Why not check out some of my other books? I’d love to know what you think.
Here’s my author page. All my books are free on Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited and many are also available in paperback.

Today and tomorrow 21 and 22 March 2020

All my books are always free on Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited but if you don’t have that The Truth Finder and the sequel, The Visualizer, are free as e-books today and tomorrow.

The Truth Finder is the story of Vrail, who has a wonderful gift; the ability to read minds. But his gift is a double edged sword and puts him at risk of exploitation in an unstable world. Earth in the fifth millennium is recovering from wars that made large parts of it uninhabitable. With few people to help him, he must learn who are his friends quickly.

Alien Town Between Mountains

The Visualizer tells of Seek’s journey from exploitation to freedom and finding her way in a troubled world, where war is on the horizon. She too has a gift; the ability to change her form and her surroundings. Can she help her family and Vrail survive?

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Depths of Darkness

Depths of Darkness is an anthology of horror stories by a facebook group called Indie Author Support and Discussion. It is a collection of fourteen stories by ten authors and you can get it for FREE on Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited.It costs $0.99 or £0.99 if you want to buy the ebook. Depths of Darkness
I am so happy to be one of the authors in this anthology. It truly explores storytelling and it’s out in time for Halloween! Let me know which is your favourite.

Award for The Truth Finder


The Truth Finder was nominated for awards run by Connections eMagazine in June. I am over the moon that it has won the gold award for the Young Adult category. I’ve just added the award to the front cover.
This is the story of Vrail in the fifth Millennium. Vrail can read minds, which is a gift and a curse. Those with natural gifts are vulnerable to exploitation in a violent and unstable world.
You can buy The Truth Finder here It costs £1.99 in the UK and $2.99 in US. It’s also available in paperback for £6.99 in UK and $10.16 in US.

All my books will be back on Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited in a few days. I’m just doing some updates.

The connections emagazine is a quality magazine run by author Melanie Smith. I’ve added a link here. It’s free and well worth a browse.

Winter Spirit

Her first thought, when she awoke from the long sleep, was for her son. He was in danger. He was nearly eighteen and due to inherit his trust fund. Shirley knew she must get to him quickly and warn him. She looked around her. Snow lay on the ground, three inches deep, but she wasn’t cold. There was an old man kicking a ball against the side of a gravestone. Perhaps he looked a little bored, but he glanced her way and nodded. He seemed affable enough and the fear from the strangeness of her surroundings ebbed. The light from the moon cast a silvery glow, which made everyone seem ethereal. She laughed silently to herself.

Most people were heading for the lych gate, so she followed the increasing crowd, leaving the man pounding his ball against the solid marble headstone.

She wandered down the hill, away from the church and through the village, past the shops and the school, to the quiet lane where she lived. It was chocolate box pretty, with the white covered houses and trees. The large Georgian house that had once been her home, had lights blaring and seemed to be calling her onwards.

As she drew closer she could see the light came from downstairs, which suggested that Gerald was still up. She automatically went to the front door but of course it was shut. What could she do? He wasn’t going to answer the door to her. Creeping quietly up to the window she peeped inside. There he was sitting, asleep in the armchair, with his mouth open and his legs splayed. On the nearby table was a tumbler of the whisky he loved so much. It seemed as though nothing had changed, but how was she going to get in? She looked down at her clothes. The pale blue silk pyjamas were what she’d been wearing the last time she saw him, not her best dress that they’d placed on her for the long sleep. So could living spirits walk through glass, she wondered? Now was the time to find out. She drew herself up to her full height, gathered her courage and walked straight through the window. She’d expected to feel some resistance, or some sensation of substance, but there was none. Her mood lifted a little but she knew she must reach her son. An image of the old man from the graveyard, kicking the ball – with the timing of a grandfather clock, flashed through her mind.

She made her way upstairs and found her son, Robert, fast asleep on his bed. The room was its usual mess – a sort of organised chaos. His guitar was carefully propped up by a chair and there were clothes spilling over from the laundry basket. The only difference she could see, was there was a picture of herself, stuck to the wall with blue-tac. Shirley watched him as he slept and all the love she felt for him surged through her. Death didn’t kill love, she thought. That was good to know. Suddenly his eyes sprang open and he sat up with a start.

With the quickness of youth, which she envied, he spoke.

‘Mum, I’ve so missed you. Is it you? How did you get here?’

‘Oh I’ve missed you too my darling Robert, but I have a feeling that we haven’t much time. I’ve come to warn you. I think you’re in danger. I don’t know exactly how he did it, but your stepfather poisoned me. I thought he loved me, but he just wanted our money. On your birthday you will inherit some money from me and he’ll want it, if he hasn’t already spent it. You must leave.’

‘What old Gerald, I’m sure I can handle him, although now you mention it, he’s getting me to sign some papers tomorrow. He said it’s so the trust fund can be transferred to me.’

‘Robert you must leave now. If you don’t sign, we don’t know what might happen.’

Robert looked thoughtful.

‘I wondered why we weren’t using a solicitor.’

He threw his legs out of bed and stood up towering over Shirley. ‘I wish I could hug you,’ he said, ‘but you’re looking a bit translucent.’

‘You know I would give you a bear hug if I could, but we mustn’t waste time. Please pack a bag and go to your Aunt Cathy. She’ll look after you. Will you do that for me?’

Robert looked a bit exasperated, but he picked up a back pack and started loading clothes, both clean and dirty into it.

‘I’ll go to Dad’s. I’m seeing a lot more of him these days. He’s really sorry, well, about… you. And he’s made it clear that he wants to be in my life and be there for me. I’ll be safe there.’

Shirley thought about his dad. There was still a little part of her that loved him, even after he’d gone off with the glamorous Gloria, from the finance department. She looked a little less glamorous nowadays, with two children under three, Shirley thought, surprised she could still feel bitchy about her. She liked the fact that even in death, she was still herself. Yes Robert would be safe there. His dad would look out for him.

‘Good idea. I’d say send him my love, but he’d think you were mad.’ She smiled and Robert gave her his lop-sided grin. ‘Now we must be quiet going out or we’ll wake Gerald.’

‘No need to worry about that. He’s drinking really heavily these days. He never wakes up until about four in the morning. I hear him banging up the stairs to go to bed.’

Robert put the bag on his back, adjusted it, picked up his precious guitar and they started down the stairs. As they were going past the living room, where loud snores were emanating, Robert whispered, ‘What poison did he use to kill you?’

‘He used my heart pills. He must’ve ground them up and put them in that curry we had the night I died. I can’t think of any other way. I’m not absolutely sure how, but it was definitely my pills.’

Robert placed his guitar and bag by the front door and quietly made his way back to the living room. Gerald’s computer was on and he was logged into Facebook. Robert looked over to her smiled, typed a short message on the laptop and pressed send. The rasping snores continued uninterrupted from the armchair. Shirley quietly studied Gerald and noticed that he’d put on a lot of weight. He really did look out for the count. She’d thought he was her knight in shining armour, picking her up from the depths of despair after Roberts dad had left her for a younger woman. He’d been so kind and attentive, but she realized now he’d had his own agenda and ambitions. The clues had all been there. He liked the best whisky, expensive cars, dining out and spent money at a rate far beyond his earnings. There was no point in dwelling on her lack of insight.

When Robert went to leave, she said, ‘Be safe my lovely son. Have a wonderful life and know that you are loved so much.’

‘Are you staying here, mum? Why would you want to stay.’

‘I think I should say good-bye to Gerald. Don’t you?’ she gave Robert a cheeky laugh.

‘Yes,’ he grinned. ‘I may just take a gander through the window. At least he can’t hurt you any more.’

The closing of the front door awakened Gerald. He looked around him and took another swig of whisky. Shirley drifted around the room and hovered within his sight until he noticed her. She’d have rather been dressed up, than in her pyjamas, but it didn’t matter now. She wasn’t trying to seduce him.

‘What the devil!’ he said.

‘Good evening, Gerald, I guess you weren’t expecting a visit from me.’

‘How did you get in?’

‘Through the window. It was actually quite easy. Are you missing me Gerald? Shall I come and visit you every night?’

‘You always were a troublesome bitch. This is my house now. You don’t own anything, any more now do you? And dear lofty Robert is going to sign over control of his money to me tomorrow, which is a good thing. I won’t have to get rid of him. He doesn’t cost too much. He’s normally off playing his bloody guitar with some band or other. Now why don’t you go back where you belong. Get out of here,’ he said grabbing the arm of the chair and trying to stand up.

‘Now that’s not very friendly. You promised to love me, but I guess that was all a lie. I’m such a bad judge of people. You just wanted my money. What a shame you didn’t ask. I’d probably have given it to you.’

‘Yes, you really are so stupid, but I’d still have been saddled with you and I wanted a fresh start; a chance to meet someone young and fit. Besides I didn’t want to be grateful to you for the rest of my life. Thank you for the meal, darling. Thank you for the car,’ he mimicked.

Thud, thud thud, Shirley heard. It was the sound of the old man kicking his football. She knew her time in the house was running out.

A siren could be heard getting louder, and closer, outside. It broke the total silence that only snow brings. Gerald rubbed his forehead as if he couldn’t make sense of what was going on.

‘Oh dear, have you got a headache? Too much whisky? Not enough home cooking?’ asked Shirley in an ultra sympathetic voice. ‘How tiresome for you.’

‘Just get lost,’ Gerald muttered.

There was a loud pounding on the front door.

‘I think that must be for you,’ said Shirley. ‘It could be the police. You see it would seem that you sent a message out on Facebook to all of our friends, saying how you administered poison to your wife, so that you could get your hands on her money. Confession is so good for the soul, don’t you think, Gerald. I’m so glad you owned up. I suspect the police will send somebody round to the back door as well, so I think you need to let them in.’

At that moment the door flew open and Gerald found himself surrounded by police. At the same time Shirley found that a force was pulling her back towards the graveyard, but she didn’t mind. Her son was safe and her husband would at last pay for snatching her precious years with her son. The sound of the wind swished by her, but it wasn’t icy, as it should have been.

‘I miss you,’ Robert shouted as she was was pulled backwards through the air, right by where he stood. She managed to blow him a kiss.

She landed unceremoniously on the white ground near her headstone. The old man was still kicking the ball in a regular beat against his large marble stone.

‘I took the liberty of bringing you back so you wouldn’t be late,’ he called over to her. ‘You have to be back asleep before first light, or you’ll be stuck here until someone rescues you. Believe me that’s not a good thing.’

‘I didn’t know there was a time limit, but I sort of felt there would be. Thank you for looking out for me.’

‘No worries. I’m guessing you managed to say good-bye to your loved ones and sort out any outstanding affairs.’

‘Yes. I think I did,’ she smiled.

‘You’re the lucky one then. You’ll be on your way to eternal life and freedom.’

‘What about you?’

‘I stayed out too long and I have to stay here until nature knows I’m sorry for disregarding the rules and until someone rescues me.’

Knowing that she had no idea how to help this stranger, she said, ‘Oh you poor man,’ as she reached out to put an arm round him. Surprisingly her arm didn’t go through him and she could feel his sadness. All the years of his loneliness flitted through her mind and then the world wobbled and the two spirits flew to the stars in an instant.

There was no sign that anyone had been in the churchyard, except an old ball that moved occasionally with the wind.

The Visualizer

Te Visualizer is reduced in price to £0.99 or $1.29 until 23 APril 2019. You can download it here.

The Visualizer is a new release and the sequel to The Truth Finder. Seek has been living in the city of Mebsuta, hiding her gift of being a visualizer. She can change herself into other forms and change her surroundings. Such a wonderful gift, but in Mebsuta, Visualizers are incarcarated in the Three Towers and forced to work for the city. She escapes, but is life any safer out of the city? More perils await.

If you enjoyed The Truth Finder, I’m sure you’ll enjoy The Visualizer. Why not download it now?

If you prefer a paperback it is available for £6.29 here. (plus p+p) from Lulu.com.

New Release – The Visualizer

My new book, The Visualizer, has just been released as an ebook. It continues the story of Earth in the fifth millennium. It is the story of Seek, a visualizer, who can change her appearance and the appearance of the world around her. But all gifted people are vulnerable to exploitation by those in power. She is the grandaughter of the Ruler Grettison, who has been deposed from the city of Mizair. Grettison is planning war to regain his position, by attacking the people there now. Can Seek prevent the war?
This book is the sequel to The Truth Finder (Vrail) who is a friend of Seek’s family, so you get to find out what Vrail is up to.
The ebook is £1.99 in the UK and is $2.60 in the US

The Visualizer is now available in paperback. £6.62 or $8.56 here.

The Truth Finder is available here.

 

The Dandelion Clock by Rebecca Bryn, released soon.

I’ve read some of Rebecca Bryn’s book and enjoyed them, so was delighted when she agreed to visit my blog to tell us about her latest book.

The Dandelion Clock is my latest release and is set during the Great War, from 1914 – 1919, in Gallipoli, Egypt, Palestine, and England. It was inspired by something my grandfather confided in me just before he died, and I realised, much later, that there was a heartrending story there. The research was a real eye-opener, and the action is fact-based. I had no idea that men and mules froze to death in Gallipoli, drowned in trenches susceptible to flash floods, or died from dysentery, malaria, heat stroke, and dehydration in the Sinai Desert and the Jordan Valley on top of being shelled, shot at, and bombed.
Synopsis:
Bill, a farm boy brought up in a village on the Duke of Buccleuch’s Northamptonshire estate, is plucking up his courage to ask his sweetheart, Florrie, to marry him. Florrie has given up her dream of being a dancer to bring up her siblings and protect them from their violent, sexually abusive widowed father. For her, marriage to Bill is love, escape, and protection: a dream to be clung to.
When war breaks out in August 1914, Bill and Florrie’s dreams are dashed – Bill is sent with the Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars, a yeomanry cavalry regiment, to fight in Gallipoli, Egypt, and Palestine taking with him a horse, Copper, volunteered for service by the 7th duke’s young daughter, Lady Alice. Bill makes promises before he leaves: to marry Florrie if he survives and to bring his beloved warhorse, Copper, home safe to Lady Alice.
While Bill fights Turks and Germans in appalling conditions, Florrie fights her own war with rationing, poverty, the loss of her menfolk, and her father’s drunken abusive temper. As the war proceeds, fearful and with her resilience faltering, her feelings of self-worth plummet, and she turns to her dandelion clocks for reassurance. ‘He lives? He lives not? He loves me? He loves me not?’
When Bill returns to England after the armistice in 1918, both he and Florrie have been changed by their personal journeys. Can their love survive five years apart and the tragedies they’ve endured? Will Bill keep his promises to Florrie and Lady Alice?

A heartbreaking story of lovers torn apart by the Great War. An insight into the military history of the 1914 1918 war in Egypt as fought by the Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars and the Queen’s Own Worcestershire Yeomanry – some of the ‘PALS brigades’. Considered ‘not real soldiers’ by the regular army, the Royal Bucks and the Worcester Yeomanry fought with great courage and suffered huge losses. In fact, the Worcesters sustained more losses than any brigade in any war, and the PALS earnt the respect of all who fought. Although Military Fiction 1914 1918, it is a story inspired by real people and based on real events that doesn’t forget the role of women in the Great War or their need for a WW1 romance.
‘An amazing story reminiscent of Morpurgo’s ‘Warhorse’.’
8,000,000 horses, mules, and donkeys died during the Great War, many from gunshot and gas, but many from exhaustion, thirst, and disease. https://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2011/12/16/true-story-britain-war-horses/ Their contribution to the war effort can’t be overestimated.
To honour the memory of those who gave their lives during the Great War, royalties from pre-orders and sales up to Remembrance Day Centenary on November 11th will be donated to Soldiers’ Charity.org. https://www.soldierscharity.org/about-us/what-we-do/
Royalties also to http://www.thebrooke.org/get-involved/every-horse-remembered to honour the millions of horses, mules, and donkeys who didn’t come home after the Great War.

Availability of The Dandelion Clock
The Dandelion Clock is available for pre-order at the special price of 99p/99c at http://mybook.to/DandelionClock until September 4th when it be £1.99/$2.99 so get it now.

REVIEW:
‘It’s only a century since the first world war came to an end. It’s easy to forget that the conduct of warfare was then still heavily dependent upon horses. Cavalry regiments still formed the backbone of the British army.

Bryn’s grandfather served in such a regiment and it is that fact that inspired her to write this epic tale. But she does not limit herself to the rigours faced by serving men. She takes a close look at the lives of those left behind in England. The older generation of men whose labours kept ‘the home fires burning’ and the women of all ages who shouldered the burden of clothing and feeding everyone whilst worrying about the fate of their young male relatives in far flung corners of the world.

Another factor that sets this book apart from many others set in World War I is the way it concentrates on an often forgotten theatre of war. This is important because the events that Bryn relates reverberate a century later. After describing pre-war rural life, with shades of Downton Abbey, the story moves to the period of training that volunteer soldiers underwent. This enables Bryn to introduce us to a romantic triangle as her protagonist, Bill, and a young woman, Martha, with whose family he is billeted, develop a fondness for each other that leaves him agonising about his espousal to his sweetheart, Florrie, in his home town.

The action then moves to the ill-fated expedition to the Dardanelles and, thence, to Egypt and the Holy Land. Through all the minor victories and set-backs that characterised these campaigns we see not only the suffering of the men but that of the horses. Copper, a horse belonging to Lady Alice, the daughter of the ‘big house’, is an important character in this story. Her suffering, and that of the other horses, will break your heart. Bryn has stated that she wept frequently whilst writing such scenes. It is that emotional engagement with the suffering of all her characters – back home in England the relationship between Florrie and her father goes from bad to worse to terrible – that makes Bryn’s writing such a roller coaster ride for the reader.

I’ve read several of Bryn’s books and am an unashamed fan. I had the privilege of access to an early draft of this one and found it to be the best yet. Because she is self-published, this book will not get the sales it so richly deserves. That is a shame because Bryn is, without doubt, one of the best writers of historical fiction writing in English today. In The Dandelion Clock you will not just read about the horrors of war, you will live them in all their stark reality.’ – Goodreads

Find out more about Rebecca Bryn’s writing by following the links below.
Genres: Historical fiction, Contemporary fiction, Dystopian
Official website: https://rebeccabrynblog.wordpress.com/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/rebeccabryn
Bookbub page: – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rebecca-bryn-5527e97a-146a-49e7-95c7-a30b0f603c80
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/authorshow/8434030.RebeccaBryn
Blog: – https://rebeccabrynblog.wordpress.com/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rebeccabryn1
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.bryn.novels
Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/jandrcoulson
Google +: https://plus.google.com/+RebeccaBryn
Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmjL99ImZV_TdNpDaOxiVOw
And: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/rebecca-bryn

Pablo wins a Readers’ Choice Award from Connections eMagazine

The Connections eMagazine runs an annual Readers’ Choice Award and Pablo the Storytelling Bear was nominated for the Children’s Chapter Book category. Imagine how thrilled I was when it won joint third place in its category. It was awarded a bronze Readers’ Choice Award, which is now on its new cover.

The story of Pablo the Storytelling Bear is a mixture of magic and real life for polar bears, who are struggling for survival in some parts of the world. Pablo is a magical bear, aided by Gertrude Hermione Humbug. He tells Bill about how polar bears survive in the wild and what happens if they live in a zoo. Of course the magic element allows some fun to be incorporated in the stories.

You can read this story for free on kindle unlimited and it’s only £1.99 for the ebook and £5.00 from Amazon here.

If you enjoy reading, take a look at the other winners in the Connections eMagazine, (link above). I shall certainly be reading some of the winners’ books. The current edition also has some 100 words flash fiction, which are fun. Why not have a go and write a hundred word story, yourself?

Book Review: The Drowned Phoenician Sailor by Lesley Hayes

Five Stars.
This is an enjoyable read about Fynn, who finds life quite challenging. She finds it hard to fit in, but has a steady job, a caring relationship with her mother and a quirky cat. During her adult life she sees the ghost of her dead twin, which makes her wonder if she is insane. Going to find the answers from her psycotherapist, Paul, doesn’t provide the answers, but she develops a trusting relationship with him until one day, he also turns up dead.

Fynn now finds herself with two ghosts, and she examines if they are just in her mind, or if they have messages for her. What do they want from her? At times she finds their presence intrusive and irritating, especially when she meets a love interest, Jack.

This is a well written book, character driven and a compelling read. Highly recommended. Enjoy.

It is available here from Amazon in paper back for £9.75 and on Kindle for £2.50

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