What Sets Us Apart

David is a man troubled by a past he is trying to forget.

Susan is rebelling against a life of privilege and an exasperated mother who holds a secret that will determine her daughter’s destiny.

They are two people brought together by chance.  Or was it?

When Susan discovers her mother’s secret, she goes in search of the truth that has been hidden from her since the day she was born.

When David realises her absence is more than the usual cooling off after another heated argument, he finds himself being slowly drawn back into his former world of deceit and lies.

Then, back with his former employers, David quickly discovers nothing is what it seems as he embarks on a dangerous mission to find Susan before he loses her forever.

Purchase:

http://tinyurl.com/Amazon-WhatSetsUsApart

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The Devil You Don’t

John Pennington’s life is in the doldrums.  Looking for new opportunities, prevaricating about getting married, the only joy on the horizon was an upcoming visit to his grandmother in Sorrento, Italy.

Suddenly he is left at the check in counter with a message on his phone telling him the marriage is off, and the relationship is over.

If only he hadn’t promised a friend he would do a favour for him in Rome.

At the first stop, Geneva, he has a chance encounter with Zoe, an intriguing woman who captures his imagination from the moment she boards the Savoire, and his life ventures into uncharted territory in more ways than one.

That ‘favour’ for his friend suddenly becomes a life changing event, and when Zoe, the woman who he knows is too good to be true, reappears, danger and death follows.

Shot at, lied to, seduced, and drawn into a world where nothing is what it seems, John is dragged into an adrenaline charged undertaking, where he may have been wiser to stay with the ‘devil you know’ rather than opt for the ‘devil you don’t’.

Purchase:

http://tinyurl.com/Amazon-TheDevilYouDont

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Echoes From The Past

What happens when your past finally catches up with you?

Christmas is just around the corner, a time to be with family.  For Will Mason, an orphan since he was fourteen, it is a time for reflection on what his life could have been, and what it could be.

Until a chance encounter brings back to life the reasons for his twenty years of self imposed exile from a life only normal people could have.  From that moment Will’s life slowly starts to unravel and it’s obvious to him it’s time to move on.

This time, however, there is more at stake.

Will has broken his number one rule, don’t get involved.

With his nemesis, Eddie Jamieson, suddenly within reach, and a blossoming relationship with an office colleague, Maria, about to change everything, Will has to make a choice.  Quietly leave, or finally make a stand.

But as Will soon discovers, when other people are involved there is going to be terrible consequences no matter what choice he makes.

Purchase:

http://tinyurl.com/Amazon-EchoesFromThePast

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Sunday In New York

“Sunday in New York” is ultimately a story about trust, and what happens when a marriage is stretched to its limits.

When Harry Steele attends a lunch with his manager, Barclay, to discuss a promotion that any junior executive would accept in a heartbeat, it is the fact his wife, Alison, who previously professed her reservations about Barclay, also agreed to attend, that casts a small element of doubt in his mind.

From that moment his life, in the company, in deciding what to do, his marriage, his very life, spirals out of control.

There is no one big factor that can prove Harry’s worst fears, that his marriage is over, just a number of small, interconnecting events, when piled on top of each other, points to a cataclysmic end to everything he had believed in.

Trust is lost firstly in his best friend and mentor, Andy, who only hints of impending disaster, Sasha, a woman whom he saved, and who appears to have motives of her own, and then in his wife, Alison, as he discovered piece by piece damning evidence she is about to leave him for another man.

Can we trust what we see with our eyes or trust what we hear?

Haven’t we all jumped to conclusions at least once in our lives?

Can Alison, a woman whose self-belief and confidence is about to be put to the ultimate test, find a way of proving their relationship is as strong as it has ever been?

As they say in the classics, read on!

Purchase:

http://tinyurl.com/Amazon-SundayInNewYork

Sunday In New York

One Last Look

A single event can have enormous consequences.

A single event driven by fate, after Ben told his wife Charlotte he would be late home one night, he left early, and by chance discovers his wife having dinner in their favourite restaurant with another man.

A single event where it could be said Ben was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Who was this man?  Why was she having dinner with him?

A simple truth to explain the single event was all Ben required.  Instead Charlotte told him a lie.

A single event that forces Ben to question everything he thought he knew about his wife, and the people who are around her.

After a near death experience and forced retirement into a world he is unfamiliar with, Ben finds himself once again drawn back into that life of lies, violence, and intrigue.

From London, to a small village in Tuscany, little by little Ben discovers who the woman he married is, and the real reason why fate had brought them together.

Purchase:

http://tinyurl.com/Amazon-OneLastLook

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A new story …

I write about spies, washed out, worn out or thrown out.

It’s time for me to go on with my next book.

The first sentence of a novel is always the hardest. Like I guess many others, I sit and ponder what I’m going to write, whether it will be relevant, whether it will pull the reader into my world, and cause them to read on.

And that’s the objective, to capture the reader’s imagination and want to see what’s going to happen next.

The problem is, we have to set the scene.

Or do we?

Do we need to cover the who, what, where, and when criteria in that first sentence? Can we just start with edge of the seat suspense, like,

The first bullet hit the concrete wall about six inches above my head with a resounding thwack that scared the living daylights out of me. The second, sent on its way within a fraction of a second of the first found its mark, the edge of my shoulder, slicing through the material, and creasing skin and flesh. There was blood and then panic.

Milliseconds later my brain registered the near miss and sent the instruction: get down you idiot.

I hit the ground just as another bullet slammed into the concrete where my head had just been.

It can use some more work, less commas, perhaps shorter, sharper sentences to convey the urgency and danger.

Perhaps we could paint a picture of the main character.

He tentatively has the name of Jackson Galworthy. He has always aspired to be a ‘secret agent’ or ‘spy’ and but through luck more than anything else, he was given his opportunity. The problem is he failed his first test and failure means washing out of the program.

What had ‘they’ said? When the shit hits the fan, you need to be calm, cool, and collected. He’d been anything but.

Maybe we’ll flesh the character out as we go along.

OK, I just had another thought for an opening,

Light snow was still falling, past the stage where each flake dissolved as it hit the ground, and now starting to gather in white patches.

It was cold, very cold, and even with the three layers I still shivered.

What surprised me was the silence, but, of course, it was a graveyard beside an ancient church, and everyone who had attended the funeral service had left.

It was a short service for the few that came, and a shorter burial. No one seemed keen to hang around, not with the evening darkness and the snow setting in.

I stood, not far from the filled grave looking at it, but not looking at it. Was I expecting it’s occupant to rise again? Was I expecting forgiveness? I certainly didn’t deserve it.

The truth is, I was responsible for this person’s death, making a mistake a more seasoned professional might not, and the reason why I was shown the door. I had been given very simple instructions; protect this man at all costs.

It was going to be a simple extraction, go in, get the target, and get out before anyone noticed.

A pity then I was the only one who got that memo.

Any thoughts?

Thoughts, maybe – again

I can see how it is that a writer’s life can be a lonely one.

I’m often sitting in front of the computer screen, or in a large lounge chair with my trusty tablet computer, writing the words, or staring into space!

Sometimes the words don’t make any sense, sometime the thoughts leading to those words don’t make any sense.  Sometimes the most sensible person in the room is the cat.

I’m sure his thoughts are not a vague, or scrambled, or wrestling with the ploys of several stories on the go, getting locations right, getting characters to think and do their thing with a fair degree of continuity.

The cats world is one of which chair to lie on, where is that elusive mouse be it real or otherwise, and is this fool going to feed me, and please, please, don’t let it be the lasagna.  I am not that cat!

Unlike other professions there is no 9 to 5, no overtime, no point where you can switch off and move into leisure time.  Not while you are writing that next masterpiece.  It’s a steady sometimes frustrating slog where you can’t just walk away, have a great time, and come back and pick up where you left off.

Stories have to be written from beginning to end, not a bit here and a bit there.

It’s a bit like running a marathon.  You are in a zone, the first few miles are the hardest, the middle is just getting the rhythm and breathing under control, and then you hope you get to the end, because it can seem that you’ve been going forever and the end is never in sight.

But, when you reach the end, oh, isn’t the feeling one of pure joy and relief.

And, yes, perhaps you’ve just created another masterpiece!