“Echoes From The Past”, buried, but not deep enough

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.

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I used to have all the time in the world

There is always a feeling of relief when you finally finish the book, after all the editing (the latest book had been revised and edited 16 times – I know, I should stop fiddling), and accepting I’ve have done all I can.

It’s like watching another child leave the nest.  There’s that hollow feeling inside.

Of course, the answer to getting over that feeling is to get on with the next book.

This time I finished two books together, so it has been more exhausting, especially with the two sets of characters and story lines.  I realize I should work on one, get that done, and then work on the other.  Sorry, I can’t do that.

Actually, I was working on the next story at the same time.

My editor, after being presented with, and finally reading through the so-called final draft, calls me in to discuss the works, simply closes her eyes and shakes her head, then tells me one character has crossed over to the other novel.

Perhaps working on two novels at the same time is not a good idea.

But all’s well that ends well, both “What Sets Us Apart”, the first in what I call my Russian trilogy, is published, and “One Last Look” the first of what may become a series, also published and are now available from Amazon.

What to do next?

Catch up on social media, which includes Twitter, where I do a little advertising, and Facebook, which I still don’t understand how it is going to work for me.

So, I’m currently working on “First Dig Two Graves”, the ‘Zoe the Assassin – Book 2’, which is all but written, and like the crazy author I am, it’s in the seventh or eighth re-edit, and another short romance novel called “The Things We Do For Love”.

But I can’t help myself, and I’m also working on parts of “Strangers We’ve Become”, the second of the Russian Trilogy.  It, too, has all but been written, and only needs a few modifications.

And yes, that is a very loose statement, ‘only a few modifications’.  That can be anything from a new chapter at the start or a whole rewrite.

Ah, the hectic life of a writer.

In between, there was a granddaughters 8th birthday, and an anniversary, so many now I’ve lost count.  Then I finally reached an age I never thought I’d get to, 65.

Moving on.

Now it seems there really is so little time, so much to do.

“The Devil You Don’t”, be careful what you wish for

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 favor 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 ‘favor’ 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:

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Friday the Twelfth nearly turned into Friday the Thirteenth

I should have known it was near enough to be that mystical day where everything is usually turned on its head.

It started with a plague of self-doubt.  I’m writing a story that’s set in the dying days of world war two, in Italy, where I was not quite sure of what was happening there at the time.  A little reading to check some facts showed my thinking had been all wrong.

Trust me to just write a story without due regard to actual events.

And, this is what set me thinking the worst, and then heading to the encyclopedias to do some research.  I mean, we all have a modicum of general knowledge about the war, the role Germany played, and that of Italy to a certain extent.

I had read the Allies had mounted a fightback in the southern part of Italy in 1943, but hadn’t realised it only covered the bottom half of the country, and that the northern half had remained in Italian hands under Mussolini, with the help of the Germans until that collapsed and the Germans took over.

For my story to work, the allies had to be in control of the location of a particular castle, and be in a position to process fleeing scientists and useful ex Germans expatriation to Britain.

Having finally got hold of the facts, it seemed my story wouldn’t fit.  Not in the southern half of the country.  I just had to move it north, and now, with refugees coming over the mountains via Switzerland and the Dolomites, it will work.

What does it all mean?

You should do your homework first.  Lesson learned, now it’s back to research for a while if only to get the setting right.

 

 

“What Sets Us Apart”, a mystery with a twist

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 realizes 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.

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A matter of life and … what’s worse than death? – Episode 4

This is a story inspired by a visit to an old castle in Italy. It was, of course, written while traveling on a plane, though I’m not sure if it was from Calgary to Toronto, or New York to Vancouver.
But, there’s more to come. Those were long flights…

And sadly when I read what I’d written, off the plane and in the cold hard light of dawn, there were problems, which now in the second draft, should provide the proper start.

 

Another fifty or so feet along, I stopped at an overhead grill.  The metal was showing on the tunnel side, but on the other, I could see bushes.

I think I knew where we were.  This was where the road crossed a small bridge and headed towards the castle entrance.  It was on the northeastern side of the old battlements, and going straight under the road would take us to the eastern wall.

Whether we could get out of the castle there remained to be seen.

I took a step and saw Jack stop and turn around to look back the way we had come.  A moment later a beam of light came from the break in the roof of the tunnel.  Perhaps the man had decided there might not be ghosts in the hole.

I heard the man’s voice travel up the tunnel.  “Looks like a cavern of something.”

That something he might guess to be a tunnel.

We had to go.

I moved quickly in the opposite direction, into the dark, the sound of more rocks falling from the roof following us.

 

Another hundred feet or so we reached a wall, a dead end to the tunnel.  It looked to me that it had been bricked in the recent past because it consisted of house bricks, not cobble stones.

The surface was wet, and there was the sound of dripping nearby.

Jack sat on the floor.  Nowhere to go, for him it was time to rest.

We couldn’t go back.

I pulled out a knife and poked it into the mortar, and the blade disappeared when I pushed it.  The mortar was soft.

I pushed hard on the wall midway up, and it moved.  I decided it might be wiser to kick at the wall, making it easier if it collapsed.

It created a hole about a foot round.  Further kicking made it bigger so that I could stoop down and climb through.  Jack went first, and I followed.

It came out into a clearing surrounded by trees.  Through the branches, I could see the forest on the other side of a paddock.

Jack once again stopped.

Voices.

Jackerby and one of his men.

“I’m sure there used to be a drainage tunnel somewhere here.  Those men got into the tunnel yet?”

“Working on making a hole so they can jump down.  No long now.”

“Go back and help them.  I’ll keep an eye out here in case they find the exit.”

I heard the other man leave.

A minute passed, then two.  Then Jackerby said, “I know you’re there Sam.  I’m alone out here, and I’m on your side.”

 

© Charles Heath 2019

 

“One Last Look”, nothing is what it seems

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 favorite 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.

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