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The Green Man
Looking for a fresh start, Maison moves to a remote country village. But instead of finding the peace and tranquility she'd hoped for, she discovers something rather more sinister in the shadows of England's green and pleasant land. "She let go of the tree then looked at it closely. It was gnarly and seeping sap but just a tree. She moved around the trunk, her boots sinking into the soft earth. As she touched the ridges and bumps she expected to feel the reassurance that the tree was ordinary and the same as all the others, but instead she felt sick, a wave of revulsion washing over her as she moved away from it. Instinctively she wiped her hand on her parka. At first she didn’t understand what she was feeling but then she saw it. Gouged deep into the wood was the outline of a face, eyes fixed down and staring directly at her."
By the River
Terrible things happen down by the river: it is a place of despair where humans do their worst to each other. Yet it is also a place where ghosts can be laid to rest. In By the River, originally published in Umber ( 2011 ), the voices of a bereaved 60 year old woman, a teenage boy who’s lost his way in life and a murdered Viking are woven into a dark story of revenge and tragedy. “From being all conquering giants, they were now instantly reduced to playthings for the deities; as the world seemed to expand, the river becoming broader and the sky higher, some men fell to their knees while others remained impassive awaiting their fate. They didn’t need to wait long. The sky fractured with a great fork of lightening, thunderclaps reverberated off the riverbanks in drum rolls and the water started to roil.”
Morgan is concerned about her mother... ‘She’s been living at the Cloud 9 care home for a few months now and in that time her memory seems to have gone downhill rapidly. It’s probably just the effects of the move, but it’s a real worry and as her only daughter I feel totally responsible for her. This parent, child reversal thing is a steep learning curve'. 'I chuckle to myself as I recall my visit with Mum yesterday. There we were in the communal lounge, often a fairly dismal place – bewildered people, mostly women, sitting marooned around the walls. It can be an uncomfortable void at times; a fretful silence, a waiting for something to happen, but yesterday? Well, yesterday was completely different'. How will Morgan handle what happens next?
The Weight of the Sky
A remote bay in 1970s New Zealand. Thirteen-year-old Bailey, trapped in a solitary life between his abusive stepfather and his weak-minded mother, discovers he has choices. The first choice comes as a shock. As he’s releasing the lobsters he was meant to boil, he wants to go with them, go to his father who never returned from a boat trip, who’s still out there – somewhere.
Born Again Boy
I can't explain how I'm feeling. Scared? Numb? Sick? The car's pulling off the road and in through the gates. This is it, the start of my new life. That's what everyone kept telling me. A new life. 'You'll be starting a new life, Jamie.' A born again boy with a brand new life. Did that mean the life I’d been living up till now, and everything that had happened in it, would be my old life? Would it be that easy? Like drawing a line at the bottom of a page and starting a new one?
The Best Laid Plans
Helen is someone who takes hosting Christmas very seriously. Everything is planned to the last detail. But things don't always go the we plan them to. “It will be fine darling, stop stressing.” Helen knew she was driving Jake mad with her worries about Christmas. She must try not to fuss. “I’m not stressing. Honestly. It’s just that with your whole family coming… And there’s so much to do. And your mother is so good at entertaining, and cooking…” She trailed off, thinking but not adding, and so good at criticising, and knowing better, and pulling rank and making me feel small. “Yes,” said Jake, “but she has nothing to do but worry about matching napkins and the latest fashion in hors d’oeuvres. You have a full-on job and patients to worry about.” "It was the first time she and Jake had hosted Christmas. Usually they went to New York and had a picture-perfect festive celebration with absolutely everything working like clockwork. The decorations were always colour-themed. So far they’d had a silver and blue Christmas; a black and red one and last year candles, crackers, table decorations and napkins were all green and gold, the wine glasses rimmed with a green ivy motif under a heavy gold band and the champagne had flecks of gold leaf floating in it. Even the soap in the loo was green and shaped like a Christmas tree. It sat in a gold dish..."
Where the Four Winds Meet
Where the Four Winds Meet is the first novella in a Trilogy. This story reveals the emotional journey through time of one man as he tries to discover how his biological father really died. ‘I’m fifty-two years old and today I saw a picture of my father for the very first time. Can you imagine how that feels?’ Bobby is about to open Pandora’s Box to unlock the secrets of his past – but is he prepared for the turbulent secrets which are about to be revealed about his biological father? ‘You know when I was in Germany? A woman came to me and she said, “‘Your husband’s given me a baby as well.’” How will the two immensely different scenarios, one good, one bad, impact upon the present and especially upon his two sons, a moody wannabe rock star and a ghost buster who falls for a mental medium? ‘He was a wonderful man you know, your father. Such a lovely brother to have.’ Bobby uncovers what he believes is the truth and resolves to let the past go – until it surfaces once more to haunt him.
More Than Cold
Some things are better left unfound. "Mark yawned, sipped his fourth cup of coffee of the night and found that familiarity was breeding contempt. This instant shit was just about tolerable out on the rigs, but he’d hoped for more from his first night of leave in over six weeks. Some company would have been a start. Kate was supposed to have been there well before him, making the place homely, stocking the cupboards with fresh food, good wine, good beer and he had hoped, good coffee. Not that he gave a shit about groceries at the moment. She was late. Really late. The supposedly cosy interior of their rented cottage was seeming lonelier by the minute and the empty chair on the other side of the kitchen table just amplified the effect. The nature of his work meant they had to deal with long periods of separation at times but it was an agreed rule that neither of them would ever lengthen that absence if it could be avoided. More than that, the thing that was really nagging at him was that generally Kate, like many so others he supposed, was barely able to let a minute pass without checking for or sending a text, yet she was now some ten hours late and he still hadn’t heard a thing. He glanced at his phone again, just in case, and tried not to notice that the clock on his phone read a little past four am. There was currently no signal. Not even the single rogue bar that had been teasing him throughout the night. A flash of thigh here, the promise of mobile coverage there. He traced the grain of the table with his finger and once again tried to run through the list of benign yet logical reasons as to why his darling wife was almost half a day late. Traffic was an obvious possibility or perhaps she’d got lost and decided to stop off somewhere for the night. Maybe the car had broken down and a kindly AA employee was at this very moment organising a replacement so that this lovers’ reunion wouldn’t be ruined. And then came the drunk drivers, faulty brakes, crazed hitchhikers and multiple car pile ups..."