Insanity Nova – Chapter 1.

The sharp click of the button was not the end or the beginning of events. It was the last step in a long process that led to the partial collapse of the very fabric of the universe. Beyond a sheet of transparent carbon alloy the infinite darkness of space shimmered. A million stars pulsed in unison and time itself shuddered with the uncertainty of a failing reality. 

 

“Kiss my living life goodbye

Embrace the fact that I will die

Know that all is but a lie

And never ask your maker why

Tomorrow comes tomorrow passed

Our shattered dreams are all that last

The dice of fate have now been cast

I know my birth of sleep draws fast.”

 

The singer had first heard that tune whilst still in her mother’s womb and would hear it again as they closed her tomb. She giggled uncontrollably. The world was just so damn musical. No matter what language or species, people made poetry and sang songs. Her own thoughts danced a merry jive through her head.

The words were from an old nursery rhyme. Like all good songs for young children, the topic was about as morbid as possible. Children seemed drawn to the darkness of the world like twisted mirrors of moths, seeking out that which killed them until their wings were clipped and their bodies wrapped in a cocoon of rules and culture before emerging as fat caterpillars good for nothing beyond eating and breeding.

 And here she was, Zorya Triumph, a caterpillar given wings. Wings that could tear the universe asunder. As such, she had named the ship Cataclysm and Butterflies. She laughed again, multi-shaded blue hair falling across her face as she rocked back and forth on her chair. The strands danced like blue flames. Continue reading

Apocalypse Later – Chapter 1.

They always said that if there ever was a God then He must have had a cruel sense of humour. Anything that would give free will then punish its use could hardly be rational. To know everything yet constantly test His children. To be all loving yet let children starve and die. To be all powerful yet never cast out evil. Yeah, that guy is a real joker. A joker, a sadist or a fraud.

We, as a society, cast Him out of our lives. I guess you could say that He had the last laugh though. Do you want to know the punchline? He passed his mantle down to us and gave us all of the power that we could ever dream of. We could have saved the world.

Instead we destroyed it.

It was a time of gods and madmen. Of chaos, death and destruction. Battles were fought which made history’s greatest wars seem like playground drama. Lives were forever changed and we had nobody to blame but our own human nature. 

It all began on a day like any other. Cliché, I know, but that’s how it is. All days are normal until something extraordinary happens. It was early Spring, one of the first warm days of the year. It was also a Thursday, if that’s important to you, in the year of our Lord 2019 AD. 53,567 people had already died that day. That’s nothing though. Over double that die every day on Earth. Makes you think, right? Continue reading

The Sword Summoner: History Repeats – Chapter 1.

Birds scattered as the old morning bell began to toll, its deep echoes ringing throughout the city of Pastrino. The noise was met by stirrings as the city below began to awaken and the people rose from slumber to begin their day’s work. All except one that is: Trey Sted. He was still fast asleep like he was most mornings.

People were amazed at how he could sleep through the morning bell because it could wake up everyone else in Pastrino, even those on the outskirts of the sprawling city. Ironically, his house stood in the shadow of the bell tower on the wide hill that marked the centre of the city. It left any who were that close to the tower with ringing ears when it chimed, but Trey never even stirred from his sleep.

“Trey, wake up! Trey, get out of bed!” his mother called from the doorway. Trey didn’t move. His cheap woollen cover was wrapped tightly around him like a cocoon even though it was the middle of summer. His mother called again. “Trey, get up now or you’ll be sorry.” Still he lay motionless. “I warned you, Trey.” Continue reading

Thorns of the Shadow: Blood, Blades, and Bacon – Chapter 1.

A dark shape flew through heavy clouds above Abernethy Forest. In a land of ancient myths such as Scotland, where mountains vie with dark forests and cold winds cut across the rugged landscape, it was all too easy to see contorted faces staring down from the icy heavens. The shape disappeared into the churning clouds before erupting out again to swoop down low above the treetops. Leathery wings glided serenely for several seconds then lunged into the greenery to vanish from sight completely. 

There were few signs of civilisation here, a single structure standing alone in the forest’s embrace being the only mark of humanity for miles. It was a large wooden building known as Aife’s Lodge. Once it had been a private manor house but had since been converted into a hotel. Fitting with its remote location, it was the kind of place where people went to escape society completely. 

The clouds parted just enough to reveal the moon through the black veiled sky. A warped howl echoed through the snowy night. No one heard it over the night’s festivities. It was just before midnight on New Year’s Eve and the few guests of Aife’s Lodge had forgone seclusion and gathered together in the main hall to celebrate. A stone fireplace dominated one wall while numerous mounted animals showcased the local fauna. Long dead deer and wildcats seemed almost alive in the flickering light. The guests mingled awkwardly in groups of two or three, the conversations gradually becoming less passive as the alcohol flowed. Continue reading

New story – Chapter 1. Why must it be a pirate’s life for me?

The first draft of chapter one of a new story I’m working on about magical pirates. All feedback welcome.


A cannonball crashed through the wall of Buccaneer Jones’ tiny cabin. He yelped and fell out of his bed. Through the newly made hole he could see out to the raging ocean outside, and the pirate ship that was rapidly approaching.

There was a crash from above as the ship that Buccaneer called home, The Singing Seal, returned fire. Buccaneer grabbed a padded hat from a hook and rammed it onto his head, the thick material covering his ears to muffle the sounds. He picked up a dog-eared old book about different types of plants and tried his hardest to ignore the battle around him.

The two ships closed the distance until men and women swung from one to another with cutlasses in their mouths. Now shouts and laughter filled the air, punctuated with the clang of swords and pistol shots.

Buccaneer sighed and started to hum loudly. Despite his name, Buccaneer didn’t like fighting. In fact he hated it, just like he hated his name. To his friends he was just Bucc. Not that he had many. Bucc was considered odd by most people. He didn’t like violence, couldn’t stand loud noises, and he willingly washed at least once a week. How where you supposed to treat someone who didn’t like to fight, pillage, and drink?

For you see, Buccaneer Jones was the son of two pirates. That was nothing special though. In Hylantia everybody was a pirate. It was a world of vast seas and tiny island. A place where humans lived on ships and wandered the waves in search of adventure.

Bucc’s door was kicked open and his parents rushed into the cabin. His father was tall and gangly, with a bald head and a missing thumb. He held a pistol in his good hand and a modified cutlass in his other. A black snake with spiked fins was draped around his neck.

His mother was a stout woman with a mallet in each hand. Where his dad wore nothing but an open jacket and shorts, Bucc’s mum was decked out in an array of layers that were all different colours. Perched on her shoulder was a six legged cat with horns.

“What are you still doing in here, Buccaneer?” asked his dad. “Come quick. Big Tim got a splinter in his eye. We need you to man the cannon.”

“You’re not serious.”

His mum grabbed him by the hand. “It’s time for you to become a real pirate. When the adrenaline starts pumping through you, you’ll realise what you’re missing out on.” Continue reading

Blood, Blades and Bacon is available now!

My new book, Blood, Blades and Bacon, (book 1 in the Thorns of the Shadow series), is now available to buy. Grab a paperback or kindle version from Amazon.

KT and Kai Redthorn are both failing at life in their own ways. Childhood has ended, dreams have fallen to the wayside, and mind-numbing jobs are all that awaits. KT is driven to succeed but has still fallen short, while Kai has found that his skills are better suited to drinking and flirting. Left to dwell on the future at their aunt’s Highland lodge over the New Year, it’s set to be an uneventful family gathering. That is, until their perception of reality is shattered when an encounter with a succubus throws the twins into a secret society of monsters and magic.

Standing between them and certain death are an eccentric monster hunter called Déaþscúa and their own determination to embrace this new world. Their family is held captive by a cannibalistic witch, so the twins must fight against the clock to save them. Déaþscúa has his own battles to fight, though, and his own secrets to keep. Can the twins stay afloat through the unearthly dangers that surround them, or will Déaþscúa’s private war pull them under completely?

Thorns of the Shadow: Blood, Blades and Bacon is a fast-paced action fantasy with a quirky mix of off-the-wall humour and bloody battles that will leave you thirsty for more.

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In Death’s Shadow – 1st Chapter (2017)

It has been over a year since I first posted an extract of my current story. In that time I have learned a lot about editing and actually pushed to get reader feedback so now have a far more polished version of the story. This polishing isn’t fully finished yet but I figured that I would show how far the story has come by posting the 1st chapter of its current draft.

The original version can be found here.

Once again, any feedback is welcome. Enjoy.


Chapter 1

A dark shape flew through heavy clouds far above Abernethy Forest. In a land of ancient myths such as Scotland, where mountains vie with dark forests while snow and cold winds dominate the rugged landscape, it was all too easy to see contorted faces staring down from the icy heavens. The shape disappeared into the churning clouds before erupting out from the silently screaming mouth of an angry god to swoop down low above the treetops. Leathery wings glided serenely for several seconds then lunged into the greenery to vanish from sight completely.

A short distance from here was a large wooden building known as Aife’s Lodge. It had once been a private manor house but had been converted into a hotel in recent years. Fitting with its remote location it was the kind of place where people went to escape society completely.

The clouds parted just enough to reveal the moon through the black veiled sky. A warped howl echoed through the snowy night. Nobody heard it over the festivities though. It was just before midnight on New Year’s Eve and the few guests of Aife’s Lodge had forgone seclusion and gathered together in the main hall to celebrate. A stone fireplace dominated one wall while numerous stuffed animals showcased the local fauna. Long dead deer and wildcats seemed almost alive in the flickering light. The guests mingled awkwardly in groups of two or three, the conversations gradually becoming less passive as the alcohol flowed. Continue reading

The Ippa without a Hat.

All is not what it seems.

Have you ever put something down then find that it has gone?
Mummy and Daddy do it a lot.
“Where are my keys?” they ask. “I could have sworn that I left them here.”
They put it down to bad memories or say that somebody moved them.
But somebody didn’t move them, it was a something.
And that something is an Ippa.

Ippa are small fluffy creatures that live inside trees.
Their feet are big and soft and their hands are small and fast.
They have big eyes and little noses and mouths that like to laugh.
Each one has two things that make them special, their fur and their hat.
Some have blue fur some have pink. Others have orange, green or silvery zinc.
All the colours of the rainbow then more. All of the colours that you adore.
Then their hats are their pride and joy. Whether it’s a cap, a wrap or a top hat,
Paper, cloth and metal, big and small, the Ippa have them all. Continue reading

Words of Fate: Of Quills and Swords. (Issue 1)

City walls of pale stone stood proudly on the horizon ahead. Around it rougher stone structures clung together in a hodge-podge of designs and materials like a cancer. Farmland covered the ground between the settlement and a lone hilltop many miles from it where a young man stood taking in the sight of the legendary city. Dense forests made a ring around it all.

It was early in the morning and the young man hoped to be within those walls come nightfall. He wiped an arm across his face to remove a trickle of sweat and grimaced at the smell that rose from his sleeve. He had been travelling by foot for over two weeks now without a single change of clothes. Washes had been few and far between and the summer’s heat had been like the innards of an oven for the entire time.

“If I intend to rejoin society today then I’d best make myself presentable. I smell worse than the old man’s attempt at cooking,” he said to himself.

Humming lightly, he made his way down the hill and veered toward a small stream that he had spotted from his vantage point. He found an area that was out of the way of the working men that dotted the surroundings and stripped off. The water was refreshingly cool but the man wasted no time with relaxing. He scrubbed himself clean then applied a flowery scented lotion from a bottle to himself until his entire body smelt faintly of roses.

He left the water then waited until the heat had dried him. The filthy clothes that he had worn were shoved into his pack and a fresh outfit of clean, well made wool was carefully donned. The clothes marked him above a peasant but they were still cheap and basic by any nobleman’s standard. He needed a shave but the slight beard and slightly too long brown hair did not detract from his handsomeness, simply adding a charming ruggedness to his already pleasant appearance. He would not be thrown out of any respectable establishment and that was all that the man needed.
Continue reading