Here's lookin at you kid...

Here's lookin at you kid...
The eyes are the windows to the soul...

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Suky - I'm not sure if this will be a novel or short story yet...

She stood at the top of the stone parapet, right at the very highest point of the bridge. She looked up at the stars because she dare not look down. Her heart was thumping in her chest, her hair was streaming out around her, buffeted by the wind and sometimes swirling around her face. Once she shook her head in order to get the hair from her mouth and she wobbled on her unsteady legs, she would not try that again.
Her clothes were being tugged and pulled by the wind as though by invisible fingers and gusts threatened to topple her from her precarious perch.
She thought about the reasons that she had climbed to the highest point that she had ever been to and whether they made sense to her still. They had made sense when she was preparing herself, they had made sense whilst she had been climbing and now, now that she was finally at the fork in the road that would send her onto one or another of the two separate paths in her life, she thought again on the reasons that she had decided to put an end to her present life.
Family, she had none. The job she worked at was no kind of career and though it was deemed that she had been very fortunate to secure herself a place as scullery maid without so much as a reference, she found that the other maids were snobbish bullies. The male staff members were lecherous pigs and she had neither the strength nor the energy to avoid or refuse their attentions any more. When she had finally succumbed to the attentions of the younger son of the household, she was held in greater disdain than ever before.
She was fortunate to have escaped without an unwanted pregnancy – that much she knew but she was mortified to find that someone had found out about her dalliances. The younger son, the favourite amongst the staff ‘below stairs’ was sent away so that he couldn’t get into more trouble and she was threatened to be sent packing if she so much as showed signs of being with child.
Her terrible and unbearable situation became worse. The maids blamed her for the son’s departure, as did the cook and the butler. Her colleagues had hardly spoken to her before he had been sent away, now, they sent her to Coventry. She was miserable and as such, her work suffered.
The housekeeper had summoned her into her office and told her in no uncertain terms that she had to pull her socks up or be off and on her way with no references.
That had been a little over a month ago and she had tried her very hardest to please everyone but it was impossible.
A few weeks ago, as she lay on her bed, worn out from the day’s work but unable to sleep for her misery; a thought had popped into her head:
“I’ll show them! They’ll be sorry when I’m dead and gone and they’ll know it was their fault.”
The thought was persistent and though she tried to push it away – nothing was bad enough to wish herself dead over, surely – it came back night after night and then it began to appear when she was being snubbed or told off. Then it would appear when she was working at her usual duties and pretty soon, the thought was there as a permanent fixture, running around in her mind. Her ultimate revenge would be her death, her blood on their hands.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Christmas and New Year

Between the two main celebration nights can seem like a bit of a limbo. OK, there are sales and stuff, other parties etc to go to but between one and the other is always a bit of anti-climax/anticipation for me - it's a feeling that is a bit weird and never happens at any other time of year.

Last year was different, me and my husband were away from home at Christmas and though we had a wonderful time with some fabulous people, it just didn't quiet seem like 'proper' Christmas.

This Christmas has been simply lovely. The day itself was spent with our children and their boyfriend and girlfriend and the day was relaxed, chilled and thoroughly enjoyable.
We didn't open any presents until everyone arrived, mid-afternoon and the anticipation was all the better for it.
The Christmas dinner went very well indeed and I was so well-prepared that I had made a pudding from scratch. It wasn't the usual heavy Christmas pudding that my grandmother used to make, instead I made a delicious panna cotta with rum-soaked sultanas at the bottom - it went down exceptionally well if I do say so myself.

Boxing day was spent shopping for bargains - coats and (more) notebooks - I'm a hoarder when it comes to notebooks. Then we went on to family and friends.

Today will be spent doing what I love - at my computer or in a chair somewhere, writing, jotting down ideas and plots, story structures etc. I truly am blessed that I can do this and I appreciate that everyone that has read my work seems to enjoy the stories. Even when someone doesn't enjoy the story, they still seem able to tell me what they didn't like about it and that helps me to improve my writing in the future.

Now, New Year's Eve... I'm looking forward to it although I haven't made any resolutions yet.

I know one thing... next year's Christmas will be entirely different in our household - there's going to be a new baby and so the cycle starts all over. Christmas will probably not be as relaxed as this one has been - not for a few years to come - and I can't wait!

Wow, this has been a random and rambling blog to get me back into the swing of things... I suppose I have to make a New Year's resolution then - to try to keep this up as a regular thing.

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and for New Year? I can only wish one thing:

A Hopeful and Healthy Happy New Year to you all!

Monday, 1 August 2011

Gutted by the ravening horde!

My target for my novel has been totally scuppered for the moment. On Saturday I was about 800 words behind on my total but I picked that back up on Sunday morning so I was enthusiastic and hopeful for the day.

But it was not to be! The ravening horde that are my neighbours awoke with a bang and a bump and a screaming child and though I tried to concentrate, my office window on the back of the house had to be closed for me not to hear the crying. She's not a happy child it seems and if she is crying then she's screaming. I've witnessed the tantrums as she stands on the back garden, arms folded and stamping her foot on the ground... I mean really?

Anyway, once the child had calmed down, then the drilling started - again. I'm not sure if they are getting rid of all the walls in their house by the "Drill millions of holes until there's a doorway" method but that's what it seems like. For the past 15+ years one neighbour after another has partaken in DIY on that house. If it falls down tomorrow, the demolition report would read DIY'd to death! I'm sure.

Well, I will not be put off on my project. It's all quiet at the moment and I'm going to catch up my word count as much as possible and forge ahead. If I get more than 4000 words done today, I'll be pleased as punch.

30325 before I start today - almost 3000 down but determined! Wish me luck - I'm going in to where the Werewolves live!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Update after the weekend

I started out with all great expectations on Saturday morning. I was on target and up to date with my writing and I started well but after 2000 words it began to go awry. My neighbours who are not the most considerate bunch on the planet, decided that they really needed to do some DIY so I took a break from writing but they never stopped. So, 1000 words short of my target, I gave in for the day.

On Sunday, I woke up at 6:30, did a little bit of essential housework (washing on lines, I know... I lead such a glamorous life) and then down to writing. I really did crack on and wanted to get caught up and past my target if I could. The ravening horde that are my neighbours did decide to disrupt - kids screeching (I don't know how they stand it... oh hang on, yes I do... they buy lots of toys for the kid and then leave her outside with them and let her tease my dog). Still! I managed to get the task at hand completed AND then went to a Psychic Fair run by Evolved which is headed by Michelle Hare and Lee Roberts and managed to sell three books and give one to St John's Hospice Appeal in Mansfield, Notts.
I won the Teddy draw by guessing the name 'Jack' for the Teddy, I had inspiration from my book, Cruel... and Unusual and I also won a prize on the raffle but because all profits from these events go to Charity, I donated both the teddy and the raffle prize back to be won by someone at the next event.

Then on to this morning's work. I got up again at 6:30 (and believe me, this is a habit that I intend to break ASAP!) and got right on to it. The next door's ravening horde seem to be out and so I'm making hay while the sun shines. I've nipped onto Blogger to write this and keep everyone up to date (thanks for the interest) and then I'll get back to the writing.

Just over 16000 words done of my 18000 target for today and I'm pleased and confident that I'll manage that. I'll be back again possibly on Wednesday to let you all know how it goes. Thanks for watching :)

Friday, 22 July 2011

Hub Pages? Nah, not this time!

This is the Hub I published earlier today. It has been rejected by hubpages for 'violation' of their Terms of Use... yeah yeah yeah...

Day 2 - 21st July

Well I had a lot of encouragement yesterday because of the Hub and the subject. I'm not sure if everyone believes it will be a success but I'm determined to give it my very best effort.
Yesterday: I wrote around 2600 words on Blood... on the Moon and I 'found' a piece that I'd written a number of weeks ago but I'll not count the 3000 words of that in with my totals as I'm not going to touch that until the editing phase.
I have also got a short story to write for New Writers UK Anthology which is also due to be launched on Oct 7th & 8th at the Book Festival at West Bridgford, Notthingham and last night I wrote 700+ words on that, so in total, 3000+ words were achieved... I hope I'm going to get some slack on my total then?
I am grateful for the encouraging words I've been sent and for the generous offer of a celebratory bottle of champers for the launch event - so thank you for that!
I was writing until 2am this morning and it would seem that sometimes, that's when I do my best work and the time certainly flies in the wee small hours.
Today I have started on my coursework and so I'm pleased with what I've done so far today. I am just about to start writing again and it will probably be another long night.

If you'd like to see this from the start, here's the first:

The email from Hub pages:
HubPages is not like a traditional blog site, where you publish journal-type entries. Hubs can contain some personal content, but should be interesting, useful, and easily understandable to someone who does not know you personally.
Your Hub has been unpublished, giving you the opportunity to revise it. When you are ready to have HubPages review it again, please edit it and click the "Submit for Publication" button. We will then review your Hub and publish it if it appears finished.  You will then get an email saying that the Hub has been cleared for publication and republished.

Here are examples of high-quality Hubs that you might want to take a look at:

I'm not really bothered about looking at 'some other interesting Hubs' I've done some quite nifty ones myself. If the Hub that would have taken a journey towards a finished novel from scratch is not suitable, then PfffffffffffffffffffffffT! I'll publish my journey here and add the link to the Hub page day by day.

In the words of Victor Meldrew "I don't beleeeeeeeeeeeeeve it!"

Monday, 13 June 2011

New Authors

Over the past few months I have had a real blast! I've met people that have read my book and enjoyed it and I've also met people that have been inspired by my journey to become published. I have not met one nasty or obnoxious person because of my writing and I am very thankful for that.

I have joined a writers group called New Writers UK who are a collection of interesting and diverse people with one important thing in common, they all enjoy helping other new writers. I went to Wookey Hole at Easter for an event that New Writers put on and another event yesterday at Rufford Abbey in Nottinghamshire. They get about a bit and promote their work as a non-profit organisation. On Saturday the Children's Writing Competition for 2011 was launched and it is to be judged at County Hall in Nottingham in October. It is open to children from Nottinghamshire aged 8 - 15 and is growing year on year.

The other Authors I have met lately have been mainly from Facebook and, love it or loathe it, Facebook helps bring like-minded people together if you know where to look.

Help is out there if you want to become published or learn how to edit your work to the standard that publishers want. There is help and advice for all aspects of writing but the best advice I can give, I think, is Dont give up! Keep on writing and honing your craft and ask other people. Writing is a very solitary occupation but you don't have to be solitary all the time.

Last but certainly not least, Glenn and Sherrill are two of the new authors that I have met on Facebook and their novels are linked below.

Thanks for reading,

Gingernut Books Ltd
Deadlier... and Cruel... signed copies order page

My Amazon page

Glenn 'Alienbutt' Scrimshaw's novel

Sherrill Willis's novel

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Deadlier Than The male Excerpt which was not allowed on Hub Pages

This is the piece that I deleted from my Hub Page because it constantly failed to get through the manual submission part. Apparently it's not 'Original' because it is part of a piece on Writer's Muse website, I was asked to submit a piece of my novel to the site and was most pleased to do so.

This is the part that caused so much trouble on my Hub. I hope you enjoy it.

She moved on again, through the deserted car park. She noticed a lone car - perhaps left by its conscientious driver who had had a drink and left it until the morning. The cynic in her thought otherwise, in a perfect world maybe he had, but more likely, he was too drunk to remember where he had left it. 
The open space of the car park gave her a sense of security that she knew would desert her as she approached the alley. There was nowhere to hide in the area surrounding the pub and so she knew he was not so close behind her.
As the distance to the walled passageway was eaten up by her self-assured strides, she started to slow down as though she was trying to delay getting there. Again she hesitated. At the mouth of the alley, she leaned forward just a little as if trying to see around the bend in the middle. Her bag was grasped in one hand and as she leaned forward, it swung against her leg. She looked down as if she had only just noticed it was there. Then, as though deciding that she should make a move before she could scare the living daylights out of herself, she entered the mouth of the narrow and enclosed walkway.

The stalker forced himself to be patient as he waited until she had entered the alley, then he moved - fast and silent - around the perimeter wall. He scaled yet higher walls with ease, running across the tops of them, moving with the agility of a cat to get ahead of her. He had the advantages of surprise and shock and he intended to use them both to maximum effect. His hands flexed as he waited in his chosen position just ahead of his victim, listening for her footfalls.

She tried not to think of the violent and bloody attacks that had happened in the neighbourhood - one a few weeks earlier and another just the previous night. She managed to keep a poker-face as her colleagues delighted in telling her the gory details - exaggerated no doubt, she hoped.  
When she told them that she was parked in the same secluded car park as the two victims had been, their humour had turned to concern. Her dismissals of offers to drive her to her car or to accompany her were accepted with reluctance. She thought that acceptance of escort would be seen as weakness. She was probably right.
Reports in the local paper after the first incident had described a woman being attacked and brutalised. One had described the attacked woman as being mauled. A hospital porter had gone to the paper and told of the victim’s hysterical and not-quite-coherent deathbed ramblings about her attacker who slashed and bit with tooth and claw. Last night’s attack was, as yet, unconfirmed by official sources but that didn’t stop gory details circulating along the rumour mills.
Her pace was no longer as brisk as it had been. She was by now, dawdling along the pathway, hesitating more and more as she approached the sharp bend in the path, stopping to look behind time and again.

He heard the sigh of relief when at last she rounded that bend and could see the rear bumper and one light and she knew her car was within reach. Her pace picked up a little and she straightened up, regaining her self-assured stance of before.

She was just two metres from the exit of the alley and no more than four metres from her car. Her keys were already in her hand - as they had been since The Swan. Her guard dropped for a split-second as she made sure it was the right key for the lock. 
A split-second was all that was needed to pick off a victim.

He landed in front of her, from the top of the wall. 
She was surprised into an exclamation of “Shit!” and she staggered back a few steps to lean against the high sandstone wall. 
His grin was full of cruel humour but she tried to return the smile with one of her own. What looked like an attempt at a confident smile did not seem to make her feel any better.
He knew adrenalin would have begun to course through her veins, she looked to have it under control for now, but who knew how long she would manage that? At the very next shock, her whole system would be flooded with it and that would convert her brain into a useless lump of offal. Powerless to think clearly, it would in turn, make her limbs incapable of response – this is the result of the ‘fright’ instinct. Or, she could start punching and kicking and screaming like a banshee – the instinct to ‘fight’. The last alternative would be the ‘flight’ instinct, but she had nowhere to run, he blocked her path to the safety of her car. 
He had been the cause and seen the effects of all possibilities and used them many times as tools of his trade. 
He studied her for a moment, then he lifted his chin and sniffed, catching her scent – she smelled clean but wore no perfume - a bonus - he preferred that. He half closed his eyes and savoured her scent.

The alley was not very broad, just wide enough to pass another adult in, and he seemed to make the spaces on either side of him appear too small to allow her to get past him.
He spoke first as though this situation was normal: "Hello" he said with a smile, very aware of how attractive he was. “You’re quite fit, aren’t you?”
"What?" She stammered, perplexed at his opening statement. She was still leaning against the wall as though her legs were having difficulty in supporting her. Then, seeming to realise that she already looked like a victim, she pushed herself upright. 
She brushed aside his attempt at conversation and said "Excuse me please; I need to go to my car." She raised her hand in indication to the direction she wanted to go.
"Sure" he replied, his smile not wavering as he moved closer to one wall, he knew that the broad smile he flashed, his silk shirt which clung to his muscled torso in all the right places, combined with his slightly exotic features helped to distract females in this situation, it was just one more tool for him to use as he indulged in his favourite nocturnal activity.
There was still not enough room in which to pass without invading what she considered 'his space' and she did not move. 
He tipped his head in the direction of the exit, as if to indicate that she was keeping him from his journey. 
She appeared wary, but took the hint and started to go forward, not wishing to appear foolish by being scared of this amenable and striking man.
She tensed as she passed him because she knew that he would grab her, yet when he did she was rendered rigid. 
With her tucked under his arm like a bundle of laundry - he was deceptively strong, even taking his height into account – he carried her back down the alley with little effort. 

He didn't need to cover her mouth; the woman was in shock already and could not even make a murmur, let alone scream. Not like that one bitch last month, she screamed the place down! Still, screaming didn't do her any good, and this one's silence won't save her either.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Hub Pages...

So, I started a Hub thingie - all well and good... it gets me out there and noticed.

Thing is... I have to make absolutely certain that I don't duplicate my work anywhere else on the net. Not usually a problem unless I'm sharing a piece of my books Deadlier... Than The Male or Cruel... and Unusual with my followers on Goodreads, Facebook or this Blog. Then I get Duplicate at the side of my Hub titles. I may be the only one that sees this, but I'm not sure I like it. It's MY writing, MY work and if I want to put it on my Facebook Notes, my Goodreads Profile and my Blog as well as my Hub then I should be able to. I understand that Hub want original work out there, but my work IS original. It's also MINE!

Book Review Ozzy Osbourne

What an amazing book! I may as well tell you right from the off that I give the book one of the best ratings I could. I laughed in all the right places (and some of the wrong ones). I was amazed, amused and astounded at some (all) of the antics that Ozzy has gotten up to in his (relatively) short life. All I can say is that if my son came home with tales of similar antics to what Ozzy has done, I'd have marched him off to the police station myself!
What an amazing life story this man has. He has swung like a pendulum between Good Fortune and Terrible Luck. He has made many friends along the way and lost a fair few too. He has almost lost his life on a number of occasions and he has lost his liberty (jail).
He has made massive amounts of money and blown it! He's been a Factory worker, Cow Killer, burglar, Rock Star, Rock God, Husband, Father and Grandfather. He has dabbled in drugs, alcohol, has contracted STDs and has survived a direct hit by a plane. He says himself "People ask me how come I'm still alive, and I don't know what to say."
On the back of his book, it says:
My father always said I would do something big one day.
"I've got a feeling about you, John Michael Osbourne," he'd tell me, after he'd had a few beers. "You're either going to do something very special, or you're going to go to prison."
And he was right, my old man.
I was in prison before my eighteenth birthday.
And from there, it gets better.
I don't like writing synopses - I didn't like writing them for my own books Deadlier... Than The Male and Cruel... and Unusual - so I will not re-write a book that I review so that the reader doesn't have to bother reading the book that I've reviewed. I read I AM OZZY and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It portrays Ozzy as a man that seemed to have nothing going for him and no prospects other than Jail or death who made it despite the odds stacked against him. It also shows that fame is fickle and people are untrustworthy sometimes but it always shows Ozzy as a real, flawed, human being. He doesn't appear to be someone with a Rock-God image of himself, he'd be the kind of person you'd meet in a pub, have a chat with for a while and think "He was a bit weird, but an ok guy." I share the same day for my birthday as Ozzy does and I've always liked his music so it was only natural that I should read his book and I am glad that I did. I can't wait for the film... they've already done the TV series of his life... I don't think Ozzy would be up for playing himself in a film... I think, from what he writes as his experience of TV, that he's had enough.
Buy the book, read it, it's great!

Friday, 18 March 2011

Mindscape Magazine

Mindscape Magazine

Mindscape Magazine Out June 2011

This week has been hectic to say the very least. My novel Cruel... and Unusual has been submitted to the Printers and it will be out and available at the beginning of April - exactly on schedule (which is an achievement for me).
The second exciting thing is that I have been asked to write for Mindscape Magazine - a brand new phenomena which is set to hit the Magazine stands of the World in June 2011. I cannot believe just how lucky I am. Yes it's going to be a busy year but OH BOY! Is it going to be FUN!
The by-line I like is "Always on the lookout for the unusual!" The Magazine Editor's ethos is also new and fresh: "Mindscape Magazine is an eclectic mix of sub-culture and underground thoughts, ideas, discoveries, mysteries, musicians, films, books, gadgets and anything else that rocks the boat."
Everything from Agnostic to Zion and Abominable Snowman to Zeus Lycaeus will be covered in the magazine and the very best part? The Magazine Editor is looking for people that will be able to give their own input.
The Scream Queen Editor of the new magazine, Mindscape (, is looking for you. We're gonna run a monthly competition of girls who wanna be Mindscape's Scream Queen of the Month...
Have you got an interesting tattoo? Does it have symbolic meaning to you? Is it based on an ancient design? I want to run a feature on why and what we tattoo on ourselves in the July issue of so get in touch via
They are looking for articles, features, book, music and film reviews, strange and unusual pics. If you've done a film, doc, album, book, go to the website and contact the specific editor! Opportunity here

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Cruel... And Unusual Update

The release of Cruel... is looming. The cover has been done and approved and things are starting to become exciting again!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Paranormal Haunting, The Curse Of The Blue Moon Inn

Back on set again for another Phil Gardiner Movie and though the drive was an hour long, I think it will be worth the travel time.

Again, I'm not certain what the movie will be about but I am certain that the Cast and Crew that have gathered together for the movie will put in 100% for the Director Phil Gardiner.

First then, for the oddities - happenings, feelings, occurrences and Accidents!

On the very first scene, first 'Take', Suzy Deakin was badly concussed and cut her head open in a freak accident.
Suzy fell backwards during shooting - it was a tense scene from the outset but when Suzy fell, the tension escalated. The cameras were rolling - two different cameras, controlled by two different people - and nothing was recorded of the accident, it was as though the cameras had not been set rolling, yet the "Rolling" check had been performed.
Filming had to be delayed whilst Suzy recovered. She wanted to continue but it was obvious to both the Director and Producer that she should not attempt to.

Thankfully, after a dizzy spell and blurred vision, Suzy had a good night's sleep and was recovered enough to continue the next day. She said she had a very tender lump on the back of her head and a small cut but things could have been a lot worse!

There have been explosive occurrences off-set as light bulbs blow out in spectacular fashion. According to the Landlady, if there is activity in the lower bar - named JD Bar - then bulbs blow with unnerving frequency. JD Bar is where the Cast and Crew go to chill-out between their scenes. It seems that their presence is enough to upset the other 'residents' and more than one of the crew have felt uncomfortable down there.

There are also frequent 'Cold Spots' reported in different areas of the Pub that's being used for filming.
Just in front of the large bay window in the main room where most of the filming is to take place, a cold area has been witnessed by visitors and crew (myself included) and even though there is a large radiator throwing out heat, the area is cold sometimes but freezing another. The cold could be dismissed as draughts from the old fittings but the cold areas are not always in the same place - differences in wind direction, or something else entirely?

Kerrie's room is 'abruptly cold' as you move from the hall into her room. The cold is almost like a tangible presence even when the room heater is left on.

Amy gets 'bad feelings' in the Function Room, where she is always cold. She does not like the cellar beneath JD Bar due to a previous experience. She describes the cellar as 'Spine-tinglingly eerie'.

Danielle freaked Elle on their first evening as she seemed to develop Succubus Tendencies. In the bedroom that they share with Suzy, Elle was woken by Danielle reaching through the darkness towards her.
Danielle also remembers waking up and wondering why her own arm was reaching over to her colleague...

Suzy tells me that she looked down into the cellar beneath JD Bar and swears that she saw a shadow - no shadow should have been cast down there because the only light source was clearly visible to Suzy but the shadow was cast towards the opening, as though it was lit from inside the cellar itself behind the only light bulb.

Batteries drain unusually fast on occasions and during the filming of one supernatural scene, the smoke machine switched itself on when no-one was near it.

As filming ended, I had a few more tales to tell, such as the one of Tolkein's writing room (yes, that Tolkein). When he wrote of The Green Dragon Inn he told of the place where he did his writing... the same place where filming of Paranormal Haunting is happening.

The father of the Pub's Landlord has done extensive research and has found that the building is many centuries old. There are a number of Ghost Experience groups wanting to investigate and there was also a buzz of excitement as someone from Sky TV was supposed to be contacting them to come and take a look around.

I wish them all the best, I'm not sure that I'd like to live in such an active place after hours... I prefer Spirits that are served in a glass thanks.

For the full credits please visit my Hub:


Production Companies


Andrew Gough

Suzy Deakin

Amy Hall

Kerrie Denning

Melanie Denholme

Elle Wood

Mark Churchill

Robert Feather


Christine Moloney

Steve Mitchell




Other Films

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Cruel... And Unusual - release date

We're looking at the 1st or 2nd of April for the release date of my second novel (I may make it the 3rd for my daughter's birthday).

Here's an excerpt from Cruel... I think it captures the dismal conditions the people of Whitechapel lived in. I enjoyed doing research on this particular subject, even though sometimes it was truly horrific reading autopsies on the women that Jack The Ripper slaughtered.

The year was 1888. Summer was just beginning to go into decline to autumn in the English countryside – not that many could tell in this particular corner of England. Here the weather was usually cloaked with smog and the only way to differentiate between summer and winter was by how you shivered, or didn’t. As is the English quirk, the weather was of the utmost importance – even through the stinking, cloying pollution.

On most evenings, visibility was but a few yards in some places. The smell was much, much worse. Coal soot hung in the air, mixing with the dampness in this particularly wet summer. The product of the soot and damp made for a clinging, cloying smog hanging like a pall over the streets and alleys that made up this chosen city of residence.

The additional stench helped to make this part of the city a miserable place to exist for the majority. Sewage and rotting slaughter waste were regular aromas. Little wonder at the population of rats, they thrived. The air just a few feet above their level was almost too thick to breathe.

Fog enveloped shapes and absorbed the little illumination given off by the gas street lamps. Figures loomed into view suddenly or were just as swift to disappear. To be certain of recognition, a person would have to be almost on top of another – unless there was another means of identifying them.

Monday, 31 January 2011

Cruel... and Unusual

Well I'm finally seeing that light... you know the one I mean - somewhere far off down the dark tunnel... it's either 'the light at the end' or its an express train heading your way!
Although I suppose it could also be a 'Knocker' - a little goblin that inhabits mine workings and performs small acts of mischief.

Cruel has been quite a difficult novel for me to write. The storyline itself was easy but the devil is in the detail so they say. I have had to work the story around lots of hard facts and whilst the research on this has been fascinating, getting the facts and the fiction to adhere to each other has been an experience - one that I am likely to repeat because I'm actually loving this story.

I will not go into the detail too much, save to say that it is based in Victorian England where a small society of Werewolves interacts with humans seamlessly. Then comes the threat to the society in the form of... no, I won't go that far...

Suffice it to say there's a threat in the shape of human Police and human vigilantes drafted in to a small area and if they look too close, they may find exactly what they are not expecting.
If one Werewolf is killed in the 'Age of the Autopsy' when men of science were discovering more about the human body than had yet been discovered, all would be up with their society. They would be revealed as being different to humans and then all hell would break loose and Werewolves cannot afford for that to happen.
At the moment, humans believe Werewolves to be a thing of myth and legend, a make-believe creature and the Werewolves prefer to keep it that way.

Hide in plain sight.
Do not draw the attention of Humes.
Keep ye faithful to the Hierarchy and to the Lycaeon.
Suffer not a Throwback to live.

Someone did not keep to those rules and now Hell is breaking loose.

This is the second in the Werewolf series - the début novel from D Michelle Gent can be found at:


Monday, 24 January 2011

Kaine & Lyllith

First Vampires - Kaine & Lyllith 

Kaine & Lyllith - the first Vampires and their Progeny

This is a story I started a while ago. I haven't had time to devote to taking it further but it has promise and one day I shall finish it. It's all about how Vampires came to walk the earth. Please feel free to give feedback, comments, pass judgement, dissect or discuss. Thank you.

Kaine and Lyllith
And the world of man was beset with evil. Darkness covered the land and death stalked the children of Adam and Eve.
Lyllith was intent on wholesale slaughter of her husband Adam's spawn. Kaine was opposed - perhaps a germ of humanity lingered within what had become the world’s second monster.
They disagreed and their arguments came to blows and soon they waged bloody war each upon the other.
Stalemate ensued – they were both matched in strength and violence and they realised that their dispute would come to nothing but a smouldering hatred.
They parted and it was decades before they again met.
They faced each other in unveiled animosity, with their violent intentions barely held in check.
“We must come to an accord Kaine.” Lyllith said.
Kaine didn’t reply but stood watching her.
She had expected an agreement from him but when none was forthcoming, she continued, her eyes narrowed and arms crossed.
“Either we slaughter the whole of humankind or we let them alone.”
Kaine continued to watch and just as Lyllith was becoming angry, he spoke: “I would suggest neither. I believe that we can live alongside humans...”
Lyllith was furious and interrupted. “In harmony I suppose? You are just like your father, weak and foolish!” She spat on the ground before Kaine and the earth steamed where her spittle landed.
Kaine allowed her the anger and waited a moment before continuing: “We can live alongside humans, hidden in darkness, swathed in bloody violence and mystery. We shall become the terror in their nights and the dark shadow of apprehension as their day grows old and turns to dusk.
Lyllith smiled as she realised the vast potential that idea had.
But they both had different opinions on exactly how they should live alongside humans and both thought their way would be the one that should be followed. They were treacherous and devious and they each had an idea of an army and went about in the world to corrupt humans to their Blood Lust.
Kaine discovered his Black Blood Gift first as he prowled what would become known as Europe in the centuries that followed. He had many failures in his quest and few successes.
It was in Macedonia that Kaine’s first real success was accomplished.
A warrior who’s vicious strength and tenacity in battle shone through the blood, mud and beer that his body was caked with as he staggered from a ratty brothel in the early hours of one morning.
Kaine followed him, interested enough to not immediately slay him and drain him of his life-force. The man realised that he was being followed and even though he was very drunk, he confronted Kaine with only a little wariness.
“What do you want? If you seek to rob me, you shall have poor pickings. I spent my last Drachm on a scabby whore and as much mead as I could drink. I think the Madam is still bemoaning her lot on that deal!” The man pitched forward and Kaine caught him and set him upright.
“I do not want your money.” Kaine said in a voice so quiet that the man leaned forward to hear him better. As he leaned further than he meant to, Kaine again caught hold of him but this time he twisted the man’s head and lowered his greedy lips to the man’s throat.
Kaine had not drunk his fill and was relishing the mead-laced Blood but the man surprised him by thrusting Kaine from him and rounding on him in an attack of fists, feet and forehead. He butted Kaine in the face and Kaine staggered backwards.
Kaine regained his balance and came forward to attack and slay the man but something stopped him. The man was not afraid. As he wiped a filthy hand across his neck where Kaine had opened up a vein, he looked at his blood smeared palm and said: “I am known as Neoptolemos. I am the son of Achilles and I will leave this world fighting, not being drained of my Blood to die whimpering in an alley! If you wish my death on your hands, I shall make you earn every drop spilled! I will not give it to you in compliance. If you want my Blood, you will take it from me in battle and I shall make you earn it!”
“If you wish it, then you shall have it!” Kaine answered and flew at his intended victim, full of rage and Blood Lust. The battle was not a long one. Neoptolemos was very near to death in moments but still he was defiant. Kaine held Neoptolemos’s head up, one hand under his chin, the other supporting the back of his neck. He was ready to make the kill but a spark of that defiance was still present in his victim’s eyes. Battered and almost bled dry, muscles shuddering and eyes drooping almost closed then snapping open as he fought off death itself, Kaine had a change of heart – black and hard and cold as it was.
“Will you fight so hard in any circumstance?” He asked.
“Then you shall not die.” Kaine took Neoptolemos’s dagger from his hand and pierced his own neck. “Drink deeply or die.”
Neoptolemos drank and Kaine staggered under the determination that pulled his own blood from his veins. Bright lights flashed in Kaine’s vision and he heard the throb of his heart which soon became the sound of two hearts seeming to fight one another for ascendancy. Kaine had to force himself away from the euphoria that was rapidly taking him down into blackness.
“That is enough.” Kaine gasped as he slipped and almost fell away from Neoptolemos.
“It is enough for now perhaps,” was the replying gasp.
When both had recovered a little, they helped each other up and staggered away as though they were drunk. Into the darkness that surrounds them yet.
Kaine had made the first of his Progeny.
Lyllith also threw her shadow across Europe and she was watching when Kaine took his first protégé – the first of few that would survive.
Lyllith saw Kaine’s Progeny and was worried. She had not yet been able to allow any of her victims to survive and this was obviously the key to that puzzle. She left Macedonia and went north.
In Romania she happened upon a family living in seclusion in the woodlands surrounding the mountains and they were slaughtered.
It was not until Lyllith had ended the life of the very last member of the family that she realised through the Blood-Haze that she had a purpose and she wept in anger and frustration at another lost opportunity.
In desperation she picked up each body in turn to see if there was a spark of life left. In what she assumed was the elder son, there was indeed such a spark and she grasped at it and forced her Blood between his lips, hoping that it would be enough to revive him.
He lingered between life and death for hours and she was almost ready to give up and kill him when he reached out to her. She embraced him and again gave her Blood to him – in doing so she realised her mistake. The boy altered as she watched and became something that she was not sure she could be proud of.
It took more than a few decades for her to become accustomed to his features but when she realised that she had created such a ruthless, cruel and utterly humourless creature, she was proud beyond measure.
Sorin was instructed to go as he pleased, to develop his true nature as he saw fit. He went into the forest and he killed and slaughtered and he learned from Lyllith and he was touched by an insanity that would have destroyed any human.
But Lyllith was not happy in her surroundings and wanted to wander a different continent – she went south. She finally came to a land of sultry heat and bloody war and she felt that she had come home.
Her path crossed that of a young and beautiful man, his name was Xerxes. He was enamoured of her and endeavoured to bring her gifts and to spoil her and she enjoyed him. As the years passed and he realised that she could never age, he wondered how it could be and why she would not tell him. He grew resentful in his vanity and demanded that she divulge her secret and in a fit of impassioned fury, she showed him – and then she left him to grow on his own.
Kaine was also enjoying more human frivolities. He and his first Progeny were much alike in their Bloodthirst and eagerness for battle. They fought alongside each other – and sometimes against each other - in every skirmish they could find as they crossed European soil.
It was in one such battle, on the shores of the Black Sea that he came across another opponent who he deemed to be worthy of Black Blood. Sibling rivalry was apparent almost as soon as Kaine had pointed out the next recipient of his Gift and he had to fight his first Progeny to protect his proposed Progeny’s life before it could be snuffed out in anger.
Dragomir survived not only the battle that his tribe had lost but also the onslaught from Kaine’s first and favoured Progeny. Kaine’s Black Blood seared through his veins and his ‘brother’ hated him.
Lyllith returned to the place where she had last seen her first Progeny and she searched for him.
Sorin had not wandered far and he was in very real danger of becoming too wild even for Lyllith to rein back in. He took prey from villages and hamlets in a wide circle surrounding the forest where he lived and he was stealthy and cautious enough so that he would never be caught.
Sorin supplemented his food source by feeding upon animals, but again, never too frequently so as the wildlife became scarce or deserted his killing grounds. Through his insanity he had developed a connection with various beasts. Bears, boars and wolves all knew to keep away when he went out hunting but also knew that the pickings would be rich when he had had his fill.
Infrequently a wolf would partake of his leavings and then would begin to show characteristics of a similar nature to Sorin – not quite human – and Sorin knew by instinct to slaughter that wolf.
In the recesses of his brain Sorin knew what was happening and why the wolf was the only creature to succumb to the same characteristics and he remembered this.
When Lyllith returned – as Sorin knew she would – she found him close to where she had left him those many years ago. She was taken aback at his appearance. He was clean and clothed elegantly and did not appear to be too animalistic. He had sensed her arrival and had known that he must be prepared for when she did return.
He also sensed that she had company.
Xerxes had trailed Lyllith and had a far different reaction when he saw Sorin. He was shocked and aghast at the creature’s appearance. Fine and elegant clothes did nothing to disguise the Bloodlust in his eyes. Sorin’s teeth were far longer and more lethal than were those of Lyllith or Xerxes and Xerxes was still vain of his appearance. He questioned Lyllith on the matter of his birthright and could not believe that they had the same Sire.
He became angry with Lyllith as he used to when he was human. Sorin watched with cool detachment for a while. When Xerxes looked about to become physically violent with Lyllith, Sorin flew to her defence and would have slain his brother if Lyllith had not reached out her arm and clasped Sorin’s throat in her powerful hand as he leaped.
Sorin dangled from her arm, limp and docile as a kitten in its mother’s jaws and she allowed him to drop without looking at him.
And so was born hatred between Lyllith’s Progeny too.
Forced into an alliance, Lyllith’s bitter Progeny followed her to find Kaine in the hope that his success had been more limited than hers.
Kaine was having the same problems with sibling rivalry as Lyllith. Neo and Dragomir were at each other’s throats at every opportunity.
After the fight which ended in the first death of Neoptolemos, Kaine instructed Dragomir to revive his brother with his own Blood. It was a happy accident on Kaine’s part. The Black Blood of Dragomir coursing through the veins of Neoptolemos was agonising for both and they decided that the pain and humiliation was not worth the satisfaction of being the victor in a fight.
Though the full benefits of a mutual Black Blood transfusion was not to be discovered for centuries, they realised that receiving Black Blood was beneficial in that they were as immortal as they could hope to be.
When they again met, Lyllith and Kaine found that their opponent’s Progeny were not numerous as they had feared but still more than they had hoped and they were again evenly matched. Kaine ordered Neo and Dragomir to slaughter Lyllith’s Progeny and Lyllith sent her own into the fray. None were killed but all were lying at death’s door before they were finished.
Once again they went into negotiation.
“We cannot go on like this! My Progeny cannot best yours and yours cannot best mine. There has to be an accord or truce or something.” Kaine said.
“I knew you would weaken!” Lyllith sneered.
Kaine did not speak as he lunged for Lyllith. They battled long and hard but as before, both were as powerful as the other.
Eventually they lay close to each other, their Progeny still strewn about them. All were close to death and daybreak was closing on them. Their choice was to help each other to drag their Progeny out of the destructive rays of the sun's light or save themselves and start again.
They worked together and dragged each Progeny into a nearby cave and when they were all out of the reach of the sunlight, they slept and healed.
They do not know how long they slept for, it could have been just that one day or it could have been months or years. Lyllith and Kaine awoke first, the day was dying and shadows were lengthening. Lyllith finally went to the mouth of the cave to see how long it would be before they could escape its confines. Kaine had other priorities. He revived Neo and Dragomir with some of his Black Blood and as Lyllith could do nothing more than watch, they took their leave, feeding on a few straggling mountain goats as they went far into the countryside.
It would appear that Kaine and Lyllith had taken too long to create Progeny and their Blood was, by now, far too strong for any mortal to survive when they received it. The four that had survived were either exceptional or lucky - or both.
Abraxas was just insane.
Abraxas was a sneak-thief; he survived on his wits and cunning. He also had an uncanny sense for the supernatural and he saw Lyllith, Sorin and Xerxes hunting. He watched them and followed them. He found the place where they spent their daytime and eventually he plucked up courage to enter their lair.
All were laid out as though they were dead. Abraxas was not known for his bravery but on this day he was determined. He took with him a dagger and a small earthenware pot. He cut Lyllith just below her ear and caught the blood that oozed from the wound. The pot was not full when the wound healed and the flow ceased. He covered the pot and took it away.
That night, Abraxas did a very stupid thing. He drank the Black Blood of Lyllith.
He spent the whole night in paroxysms of sheer agony.
He felt every thrum of his heart and with each thump; it felt as though his head would burst open. His eyeballs were throbbing in time with his heartbeat and though it slowed down, it did not decrease in intensity. His veins were on fire and he could trace their progress through his body. When at last his guts cramped up, he thought his end had come and he prayed for it.
As dawn broke he fell asleep. He did not wake again until dusk and he was fearful in case the agonies of the previous night reappeared.
He should have been fearful of something far worse.
Lyllith felt her Blood call to her. She had seen the stain on her gown the previous night as she awoke and wondered. Now she knew what had happened. She followed the call.
She arrived at Abraxas's hovel just as he was preparing to go out thieving and she caught him by his arm.
"You have something of mine," she whispered.
In the dark, Abraxas couldn't see her properly and assumed that he had been caught for one of his thefts. He tried to break free and run. Lyllith's grip tightened, she was almost breaking his arm.
"I repeat. You have something of mine. I want it back."
"Yes. You shall have it back, please stop hurting me."
Lyllith bent to his neck and drank deeply. She was going to leave him for dead when she realised that if this one already had some of her Blood, then perhaps he also had some of her strength and could survive her bite and receive her Blood. She used his own knife to open her neck and pressed his mouth to the wound.
He would not drink.
"No, I don't want to... it hurts so much."
"This time will not hurt as it did before, little one. Drink or die."
Abraxas drank.
Then he found that she had lied.
It hurt worse than it had before - far worse.
He screamed as her Blood coursed through his veins and consumed his blood. He felt his heart flutter as it struggled to pump her Blood through his protesting veins and Lyllith clamped her hand over his mouth and smiled as she watched his agony.
No-one came to his aid. No-one listened to his screams. No-one cared if one thief was slaughtered - but he did not die. Lyllith saw that he was living and scooped his body up and carried him to where she had sheltered. She dumped his still-agonised body in a corner and her and her Progeny left him to fend for himself.
He fended for himself very well over the next few years. He learned how to hunt and kill and he could not shake his thieving ways, so he also stole from his victims. He did not forget the lesson that Lyllith had taught him, though - cruelty always.
His sense for the supernatural did not diminish however and one night, he felt a familiar sensation and he thought that Lyllith had returned. He was wary as he tracked the sensation and was surprised when he saw the source of it. Kaine was feeding alone. He had the same look about him that Lyllith had and he knew they were the same.
He had decided to avoid Kaine when he had an insane idea.
Abraxas went to the slums and found the boy that knew him of old. He took him to one side and showed him a purse of gold. Then he described what he wanted the boy to do and though the boy was frightened, he was brave and his family were hungry.
He went to Kaine's resting place and he stole a pot full of Kaine's Blood. He had to cut him twice to fill the pot. Then he returned it to Abraxas that evening and received his reward, the purse of gold and his death - a bite from Abraxas.
Abraxas again drank the Black Blood and prepared himself for the agony that would come.
It was exquisite! The pain of the Blood coursing through his veins was indescribable. The ecstasy was unbearable and he was left at daybreak, weakened and sated.
At the close of the day, he awoke with a strange yearning. He wanted more of Kaine's Black Blood and unthinking, he made haste to where Kaine slept. Kaine was still sleeping when Abraxas got there and caution thrown to the winds, he approached and bent his head to Kaine's throat.
He realised his great error when he heard Kaine's breathing alter.
"You dare steal from me, upstart?" Kaine was up from his rest in less than a second and had blocked Abraxas's exit.
"No... it is not like that, Master." Abraxas stammered.
Kaine waited. He glared at the man that had dared try to feed from him and waited for his nerve to break.
Abraxas knew that his destruction was close at hand and he had nothing to bargain with. For once in his long and undistinguished career, he tried the truth. "Master, I stole your Blood last night and I wanted more. It is addictive, I cannot help myself. I need your Blood."
"And what will you give in return for a taste of my precious Blood?"
"What would you wish for?" Abraxas asked a little too eager.
"A body part - one of yours." Kaine replied without hesitation.
"Mine? Which body part?"
"It will be nothing major, the smallest finger from your left hand."
"And in exchange, I can taste your Black Blood again?"
"Then I agree."
"I must take the finger. Hold out your hand."
Abraxas held out his left hand and Kaine sliced off the finger. He held it in the palm of his hand and studied it. The finger lay curled for a moment but then straightened and rolled over with the fingernail uppermost. Kaine tilted his hand and the finger began to fall from the palm. As it moved, it turned to blood and ran off of Kaine's hand as he watched. At the very same time, Abraxas cried out in pain. The wound had not begun to heal and blood was still flowing freely from the knuckle where the finger had been separated from his hand.
"Take my Blood thief! Take it and suffer the same consequence as your finger. Take one drop more of my precious Blood and you will perish as your finger has. Know this also: Your hand will bleed forever from this day. It will never heal and you will never be free from the pain whilever it is night. At Daybreak your pain shall leave you, your blood will cease to flow from the wound and you may rest but once the sun sets again, you will begin to bleed out.
"You must feed constantly to replenish your escaping Blood so that you do not die. Take that as punishment for stealing from me. Now go, if I ever see you again, I will end your existence."
Kaine stepped to one side to allow Abraxas to flee.
The laughter and cat-calls rang in his ears long after they were no longer audible.
As Kaine promised, his hand bled through the night and he began to feel weak from losing so much Blood. His only hope was to feed to replenish it. Pain and hunger his constant companions, Abraxas wandered through the centuries looking for a way to exact his revenge upon Kaine and his progeny