Friday, 10 July 2020

Cleopatra's Ghost

It has been quite a while between posts, and I must apologise for that, but as I'm sure you're all aware, I've been busy with the launch of The Black Beacon Book of Mystery. This is our début anthology and it includes the second Oscar Tremont novella, "The Ghosts of Walhalla". After solving the mystery of the Stayne fortune, Oscar and Louise head to Victoria for a well-deserved holiday. They go camping in a ghost town called, Walhalla, but when Oscar's sleep is disturbed by a vehicle in the middle of the night, soon followed by a ghostly crying coming from the surrounding woodlands, he knows mischief is afoot! You'll find full details on the website, or you can buy a copy directly through Amazon.

In other news, my short suspense story, "Cleopatra's Mystery Box", was published by ID Press in their anthology, Nefariam: The Element of Crime. The book is separated into sections based on different motives. My story is one of revenge.

Remember to join me on Facebook and Goodreads. All the best! 

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Mystery Writer Interviews

The Disappearance of Jeremy Meredith


‘The Disappearance of Jeremy Meredith’ started with a setting and an atmosphere in mind. The characters and plot elements were then created to fit. I wanted a story in which an unexpected visitor arrives at Oscar's house in the middle of a storm, involving a disappearance, a touch of romantic tension, and with the solution to it all hidden in a clifftop manor on the Breton coast. The idea of an overheard conversation with a verbal clue that later linked to a physical key required a lot more thought and fine-tuning. It had to be just right because this element is the means of making sure the reader is actively involved in the investigation and faces the same challenge as Oscar.

This was my answer to the question asked of every contributor to Flame Tree Publishing's anthology, Detective Thrillers: "What was the inspiration behind your story?" 

You can read the full interview here.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

The Shortcut

"The Shortcut" is one of the rare supernatural horror stories I've written in recent years. As always with my horror tales, atmosphere and suspense are key, but I think that only makes the reader jump all the higher when the weirdness bites.

This story follows a young woman home from a wild party. Would you have taken the long road through the industrial estate or chosen the shortcut?

Buy your copy on Amazon or visit Stormy Island Publishing

Thursday, 18 July 2019

It Starts With Insects

My short story of psychological suspense, It starts With Insects, has been published in Dig Two Graves, Volume Two from (Death's Head Press). It's an anthology devoted to revenge in all of it's nastiest forms. From a house that isn't quite what it seems to a man and his "love muscle". Twenty-two authors take you on a vengeful ride straight to man's darkest desire.....the desire to get even. Mercy is unheard of, and tolerance is left in the dust. This book will please the darkest of hearts, and ignite feelings once left unexplored.

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Cairns and Castles

What do mystery writers do when they have free time and feel like going for a drive? They visit mysterious sites like neolithic cairns and mediaeval castles, naturally. There are dozens of stone-age remains and probably several dozen castles within an easy two-hour drive from where I live, so allow me to share a couple with you.

The Larcuste Cairns are hidden in the middle of farmland near Colpo in Brittany. They appear to be on private property, since you walk through cultivated fields to reach them, but are open to the public. I don't want to cause a stampede to this quiet village, but if you're of a considerate nature and keen on prehistory, a trip to the cairns is an interesting experience.

The Fortress of Largoet boasts one of the tallest keeps in the world at forty-five metres. It's an impressive hexagonal tower, now ruled by pigeons who bombard unsuspecting visitors with biological weapons as they step into the hollow stone shell that was once an abode of considerable standing. The castle was an important part of Brittany's defenses against France, and the future Henry VII of England, who would later found the Tudor dynasty, was imprisoned here for his own protection as a boy. As a result, he avoided assassination and is said to be the last monarch of any kingdom to speak Breton.

Inspiration for tales of mystery and suspense? You better believe it!


Friday, 2 November 2018

The Devil's Windmill

The Windmill Pact, my retelling of a Breton legend, is now available in Thuggish Itch: Devilish, accompanied by an unholy host of diabolic tales. You can find it on Amazon or on the Gypsum Sound Tales website.

More about Thuggish Itch: Devilish from the editor:

Devils, demons and the idea of Hell have always featured prominently in the horror stories that I found myself reading as a teenager or the films I still delve into on a rainy day. I’ve always found it quite amazing how differently the leading man, Satan, is portrayed depending on the creativity and beliefs of the creator. Thuggish Itch’s Devilish collection features, in no particular order, thirteen of our favourite tales, each of which provides a different take on the mythology, the red man himself and all of his minions.

Where is the Devil's Windmill?

The Devil's Windmill stands just outside the town of Guérande, which I refer to by its Breton name, Gwenrann, in my story. How much of the legend is true is up to you to decide. If you go there, chances are you won't meet the devil. The area is actually picturesque and the windmill is now part of a crêperie, so the only thing devilish ought to be the food and cider. 
Kalon Digor! Bon appétit!

Friday, 24 August 2018

A Day in Clisson

Living in France means there are plenty of charming historic towns to explore. As a writer of mystery and suspense, these towns often have what it takes to inspire a ripper of a tale. Clisson is one that I'd been intending to visit for quite some time, and it was as interesting as I'd hoped. There's the River  Sèvre which weaves its way through a lush, forested valley, and there's Italianate architecture thanks to François-Frédéric Lemot. There are a number of Italian restaurants in the old town, one of them proudly displaying Il Tricolore along with the Gwenn-ha-du (Italian and Breton flags), but I ate at Le Restaurant de la Vallée (pictured below), which offered views of the castle, and I didn't regret it. The service was impeccable and the dishes excellent, a fusion of local and oriental ingredients. The castle? I hear you ask. An impressive ruin, said to be haunted by Jeanne de Clisson "The Lioness of Brittany". After her husband was summarily executed by the French king, she became a pirate, and along with her sons sailed the Channel killing the crews of any French ships they encountered. One son, Guillaume, died after they found themselves shipwrecked and adrift, the other, Olivier, was brought up in the court of the English king. He began his military career with the English, allies of the Duchy of Brittany, and earned the nickname of The Butcher, but he later changed sides, despite having sworn to avenge his father's death, and joined the French, becoming the constable. In doing so, he became an enemy of the Breton duke. Turbulent times to say the least. I promise you, Clisson is a quiet town these days... well, except during Hellfest! Will I write a story set here? I really should! Don't you agree?