Theft of Lies
Full-length novel. Estimated word count: 130,000
Arlen has a home, a family, a life that he feels is on loan to him, a pretence - parents that are not his, substituted after the death of his own. His surrogate grandmother, Lorna, holds for him a bond greater than any he had known. The fate of his parents finds her: she dies, leaving a departing gift: a sock - weaved with golden thread. He discovers that its threads are strands of hair - sprouted from the scalp of the cursed. They hold a power that has torn a fissure in our world, granting access to another.
He learns of a climber who had been transported from the other side by the temporal storms that once ravaged that world. With the help of this climber and his friend the professor, he finds himself on the other side, in a place controlled by false loyalties and fear, by a tyrannical king and a marshal who is set to overthrow him. Arlen learns of Lorna's origins and becomes entangled in a struggle for dominion between royalist factions and treacherous lords, where lives are lost to spears and daggers, to dark magic and fallen Gods. He becomes tied to the power that has brought him to this wondrous place, a coveted power that throws him in a danger that uncovers secrets and deception that he is at the heart of.
The power can save or destroy, and Arlen learns that it is the purpose to which it is put that defines its nature. Arlen must protect not only the power but its source - a woman who joins him in his struggle to defeat the king and in doing so must face a reality behind the facade of his existence.
Theft of Lies:
Full-length novel. Estimated word count: 140,000
From the death of tyranny, comes hope - from devastation, the promise of restoration and growth. Arlen is building his life in Senoj, living among friends who were once enemies and a family he was once ignorant of. But peace comes at a cost: lives lost and the soul of the realm's Marshal ousted from the body to which it never truly belonged. Amid the remnants of the fallen dissidents, rises a new enemy, a lord, part man, part-serpent, possessing the strength of one and the intellect of the other...born of battle and wizardry. Enlisting the help of Berin the talking gorilla and his kind, and a fairy named Thistle, Arlen sets out to destroy this treacherous lord.
This enemy brings Arlen face to face with an old friend that he must try to save. But there is another power, rising and insidious, taking hold of consciousness and forcing false lives through the dreams of those on which it has imposed a fatal sleep - a sleep perpetuated by dreams where the dead come to life and the forgotten is recalled and then lamented. Others are succumbing, collapsing...inert and helpless - ready for an impending massacre. Arlen must first find a way to return Lorring's soul, to bring him back into the realm that is once again facing ruination.
Through the facade of an illusory existence, Arlen realises that he and the Marshall must place their trust in the fallen lord to defeat a greater threat: a darkness that leads them to an island of lost souls and ensuing madness. They must put an end to the darkness before it engulfs everything.
Theft of Lies:
The Faithless Void
Full-length novel. Estimated word count: 130,000
Arlen has never seen a headless body...especially one that walks and functions as well without it as it does with it. The execution of the man who had stolen the wizards' power fails, a beheading that reveals only a glimmer of Gabriel's power. But, it is a power bestowed by another, a witch who helps him change time to save his mother. But there is a price to pay: eternal beauty for the witch and control over Gabriel both in the past and the present. Arlen loses everything he has, a loss destined according to the pattern of this time but one which should not be.
He sets out to prove this falsity and becomes embroiled in a hunt for the source of her power, for a way to return his life to its intended path. Gabriel's head has found a body in a species that perpetuates its survival by using the parts others. The head gains control of its new host and vows to destroy Arlen, finding allies in its own body and the witch. Arlen, along with the Marshall and wizards, seek the help of fairies and venture in their woods of broken spirits where the past, present and future are one. Their efforts lead to discoveries that force Arlen and the Marshall to question everything they know.
Short story. word count: 53,300
Following the murder of his wife, Carl struggles for closure. With the police no closer to finding her killer, Carl knows that he needs to move on for the sake of his only daughter.
Her approach was akin to the unwrapping of a gift, the contents of the darkness emerging to reveal more, to stir the imagination to a frenzy.
But after finding a seemingly innocent-looking box at a car-boot sale, Carl soon finds himself faced with beautiful women who fight for his acceptance and love, their affections leading to a dangerous obsession that threatens his and his daughter’s lives. As he learns more about them he realises that they are mere semblances of the female form, born of a supernatural power that is connected to him, his daughter and his past.
Even though she was the cause of his panic and fear, and June’s screams, her beauty even now managed to captivate him.
Carl must find the architect of these forms to save himself, his daughter...and much more than he thought possible.
Flat Number 9
Short story. Word count: 47,900
Devlin thought he had found the perfect flat. He could call it his own, a mark of independence from his overbearing mother and controlling father. It was the middle finger to his cheating girlfriend.
Why would she leave without taken the thing that was most important to her?
Exploring the flat, Devlin finds a journal belonging to the previous tenant – Gwendolyn. The pages reveal her visions: a world of which she has no understanding but to which she is intrinsically linked. Through her entries he finds himself drawn to her. He starts to question her disappearance, attracting the attention of others who will do anything to stop him learning the truth. In his search for answers he learns of a ravaged, hate-filled history belonging to a different world. He finds the strength to dig past the lies and deception, deeper into a magic beyond these walls.
“It is what it is.” The man stepped to the wall again, and this time touched it, caressed it. “The essence of the chosen. It is the mirror in the magic box, the trapdoor on the grand stage of illusion. The blood of those…”
Can he find her before he is stopped, before she falls beyond his reach forever. Can he find the answers that will lead to the core of what awaits: a new identity and a love shrouded in destiny, displaced recollection and malice.
Short Story. Word count: 44,800
For Miles it was about money and power. For Will it was just to fit in. For Burney it was a struggle for independence. They all had their reasons for mugging and abusing the innocent.
Will notices that he’s being followed. Police? Have they finally found them, here to make them pay for what they’ve done? With the help of Burney and Miles they realise that they are being tracked and hunted by people from their past, seeking vengeance for an injustice. But as they delve deeper into their past to learn the identities of their pursuers, they soon realise that are not what they appear to be. These people, these things, know their every move; understand them better than they know themselves. The three of them are pitted against each other in a battle of mistrust and deception that escalates to violence and murder.
The answer was staring at her. It was Will – deformed and twisted, but it was somehow him.
If they are to find the source of their retribution, they must first survive each other.
Bodies in Revolt
Short story. Word count: 56,600
Divorcee Vicar Alex Jennings is making a fresh start in a new parish in the small quiet village of Trenton. He hopes his appointment will stifle those haunting visions of sacrifice and murder.
Skeletons ripped from men and women…
He soon realises that these visions drove him to this village, the city of which has now become the epicentre of a series of murders that are somehow linked to one that occurred over thirty years ago. His visions, torturing in their vagueness and teasing in their beckoning of answers, drives him to a bloodied corpse of a once-upon-a-time man. The more he tries to make sense of these visions and this gruesome discovery the more he becomes embroiled in a secret deadly pact and a police investigation that soon marks him as a principal suspect.
There are blasphemous beasts beneath this human-driven society. Things born of suffering, giving rise to a mish-mash of forms that the human mind would not dare imagine.
As he delves deeper into the cracks in the façade of this world, his faith becomes tested to its limits, his sanity pushed to breaking point. Can he solve an age-old murder and put a stop to the visions before they put him at the heart of an ancient evil that could destroy everything he knows.
What Goes Around
Short story. Word count: 12,200
Malachi works for a delivery company. He visits his languishing mother in the nursing home. And during his spare time, he likes to murder people with his weapon of choice – scissors. He buries his victims out at his special place – the barn. As they rot, so he strengthens finding power and growth in their eternal state of unrest.
He stood over the body, wanting to feel what any normal person should feel. But since the deaths of his brother and father he had never been normal.
Someone is following him, has been for days. The police? A confrontation leads to the unveiling of secrets, of a past that awakens an inner enemy that is greater than any he has faced: compunction.
Will Malachi fall victim to his own conscience, or can he bury his contrition as easily as he has his victims?
End of The Line
Short story. Word count: 9,400
Cyrus finds himself boarding a train, having no idea why or how he came to be there. His mental anguish is accompanied by physical pain and as he begins his journey he realises he’s been injured. Was he attacked? Mugged? He seeks the help of one passenger but as she attempts to comfort him, he senses that she’s keeping him from learning the truth of what happened.
He touched his fingers to his head before bringing them into view. Blood!
As he questions her and his surroundings, he realises that the passengers are not what they appear to be and that they and she are somehow connected to a past he cannot remember. The train keeps going, passing one stop after another. Malformed monsters emerge from the carriages, adding to his struggle to stop the train.
There was nothing but blackness behind the lids of his eyes and as the woman slipped from his awareness, he wondered if he was drifting into death.
Will Cyrus remember his past in time to survive his future? Will stop the train in time to change his fate?