My Books For Your Reading Pleasure

My Books For Your Reading Pleasure
Proud Indie Author

Monday, November 26, 2012

NaNoWriMo is nearly over and Christmas is on its way .....

There are still a few days left until NaNoWriMo is over for another year.  I feel good that I submitted my story early.  My 50,000 word goal was surpassed and my word count at the time of submission was 60,171.

This makes me an "official winner".  There are lots of winners in NaNoWriMo.  The fact that a writer meets the 50,000 word count goal makes that person a winner.


 
This challenge has given me a great kick-start on a new novel.  I plan to continue working on Moose Road and it is now my major writing focus for 2013
 
I was very happy with the original book cover design for Moose Road
which was a beautiful picture
taken in early spring.
 
But the more I continue to write the more I realize that the focus
needs to remain on the time of the tragic accident
which was December 20th just a few days before Christmas.
 
For this reason I spoke to artist/illustrator, Susan, who was kind enough
to make it snow on the cover of Moose Road
Below is the new book cover.
Thank you, Susan.
 
 
 

cover design by Susan Ruby K. of Yuneekpix.com
 
As we move into the Christmas season I find that
I am hesitant
to jump into the excitement and the fun of it all this year.
 
We have already held a very successful
Christmas Bazaar and Luncheon at church.
Our town's Christmas Concert is only a week away. I've written a poem
which I will present on this occasion.
Our church is being decorated today and that's the cue that tells me
that it is time to think about decorating our Christmas tree
and making our home ready for the celebration.
 
This Christmas I have much for which I am
truly grateful.
My recent novel Ellen and The Hummingtree has sold out.
I have only three copies left of The Silent Star plus a Dozen
which is my short story anthology.
 
Some copies of my first novel, Sara, a Canadian Saga
were sold this week
but I do still have about a dozen copies available.
 
 
 
My second novel, Reawakening
is already into its third print run and at this time
I do have about twenty copies of this book still available. 
 
 
Check out my newest blog, Rhymes and Times Remembered
There I have written a synopsis of all my books.
And while you are there, think about how you would enjoy
having some of your work featured on this site.
 
I also have an Author's Page on Facebook
which is growing in popularity.
 
And recently, because it matters to me
and because I want to give something back,
I have created a new blog
where each week I will feature
the writing; be it a short story, poem or novel excerpt
of a small town writer.  I'm calling this new blog 
 
Check it out .. enjoy the stories and visit the
blogs and author pages of the featured writers.
 
I want to remind you that in this fast paced world
of technology sometimes what we really need is to just sit back,
get comfortable and read what I call a "real" book;
one that is made of paper and one that can be held in the hands.
 
Paperback copies of Ellen and The Hummingtree are sold out
 
but
 
  Ellen and The Hummingtree
will be published sometime in the new year
as an E-book on Amazon.com
giving me five books in the E-book market.
 
These E-books are published on-line by Wynterblue Publishing Canada.
 
All my book cover designs are by Susan Ruby K.  of Yuneekpix.com
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Small Town Authors -- featured writer this week is Janis Cox ..

Janis Cox, author of Tadeo Turtle, from Haliburton, is the featured writer this week on my new blog, Small Town Authors.

 
Visit Small Town Authors at http://smalltownauthors.blogspot.com
 
and read the stories of
 
Janis Cox of Haliburton, Ontario;
R.D. Pittman of Aledo, Texas;
and yours truly, Audrey Austin, of Elliot Lake, Ontario.
 
Featured writer next week will be
Tracy Kauffman,
author of Lion Heart
 
If you would like to have your short story, poem, or novel excerpt
featured on "Small Town Authors"
get in touch with me by email.



I'm a "Winner" on NaNoWriMo ...


 
Today I submitted my first draft of Moose Road to NaNoWriMo.
 
My word count is 60,171
 
My count has been validated and I have been declared a
 
WINNER.
 
 

 
I'm feeling good.  I've submitted a few days earlier than was necessary
 
but now I can place my focus on
 
editing and re-writing my first draft.
 
This has been my first experience with NaNoWriMo
and it has been a good one.
 
I will plan to enter again next year.
 
I hope before this time next year I will have doubled this word count
and I will have Moose Road - a Canadian Tragedy ready for its Elliot Lake launch.
 

It's Snowing on Moose Road ...

Moose Road is a novel about a tragic accident between a school bus and a snow plow.

The accident happens just a few days before Christmas.  

For this reason Susan Ruby K. has kindly made some changes to the cover design of Moose Road so that now it's snowing.

We have gone from this:

 
To this:
 
 
Thank you, Susan Ruby K.
Check out her amazing website at Yuneekpix.com
 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Ellen and The Hummingtree ... sold out

I'm overjoyed to tell you the latest news about my latest creative effort, Ellen and The Hummingtree.

Ellen has sold out.

I want to say thank you to everyone for the great feedback, the good reviews, your encouragement and support.  It means everything to me.

Thanks to NaNoWriMo I've made a good start on my next novel which is titled Moose Road

This story is about a tragic accident between a school bus and a snow plow.  It happens just a few days before Christmas on Moose Road.  The story explores how this tragedy impacts on the seven families whose farms line the country road. Each character has his story to tell but perhaps it is Moose Road itself that comes closest to speaking the truth.

Thanks once again to Susan Ruby K. of Yuneekpix.com for the cover design.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

NaNoWriMo

58,610 is now my word count for Moose Road. I have completed the first draft and feeling good. Now begins the editing, re-writing and re-writing. :-)

Small Town Authors ...

Visit my new blog at SMALL TOWN AUTHORS.

Featured is an excerpt from Elena, The Black Widow, Beginnings written by R.D. Pittman.

My letter from Rick: 

Audrey,
I have recently completed books one and two of my newest thriller Elena, The Black Widow. It is a work of fiction around 90,000 words and centers around a character that was developed in my NEW EARTH trilogy. I will be actively seeking an agent for publisher representation of the Elena story.

I write under the pen name R.D. Pittman, I go by Rick since my first name really is Rickard, not Richard...thanks Mom and Dad, my website address http://www.rdpittman.com
 
             I wish you every sales success, Rick :-)
 
SMALL TOWN AUTHORS  is the new gathering place for published and unpublished small town authors.
 
You can support these writers by joining the site and helping to make SMALL TOWN AUTHORS a new gathering place for readers to meet the authors and celebrate their work.

 

TRANCEscapes - new work by susan ruby k. ....

 
Susan Ruby K. is the artist who
has created the book cover designs
for all my books.
And for my last book, Ellen and The Hummingtree
she also created the illustrations throughout.
 
Friday, November 30th and Saturday, December 1st
Susan will be exhibiting her
NEW WORK
in The Gallery at The Centre,
Lester B. Pearson Civic Centre,
Elliot Lake.
 
Susan will be there each day to meet and greet.
 
I plan to attend and I hope you do too.
 
You can also check out her website

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Only one copy left ..... and today's NaNo word count ..

55,036 is my word count on NaNoWriMo at the end of this day.  I have only two more chapters to write and then my first draft of Moose Road will be complete.

I've set a personal goal to have that first draft ready to submit by the end of November. 

Then the very real work of rewriting, editing, and rewriting again will begin.

I'm having fun with it and I hope to have a manuscript fully prepared before the fall of 2013.
 
I'm happy to tell you that I have only one paperback copy left of
 
Ellen and The Hummingtree
 
If you would like to put your name on this last copy please email me.
 
 
 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

"Ki" ...

=
 
Our beautiful "Ki"
has made himself right at home
in his new bed.
 
"Ki" is the newest member of my family.  He is a gentle, lovable
 
and well-behaved,  beautiful black German Shepherd.
 
He is not so keen on wearing his new sweater
 
but I believe he will be glad of it
on those chilly northern Ontario mornings.
 
 
Our "Ki" is a handsome fellow.
 
 
My boy "Ki"
 
 
 

NaNoWriMo update ...

I wrote 2506 words today bringing my Moose Road word count up to 53,196. I have two chapters to complete before I will be ready to begin my first re-write. I'm feeling good; stopping for today. I hope all participants are feeling good today too. :-)
Cover design by Susan Ruby K

Books make excellent Christmas gifts ....

Sara, a Canadian Saga is my first novel.  It is a moving story about Sara, and her family who live on Canada's Prince Edward Island until the Great Depression which took place in a decade which has been termed the dirty thirties.  Unemployment and very difficult economic times on P.E.I. made it necessary for her and her young children to follow her husband to Toronto, Ontario in search of work.  The story begins when Sara is a ten year old girl who later in her teen years meets Roy and marries him.  Life is not always kind to Sara but she is strong and it is her strength that holds her struggling family together throughout many difficult challenging experiences.



               I have a few paperback copies of Sara, a Canadian Saga available.  This book makes a good Christmas gift for everyone from children aged 13 and over to adults both male and female.

REAWAKENING is my second novel.  This book is a love story with a difference.  It is a science fiction story.  Linda and Jim meet on earth at Jim's birthday party. They fall in love and have a good marriage.  Then Jim dies of natural causes, an old man.  Several years after his death Linda dies and it is then that the two meet again in a place called Notsew.   This book allows the reader to look at life as it is lived by most in the western world.  Better than this it allows the reader to laugh at life as it is lived and as it is recounted by Linda to Jim throughout their experimental life on Notsew.


                  This book is into its third print run and I currently have about 20 paperback copies of Reawakening available for Christmas gift giving.  This book is suitable for adult readers both male and female.

The Silent Star plus a Dozen is an anthology of short stories that touch upon many social issues that we are challenged with today.  These stories were short listed and in some cases took first place in WynLit24 writing competitions.  I've had excellent feedback on this book and it will also make a great Christmas gift for your reading friends.


                   I have only three copies of this book  left which is now in its second print run.  This books is also suitable only for adult readers.


Ellen and The Hummingtree is my third and most recent novel.  Its recent
Elliot Lake book launch was successful and now I have just one copy left.  This book is suitable for gift-giving to adult readers.   Ellen and the Hummingtree  is illustrated throughout by  Susan Ruby K. of Yuneekpix.com

 
To purchase one of the above books please get in touch.
 
or message me on Facebook
 
 
BOOKS ARE PERFECT FOR CHRISTMAS
GIFT-GIVING
TO FRIENDS AND FAMILY.


Friday, November 16, 2012

I broke the 50K NaNoWriMo barrier today .....

Today I am very happy because I broke the 50K NaNoWriMo barrier.  My word count is now 51,293.

Of course I will continue writing but now I can relax, take more time, and maybe even have some time to read what I have so far written; maybe even start a little bit of editing.

I am enjoying the writing of Moose Road.  I hope readers will enjoy the story.  It is about a tragic accident that takes place five days before Christmas on Moose Road between a school bus and a snow plow.  The story is going to be, in many respects, a character study of each of the members of the seven families whose farms line Moose Road. The story will bring alive how each individual is impacted by this tragedy.

And who is to blame?  At the Hearing everyone will have an opinion as to who is at fault but perhaps it will be the story of Moose Road itself  that will come closest to the pure truth of the matter.

And now back to  the writing.  :-)
cover design by Susan Ruby K. of Yuneekpix.com
 


By the way, more good news to share.  I now have only two copies left of my most recent novel titled Ellen and The Hummingtree

If you wish to  have one of these copies please email me.

 
Come visit me on Facebook.  You will find me at http://www.facebook.com/audreyaustinca



Thursday, November 15, 2012

Only three copies left ....

Susan and I want to say thank you to all who have purchased a copy of Ellen and The Hummingtree.   "Ellen" is my third novel and it is Susan's first time to not only do the cover design but also beautiful illustrations throughout the book.  You can check out her website at Yuneekpix.com    She says she enjoyed doing the illustrations for "Ellen" and now she looks forward to doing the same for other authors.  Check out her work.  You will be impressed as I am at the quality and beauty of her art.

I now have only three copies left of "Ellen".  If you would like one of these copies to be yours please email me.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Moose Road -- is my National Novel Writing Month adventure ...

 
Thanks to Susan Ruby K. of
Yuneekpix.com  for the cover design.
 
 
At this time my word count for NaNoWriMo  is 43,510.
 
I hope to reach the 50,000 word goal by November 25th.
 
Once I have submitted my manuscript to NaNo
I will get busy on completing the story
and then will start my first rewrite.
 
If all goes well, Moose Road  will be ready for its
 
Elliot Lake launch
 
fall of 2013.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

National Novel Writing Month ...

My current word count in NaNoWriMo is 43,510.

I'm feeling more confident that I will reach the 50,000 mark before month end so long as life behaves itself and doesn't get too much in my way.

Moose Road is really intriguing me now.  Once November is past I look forward to continuing with the writing and I just may have another novel  on my hands.  It will be fun to celebrate another launch.

Good luck to all the Nano participants.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Some feedback from readers of Ellen and The Hummingtree ....



From a reader of Ellen:
 
Dear Audrey...
I attended your book launch of Ellen. I'm writing to let you know I have finished reading the book and wanted to say that it was one of the best books I have read in a long time. I have cried over many movies but never cried after reading a book, which I did after getting to the end of Ellen. The book stirred a lot of emotion and gave me a new perspective on a lot of issues. My intuition tells me that your heart and experiences are blended in this book.
Thank you for putting the words to paper that allow us to see in our minds, a vivid picture of a journey through life.

A new fan,

Brenda
P.S. I am truly looking forward to Moose Road.
 
   Thank you, Brenda.
 
 
 
And from another reader:



Audrey –I am almost finished with Ellen, but I realize that if people like you and I lived in New York and put out books like this, we would be on a best sellers’ list. I say you and I because when I am reading your material, I feel myself embedded in the content. I think we must have similar roots, or learned our trade from similar mentors. We tell it like it is, no flowery prose, just plain good writing and it shows when I grab one of your books. It becomes addictive. Ellen has accompanied me to many places in the past few days--to our gig Saturday night, to my friend’s chicken coop yesterday, to baking a raspberry square last night, to supper out, to the front seat of my car propped open so I can grab a sentence here and there, while driving, to bed and to other places you and I both know most people use as reading rooms…

Ellen is every woman my age who is facing old age and being forgotten, regretting some choices, who sometimes feels abandoned, and who is carried through life by the strong forces of faith. Thank you Audrey for writing this book. I suspect there is a bit of ‘based on a true story’ within the covers. The illustrations are gorgeous. I must tap into my artist kid and see what transpires in my next book (after the collapse one) which is ‘Thought You’d like to Know: Letters from Mother’

And thank you again for keeping me in good stuff to read.

Gloria

     Thank you, Gloria.


And from another reader:

Audrey,
I couldn't put your book down, it was very moving, I was in tears during the final chapter. If I didn't know better I would say that the author really experienced those final years. You sure painted a picture.

Hugs

Goldie.

     Thank you, Goldie.


And from another:

What a book WOW> you really did a superb job and I hope with all my heart that you sell many copies.




I want to thank you for dedicating this book to me.
I particularly enjoyed Chapter 6 “Bear with Me” and Chapter 7 “Carpenter”. All the other chapters were excellent as well but when I got to Ch 11 “Lost and Found”, after travelling all the way to Toronto for her big prize only to find that she left her purse on the bus and went back to retrieve it and could not be found. I felt sorry for her but I had to laugh because of how they had to walk all the way back to the bus terminal to hopefully find it. It brought back memories of when Anne and I were in Scotland I left my Camera at the Bank. I walked and ran all the way back and poor Anne could hardly keep up to me and I was fortunate enough to be able to retrieve it , we laughed and laughed. I wish Ellen would have been able to retrieve her purse but apparently that windfall was just not meant for her eh!
Then in Ch. 13 “Just a Sliver” as Ellen and her cousin Marielle were trying to get a bottle of whiskey to put in the meat pies, all the antics they had to go through to retrieve that bottle was so funny I laughed until I cried believe me. At least that one came out good as they did win the prize lol.
When I read Ch. 16 “I Need You to Remember Me”, it was so sad and you did an excellent job of showing how in the end Alzheimer’s effects people and I thought to myself as I was
reading it “I sure hope I don’t end up like that” but we never know do we? The scary part is that it can affect anyone no matter how bright and alert they may be as Ellen was sure very bright and alert.

The ending was excellent in that because of her strong faith in God she got her prayers answered in that she wanted to go home so badly so went to her Heavenly Home. Yes Audrey, it was a great read and I congratulate you on a job well done.

Eleanor.

             Thank you, Eleanor.


And from another reader:

Hi Audrey I finished reading your book this afternoon and TOTALLY enjoyed it. Had me in tears when she passed away, I didn't want her to leave. :(
Sue Grieves.

   Thank you, Sue. :-)

And from another reader:

Hi Audrey

Thank you for Ellen she did indeed become a good friend as you knew she would, You my friend, put your soul out there, I feel I know you better then ever after reading, your beautiful book. You captured the dementia right on, and when Ellen passed, it was as if you had been in the room with Mother, myself and my brother. You put a soul into this book, it not only was a spirit it was alive. Keep up your writing I feel you write more than words you make your characters real.
Love and Hugs, Marleen Reid.

* Thank you, Marleen ♥
 

 
Ellen and The Hummingtree has sold out. Thank you to everyone for your wonderful feedback, reviews, support and encouragement.  Much appreciated.  :-)
 

And from another reader:

 
Hi Audrey
Just finished reading your newest book. I find that it is your best one yet. What insight you have. This is a book that should be read by everyone. It helps appreciate that what goes on in a person's heart is not always what is perceived to go on by others. It also shows you how your faith can keep you afloat. I could go on and on but mostly want to thank you for the enjoyment your book has given me.

Lise



 

NaNoWriMo ...

Because of my time spent preparing for and celebrating the Elliot Lake launch of Ellen and The Hummingtree I've had no opportunity since Friday to work on Moose Road for NaNoWriMo.

But I will be back to work on the manuscript tomorrow.  My current word count is 31,352.  I am confident I will reach the required 50,000 words before month's end.

Of course there will be a couple of small delays or detours.  One of these is the Canada Writes competition which I will be entering this week.  Another is the usual monthly writing competition, WynLit 24, on the weekend of November 24th, offered by Wynterblue Publishing Canada.

Since Ellen's launch I am left with only seven copies of the book in paperback format.  If you would like a copy please do get in touch soon by email.  Thanks.

As for my other books I believe I have maybe three copies left of The Silent Star plus a Dozen; maybe a dozen copies of  Reawakening  and I have I think seven or eight copies of Sara, a Canadian Saga.   Contact me if you would like to have one or more of these books.

Books make excellent Christmas gifts.

For those of you who prefer E-books The Silent Star plus a Dozen; Reawakening and Sara, a Canadian Saga are published by Wynterblue Publishing Canada and are available on Amazon.com

Once the few copies I have left of Ellen and The Hummingtree are sold, it will soon afterward be made available as an Ebook also on Amazon.com

Those of you who know me, know that writing is my joy.

Check out my author page on Facebook  You will also find me on Linked in; Pinterest and Twitter.

For those of you who are also participating in NaNoWriMo -- let the ink flow!







Sunday, November 11, 2012

Some photos taken at the Elliot Lake launch of Ellen and The Hummingtree ..

 
Thanks to all who attended Ellen's launch.

 
Taken during the reading -- Susan and I
read excerpt from Chapter 13, "Just a Sliver"

 
Thanks to Mayor Rick Hamilton for
conducting the draw &
congrats to Todd Sterling for winning the book
and congrats to the 4 poster winners

Before everyone arrived Brian
was preparing to make a DVD
which I hope to post on Youtube
if I can figure out how to do that.
 
 
 
My beautiful friend, Wendy and me

 
Susan and me at book signing

 
To all who bought a book thank you
and we hope you enjoy the
story and also the illustrations by Susan.

We all love Lucy :-) 


Lots of book signing -- thank you for
all the sales.
Only a very few copies of
Ellen and The Hummingtree  are left.
Email me if you wish to buy your copy.

The Elliot Lake launch of Ellen and The Hummingtree was a great success ...

The Elliot Lake Launch of Ellen and The Hummingtree which took place this afternoon in the Gallery at The Centre was a great success.

Susan and I extend a big thank you to all who attended and purchased books.   I hope you will enjoy Ellen's story.

There was a great turnout today. Susan and I enjoyed reading an excerpt from Chapter 13 of the book titled "Just a Sliver."

Thank you to Mayor Rick Hamilton for honouring us with his presence and for conducting the draw. Congratulations to Todd Sterling who won a copy of Ellen and congrats to the four who won an Ellen poster in the draw.

A special thank you to Paul Gandhi, ARIEL representative, for all his hard work and the wonderful job he did of setting up the table and the chairs for all who attended.  

And thank you to my friend Jane Rowan for her kind introduction.

I have  just a very few copies left of Ellen and The Hummingtree.  If you are interested in buying your copy I am just an email away.

Brian had the camera rolling throughout a half hour of our gathering........ if I can figure out how to do it, I will get the DVD on  Youtube so that we can share the experience with you.   If I cannot figure out how to do it I will call on a good friend (and she knows who she is) to come on over and show this technically challenged person where I am going wrong. 

It was a wonderful afternoon in the beautiful Art Gallery at the Centre.  Thanks again to all who attended to welcome the arrival of Ellen and The Hummingtree.

Cover design and illustrations throughout
by Susan Ruby K. of Yuneekpix.com

Friday, November 9, 2012

Ellen and The Hummingtree -- book launch

The book launch of Ellen and The Hummingtree is now just a day away.

You are all invited to the celebration taking place tomorrow, Saturday, November 10th at 1 pm in the Gallery at The Centre, Lester B. Pearson Civic Centre, Hwy. 108, Elliot Lake.

Susan, the illustrator, will be there along with me.  We will be reading an excerpt from a chapter of Ellen and afterward there will be book signing.

There is a draw tomorrow too and someone is going home with a free book.

We hope to see you there.



Four's a Crowd .. a teen novel by Maria Bradley


Hi Audrey,

My first book arrived today and will be available to buy soon on Amazon. I have
attached excerpts from the book, the cover graphic and a photo of myself in
the hope that I can still post it on your blog.

I wasn't really sure of the right excerpts to give you so please put on what you see fit.
I decided on when the three first met and an excerpt from an entity the teenagers
encountered in the story.

Thanks so much for even considering my book to be part of your blog.

Kind regards
Maria Bradley.


FOUR’S A CROWD by Maria Bradley

Excerpt from Chapter One 


The strangest thing was happening to Jack, an unfamiliar bubble rose from his stomach to his mouth and he started to laugh. The man’s accent was upper class, like he'd just arrived from an English tea party and his tone implied that Jack was responsible for the condition he found himself in now. This, coupled with the old donkey jacket he was wearing, his hair on end and the newspaper stuck to his sweating skin was hilarious to Jack.  

 ‘You're like, the poshest person that I've ever met in the gutter!’ 

 ’I young man, am a...?’ the stranger couldn’t continue with his retort as he had just caught sight of himself in the water and as he tried to stand, he too felt the rise of laughter bubble in his throat and join with Jack's. As it subsided, he held out his hand,

 ‘My name is Chairman and I'm delighted to meet you sir.’ 

 ’Oh eh I’m Jack’ 

 Jack didn’t return the handshake; there was usually a price to pay when someone was being nice to him. Chairman squinted at Jack, a question in his eyes,

 ‘Have we met?’

Excerpt from Chapter two 


One day, as they were scouring the canal bank for papers, rags or anything at all they might find useful they heard an altercation. 

 ‘Get your bloody hands off me you perv', I'll get my da on you so I will and he'll break your legs, I'm telling ya!!’ 

Chairman and Jack ran towards the voice and into the wooded area to find a young girl fighting off a full grown man as he attempted to drag her further away from the road. Jack was frozen, not so, Chairman as he pulled his coat off and took the stance of a Ninja Warrior. The man, nonplussed by their sudden appearance was open mouthed as he received a swift kick to the back of his knees from his captive and a karate chop to the neck from Chairman. As he fell back, Jack found his courage and picked up a branch, ran to him and proceeded to beat him about the head with it. The man crawled away in defeat shouting oaths to all three of them. After catching her breath the young girl turned to her rescuers,

‘Sweet Jaysus that was brilliant, you're like Jackie Chan and that other fella!  I thought my number was up, t’ank you, t’ank you so much!!’ 

‘I'm Sky Finnegan I t’ink, I mean I'm Sky sumat’, I'm not really sure who my da is but I'm damn sure it wasn’t him!’ She pointed in the direction of her attackers escape. She was flushed red with relief and receiving no reply from her new Knights without armour, she continued talking until finally it was Jack that found his voice first.  

‘Who was that man?’  

‘So you can speak, I was beginning to t’ink you were foreign or just dumb! I told you, I dunno who he is, he was hanging round our camp and followed me when I came here to collect me 'erbs and stuff for the market. Who are you two then?’ 

Jack had exhausted his own social skills with the one sentence and he turned to Chairman to take over. Chairman, uncharacteristically silent, was still staring into space desperately trying to catch the vague memory hovering in his mind. 

‘I know Karate’ he announced, almost to himself; ‘how do I know Karate?’ 

‘Sweet Jaysus fella, you talk like the ruddy queen!’ answered Sky and exploded into laughter. Chairman snapped out of his memory, focused on Sky and in his most charming manner said, 

‘I’m absolutely positive that I am related to that fine lady, as I am positive that you yourself must be a princess!’ 

He bowed, picked up her right hand and dropped a light kiss on the back of it as if she was indeed royalty. ‘Cut the crap Mr,’ Sky giggled ‘I’m more likely related to those ducks than I am to royalty!’

Excerpt from chapter Nine 


Jack, by now, was sliding along the laminate floor like a snake, obviously in pursuit of something she still couldn’t see.  There was nothing she could do but stay quiet and wait.

Jack had a very different view.  From the second he reached the bottom of the stairs he saw a mass of silvery black smoke moving slowly around the room like a living shadow.  It had no determinable shape as it slithered and slid round every object in the room. 

There was a strange smell he could only compare to singed clothes or burnt wood.  It was part of the shadow and tainted everywhere it touched. There was emptiness, loss and evil weighing down Jack's heart as he felt the aura radiating from the shadow. It was all he could do, not to turn tail and run. But no, there was Sky to worry about so he continued to crawl underneath it as it glided over his head towards the computer.

Whatever it was seemed only aware of the objects it was examining and Jack was able to slide under the computer table unnoticed. 

The computer suddenly switched on and Jack heard Sky gasp behind him. What to do?  He couldn’t hit a shadow over the head with a baseball bat now could he? It had no head!

He could hear the keyboard being pressed and knew he had to do something before it accessed Jeannie's private documents. She may have sent all the information they had given Barbara Edmundson to her own computer.  

He banged underneath the table as hard as as he could hoping the shock would make the thing shoot off through the wall or something. The typing stopped but that was all. He remained still for a second, uncertain what to do next.  Dare he get up and see if it was gone?  No, it was still there, he could feel it.  He wrinkled his nose, the whole room smelt like the stale, charred aroma of the day after bonfire night. He slowly edged his way upwards until he could see over the computer table.  It was there, spread over the keys like an oil slick but it wasn’t moving.