Works in Progress
Here you can find teasers and information on upcoming titles.
Please note that the titles listed are for my reference when working on them and they are not final titles. (I'll try to come up with something more original, I promise!)
Below is the opening to my next novel, The Golden Age. I hope you enjoy!
Lowestoft, May 1662
Despite the fact that the sun was hiding meekly behind the clouds, it was a fine spring day in Lowestoft. There was only the faintest mist hovering about the docks and a quiet breeze came off the water. Tall ships tugged halfheartedly against their moorings in the bay. The water carried its usual stench of salt and decay as it lapped languidly against the shore. Almost obscured by the shouts of men, the thud of boots on the docks, and the creaks of ships and tackle were the soft chinks of swords striking.
Trevor ducked the sword thrust aimed at his neck. The blade passed overhead with a whoosh.
Before his attacker could recover from his lunge, Trevor was on the offensive. He jabbed forward with his sword, feinting left and then right, putting his opponent off-balance as he dodged. He pressed his advantage, advancing in large strides and forcing his opponent to back up hastily.
The two advanced and retreated across the stained and pocked ground, slashing at each other with an obvious lack of training. The dark-haired boy moved lightly but exaggeratedly; his seemingly delicate maneuvers were very taxing to his energy. Jim, blonde hair pasted to his brow with sweat, used less art in his gestures. His attacks were less violent, his retreats and parries more economical. Their aggressive play almost resembled a contorted dance as there was no clear victor.
At a glance one might lay a coin on Trevor for he was of a good tone and had enough flash for two. However, his antics were tiring him against his opponent’s stouter, sturdier skills.
Sweat beaded on both their brows; the fight had been going on for a long while and they had covered a lot of ground during the battle. Both boys’ arms were growing tired from wielding their wooden swords but both were stubborn and neither would call it quits.
They had started up the hill from the docks and were working their way across the dunes toward those structures. Neither seemed bothered by having traversed so much land, even though they knew better than to go to the docks; sparring boys would only get in the way of the sailors and get themselves into trouble.
Jim made a swing for Trevor’s middle and the latter jumped backward at the last moment, barely avoiding contact with the wood blade. He lost his footing in the sand and fell down, landing with an audible oomph! Panting, Trevor glared up at his best friend and current opponent. He narrowed his dark brown eyes, gripping the hilt of his sword defiantly. “What now, pirate?” he taunted.
“Now I think you surrender,” Jim remarked flippantly, swiping some of his blonde hair out of his face.
“I think not.”
Jim barked a breathless laugh. “How could you possibly win, Navy brat? You’re at a distinct disadvantage.”
Trevor kicked a foot up, catching Jim’s wrist and sending his sword flying. As Jim ran to retrieve his weapon, Trevor clambered to his feet and gave chase. Jim got there first and retrieved his sword, turning to meet Trevor’s charge.
Trevor had the advantage of momentum and he pressed it, swinging at Jim’s side. Jim blocked his attack but the boys collided, both of them going down to the sand. They floundered, each having lost his weapon in the clash. As one tried to crawl through the sand toward their discarded sword, the other would grab him around the middle and yank him backward. Neither made much progress.
Finally, Trevor ended it. He flipped the taller boy onto his back and brought a real knife up to his throat.
Panting, Jim looked up at Trevor with startled gray-blue eyes. “The Navy isn’t supposed to cheat,” he remarked breathlessly.
Trevor smiled wryly. “Do you surrender?”
“I guess I don’t have much choice, do I?” Jim countered reluctantly. “But you did cheat--no real weapons, remember?”
“Gotta do what you can to survive, right?”
Jim chuckled. “Right.”
“Trevor, let him go,” a female voice ordered from atop a nearby dune.
Both boys turned to look toward the voice, startled at being interrupted. Trevor’s hand with the knife fell away from Jim’s throat and Jim sat up.
“Oh, it’s just you Ceceilia,” Trevor remarked, rolling his eyes. Still, he rose and helped Jim to his feet. He did not spare his younger sister another glance.
“Yes, it’s me,” she remarked sourly. “Mother sent me to fetch you. It’s getting to be midday.”
“Is it?” Trevor asked nonchalantly, looking up at the sky. With the perpetual haze in the air it was hard to judge the angle of the sun. He waved a hand at his sister, shooing her away. “We’re not done here.”
“Yes you are.”
“No, we’re not.”
“Father said he wanted to see you straightaway.”
That made Trevor freeze. While he could get away with ignoring his mother’s command - after all, he was fifteen years old - his father’s word demanded obedience. “I didn’t know he was home?”
“His ship came in this morning.”
Trevor swore under his breath. He stuffed his sword through his belt, effectively sheathing it. Jim followed suit.
“Don’t let him hear you say that,” Ceceilia chided, putting her fists on her hips. Her remonstrance was well-founded, for their father was a drunk and a nasty one at that. No doubt he was already at the bottle despite the early hour. It was his habit upon returning to port.
“Alright, I’m coming,” Trevor said reluctantly. He extended his hand to Jim. “Good fight.”
Jim shook the proffered hand. “Same time tomorrow?”
“Sure.” Trevor waved as he and his sister left the dunes, headed for home. They passed through the merchant's row on their route home. Trevor stopped at one of the vendors’ carts and purchased an apple. Using his knife, he split the fruit into halves and gave one to Ceceilia.
She brushed her auburn hair behind her ear and accepted the gift. “Thank you Trevor,” she said gratefully as she took the first bite. The fruit was crisp and juicy, a delicious and rare treat.
“How was the old man when you left?” Trevor ventured, taking a bite of his apple.
“He was just starting to drink. But he seemed in good spirits, for him.”
“Wonderful,” Trevor said sarcastically and with dread. “Just keep your head down when we get home. Leave him to me.”
The pair continued in silence, each dreading their meeting with their temperamental father. He had beaten them in the past while drunk and those dreadful memories weighed heavily on their minds.
After a half hour of walking, they made it home. It was a run-down tenancy off a grungy alleyway. Trevor reached for the latch and opened the door. No one kept their doors locked in Lowestoft; they were a close community and all too poor to have anything worth stealing anyway. The pair jogged up the stairs to their family’s quarters, Trevor in the lead.
“Trevor, Ceceilia,” their mother greeted in a tired voice as they arrived. She was just clearing away the bowls from which she and their father, Ragan, had eaten. “Your food is by the hearth. Eat up.”
Obediently, Trevor and Ceceilia went to claim their bowls. In them was a thin soup with the occasional vegetable floating in it. Money had been tight since Ragan, the family’s main earner, had been out at sea for months. They were just scraping by on the meager funds their mother, Madeline, could earn working as a seamstress.
But now that Ragan was home he should have brought his pay with him and things would be better. Assuming, of course, he did not drink away all his earnings.
At left is a preview image of an upcoming novel's cover. I hope to publish soon...just gotta write the book first! ^^:
(If anyone is curious, I use the free program GIMP to create my book covers.)
A Practical Guide to Surviving Paranormal Encounters
A tongue-in-cheek but also informative guide to paranormal encounters, what they could be attributed to, and how to deal with them. Currently in the planning stages. No tentative publication date as yet.
A story set in medieval England where treachery surrounds the ruling family and magic runs in the blood of a select few. I have been toying with this story since about 2006 and will be focusing my efforts on publishing it in 2021.
A sequel to my first release, Flintridge. Currently in the planning stages. No tentative publication date as yet.
The Golden Age, Books 1-3
A story of adventure, freedom, and love on the high seas in the Golden Age of Piracy. This story has also been in the works since 2006 or earlier. Ideally book one will be published sometime in 2020.
Has a team's decision to raise the infamous ghost ship also revived the curse that plagued her? Currently in the planning stages. No tentative publication date as yet.
There is a legend surrounding the money pit on Oak Island, where Captain Kidd is rumored to have buried his treasure. Seven will die before the treasure is found, or so the legend goes. 6 have already died in the pursuit when yet another team gathers and goes on the treasure hunt. Currently in the planning stages. No tentative publication date as yet.
A young human teams up with supernatural forces to understand their ways. Currently in the planning stages. No tentative publication date as yet.
A college student's life is derailed when he inherits a livestock ranch. For NaNoWriMo 2014 I worked out a rough draft of this but it will need to be revisited with a heavy edit. No tentative publication date as yet.
The strictly academic search for the Bard's skull, stolen in antiquity, turns bloody. This was my NaNoWriMo 2019 project and is sitting at 40,000-something words. No tentative publication date as yet.
A pack of shapeshifters who choose to live as humans meet a wild cousin, one of their kind who was born a wolf. Her presence leads them to question their lifestyle as she fights to regain control of her ancestral territory.
One of my oldest stories, started back in the early 2000's. A rough draft has been completed but will require heavy editing before being published. No tentative publication date as yet.