character sketch: Fenn of the Hunters

The Hunted and the Hind, Fenn of the Hunters. Coming 30th December.

Fenn of the Hunters is a reluctant traveler from their world to London. At the beginning of Shadows on the Border, they are sent by the Council of Ternants to recapture and bring home an escaped carnas, on of the creatures that feed on magic the Ternants use to police the border between the worlds.

Fenn is a magical worker. The Frem call the energy they use to manipulate time and space kias. Fenn and their family are all very strong natural users. One of their special skills is to track strong sources of kias–in people, things or animals. That’s why they’ve been sent after the carnas. Fenn’s not sure what the carnas is doing lost in London; but it’s their duty as hunter to bring it home.

Will Grant’s London is very different to the Underhalls of the Frem that Fenn is used to and they are grateful for the help that Will and his team provide. Their growing connection with Will Grant himself is something that they didn’t expect and are not quite sure what to do with.

Fenn is tired of being manipulated by the Ternants. They want to finish this job, in this busy, crowded, mechanical world and return to their family.

Previously in Lost in Time character sketches… Will Grant, Lew Tyler, Alec Carter, Ella Fortune.

Cover Reveal: The Hunted and the Hind

Today, I am very, very happy to bring you the cover of The Hunted and the Hind. It’s the third in my Lost in Time 1920s London trilogy, although as you may gather from the cover, at least some of it takes place elsewhere.

The Hunted and the Hind, #3 in the Lost in Time 1920s trilogy. Coming on 30th December.
The Hunted and the Hind, coming 30th December

At the end of book number two, Shadows on the Border, poor Sergeant Will Grant got sucked through the border after Fenn, who returned to their home in the Outlands with the murderous creature they’d finally captured with the help of Will’s police team. It took me ages to work out what I wanted to write in Hunted because I never actually set out to write a trilogy–this is one of the downsides of discovery writing, which I have now rather learned to my cost. There were so many loose ends I wanted to tie up to feel that I’d satisfactorily ended the series, for both readers and for myself. It took me three rewrites to get the story knocked into a shape that I feel happy with.

Without further ado…here’s the cover (and the blurb!) for…

The Hunted and the Hind

The Hunted and the Hind cover

Inadvertently tumbling through the border after Fenn and then thrown into the middle of the internecine political disputes of their people, Sergeant Will Grant of the Metropolitan Police has spent three months in prison in the Underhalls of the Frem. When Fenn comes to free him and return him home through the border, he has very little time to work out what’s going on before the sudden appearance of Fenn’s missing younger sibling Keren throws Fenn for a loop.

Instead of returning them to London as planned, the trio step through the border to the Egyptian desert. Once they work out where they are, it’s a two week trip back to England with the possibility of pursuit both onboard ship and when they reach home.

Will the journey give Fenn and Will time to resolve the feelings they have been dancing around since the day they met? How will they keep Keren from recapture by the faction who tried to persuade Fenn they were dead? And has Will’s friend Alec forgiven Fenn for lying about their motives when they first traveled to London four months ago?

Preorder from the publisher, JMS Books!

Coming 30th December 2020!

The Hunted and the Hind, coming 30th December 2020

Finally, I hear you say! On December 30th, the third and final book in the Lost in Time 1920s series will be published!

Lost in Time was my debut novel. Initially I self-published it, without professional edits, and the faults got deservedly called out in reviews. I had no idea what I was doing and was learning as I went along.

After a few months, Mr AL suggested I withdraw it and submit it to publishers for consideration. I was lucky enough for JMS Books to pick it up despite it’s previous release, and it came out with them in January 2018. I’ve always felt that it had a satisfactory ending–a happy-for-now, which is about the best one can hope for in a historical set in London in the early 1920s with the second world war looming.

But…I ended up writing a sequel, Shadows on the Border, which I think brought more resolution? However, it also introduced a new character, who then ended up with a love-interest of their own.

The Hunted and the Hind finally ties up all the loose ends and resolves Fenn and Sergeant Will Grant’s story. It’s had two rewrites, I’ve gone through months of loathing it; but I’ve now got to a place where it all feels right. I have honestly never felt so relieved to type THE END in my entire life.

For this weekend, Lost in Time is $1.99 (or your equivalent currency) across all the major ebook platforms: you can find it here!

Deleted Scene: Taking Stock

I’ve got a little deleted scene for you from Taking Stock, today. Laurie is in hospital and he wants to come home. Scroll down to read.

I’m so pleased with some of the lovely things people have said about the story:

  • “A quiet, beautiful story about decency, love and finding your family.”
  • “Laurie and Phil have a chemistry that is quite beautiful.”
  • “a thoughtful, delicate story…very refreshing.”

Buy Taking Stock

Deleted Scene

“What do you mean, I can’t go home?” Laurie was almost crying with frustration. “I can go home if I like!”

Sally glared at him. “And how are you going to get up and down the stairs? Or even down the hall to the bathroom?” she said. “And wash when you get there? And turn over properly in bed? And what happens if you actually fall out of bed in the night and can’t get up? And come to that, who’s going to take you home, you idiot? You can’t drive!”

He glared back. “I thought that you might!”

“No! Not me!” her glaring was so much better than his.

He pushed against the pillows, but because he was unable to brace properly with his weak leg, he couldn’t make himself sit up any further. She stood up and hauled him forward with competent strength, shoving more pillows behind him to support his bad arm and shoulder. Damn her.

When she sat back down, he lowered his gaze to his lap. His hand lay across his legs, curled and useless. He imagined moving his fingers and he felt it happening in his head. But in his lap, they lay dead and still, obvious betrayers of his helplessness.

“Laurie…,” her voice was kind. “You need to stay in here for a bit and let them help you. They say at least some of the use of the your arm and your leg should come back quite quickly, specially if you work at it. And then we can get you back home.”

Buy Taking Stock

Taking Stock: sneak preview

Since it’s not yet available on the wizzy Amazon-viewer thing, I thought you might like a sneak preview of the first chapter of Taking Stock!

Chapter 1: Betrayal

September, 1971

“What?” Phil said. “You thought I wouldn’t mind?” He swallowed roughly. “We’ve been together for over a year, Richard. There’s some expectation of loyalty comes with that. I would have thought.” He looked at the younger man stood in the center of his cream living room carpet. “Or perhaps not.”

Richard didn’t even have the grace to look ashamed. “It wasn’t anything, Phil. You’re being stupid. I sucked him off, that was all.” He didn’t even blush. He looked irritated, if anything. “You’re being very unreasonable.”

“You’ve been living here for nearly twelve months. You didn’t think that the assumption would be of monogamy?”

Richard made a dismissive huffing noise and shrugged. “That’s not how it’s done, Phil my dear. Not these days. You’re delightfully old fashioned in some ways, but you’re being very stick in the mud about this.”

Phil shut his eyes for a moment. “It’s not the first time then?”

Richard waved his hand in a dramatic gesture, the tight sleeve of his orange and brown striped shirt flexing along with it. “Leave it, won’t you. It’s not important.”

“Not important to you? Or not important to me? Because I assure you I think it’s important. It’s very important. Richard.” He swallowed. “I… I’ve come to care for you.”

Richard raised an eyebrow. “My dear Phil. Is this a declaration? How thrilling! Do go on.”

Phil said nothing. Clearly he had been barking up the wrong tree. He shoved his hands deep into the pockets of his trousers and turned away to look out of the inverted arched window at the lake. There were some ducks shagging enthusiastically on the edge of his view. More than what’s going on in here, he thought, dismally. No more shagging for me.

Richard had joined the firm eighteen months ago as a junior in Phil’s department and had quickly made his interest in Phil clear. Oh, he was discreet at work…the rough and tumble of the trading floor wasn’t tolerant of anyone who didn’t follow the public-school rugger-bugger stereotype. He’d made it clear that he was interested in Phil though. Phil’s friend Peter had pointed it out to him first. Phil was usually a bit slow on the uptake.

“You want to watch that one,” he’d said one evening as they were sat, backs to the bar, watching the younger traders horse around at a table on the other side of the room. “He’s trouble. And he likes you.”

Phil looked at him. “He likes me? What do you mean?”

Peter glanced at him. “You know what I mean. He likes you. Didn’t you notice him flirting when he came up to get his round in? You could take him home tonight if you wanted to.” He took a swig of his beer. “Bet he sucks cock like a Hoover,” he said wistfully.

You take him home if you feel like that about him,” Phil said, slightly acerbically. He could never tell when someone was coming on to him.

“Nah mate, I’ve got enough on my hands already.” He nodded toward one of the other young men at the same table. “Hips like a snake. And he knows how to use ‘em.”

Phil blushed. Peter was a lot more open about his partners than he was and always had been, even before the change in the law. Phil was never going to out himself to anyone other than his closest friends.

The next time Richard came up to the bar, Phil returned his smile. “Let me buy you a drink?” he asked.

“Sure,” the younger man replied.

And that was that. A few weeks later he had moved into Phil’s spacious flat in the middle of the city and he’d been here ever since. Apparently using it as a base to bring blokes to suck off on his days off while Phil was at work.

Not good.

“I’d like you to leave,” Phil said, turning back toward him. “Pack a suitcase. You can come back for the rest of your things another day.”

“What?! Are you serious!” Richard’s voice rose in both pitch and volume. “Phil, darling, it really didn’t mean anything! It’s you I want to be with!”

“But I don’t want to be with you. You’ve been lying to me and you’ve been bringing people I don’t know here for sex behind my back. I can’t live like that.”

“I’ll stop! I promise!” Richard’s voice was tearful.

“Rich. Please. Don’t…make this any harder than it is.” Phil turned away again. The ducks were still shagging. It looked like the lady duck was drowning. “Please just go. And leave me your key. You can stay with Peter or someone tonight; you’ve got lots of friends. I just…can’t.” His heart hurt. Richard’s sobbing cut him to the quick.

“You bastard!” Richard spat out. “I didn’t have to move in here with you, you know! It was you who asked me!”

“And now I’m asking you to move out.” Phil folded his arms. He was having trouble holding on to his composure. “I’ll ring Peter now and ask him if you can stay there tonight. He’s got a spare room.”

He moved out to the hallway and picked up the telephone. “You can pack some clothes while I do it.”

And that was that. Just over a year of unwedded bliss destroyed by another man’s underpants left in the bathroom.