Tag Archives: contemporary fantasy

Beta Readers Wanted!

Old Mill on two Rivers

Hi!  I’m looking for one or two beta readers for my WIP, The Old Mill.  I have just finished the third draft and am pausing for feedback before I start the copy editing; you know, the fixing typos, wrong words, etc., to make it publish ready phase.  Why am I looking for beta readers before cleaning up the manuscript?  Just in case some of the feedback warrants a rewrite of entire sections.  I want all of the big changes (larger than correcting words and sentences) completed before I worry about those little details.

A little history

I posted The Old Mill as a serial story back in 2017.  It is possible you may have read that very rough draft already!  Early last year I began a complete rewrite.  The basic story is the same, but I added detail and filled out the characters.  I also changed POV, which is why it had to be a rewrite. Continue reading

Towards the Light and The Mad Quest – Released!

My book of two novellas, Towards the Light and The Mad Quest, are released today!

Towards the Light and The Mad Quest
Two Novellas

In what should have been a normal day, Brandon finds himself down the rabbit hole and into a new reality where he is captured by Dwarves, gets involved in “Elemental Politics” and finds himself in a race to save the worlds – yes worlds, six, perhaps seven – and the peoples of those worlds in the tongue-in-cheek Fantasy novella, “Towards the Light”.

Lorounce, a “not only is the glass half empty, but the longer we talk about it, the more that evaporates” kind of guy, is on a reconnaissance mission with his childhood friend and secret crush, Merla, to enter the stronghold of the evil Lord of Darkness.  The mission soon spins off on an adventure to try to rescue the prince, find and confront the dragon to secure the magic sword and then raise an army to defeat the evil one with said magic sword all while being chased not only by the minions of the evil one, including a pack of magical wolves, but their own people as well. Whew.  It is totally impossible, mad even, but with some unexpected help and a few twists along the way, maybe they could pull it off, this adventure called “The Mad Quest”.

“Towards the Light” and “The Mad Quest” are two fast paced, farcical Fantasy novellas.  With visible winks and nods to the great Fantasy works that came before, but with a few unexpected twists, these two stories are light-hearted valentines to those classic works of the past; love notes but with pokes in the ribs and “bunny-ears” behind the head fun.


Posts about Towards the Light and The Mad Quest

Blurb – Two Novellas (Jan. 4, 2019)
Cover Reveal! Two Novellas (March 1, 2019)
Release Date and PreOrder (May 7, 2019)
Brandon – Toward the Light (May 10, 2019)
Guest Post on Sue Vincent’s blog (May 14, 2019)
Merla – The Mad Quest (May 17, 2019)



The book is now Available on Amazon!



If you don’t see your country’s Amazon, search for it or ask me and I’ll get a link.

book in hand


Renewal – #writephoto


Photo by Sue Vincent

This is the 31st and final chapter of “Of Wind and Wings”.  See the table of contents here.

Note – I posted three chapters that did not follow one of Sue’s prompts.  Here is a brief overview in case you don’t have time or inclination to read them (or you can skip to today’s chapter at the **):

Chapter 28 – The Book Again – Ed finally reads his great uncle’s book which included the four “lost” chapters.  His understanding is influenced by his talk with the Other and he sees it in a different light and understands that his great uncle was not making predictions or talking about destiny, but talking about his own reality.

Chapter 29 – The Answer and More Answers – When Ed arrives at Mr. Brown’s house, The Grubb announces that he has found the answer to alpha, the fine-structure constant.  He walks through a seemingly simplistic arithmetic formula which Liza points out joins old numerology with modern quantum physics.  Mr. Brown’s son, Philip shows up, as does Lauren.  There are more answers.

Chapter 30 – Dreams – All of the dream sequences from earlier chapters are brought together into one and are finally resolved, with Ed finally figuring out his life.


They left the house when the sky was just beginning to lighten in the east, not speaking as Lauren drove out into the deeper moor.  After about 10 minutes she pulled off to the side of the road.  It wasn’t a very good parking space, but they would make do.  She and Ed climbed to the top of a small hill and stood, hand in hand, not saying a word, just watching as the sky turned pink and then orange and then burst into full color as the sun rose.  They both felt it, the renewal, as if it wasn’t just a new solar day, but a new day in their lives and the start of a new era of the world. Continue reading


English Countryside

This is now the 30th chapter of “Of Wind and Wings”.  See the table of contents here.

Ed walked through the arch and glanced around.

“Pillars,” he said out loud.

He was in a giant room, seeming to stretch to infinity in every direction.  The unseen ceiling was support by row after row of Doric columns.  Periodically a free standing arch was placed in the middle of the avenues created by the columns.

Ed took a few steps deeper into the room and took his bearings.  The room was very dimly lit, a perpetual twilight.  Uniformity that disappeared in the misty distance.  But what was that?  A faint light from one direction?

He stopped.  He had been here many times before, lost in this forest of stone.  Hadn’t he recently solved the puzzle?  The faint light seemed to be sunlight, but he knew it wasn’t right.  He slowly turned and saw it, a very faint green, much dimmer than the sunlight that he knew was a mirage.  That was it.  That was the way he must go.

As had happened before, the longer he walked towards the green the more the columns grew less evenly spaced and less uniform in size, rougher and more organic.  Soon he was in a forest at the way sign. Continue reading

The Answer and More Answers

This is now the 29th chapter of “Of Wind and Wings”.  See the table of contents here.

“Hi, Mr. Ed!”  The Grubb was sitting at a table at Mr. Brown’s house with his ever-present notebook in front of him.  “Guess what?  I figured it out!”

“Hi Grubb,” Ed said.  “How are you feeling?  You look better.”  The Grubb just smiled.  “OK, what did you figure out?”

“You know…”  The Grubb looked around the room, but all that was in it were his parents, Liza and Mr. Brown.  He lowered his voice.  “The ultimate answer…  You know, Alpha.”

Ed turned to Mr. Brown for help.

“If you remember, The Grubb has been trying to figure out the fine-structure constant,” Mr. Brown said.  “It’s about interactions in quantum physics.  I’ve never been too strong in the field myself, if you take my meaning, and don’t totally get this talk about the strength of electromagnetic forces, particle interactions or some such; it all seems to be electro-magic to me.  The Grubb has been saying that he figured out the significance of it seen he arrived, but that he had to wait until you were here before he could tell me.” Continue reading

The Book Again

This is now the 28th chapter of “Of Wind and Wings”.  See the table of contents here.

“Don’t go over there.”

Ed jumped, and turned.  He hadn’t seen Eliza.  “What?”

“You know what I’m talking about.  Don’t go see The Grubb.  He just got home late last night and still needs his rest.  Wait until after Winston’s party.”  She frowned at him.

Ed laughed.  Wasn’t he the one that was supposed to see “what is”?  She was right, of course.  The Grubb did not need company.  It was a miserable day and he was bored, so he figured a short visit wouldn’t hurt.  He was wrong.  The Grubb needed his rest.

But what would he do with his day?

“Have you read the book yet?”  Ed knew the book she was talking about and shook his head.  She nodded, as if she had already known.

“Ok,” Ed said after an awkward minute of silence.  “I guess I can read it today.” Continue reading

Clouds #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

This is now the 27th chapter of “Of Wind and Wings”.  See the table of contents here.

A breeze whipped through the trees and stung Ed’s face.  He looked up at the sun shining through the clouds and then back down at the ground in front of him.  He was sitting on a rock by the side of a small stream out in the middle of the moors.

“You be missing The Grubb, then?”

Ed jumped up and turned at the sound of the strange voice that seemed to arrive on the wind.

The man from the day before was standing there, smiling.

“Yes, actually, I was.”

The man nodded and pointed to the rocks.  Ed sat down again and the man sat next to him.  They just sat there for a few minutes in silence, but the questions just kept piling up in Ed’s mind, so he had to let them out before he burst.

“Was he dead, then?  When you found him, that is?” Continue reading

Setting – #writephoto


Photo by Sue Vincent

This is now the 26th chapter of “Of Wind and Wings”.  See the table of contents here.

Note – I posted two chapters that did not follow one of Sue’s prompts.  Here is a brief overview in case you don’t have time or inclination to read them (or you can skip to today’s chapter):

Chapter 24, To the Other Place – The Grubb and Ed are climbing on a steep ledge to find an entrance to the land of The Others.  Ed discovers it is more of a different Universe than a place.  The Grubb gets distracted and falls.  Ed feels that the fall must be fatal, but before he can get to the boy, a strange man tells him that The Grubb will be OK, that Ed needs to leave immediately and get help.

Chapter 25, The Hospital – Ed and Liza rush to the hospital.  Ed discovers that Mrs. Grubb, Martha, is Mr. Brown, Winston’s, sister making The Grubb Mr. Brown’s nephew.  The doctors come out and are baffled. The Grubb is in a very deep sleep, a coma, but has no major injuries.  As Eda nd Liza go home, Ed remembers his own deep sleep after he fell and wonders how badly he was truly injured.

Onto the story!

“Come on, let’s go.”

They had only been at Liza’s house for a half of an hour or so when she stuck her head into Ed’s room.

“Here, take this.”

“This” was a large basket.

They drove for a while.  At first Ed wasn’t paying attention, but after a while he realized they were going to the more mountainous area where he and The Grubb had explored the day before.  Before getting to the mountains proper, Liza took a slightly different road and so ended up near the mountains instead of in the middle.  “Sometimes it is easier to see a mountain from a valley than from the top.”  For some reason that silly thought crossed Ed’s mind.

Liza pulled over and Ed grabbed the basket.  They walked for a short distance before finding the perfect setting for a picnic.  The ground was soft yet dry.  There was a perfect view of the mountains just to the west. Continue reading

The Hospital


This is now the 25th chapter of “Of Wind and Wings”.  See the table of contents here.

The drive to the hospital took over two hours, which was made longer as Liza, who was driving, barely said a word the entire time, letting Ed’s imagination run wild.

When Ed, Dr. Smyth and the four men arrived on the hillside, the strange man was nowhere to be seen.  The Grubb was still as Ed had left him, bent the wrong way.  It was if Ed had just run out without checking on the man-boys condition.  Of course he didn’t know what he could have done.

“He is breathing,” the doctor said on arriving.

They slowly moved The Grubb onto the stretcher as the doctor examine the man-child.  He used his hands to feel all over the body, Ed guessed looking for protruding bones.

“Odd,” Dr. Smyth said.  “He fell from there?”  he pointed to the top of the little cliff.

Ed nodded, “Yes, we had climbed up from the other side.”  The drop seemed even bigger as Ed looked back up it than it did before, huge. Continue reading

To the Other Place


This is now the 24th chapter of “Of Wind and Wings”.  See the table of contents here.

“Hey… Grubb… let’s take… a bit… of a breather.  …OK?”

Without waiting for The Grubb to respond, Ed stopped and leaned against a large rock.  He tried to remember the last time he was as out of breath.

Nothing came to mind.

“Sure thing, Mr. Ed.  We can stop for a minute if you need to.  It ain’t far.  Just over this rise here and down the other side.”  The Grubb sounded as fresh as if he were sitting on a sofa.

Ed looked up where The Grubb was pointing.  They were near the top, but was almost a cliff to get there.  The odd thing was that there were clear paths around the protrusion they were scaling.

“Hey Grubb, why do we have to go over this rock again?  Why can’t we just go around?  It looks far easier and will come out in the same place.”

The Grubb let out a large visible sigh, as if dealing with a small child.  “I told you before, Mr. Ed.  The place we are going to isn’t a place like you think.  It’s a place in a different place.  It’s beneath.  And we have to go this way to get there.”

“Going up to go beneath?  I’m still…” Continue reading