Ambition’s Debt – An Historical Murder Story

The man who would be king has secretly entered the castle where live the young King Edward and his brother, Richard, Duke of York. He has come to see his young kinsman, Prince Richard, whose friendship he is cultivating. It is not his first visit.

Back in London, a coronation is being planned and the new young king is brought, against  the wishes of his mother, the formidable Elizabeth Woodville, to accustom himself to his new life, new courtiers, and new guardian, his uncle, Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, a man with ambitions of his own. Young Edward is homesick and lonely so what would be better than to bring to London to be his companion and playmate, his young brother, that mischief, Dicky, Duke of York? And where better to keep them safe but in that formidable and impressive fortress, the Tower of London? But there is a murderer on the loose, and he has the perfect cover, the ability to see his little kinsmen whenever he likes…

This murder mystery is a new take on the murder of the Princes in the Tower, and the ending is not what most people believed at the time, or even today…

The Hollow Crown – Book 1 of The Barbary Trilogy

Judita, always known as Jude, and her cousin Edmund, both fifteen, are sent to spend the summer holidays with their grandmother at her rambling Tudor mansion on the south coast of the Isle of Wight. She has had a fall and broken her leg and needs them to look after her but as soon as they arrive they swiftly learn there is much more to it than that. The house, a minor stately home which is open to the public, is in danger of being taken away from her… by an unknown adversary. Slowly Edmund and Jude begin to realise this is far more sinister than it appears.

Why does their grandmother believe someone is trying to harm her?

Who is the mysterious stranger Jude sees late at night in the grounds, someone who must be known to the household for the dogs do not bark?

Who were the two men in a BMW with blacked out windows who Jude is sure has followed her to the Island from London?

But most of all why is Jude having a terrifying recurring dream, that seems to take her and Edmund back to Shakespeare’s England and to a group of people who are after her… now. And then there is a code to crack, still unsolved for over four hundred years..

This is the first part of a three-book mystery story that starts in the past and stretches over four hundred years to its dramatic conclusion today. Set in present day Isle of Wight and London as well as the inns, theatres, and secret hiding places of Shakespeare’s time, it is filled with a code to solve, symbolism to be discovered and how the mysterious past is both hindering and helping Edmund and Jude in saving their family from a fate that is too dreadful to contemplate.

A trilogy of novels for young people aged about 11 to 15.

Watch The Wall – Part 2 of The Vectis Trilogy

The French Revolution is full flood.  The ruling classes are fleeing for their lives and the royal family are in mortal danger.  Back in England, Jacques, the Duc de St Aubin has escaped the murderous mobs and is once again back on his beloved Isle of Wight, and safe…

… or so he believes…

Married now to his beautiful wife, the former Lady Sophia Catesby, life is good.  With the addition of their baby son, the horrors of Jacques’ native land and with his old enemies, his cousin William, Earl of Roxford dead and Claudette du Bonne, the duplicitous heroine of the terrible Revolution back in France, Jacques’ life is settled, prosperous and happy…

… or so he believes…

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Letting Go

The sleepy Somerset village of Melfont St Peter is quietly agog. Hailing from London, a new resident is about to appear in the village, renting for a year one of the picturesque cottages that abound in this glorious, wild countryside. Who is she and why is she there?  A middle aged, high powered business woman they have been told. But they were wrong or made assumptions that were incorrect, at any rate. Antonia Graham, collected from the London train by the local taxi firm is certainly a businesswoman, one most highly respected and revered, but at 29 she is hardly middle aged. And she is beautiful.

An artist on sabbatical for a year, she tells the family who live next door, inviting her for supper as soon as she arrives but that is very far from all. Antonia has a secret and the creeping menace that she wrongly believes is slipping further into the background in reality draws ever closer and in this idyllic place she is in more danger than she has ever been in all her life.

As her new affair with the charismatic local vet and land owner, Francis Melfont-Clare, blossoms into real passion for them both, Antonia is in love. But Francis, too has a past and he, too has many decisions to make and he, to his cost also naively believes Antonia is safe.

But they are both wrong…

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The Gentlemen Go By – Part 1 of The Vectis Trilogy

The year is 1788, the year before the French Revolution. In Paris the mood against the king and the aristocrats is becoming increasingly ugly. Across the Channel, in London, the nineteen year old orphan, socialite Lady Sophia Catesby, is left alone when her step-father, Edward, Earl of Roxford, is killed fighting for his country in a foreign war. Yet she is not to be too much pitied as he has left her a fortune.  But also there is a stipulation.

Until she inherits the money at the age of twenty-one, she is to leave London and reside with a guardian. That guardian is his best friend and first cousin, Jacques, Marquis de St Aubin, a man she has barely heard of and never met. Despairing, angry and frustrated, Sophia knows she must obey.  She knows she will despise him and find this unknown bachelor, a contemporary of Edward’s, dull and tedious. But who really is Jacques?

Sophia has much to learn of Jacques and also about the reasons behind this enforced exile. But unbeknownst to her danger is lurking in the shape of her loathed uncle William, a spendthrift, a snob and a bully and now the new Earl of Roxford. And Edward has placed another proviso, one perhaps he shouldn’t have for it has made William a dangerous man indeed. But to begin with neither she, nor Jacques have yet realised it…

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Tigers Of Wrath

When Flora Bellinger returned from a shopping trip to her elegant Wimbledon home to find her husband, Edward, having sex with his secretary, it was the last straw. From being a quiet, gentle, biddable creature, overnight she turned into a positive and forthright young woman, determined to have her own way and be shot of Edward and his incessant philandering for good. Flora leaves London with their two young sons to live in a peaceful Hampshire village.

Peace does not linger long, however. The developers are after her bit of rural Hampshire. To the horror of the whole community, they are threatened with the building of a new motorway, literally on their back doorstep. The village, and Flora with them, is up in arms. They will fight to save their piece of paradise on earth. But the appeal to save the village is not the only thing Flora finds to care passionately about. There is also Colin du Barrie – the handsome, charismatic, famous artist, her new neighbour, and his marriage, too is on its way out…

Their affair has to be a secret for the moment. No scandal dare blight the cause. There is a long and dangerous road ahead of Colin and Flora before they can admit to the world they love each other and as two of the leaders of the appeal surely they have to be as Caesar’s wife…

This is story of blossoming and enduring passionate physical love set amongst avarice, betrayal, suspicion and double dealings stretching from the corridors of powerful Westminster right to the heart of a tiny, sleepy Hampshire village.

 

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Brief Candle

BriefCandle_Cover_v2Camilla Weston has always wanted to act. After drama school and a couple of years in the professional theatre she lands the part of Portia in ‘The Merchant of Venice’ at the prestigious Pelican Theatre in London to be directed by one of the finest talents in modern revival theatre, Sir Malcolm Masterson. Playing opposite Camilla is to be Leo Frensham, a talented young actor in his own right but suffering as well as benefitting from the fact his father, world famous actor of stage and screen, Sir Peter Frensham, has done it all before. Leo loathes his womanising, four-times-married, self-opinionated and overbearing father.
Gradually Camilla and Leo forge a close relationship both on and off the stage. As their personal affinity deepens, Camilla learns much about the complex Leo and as the days and weeks pass, Leo and Camilla’s friendship blossoms into a passionate love affair.
The first night dawns. Audience and critics alike are bowled over by this new production of ‘The Merchant’. In the audience, beside his subdued and bullied wife, Mollie, Peter Frensham watches his son’s performance but it is Camilla who entrances him and silently he decides this lovely girl is to be the next Lady Frensham. Discovering that Leo and Camilla are an item, while pretending to be delighted with the news, Peter plots his own dreadful scheme to win her for himself…
This is a story of love, lust, sex and hate, ambition and danger set amongst the actors and directors in the world of quality professional theatre in London’s West End.

 

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Natural Allies

The time is the present. Four elderly women, friends all their lives – stand beside the grave of a fifth. The daughter of one, beside them stares from one to the next and asks a singular question.

“It’s quite a simple question. We all know which one of you killed Robert, but which one of you four – you conniving, lying, hypocritical witches – killed Julia?”

The clock goes back to 1954…

Five girls, Meg, Julia, Sylvie, Marcia and Fenella, sit together on the beach, enjoying their last few hours of girlhood together before each goes out into the world, school over now for ever. At the suggestion of Fenella, they agree to keep in touch as years go by, to meet up regularly, support and share with these, their greatest friends, whatever life will throw at them.

Each have a very different journey to make but along every step of the way, through triumph and disaster, these five share it all with one another. Through marriage, childbirth, infidelity and infertility, the secrets, lies, loyalty, sexual passion, heartbreak, failures and successes finally ending in extraordinary murder, this remarkable friendship, traverses six decades. Amongst the changing habits and morals of modern Britain, emerge the stories of each of these five – how their very different lives weave together ending in the most devastating secret of all that will bind them closer to one another for all time.

 

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Passion’s Slave

Charles Farrant is one of the most charismatic, influential, wealthy and successful investment bankers in the City of London.  A leading light in his profession, famed for his straight dealing, none the less Charles has a secret.

At a dinner party in London at the table of mutual friends Edward and Marie Boscombe, Charles meets Thea Beresford – recently divorced from her dreary, adulterous husband, Ben.  Over the subsequent four days Charles and Thea meet often and start a passionate love affair.  During the course of the next few weeks Charles and Thea spend more and more time together accompanied often by Charles’s precocious twelve year old daughter, Florence and Thea’s three children, teenaged Tom and Ned and twelve year old Sasha.

Through a dreadful quirk of fate the secret Charles wishes to keep very firmly locked up and away from Thea, appears to be in danger of being exploded before her.  Unrealised by Thea, their happiness hangs in the balance and for once in his life, Charles is helpless…

This is a tale of deception, double-dealing, love, sex, and betrayal set partly in the world of the multi-millionaire world of the City and life in the outwardly tranquil shires in West Sussex.  Lives are torn apart and for all, never will be the same again.

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The Jade King and the Animals of Destiny – Paperback

The Jade King And The Animals Of Destiny is available now in paperback, published by Shimran Press. ISBN 978-1-910819-49-4. RRP £7.99

Synopsis:

The Lord High King of Heaven, his Imperial Majesty, the Jade King, sat on his Jade Throne and gazed down at the little world of his creation and frowned. It was a beautiful little world of blue and green and white and gold and was nearly perfect all in all, except for one thing. Mankind. They were potentially all right as creations went but they had bought something new into this perfect world – disobedience.

They needed help and guidance but from whom and how? As he frowned and thought he hit upon a plan. To this end he called to him his busy and overworked secretary and told him to issue twelve invitations. They were an interesting mixture, these twelve – animals all – and the flustered secretary set off to deliver them to the guests. All of these invitations were received in very different ways but one, oh dear, was not delivered at all…

This is the retelling of the myth surrounding the formation of the Chinese Zodiac and how each year was given to be overseen by one animal after another and how His Majesty chose finally the order in which they should come and how they still rule us all to this day…

Cover Design by Tim Blazdell, Artwork by Josh Ford.