New excerpt from Chapter 7 of Questor!

Here is a new excerpt from my SF adventure novel, Questor. This is from Chapter 7:

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Jon was supporting Triena by this time. “We should’ve rested somewhere earlier. It’s obvious you’re both completely worn out.”

“Yes, we made extensive use of our Gifts last night. Though I admit, this resulting tiredness is more extreme than I expected,” Triena said, her voice low and faint.

“That’s true. I’ve never felt so exhausted,” added Lector.

“I wonder,” interjected Manny, as the idea hit him, “if that really is the shield generator, could it be giving off some of the energy that it…amplifies into the atmosphere? If so, that could be causing an even greater drain on your energies than normal.”

“That could be—” Lector began.

“In which case, the sooner we get you away from here the better,” interrupted Jon firmly. “Let’s get as far in here as we need for safety. Take time for a good rest and then we get right off this mountain.”

Jon and Triena were walking in front, Jon supporting her so much now he was almost taking her whole weight. Behind them, Manny had taken Lector’s arm across his shoulders to support him when he’d stumbled and almost fallen.

“No…far…now,” Lector mumbled brokenly. Their tiredness seemed to have doubled just since they’d entered the cave.

The pathway ahead branched like a narrow Y, and Lector muttered they should go right. As they turned the corner, they were confronted by several Mideans.

It was difficult to say who was more shocked. They all stopped suddenly and just stared at each other. The problem was both Manny and Jon were hampered by the Rhiava, though Manny and Lector were somewhat protected by being behind Jon and Triena. Manny released Lector, who slipped back around the bend behind him. Even as Manny was struggling to pull out his weapon, two of the Mideans attempted to pull Triena from Jon’s grasp. He wouldn’t allow that, and soon they were involved in a fierce struggle during which Jon somehow managed to wedge himself between the Mideans and Triena. He shoved Triena back toward Manny.

Manny caught Triena, but in doing so he found himself swung around slightly so he was facing the other Mideans who’d been making a bee-line for him and Lector. He swept his weapon in their direction and three of them fell to the ground unconscious. That left two who were naturally more cautious. The Mideans scooted behind a convenient boulder and one of them blew something, not unlike a particularly shrill whistle, and from the other tunnel, just to their left, footsteps could be heard running and voices calling out.

Manny had to back away, still protecting Triena and Lector from both the remaining Mideans and from what must be another patrol approaching from the other tunnel, the entrance of which was just behind them.

“Jon! Jon, this way,” Manny called urgently.


It was a nice thought, but Jon couldn’t get away from the two Mideans with whom he struggled. He had no opportunity to draw his weapon, and the hand-to-hand fight he was engaged in had drawn him farther into the tunnel and away from the others.

He did the only thing he could. “Go, Manny, go. Get them out of here!” he yelled.

“Jon, no!” He heard the fear in Triena’s voice as she called out to him.

He renewed his efforts—not to escape, that was impossible…there were about eight Mideans now between him and the others—but to keep as many as possible of the Mideans occupied so his friends could escape. He was gratified to hear the repeated whine of Manny’s weapon, which meant he was still making his way out. Jon was horrified for a moment when he also heard the reply from one of the percussion weapons of the Mideans, but immediately afterward he heard Manny firing again and again, and the sound was fading with the distance.

Jon managed to keep the Mideans busy for a long two, maybe three minutes. It felt much longer, but it couldn’t have been much more. He took on four of them in the end, managing to knock out one before they overwhelmed him. They made him pay for his temerity, however. When it was clear his friends had escaped and the Mideans finally overcame Jon, two of them held him while the other used him as a punching bag, before dragging him off to some kind of control center in a nearby large cavern.

His face was badly cut and bruised and his abdomen and chest were particularly painful. He thought he probably had a couple of broken ribs, made more painful by the manner in which they tied his arms behind his back.

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Website update!

AQPBannerIt was necessary to update the links from my website to my publishers’ site. Amber Quill Press have just released their newly updated website – complete with new bells and whistles! – which meant that everyone has to ensure their own new links are up and running!

Take a peak at the new Amber Quill website and have a look at my site too, in case there’s something there you might have missed:)

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QUESTOR – new except from chapter 6!

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Here’s a new excerpt from my SF novel, Questor, this one is from chapter 6:


Jon was shocked out of his reverie by an almost forgotten sound. His transmitter was beeping at him, as was Manny’s alongside.

Manny hurriedly tapped his and called, “Come in, Questor. Mannheim here. Come in.”

They waited and then, sounding distant and slightly distorted, came Barlow’s voice. “Questor to Mannheim and Hardesty. Come in, please.”

“We hear you, Questor. This is Lieutenant Mannheim. Come in.”

They waited patiently, only to be greeted only with a repeat of Barlow’s message. “Questor to Mannheim and Hardesty. Come in, please.”

Frustration flickered across Manny’s face. “You try, Jon.”

“Hardesty to Barlow. Come in, please, Questor.” They waited again. There was a sound from Jon’s transmitter and then there was a similar buzz from Manny’s.

“I think they’re trying to boost the signal,” Manny said. “It must be difficult to break through the interference.” He waited for a couple of minutes before trying again. “Mannheim to Questor. Come in, please.”

“Barlow to Mannheim.” The distortion couldn’t mask the relief in Barlow’s voice. “We read you, but the signal is very distorted. Please advise your situation and how you read the signal?”

“It’s good to hear you from you, Commander, even if the signal isn’t too good. However, we could hear you before you could hear us. Jon and I are in good health, which is more than can be said for the shuttle.”

“Have you had any contact with the Rhiava?” Captain Sullivan asked.

The signal seemed to have settled to an acceptable, if somewhat crackly level.

“Yes. They rescued us when the shuttle crashed, and we’ve been staying with them ever since. They’re an exceptional race, sir. In fact, we’re accompanying two of them through the foothills below the mountains on the northern continent. We need to cross this mountain range to reach more of the Rhiava leaders, but we have to avoid Midean patrols, Captain.

“I don’t know whether you’re aware of this, but the Mideans placed a shield around the planet to try to coerce the Rhiava to provide their technological knowledge. They came here on the pretense of wanting to trade for food which is abundant on this planet, but what they really wanted was the advanced technology of the Rhiava. Also, the Rhiava have some remarkable mental skills…all of them, but especially their elders. But this shield is somehow blocking some of that power.”

“I’m afraid you’re breaking up again, Manny. Did we hear correctly? It’s the Mideans who placed the shield in the atmosphere?”

“Yes, according to—” Manny was interrupted by a shriek of static from his transmitter.

Jon tried to operate his, but got the same result.

“Well, at least we know they’re in orbit; they know we’re safe, if trapped. I’m sure they’ll be doing everything they can to help us.” Manny turned to Triena. “Hopefully, whatever action they take to aid us may also be beneficial for you. I’m sure they’ll keep trying to contact us, too.”

“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to tell them very much about the shield,” Jon said.

“It’s possible they’ll be able to discover more from orbit than we can from down here anyway. The ship has excellent sensor devices, and it’s clear they scanned the shield in detail from orbit, which is more than we could do from the shuttle,” Manny commented.

“We may as well carry on for the time being. There’s nothing to be gained by waiting for further contact, since we don’t know how long that could take,” Jon said.

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Interesting new excerpt from The Eynan!

TheEynan_medI though it was time I posted a new excerpt from my fantasy novel, The Eynan, perhaps to pique the interest of those not quite decided whether or not to buy the book:)  This is part of the scene where Jhond meets the man who accompanies him on his journey of discovery, Ninian:


He thought back to a conversation he’d had with Papa Marvek only a few weeks before he had died the year before last. Marvek had talked about the secrets still buried within the temple. He showed Jhond a huge volume called Mysteries of Power. Jhond remembered fingering the fragile pages that looked as if they might crumble if one held them too tightly. His grandfather had told him how very old it was and how many long lost secrets were hidden in its pages. Much of it was written in an archaic language of which Marvek could only read certain words, particular phrases and passages. One phrase Marvek said always fascinated him, always drew him back to it time and again was,


Power of the magi, lost and found, trapped and freed,

Beyond the pillars of history, beyond the sea,

Beyond the strands of time.


The reason it came back to Jhond now was that, according to the Mysteries of Power, the phrase was carved in the walls of the chapel deep in the chambers of the Temple of the Magi. It was said to be the most sacred mystery of the temple, hidden in plain sight because only those with the power to understand it would have the power to use it.

What particularly brought it back to Jhond’s mind that night was the fact the phrase “strands of time” appeared again. This time without the capital letters that had made it stand out in the oft-quoted reference. Should it really stand out as some kind of title? Was it purposely slipped unobtrusively into this important quote—hidden in plain sight? Did this phrase really have a more important, more special meaning?

“Don’t seem over-cautious there, friend.”

Jhond shot to his feet. The quiet, almost friendly voice shocked him out of his reverie. He swung around to see a tall, good-looking man with hair of the deepest black leaning against a tree directly behind where Jhond had been resting. The man had his hands crossed casually across his chest giving the clear message that he meant no harm—which was a good thing, too, considering he wore a long sword on the right side of his belt; two knives of varying lengths lay side by side on the left of his waist. To complete the picture, the stranger had a crossbow slung across his back and a quiver of bolts over one shoulder.

“Have I the need to be cautious with you, sir?” Jhond asked, acutely aware he was unarmed, his weapons across the fire nearer to his tethered horse than to him. This isn’t a good start to my career as an adventurer, he thought with ire.

“No, friend. Had you been of a mind to react differently, then I might have done the same. But you seem more interested in your reading matter than in being any kind of threat to me.” He smiled and moved forward with an unexpected grace for such a well-built man. “If you’d care to share your fire, we can each tell our story, if you’d be willing.” He nodded thanks as Jhond indicated with a wave of his arm that he might sit by the fire. He picked up an unseen large hold-all from behind the tree and threw it against the fallen log before squatting down the fire. “I am called Ninian. I am traveling north toward Myocol.”

“My name is Jhond.” He almost added of the House of Reeve, but stopped himself. He no longer felt he should use the connection. “Myocol. That’s a long journey on foot. Though I must say, you look well-prepared to protect yourself,” Jhond commented with a wry smile.

“Ah, but it’s a wise man who takes precautions, all the precautions he can.” He raised an eyebrow, emphasizing perhaps Jhond’s precautions were not all they could be, but adding a grin to take away any sting.

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QUESTOR – new excerpt from Chapter 5!

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Here’s a new excerpt from my SF novel, Questor, this one is from chapter 5:

Jon slipped into a troubled sleep just as dawn was breaking, to be wakened a couple of hours later by Manny, to find Sanctuary in a state of confusion.

While Triena and Jon were out on their patrol, another team had headed for the capital city of Reliff, beside the Mideans’ main base. The patrol had gone to see if they could learn anything from a contact they had in Reliff. The particular Gift of one of the elders, who was a prisoner in the city, was telepathy. He was able to send messages quite some distance, even out beyond the base, which separated the vast forest from the city. It was the only way to get information to and from those held in the city.

The team had arrived back in the early hours of the morning to report the Mideans had learned Triena was the name of the new Spirit of the people.

Apparently, the Mideans discovered the Ritual had a special meaning and had taken various persons from the streets of the city to find out what exactly that was. They’d been tortured, but the Mideans could get very little information. The prisoners died rather than give in. Until the day they took ten children prisoner and threatened to torture them next. Children were considered the Treasure of the future and no one would ever let harm come to a child. The imprisoned elders agreed they must tell the Mideans what they wanted to know, including the name of the new Spirit.

The elders confirmed she’d escaped and was hiding somewhere in the countryside, but they didn’t know where. It was a calculated risk, but luckily, the Mideans believed that was all they knew, and the children were released. It was known the Mideans were now sending out more and more patrols, believing if they could capture the Spirit they would control the populace—and they were right. The Mideans were determined to capture her.

Jon heard this with growing unease. He’d not admitted it to anyone, not really even to himself until now, just how very important Triena had become to him, and the idea she could be in danger was galling to him.

“Sernov?” he called quietly to the old man.

Sernov looked in his direction and walked over to him. “Jon, I trust you’re well this morning?”

“I’m fine thank you, but I couldn’t help but overhear the report from your patrol. Is there somewhere safer you could send Triena?”

“Unfortunately not. All our cities are under the control of the Mideans. There’s nowhere on the planet safer than here. It would be a long trip to the only other hidden place, Haven.”

“Yes, Triena mentioned that. It’s across the mountains, I believe.” Jon was pacing back and forth, unable to keep still.

“Yes, it’s a long trip and a dangerous one.” Sernov said.

“Surely, she’d be safer there than here. Haven is farther away from the base, isn’t it?”

“From this base, yes. There are other bases, but they’re even farther away. The problem would be the journey. It’s a long way on foot, through Midean patrols. While the shield is in place our Gifts are much suppressed, yet without the use of her Gift, Triena couldn’t make such a trip. Only frequent rest allows us to use the Gift for certain periods of time. It differs from person to person. I’d like nothing better than to send Triena to Haven, but the journey would be too much of a risk under the present circumstances.”

“Have you no weapons you could use for her protection?” There had to be something they could do.

Sernov shook his head. “We’ve not used weapons for generations. We’ve had no need of them.”

Jon wasn’t surprised to hear this. It was somehow right for this once peaceful planet. “My friend Manny and I have weapons.” He didn’t say anything further. He probably shouldn’t be interfering, but then again he’d been sent here for supplies his ship desperately needed. Surely offering assistance wouldn’t be frowned upon by the captain; it could only help their cause, couldn’t it? If the Rhiava wanted to take him up on the offer, at least it would be at their request. Who the hell am I trying to kid? When he first got the idea, he’d never even given the supplies a thought.

Sernov regarded Jon closely. He moved his face to almost touch noses with Jon and Jon looked back eyeball-to-eyeball. He’d nothing to hide and he wanted Sernov to see that.

“You’re offering to help again. At the risk of your own life?” Sernov asked.

“I didn’t think of it in those terms,” he replied honestly. “My life is important to me, as is that of my friend. I’m offering to help because I think you need it and I think you deserve it. The Mideans have no right to do what they’re doing here.” He told the truth, just not the whole truth. He didn’t know what Gift Sernov possessed, but the worst that could happen was the old man would know how he really felt. Embarrassing maybe, but that’s all.

“And it could help ensure we agree to your request for supplies?” Sernov asked, pointedly.

“I didn’t know your agreement to our request was dependent on anything other than a fair deal. I wasn’t offering help to coerce your agreement,” Jon replied indignantly.

Sernov looked into his face again and smiled. “No, I know you’re not.”

Jon frowned. Why did he think Sernov meant something else?

“We’ll discuss it. You’d better talk it over with your friend, don’t you think?”

end excerpt

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The Eynan: Amazon sales!

TheEynan_medRecently received my 4th quarter royalty statement which included 3rd quarter Amazon sales. I was pretty sure The Eynan was selling well but it’s been doing even better than I thought! Thanks to everyone who bought the novel, do hope you enjoyed it:)

And don’t forget the sequel will be out in the Summer!

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Social Media Links!

LesSeaThought it was time to remind folk of my social media links:)

Twitter and Facebook are in the sidebar, but it doesn’t do any harm to repeat them!



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Oh, and of course, my website:

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