Excerpt: Cosplay Killer

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Excerpt

“I’m Oz. He’s D. And we’ll be back for another rundown of murder and mayhem next week. Stay tuned for Osian and Danny’s London Crime Podcast.” He checked his watch, counting down a few seconds before signalling to Dannel to pause the recording. “Another one bites the dust.”

“Oz and D?”

Osian grinned over the top of his laptop at his boyfriend of fourteen years. They’d been best friends practically from infancy and started dating in their teens. “We’re hip with the kids.”

“I am not hip. I have two.” Dannel swivelled in his chair before pushing himself across their living room floor. “And thirty isn’t old age. Besides, how many teenagers are listening to true crime podcasts?”

“Let me have my dream.” Osian followed him down the hall into their bedroom. He stretched out on the bed to watch Dannel prepare for his shift. “Ready to go for twelve hours?”

Dannel glared over his shoulder; his dark brown eyes always seemed to pierce into Osian. “What do you think?”

Truthfully, Osian didn’t know for sure what Dannel thought about being a firefighter. Dannel had followed in his father’s footstep, yet he didn’t quite fit the mould. Osian worried it might come crashing down eventually.

Am I borrowing trouble from the future? Maybe it’ll all work out on its own. Although, when does it ever?

Watching Dannel comb his short black curls trimmed into a high fade before spritzing his hair with argan oil, Osian couldn’t help dragging his fingers through his own untidy brown mane. Though they had much in common, they were polar opposites in other ways. Their differences made their relationship stronger, in Osian’s opinion.

Dannel always made him think of a buffer version of Richard Ayoade. Osian had a striking resemblance to the actor Matt Ryan. He’d even cosplayed as John Constantine and Edward Kenway because of it.

“Meeting me after shift for an early breakfast?”

“Go on, then.” Osian leaned up on his elbows for a kiss. He smiled when Dannel brushed his lips quickly, then bolted from the room. “Bye.”

Since they’d grown up together, Osian knew the ins and outs of Dannel’s personality probably better than his own family did. They’d been inseparable from the time they could toddle across the hall to each other’s homes. He’d been the first one Dannel told about his autism diagnosis.

With Dannel gone for his shift, Osian faced the silence in their two-bedroom flat with a sense of dread. He hated the quiet. It allowed his thoughts to stray to things better left forgotten.

Rolling off the bed, he headed into the en suite to stare glumly into his own blue eyes in the mirror. He shook his head. I’m not old enough to feel so bloody tired all the time. His thoughts seemed to drain every ounce of energy out of him.

Tired and drained.

Drained and tired.

Guilt weighed him down, as though the entire Tottenham Hotspur team had climbed on his shoulders. Time heals all wounds is such bollocks. A year hadn’t brought him much relief.

 
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3cqaPET
All Links: https://books2read.com/cosplaykiller

Motts Cold Case Micro-Fiction

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A little 100-word micro-fiction, I wrote for my Motts Cold Case Mystery series. I usually share these in my Cozies by the Fire facebook group.

“He’s hairless.”

“He isn’t.” Motts cuddled her newly adopted Sphynx kitten to her chest. “He’s got peach-fuzz like fur. Feels like rubbing a pair of suede trousers.”

“How do you go out for a cat and come home with a naked one?” Her dad seemed far more amused than her mum. “He’ll be cold.”

“I got him a sweater.” Motts held up a tiny jumper in her other hand. “He’ll be fine. He’s adorable and perfect.”

“Still hairless.”

“Are you broken?” She stared at her dad who continued chuckle. “He’s not actually naked. He’s a cat.”

“Are you sure?”

“I’m ignoring you now.”

Excerpt: Here Comes The Son

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Excerpt:

Strapping on his bag, Iggy dragged a hand roughly through his short black hair. He winked at the librarian who grumbled at him when he leaped over a book cart in his path on the way toward the front entrance. She blushed, a response he was used to with his inherited looks and charm.

As one of his best friends from high school used to say, he had wickedly devilish good looks. He told her to stop reading Regency romances. From his jet-black hair to his deep brown eyes, he knew his face balanced the angelic with the roguish.

I’d do me.

Blinded by the bright sunshine, Iggy took a moment to adjust after stepping outside. Denver’s Central Library had always been a favorite of his for research, with its massive collection. Plus, he always thought the building seemed almost like a grouping of castle turrets.

He paused on the corner of Broadway and Thirteenth Avenue. Spring was supposed to have sprung in the Mile High City. Not that the weather had noticed; they’d only just thawed out from winter.

And judging by the crisp air and gathering clouds on the mountains, they’d be inundated with another blizzard before the end of the day.

Jogging down Thirteenth, Iggy skidded to a halt on Lincoln. He tilted his head, trusting his finely honed instincts. Half a block down, he spotted an alley between a parking lot and the Art Institute that was shadowed more than it should’ve been in the bright early afternoon sun.

One step into the gap between the buildings, and he’d plunged into nighttime. The smell of sulfur swirled around him. He slipped his bag around his body, reaching inside for a spray can.

“Ah, Son of the Morning Star. Half-breed. I hoped you’d sense my presence.” Rastran stood at the end of the unnaturally dark alley. He leaned casually against the industrial air conditioner with one foot resting on a body, completely disregarding the dirt now staining his designer suit. Demons always enjoyed life’s luxuries. “Ignatius Faber, we’ve saved you for last. Your father’s brightest light. A beautiful irony. All of his hopes pinned on the one offspring who matched him most in appearance and strength. Pity he can’t see the monster he created.”

With a hard kick, Rastran sent the body rolling along the filthy ground to land barely a foot away from Iggy. Titus. One of his many half-siblings. Iggy hadn’t seen his brother in weeks. They’d all assumed Titus was on a hunt.

They generally kept in close contact, particularly since hundreds of other half-siblings had been culled over the past eight years. Titus and Iggy were the only ones left. Rage erupted deep inside him.

“I’m the monster?” Iggy calmly stepped over Titus, shoving grief and anger viciously down to remain focused. He had a demon to deal with. His fingers wrapped tightly around the canister of compressed holy water in his pocket. It resembled pepper spray but worked to stun creatures of Hell long enough for him to send them home. “You should’ve stayed away from my city.”

 


Buy Links:

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2lcaCwN

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2JWcKXw

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2JWcUhA

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2litkmF

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2sYpraG

iTunes: https://apple.co/2le829J

Nook: http://bit.ly/2LUULhw

 

Character Deep Dive: Vina

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A closer look at Pravina from my cosy mystery series, Motts Cold Case Mystery Series

1. She’s Motts’s ex-girlfriend.

2. Nish is her twin brother.

3. She’s a whirlwind of spice, style, chaos, and laughter.

4. Her mother is Indian and her father is Cornish.

5. She loves baking.

6. She longs to live outside of Cornwall, but can’t imagine leaving.

7. The most impulsive out of the group of friends.

8. She would take a bullet for Motts.

9. Not as studious as her twin.

10. She’s not really a ‘pet’ sort of person but she does love Motts’s cat.

A brief excerpt from After the Scrum

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~ A brief excerpt from After the Scrum ~

“No, Sherlock, stop it. You uncivilized mongrel!” Francis Keen, interior decorator extraordinaire, tripped over his own feet and his dog’s leash.  He landed in a heap on the walk outside his home. “Damnation, you obstinate creature, heel. Do you even know what the word means?”

“Having trouble, love?”

“No, Gran.” Francis straightened himself up, running his fingers through his now thoroughly mussed-up mass of light brown hair.  He ignored his beloved grandmother’s tittering giggles while attempting to glare balefully at his Shetland sheepdog, Sherlock, his beloved and the bane of his existence. “Have a good day, Gran.”

“Try to stay on your feet, love.” She waved at him with another laugh then headed up the walk to their shared home.

Oh, the humiliation.

He’d gotten a smaller dog to go with his own more slender frame.  He didn’t fancy being dragged off by a monster of a mutt.  Sherlock didn’t appear to understand his purpose in life.  Even for a smaller dog, he managed to yank his owner off his feet quite frequently.

The sheltie served other purposes, besides companion and best friend.  Francis simply didn’t advertise what Sherlock’s training actually entailed.  He didn’t want the sympathetic stares.

“One morning, Sherlock, just one would be nice.  I’d give you the largest beef bone in the world if you could allow me to preserve my dignity once.” Francis fumbled with the keys to his only prized possession—a turquoise Fiat 500 from the seventies that had been painstakingly and lovingly refurbished. He patted the dashboard reverently once he’d situated himself and his insane canine. “Well, Watson, time to take the world by storm.  Are you ready?”

 

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2fYVvHa
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2nzCI5Z
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2rZW89E
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2GAqClD

Quoth the Raven: Part II

A couple years ago, I put a blog post together of writing quotes I enjoy and use for inspiration.

I thought I’d share a few more of my favourite quotes. This time from books I read either as a kid or in my teens.

  •  “. . . . I cannot escape my life but can only use my determination and courage to make it the best I can.”  ― Karen Cushman, Catherine, Called Birdy
  • “There’s some good in this world, Mr Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.” – J.R.R. Tolkien
  • “I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.” – Jane Austen, Persuasion
  • “Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs. – Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
  • “As Estha stirred the thick jam he thought Two Thoughts and the Two Thoughts he thought were these: a) Anything can happen to anyone. and b) It is best to be prepared.” —Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things