You can now read the opening to my novel, Archipelago, on Wattpad:
Sometimes running is the only option.
After a flu pandemic devastated the old world, the Archipelago offered humanity’s only hope for safety, sanctuary and continuation. Hundreds of years later, paranoia and fear of the world beyond fuels political, religious and ideological isolationism and a brutal approach to strangers from outside.
Caerlin Kengarl, an unwilling smuggler, feels anything but safe when she decides to keep a fortune in stolen drug money. When she becomes implicated in the murder of a noble-born dealer with powerful connections, she has no choice but to run.
Aaron Fuidinniel is an orphan wrestling with his conscience. When he refuses to carry out orders and shows mercy, defending the Isles, his future is uncertain. When he saves Caerlin by committing murder, he condemns both of them.
To escape certain torture and death, they attempt something forbidden: flight to the open ocean and the world beyond. Pushing against the fear of what’s beyond and escaping the forces pursuing them, they also battle with their own histories.
13-year-old Louis is convinced there is a mystery to solve in his small town. What is the deep throbbing that shakes the bones of the old town at night? What is actually being built in the station development near his house? When he persuades his friend Fran to investigate, they stumble upon a tragic accident and he witnesses the impossible.
Serafina is a teenager from a different dimension; her world is both a mirror to Louis’ and utterly different. As the daughter of Dion, an ambitious and ruthless leader, she has privilege and expectations, neither of which she wants. Her country is imploding as civil war threatens unless her mother’s audacious plan works.
As their stories intertwine, both will need to choose a side and both will discover the truth is far more complicated and dangerous.
The latest chapter of my fantasy novel “Archipelago” has just been released on Channillo.com.
Read a sample here:
Aaron approached the Naval Militia Offices, an austere stone building five stories high, overlooking The Bay of Kelmardos. It ran along the east side of the lake surrounding The Lords Tower, creating a functional curtain wall that could – in theory at least – be defended. Built on Ancient foundations, it wore a sense of history; its stoic seaworn solidity marked by centuries of wear. He walked up the steps, countless feet, winds and rains marking the passage of time.
An imperial guard in full ceremonial armour stood to attention at the grand entrance. He barely looked at Aaron. The doors were open – created in epic proportions, a full six feet taller than him – the hallway inside likewise expansive. Concrete pillars supported the vaulted roof, the ceiling’s heroic plasterwork crumbling to leave deformed creatures cavorting above. Elaborate stained glass decorated one vast window frame overlooking the tower. Small panes, each held in a dark lead lattice, formed a scene depicting The Cataclysm – figures dying, bodies twisting in pestilent agony, whilst The Ancestors fled to the islands. A sweeping staircase spiralled up and corridors led off in two directions. An elderly scribe nodded a greeting.
Shifters, my first novel, is due for release in August. Read the opening below…
Newcombe is almost silent, the only sound a muffled, mechanical music, so deep it seems to run through the bones of the old town. Although a recent addition to the town’s auditory landscape, it’s a reminder of developments. Of Newcombe’s ambition. During the night, it becomes clearer; a kind of palpitating heartbeat, although whether this signals an improvement or the gradual decay and expiration of the place, is hard to tell.
Louis Scully ducks under the raised sash window opening out from his living room, and climbs awkwardly down into the street of terraced houses. After a brief scan of the road, he closes the frame, flinching as the wood squeals where the frames rub. The night is foggy, mist twisting and gyrating around the rusting art-deco street lights; Station Road at night is like an eighties horror movie set. The terraces line the road on both sides, silent and watchful. It’s different from the street he knows so well during daylight hours. He unconsciously brushes at the marks the windowsill left on his trousers. She’ll be here somewhere. He hopes she will. He thinks about crossing his fingers, but pushes the thoughts away. He’s not superstitious, unlike his mum. Instead, he decides to run, breaking the atmosphere. Fog muffles the sound of his footsteps. At the end of his street he turns into a park and nearly crashes into Francesca Merriweather. She’s waiting next to the Station Road street sign, crouching in the shadows, watching…