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24 Posts tagged with the alyssa tag

Book 4 release date

Posted by spooks101 Jan 28, 2018

At long last, after 2 years of work, Haldred Chronicles: Anna is finally being released!




My 4th book will be available from the 1st February 2018.  The final proof is being checked over, the cover is ready, and all I have to do is the technical stuff and it will be available on Amazon Kindle.




As a bit of history, the beginnings of this book were in 2012, as it was originally going to be the 2nd book in the series after 'Alyssa'. However, the story didn't quite fit with what I had planned at the time so it was shelved.




Now, after extensive updating to bring it in line with everything that's happened in the previous books, it fits with the series just right.




Without giving too much away, the new book takes the characters to a foreign land and will introduce the reader to several more nations of the Haldred Chronicles world.




I hope all of you will enjoy reading this latest book, just as much as I have enjoyed writing it.




Expect another blog update on the 1st February, announcing the official release and providing a link to purchase :).




One more thing.




I'm making all 3 of the previous books in the series (Alyssa, Kalla and Shade) available free on Amazon Kindle from the 1st February to the 5th February. So if you know anyone who might fancy getting into a new book series, please let them know!




Until the 1st my friends!

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What's been happening?

Posted by spooks101 Apr 25, 2016


It’s been a long time since my last update, but during the last four months, a huge amount has happened.


The most significant, and most important, is the birth of my son; my first born.


Logan was born on the 1st April 2016, and my wife and I could not be happier.  The ‘wee man’ (a very common Northern Irish phase that applies to him perfectly) is doing very well and growing up fast.  It’s only been three weeks but we see such changes in him.  We are, as doting parents, taking a lot of photos.  Not all of which will be on Facebook.


In between recent daddy duties and preparing for the birth of my son, I have actually managed a lot of writing.


Within the last few months I have written a couple of fan-fiction stories for a wargame that I play called ‘Dystopian Wars’ by Spartan Games.  Its a game set in an alternative 1800's with a distinct Steam-punk style to both its background and game play.  The fiction pieces were for a friends gaming campaign to flesh out a small rulebook he was preparing, and I have included the longer of the two at the end of this blog post.  I hope fans of the game will enjoy, and I hope other readers will just like the story on it’s own.


I have also continue to do work on the Wrathborn wargame, fleshing out more background details and stories for the gaming system.  More work will follow in the coming months all being well.


I also very recently sent off a sample story to Black Library, a publishing house that produce novels for the sci-fi and fantasy wargames Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer Age of Sigmar.  They are currently running a competition to choose new authors and had requested submissions, so I duly threw my hat into the ring.  Hopefully they look on my submission favourably, but we see.


Finally, I have not been idle on the Haldred Chronicles front.





I have chosen ‘Haldred Chronicles: Anna’ to be the fourth book in the series.  This was one of the Haldred Chronicles books I was thinking of kicking off in December 2015.  I am now working my way through my original 19,000 words and updating the draft.  When I have time, and with a new born this is often a very mutable thing, I intend to work on the book and flesh things out.


My objective is to have a first draft done by the end the summer, and maybe release the book in November or December 2016.  Time will tell, but at least I have something to work toward.


In the meantime, on the 1st May 2016 the first two Haldred Chronicles books (Alyssa and Kalla) will be FREE on Amazon Kindle for a limited time.  So if you haven’t had a read of them, or know someone who’d maybe be interested in a little fantasy murder mystery and detective, head on over to (link

or (link

and grab a free copy of both books.  I hope you enjoy!


That’s all folks.  I leave you with my Dystopian Wars fan-fiction story and I hope you enjoy.  Till next time.


* * * * *

A Mystery Considered


Lord Alexander Stanwell-Howe shot bolt upright in bed.

“That’s it!” he cried, much to the surprise of his cat ‘Lady Hathaway’, the black feline jumping in fright off the four poster bed.

Quickly Stanwell scrambled out of bed, jumping into his slippers and practically running for his over-stacked work desk in the next room.  He lite an oil lamp sat nearby and started searching frantically through the documents upon the extensive oak wood desk.

“Yes, yes I’m sure of it!” he said, though whether to himself or to the many cats that quickly assembled round him was unclear.  He eyed a particular document, emblazoned with the seal of the Federated States of America.

“Ah ha!  This proves it!”

He looked to a particular tiger furred cat that sat, curled up on a nearby shelf

“The prime minister will need to hear this immediately Lord Barnsby!” Stanwell declared; the cats only 




reaction was to eye him suspiciously before seeming to fall back asleep.  Leaving the papers still strung across his desk, Stanwell marched confidently to his bed side.  He grabbed a small handle set into the side of his bedside cabinet.  He turned the handle several times, before a well-worn red button flicked upwards from within the mahogany construction; he pushed it and was aware of a bell ringing somewhere distant.

After a few minutes, Stanwell’s butler arrived.

“You rang my lord?” he said after opening the expansive double doors of his master’s bedroom and study. His lordship was by this stage changing into his day clothes.

“Yes indeed Winston, I must meet urgently with the Prime Minister and the Minister of War.  I have concluded something of great and frightful importance!  They must be informed at once!”

“Very good sir, though I should warn you it is two o'clock in the morning.”

Stanwell blinked in surprise at his man servant.  He strode over to the window to his bedroom, still buttoning his shirt, and pulled open the curtains; nothing but star-scattered blackness stared back at him.

“Well Winston, I’m afraid we shall have to dispense with the niceties of sleep.  This can’t wait and indeed, I fear we may already be too late.  Please communicate with them that I shall meet them at the Houses of Parliament, post haste!”

“Very well sir.” Replied Winston, hiding his concerns for his master’s sanity behind his neutral expression.  He hurried to carry out Lord Stanwell-Howe’s unusual request.

* * * * *

An hour later, Stanwell paced up and down the flag stones of the inner sanctum of the Houses of Parliament.  Around him the only observers were a couple of late night guards who eyed the unusual man wearily; his pacing was facilitated via his custom built mechanical chair, that he used when conducting government business.  The spider-like machine lurched up and down, steam hissing from joints of it's mechanical legs occassionally, though Stanwell gave no indication that the unusual motion was upsetting him.  Instead, his face appeared fixed in concentration; his single machine-eye, embedded where his left eye should have been, flickered blue and red as if he too were some kind of machine given human form.  Beside him, one of his small black cats kept pace with both chair and master. 

Stanwell did not speak to the cat as he prepared himself; he'd learnt through experience that chatting to cats in public was frowned on.

Just at that moment the Prime Minister arrived; it was three thirty in the morning so he was not in the best of moods.

“I do hope you have a **** good reason for getting me out of bed at this ungodly hour Stanwell!” the Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, bellowed as he thundered from the parliament buildings main entrance, flanked by his heavily armed household guards and several nervous looking aids.

“I assure you I do sir!” Stanwell replied, immediately brought out of his concentration now that his summons had been answered.  “Is the Minister of War with you?"

"Well I wouldn’t say I'm with the PM, par-say." Came a voice, as Lord Strathgordon made his




appearance from a side door, slipping in with much less extravagance than the Prime Minister.  He regarded Stanwell through his goggle like glasses and tipped his top hat.  The PM simply glared at both of men as he came up to them, handing his cloak to one of his aids and straightening his waist coat.

"Get to it man, why are we here?" Ordered Benjamin.

"I have grave news gentlemen." Stanwell announced.  "An attack is imminent!"

Despite the late hour, Lord Strathgordon chuckled.  "My dear boy, we are at war.  An attack is always imminent."

Stanwell returned the smile.  "Indeed minister, but I mean imminent in a location we did not suspect was under threat.  I speak of the Indonesian islands!"

"Rubbish!" Grumbled the Prime Minister.  "Our latest spy reports indicate the Empire of the Blazing Sun would prefer no hostilities there.  It's too important for them and too important for us.  A major engagement would drain their resources to too great a degree, especially with their attacks upon the Russians."

"I would have agreed with you a week ago Prime Minister." Stanwell shot back, his mechanical chair hissing as it manoeuvred to better position him to speak to the two most powerful men in Britannian. "But I have been going over other intelligence reports, from other sources.  I have deduced a conspiracy is afoot; our enemies mean to deceive us!"

"Explain." Asked Lord Strathgordon politely, indicating with his walking stick.

"Our own intelligence has shown that the Japanese government would rather hostilities not begin in Indonesian; they require all their resources to strike against the Russian and American fleets.  However, I have studied the intelligence reports of our American comrades.  They detail the troop movements of the Prussians and French.  I have realized something in my deductions; several of our enemies army units are missing."

"Missing?" Asked Benjamin, his brow furrowing.

"Yes sir!" Continued Stanwell.  "For months they were reported in Europe and the Mediterranean, engaged on numerous fronts.  Then suddenly, reports on particular army units ceased!"

“Could the units not simply have been destroyed?” Strathgordon suggested.

“These are not companies or even regiments Minster, but entire army groups!  As successful as our engagements have been, and those of our allies, destroying an entire army battle group of any size is no mean feat!  I fear that these army groups have disappeared from the European and Mediterranean threatres, because they have been redeployed!”

Stanwell reached into the folds of his coat, producing several rolled up parchments.  He unrolled one and held it out for the two ministers to see.

“An intelligence photograph, one taken not long ago near Indonesia, perhaps only two hundred miles distance.  One of several.  It was not marked as important when first I came upon it, but I fear it is.”

The black and white photograph appeared to show nothing more than a dark shadow in the sea, obviously photographed at great distance and in stormy weather.

“I took the liberty of enhancing it.” Stanwell said, unrolling another page.  This one showed more of




the shadow, and several notes that Stanwell had made.  At the top of the page, the words ‘Metzger B’ were written in black ink.

“A Prussian battle robot.” Said Strathgordon, adjusting his glasses as he peered at the parchment.

“Difficult to see considering the photograph was taken during rough seas." continued Stanwell.  "I did further cross referencing with other reports.  I was not only able to identify the robot but confirm that this particular battle robot was attached to the 23rd Reserve Iron fleet.  One of the fleets now missing from the European threatre.”

Strathgordon and the Prime Minister exchanged looks.

“This better not be a wild goose chase Stanwell.” Grumbled Benjamin.  “or I might reconsider retaining you as my advisor.”

“I assure you Prime Minster, it is not!" Stanwell quickly retorted.  "I have many reports and analysis documents just like this.  I will gladly turn them over to prove my point; our enemy is moving.  They are redeploying army and naval battle groups to Indonesian in preparation for an attack.  It will be headed by the Empire of the Blazing Sun, but it is their Imperial Bond allies who will provide the lions share of the manpower and firepower.  This will leave the Japanese free to continue their attacks elsewhere without undue drain on their resources.”

“Prime Minster, with your permission I would like to convene the War ministry immediately to consider a response.” Strathgordon asked.

The Prime Minister nodded somewhat reluctantly; he let out a breath.

“Very well, see to it Strathgordon.  I will have an emergency cabinet meeting organized in the morning.  Stanwell, you best prepare yourself.  This will be a busy week if what you say is true.”

“I shall Prime Minster!”

Stanwell saluted, an unnecessary gesture from a civilian but the Prime Minster returned it anyway, shaking his head as one of his aids returned his cloak and he turned to leave.

Strathgordon and Stanwell watched him go.

“Good work Stanwell.” Said the Minister of War.  “We’ll consider carefully how best to respond.  We may well have to call on our own allies to aid us in this endeavour.”

“I agree my lord.” Nodded Stanwell.  Despite his manic nature, his face turned serious.

“I fear this clash will involve all of our own Grand Coalition allies and our enemies in the Imperial Bond.  The fate of all of the Indonesian islands may be at stake!”


* * * * *


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Haldred Chronicles BIG news

Posted by spooks101 Sep 1, 2015

At long last, the third book in my Haldred Chronicles series is out on Amazon Kindle.  Haldred Chronicles: Shade.

You can purchase the new book HERE on, and HERE on

But I’ve been keeping secret an additional update on the series, which I can at last share.


From the 1st September to the 4th September, Haldred Chronicles: Alyssa (book one) and Haldred Chronicles: Kalla (book two) are FREE on Amazon Kindle! 


Search for Haldred Chronicles on (click HERE) or (click HERE) to find them.  It’s a perfect opportunity for those who have not yet read the previous two instalments, so please spread the word!


And stay tuned.  I’ve more good news coming in the next few days regards Haldred Chronicles: Alyssa.  Those visiting Amazon, might already see what’s coming next...

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Happy belated New Year!

Posted by spooks101 Jan 30, 2015

Yes it’s been a while; again!  However, we’re getting there.




Proofing by my proof readers has begun on the latest book.  The way it’s going to work is I’ll first being sending the book chapters, one by one, to one specific proof reader for spelling and grammar check.  Then, I’ll be passing those same chapters on to other proof readers to double check but also for comment on story structure, characters, dialogue etc.




It feels good to know that at last, things are really moving forward and will do so at a brisk pace.




I have chapters one to ten of Haldred Chronicles: Shade done and dusted.  Chapters eleven to fifteen still need to be completed.  For those who have read my previous two books, this will come as a shock; my previous books were only twelve chapters long.  Book three, put simply, needs more space for the story to be told.




The story is more complex, more detailed and involves more characters.  I hope, also, it will be more enjoyable for you, the reader.  It just means I’ve needed more time to get my head around the plot and the exceedingly tough and intelligence secondary Protagonist.




As with all my books, this book will be ‘Dual Narrative’ so you’ll have not one but two points of view to follow.




Around the writing, Debs and I are doing well.  We’re now married seven months and enjoying this new routine of ours.  We’ve just had our first Christmas together as a married couple and now we’re in the process of putting our house up for sale.  We hope to move sometime in the summer.




So that’s the update!  I wish all of you a somewhat late Happy New Year, and once this book is done, expect another update.




Till next time!

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Summer update

Posted by spooks101 Jul 31, 2014

Whilst my activities blog wise have been scant, my activities in writing and real life have been busy indeed!


The 21st June 2014 was my wedding day, and what glorious day it was.  My wife and I enjoyed the day with friends and family at the wonderful Malone Lodge in Belfast, after the ceremony itself at Windsor Baptist church.  The weather was excellent, the company great, and the day a massive success.

Afterwards, we then headed on our honeymoon to the Baltic sea on a 12 day cruise.  Whilst it wasn’t 12 days of sunshine, it was a wonderful time and we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, visiting such places as Helsinki and Copenhagen, as well as Bruges, Tallinn, Oslo and St Petersburg.  Inspiring and beautiful places all.


We’re both back at work now and I’m likewise, back to writing.


I’ve written over 36,000 words now for book 3 and still going strong.  I completed a review of what I had already completed last week and have masses of new ideas to follow up on.  It will not be long before I am contacting proof readers about checking over the first, official draft.


As well as this, I’ve now ideas for 16 additional novels to continue the series.  I’ve kept all these updated overtime and have a good idea how they will all tie together.  Along with prequel and parallel novels there are lot of interesting possibilities for the future of the Haldred Chronicles world!


In the meantime, updates on the blog will probably be few and far between as before, as I pool my time into finishing the book.  I’ll try and keep you all up to date as best I can.  I will continue to be active on social media meantime so for short snippets of information be sure to check the links below.  See you next time!


Facebook =


Twitter = @jgwritesnovels


LinkedIn =


Pinterest =


Tumblr =


Goodreads =

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Second blog post 2014!

Posted by spooks101 Feb 19, 2014

Second blog post of 2014!  Long overdue I know but life is busy.

Wedding preparations are proceeding a-pace and it’s been going very well.  We are on schedule!  Despite the busy times, I have still been writing and progress has been good.

Mat, my fantastic cover artist, has come up with a beautiful cityscape picture for the front cover of ‘Tales of Larrick City’.  Not only this, but he has also updated the front covers of Kalla and Alyssa as well!  The modifications are minor, but you all should notice a little extra unifying factor that has been added to the titles.  Check the links below to see the changes.

Amazon link Alyssa

Amazon link Kalla

As for ‘Tales of Larrick City’ itself, of the 7 stories I’ve written in the book, only 1 now remains to finish completely before the whole book is passed to the proof readers.  That and the ‘little extra something’ at the end of the book is almost done as well.  Fortunately it will be easy for you all to find out what that is as the book will be FREE!  As long as Amazon cooperate, which hopefully they will.

As well as book progress, I’ve been getting more involved in the LinkedIn writing community and have been active in several of the groups.  If you’re on LinkedIn yourself, my address is below.

As well as this, my Facebook page has seen a whole lot of extra attention since I started doing more with the LinkedIn groups.  Find it here if you’ve not already visited.

There is of course my twitter account as well which has grown nicely in recent months.

I also recently registered on  Find my author page below


So lots going on and lots to look forward too.  Whilst my blog posts won’t be as regular in the future (I’ll try to update at least once a month) I do hope that the next time I am posting I will have completed ‘Tales of Larrick City’ and it will be with my proof readers for checking.

Thanks all, until next time!

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Posted by spooks101 Oct 7, 2013

This weekend past I was in Scotland, visiting friends and family with Debs. It was a fantastic trip, a proper catchup and an opportunity to visit some beautiful and interesting place’s. Place’s such as the Macintosh museum in Glasgow (Macintosh was a noted and highly regarded designer from the very early 20th century), and a little walk round the park there, as well as a trip to Edinburgh.


Perfect places for inspiration to strike. Which it did! I now have two more book ideas from this little trip alone. One was inspired by the Macintosh museum, particularly because Macintoshs designs were so modern for the 1900?s. It got me thinking about how a Macintosh-like individual would be treated in the world of Haldred Chronicles.


The second idea, was from a chat with a good friend we visited about his latest design projects and his…’Mad scientist ‘ aspirations shall we say.


For those of the writing type, I ask you. Where does your inspiration and ideas come from? Is it from a place or person you visit? A sudden random thought triggered by anything from a song you hear or just a text message? Just curious :-) .


News wise, I’m making good progress with Tales of Larrick City and enjoying the writing immensely. I have also been making preparations for the November writing challenge, as i’ve now signed up with Nanowrimo officially. Also seen a big increase in likes on Facebook again; once more a big thank you to my fellow authors for the interest and support.


And finally, I now have 5 reviews of Haldred Chronicles: Kalla on Amazon which is just fantastic! Thanks so much to everyone who has been reviewing and passing on encouragement. You guys and gals are great, keep them coming.


Till next time.


PS: this blog update was created solely on my Z10 blackberry. So yes, I have confirmed I can email-blog now as well!



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Book covers

Posted by spooks101 Oct 4, 2013

On Wednesday of this week I met up with my fantastic cover artist Mat and we talked book covers.  Specifically, ideas for the book covers of ?Tales of Larrick City? (my next book that I?m currently drafting) and my as-yet-unnamed 4th book.




It got me thinking; what makes a good book cover?




The ?Lost Fleet? series by Jack Campbell uses a lot of very impressive covers, most involving space craft of one type or another which immediately draw the eye.  George RR Martin?s Song of Ice and Fire novels more recent covers go for simpler but no less intriguing covers with medieval designs.




For my own books, Mat proposed the idea of having the main characters on the front cover so that the readers have a visual reference.  In the case of Haldred Chronicles: Alyssa, you have Alyssa (the main character) on the front cover with Malak    For Haldred Chronicles: Kalla, Victoria Haldred herself and Kalla appear on the front cover.




Main characters on the cover?s of novels is nothing new; J K Rowling?s series Harry Potter traditionally had Harry himself on the front cover in some scene from the book itself.




My question is, what works for you?  What kind of book cover designs do you like?  Those that depict scenes from the book or characters there-in?  Or just more simple designs with prehapes book specific symbols or locations?  What, for you, makes a good book cover?  Please comment and share.




Meanwhile, progress has been good with me and book 3.  ?Tales of Larrick City? sits at 3500 words so far and is steadily growing.  Likewise, having signed up with Goodreads, LinkedIn etc I am starting to become better integrated with the writing community on the internet and have seen an extensive increase in likes on my Facebook page!  Big thanks to all my fellow writers who have welcomed me into the fold.




Till next time everyone

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The need to blog more often

Posted by spooks101 Oct 1, 2013

Well, tonight I’m not feeling the best.  I had to cancel some gaming I was hosting, which sucks as I was really looking forward to it.  However, I have managed to write up this blog and do some profile updates whilst the meds hopefully do there work to convince my guts that being sick is not a good career path.




As the title says, I need to blog more often.  I’ve started to realize the potential of blogging.




Blogging is supposed to inform people of what I’m up to; that bit I’ve gotten right.  Via this blog in its various forms across websites and forums, I’ve kept everyone up to date on what I’ve been doing on the writing front; word counts, plot plans, book plans, character interactions and all that other good stuff.




I’ve also occasionally posted up short stories to give you a little something extra to take a look through and get a glimpse of just what goes on in this dangerous mind of mine.




What I haven’t done is promoted any particular discussion, or informed on techniques used in my writing.  I’ve been talking about writing stories but not prompted anyone’s individual thoughts on writing.  I’ve proposed characters but not encouraged any engagement on them.  In essence, I need to get people talking instead of just reading a blog post and forgetting about it.




Fortunately, a lot of very talented ebook writers and bloggers have helped immensely in advising on just how to do this and get more from book blogging.  That, and they’ve been a great help in improving my various internet profiles.




An example of good blogging is this post from an interview with the author of ‘Wool’, currently one of the most popular ebooks ever.




It can be found here =




Then there’s the advise I got from members of the Createspace community.  I’d like to publicly thank Eric from the createspace forums / blogs for helping me improve the next few links to my profiles (his own link is please visit!)




My LinkedIn profile is now =


Much easier to remember I think you’ll agree.




My good reads profile is now =


Again, much easier to remember and quote.




And he even helped me update my Author pages on Amazon too!




They now look a lot tidier and go directly to my internet pages on these sites.  Thanks again Eric!




Now for some news.  As of today I have officially started writing ‘Tales of Larrick City’.  It’s format will be a departure from the last two Haldred Chronicles books as this one is going to be a short story compendium and glossary of the series.  It’s also going to be a departure from a price point of view too, because when it’s released it will be free!  It will give me an excuse to try a few different writing styles and experiment more, as well as filling in some nice additional detail on characters and the Haldred Chronicle’s background.




In addition, I have decided that I will write book 4 as part of the November Novel Writing Month competition held by The Office of Letters and Light (  This competition is the reason ‘Alyssa’ was finished and published in the first instance, so it will be good to get back to it.




This should mean that I will have at least the first drafts of my next 2 books done by the end of November.  It’s ambitious but I’m going to try as a little extra work at the start of the process makes all the difference.




So there we have it.  New ideas about blogging, new internet profiles on websites across the board and new plans for the future.  Lots happening!  Till next time everyone (when I hope to be updating as a much healthier individual).

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Updating my internet profile!

Posted by spooks101 Sep 27, 2013

The last week has been a whirlwind of activity.  Mostly to improve my internet profile :).




To start with, I am now officially registered on LinkedIn as an Author.  I have also taken the time to register with a few groups on LinkedIn as well which is already bearing fruit.  A lot of very good bloggers are on the network site, so I’m already learning a lot from fellow writers.




Next update, the good people at have registered me as an official author!  This fantastic website lists thousands of books and details on the authors, as well as customer reviews.  As such I have made sure that Alyssa and Kalla are both listed, along with info about myself.  As with LinkedIn I have registered with a few groups and blogs.  You can find Goodreads at the link below.




Finally, I made sure to update my author central pages on both and  They now have proper Bio’s and links set up.  You can find them at the links below.




I’ve been active on a lot of other sites and forums too but I’m taking my time with things, getting used to interactions and posting.




I also hope to blog a bit more often in the next while, and not just with book updates.  Should hopefully offer a more varied reading experience!  We’ll see how it goes.




Till the next update everyone.

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Plans within plans...

Posted by spooks101 Sep 21, 2013

It’s been over twenty days since the release of the second book in my fantasy detective series ‘Haldred Chronicles’.  I am very happy with the response.




So far, I have two five-star reviews on Amazon for ‘Haldred Chronicles: Kalla’, which is just fantastic.  As well as this lots of people are now reading the second book and thoroughly enjoying.  Likewise, I have seen a further uptake on book one so the ‘cascade’ effect is taking shape.  I hope this continues.




Here’s the link on Amazon for book two, if anyone is feeling very kind and wishes to purchase or even better, review!




Looking to the future now, I hope to start ‘official’ work on ‘Tales of Larrick City’ very soon.  My original intention was to leave Haldred Chronicles writing for about a month, then start into it again, but I have found myself already writing little scenes here and there.  That and I’ve been writing other stories as well.




One of which you can catch over at the Aeronautica ‘Airspace’ forum (




I warn you, this one is written in haste and not as well polished as my published work but I hope you enjoy.  As before (from last year), it is a companion to the wargaming campaign currently ongoing over at the forum, and is of a different style to that found in Haldred Chronicles.




Other plans afoot are more work on the various websites and networks that I am now part of.  The likes of Authonomy (, The Indie Writers Network ( and the Kindle Boards (  I hope to take a more active part in these internet sites over the next while, as well as many others.  This should increase exposure for the books (and the insanity of them of course!)




The ultimate objective is to be published by an official company.  As such, my other big project for the next few months is to prepare a basic synopsis and detailed synopsis for submission to publishers.  The intention is to write them up for both books and so I have a good variety to send on.




So I’ve lots going on and I hope you will all continue to enjoy the fruits of my labour.  Thanks again to everyone for there fantastic support and encouragement over the last while.  Thank you all of you.




Until next time, lots more to come!

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The wait is over...

Posted by spooks101 Aug 31, 2013
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Launch date closes in!

Posted by spooks101 Aug 11, 2013

Just a quick update to indicate that I’m still here!


The draft is sitting with a select few proofreaders for review and comment, as well as checking over the all important grammar and spelling.  Everything is on schedule.


Added to this, I have been making preparations for a possible launch party on the 31st August 2013.  All being well this launch party will take place on the evening of the 31st with some food and drink, an interview with me as well as a raffle and the reading of an extract from the new book.  It should be a fun night once all is organised.


In preparing for this night, I have placed an order for some business cards with some rather nice custom graphics, as provided by Mat my illustrator.  They look the business and I hope to get them sometime this week.


I also put in an order for a couple of small posters to the ‘Zip Posters’ web company.  They too should be with me this week.


So its all go and I’m thoroughly looking forward to finally releasing the new book for you all.  Till launch day!

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I love writing

Posted by spooks101 Mar 27, 2013

Very obvious statement I suppose saying ‘I like writing’, but it’s very true.  I am immensely enjoying writing.




The 2nd Draft of the 2nd Novel has been printed off and I am reviewing and editing all 86 pages.  Still a lot of scenes to fill in and fill out but definitely on the right track and more importantly, on schedule!




Likewise, big news this week is I have signed up with the author and readers website run by Harper & Collins publishers.  This website allows authors to upload their books, get them reviewed and if enough positive comments are passed on about the book, the editors at Harper & Collins may take an interest in it.  You never know.




So I’m going to make at least a few of the chapters of the first book available on Authonomy and if there is enough interest maybe the whole book depending.  You can only view the book on the authonomy website, not download or otherwise, so it should be ok.  We’ll see.




The book will of course still be available for purchase on Kindle.




I also have plans to make the book available on Kobo, Google Play and WHSmith but I need to investigate just how their own upload processes work.  This will happen sometime in May as I’m still tied in with Amazon Kindle till then.




Finally, as usual, a little short story for you all.  It’s another Infinity the game themed story, part based on the campaign we are running at the wargaming club.  For those familiar with the infinity background, this doesn’t tie in with the official background but was a nice little experiment in character interaction in a Sci-fi setting.  Hope you enjoy, even those who may not be familiar with the infinity background and setting.




Till next time.




* * * * *




The clear windowed doors of the plush high rise office slide open soundlessly, and Chandra Spec-Ops commander Jane Halliday marched in.  Clad in the full battle uniform of the Assault Sub Section, Jane looked out of place amongst the sickeningly peaceful setting.  Her sharp silver eyes told of a battle hardened warrior woman, her short blond hair pulled back in a ponytail and her face hawk like.  She had a bored disinterested expression already prepared.




Here we go.




“Jane!  How lovely to see you.” beamed Diane Kildra, standing up from behind her expansive office desk and walking round to meet her colleague.




The two women could not have been more different.  Diane was dressed in a figure hugging light grey dress, trimmed in the traditional ALEPH purple.  It was designed to perfectly emphasis her curvaous figure, in stark contrast to the angular battle armour Jane was clad in.  She had high cheek bones, a wide friendly (if false) grin and bright, captivating blue eyes.  Her face was framed by short brown hair, and her long eyelashes and expertly applied eye-liner spoke of a woman used to being obeyed without question and swooned over without argument.




Jane rolled her eyes.  “I see you’ve gained a few pounds since last we met.”




Diane stopped mid stride.  She burst into laughter.


“We are witty today.” She said, rolling her own eyes in mock annoyance.  The remark, after all, referred to an impossible situation.  Both of them were installed into the latest L-hosts; the very best synthetic bodies ALEPH could provide.  Diane was crafted within the most advanced civilian diplomatic model, built as the perfect unit to conduct business with; particularly for men.  Jane, meanwhile, was in the female variant of the special operations combat L-host.  Immensely strong, formidably well engineered and battle tested in a dozen different war-zones.  One to kill, the other to captivate; two different styles of warfare, at least as far as ALEPH was concerned.




“I’m in the mood.” Jane remarked.  “At least for now.  That is unless the reason you’ve brought me here turns out to be another one of your pointless little face-to-face visits.  In which case, I fear, my mood will darken.”


Diane pouted.  “Touché.” she remarked, spinning on her heel and swaying her hips as she returned to her table.


Hasn’t she ever heard of jeans and T-shirt? Thought Jane inwardly


“I would offer you a seat but you never accept one.” Diane said over her shoulder


“Yeah, I’m that kind of girl.”




Jane approached the table, allowing Diane to activate the holo-imager attached to it.


“What do you want Diane?”


“Patience Jane, patience.” From a desk drawer Diane retrieved a small paper packet.  From the plain none-descript packet she retrieved a cigarette.


“You don’t mind?” she asked Jane.  Jane raised an eyebrow.


“Is there really any point?”




Dianne shrugged, lighting the cigarette with a small golden lighter she had taken from the same drawer.


“It’s a good question.” She took a puff, letting the smoke waft from her mouth and nostrils.  “The tobacco and nicotine don’t affect my synthetic body in the slightest.  The various chemicals in this pointless smoke stick are completely nullified by my built-in scrubber and detoxification systems.  I can neither taste nor smell the smoke, and neither can you, as your automatic systems phase out the horrible chemical taste.”


She regarded the cigarette for a moment, before taking another puff.


“And yet…”




“You know I can come back if you and the cigarette need a moment alone.” Said Jane, deadpan.


Diane smiled without looking up.


“Actually, it illustrates a point rather well.”


She turned toward Jane, the smile on her face now changed; to one that suggested that at last, she was getting to her point.


“Mankind, indeed woman kind, has a terrible tendency to continue doing things that are either bad for them or pointless.  Or both.  Take for example our current situation on Paradiso.”


She waved a hand at the holo-imager.  The gesture recognition systems activated, uploading and displaying the pre-programmed video holographic replays.  Suddenly across the front of the table various security camera video feeds appeared, suspended in mid-air as if by invisible threads.  Visions of war played out in front of Jane.




“They’ve been busy then.” Remarked Jane, her built-in comlog already downloading the video sequences and attached intelligence notes for later analysis.


“Indeed.  That’s why you’re here.”


“In-fighting isn’t something new.”


“The reason for this in-fighting is.” Said Diane, her expression now much more serious as she set the cigarette in an ash tray that had rose up from the innards of the table, and started to pace.




“Let me tell you a tale.” She said next, clasping her hands behind her, tone now businesslike.  “Approximately a week ago an unknown data source was detected by several of our allies, originating within the Combined Armies zone of control.  Being the good little co-operators that they are, they immediately scrambled a variety of emergency retrieval teams.  Characteristically they then set upon each other like ravenous dogs.  At the various detected data sites, they tore each other apart in order to acquire the data source for themselves.  Some succeeded, some did not.”




She turned on her heel, retracing her steps as she continued.  Jane tracked her movements.




“The data source lead to another site not far away.  Once again, retrieval teams descended, proceeded to kill each other and eventually, it was the Yu Jing who acquired something very valuable.”




She gestured to one of the replaying videos.  It grew in size and sharpness before stopping, magnifying on a Yu Jing Hackers data sleeve.  The enhanced holographic image focused and sharpened on what looked like a holographic representation of an organic, pillar like structure projecting from the hacker’s comlog.




“Cosmolite.  So far, so usual-business.”


“Yes, we thought the same.  But then we realised…this ones transmitting.”


Jane frowned.


“Go on.”


Diane, relishing her story telling, did just that.


“Unfortunately for the Yu Jing, the Old Man of the Mountain got wind of their little discovery.  He beat them too it and acquired, as far as we can tell, some kind of alien black box.  Even after a carefully executed ambush, the Japanese did not retrieve the alien artefact and the Bahram assassins escaped with it.”




Diane gestured to the display again.  A new video emerged from the background gaggle, melting through the first.  This one showed what appeared to be the inside of a building and Ariadna forces moving stealthy through the corridors.




“Our story gets better.  The Nomads retrieved vital data on the alien artefact even if they could not acquire it directly.  Two of their research sites on Paradiso, which happened to house the information, then suffered almost simultaneous biological alerts.  During one of those biological alerts, Ariadna and Pan Oceania forces infiltrated the research positions.  They acquired a great deal data.”


Diane chuckled for a moment.


“As well as providing me great amusement.”


Jane turned her frown toward Diane.


“I’m serious, watch the feedback.  Never have I seen a Black Ops operation turn into a comedy show so quickly.  I recommend watching the scene where the Pan Oceania hacker meets the Ariadnian Chasseur.  The two of them just don’t know what to do.”


Jane’s deadpan expression did not change.


“Anyway.” Continued Diane, taking the hint.  “The second infiltration will be of greater interest to you.”




By her command, the display now showed another video playback.  In holographic detail, it showed Nomad forces exchanging fire with figures in the distance.  A zoom in on a stilled image and a quick enhance…and the identity of the figures was suddenly apparent.


“Tohaa.” Growled Jane, crossing her arms.  “I thought first contact had not been officially confirmed with them?”


“It hasn’t.” said Diane, freeze framing the image of a Tohaa soldier in mid firing position.  “They shouldn’t be on Paradiso.  And they certainly shouldn’t be attacking their allies.”




Diane flicked her wrist and the display melted away before the two women.  At the same time, Jane’s comlog chimed internally, indicating that her download of the intelligence data was complete.


“Command wants you on standby, 24 hour notice.”


“For what?” queried Jane, eyeing her colleague


“For war, if necessary.  It has been decided that whatever that alien tech is, it is not to be left in the hands of one human faction or another.  And certainly not in the hands of the Tohaa.”


“When you say alien, you mean this tech is neither Combined Army nor Tohaa?”


“Yes, that is our assumption.” Confirmed Diane, taking a seat again and reaching for her still smouldering cigarette.  “Combined army have tried to retrieve the data and artefacts without successful.  Likewise, the Tohaa attack on the Nomad research station indicates that they, too, want that technology.  This is alien in the truest use of word.  Alien tech being pursued by other Aliens, as well as us.”


“I’ll assemble a team.” Acknowledged Jane, activating her comlog.  In her background vision, various veteran Assault section personnel profiles floated, ready for analysis.


“It’ll be rapid deployment on short notice I take it?”


“Yes.  Be ready Jane.”




With a curt nod Jane turned and strode from the office.


“Diane.” She said over her shoulder as she entered the buildings lift.




Jane turned just inside the lift doors, the barest hint of a smirk on her features.  She paused for effect.


“Purples not your colour.”


The lift doors shut, just as Diane was opening her mouth.  She made a face as she flicked ash from her cigarette.


“I hate it when a Chandra grows a sense of humour.” She muttered to herself.

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Now we're getting somewhere!

Posted by spooks101 Mar 11, 2013

What a confident sounding title!  But it’s true, I am getting somewhere.




Work on the second draft of the second novel is proceeding at a good pace.  It would be nice to boost speed a little more to make the deadline of the end of March more definite but there a just only so many hours in a day!  It is good progress though, a lot of scenes are starting to come together nicely and the characters are all having meaningful conversations to advance the plot.




I’m doing my best to spend at least a little time on the novel each day, even if it’s something as simple as tidying up a scene or writing some dialogue.  True, I did manage to have some difficulty over the weekend involving a faulty pen drive, blue screen of death and corrupted novel files but thankfully, one has backups, recovery programs and a working laptop!




I’ve also had progress with the printing of the first book.  At the moment, two big options are open to me.




The first is vanity publishing.  I have been in touch with two local paper-publishers who will print the book for a fee.  Buying in bulk seems to be the best idea as it’s the cheapest per book and seems easy enough considering all they need is the cover and manuscript.  The difficulty then is marketing the printed book; getting the word out and selling it on.  Obviously I can do it individually with friends and family but if go for a very big order of books I’m going to need an online medium to sell them on and get a lot of marketing on the go.  That will take time.




Twitter and facebook might help with that, particularly now as a business colleague of mine has given me some very interesting ideas regards getting noticed on Twitter that I’ve not tried yet.  The option is there and the vanity-publishers have confirmed that the current quote they have given me is valid for a few months.  I have time to think and maybe investigate some new strategies.




Option two is of course getting it published properly.  In this vain progress has at last been made as I have got hold of the book ‘Writers and Artist yearbook 2013’.  It’s been recommended by friends and a few authors I’ve been in touch with and I must say, they were spot on.  It’s an excellent book, listing publishers and agents, as well as a lot of helpful info on how to get published.  I’m working my way through it and already seeing a lot of potential.  The problem is that, say I did successfully impress a publisher with the work, it would still take a long time until the book was published in paper-back and I’d have no control over price, location etc.  Then again, the opportunities that would open up could be immense.




Both the options offer big opportunities.  I shall investigate both further and see how things go whilst I try and sort book two.




Finally, I’m a man of my word.  I said I’d be posting more interesting content and so I shall!  Below is a short story I wrote late last year as part of the little competition between K, Matt and me.  This ones inspiration was ‘A detective who is scared of mirrors’ and was originally supposed to be only 400 words long I think.  I have since spell and grammar checked it since the original writing (wasn’t that well checked over originally, bad me) and its possibly a little longer now.  I hope you enjoy.




Until next time all




* * * * *




            “Good to see you sir.”  said the NYPD officer, beckoning Jacob to follow him.


            Detective lieutenant Jacob Kingston fell into step behind the officer as he was lead through the police lines.  His partner, detective Laura Barnes, did likewise.  The call had come through over the radio.  Homicide at the Newquay fair park.  It was a not-so-lovely little run-down fair park, often frequented by the nastier drug dealers and gangs of the city.  Police stayed away, leaving the forgotten attraction well alone.  That was until two people were found dead.  Jacob, and his partner Laura, had to find out the who, what, when, where and how.  And fast.


            The scum would be held at bay for only so long.




            “What'ah we got Sanders?” asked Jacob as he strode ahead of Laura, his longer stride leaving his shorter subordinate in his wake.


            “Same as what we radioed sir.” said Sanders, passing through the ageing Newquay entrance.  They moved deeper into the old fair ground, passing a small rusted ferris wheel, a merry-go round that didn't look quite so merry no more and a haunted house with building integrity issues.


            Jacob was about to ask just where the crime scene was when Sanders halted and pointed.


            “Right in there sir.”


            Jacob looked to were Sanders was indicating.  His eyes went wide and his face paled a little.




            Of all the buildings this one was actually in relatively good condition.  Whilst the yellow paint that adored its front was flaking, the attractions name was still clearly printed in a bright red across the yellow background.


            Hall of Mirrors.


            Oh crap.


            Panting, Laura came up on the two men just as Sanders turned to head back to his position on the line.


            “Thanks for waiting!” Laura snapped sarcastically, casting Jacob her best 'pissed off lady' look.


            Jacob was still staring, biting his lip.  Laura’s enraged expression quickly turned confused.


            “What?  It’s the hall of mirrors.”


            “Oh...” Jacob paused for words.


            “Yeah” he settled on rather unconvincingly.


            “You alright?” asked Laura next, frowning.  “You’re sweating.”


            “Fine!...just, fine.” Jacob fumbled for a handkerchief he kept in his trouser pocket.  He wiped his brow.  “Just the heat you know?”


            With a distinct lack of confidence, Jacob started toward his childhood nightmares made real.  Laura followed, after tracking Jacob with a raised eyebrow.

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