You may recall my brand new FREE short story (sign up HERE to get it) “The Rescue”. I found the cover art in Wikimedia Commons but I had no idea what it was – it just looked atmospheric and “medieval” so I used it. I have since asked my regular cover designers to tweak it with better fonts and I also found out the place is Mortham Tower in Rokeby, England.
Mortham isn’t in the story, but it IS in North Yorkshire so it’s actually pretty close to the action which takes place in Wakefield. The building was listed for sale last year and I might have thought about putting in an offer if it hadn’t been £3,000,000!
Built some time around 1500 the place is reputedly haunted by Mortham Dobby, a headless lady in fine dress, trailing a piece of white silk, who was apparently murdered. Bizarrely, she was said to have eyes, nose and a mouth in her chest and hair trailing from her shoulders. Now that sight would freak anyone out! A parson supposedly banished this poor spectre beneath a nearby bridge but a flood in 1771 destroyed the structure and she was freed.
Whatever the truth, Mortham Tower is a beautiful building and made a nice cover image for “The Rescue”. Don’t forget to get it HERE – enjoy!
Just a quick message to say “thank you” to everyone who’s bought, read, reviewed and spread the word about my books in 2015. I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas!
If you can get the kids in bed early tonight, why not settle back with some mulled wine, a mince pie, a crackling log fire (or cosy radiator!) and lose yourself in medieval England’s snowy countryside with Friar Tuck? Don’t forget it’s also available as an audiobook (from Audible and iTunes) and I’d like to think it’s the perfect way to spend Christmas Eve…It’s spent the past few weeks at number 1 in Amazon’s short stories chart so people seem to be enjoying it so far.
Click HERE to go straight to your local Amazon page for the book.
Have a good one, and don’t get too drunk!
That’s right, today, Friday the 13th, sees the publication of my new novella Friar Tuck and the Christmas Devil, which includes a foreword by Phil Rose who played Tuck in 80’s TV show Robin of Sherwood!
You can buy it for just 99p UK, $1.49 USA, and it’s also available as a paperback and from Audible. As with all my books, if you buy the paperback you get the Kindle version FREE and if you buy another format you get the Audible version much cheaper so treat yourself – or your friends and family – to a nice story for the winter celebrations! If you’re still not sure, check out some of the reviews on Goodreads from the people who were sent advance copies.
Click here to buy your copy – getBook.at/FTXD
To celebrate the release I’m going to be giving away signed copies of my books over the weekend. All I ask is you spread the word on social media. Share this post on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest or wherever else you can, and email me to let me know you’ve done it at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ll draw names from the hat at random and I’ve a big pile of books to give away so…Folks on my mailing list will have other chances to win more so if you haven’t signed up yet, click here!
Normally only a small number of people enter my giveaways so you’ll be in with a great chance of winning. Please don’t be shy! Share and tell!
I will even be giving away a couple of copies of Knight of the Cross with it’s brand new artwork so hit that Facebook share button…
The Kindle and paperback versions have been up for a couple of weeks, and now the audiobook is available to pre-order from Audible. Includes a foreword written AND read by Phil Rose from Robin of Sherwood, you don’t want to miss this, it’s the perfect thing to listen to in the festive period!
Just a quick update: the next book is more than half finished and I’m hoping to get more time to write now so things can really start to kick on and I can get Rise of the Wolf out within the next few months. In the meantime, here’s a little (un-edited!) snippet featuring the jovial Friar Tuck who’s in a spot of bother:
“What can I do for you, my son?” he asked, smiling deferentially at the little man. “A blessing? Do you seek” –
“Enough, priest,” the robber growled, sidling over and standing to look up at the palfrey whose ears were back as it sensed something was wrong. “We need no blessings in Sherwood. What we need is silver and gold. And food. And judging by the belly you’re carrying around on you, you’ve got enough of everything to share with me and my mates here.” He raised the sword he carried, unusually, in his left hand, brandishing it menacingly, and Tuck noticed the man was missing more than one finger from his right hand. Punishment for being caught stealing before perhaps, although that method of justice had – mostly – been done away with years earlier.
Dangerous, but hopefully stupid.
The friar looked back across his shoulder to see a tall young man holding a longbow aimed directly at him. His hands were steady, but the expression on his face was one of distaste. Not at the clergyman, no…the big man’s eyes flicked to his leader for a moment and Tuck knew the youngster wasn’t happy to be here doing this.
“Aye, he’s got you covered, old man,” the robber leader grinned, showing a mouthful of surprisingly complete teeth. “And the rest of us’ll split you wide open – priest or not – if you don’t hand over what you’ve got. Including that nice horse.”
There was little point denying he was carrying money, Tuck thought. The robbers would know he’d need coin to pay for food and board as he travelled.
“Will you let me be on my way if I give you what I have?” he asked in a trembling voice, moving towards the small man and fumbling in his cassock. As he reached the robber, he smiled, remembering a similar scene a couple of years earlier when he’d first met Robin and the men.
“Here you go, have the lot!”
The two big robbers further back on the road stood in stunned silence for a moment as their leader collapsed in front of them. Tuck had whipped his cudgel up and into the jaw of the robber, then, as the man stumbled backwards, the friar brought it round in an arc into the side of the man’s neck, sending him flying across the road senseless.
Before anyone could react, Tuck jumped forward, ramming the cudgel into the man on the left’s face, feeling teeth crunch as his target reeled back and landed on his backside with a howl of pain.
By now it was obvious this was no normal priest and the final swordsman struck out with the battered old blade he carried.
Tuck had been fast when he was young, but now…he twisted sideways, lashing out with his own weapon which connected with the back of his opponent’s skull sending the man crashing to the hard earth of the road. He let out a breath of relief as he realised his flesh was unbroken – the robber’s blade had only torn his cassock.
The friar glanced back to the bowman and was relieved to see the youngster staring at the scene before him, mouth open in surprise, bowstring not quite fully drawn. Still with one eye on the archer, Tuck moved over to the man with the wounded mouth and kicked out at the side of his head, hard enough to send the man reeling.
“Where are you from, son?”
Look out for Rise of the Wolf, coming soon!