Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Free Giveaway of The Mage of Dunnersley!

Following the sudden acts of outrageous philanthropy last week, I will be giving away the first boon in the Dunnersley Chronicles Series 'The Mage of Dunnersley' as of;

12.00 AM (PST) 17th APRIL 2013.

So, for all of us non-over the pond'ers that translates as 8.00AM 17th APRIL 2013.

Give-away continues for 24 hours, enjoy!



Thursday, 11 April 2013

Free Download of The Hidden of Dunnersley!

The second book of the Dunnersley Chronicles: 'The Hidden of Dunnersley' will be absolutely free for a short time only!

If I understand Amazon KDP Select at all (and their strange Pacific time-zones) then the promotion will start at

12.00 AM PST on the 12th APRIL.

For those of you using the trusty Greenwich Mean-Time then (I think) that will translate as about 8 AM 12th of APRIL.

The free-day lasts, quite unsurprisingly for 24 hours only and will finish at 12.00 AM or 8 AM the following day.

Thank you!


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

The Hidden of Dunnersley Coming Soon!

Part Two of the Dunnersley Chronicles: The Hidden of Dunnersley is about to hit the amazon e-shelves any day now, give or take some electronic finagling (technical term, means to generally mess about with).

Settled on the title 'Hidden' of Dunnersley in part because it directly relates to the Hidden Order, or more casually just 'The Order' (see character page on this blog), but also because the novella starts pointing a finger or two at the magical mystery that is this London borough.

So, what is there is expect in The Hidden of Dunnersley?

- More on the Hidden Order for one thing.
- What happens when one 'becomes a mage'.
- Who are the Lost of Dunnersley? Freya starts to find out the answer to that question...
- The shabbyman makes a return, and unveils some of his scarier powers.
- And of course, more occult/paranormal forces than you can shake a reasonably sized grimoire at...

Enjoy! The link will be posted when the book is finally up and running.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Sneak Preview of Part 2!


The Hidden of Dunnersley

*  *  *

"The people here had the kind of jobs that started at night-time and you didn't ask questions about..."

The Decisions of Freya
Freya stuck her tongue out and blew a raspberry at the world in general. Buggers. The evening was descending onto Dunnersley, spreading down the great river in mists and dull smoggy orange glows. The old river lights started popping on, a chain that marked the edge of Dunnersley in a weak glowing boundary. The girls territory, the river docks took on a different life in the night-time. No late night revellers, no clubs, the only socialites were the regulars who circulated the very elitist pubs that dotted Victoria Markets. The people here had the kind of jobs that started at night-time and you didn't ask questions about.

Freya flicked a stone into the river and watched it disappear with a splash. Buggers, she thought again. Ever since Abe had looked at her in the Academy and recoiled in horror she had known that it had all been another sham. The guy had seemed kinda cool, dumb, but all right on the whole. He was also the only link that she had to her mentor, Jack McAllister, and the mystery that she found herself immersed in. Well, she didn't need those stuck up Order-types anyway, she had her own friends.

The girl walked along the riverside to the old pier that struck out like a splintered bone into the Thames. There was no one on it in this chill night. All the tourists were long since tucked up in their cozy hotels, and the lovers who usually paraded the old pier had found their solace. The wind had died down and the black waters still under the old planks. Freya walked with one hand lightly skipping on the painted railings as the sound of her footsteps were swallowed by the river.

At the end of the pier a tall lamp illuminated the rising mist and the form of the man crouched perching on the railings, looking out over the waters.

Another shape slid out of the mist, a woman this time in a thin 1920's slip of a dress that looked freezing but the woman didn't seem to notice at all as she approached Freya. She had a large feather scarf wrapped around a long alabaster throat, and to the girl she had a vaguely seal-like appearance with slicked back short cropped hair and large hooded eyes. The effect was marred by the appearance of the woman's other arm. It was shorter and shriveled, ending in a cruel claw of a hand. The woman stood blocking Freya's way forward.

“Sammy's got a lot on his mind.” Her voice was husky.

“Yeah, I figured.” Freya was sullen. “When hasn't he?” The woman pouted and looked over her shoulder at the man. He was motionless, scanning the water like he was reading it. Through the music came the dim tinny sound of beats through headphones. The woman sighed, flicking off invisible dust from her fingernails, “Oh come on then,” she walked languidly up the pier.

The man didn't speak as they approached. He was broad, but didn't look tall. A gray and black hoodie stretched over his frame but was pulled down from his head. A short tufty brown mohawk glittered with moisture and large white headphones clamped the sides of his head. His steely eyes were far off and unfocused as the tinny beats hit the air around him.

“Sammy?” The woman said gently, resting a hand on the man's shoulder. 
“Henna-?” He flinched and looked up, blinking. The man was younger than his broad impression gave. The edges of black tattoo spirals edged up his neck. He glanced over at Freya and hopped off the railing lightly.

He didn't take off the headphones, just looked down at Freya and nodded, motioning for them to walk back along the pier. The woman slid into an easy place at his shoulder, protective.

“So, I found him,” Freya said after a moment of plodding silent. The man didn't make any indication he'd heard. “Hes got the Prof now, he doesn't need me.” She paused as the turned off the pier and the couple led them into the winding narrow streets of Dockside. “I don't know what to do Sammy.” She said in a voice of quiet desperation. “I thought he would be like Jack, that he would be able to help but he cant. He's just like the rest of them.”

The man called Sammy nodded and pointed down a curving alley-street. The woman glided in front and stepped delicately amidst the trash. Rats skittered in the bins and the yellow electric street lights highlighted a small crossroads of connecting impoverished streets. A rusted sign pointed the way to the Markets, another to the Thames. The woman stood in the center of the crossroads like a statue and sniffed the air, then nodded and walked to the large metal doors of a brick building. She knocked a staccato rhythm and then eased one of the panel doors aside and vanished from view. Sammy and Freya followed. 
Inside was a warehouse. The sound of throaty jazz filtered through a dark and smoky atmosphere to meet them. Hangings draped from the walls and made crude partitioned walls that blocked off corner's, cubbyholes and nooks. In the main chamber a large mirror ball spun halfheartedly, scattering the random light over an outcropping of old sofas and low tables. Freya had spent years moving through places like this, marginal spaces and derelict dwellings, squats and communes.

“Are you ready?” Sammy spoke at last. He didn't take off his headphones, but his voice had a heavy London accent which pushed through the atmosphere like a club. Freya nodded...

To Be Continued...

Monday, 25 March 2013

Matthew Hopkins, the Witchfinder General

Witch Trials, Magic, & Blood
When I was a mere lad, growing up near salty marshes and fens that supposedly still harbored smugglers' troves and Saxon burial mounds; I once had the opportunity to work-experience in a library.

It was not a big or an old library; in fact it was one of those low, one-story buildings a bit like an enlarged porta-cabin. Governmental cut backs I guess, even back then.

But the small economical library was situated right next door to the parsh church of Hadleigh, and its adjacent museum. I remember spending my lunch breaks in that small park that housed the museum, church and library, an X-Men comic held in one hand with my sandwiches in the other. The work-experience itself wasn't taxing at all, and the sum total of my duties appeared to be handling the Dewey Decimal system and Lost Books category. I never really assumed that my job would lead to anything, and I'm sure that my GCSE teachers pretty much thought the same! What did happen during that time however, was that I became introduced to the works and gruesome deeds of Matthew Hopkins, the last Witchfinder General of the British Isles.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Wizards in Fiction & Reality

So, why write a book about magic, mages and sorcery?

Ever since a certain series hit the shelves there has been a lot of interest in wizadry, wizarding and generally mystic goings-on. Some people like their magic with pointy hats and wands, others with all of the grubby bits still left in.

So, why chronicle the activities and happenings of wizards, mages, and sorcerers if there is already so many of them in the public eye?

Quite simply put; this writer is not writing about the former type of  wizards (the ones with robes with a lot of funny symbols on); the sort that can be called 'Romance' wizards as their guise dates back to the Norman Romances where brave knights ran around with shiny swords, lopping the heads off of big worms...

Rather, The Dunnersley Chronicles has uncovered a whole different strata of magic-users, empowered and tainted personages. The Mage of Dunnersley owes more to the likes of Edward Kelley and Dr Dee, than it does to Merlin or Morganna Le Fae. With more than a passing nod to modern folktales and their retellings, and to the things that go bump in the night. The characters in these tales are not superhero creations, but are firmly placed in the 'mundane' world, with all of its associated evils of debt and poverty, hope and hopelessness.

Whilst I was researching this borough, I came across many tales already in the cityscape of strange goings on such as Witchfinders and their Witches, hidden cities and tunnelscapes, haunted inn's, Herne the Hunter, mysterious personages and even more mysterious geometries.

At least, thats the ballpark the story is set near, if not exactly in. If these kind of riddles interest you, and you like your fantasy with horror, humour and above all human elements; then you might be interested in checking out the Chronicles for yourself. If you would like to read about how a magical society might work, including who is 'in' and who is 'out' and the sorts of politics that might occur; then take a gander!

Above all, if you're a fan of mystic, archaic, chaotic, necrotic and mephitic London; then I would certainly suggest that this little tale is worth checking out.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

From the Blurb~

The Mage of Dunnersley has now gone live on SmashWords! Feel free to wander over and See Part 1 in the Wild.

From the Blurb ~
Welcome to a new urban-fantasy cycle set in the mother of all cities, full of folklore, secret cabals and creatures that hide between the pavement cracks.

Abe McAllister is a twenty-something drifter, fresh out of University and heavy with student debt and no-future promises. Or at least, that is what he thought he was. His life is turned upside down as he is introduced to magical London.