Archives for category: Writing samples

Hi all:

Although I have several projects going (including writing an epilogue for the three novellas in the series Escaping Psychiatry and publishing them as a single volume, and also translating them to Spanish) sometimes you come up with an idea for a story that won’t leave you until you do something about it. So there you have it, I’ve started writing another story. This is a romantic story, and although I’ve written stories (both publish and unpublished) with romance in them, none have had romance as the main focus.

English: Oscar Wilde, photographic print on ca...

English: Oscar Wilde, photographic print on card mount: albumen. Español: Oscar Wilde, impresión fotográfica en papel de albúmina. Français : Oscar Wilde, une photographie connue. Tirage albumen sur carte. Gaeilge: Oscar Wilde, prionta ghriangraf ar cárta albaimin. Italiano: Oscar Wilde, una fotografia che ci sia pervenuta, ricavata da una stampa fotografica. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But this one wanted to be written, so, what could I do? As Oscar Wilde says, the only way to conquer temptation is to fall into it.

I leave you the very beginning of the story (probably. I’m writing it so things might change. The title that I think I’ll keep is ‘Click Me Happy!. It is going to be a somewhat reluctant romance that has its origins in interactions in social media rather than face to face. When I prepared this post last weekend I was looking for ideas for a cover but since, I’ve found one I like (Raquel who was a guest from the Spanish group suggested this and I’m in love). What do you think?

Here a small sample:

Chapter 1. We meet the “heroine”

“No. Not another bleeming romantic novel! I’m going to puke! Come on, come on, look at it! Pink cover with a hunk showing off his chest and a gorgeous girl looking impressed. And somebody’s idea of a Scottish castle on the background. I can’t stand it any longer!”

Lilith Darville was far more attractive than she ever gave herself credit for. She was not a ravishing beauty (whatever that means) but she had nice brown hair, that she always wore short (no talent for creating hairdos), big almond shaped brown eyes, a beauty spot on her left cheek, a small nose and a well-defined mouth. A very pleasant combination whatever her opinion.

She only wore makeup under extreme duress (and on very special occasions), and although she used to be big as a child, between healthy eating and plenty of exercising she was now slim and reasonably fit. Not a supermodel but, who wants to be that skinny anyway?

“What’s it called?” Asked the Head librarian and good friend of Lilith, Debbie.

“What does it matter? It should be called: Just look at the six pack in this guy, get horny and buy my book. Does anybody believe all this rubbish?”

“It’s not about believing, Lilith. It’s fantasising. Who wouldn’t want to go out with a gorgeous guy and be the centre of his world, and have other women envy you and…?”

Thank you for reading and don’t forget to leave me comments and suggestions/ideas for the cover.

Clickmehappy

Hi all:

I’ve come looking for some help. I don’t know if that’s the case with other writers, but I seem to accumulate beginnings of stories that sometimes get parked because I’m too busy, or because another story comes up in my head, or because I get stuck, or life gets in the way…And every so often I revisit this orphaned stories and sometimes I think…nothing doing, but sometimes I wonder if it might be worth investing more time or carrying on writing and seeing if it gets anywhere…

I’ve decided to try and rescue the beginning of some of these stories and bring them to your attention. I’d be really grateful for your feedback, positive or negative. If positive I’ll put them in the pile of ‘future work’. If negative, I’ll put them out of their misery.

In no particular order…I’ll start with this one….

Xenon

Xenon. Billie always tried to guess things about her patients by their names, even before reading the referral letter, or the notes, but somebody called Xenon…It said something about his parents for sure, but…

It was a referral letter in his case. Very vague. She wondered if it would be one of these cases where somebody who should have been referred to a counsellor, or told to get a life, had been referred to a psychiatrist. No specific symptoms, asking for help…Drugs maybe?

He was a young man, 27 nearly 28, quite attractive, the tall, dark and handsome type, dressed in a casual but expensive manner. He shook her hand and sat in front of her, at the other side of the desk. He appeared quite relaxed.

“Dr Curtis…”

“Mr Taylor…”

“Call me Xenon. Or Xen. Everybody does.”

“Thanks.” She must have looked intrigued or puzzled because he felt obliged to explain.

“My parents wanted to call me X but they weren’t allowed to. The guy at the registry thought Xenon was a real name.”

“Everybody always asks you the same, I imagine.”

“Not always. Some people pretend they know the name or they’ve heard it before. In a human being, not a gas.”

Billie smiled. At that point she wasn’t really sure that it was going anywhere.

“Sorry but Dr Asley’s letter isn’t very specific. Why do you think you need to see a psychiatrist?”

“Oh…I have problems…I don’t mean I’m mad, or depressed, or anything like that. It’s just…I’m different…”

OK. One of those. Nobody understands me, I’m trying to find myself…Bo-ring.

“I don’t mean all that crap… ‘I don’t fit in’. ‘Nobody understands me’. No, I mean…I don’t….I’m not a human being. I’m different.”

Billie knew her face was not showing anything. She was a professional and had heard a lot of things. But now what? Humour him, or send him on his way? Was he genuinely mad? How had he not come to the attention of mental health services before if he was really mad? Had something happened recently?

“I’ve lived with it all this time but it’s getting too much.”

OK, the next question was self-evident, but that didn’t mean it shouldn’t be asked.

“If you’re not a human being, what exactly are you?”

Xenon smiled and as he did opened him mouth wide. His canines had become fangs and his eyes had changed, showing elongated pupils, like a cat’s.

“Oh, I see. You’re a vampire.”

“Yes.”

How unoriginal! Billie sighed. It was a reasonable trick, but she had things to do. Better things to do.

“Have you come on behalf of my friend Cynthia? She’s been talking about secret societies and vampires since we were kids. I’m not that interested.”

“I’m not joking. It isn’t a trick!” He said, holding her by the wrists and leaving marks there. That was much more than she was prepared to take from somebody who wasn’t even a patient yet.

“What do you think you’re doing? I don’t care if you’re Count Dracula in person, but don’t touch me! Do you understand?”

“Sorry. I didn’t mean to…Look again…” He showed her how his teeth transformed into fangs, step by step. OK, no tricks she could see. He then smiled.

“I can do other things too.”

Suddenly the things on her desk moved without his touching them, including the computer and all the papers, lifting up and floating as if not subject to laws of gravity and then twirling around. He then just gave a short nod and all went back to its previous position.

“Telekinesis…”

“Amongst other things. Your friend has been right all along.”

Maybe he should be telling Cynthia rather than her. The guy was definitely different, but from that to needing a psychiatrist, and her in particular…

“Well…What do you expect from me?”

“Help. It’s difficult to live between humans and pretend to be like them when to us they are only…”

“For feeding. Cows?”

Xenon nodded and then a smile toyed in his face.

“You know? You seem very calm and cool about all this. You aren’t thinking about telling anybody, are you? You’re bound by clients’ confidentiality.”

“I’m not sure it applies to non-humans.”

Xenon looked at her with incredulity and menace in his eyes.

“If you try…I’ll hunt you down and…kill you.”

“That’s what I call the beginning of a good therapeutic relationship. Why did you choose me?”

“I sensed something about your name.”

Billie couldn’t help trying to get some amusement out of the situation.

“Shouldn’t you be in your coffin or something? It’s day time.”

“Oh, there’re a lot of things people believe about us that are pure crap and lurid imagination. For some reason we appear to be a never ending source of desire, fear and inspiration to humans.”

The uncanny, as Freud put it. He was right about human’s fancy with vampires and other monsters, although vampires more than others.

“But you suck blood.”

“Sure…”

“That’s a relief. At least they got something right. I’m not sure I could have coped with such disappointment and let down.”

Xenon laughed.

“I like your sense of humour. Very…dark.”

“It helps in my profession.”

They looked at each other. Surprisingly Xenon gave up first and looked down.

“I’ll bring you our book of rules and laws…It might help you understand my issues.”

“Do you have a code of conduct, rules, regulations…?”

“We’re a very ancient…people…Yes, we have some laws…”

“Good…Isn’t all this supposed to be a secret? Aren’t you breaking the rules here?”

“Billie…Yes, of course. But then…I’m trying to avoid breaking more serious rules. There are rules and there are rules…and as you know rules are made to be bent…if not broken. I hope you don’t mind if I call you Billie.”

“I’m not that bothered.”

“Could we meet in the evenings? Yes, we can walk around and all that, but we’re creatures of the night, that’s true enough. We function better at night.”

“I only have use of my office during standard working hours.”

He might be prepared to break or bend the rules, but Billie didn’t want to set a precedent. It was quite clear this was a guy who didn’t take no for an answer if he could help it. He needed boundaries…and many other things, although she didn’t have any idea of what those might be.

“Could I come to your place? Or we could meet somewhere else. I have a nice apartment.”

No way.

“I don’t do home visits…If you insist…If you give me your mobile number I’ll let you know of a convenient evening, if you don’t have any…”

We normally meet on Thursdays, after midnight. I don’t imagine you’d want to meet that late. Otherwise most of my business is conducted at night.”

“Give me your number.”

Xenon gave her a card. Black, red letters, very stylish.

“Very you…I’ll call you.”

He looked at her fixedly.

“I will call you. Honest. Can’t you read my mind? Or is that also part of the folklore?”

“We’re quite good with some people. Some better than others. Particularly if the person isn’t very complicated.”

She guessed that was as close to a compliment as she could expect to get from him. He then gave her a thick envelope. It was full of money.

“What is this for?”

“I want to pay you in advance. Just tell me when you think we’ve run out of money and I’ll keep topping up. It isn’t a problem.”

“But, how many sessions do you think you need?”

“No idea…Anyway, pleasure meeting you. See you next week.”

“Listen, this money…”

“Oh, don’t worry. You’ll earn it. Don’t be concerned about that. I don’t give anything for nothing.”

He shook her hand and left swiftly.

Thank you and don’t forget to leave a comment!

Hi all:

As you know usually I have a best author featured on my blog on Fridays. Unfortunately things didn’t work according to plan and the writer who was supposed to post today couldn’t make it. I hope she’ll come for a visit soon.

Instead I’ve decided to share with  you the beginning of a story I wrote some time ago that I’m revising. I haven’t decided what I’ll do with it, but could do with the opinions. If there’s interest I can always post a bit more of it in the future, and even consider publication…If not, it will go back to the drawer (or computer file to be more precise).

Here it is:

Family, Lust and Surveillance

The parcel was planted on my desk, brown and seemingly innocent. It had my name on it, my job denomination (Sub-Editor) and the office’s address. I picked it up, weighted it, shook it…It was too large for a CD. My heart started beating very fast, and my hands trembled. What I’d been fearing, had happened. Herman had finally got hold of me.

I jumped when I felt a hand on my shoulder.

“Sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you. It’s just…which one of these do you prefer?”

Matt, one of the graphic designers, had been working on the cover of the anthology we were getting ready.

“I…Which one do you prefer?”

“I’ve made them both. I don’t know.”

He looked at me. He was a short, funny looking guy, all head and eyes.

“Is that a CD?”

I was still holding the parcel in my right hand.

“No, a DVD.”

“Anything nice?”

“I think it’s a family recording I’ve been waiting for. Do you know if any of the viewing cabins are free?”

“I don’t think there’s anybody there at all this morning. Which one…?”

“Oh…the designs…I like them both. Ask Alan. Or choose yourself. We can always use the other design when we publish another anthology.”

OK. I hope you enjoy the movie.”

“I’m sure I will…”

He left and I added to myself “not”. I walked fast to one of the viewing cabins, the one on the further and more retired corner. I didn’t want to get interrupted or seen. I had to be completely sure. Once there, I opened the parcel. There was no note of any kind. Only a DVD. Blank cover. I switched the TV on and the DVD player. I watched the disc being swallowed by the machine. And after a few blank seconds, Herman appeared on screen. He looked thinner and paler than last time I had seen him, if that was possible. His hair was long, greasy, and he’d acquired some grey hairs. He looked tired but smiled, toothpaste-ad style.

“Hi, Pat. It’s been a long time since we last saw each other, hasn’t it? Over three years now. Of course, you’re the one seeing me though, I can’t see you. Not yet, anyhow. Or do you think I can?…It wasn’t in very good taste what you did to me. Pack your things and go when we were having such good fun. And send me an e-mail. So impersonal! ‘Don’t try to contact me. Leave me alone or…’ I’ve been wondering ‘or what?’ all these years. That’s not fair. I’ve been bored stiff all this time. Watching our last recording. Do you remember it? Here is a selection.”

The screen went blank for a minute and the next images were of a couple, naked in a narrow bed, having sex. Herman, the male in the tape, seemed to be performing for the camera, trying to make the action as visible as possible. Only when approaching the climax did he seem to lose the control and forget about the performance. The woman was hardly visible until the end, when Herman just laid down next to her, caressing her abdomen and kissing her nipples. Herman seemed to suddenly remember the camera and grabbing her face made her sit.

‘Smile at the camera.’

I looked at the blank screen. My image looking at myself from the gulf of three years made me blush and feel humiliated. But it hadn’t finished yet. Herman walked in front of the camera and sat down.

“I hope you enjoyed it. I did. You didn’t give me much of a chance to ask you, actually. But, I’ve been thinking of better angles for the camera. It would be more interesting if you were on top next time. I’ll phone you this morning. Just to discuss the details. Bye. I’m happy I’ve found you finally.”

I went back to my desk and sat down. I put the DVD on the top drawer, the one I could lock. The white phone looked harmless and pure. I could not think or do anything. I contemplated the possibility of leaving the office and going home. Maybe I should have emigrated. But I felt drained of all energy. I just waited for the phone to ring. And it did.

“Hi Pat. It’s Cal here. Are you busy tonight?”

“Tonight?…I don’t know. I’m waiting for a phone-call. I can’t tell you yet. What were you thinking of?”

“Intimate dinner, movie, sex…The usual.”

“I’ll give you a call when I know what I’m doing.”

“Are you all right? You sound a bit…strange.”

“I just feel a bit tired. I’ll be all right, Cal.”

“OK. Don’t forget to phone. You know I have many admirers cueing…”

“I’ll phone you later.”

“Pat…It was only a joke.”

“I know, darling, I know. Sorry, I’m just not myself today. Speak to you later. Thanks for phoning.”

Cal…he was such a sweet guy. How could I explain Herman to him? How could anybody explain Herman to anybody else? If he would just disappear…

The phone rang again. I let it ring a few times, until Tina, the girl in the contiguous office came in. Always fashionable clothes, impeccable make-up, carefully arranged hair…Heart of model.

“Oh, I thought you weren’t in. I was going to answer it…By the way, somebody phoned earlier. Herman…somebody or other. He said he’s your stepbrother. I didn’t know you had any family.”

“We haven’t talked to each other for a long time. I’ll tell you the story some other day.”

I picked up the phone and watched Tina leave.

“Hello. Pat McKenzie here.”

“Hi Pat. Herman Stenson here.”

I didn’t say anything. There wasn’t anything to say.

“How are you? Surprised?”

“Nothing you do surprises me, Herman.”

“You probably thought you had got away with it by now.”

“I didn’t think, I hoped and prayed. What do you want?”

“OK, forget about niceties, hey? It’s only me, it’s all in the family, I understand. What do you think I want?”

I didn’t answer. I wanted to put the phone down on him, but I knew that wouldn’t make any difference. I’d grown up with the bastard.

“I want you to come and see me, Pat. I’m living here too. I moved once I found your address. I’ll tell you where I live.”

“I don’t want to know.”

“I have a very nice place here.”

“Leave me alone.”

“Oh, come on, Pat, be fair now. Have I gone to all this bother to find you for nothing? You must come and see me. I must show you my new surveillance system, cameras…I can record anything now.”

“I don’t want to…”

“All right, I’m not going to carry on playing Mr. Nice Guy. If that’s the way you want it that’s the way it’ll be. You will come to see me or I’ll send a copy of our DVD to your boss and to your lovely Carl Tom…whatever.”

“Cal Tomlinson. What makes you think I’m bothered about that?”

“The sub-editor of a serious intellectual magazine, on educational matters, star of a porn movie. I’m not sure it quite goes with the job.”

“It isn’t a porn movie.”

“I know what it is, and you do too, but do you think anybody else knows? Nobody would understand that. And I’m sure Carl wouldn’t either.”

“Cal.”

“I couldn’t care less what his name is. Unless he wants to star in the movie…although…no, let’s keep it as it was.”

“WHY DON’T YOU SIMPLY FIND SOMEBODY ELSE TO…” I suddenly dropped my voice because I realised that probably Tina and half of the office where hearing me by now. “…fuck?”

“It’s a little bit more than that, love. Come to see me and we’ll talk about it.”

I wrote down his address automatically and put the phone down.

*******************************************************************

Let me know what you think.

And I have two announcements. Next week, to make up, I have two guest authors. On Tuesday my blog will be part of Travis Luedke’s blog tour. We’ll here about his new novel in the series ‘The Nightlife’. If you like hot and sexy vampires…I wouldn’t miss it. And on Friday, Dan O’Brien will talk to us offering his advice on how to get your work in a magazine (in his role as an editor) and his writing. Good week coming.

And the second announcement. My Young Adult novella, ‘Twin Evils?‘ is going to be free, for one day only, on Friday the 1st March. I’ll remind you, but be prepared. It’s only one day. I leave you links to previous blogs where I offered samples of Twin Evils also…for inspiration.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Olga

Twin Evils cover11

http://viewbook.at/B00BDRA9DM

https://olganm.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/brand-new-new-young-adult-novella-twin-evils-taster/

https://olganm.wordpress.com/2013/02/10/twin-evils-if-finally-here-young-adult-novella-siblings-paranormal-love-description-and-taster/

Hi all:

Thinking about my writing and particularly with the publishing of my new YA novella Twin Evils? I’ve noticed I’ve talked a fair bit about The Man Who Never Was and more recently I’ve launched Twin Evils? but I never talked much about my series: Escaping Psychiatry. It came out just before Christmas and with the hustle and bustle of Christmas and one thing and another, other than showing you the covers and links, I’ve not brought it to anybody’s attention much.

I thought maybe it was time to do something about. Escaping Psychiatry is a series of 3 novellas (Cannon Fodder, Teamwork and Memory) all linked by the same main character, Mary, a psychiatrist and writer (like me) who in each one of the novellas gets involved in a case (sometimes more personally than others) and has to work through sometimes not only the patients’ issues but also her own.

I’ve decided to offer you the description and a sample of each one of the novellas and see if you find them interesting. I also have an epilogue that have not published, but in time I might decide to publish the three together in a volume, depending on the response. I’d really appreciate your comments. And share if you find it interesting.

Cannon Fodder

In ‘Cannon Fodder’, Phil, a lawyer who is good friends with Mary asks
her to provide a report on one of his clients, a young African-American
man called Cain White. Cain is a very religious man and has been accused
of inciting a riot at a religious meeting. Although his actions have
never been violent, some people find the content of his speech
inflammatory and disturbing. He not only says he can hear God’s voice,
but also he insists that God is black and his appears to be a Black
Nationalist message. Is Cain insane, deluded, misguided, looking for
media-attention, or a Saint? To find an answer to these questions Mary
talks to his family and friends. Although she concludes he is sane, some
very damaging revelations about his family life, beliefs and local
attitudes result from Mary’s investigation. Who is a saint and who is a
sinner is a matter for debate. The more Mary gets involved in the lives
of Cain and those close to him the more she realises how damaging
secrets are.
Cannon Fodder contains damaging family secrets, court
procedures, psychological insights, discussions around morality and
religion, sin and ultimately redemption. This novella offers you an
emotionally affecting and challenging read in a small package. It is
well worth the time and investment.

Extract from Cannon Fodder

“I’m only me, Cain White, a fairly normal boy.”

“Do you think fairly normal boys say they can hear God?”

“I don’t know any who say that, but that’s probably because they can’t hear him. But I do.”

“Do you hear his voice as you hear me? Is it a voice outside your head?”

“It’s difficult to explain. It isn’t a voice like anything I’ve ever heard before. It isn’t a man or a woman, it’s God.”

“How do you know?”

“Because the voice says so. And I believe it.”

“Does it talk to you or does it talk about you or others?”

“It talks to me.”

“Does it call your name?”

“Yes…It says something like: “Cain, listen. There’s something I want you to tell the others. Tell them they must love themselves. Tell them they are beautiful.””

“Who are the others?”

Black people.”

“You mean God is talking to the black people through you.”

“I mean God is black.”

Mary had to bite her lip not to smile. Cain wouldn’t stand a chance if the judge were white.

“You don’t believe me.”

Mary looked at him straight in the eyes.

“I’m not trying to determine if God is black or white or any other colour. “

“You only want to know if I am mad. I guess I must be a raving lunatic to say things like that to a white psychiatrist.”

“Do you think black psychiatrists have different criteria for diagnosing madness?”

“Probably not.”

“This voice, is it inside you head or outside?”

“Outside. I’m not imagining it.”

“I didn’t say you were. Do you hear it at any particular time of the day or in a particular place?”

“No. It comes to me any time, any place.”

“When was the first time you heard that voice?”

“I heard it once as a child, just after my father died, telling me that I should look after my mother and siblings. And then, a few months ago. First I thought I was tired and I was hallucinating. But I had to accept it. It was God.”

“Are you taking drugs?”

“I don’t touch the stuff. I’m not off my head or anything like that.” he said in a brisk manner.

“I must ask this type of questions.”

“OK.”

Teamwork

In ‘Teamwork’ Captain Tom McLeod, from the San Francisco Police
Department, invites Mary for a meal at home with his wife. When she
meets their other guest, a young detective called Justin, she quickly
realises there is an agenda well beyond a friendly meal. Justin’s
partner, mentor and father figure, Sgt. David Leaman, was killed a
couple of months earlier during a routine investigation. Justin
witnessed the event but he insists in going back to work and refusing
any therapy or counselling. Tom and others at the department are
concerned about his mental state but have failed to convince him to
accept professional help. Both Mary and Justin are reluctant to engage
in the ambush informal consultation organised, but eventually decide to
give it a try. At first sight it appears to be a straight forward case
of unresolved grief, but things aren’t as clear-cut as they appear and
Mary ends up getting too personally involved with the case, to the
detriment of her professional objectivity. Who is the expert in matters
of the heart and soul?
‘Teamwork’ combines police procedural/crime
thriller format with psychological exploration of characters’ insights
and motivations. Despite its length this novella will have you enthused
and guessing from beginning to end.

Fragment from Teamwork

“Hi Phil. How are you?”

“I’m fine. I was a bit concerned. Tom phoned me saying that you’d disappeared and he was trying to contact you. About that guy…whatever his name is, one of his men you’ve been seeing. He wants him back working for him and he’d been phoning you with no reply.”

“Justin.”

“Yes. Justin. What’s the problem?”

“What is not the problem would be a better question. This guy is the young man I told you about.”

“The guy whose partner had died, but who was like a father to him.”

“Exactly. You were listening to me.”

“I always do. The young attractive guy.”

“Yes.”

“Do you fancy him?”

Mary went quiet. Phil waited and finally said.

“So you fancy him.”

“He told me he liked me. One night we went out to meet his mates from work, he got drunk, Tom drove us back, and Justin kissed me. Then he told me he liked me, and what was wrong with that, and…”

“You gave him your usual blah, blah about transference, vulnerability…Maybe at some point you should believe that somebody can like you for yourself, and not only because you’re a psychiatrist.”

“Fair enough comment if it wasn’t because in most cases it’s only my patients who seem to fancy me.”

“Oh, please, Mary, come on…Give a guy a chance, eh? If you don’t want a relationship, don’t blame guys for it. And I know what you’ll say. Mea culpa. I don’t want a relationship either. Does that disqualify me from giving you advice?”

Mary sighed and Phil continued.

“So you ran away from him.”

“No, Mr. Know-it-all. I didn’t. I told him that if he felt that way I couldn’t carry on working with him, and he said that he’d try and keep a lid on it. But, apart from all this, there’s something rather weird going on. Justin had told me that Lea, David Leaman’s wife, the dead policeman I mean, was a few years younger than him and he’d left her well covered with his insurance policy. Three days ago they had his memorial and Tom asked me if I’d like to go with Maureen and him. Justin had never mentioned it to me. Once there, I discovered that Lea was much younger than Dave, at least 20 years, if not more. She is in effect quite a few years younger than you and me, and only 4 or 5 years older than Justin himself.”

“And?”

“Why did he lie? One of the other policemen made a strange comment that I can’t quite work out, but seems to insinuate that there is something between Justin and Lea. I don’t know what to make of it, but it all seems a bit fishy.”

“Didn’t you talk to the guy? Justin, I mean.”

“I bumped onto him as I was leaving the chapel and he accused me of going there behind his back, told me he needed some space…”

Memory

In the third novella, ‘Memory’, Mary runs out of her apartment after a
difficult encounter with her friend Phil, and goes missing. When she is
found it seems that she was hit in the head, abducted and raped. As a
result of the head injury she initially cannot recall what happened or
remember many details of her life. She never recovers memory for the
assault and finds it difficult to come to terms with something she
cannot recall. Her relationships and her whole life are left in turmoil
following the traumatic incident. The clues point towards a serial
killer who could not finish his job in her case. But some things do not
fit in. Who disturbed the killer? Why was she left there? The crime and
the investigation surrounding it have a profound impact on Mary who
decides that she needs to reconsider her life and start anew.
Exploring issues such as mental illness, memory, police investigation, trauma,
serial killers and life as a single professional woman, ‘Memory’ is an
intense and intriguing novella.

Fragment from Memory

At times when he felt well, he was grateful to Mary for helping him and making him accept his illness. When he was a bit high he resented her for it and blamed her. About a week earlier Phil had done something he hoped would have no negative consequences. He had a very important case to represent in court and he was feeling quite tired. He decided not to take his mood stabiliser for a couple of days. The surge of energy served him well in court, but made him irritable and impulsive. After winning the case, he decided to take a drive and go to see Mary on his days off. She was working as a locum in a private psychiatric intensive care unit upstate and it took him less than an hour to get there. The hospital was renting her a small studio-flat and he went directly there. She wasn’t at home when he arrived and he sat in his car for about half an hour, waiting. She arrived carrying some shopping bags and while she looked for her keys he came out of the car. He’d been replaying what happened next in his head over and over again since.

If you’ve liked  what you’ve read, please click the links!

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Cannon Fodder:

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Teamwork:

http://viewbook.at/B00AKWSQJA

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Memory:

http://viewbook.at/B00AKWVRCS

As always THANK YOU FOR READING! And feel free to leave COMMENTS. And Friday guest author Eduardo Perellón.

Hi all:

I mentioned that I’m working on a YA series (and I’m in the process of translating it to Spanish) but as an introduction to that I’ve decided to publish (within the next few weeks) a YA novella that I wrote some time ago. It has a touch of the paranormal and a bit of romance although that is not yet evident in the little taster/teaser I enclose.

I hope you enjoy it! I’ll keep you updated on its publication.

And without further ado, here it is:

Twin Evils?

Hilda’s friend, Ruth, was the prettiest and loveliest girl in town. Her blond hair was fine and silky, her eyes blue like sapphires, her mouth red like coral. She would have been chanted by the poets of old if she’d lived in a different time. Ruth was the pride and darling of Yorktown. And she was clever enough, and generous and kind. She had it all.

Ruth had a brother too. Max was her twin, but hardly anybody would have guessed that they were related. He was very tall and thin, his hair was thick, curly and black like coal, his eyes grey like slate, and his mouth had thin lips that hardly ever smiled. He was the black sheep of the family, and Ruth and him were known as ‘the angel and the devil’ by the population.

Hilda had known them both all her life. They were the same age, and, in fact, their families were friendly before they were even born. Their parents used to go out on double dates and they got married on a double wedding. They lived in contiguous houses and it was as if they were all members of the same family. Hilda had always felt that it was her duty to befriend Ruth and Max. The task had been very easy with Ruth, she was friendly with everybody, but Max wasn’t an easy boy. As a child, when they played together, he used to torture animals, insects, fight with other children…Ruth always shied away from him, she couldn’t bear any type of violence, but Hilda wasn’t squeamish, and Max had always assumed that Hilda approved of what he did. She told him many times that she didn’t like his behaviour but he insisted that her words were only a pose. Max was always as nasty as he could be towards his sister. He put dead animals in her bed, maggots in her food, ruined her dresses…Once Hilda stopped him when he was about to set his sleeping sister’s hair on fire. Ruth woke up with the discussion and slapped him when she heard what he was about to do, but he only laughed. No threats from Ruth, no warnings from his parents, no punishment from his teachers made any difference to him.

The summer of the twins’ seventeenth birthday, Max had given everybody a break by deciding to go camping with some other youngsters. They had had two weeks of peace, and the two families had been preparing the twins’ birthday party at ease, in perfect tranquillity.

“Hilda! Hilda!”

“Oh no, he’s back” Hilda’s father, Steph, mumbled under his breath.

“Hilda!”

“Go to see what he wants, before we all end up deaf or mad.” Mandy, Hilda’s mother, ordered.

“All right, all right. I’ll go.”

“Hilda!”

Hilda marched into the garden feeling like a martyr. The sacrifices she had to make to keep the peace! Max was restlessly running up and down his garden. He opened his mouth and began:

“Hi…Oh, you are here.”

Yes, Max. Here I am. Do you always have to be so noisy?”

“Shut up! I must show you something.” He grabbed Hilda by the arm and dragged her over the fence.

“Be careful, will you?”

“Sorry. Come, quick.”

Hilda and Max entered the house through the back door of the lounge, opening into the garden. Hilda said hello in passing to Max’s mother, Eleanor, and his father, Patrick. Ruth was sitting in her room, with the door open.

“Oh Ruth, how…?”

Max pushed Hilda into his room.

“Don’t talk to her. You aren’t here to talk to her. You’ve come to see something.”

“When will you grow up, Max? I’m your sister’s friend too, and…”

“Stop it, please. Look…”

Max switched the lights on. His room was painted in black, walls and ceiling, with strange cabalistic inscriptions and devilish drawings. It was always dark inside. Once he made light, he took his T-shirt off and showed Hilda his back.

“What do you think?”

Hilda was speechless. It was an incredible tattoo. A black eagle, with spread wings, attacking a white dove. The eagle’s beak was dripping blood, and the red colour of the tattoo was very intense, quasi pulsating. The dove had blue eyes and was carrying a branch of wheat. The eagle’s eyes were grey and the wings looked shiny and iridescent. It was an extremely vivid tattoo. And the meaning was too clear for Hilda to be able to ignore it. Max always called Ruth ‘the white dove’. It was horrible.

“Why did you do that, Max?”

“There was a guy incredibly good with tattoos nearby. It’s my own design.”

“I’ve noticed that.”

“Why don’t you like it? Isn’t it good?”

“It’s good. Real good. But, what does it mean?”

“Mean?…Nothing. It’s only a tattoo.”

Max tried his most innocent expression, but it didn’t come natural to him. Not convincing at all.

“I don’t like the imagery.” Ruth said.

“Imagery. Lovely word. I love how you talk, like a book.”

“Bye Max.”

Ruth turned her back on Max and stepped toward the door.

“Wait, wait! I have another tattoo!”

“If it’s like this one I’d rather not see it, thank you.”

“Oh no, it’s very different. Guess where it is.”

Ruth had stopped and turned to look at Max, but shook her head and carried walking.

“I’m not interested in games, Max. I have things to do.”

Max ran to the door to prevent Hilda from leaving.

“Come on…I’ve been away for two weeks and you haven’t even asked me how it was or how I am, or nothing. I’ve missed you, you know? And you don’t even care enough to ask.” He whined.

“You haven’t asked me either. You only came shouting…”

“OK, I’m sorry. I just had to show it to someone or I would have exploded. I haven’t showed it to anybody.”

“Is it a surprise then?”

“Yes, yes. You won’t tell, will you?”

Max and his secrets. Hilda had been selected as his official confidant many years back and she had never managed to get rid of the privilege. Although, Max never quite confessed everything. He always kept something to himself. That made things slightly easier for Hilda. Sometimes. Sometimes it made them worse.

“You’ll have to show your parents. They’ll find out.”

“I will, soon…But keep it quiet in the meantime, OK?”

“Fine.”

“Now, guess where I have the other tattoo.”

Thank you for reading, and of course…feel free to guess…I might or might not reveal the location of Max’s second tattoo…

Ah, on Friday guest author Judith Priay!

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