WiP Blog Tour

I have been invited to contribute to this blog tour in which authors are encouraged to offer a snippet of their work in progress. My particular WiP has been such for well over a year, and I’d be telling fibs if I said it didn’t bother me; I like to crack on and write it out before the story begins to ferment and loses the urgency it was born with. I think this blog tour is a wonderful way of letting people see an author is still alive, and what they might expect when he finally types The End.

Kath Middleton nominated me (she pointed a finger and shouted at me, if truth be known – and you don’t argue with Kath!). Everyone who is anyone knows Kath. She’s been responsible for boosting more writers’ egos than anyone else, and now she is more prolific a writer than most. Having access to The Well of Wonderful Stories, Kath cannot be pigeon-holed into any single genre. Pop over to her blog to see how industrious she is:  Kath’s blog.  And here is Kath’s Amazon Page.


There are rules for this blog tour, and here they are:

1          Link back to the post of the person who nominated you

2          Write a little about and give the first sentence of the first three chapters of your current work in progress.

3          Nominate some other writers to do the same.


Unusually for me I have a couple of WiPs on the go. One is a short story entitled Any Old Iron, but is just something I conjured up one day and has no bearing on what I usually write. The other is what I usually write and is entitled Sword of Damocles. It features CSI Eddie Collins getting into more scrapes as he blunders his way through a rather intriguing case, a case that plunders the depths of desperation as one man struggles with a past he thought was long dead. And Eddie dishes out his own version of justice along the way to people who have no honour. I know that description sounds rather vague, but I’m keen not to give away too much of the plot or the sub-plots. Anyway, without further ado…


Chapter One

The flickering light attacked his eyes, but he didn’t see it. He didn’t see anything except the bottle on the table next to him. It remained unopened, but he could feel his resistance to it melt like chocolate on a bonfire. Maybe constantly challenging himself to see who was in control – the alcohol or him – was a bad idea.

It was two-thirty in the morning and Eddie felt wiped out, but his mind was in a tailspin again and that, combined with a thudding heart, refused to let him sleep. So here he was, torturing himself with the memories of whisky-induced slumber and a repeat of Jeremy Kyle. His nails dug into the arms of his favourite chair and his toes clawed at the carpet until he could stand it no longer. He leapt up and kicked out at the television. It crashed against the wall. The sound died immediately and the picture fuzzed, became a trapped rainbow and then it too died. Eddie was panting; felt like opening his skin and crawling out, anything to be free.


Chapter Two

The noise was appalling. Up on the stage, his equipment illuminated by red and green spotlights, a DJ spoke unintelligibly into a face mic positioned so close to his mouth that he might as well have been shouting through a pillow. And Terry would’ve volunteered to be the one holding it there.


Chapter Three

“Morning, Moneypenny,” he said to the receptionist.

“Eddie, someone to see you.” She nodded towards the three plush leather chairs partly obscured by state of the art potted palms.

Eddie saw something that looked like an extra from the Rock Horror Show. It stood up and smiled, then met him in the middle of the floor, hand outstretched. Eddie heard Moneypenny snort from behind him. “What the—”

“Mr Collins?”

Eddie grunted. In front him was a skin and bone manikin wearing a pink blouson and tight black leggings that disappeared into knee high black boots with chrome buckles up the sides. Over his shoulder he carried a red satchel with hearts scattered all over it. Eddie turned to Moneypenny, “Is this a piss-take?”

“Mr Collins, I’m Sidney. Your new secretary.”

Eddie stared. “You’re kidding, right?”

“They said you were shi— they said you needed a hand.”


There are so many more opening sentences I would love to have shared but alas I cannot. It’s time to move things along, and I nominate two authors whose work is an inspiration.

Tim Arnot writes classy British post-apocalyptic tales of a world I love to read about, inhabited by characters I’d really like to meet in person.

Bill Todd writes crunchingly realistic stories featuring an ex-soldier, Danny Lancaster, who turns detective. And he does it with real style.






The Third Rule – giveaway

On Friday 6th February, I will launch the new Eddie Collins short story The Lift. It’ll be free to download. TheLift_Front_v1.3_Size_ThumbnailLarge

To coincide with this giveaway, I intend making The Third Rule – The Complete Story, free to download for five full days. The Third Rule is to date, my magnum opus, and stands at over a thousand pages, 260 thousand words. I don’t intend to make this book free again.

I hope you will read The Third Rule and find out for yourself how I perceived British justice to be in the near future, remembering it was conceived almost eleven years ago. Several aspects of that future have indeed come true, but I hope the main theme, capital punishment, remains totally fictional.

TTR_CompleteStory - Copy (Custom)

Perhaps you’ll agree with The Rules to an extent, forcing those who make crime their living, pay for their own counsel, and pay back into a fund to compensate victims of crime?

We mustn’t forget that The Third Rule is predominantly a story about a CSI, Eddie Collins, but also features a small cast of secondary characters, each with their own story to tell, who happen to live amid this intriguing and disturbing background.

Anyway, it will be interesting to note how Eddie has changed during the intervening years. Of course, during those years we can see his development in Black by Rose, and hopefully to be released later this year, Sword of Damocles.

If you do download and read The Third Rule, I would love to hear your reaction.

In the meantime, here is the blurb and a link to your own country’s Amazon site:

“If you want to kill serious crime, you have to kill serious criminals.” 

Propelled by a wave of atrocities, a new government surges to power and introduces a severe code of punishment. They designed The Rules to rid England of serious crime, but they failed. They said The Rules were infallible, but they lied. The Rules slaughtered truth and justice, and innocent people too. 

One of those innocent people is Christian Ledger, a talented artist charged with a fatal stabbing. Christian is heading for the ‘slaughterhouse’ because no one will listen; certainly not the police who just scored another hit. Is the secret he carries enough to save his life? 

CSI Eddie Collins, a reluctant hero with one failed suicide attempt behind him, suddenly wants to live when the police hunt him for shooting a colleague. Now he’s on the government’s list too, and he’s running. But they’re gaining.