Some things in life defy comprehension, but that doesn’t make them any less real. Or deadly.
When a familiar crow drops a cryptic scroll at Shawnee Daniels’ feet, she’s compelled to open it, even though everything in her power warns her not to. Mr. Mayhem—the most prolific serial killer the North Shore has ever known—claims her life is in danger. He “claims” he wants to help her, but just last year he threatened to murder everyone she loves.
While Mayhem taunts her with oddly-placed feathers, like The Creator left at his crime scenes, an interstate killing spree rocks Massachusetts and New Hampshire. A madman is decapitating men and women, dumping their headless corpses on two area beaches. But what Shawnee soon uncovers shatters all she’s ever known, her memories shredded, the whispers of the past in shambles on the ground.
Can she find the strength to move forward, or will the truth destroy her?
Another remarkable story in the Mayhem series and the main character, Mr Mayhem gets even better!
Infuriatingly enigmatic as always, I love the way he adores his crows, his wife, and even Shawnee Daniels in his own inimitable way.
I loved reading the fascinating history about the Navajo Indians and the importance of the eagle feathers.
They say that all good writing should leave you wanting answers, and Silent Mayhem, the third book in the series is chock full of questions as it gears up for the next instalment.
In the meantime, I have a few of my own…
How, exactly, can a cold-blooded killer be so kind, and believe that Shawnee had killed anyone?
How did he cure her mysterious illness and why did he want to keep her safe?
And who is this Navajo skinwalker?
I can thoroughly recommend Silent Mayhem, the pace might give you a coronary though, so you have been warned!
The queen of Magia and her court have fled their sun filled Spanish homeland and the palace beneath the magnolia tree.
Arriving on the backs of geese and swans, they seek sanctuary in the magic garden of The Storyteller who welcomes them to the Emerald Island, a place where rain is almost a daily feature.
Grateful for their safe haven and the generosity of their host, the queen and her courtiers embrace their new surroundings with delight. As the seasons change throughout the year, they come into contact with many of the human and animal inhabitants of the garden and the surrounding forest, all of whom have a story to tell.
This is a magical fairy story infused with fantasy and romance, as well as opportunities for mischief in the company of goblins, witches and Lerpersians.
(Lerpersian, I have discovered, is another name for a Leprechaun.)
Tales from an Irish Garden begins at Christmas time in the magical Spanish garden. Queen Filigree was looking forward to the festivities, but bad news arrived first.
The Queen and all her subjects could no longer stay in Spain and would have to leave their beautiful home and find another with the help of the Storyteller.
At the eleventh hour, another location was found in Ireland, where they will need to adapt to the new surroundings and very different weather.
How this was achieved was beautifully described in perfect detail in a series of magical stories. I loved all these stories, but will always remember one, The Kindness of Mice…
( For the visually challenged reader, the image shows a tiny mouse sitting in a wicker basket. There are a couple of grocery lists and some dry pantry items in the background)
It was going to be another hot day and I was up early, trying to catch up on the editing I was desperately trying to finish.
I worked solidly for an hour and the heat was beginning to build. Instead of the early morning freshness, each breath of air was warm in my throat.
Sitting at my desk, pen in hand trying to pretend I was writing, I stared out the window, wondering how long this hot weather would last.
I hate being hot and sweaty all the time. They had promised a thunderstorm later, so that was something to look forward to.
From my window, I had a good view of the garden hedge and its half-clipped state taunted me. It had been abandoned when the hot weather struck. It looked ridiculous, with one side neatly clipped and the top and other side sprouting long shoots like a mad hairstyle. I itched to finish it, but not until the heat let up a bit.
That was when the tapping began.
It seemed to be coming from next door, something we used to hearing. They have a small boy who delights in banging anything he can find on the walls.
As we patiently waited for the noise to stop, I began to imagine someone in trouble, tapping out a message to summon help. This is an occupational hazard for writers, we use any opportunity to create scenarios.
The tapping sounded like Morse code, but with no recognisable pattern. We discussed different reasons why the person in trouble couldn’t shout and that was when we wondered if there was anyone at home next door. It was a school day, and both parents worked, so the mystery was getting deeper.
Anita decided to check and knocked on their front door. When no one appeared, she looked through the windows just in case there was someone lying on the floor.
By now, the tapping had reached a seriously annoying level and I wanted to scream to make it stop. It was louder in the kitchen, but every time we walked into the room, the tapping stopped. Almost as though the tapper could see us and was patiently waiting for us to leave.
As the time went on, the incessant tapping seemed to be increasing, becoming more urgent.
We went through all the possibilities, like could the fridge be making the noise. It did produce odd clicks now and then when defrosting, but nothing like what we were hearing now.
Was there something in the wall, trying to munch its way out?
We have bats in the roof but have never heard them. Anyway, the bathroom was between the kitchen and the roof, so it wasn’t likely.
The kitchen floor was solid concrete, so the tapping couldn’t be coming from there either.
It was almost lunchtime and the tapping had been constant all morning. Our nerves were frayed, and the rising temperature added to the desperation.
That was when Anita mentioned that the tapping sounded metallic and she remembered the mouse trap.
This was one of those humane traps, where the mice can go in to eat the cheese but cannot get back out again. We bought this a long time ago when Merlin started bringing mice into the house. He never kills them you see, and we were for ever chasing them around the house to put them outside.
Now, normally, when one of his playmates has found the cheese, he lets us know so we can release it. For some reason, this time he hadn’t.
I slid the trap out from under the cupboard and peered inside. I couldn’t see a mouse, but the cheese had been nibbled. I took the trap out into the garden and lifted the lid. Instantly, a tiny but very determined field mouse appeared and leaped to freedom.
Problem solved and peace returned to the household.
Now, where is that thunderstorm?
This post brought to mind when the first of these visitors began to arrive, and the terrible circumstances that ensued.
If you would like to read these posts, you can find them at the following links…
Every now and then, we get a wake-up call, a wonderful moment when a magic light bulb illuminates an area in our brain. This usually heralds a brilliant idea, something groundbreaking or so incredibly sensible, you wonder why it took so long to surface.
Then there are the other kind. The ones accompanied by that awful stomach churning, as you realise how stupid you are or have been.
Today, I had one of these, and it has done absolutely nothing good to my self-confidence. I was rechecking the enormous pile of helpful notes (I use this term advisedly) when the realisation hit me between the eyes.
We make all these lists of things to do, things to remember or try. Then we get a sense of achievement when we actually cross something off. Today, it was brought home to me, just how stupid that is.
I had been watching a trailer someone had made using a company called Animoto. That name rang a bell, but the memory didn’t follow on. Had I already checked them out? And if I did, what did I find?
Those of you with fantastic memories will not need the advice I am about to share, but I suspect quite a few of you, like me, will find it useful.
When we read something that needs checking out, we should have a place to record our findings. Either a page in a notebook or an index card in our follow up box. Write a simple assessment, was it good/rubbish/too expensive/unsuitable…and if you logged on to the site, record the URL and your password.
I have no idea why this has never occurred to me before, as I seem to spend my life revisiting sites, only to realise I had been there before. It will be so helpful to be able to see at a glance all the info.
It’s the first of the month and you know what that means! Poets, choose your own syllabic poetry form, theme, words, images, etc. It’s up to you!
Red Sails in the Sunset…
From Snow-capped Mountains white To cold open seas My red sails billow Passing folk wave me by My days filled with sunshine smiles nights diamond bright to dream by Its you that fills my sleeping moments Your hand forever in mine, life complete…
DI David Snow has another killer to catch, a killer as mysterious as the crimes he commits.
Betrayal and lies come to the surface as Snow struggles to find the truth, but is he looking in all the wrong places?
Can he outwit the killer, or will the truth cost him his life?
Excerpt from CrossFire
‘Do you know why we have brought you here today, Ann?’
Ruth thought she would ease her way in, rather than accuse her straight off, for triggering any hostility wouldn’t get them anywhere.
The woman stared at Ruth, her pale, colourless eyes searching for clues. ‘Nah… but I ‘spect you’ll get to it pretty quick…’
Ruth indicated a brown paper bag on the table beside her. ‘We found a pair of work boots at your house, Ann. According to your husband, they’re not his. Are they yours?’
Ann Taylor glared at Ruth. She seemed to be enjoying the interview, her arrogance showing through the previous nervousness. ‘Dunno, can’t see them can I?’
Ruth undid the bag and placed the dirty boots on the table. Most of the mud had dried and fallen off, but still didn’t seem like the kind of boot a woman would wear. ‘Are these your boots, Ann?’
Without looking at the boots, she shook her head. ‘Nah, I don’t think so.’
Ruth looked at Snow, but not for confirmation. She wondered why he was choosing to stay silent. What was the point of sitting in if he wasn’t going to contribute? Not that she cared, one way or the other. She had only looked at him to signify inclusion.
She looked back at the woman. ‘Are you quite sure, Ann?’
The woman shrugged her shoulders and refused to speak.
‘For the benefit of the tape, Ann Taylor has refused to answer.’
Ruth decided to read out the coroner’s report, detailing every bruise and damage to the child’s body. When she read the part about the boot imprint on the child’s back, she slid the photograph across the table in front of the mother.
‘Did you do this, Ann?’
When the woman didn’t answer, Ruth decided it was time to play the ace card, and she looked forward to it. This cold-hearted bitch of a woman was about to be arrested, but not before Ruth had enjoyed herself. ‘Are you aware that the person who wore these boots would have left significant DNA inside them?’
Ruth paused, watching as the realisation sunk in. ‘And are you also aware that we have tested your DNA and it has been proved that you are the owner of these boots?’
The fear and shame were beginning to show on the woman’s face, and Ruth watched, wondering what she would do now. She didn’t have to wait long to find out.
Ann Taylor’s face seemed to implode, as the terror of being found out took effect. ‘I swear I don’t remember that part… I know I were angry, but when she fell over and banged her head, I thought she were dead…’
‘So what did you do then, Ann?’ Ruth knew what had happened next, but not which one of them had done it. ‘Were you aware that Amy was still alive when you dropped her into the canal?’
The horror was all-encompassing, as the woman realised the enormity of what she had done. She looked around the room, just once, before she started screaming…