Posts Tagged ‘history’

Oh the manic life I lead. A writers life is one of fits and starts… drudgery and exhilaration. After approximately one and a half years I  get to rest my weary head and scream for a day or two now that my newest book is out the door. For my friends who have followed my progress  since the project began I give you the first page of the final manuscript… just hours before it becomes available to the general public. Thanks for all your support. Thirteen Angels will be available on Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Kobo ( and others- distributed internationally at $2.99 usd) as an eBook. Hard Copy will become available soon for collectors.

CHAPTER ONE

CASTLE D’ARC, 2065

Tangled lightning lashed Castle D’Arc. Its crenulated silhouette outlined a gap-toothed scream against every explosive crack of fire. Each quick following barrage of thunder suggested Armageddon. The embattled redoubt fought raging tides threatening to rip out foundation stones and cast them into the greedy maw of an encircling leviathan. Two cassock-draped figures strode desolate battlements, unrecognizable under long woolen hoods. The cloth was stretched into shapeless socks, a vain attempt to thwart the stinging slap of freezing rain.

“Damn this weather”, snarled the smaller man. His teeth flashed white. No matter which way he turned, an icy wind stabbed at his eyes, blinding him, as if the world vengefully denied him sight of it. Another splinter of ragged lightning shred the gloom, exposing his upturned face, a mask of angry vexation. “This is how I imagine hell”. He beat his skeletal hands and stamped like an impatient stallion.

“It is a hell of your own creation brother”. A familiar voice subtly reminded Azazel they stood on hallowed ground. Conscious-stricken, he choked back his irreverence and offered up a prayer of contrition. The rueful monk hoped his deity would understand a loyal servant’s frustration after a lifetime of disappointment.

“Oh lord”, he begged, “Have mercy”. He bowed his painfully stiff back into the attitude of a grateful supplicant and whispered, “If you look down upon me you will see I have been the victim of the constant and unremitting malice of fortune”. His need for penance sated, the monk resumed his march. “Where is it?” He returned to ranging the impenetrable night with bursts of psychic energy. Azazel shook his fists in the face of the wind like a combatant avowed to fight on in defeat. He prayed the coven’s collective will was strong enough to turn back this storm. It felt certain nature’s wrath was set deliberately against them.

“It’s just a storm”, the same voice chastised. “Remember where you are”. Azazel kept his lips closed with the expression of a man inwardly laughing that he would be the one to welcome the Holy Arc and resurrect the Eye of Ba’al. Destiny chose him to lead this cycle. He hoped it was the final step towards ending his miserable life.

“I don’t see you out here” he shot back contemptuously. His obdurate prayers had been stripped naked by the tempest.

13 Angels cover

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Devil Theory…… is the title of my new action -thriller novel…the 7th I have penned. The new book took the better part of a year to write…..seriously impacting my ability to blog with any regularity. While writing I was stimulated by several  locations internationally. Any and all of my influences during the course of the year will have had some effect on my state of mind while I wrote, and of course my extensive research may have come to live vicariously as fiction generated emotions  through the characters and plot lines as the story took shape. So as always, expect some blood on the pages and a personal interpretation of historical events taken with sometimes extreme artistic license.

As I always do in my fiction work I have created a broken personality as protagonist unaware of his heroic potential and given him the opportunity to save the world from a particularily evil antagonist on his own terms . As I am planning a new novel in the back of my mind I will write several stories independently and merge them together when the overview of the work comes into view.

Devil Theory began as a story about a young man whose ambition it was to make a name in the music business as a blues guitar player after he was released from prison. At the same time I was writing another story based the court intrigues of the Middle Ages Emperor Charlemagne. Devil Theory describes the lead up and historical context of an attempt by an ancient evil cabal to bring about the End Times in order resurrect an ancient Western Semitic God. The story challenges the commonly accepted timeline and history of western civilization.

Devil Theory will be  published exclusively on Amazon for Kindle before the end of November. I thank everyone who has purchased my previous novels and hope that you will enjoy Devil Theory as perhaps my best work to date.

None of my traveler friends had ever visited Bristol, so naturally I had to go. For visitors to Great Britain this city in the south west corner of the island is a little hard to get to, it is officially ‘off the beaten track’, a perfect destination for me. I was feeling quite smug about my choice until I began to research the city who’s river Shakespeare had set into history, the River Avon, where he lived at Stratford on Avon. But long before that, some 60,000 years before, people have been known to have inhabited the area. I set out to find out why.

My plan was to settle in for a two week stay, long enough to get a feel for the comings and goings of the place. I always like to meet the area residents wherever I go so as to find out what their lives are like. This is part of the travel experience I enjoy the best. Over the many years I have traveled I have seen more than enough ruined piles of stone to have shifted my interest to the people who live in these places. I find that when shopkeepers and publicans, grocery clerks and post official countermen have seen your face on a regular basis they open up and don’t mind telling their stories. As I usually do when I hunker down in a single location for an extended period of time I book an intermediate stay apartment with a corporate provider. I found a fantastic period architectural place fronting the River Avon and one of the many bridge crossings in the heart of town called the West India House.

The first thing I noted were the numbers of young people in town. The University of Bristol is a popular place for foreign students coming to Britain to study. The campus is quite illustrious and looks as if it has stood for a thousand years, but looks are deceiving in the case of Bristol. Although the entire city appears to be original and ancient it is in fact a reproduction in it’s entirety. Bristol was heavily bombed during the second world war and lay in ruins for the better part of the period after Nazi bombers attacked the area because of the aircraft manufacturing facilities and airstrips. In fact one fine Sunday morning while we were having coffee in the High Street we were fortunate enough to set into conversation with an older gentleman who lived through that horrible time. He told us a very sad story of how his best friend had been killed by a bomb that had landed with only meters between them. How fickle is fate in times of war?

The faithful architectural reproductions are remarkable. As with the rest of Europe that had to rebuilt after that great war, it is almost unnoticeable to the naked eye that this rebuilding of thousands of buildings isn’t original. St Mary Redcliffe church is remarkable in that it’s many 13th century fittings of medieval knights and dignitaries buried for centuries under stone sarcophagi have been preserved. I happened in while choir practice was underway and the atmosphere was heavenly. The Georgian Period Queens Square has been so lovingly rebuilt that it almost seems as if the first bricks of the 17th century were painted only yesterday. Many of the cobblestones streets are lined with modern shops and coffee houses but you don’t have to look very far before finding an unaltered gem like the Llandoger Trow, an ancient public house in the center of the old city or The Nails in Corn Street where deals were made over shipping concerns that spanned the globe during days of empire and the term ‘cash on the nail’ was coined due to the requirements that Sterling be laid on the top of the brass topped tables.

Bristol had been a famous shipping port for exports and imports from around the globe through the Elizabethan to the Victorian ages. The port was also a wooden shipbuilding mecca for square rigged sailing traders who sought commerce on the far reaches of what was then unknown territory in the dangerous competition of the day. The term ‘Bristol Fit’ described a ship that was rigged to take any sort of challenge including armed confrontation. Much of the trade was legitimate but Bristol was also the main port in Great Britain for the African slave trade which saw millions of black Africans captured and enslaved by Arabs , West African man hunters and tribal chieftains selling their own people , finally to European ‘Blackbirders’ who transported the slaves to colonies as labour, particularly the newly established sugar plantations of the America’s, French, British , Spanish Caribbean and west coast of Portuguese Brazil. The slave trade was outlawed in Britain in 1833 but is still unfortunately an active practice amongst certain Arab and African nations.

One famous legacy in the City of Bristol is the home of a slave ship captain that was built upon his rich return to England after years at sea as a ‘Blackbirder’. This ships captain, John Newton, wrote the original hymn ‘Amazing Grace’. The house he built is a time capsule of all the mod cons a rich man could buy at the time, including a plunge pool on the lowest level of the six floor residence. On his return to England his guilt may have gotten the better of him and he became an Anglican minister.

It’s always best to walk around a new city, this is how the place will reveal it’s personality and it’s secrets to you. Bristol is punctuated by open pedestrian squares and green parks that appear as if by magic. The first walk-about I took led me past the ruined keep of a Norman tower, there since the first occupation by William the Conqueror in 1066 in the famous battle of Hastings. Plain functional buildings from the 1960’s abut Shakespearean row houses laced with odd graffiti scratched in the stone, the meanings of which have long been forgotten and covered with ivy sprouting from the cracks. Narrow lanes abound through the core of Bristol’s original founding. Lively pubs are raucous and carousing well into the night. The sound of ebullient laughter pours down the cobblestones stairwells like rushing water. One Sunday morning constitutional led me straight into an all morning jazz blast where the street performers were wildly costumed and in riotous makeup. The occasion seemed to be lost on anyone I asked.

I was in love with Bristol within hours of arriving and the attraction has continued to grow in my absence . The lively boathouse restaurants lining the river offered an array of entertainment steps from my door. The streets all seemed to lead me around in a fascinating circle hemmed by river water and locks. I spent several hours in the area around the railway station as it seemed so perfectly decrepit that I would not have wanted to change a single line of red brick and wrought iron left over from the restoration after the war.

Though I am a staunch budget traveler I found myself being drawn in to the many welcoming public house establishments for a quick drink and conversation. Travelers are unusual fare for the cosmopolitan denizens of Bristol who all seem to come from somewhere else. The city is full of tech workers on contract, visiting professors and students sharing this comfortable space. I was welcomed with interest and courtesy as a tourist as if I were something truly unique to the social mix. If you ever get the chance you should certainly give this rare city a visit, you might fall in love, as I did, forever.