Book Excerpts Cont…

“You’ve broken my translator!” cried Tarquin. Catching sight of her smouldering hair in the polished cooker hood, Aunt Mira shrieked,

“Never mind the blooming toaster, what about my hair!” she said, waving her hands angrily in the air and doing a laudable impression of the Bride of Frankenstein. “I’ve only just had it rinsed and set!”

Harold fawned wetly over his wife, before turning on Tarquin with the ferocity of a disgruntled sheep,

“Why on earth did you bring such a dangerous appliance into our home? Have you lost all your senses? You stole it, didn’t you!” Tarquin wasn’t listening as he was overcome by a horrible, sinking feeling.

“Where are the books!” he yelled at the top of his lungs. Panic stricken he began searching the kitchen.

“In your bedroom of course,” said his aunt, pulling clumps of singed blue, silvery hair from her head. “Why on earth you put books…” Before Mira could finish her sentence, Tarquin leapt up and cried,

“Oh, thank, you!” before planting a kiss on Harold’s bemused, bald and sooty dome and smacking another on his aunt’s blackened cheek. “Thank you!” Tarquin shouted over his shoulder as he hurried from the kitchen and charged up the stairs to his bedroom to find the books. He found the journal and exercise book on his bedside cabinet. He opened the exercise book hoping to find answers to the many questions rushing through his head. The first twenty pages of the book were filled with writing, diagrams and drawings, with the remaining pages disappointingly blank. Tarquin looked despairingly at the journal and realised, much to his dismay, that nothing had been translated, just copied.


Book Excerpts….

“Okay, no problem,” said Tommy, opening the door.

“You sure Doc?” Tommy nodded, and walked him back to Tarquin’s room. Seeing the paper bag and flowers on Tarquin’s bed, Tommy picked them up.

“You left these,” he said, handing them to Jeremiah.

“They’re for Seebee. We take grapes and flowers when visiting people in hospitals back in the twenty first century.”

“Oh,” said Tommy, looking at the peculiar mix of daffodils, rhubarb, dahlias, barley wheat and wild roses held together with a frayed shoelace. He opened the brown paper bag to find it full of pips and grape stalks.

“I thought you said there were grapes?” He looked up, but Jeremiah had gone.


The room shook to the sound of thunder. Painters standing on wooden platforms high above the floor, fell to their knees grabbing anything to keep them from falling. Below the painters, an ornate, Chinese sedan chair materialized, spinning violently. Held within a vortex of steam it collapsed the wooden platform like twigs in a breeze, sending the painters crashing to the floor, before tearing a four-foot section of plaster from the wall. Buried beneath plaster, rubble and wooden planks, the chair spun slowly to a stop. Half a dozen painters lay groaning amongst the debris. From within the chair came a scrabbling noise, then movement, and a hand poked through the pile of debris. Emerging, blinking from the chair door was a naked, hairy man. His wide, beady eyes scanned the bewildered faces looking at him. Recognising one, he let out a tortuous wail and forced open the sedan chair door before scrambling over the mess, and running, open armed toward him.
“Leonardo, Leonardo! I need to speak with you!” he shouted, in faltering Latin. Two men barred his way and he fell to the floor, babbling. Surprised he could understand the stranger, the master painter replied,

“I am Leonardo, who are you?”
The man grasped the ankles of the nearest man and gawped at Leonardo through his legs, like a prisoner through cell bars.

“Your humble servant, Michel de Nostredame,” he replied, falling back and spread-eagling himself in supplication. Leonardo looked down on the prostrated, pitiful caveman and signalled to a student painter to get some clothes.

And, whatever you do, make sure you upset your book’s bad guys!!

Gruilash Vandergaard did not appreciate being mooned, locked in a hyperjam for eighteen hours, or asked to recite love poetry to a space pirate. So, when the order came to collect Granwold, and Prince Solace Ruttfarter from the ‘Bloated Shagganat’ nightclub in Sleazeeze, he thought only of revenge. He would personally lead the Griddleback’s Tactical Armed Response Teams (TARTs), and by the end of the day, have the heads of those responsible for insulting him marinating in his galley kitchen’s collection of pickle jars along with all the other unfortunate aliens who’d crossed him during his thirty year military career.

He placed the four Griddleback battlecruisers in a geo-stationary orbit around Tharg, and had the TARTs assault vehicles prepared.

Editor? Why Bother…..

You’ve slaved over your opus, you chuckle at elements of your writing that you feel couldn’t be better, and you’re looking forward to the day that an ebook and a paperback is birthed to the waiting world……But then, someone mentions editing.

Thankfully, I’ve always known that ‘editing’ is an intergral part of my novel, but I learnt the hard way.

Many years ago, probably over ten, I sent my first Tarquin Jenkins chapter off to a fee paying review site in the UK. At the time, I had no idea that my chapter crossed the ‘Pond’ to new Jersey and was seen by a Scotsman. I still have the review; it’s painful, but interesting reading. Not just because Paul Barnett (the Scotsman) was being awfully polite, but he took the time to point out all the mistakes a ‘newbie’ writer would make in writing. So obvious, but in the ‘glow ‘of writing  something original, I’d missed them or simply ignored them.

But, and this for me was the important part, Paul liked the premise, and gave me a series of ways forward. I am sure he went further than he was paid to do, but that’s Paul!

At that time, I had no idea that ten years later, with a finished manuscript in my hand, Paul would be the one reining in my words and helping, nay, ensuring Tarquin Jenkins’s arrival in the word loved, or unloved, would stand up to scrutiny.

So, dear readers, you may have an exceptional piece of writing, but please, please don’t forget about having it edited – Properly!

Book Excerpts Cont…..

A howling wind came from the end of the corridor near the stairs and an icy blast flew along the passage knocking everyone off their feet. In the distance, the clatter of a hundred horses hooves erupted.

“What the—”

The leprechauns, Tarquin and Jeremiah scrabbled across the stone floor and dived into the cellar. A hundred cavalrymen on grey stallions galloped past, five abreast, followed by a hundred more, disappearing through the wall ahead of them. The noise was deafening and sparks from the horses’ hooves lit up the corridor and set several bales of hay alight as they disappeared through the wall.

Book Excerpts…

“Who are we looking for?” asked Tarquin, shouting above the noise.

Ahead, a rolling maul of shoulders, arms and legs swerved around a pillar, and cut a swathe through the crowded saloon, narrowly missing Tarquin and Jeremiah on its way to the bar. It crashed into the solid oak frontage and a head popped out from the middle wearing a green trilby hat and wire glasses. The little man pulled himself free, climbed on top of the pack, crossed his arms and stood facing the bar.
“Tree Brocca Bogglers, tree Bender Ales, and one fer yer self, darlin’,” said the man in green, winking at the nearest Shagganat barmaid before extending his stubby little hand full of coins. Her face creased and she gave him a toothy, Stonehenge smile, before plumping up her sagging chest, fluttering her greasy eyelids and taking the money.

“We’ve found them,” said Jeremiah, with a grin.