Books in the works

A Light Murmur of Nothing – 100% complete

When a town on the edge of society hides their sin a Swinging Tree is born. Now eleven-year-old, Oswald must save his enigmatic caretaker from the Tree’s ultimate justice. Hanging Tree

A LIGHT MURMUR OF NOTHING, a literary, speculative fiction, is complete at 68,000 words, and will appeal to fans of Something Wicked This Way Comes, Ocean at the End of the Lane, and When a Monster Calls.

Legends, like Trees, sometimes grow in the strangest of ways, and with the wicked town of Wanda it is no different. There, at the center of the crumbling division, the Swinging Tree’s gnarled branches cast a cursed shadow – walk in it and you are doomed, touch it and surely you will die.  Yet, on overcast days, when the clouds cover the sun, the hangings take place. All are required to watch, even young Oswald Crofter, who gazes into his poppa’s eyes as he drops from the limb.

Now alone, Oswald fears he’ll be left to wander the streets, or worse, be thrown into the wasteland. Except, the notorious shopkeeper, Heavy Hannah, says he’ll be useful to her and takes him in. The town’s people don’t provoke Hannah, for she holds the power to inflict the Mark under the left eye of swindlers and cheats, however, for an exorbitant price, she will erase the painful stain with just a word. He worries she’ll give him the Mark, but soon a mother-son bond develops between them. During the day, he learns the store trade, while at night she lights a candle, mumbling over him until he falls asleep. Although Oswald isn’t sure he wants to learn, she intends to share the secrets of the Mark with him.

Meanwhile, Abbot Haggard, the town’s corrupt retainer, seeks notoriety by organizing a birthday celebration for the one thing their community is known for – the Swinging Tree. When Oswald collides with him in the street, it starts a chain of events leading to Hannah’s arrest for murder. Oswald blames himself. Unless he learns the mysteries of the Mark and the Tree, Hannah’s death will be the cherry on-top to Wanda’s macabre festivities, and no amount of want will stop it.

 

Dancing in the Poppies – 100% complete

sunset sun horizon priroda

When Paper White turned four her legs worked for the first time, not in real-life, but in the dream world of the Land Between. There, spina bifida didn’t tether her to a wheelchair, instead mud squished between her toes, and grass tickled her knees. Nonetheless, that ended when the dreamer sensed Paper, violently shoving her from the dream. So, she established her red letter rules — never, under any circumstances, visit the Land Between of someone you know, and always stay hidden.

Now fifteen, Paper hides in both worlds. In real-life, her overprotective mother teeters on the brink of crazy, her brother is a star at everything, and the school bully, Bobby, has her best friend on his radar. While in the Land Between, a clever boy has suddenly appeared. Unlike her, Truman doesn’t keep to the edges or maintain rules, rather he soars through the Land Between, creating and manipulating dreams like his own Neverland.

Once the taunting from Bobby reaches its breaking point, Paper ignores her rules, and with the help of Truman, weaves a spell over Bobby’s Land. Only she never imagines her curse could cause a death. Now, Paper must emerge from hiding, shaking off the molds she’s placed on herself, to save Truman from his own crumbling nightmare.

A YA contemporary, speculative novel, DANCING IN THE POPPIES is complete at 71,000 words, and will appeal to readers of The Fault in our Stars and Wonder, with a sprinkling of Peter Pan.

I am Able… – In edits now

Face made of smoke

Beyond the perfect rows of identical homes and at the edge of everything stood the Wall. Within it smoke billowed forming a ghostly barrier, swirling from milky white to roiling black. No brick, no mortar held it together, but it towered there nonetheless, closing in the community of Pleasant Valley with four, ninety-degree corners — the Communities devoted champion.  It hummed like a constant blaring danger sign – do not pass, turn back, or a blood thirsty communist will destroy you. The warning ingrained into all the residents on the day the elevator doors opened and their parents selected their crying bundles from the glass bassinets.

Only the Recruited had permission to go through the Wall, and only on their Recruitment day, and at the allotted room somewhere deep within the courthouse.

Able McCants knew that.

He didn’t care.

Age hadn’t yet made him a man, but he’d long since shaken off his childhood. Though on occasion, youthful thoughts, like now, still ruled his spirit.

He swallowed hard, squinting into the abyss, willing his mind to see beyond, to see the unending war, but only opaque darkness stared back at him. So instead, he set his toes at the edge of the mist, as if to get any closer it might eat through his black leather shoes like acid.