A Novel – Crooked Cat Books
Friends and neighbours are amazed by what I’ve achieved. You can see why. My short stories are published all over the internet, but now my new novel, The Punished, has been published. Alexis’s story – from downtrodden to triumphant. Success breeds success and I’m no longer writing just for fun. The serious business start here. Reviewers say it’s, “awesome”. Have you reviewed it yet?
Tyneham, Dorset, England, 1982
Alexis leaned into the gale on a stony potholed track that led out of Tyneham ghost village with Teri alongside, passing a boarded up and derelict farm surrounded by tall, barbed wire fencing, finally reaching a grey seething mass of sea pushing at a wide expanse of shingle. A ridge of golden seaweed from a recent high tide was strewn over rocks. Giant, orange lichen-stained concrete cubes stuck out like the teeth of a dragon and a large rusting dome overflowed with plastic bottles and cans.
“What a dump!” Teri shouted.
But Alexis gazed up at the steep, grassy promontory, and it promised a more suitable send off for mum. She scaled a padlocked gate, passing a peeling white boarded up sentry box with weeds growing out of the base. She started to climb the Tout, as the Ministry of Defence sign called it, with light snow falling, flinging an arm out for balance, the other wound round the plastic container, her trainers smooth and useless on the sandy path.
“This way, Teri,” she shouted.
She finally reached a point where the path trailed off over the edge, slimy mop-headed succulents hanging on in the salt-laden air. She locked her legs against the gusts, her numb cheeks stripped and her eyes streaming. She saw the same sea her mum swam in and the same beach her mum bathed on, yet she still felt mum was distant. She thought she might be able to see the whole picture in Tyneham, but it just made things less clear. All that remained for her to do was dump the ashes. It simply could not be that she had to let go.
“What are we waiting for, Alexis?”
“It’s the pressure to get things right, Teri,” Alexis replied.
“Hang on,” Teri added, grabbing her arm. “We have company.”
The Punished – defiant, coming-of-age
“The writing is awesome and the pacing measured. I enjoyed the dialogues, the well-developed setting, and the balanced and deft writing. The Punished is, without doubt, a work of great entertainment, a book with great psychological allure and emotional depth.” Romuald Dzemo.