Our Missing History by F.E. Feeley Jr

Americans are fascinated by genealogy. We have multiple websites dedicated to researching a person’s history through this collection of documentation, pictures, letters, etc. that have all been collected in this huge database and shared for a nominal fee. A great deal of that is in part, due the fact that while we as a people and as a nation are very proud of our heritage and who we are as Americans, there is a bit of a feeling of something missing.

And when we look for where we come from, we look across the ocean to Britain, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales first as you are not only the resource of so many of us through mass immigration in the early years of this nation, but we draw so much ideologically of who we are based off of the great minds of England. People like Edmond Burke, John Locke, and many others. Our system of government mirrors yours. We share a common law. With the Magna Carta, England was the birth place of Constitutions. And most importantly, we share a language. There are echoes of you in us in important things like for instance, music.

Folk music moved through the United States with these immigrants who were largely uneducated and too poor to be able to go to school. So they passed their histories down through the years through song. Most of it simple chords and simple messages but so derived from the blood, sweat, and tears of lives well lived. They were memories of a home they could never return to and as the years passed on; these songs passed with them and changed the face of music forever as they were introduced into the main stream. Listen to American Country music, old rock and roll, and you’ll find my words are true. Remnants of Irish and Scottish folk music are alive and well in the chords of even the most recent songs.

A good friend of mine, who had the chance to travel abroad to the U.K, came home with pictures upon pictures of the places she had visited. The castles, pubs, moors, and churches and graveyards and places they had hired a tour guide to take them through, were all documented in her photographs.  Elizabeth the First is her favorite monarch (mine too, with Queen Victoria coming in a close second).  She knows everything there is to know about her reign, how she lived, etc. and when she went to Westminster Abbey, and was moved to tears just to be near someone who historically, meant so much to her. Now how long has it been since someone wept over the tomb of this woman? That may sound a bit strange, but for us, just to walk in the place where brilliant minds once trod, it’s quite emotional just to think about.

The effigy of Elizabeth I, in Westminster Abbey

For me, as the decendent of Irish/Scottish immigrants, whose blood still runs very hot in my veins, I feel a desire to return to a place I’ve never been on a level that’s difficult to describe. I love my country, I love being an American with all our faults and triumphs, but I love another country that I’ve never been to because I feel as if the U.K is in a way, our grandmother, who gave birth to a rambunctious child, who fought so hard to get away from her and strike out on its own the way adolescents do, who now have children that want to go visit. I know that may sound very simplistic, but it’s such an ingrained feeling that I fall short putting it into words that would make sense.

When Princess Diana died, America was taken aback. I remember watching the funeral and staying glued until it was done. She was beautiful, powerful, and charitable and as the children came marching down with the funeral procession, it was just staggering to realize that as well off as they were, as well as life will treat them given their station, here are two little kids who had just lost the most important person in the world. Later on, when William married, again, America tuned in to watch the wedding and oohed and ahhed just as if they’d had invitations themselves. The monarchy is foreign to us, but it’s because of this monarchy that we are as we are today, so there really isn’t that much distance between us. Hell, my husband can name every monarch that has ever reigned since 1066. As a child, he actually wrote a letter to the Queen and told her that she should give up her title as Defender of the Faith, since she was a protestant.  AND he got a letter back from one of her ladies. Of course it was very generic, and John’s mind has certainly changed since then, but still. He has that letter even today.

We hope one day to come and visit with anticipation. But also with trepidation, we feel that we may fall in love with you so much that we would want to stay. Maybe that would be a good thing, but that adventure is a great deal further down the road given the cost to travel. But I guess, we can always visit, as we have dozens of times before, with the help of the memories etched upon our hearts in the sweetest of our dreams.

God save the Queen and  God Bless the U.K

F.E. Feeley Jr

The Haunting of Timber Manor

Memoirs of the Human Wraiths 

While recovering from the recent loss of his parents, Daniel Donnelly receives a phone call from his estranged aunt, who turns over control of the family fortune and estate, Timber Manor. Though his father seemed guarded about the past, Daniel’s need for family and curiosity compel him to visit.

Located in a secluded area of the Northwest, Timber Manor has grown silent over the years. Her halls sit empty and a thin layer of dust adorns the sheet-covered furniture. When Daniel arrives to begin repairs, strange things happen. Nightmares haunt his dreams. Memories not his own disturb his waking hours. Alive with the tragedies of the past, Timber Manor threatens to tear Daniel apart.

Sheriff Hale Davis grew up working on the manor grounds. Seeing Daniel struggle, he vows protect the young man who captured his heart, and help him solve the mystery behind the haunting and confront the past—not only to save Daniel’s life, but to save his family, whose very souls hang in the balance.

Objects in the Rearview Mirror

Their new home on Frederick Street in Clay Center, Kansas, was supposed to give writer Jonathan David and his husband, clinical psychologist Dr. Eddie Dorman, an opportunity to enjoy married life. Jonathan has just released his first major bestseller, and he hopes to finally escape his traumatic past and find the quiet existence he has always craved. Eddie has taken a job at the Kansas State University psychology department, and they intend to begin anew.

They have barely settled in when the nightmare begins. Noises, disembodied voices, and mysterious apparitions make Jonathan’s life hell. Part of the house has decided to bare its teeth, show its jagged edges, and bring back the worst of Jonathan’s past. At first, Eddie cannot perceive the spectral events and fears for his husband’s sanity. When he’s also affected by the haunting, he’s unsure of what to do but refuses to be beaten.

Together, they seek a way to fight the forces trying to tear them apart. The world is a frightening place, but confronting their fears plunges Jonathan and Eddie into absolute horror.

Author Bio

F.E. Feeley Jr was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and lived there for twenty years before joining the military. He is a veteran of the US Armed Services; having done a tour in support of Operation Iraq Freedom in 2002-2003, he turned college student, pursuing a degree in political science. He now lives in Southeast Texas where he is engaged to the love of his life, John, and where they raise their 1½ year old German shepherd, Kaiser.As a young man, reading took center stage in his life, especially those novels about ghosts, witches, goblins, and all the other things that went bump in the night. His favorite authors include such writers as Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Anne Rice, whose work allowed him to travel to far off places and meet fascinating and scary characters. As a gay man, he wishes to be able to write good fictional literature for those who love the genre and to write characters that readers can relate to. All in all, he is a cigarette smokin’, whiskey drinkin’, rock and roll lovin’, tattoo wearin’ dreamer of a man with a wonderful partner who puts up with his crap and lets him write his stories.

 

 

 

 

A Spot of Rain by S.A. Meade

I live in Wiltshire. It’s a pretty county with rolling downs, ancient woodland and sleepy villages. It’s home to Stonehenge and to a wealth of ancient earthworks. People have lived here for centuries.

Our village lies in a little valley. To walk anywhere out of the village pretty much involves an uphill climb. It’s sheltered from the worst of the winds that sweep across this island from time to time. Some say that it has its own micro-climate. I’m not sure about that. When this part of the world gets rain, so do we.

As anyone who watches the news will know, Britain has been hammered by a succession of angry little storms from the Atlantic. The snow that slammed into parts of the USA translated to rain as it crossed the ocean. As a result, parts of this country have been inundated. The Somerset Levels have been underwater since the beginning of January and now the Thames has risen and spilled into villages and towns along its banks.

Because of our location, we get a lot of water. All this rain has saturated the soil—the water has nowhere else to go. It’s made its presence known with overflowing wells, springs bursting up through the ground, manhole covers, drains and, worst of all, in houses. Our road is no exception. About a week ago, a spring burst up on the road, spilling a steady stream of water down the street, then as the rains continued, another smaller spring opened up in the grass verge. Combine with this, run off from the farmer’s fields up the road, water from houses being pumped out and endless bloody rain, and the street becomes a river.

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Yesterday’s rain was really the final straw. The river became a restless torrent, lapping at the pavement, carrying silt and twigs in the current. A neighbour waded across the stream and the water was up past her ankles. Not really what you want to see on the road. We’re lucky, most of the houses in this part of the village are set higher. Other places haven’t been so fortunate. Last night we had two fire crews and volunteers piling up sandbags in the village square. Members of the village’s emergency planning committee went from door to door checking on people, making sure they were all right.

Mercifully, there was no further substantial rain in the night and the water on the road is receding a little. Hopefully, they will continue to recede although the Environment Agency tells us that the water will be around for a while because it’ll take some time to work its way down into the sodden ground.

It’s been scary, but it’s also been quite a heartwarming experience. This village is a very friendly, welcoming place and the recent travails have brought out the best in everyone. We all look out for each other, we all have something to talk about when we go to the shop or sit in the pub. If you’re going to be flooded, this is the village to be living in.

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My books can be found here

My Tweets can be read here

My occasional ramblings are on my blog

And my Facebook page

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A Good Feeling by S.A Meade

Jamie has a good feeling when he meets and falls in love with Connor, an Army captain destined for Afghanistan. Will that good feeling survive Connor’s deployment?

Jamie never expects to meet the love of his life in a tea shop. He never expects his lover, Connor, to be an Army officer about to return to Afghanistan for one last deployment and he certainly never expects that, after three short months together, Connor would want to spend the rest of his life with Jamie. When Connor leaves for Afghanistan, Jamie can’t help but worry that his lover might not make it back alive. He also worries that Connor, who hasn’t told his men he’s gay, doesn’t want him to be waiting at the base when he returns. Will the good feelings he has about their future together survive their separation?

RJ Scott’s All About Britain

In her new series of posts RJ Scott looks at the UK, Great Britain and all manner of other things British.

Hi. I came up with this idea that someone should write a series of posts about the island we live on. History, geography, arts, authors… a bit of everything. Turns out Sue read that as me doing the posts. ROFL. (there are certain things you don’t say around me which include “what about” and “do you think” – Sue)

What the hell do you call us?

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So anyway, I thought I would start with what this island of mine is actually called. What do you call us? Great Britain? The British Isles? The UK?

I can be English and British at the same time… but I tend to call myself English most of the time, but British on special occasions… confused yet? Let me explain.

It’s all very confusing.

There, I said it. Even as a Brit I get confused about what is the UK and what is Great Britain. As a child born in the later sixties I wasn’t taught geography the same way as my parents were before me. In their time (1940/50s) they learned about the British Empire, places, populations, and they were very aware of what went where and what was sovereign state.

Well, let me try to explain. Great Britain is the island itself, which is then part of the United Kingdom (which also includes Northern Ireland), which is then part of the British Isles which includes the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey… see… told you it was confusing.

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Unfortunately my generation is the one that is largely apologetic for everything that went before. ROFL. We do like to apologise, us Brits. We have pride, hell you only had to see the 2012 Olympics to see what kind of people we are, but we don’t tend to wave the flags much – I think that we’re not unfailingly polite as a nation as much as reserved.

We should be proud. We are a small island but people know a lot about us. Be it because of Sherlock and Doctor Who, or the Queen and her family, our little island attracts tourists like woaaahhh. We have the obvious city destinations, London, Oxford, Bath, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester… I could go on with a  huge list. Then we have Cathedral cities like Canterbury, ancient monuments like Stonehenge, and so many castles you wouldn’t believe. We have the home of Formula 1, Henry VIII, Shakespeare, Alan Turing… and our history goes back thousands of years.

So you can call me English, British, tell me I come from the UK, or Britain. I even answer to Brit.

Let’s not get me started that I am a quarter Welsh and hubby is half Scottish, but both of us are wholly British from the UK.

Easy. Right?

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What questions do you want answered about these islands?

 

Author bio

RJ Scott

RJ Scott lives just outside London. She has been writing since age six, when she was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies and was told to write a story. Two sides of A4 about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born. She loves reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror; however, her first real love will always be the world of romance. Her goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and more than a hint of happily ever after.

She is published with Total E-Bound, eXtasy Books, and self publishes through her own publishing company, Love Lane Books.

Email: rj@rjscott.co.uk

Webpage: www.rjscott.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/author.rjscott

Twitter: rjscott_author

Love Lane Books: https://www.lovelanebooks.co.uk/

The Inhabitants of Essex

Essex, Essex, Essex, the land of the free and the home of the brave—well, not quite.

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Most people who are not from Essex, have a pre-conceived idea of what our glorious county is like. Most of which are not helped by the ridiculous ‘reality’ TV show called ‘The Only Way is Essex’, which would have you believe we are all a bunch of morons who chase designer labels, don’t pronounce our T’s or H’s, have breast implants to rival Lola Ferrari and are as thick as two short planks. Maybe I’m old, but I can promise you I have never said “well jel” in my entire life—and have no intention of doing so. But then I guess it’s like everywhere else in the world, there are some areas of Essex that probably are a lot more like the way the typical Essex-er is portrayed than others.

The Essex Boy: The male of the species can usually be found in their natural habitat which is a large building with a sign outside bearing a painting of various animals, or even members of royalty from ages gone by. Such examples are, The Shepherd and Dog, The White Hart and the King’s Head. These “establishments” sell beverages of an alcoholic nature known as “lager” which is not to be confused with the slightly more expensive “bitter”. Of course, we are at a loss to know why these are the beverages of choice because they taste like crap which can be verified by the ‘wince’ displayed after each sip.

The younger male can be found in attire such as low hanging trousers that show most of their underwear. The reason why has yet to be established because there is a strip of leather made in Essex called a ‘belt’ that can be purchased for the sole purpose of keeping said trousers around the waist they were intended for. The trousers are usually topped off by a ‘hoodie’, which obscures the wearer’s face and makes them look more ‘hip’—which is odd, because as far as the writer is aware, a hip is what you find your legs attached to – so why they’d want to look like one is beyond me. Oh, and the baseball cap is often in place at various angles on the head. Backwards, forwards, sideways, on the front of the head, on the back of the head and, sometimes, inside the hood of the ‘hoodie’ itself – which is baffling.

They can also be found on Southend seafront in their Ford Escorts with giant exhaust pipes driving up and down on what used to be known as ‘the circuit’. Unfortunately, residents became unappreciative of the ‘vroom-vroom’ antics of these individuals and several years ago they cut off the circuit, forcing the drivers to congregate outside the Westcliff Casino and lean on their bonnets in an attempt to attract the female of the species… with their trousers around their hips, baseball caps on their heads and a gormless look on their face (which most of them are born with).

The Essex Girl: Now, the Essex Girl comes in many varieties. Firstly, there is the interesting sub-species, the “yummy mummy”. These are a miraculous breed who attend the school drop-off and pick-up in full make-up, with skinny jeans, high heels and pushchairs that resemble something from outer space.

I, unfortunately, am more “scummy mummy” than “yummy mummy”, having been known to take the children to school with no make-up on, hair un-brushed and still wearing my pyjamas. Am I ashamed? Good God no! The world would be a better place if more of us just turned up with last night’s mascara under our eyes and bed-head so bad it would take a flame thrower to sort out. Once they hit 8, the little sods won’t let you in the playground anyway in case their friends see you, so what’s the point of even getting out of the car?

What can we say about the teenager? She is never without her mobile phone, which has every application known to man open AT THE SAME TIME. She is ambidextrous, which in this case means she can Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Text and Whatsapp without flinching, getting confused or breaking a nail. She wears skinny jeans or short skirts that, in my day, would have made a nice belt. Her nails are manicured to a high standard… or should I say, stuck on and then manicured to a high standard. Every time I see a set of nails like them, my first thought is… “How do they pick their nose with them on?” What else…. ah, yes, she will say “well jel” at every opportunity and frequent Lakeside on an almost daily basis, teetering around on heels so high they don’t need to take the elevator to the next floor, and with fake eyelashes so big it’s a wonder they can see where they’re going.

As I said, the idea of Essex is pre-conceived. I was on holiday in Cornwall once and popped into a hairdressers to get my fringe cut. The girl asked me where I was from and when I told her she said, “But you’re not wearing white stilettos.” Of course, the old adages of what’s an Essex girl’s favourite wine – “I wanna go Lakeside!” and how do you know when an Essex girl’s had an orgasm? – She drops her chips, probably don’t help give others a very kindly view of our county.

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Essex is actually a beautiful piece of English countryside, filled with stately homes and country parks. In the summer when I was a kid, my dad would pack us all into the car with sandwiches and a big bottle of lemonade that we used to pass around between us (desperately hoping we weren’t last and got the mouthful with the bits of sandwich floating in it) and take us to marvellous places such as Audley End, or Frinton-on-Sea and my favourite, Walton-on-the-Naze. Places with beautiful beaches and family days out to delight the young and old alike.

I love Essex, am an Essex girl born and bred and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. So forget the stereotype, get in your motor and pootle up the M25 to check out Southend. Let me know when you’re coming and I’ll put the kettle on and defrost the cheesecake… I’m sure we’ll have lots to talk about 😉

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Lisa’s Bio:

Lisa Worrall lives in a little seaside town on the south coast of England that boasts the longest pier in the world. She is the single mother of two children of the hair-graying ages of nine and seven and is currently petitioning for there to be more hours in the day, because there never seem to be enough.

She has been reading and writing romance since she was awarded a gold star in composition by her head teacher (Mr. Croucher) some… erm… years ago and has been listening to the voices in her head on a regular basis for the last few years, once she realized they were not going away. She likes nothing more than bringing together two people in interesting and sometimes bizarre ways, and hopes that her readers enjoy her characters’ journeys as much as she does.

You can contact Lisa through:

E-mail: lisaworrall69@gmail.com
Website: http://www.lisaworrall.com

New York Cowboy

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It’s been six months since Vance Wolf buried his father. Driven to an early grave by the constant harassment of the new owner of the neighboring property, Andrew Blackwell. Now Vance’s cattle are disappearing faster than he can replace them and their cash flow has been wiped out by the new barn they had to build after the other one mysteriously caught fire. The local sheriff’s pockets are being lined by Blackwell, so Vance knows they’re on their own and is at his wits end. Then his mother suggests they open up the ranch to business types as a cowboy camp.

Adam Prentiss arrives at Wolf Creek Ranch on a team-building exercise with the four colleagues in his department. He is not the cowboy type, but has no choice as his boss, and father, has sent him to Wolf Creek with instructions to delve into the financial status of the ranch and report back to him. Falling for Vance Wolf had not been part of the plan, but the connection between them had been instant. But what was he more afraid of? Disobeying his boss or Vance finding out Adam’s father was in fact Andrew Blackwell and he’d been sent to help him appropriate Vance’s land by any means necessary?

N.B: 20% of the royalties for each copy sold will be donated to The Friends of Roxburghe House in memory of my friend, Keith Donald, who lost his battle with cancer in September. Roxburghe House is the hospice who cared for Keith and continue to care for those who wage their own war with this barbaric disease – thank you.

Jay Northcote’s Cornwall

Cornwall is a part of England that holds a special place in my heart.

My parents retired to Cornwall when I was nineteen years old. I was at university by then so it was never technically my home, but I used to go back to visit in the holidays. Many years later, my Dad is still living in Falmouth, and I also have good friends in the St Austell area so I spend lots of time there.

Bassett Cove

Bassett Cove: Photo by Nat Wood

My mother was Welsh and my father is a Channel Islander, and both of them were proud of their Celtic heritage. When they were deciding on a retirement location, Cornwall–with its links to Wales and Brittany–felt like a good fit for them.

The Cheesewring

There is something magical about Cornwall. The landscape has a wildness and beauty that draws me in and enchants me. There’s also so much history there. From disused tin mines to ancient standing stones, there is a wealth of human stories going back thousands of years. My mother was a writer, of poetry as well as stories, and much of her inspiration came from the landscape and history of Cornwall.

The Hurlers on Bodmin Moor

The Hurlers on Bodmin Moor

When I started writing a short Christmas story that was set in Cornwall, I knew right from the start that I wanted a scene on a beach, because I love beaches in the winter time. My character, Jago, was pining over Will, and I thought that a chilly, grey beach with the waves crashing on the shore would be the perfect setting for that. I seem to recall doing a bit of pining of my own on winter beaches when I was Jago’s age. There’s something about watching the waves that’s wonderfully soothing. It always helps me get some perspective when I’m feeling blue.

Praa Sands: Photo by Nat Wood

Here’s an excerpt from the beach scene in Coming Home:

On the day before New Year’s Eve, Jago drove to Vault Beach. He parked and walked down the steep cliff path to the long stretch of sand at the base of the cliff. Never busy, because of the long walk down, today the beach was completely deserted.

The sky was heavy with grey cloud, turning the sea that dark slate colour that Will had used to describe Jago’s eyes. Jago felt a sharp twinge of longing at the memory. The sea rolled in, breaking on the sand with a dull, repetitive roar. Seagulls wheeled overhead, their bleak cries piercing through the sound of the waves.

Jago wandered aimlessly, lost in the desolate beauty of the place. He found the traces of a bonfire from a summer beach party and sat on a rock staring at the blackened remains of driftwood.

He wondered if it was the same fire where he’d sat with Will beside him in the warmth of a distant summer evening, watching the embers glow and flicker as the smoke drifted on a gentle breeze. He’d been so full of nervous excitement that night, knowing they were poised on that delicious knife edge where friendship tips into something more. They’d gone skinny dipping and hadn’t bothered to get dressed afterwards. They’d dried off by the fire, then wrapped blankets around themselves until the chill of evening had driven them into the tiny tent. Naked, shivering and giggling from the rum they’d been drinking, Jago had pulled Will down on top of him in the darkness and kissed him for the first time.

Jago’s chest ached and he lifted his head, focusing on the dip and rise of the waves and the rhythmic crash of the surf. The rolling, endless cycle of the ocean brought Jago a strange kind of comfort. It offered perspective in the same way that the night sky did when he gazed at the stars sometimes, and felt his worries fade away to insignificance amid the vastness of the universe.

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Jago returns to his home in the wilds of Cornwall, and is looking forward to catching up with old friends after a term away at university. When he’s reunited with Will—his best mate from sixth-form college and last summer’s fling—Jago’s feelings for him are rekindled and impossible to ignore.

Over the short winter break, Jago can’t resist taking whatever Will’s offering. But will the New Year bring new beginnings? Or will Jago be left with more bittersweet memories and a heart that needs to heal again?

Coming Home is a free read. You can download the full story in the following places:

Smashwords

All Romance Ebooks

Goodreads

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her amazing, occasionally ridiculous husband, two noisy-but-awesome children, and two cats.

She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.

Links

Website: www.jaynorthcote.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jay_northcote

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jaynorthcotefiction

Jay’s books: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_953

RJ Scott’s Geography Stuff

Geography Stuff

RJ1 Did you know that only 837 miles will take you from the very bottom of England to the very tip of Scotland and would take you 14 hours approximately to drive. That gives you a scale for the size of our island. England itself, is divided into counties and the county I live in, Buckinghamshire,  is kind of in the middle near London (see black arrow on Map). Buckinghamshire, or Bucks as we shorten it to, is 606 Sq miles which is about two fifths of the size of Rhode Island. ROFL… (the size of nine District of Columbia’s put together). Buckinghamshire borders seven other counties: Middlesex, Surrey, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. The border with Surrey is only a few miles long. My town is roughly 40miles NW of London. The population in Buckinghamshire is 644,000 people.

History Stuff

Buckinghamshire is an historic county and has been in existence since it was a subdivision of the kingdom of Wessex in the 10th century. It was formed out of about 200 communities that could between them fund a castle in Buckingham, to defend against invading Danes (looks at Pippii pointedly). During his reign, William the Conqueror (the 1066 Battle of Hastings guy!) annexed most of the manors for himself and his family. In the English Civil War (Cavaliers, Roundheads, Charles, Oliver Cromwell!) Buckinghamshire was mostly Parliamentarian, although some pockets of Royalism did exist. Some villages to the west of the county, were under constant conflict for the duration of the war. waddesdon manor The Roman road Watling Street runs across the north-east of the county through Stony Stratford, intersecting with the older Icknield Way just east of the county Bletchley Park is near the City of Milton Keynes, the site of World War II British codebreaking and Colossus, the world’s first programmable electronic digital computer. Bletchley Park Colossus Florence Nightingale was a guest at Claydon House on more than one occasion. Sir Harry Verney who lived in Claydon House was influential in the creation of railways in Buckinghamshire. Buckinghamshire is home to the world famous Pinewood Studios Silverstone Circuit – the home of British Formula 1, straddles the Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire border. New GP Circuit Trace The County Town of Buckinghamshire became Aylesbury in the sixteenth century, one possible reason for this was Henry VIII’s desire to please Anne Boleyn’s father. Thomas Boleyn was a prominent landowner in the town. RJ2 On the day World War II broke out, 4,048 London children had been evacuated to Aylesbury. The Great Train Robbery happened in this county, where raiders, back in the 60s got away with 2-and-a-half million in old bank notes In the US they have Camp David, in the UK we have Chequers, which is about five miles away from my town. It is the ‘country residence’ of British Prime Ministers since 1917. Chequers was once used as a prison for the younger sister of Lady Jane Grey. The house, also has links with Cromwell’s family, and contains many artefacts and other memorabilia related to the Lord Protector. chequers

Writery stuff

John Milton came to Chalfont St Giles, situated in the south of the county in 1665 to escape the Great Plague (along with one hell of a lot of Dukes, and Lords, and Royalty!). It was there that he completed his epic poem ‘Paradise Lost’ and begun ‘Paradise Regained’. His cottage there is his only surviving home. Roald Dahl moved to Great Missenden in the 1950s and lived there until his death in 1990. Most of his best loved novels were written in a shed he kept in his garden there. Enid Blyton lived in Beaconsfield, also in the south of the county, in a house called ‘Green Hedges’ named by her readers’ in a competition. The Bekonscot Model Village in Beaconsfield is the oldest model village on earth and inspired Enid Blyton to write about Toytown and its most famous resident Noddy? It was built in 1928 by a wealthy accountant at his country home, his wife having given an ultimatum that his model train had to leave the building. Originally a hobby and to amuse friends it was opened to the public in 1929 to great acclaim. Laudably all its profits go to charity. Mary Shelley prepared Frankenstein for publication whilst living with her new husband in Albion House, Marlow. They shared the house with Claire Clairmont and her child, Alba, fathered by Lord Byron. Terry Pratchett was born in Buckinghamshire. R.J. Scott:  About me…I live in the UK just outside London. I love reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror; however, my first real love will always be the world of romance. My goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and more than a hint of happily ever after.

Bodyguard to a Sex God

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Buy Links – eBook

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Blurb:

Bodyguard Adam Freeman draws what everyone else thinks is the short straw at the convention for a procedural cop show – as bodyguard to TV actor Logan Brady. Or as the Internet has labelled him, Logan ‘Sex God’ Brady.

Logan is taking part in a convention at a London Hotel for his show ‘Night Cop’ and someone is threatening his life. Adam gets more than he bargained for when his client combines coming out of the closet with them both trying to stay alive.

Excerpt – Chapters 1 & 2

Chapter 1 
“Hey, Blondie.”
Adam Freeman showed the office manager his middle finger at the familiar and detested nickname and then crossed to the coffee machine. He was tired and just this side of irritable and Ross Jackson knew exactly which buttons to press to wind Adam up big time. Adam hoped the middle finger would be enough to get Ross to shut up, but no such luck.
“That kind of morning, eh?” Ross offered with a laugh. He sidled up to Adam and bumped shoulders, causing Adam to curse under his breath when hot coffee splashed his hand. “It’s only gonna get worse.”
Adam needed this coffee. He lived on the opposite side of London from Bodyguards Inc., and the traffic on the motorway had been murder, even this early in the morning. He couldn’t fault the premises—a converted barn on the land of the manor house Kyle Monroe had inherited six years ago. But he could definitely fault having to battle every commuter in the city just to get his briefing.
“How can anything be worse than an hour stuck on the M25?” Adam asked wryly. Then he really wished he hadn’t. Sitting down behind his immaculately tidy desk, Ross leaned back in his chair with his long legs in front of him and his hands behind his head. He was the picture of nonchalance yet had an air of knowing something that Adam didn’t.

“The M25 is nothing on this. We had a call-in,” Ross said. “You’re up on a Pretty Boy job.”
Adam closed his eyes and cursed. His absolute worst contracts involved being in charge of what Bodyguards Inc. labeled—off the record—as Pretty Boys. Actors, singers, and in a worst-case scenario, reality TV stars. Every one of them paid well, but dealing with celebrities who had more money than sense all because they epitomized ‘star’ was his idea of hell. The last job—Jesus—that X-Factor runner-up who demanded Adam call him ‘sir’. He’d kept dropping Simon Cowell’s name like he personally knew the guy. In addition, he was arrogant, narcissistic, and had the IQ of a snail. Adam was well out of that particular job.
“Not only that,” Ross continued, “but it’s a science-fiction fantasy convention gig.”
“Convention? Like Trekkies?” Adam couldn’t believe that he’d timed his life so poorly that he was going to be surrounded by people wearing fake ears and speaking Klingon.
“No, like vampires and stuff.”
Adam cursed and Ross just grinned. Bastard. “Is it too late to take some sick days?” Adam said.
“Are you sick, Adam?” The new voice belonged to Kyle, boss and owner of Bodyguards Inc. His drawling American accent was so damn sexy and for a second Adam allowed himself to stare. Adam was fascinated by Kyle’s accent, and hell, he’d let Kyle charm him using just his voice, and maybe his large hands, any day he wanted. Pity the owner of Bodyguards Inc.—or BI as Kyle called it—was so gone on Ross, despite the fact his personal assistant remained oblivious to that fact.
“No. I’m not sick,” Adam said. No point in lying. Kyle could spot a lie a mile off.
“I have a job for you. I’m guessing Ross already gave you the heads-up? Star of an American TV series over here for a convention in London. He’s been receiving threats, had a near-miss with a car trying to run him down, and also had some objects left in his trailer on set.”
“Objects?”
Kyle peered at the list. “Antique knives on two separate occasions, four deliveries of red roses with thorns intact, and one dildo.”
“So it’s a sex thing then?” Adam wasn’t surprised. Actors weren’t renowned for high moral standards. The guy involved probably slept with everyone and had encountered someone just slightly mentally unhinged. Still, that didn’t make terrorizing the man okay so Adam concentrated on the rest of the briefing.
“The network has decided he needs tracking from airport to hotel, through the convention, and out the other side to the airplane home with a handover after one week in the US. This Friday through ten days to a Monday. Good money. You want it?”
Adam considered his options here. If he could just push past the memories of past contracts with similar clients he would be fine. It crossed his mind that perhaps he should ask if there were anything else that he could do instead.
“No chance of a nice industrial threat job? Or maybe I could work the desk for a week?” The joke fell flat as Ross narrowed his eyes at the question. No one went near the desk. That was Ross’s domain and no one else’s.
Kyle shook his head. “Sorry, dude. This is the only new thing on the BI books today. Well, not exactly the only one, but Ed and Lorna both turned Pretty Boy down. So yeah, it’s mostly your decision. If you want it, say so, otherwise I’ll tell his management team no.” Kyle waited patiently for an answer, all serious and businesslike.
“Why did no one else want the job?” Adam asked, suspicious of what he’d just heard. Kyle opened his mouth and then shut it again. Evidently the other close protection agents’ reasons wouldn’t be good ones. Ross dived in to help.
“Lorna just got off a case and she’s recuperating, as you well know,” Ross explained. Like that explained why she wouldn’t take on one of her favorite kinds of cases.
“I just got off a case as well,” Adam protested. A case involving an idiot, two guns, a case full of whisky, and a week of driving all over the bloody country. Not a good one at all.
“Yes,” Ross said dryly, “but you weren’t shot at, Adam, and she was.”
“Flimsy excuse. Bullet didn’t actually hit her,” Adam pointed out with a laugh. Gallows humor always worked best in these situations. He liked Lorna a lot; the feisty redhead was fun and damn good at her job. No one wanted to see her shot. Well, apart from her ex who had been served with a restraining order. “What about Ed?” He knew he was clutching at straws. Ed had seniority at BI, having been with Kyle since it started six years ago.
“Ed said, and I quote, ‘I can’t deal with screaming fans.’” Ross shrugged. “You know he’s far too old and grumpy to deal with screaming women.”
“He’s the same age as me,” Kyle observed. He sounded affronted and Adam hid a smile.
“See? Old,” Ross joked. Adam watched the byplay with interest. His boss was so head over heels with Ross and Adam wondered how Ross could fail to see the hurt in Kyle’s eyes at the comment. Kyle was thirty-five or as near as, and Ross was only twenty-five… still, age was an irrelevant thing in Adam’s eyes. Ross was losing out; Kyle was a good man.
“I’ll take the job,” Adam said, just to break the tension. Yes, he would do this. That was his job. He could manage ten days. Kyle tore his stare away from Ross and held out the folder with the information Adam would need. Taking the folder was implicit agreement that he would accept the job.
Kyle disappeared into his office and slammed the door shut behind him. His hurt followed him like a cloud. Ross didn’t even look up from his desk.
“Why do you do that?” Adam asked.
“Do what?” Ross responded. The question was accompanied by a distracted frown.
“Go on at Kyle about his age all the time.”
Ross huffed. “It’s only a joke. He doesn’t care. Anyway, the other computer is all yours.” Evidently the discussion was over. Ross buried himself in other work, leaving Adam to get on with what he needed to do.
There was always a strictly professional brief in the folders that Ross created and Kyle handed out. However, a good Google search often highlighted elements in the case that would be useful. Adam had four days until the client’s plane landed at London Heathrow so he opened to file to build the foundation for the assignment.
Even he couldn’t help but raise his eyebrows when he saw the guy he was being assigned to look after. Logan Brady was some high-class Pretty Boy material. Twenty-nine. Brunet. Actor. Those were the basics. Adam peered at the photo; he wasn’t sure if it was just the print resolution but Logan’s eyes were really stunning and an incredibly bright blue. His hair had a soft curl to it and was in one of those short, tousled cuts. He wasn’t smiling in the photo. He had that typical shot used for publicity where he was staring moodily at something just off-camera. There was red around his mouth so Adam scratched at the photo. Nope. It wasn’t coming off the photo. Reading the label explained a lot. ‘Night Cop – Vampire, Cop. Brother, Lover. Killer, Hero. Isaac.’.
Okay. So Logan Brady played a guy called Isaac from one of these über-popular vampires-are-cool shows crossed with some kind of police procedural show. He was seriously nice eye candy. That part was going to be extremely easy to handle for ten days.
Flicking through the pack, Adam pulled out pictures of the girlfriend, a blonde-haired green-eyed beauty who clung to Logan’s arm in the photos like a limpet to a rock. Logan wasn’t smiling in any of the photos. Whether paparazzi or studio shots, he appeared to use the patented cool-vampire stare for all of them. To Adam’s eyes he just looked permanently pissed off. But then the young girls liked that kind of thing, he supposed.
A quick search had many more pictures, both the same vampire character and others going back maybe ten years to a fresh-faced Logan in some kind of teenage high school show. Adam didn’t exactly have his finger on the pulse of kids’ TV shows, nor did he watch anything with vampires in it, to be fair. But hell, if the stars all looked like this guy, then he may well change his mind. Seems vampires and pissed-off faces paid well; pictures of Logan’s house showed a small place in LA up in the hills, at least so the label to the photo said. There were paparazzi shots of Logan in his garden, Logan eating out at dinner, Logan swimming, Logan shopping. Jeez, Adam wouldn’t have been surprised to see pictures of the actor taking a shit.
The fact that the paparazzi had snapped so many photos of this TV star was no surprise to Adam. Over three-quarters of BI cases were with people in the public eye, actors, politicians, the British aristocracy, and so many other high-profile people. Adam was never sure how they coped being out there for everyone to see, but then, he guessed the money helped.
The information on the hit-and-run was sketchy. The internet had nothing apart from gossip and hearsay. Apparently a car had lost control and crossed the street, glancing the wall and coming to a stop next to Logan. Either the term ‘hit-and-run’ was not an appropriate one to use on this occasion, or the journalists hadn’t gotten the full story. Adam suspected the latter based on how the network now appeared to want to wrap their star in cotton wool.
Ross crossed over and placed sheets of paper next to the open folder. He frowned. Gone was the man who called him Blondie. In his place was serious-Ross with a focused look.
“Logan Brady’s manager sent over copies of the notes Logan’s been receiving. It’s not good. They’re all addressed to Isaac,” he said.
“The character he plays on the show,” Adam confirmed.
“Yeah. There’s also more information on the alleged hit-and-run. Logan is one lucky bastard that he wasn’t a human sandwich between two or three tons of SUV and a solid brick wall.” He left without further discussion, and curious, Adam rifled through the notes.
Words jumped out at him from the different sheets of paper; love and hate and all the emotions in between. Celebrities received threats all the time; it was almost a way of life that once you were a ‘personality’ you attracted the crazy out of the woodwork. The last case he’d worked on for the Metropolitan Police had been a stalker case and the client said she received threats just as often as she received proposals of marriage.
These notes were well written, the grammar was good, they were tidy, and Adam filed away that information as possibly useful. As to the content, there was nasty, vicious prose in one, wheedling love declarations in another, all written in the same hand and signed with the initials IR. Threats to kill Logan over some kind of relationship with an Annabelle? Adam checked the file. Annabelle wasn’t the girlfriend. A hunch had him checking the show listings. Annabelle was the heroine to Logan’s bad boy on the show, played by an actress named Marissa.
So the same guy that professed love for Logan in one letter demonstrated an equally vicious hate in the next, all because Logan’s character had kissed Annabelle in an episode. Great, so he was dealing with a total nutjob then, an irrational person with severe pretend-life issues. The car accident details Ross brought over were far more detailed than those Adam found on the internet and he spent a while looking at photos. If the car hadn’t hit a street lamp then Logan would have been seriously hurt. The driver ran but what few witnesses there were had caught sight of a woman—short, slim, with blonde hair to her waist—fleeing the scene. There were no CCTV photos, either. Apparently whoever owned Logan’s contract at the studio wanted a lid kept on things.
There was no indication that Adam had a bodyguard in the US, why did the guy’s manager think that he would need one on his visit to the UK? The probability that the perpetrator followed Adam from the US was slim. Then he reached the last note in the list. A simple two sentence missive that was written so tidily that it was a shock to read the actual words:
“I’ll be at the convention in London. I can’t wait to meet the man who is the other half of me.”
Ah. That explained the need for a bodyguard then.
“Does he have a bodyguard in the US?”
“Some kind of driver guy shadows him, but the network is getting serious and have brought someone in for you to do a handover in LA.”
“And the cops? Do they have Logan Brady under surveillance?”
“No. The agent said the cops felt it was nothing, not yet.” Adam knew where the cops were coming from, each district had a glut of certain crimes, and in LA it seemed maybe crimes against actors were the drug of choice. He knew the feeling of saying to someone, “I’m sorry, but until there is proof, until someone gets hurt, there is nothing we can do.” Still, these notes were pretty damn specific in what they were saying. As to hiring a bodyguard, BI often took on cases where the victims didn’t want police involved so that was nothing new.
“Anyway, no cops. Whoever pays Pretty Boy’s wages wants it kept low-key. A vulnerable actor makes for a shit ‘heroic, in-your-face vampire cop’ and the show is, and I quote, ‘coming up for renewal’.”
“A dead actor isn’t going to cut it much for renewal either,” Adam deadpanned.
“I checked into the initials IR; the convention organizers are cooperating but no one on their lists matches up with those initials. There are a mix of UK, European, and US fans attending the convention. Not that we can narrow it down, the letters came from the UK, tracked through to an East London PO address in Greenwich so it could be anyone already here. No addresses in the convention database match though. There are fourteen hundred attendees; it’s a big pool of bodies, eighty-five percent of them female.”
Adam looked down at the letters. Despite the statistics offered to him it would be foolish to accept at face value that a woman had written the letters. There was also no evidence that whoever wrote them would desire to drive a car straight at Logan. Nothing matched just yet and you couldn’t just cut out an entire gender based on assumption.
Ross continued, “Logan Brady is staying at the Upton Levington Manor Hotel. It’s a suite with three bedrooms so you’re sleeping there. I booked it through from tonight so whoever got the contract can get sorted.”
Adam closed the folder and knocked it once on the desktop to align the paper. A familiar buzz of excitement shot through him. Getting his teeth into a job was always a good thing. Whatever the case was.
“Good luck with your Pretty Boy, Blondie,” Ross called as Adam was leaving. A middle finger up at his friend through the glass was a nice end to the visit. He was still smiling when he reached his car over the fact he’d managed to hide Ross’s stapler again. When would the man ever learn to leave the damned thing where Adam couldn’t see it?
Chapter 2 
“You know why having a bodyguard is a bad thing, Jimmy.” Logan slumped back into the corner of the SUV seat and closed his eyes. How had it come to this? The letters had started out like a million others he received. Simple and to the point, they declared love and forever and very often included lace panties or some other random piece of clothing. He’d had wedding invites sent to him with his name next to the applicable girl or boy; hell, he’d had notes claiming babies as his. Nothing quite as disturbing as these letters, but then again, this person sending them was probably a mental patient or something. Mostly harmless. That was what he had to think otherwise he’d be jumping at his own shadow.
“Bodyguards Inc. is the best, Logan, and they are very discreet. I’m forwarding the mail to you with the details for the guy who is looking after you. He’s the most suitable they have for you apparently. He’s done a lot of these celebrity gigs. You have to know I’m paying a lot of money for the best.”
“You’re paying? Don’t you mean I’m paying?” Logan snapped. He immediately regretted the tone in his voice. Unlike a lot of industry agents, Jimmy was a good guy. “Sorry. I’m on edge.” Jimmy chose to ignore the quick outburst; he was good at doing that.
“BI has a fine reputation. I know a guy who knows the brother of a cousin to the man who runs it.”
Logan had to laugh. Jimmy knew everyone in one huge network of people. Locating a bodyguard agency via a friend of a brother of a second cousin twice-removed wouldn’t be a shock for a resourceful man like Jimmy.
“Anyway,” Jimmy continued, “we also have the new bodyguard that will be in place soon after you get back from the UK. Your English guy will be coming to the States with you to do what they call a handover. I’m guessing they’ll exchange notes.”
“Why can’t the US bodyguard start now and just go with me?”
“He’s not contracted until the first of the month, and the network wants you to have someone with local knowledge when you’re in England. This BI company will be more than suitable. And don’t forget you have Mike looking out for you up until then.”
“Great.” Logan felt tired and just this close to cancelling the UK trip. If it wasn’t for the fans he would be letting down then he may well have done so by now.
“Stacia wants to go with you. She’ll back you up. It won’t be any different than any other trip for the show. Just play the happy boyfriend and let her do her thing, and let the bodyguard do his as well.”
“I’m not taking Stacia. I won’t put her in any kind of danger.” As it was he had already begged off a dozen or so joint invites and begun to create a little media space between him and Stacia. She would stay safe that way.
“I don’t think the decision will be yours to make if she gets her way,” Jimmy pointed out.
“We were talking…” Logan wasn’t sure how to word this. “Stacia and I that is. She said Bryan isn’t doing so well with this whole her-pretending-to-be-my-girlfriend thing. Says it’s holding her back and that he loves her. Hell, he as good as proposed last weekend. Time has come to end this with her.” Bryan was a good guy, an cop who adored Stacia. He’d been damn patient for the last six months since he and Stacia had met. They had to keep their relationship a secret just so Stacia could keep making people believe she was with Logan.
Jimmy sighed. “I know that. She called me as soon as he asked her. She’ll cover you in London, but post-convention we probably need to find someone else. Talk to her, Logan, find out how she wants to deal with it. A discrete breakup with you in stages that we can filter to the internet should take care of it.”
Anxiety twisted inside Logan at the coming change in his ordered life. Stacia had been his wingman for three years now. The blonde beauty was the perfect foil for him and provided that brick wall between what he was and what he let people see. They’d met through the show. Night Cop had just entered its second season and she was brought on as a series baddie for a few episodes. She was a close friend, knew all his secrets. And he was a bankable commodity; her career had gone from strength to strength since they’d ‘gotten together’. She’d just landed a recurring role on a new comedy. Had to be a good thing for her; she deserved a good career and a man who loved her.
“Matt doesn’t have to hide,” Logan said. He couldn’t stop the sadness in his tone. He wanted what actors like Matt Bomer had. A partner he could really love, kids maybe someday, but still able to do what he loved—act. Finding another woman to be his plus one in order to keep his cover to the public at large was getting to be too much and he hated the lies.
“Then you need to make a choice,” Jimmy said patiently. Logan could probably quote word for word what his agent and closest friend was going to say. “Your decision is easy. Be honest with yourself and with everyone else, then deal with whatever happens next. You know whatever you decide, there will always be work for you and I will have your back in anything you choose to do.”
“I know you will, J, and I love you for it, man. It’s just… I’m coming up on thirty and I don’t have a clue what kind of roles will be out there for me as I age, let alone if I came out of the closet. I’m not sure I’d still get work as the ‘Sex God’ the tabloids keep labeling me as.”
“You don’t need the money,” Jimmy pointed out. “You could do what you want to do, go into directing, go back to school. Hell, Lo, you’ve been acting since you were fourteen, in public and in private. Aren’t you ready to be yourself now?”
“It’s not that easy. I can’t just decide to come out as gay.”
“You can. It’s very easy.”
“What are you saying, Jimmy? That I should make a different decision? I’ve been pretending for so long and hiding… and hell, what about Stacia? She’ll be embarrassed, humiliated.”
Jimmy chuckled. “This is Stacia we are talking about. She’s got balls of steel and she just wants you happy. We can manage this in a million ways. Call you bisexual, use the morals get-out clause in your contract. You can take some time off, decide what you really want now. And, Lo, remember…”
“What?”
“Thirty is a good age to change your life.”
Logan ended the call and he switched to his email. The mail from Jimmy with details of the bodyguard company was at the top of the list and he clicked on the link to view the attached photo. His eyes widened when he saw the cute blond in the photo. Well. Cute might just be the wrong word. The man was looking stern, there was no smile, and Logan couldn’t see the color of the man’s eyes or anything. But hell, the body and face were fine.
At least his bodyguard would provide him with some male eye candy to stare at when he was surrounded by a million and one screaming fangirls. The document described Logan as thirty-one, blond, brown eyes, five-ten, ex-cop, specialist in hand-to-hand combat. Brown eyes, eh? Logan loved brown eyes. And hell, with this guy he wouldn’t mind a little hand-to-hand combat either.
They arrived at the studio. The blacked-out windows combined with utilizing the lesser-known back entrance to the studio meant he wasn’t spotted. He loved his fans; without them he wouldn’t be where he was, and he doubted Night Cop would have been renewed past season one. Now on season five, he really considered himself fortunate for the show to have such a loyal fanbase. It was only… some of the fans were really intense and despite being six foot and more than capable of running quite fast, he wasn’t beyond being scared when large groups of screaming girls—and boys—got up in his space.
“Okay back there, Logan?”
Logan nodded to his driver. Mike was one of the only people outside Jimmy who knew the real Logan, and sitting in the back with scripts on the long drive from home to here had meant several long conversations with the burly driver. Jimmy had handpicked Mike and normally Mike would have gone to the UK with him, but his daughter was having a baby. There was no way Logan was taking the experience of being here for his daughter away from Mike. She was already six days late and the hospital wouldn’t let it go much further. If only she’d had it on time Mike would be going with him, could be the brick wall between him and the fans. But on the other hand, Mike wasn’t a trained bodyguard, he was just a big guy with a soft heart.
“Just organizing the trip to London,” he answered and waved his phone in front of him. Mike nodded in the mirror. The SUV pulled in beside a whole row of similar vehicles, and turning the engine off, the driver turned in his seat.
“Did Jimmy find someone good?” Mike looked concerned.
Logan recalled Adam Freeman’s details. Not the fact he was five ten with brown eyes and blond hair but the stuff Mike would want to know, the fact the guy was qualified to look after him.
“Adam Freeman, British and a former cop, came over from some kind of special department out of London, counterterrorism or something. He’s a specialist in hand-to-hand combat and is good at his job apparently.”
“An English Jack Bauer.” Mike smirked.
For a second a flash of his frequently used Jack Bauer fantasy slid into Logan’s thoughts, but he ruthlessly pushed it to one side. “I wish.”
They exchanged smiles. They’d done the whole ‘I wish I was going, sorry to let you down’ chat and they didn’t need to say anything else. Logan climbed down from the SUV.
“Later,” he said. Mike sketched a wave goodbye and left to park. Logan strolled through the maze of small buildings and onto lot five, exchanging hellos with anyone he crossed paths with. The LA sun was starting to heat the air and he shrugged off his jacket. Today was the final day of shooting episode ten and it was outside work right on into the night. That was what he needed, hard, physical fight scenes in the dark with fake rain. Hell, at least it would make him forget the letters and the fact that Jimmy was right. He had a meeting with the network in a couple of weeks and he needed to take that time to consider his entire future. He owed it to himself, he owed it to Stacia, and he owed it to the show.
Jimmy would back whatever he decided. This kind of support was invaluable to have from your agent. If Logan came out as gay or bi or whatever Jimmy spun for him, then he could at least stop lying. He’d need to handle it carefully. Stacia could be part of the fallout through no fault of her own and he didn’t want her to be laughed at in any way.
“Logan, makeup now; I have you with Teresa in twenty.” A harassed assistant scurried over with a clipboard in hand. “We need the post-fight scars and the tattoos and we need it for ten.”
And so it started.

Giveaway: Clare London

I’m offering a free download of Freeman today to a lucky commenter on this blog and *also* to a commenter on the video reading. Don’t forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win! The giveaway will be picked on 27th November at 5pm, GMT.

 LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION 

“Look,” says Hubby with a wry smile. We’re snuggled on the sofa together, watching a movie. “It’s set in London.”

Is he psychic, you ask? A close friend of the producer? A devout follower of IMDB and/or the celebrity movie news websites? No. He’s just seen the double-decker red bus trundle past in the background LOL.

CL1

So many movies and pictures rely on triggers like that, don’t they? For London, we have the buses, the black taxis, the phone boxes (vanishing fast), the London Eye, Big Ben, TowerBridge … to be honest, we’re spoiled for choice of iconic scenes.

My recent release FREEMAN is set in London. When I first drafted it, I deliberately set it in AnyCity rather than a specific place. It was to add to the mystery of the story, the “Everyman” nature of Freeman himself. But when I re-released it earlier this year at Wilde City Press, I made it clearer that the city I used as its setting was London.

Excuse my bias towards London, but I’m living and working there, it’s the city I know best, and it fascinates me. But I’ve also written stories set in Brighton, Totnes in the south-west, Exeter, Scotland and various “alternative, no-name” cities around the British Isles.

And of course, other cities – as they say – are available! I’ve read and enjoyed many stories set in the United Kingdom that evoke marvellously the spirit of the place, its scenery, its history and the unique characteristics of its inhabitants.

Hubby and I also joke about movies set in the US, how it sometimes seems there are only 5 cities in existence – New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco – and they’ve been devastated by enough giant monsters / aliens / natural disasters / Decepticons to make us wonder how there’s anything left for any future features LOL. But again, in fiction, there’s the option of so many more places that can come alive in the reader’s imagination.

How do you feel about physical setting in the books you read? Do you skip over the scene-setting as background wallpaper, or does your reading act as a travel pass to exciting new places? Do you admire the author’s love for the place, or wonder just how much research they’ve done to get authenticity? How do you feel if a book features *your* place, or somewhere you know well – does it thrill or creep you out?

Let us know! As they say, it’s all about Location, Location, Location.

~~~~Clare~~~~

FREEMAN BUY LINK  

EXCLUSIVE today: this link to an extract from FREEMAN, read aloud for your entertainment!

Freeman’s return to the city is quiet, without fuss. Another client: another case. He’ll source what they need and be on his way. But he’s been missed by more people than he thought: his ex-wife, his ex-lover, and his ex-business partner. And at least one of them wants him the hell gone again.

Freeman — private, controlled – just does his job. But when he strikes up an unusual friendship with the young runaway Kit, trouble comes looking for both men, ready to expose secrets that can destroy their fragile trust. Yet, for Kit, Freeman’s more than ready for the challenge.

Clare London

Writing … Man to Man