Endeavour Press http://www.endeavourpress.com UK's Leading Independent Digital Publisher Tue, 17 Oct 2017 11:07:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 https://i1.wp.com/www.endeavourpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/cropped-Endeavour-Emblem.png?fit=32%2C32 Endeavour Press http://www.endeavourpress.com 32 32 60423788 Deadly Comrades http://www.endeavourpress.com/deadly-comrades/ Mon, 16 Oct 2017 12:31:06 +0000 http://www.endeavourpress.com/?p=13599 By Daniel Bjork Imagine a family in a small New England village, Concord, Massachusetts destroyed by an insane murderer in the years before the American Civil War.  Awful crimes to three women in the Chase family that doctor Josiah Bartlett, town physician turned detective, tries to solve.  But then, just after the vile villain – who has turned into a serial killer – is stopped, a new infinitely more devastating catastrophe occurs that brings Bartlett to the carnage of the Battle of Antietam in search of his adopted son on September 17,1862- the bloodiest day in American history. Deadly Comrades, the fourth of the Dr. Josiah Bartlett series, intertwines two stories:  battle and field hospital carnage, and the search for another Concord female murderer who leaves a New York City gang, the ‘Dead Rabbits’ to join Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson and Robert E. Lee to kill Yankees at Antietam.  Bartlett makes […]

The post Deadly Comrades appeared first on Endeavour Press.

]]>
By Daniel Bjork

Imagine a family in a small New England village, Concord, Massachusetts destroyed by an insane murderer in the years before the American Civil War.  Awful crimes to three women in the Chase family that doctor Josiah Bartlett, town physician turned detective, tries to solve.  But then, just after the vile villain – who has turned into a serial killer – is stopped, a new infinitely more devastating catastrophe occurs that brings Bartlett to the carnage of the Battle of Antietam in search of his adopted son on September 17,1862- the bloodiest day in American history.

Deadly Comrades, the fourth of the Dr. Josiah Bartlett series, intertwines two stories:  battle and field hospital carnage, and the search for another Concord female murderer who leaves a New York City gang, the ‘Dead Rabbits’ to join Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson and Robert E. Lee to kill Yankees at Antietam.  Bartlett makes a desperate attempt to find a compromise between the pro-southern criminal and his adopted son—a Yankee soldier.  The climax brings the doctor into an arranged ambush that backfires and results in an utterly unlikely climax that will stun the reader.

Get your copy of Deadly Comrades here!

The post Deadly Comrades appeared first on Endeavour Press.

]]>
13599
The Royle Deception http://www.endeavourpress.com/the-royle-deception/ Fri, 13 Oct 2017 10:31:46 +0000 http://www.endeavourpress.com/?p=13596 By Gerry Sammon As a debut novel, I am amazingly proud of The Royle Deception, my action thriller newly published by Endeavour. It’s a work of fiction, based on various historical facts and events, although the conclusions are entirely mine. Reading it, I don’t know anyone who would imagine it had taken around twenty years to finish. I had a crazily busy career, so every time I picked up the story again, I had to stop and concentrate on the work in hand. This stop-start method lasted two decades, and is not to be recommended. The story begins with British officer Tom Royle at the end of WW2 and in the middle of a firefight in Vietnam. In fact it is now a mere footnote in history that the British had troops occupying what later became South Vietnam. The story tracks backwards and forwards in time, with Royle’s war taking […]

The post The Royle Deception appeared first on Endeavour Press.

]]>
By Gerry Sammon

As a debut novel, I am amazingly proud of The Royle Deception, my action thriller newly published by Endeavour.

It’s a work of fiction, based on various historical facts and events, although the conclusions are entirely mine. Reading it, I don’t know anyone who would imagine it had taken around twenty years to finish. I had a crazily busy career, so every time I picked up the story again, I had to stop and concentrate on the work in hand. This stop-start method lasted two decades, and is not to be recommended.

The story begins with British officer Tom Royle at the end of WW2 and in the middle of a firefight in Vietnam. In fact it is now a mere footnote in history that the British had troops occupying what later became South Vietnam. The story tracks backwards and forwards in time, with Royle’s war taking him to Malaya and China, and later back to Vietnam, both north and south.

In real time Royle is working as an academic at a British university in 1974 when his undercover work in the Far East is suddenly reactivated and he is called on for one last assignment, to bring in a terrorist leader who had once been an important contact and double agent. The assignment takes Royle back to Vietnam, just as the communist government in the north begin their final assault on the south and Saigon itself.

Inspiration for the story came from a mix of sources. As a student I wrote a thesis on the so-called first contact between US government officials and the International Press, and the communist Chinese led by Mao Tse-tung, at the time blockaded by the nationalist Chinese government in a vast but remote part of China. This formed two of the chapters in the story, introducing Royle as part of the mission.

In addition, as a student I was acquainted with a lecturer who was reputed to have been a former spy in the Far East during the war. There was of course no concrete evidence for this, but it was an intriguing tale which I duly incorporated into the story, with Royle as this character. Adding to the belief of this academic’s fictional background, he could only be described as Smiley-esque, round, bespectacled, softly spoken, and with a very great knowledge of South East Asia.

During the Malaya chapters, and the so-called Emergency and conflict with communist-inspired guerillas, again all matters of fact, Royle’s character is based on the activities of a former colonial officer who had helped to organise peace talks with the real guerrilla leader, and the man Royle is sent to contact, Li Peng-fei.

A trip to China, and later to Vietnam to complete my research into the story proved to be the inspirational that prompted me to finish the story. Now, thanks to Endeavour Press, The Royle Deception is available for all to read.

All that remains now is to get cracking on the sequel…

Get your copy of Gerry Sammon’s The Royle Deception here!

The post The Royle Deception appeared first on Endeavour Press.

]]>
13596
Horses of the Middle Ages http://www.endeavourpress.com/horses-middle-ages/ Wed, 11 Oct 2017 08:53:08 +0000 http://www.endeavourpress.com/?p=13592 By LJ Shea When I began the research for my medieval mystery novel, The Ravens’ Augury, it was inevitable that companion animals would feature significantly in the storyline. I have loved animals for as long as I can remember. When I first envisaged Faucher, the imposing yet gentle black horse ridden by the protagonist Wat Baudin, I assumed that he was a Clydesdale. Little did I know at that stage that this breed of horse would not exist for another four hundred years! The name, “Faucher”, is Norman French for ‘to mow.’ Considering how much food the draught horses I have owned can put away, it did seem rather apt. My research indicated that the heavy horses used in medieval times for agricultural purposes were simply called ‘cart horses’ or ‘pack horses’. Thanks to film and television, I think that most of us picture an immense beast of war when […]

The post Horses of the Middle Ages appeared first on Endeavour Press.

]]>
By LJ Shea

When I began the research for my medieval mystery novel, The Ravens’ Augury, it was inevitable that companion animals would feature significantly in the storyline. I have loved animals for as long as I can remember.

When I first envisaged Faucher, the imposing yet gentle black horse ridden by the protagonist Wat Baudin, I assumed that he was a Clydesdale. Little did I know at that stage that this breed of horse would not exist for another four hundred years! The name, “Faucher”, is Norman French for ‘to mow.’ Considering how much food the draught horses I have owned can put away, it did seem rather apt. My research indicated that the heavy horses used in medieval times for agricultural purposes were simply called ‘cart horses’ or ‘pack horses’.

Thanks to film and television, I think that most of us picture an immense beast of war when considering what a typical horse looked like during the Middle Ages. These horses were called chargers, or destriers, and it was their role to carry a knight into battle, much like the white steed ridden by the haughty Sir Giles de Tessier in my story. The immense strength and courage required of these horses, to carry a knight in full armour into battle whilst sometimes wearing armour themselves (known as barding), amazes me; my Australian Stock Horse has a melt-down every time I approach her with her winter rug!

The every-day riding horses which Wat’s men, Duncan and Thomas, used were referred to as palfreys, although I did not use this term when I was writing the The Ravens’ Augury, and I was delighted to learn that the very medieval-sounding ‘rouncey’ was an all-rounder horse, used in virtually any capacity.

Another interesting fact which I learned as part of my research into medieval horsemanship was that, despite the fact that the side saddle had been available for a century by the time the events in my story took place, most women rode astride. I must admit that I had a misconception about this, which is why I felt it important to have Wat’s mother, Elizabeth, riding her mount astride when she is called upon by the countess to come to Rochester Castle.

Writing my first novel allowed me to indulge in plenty of research, and this is one of the many things that I, as a life-long learner, love about the writing process – I am always discovering new things. No matter what you think you know about a certain topic, there is always more to learn.

Get your copy of LJ Shea’s new novel, The Ravens’ Auguryhere!

 

The post Horses of the Middle Ages appeared first on Endeavour Press.

]]>
13592
Scandals, Intrigues, Family Feuds, Murders, Hatred, Love and Envy: Episode 6 http://www.endeavourpress.com/scandals-intrigues-family-feuds-murders-hatred-love-envy-episode-6/ Tue, 10 Oct 2017 16:12:36 +0000 http://www.endeavourpress.com/?p=13585 In the background of ‘Ulick’s Daughter’ stands the small, misshapen figure of her father’s heir – Hubert George de Burgh-Canning, the 15th Earl of Clanricarde. Born in Russia, Hubert  grew up in the shadow of his elder brother, Lord Dunkellin, Ulick Canning de Burgh.   Doted on by his father, the younger Ulick had a distinguished career, serving in the Coldstream Guards and as aide-de-camp to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland; fighting in the Crimean war and acting as Military Secretary to the Viceroy of India before becoming an MP.   And then, at 40, he suddenly died, predeceasing his father by seven years.   As he had been unmarried, the title and estate automatically went to his younger brother.    For his father, this was a double blow for he loathed and despised Hubert. His hatred was to be shared by the Irish people.  Hubert de Burgh never once set foot in Ireland but […]

The post Scandals, Intrigues, Family Feuds, Murders, Hatred, Love and Envy: Episode 6 appeared first on Endeavour Press.

]]>
In the background of ‘Ulick’s Daughter’ stands the small, misshapen figure of her father’s heir –

Hubert George de Burgh-Canning, the 15th Earl of Clanricarde.

Born in Russia, Hubert  grew up in the shadow of his elder brother, Lord Dunkellin, Ulick Canning de

Burgh.   Doted on by his father, the younger Ulick had a distinguished career, serving in the

Coldstream Guards and as aide-de-camp to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland; fighting in the Crimean

war and acting as Military Secretary to the Viceroy of India before becoming an MP.   And then, at

40, he suddenly died, predeceasing his father by seven years.   As he had been unmarried, the title

and estate automatically went to his younger brother.    For his father, this was a double blow for he

loathed and despised Hubert.

His hatred was to be shared by the Irish people.  Hubert de Burgh never once set foot in Ireland but

he was to become the country’s worst and most repressive absentee landlord who evicted

thousands  of families from his estate in County Galway, resulting in mass destitution.

His Irish estate yield 25,000 pounds a year in rents paid by his impoverished tenants – a considerable

sum of money at the end of the 19th century – and, in addition, he had inherited his mother’s

fortune.   Yet he lived a miserly, solitary life in his rooms in Piccadilly in London, detested and

mocked  by all who knew him – and probably all too aware of the truth of his birth.    For Hubert

George de Burgh-Canning had no blood claim to the Clanricarde estate: his real father was a Russian

count with whom his mother had a brief affair.   Her husband, Ulick de Burgh, the 14thEarl of

Clanricarde, whose infidelities had outraged Russian society and brought about his downfall, had

been hoisted on his own petard.

 

Get your copy of Ulick’s Daughter here!

 

Joy Martin was born in Limerick.   A former journalist, she is the author of eight novels.

Her agents are Coombs Moylett MacLean, 120 New Kings Road, Fulham, London SW6 4LZ.

The post Scandals, Intrigues, Family Feuds, Murders, Hatred, Love and Envy: Episode 6 appeared first on Endeavour Press.

]]>
13585
Five Parks, by Ross McGuinness http://www.endeavourpress.com/five-parks-ross-mcguinness/ Fri, 06 Oct 2017 10:38:14 +0000 http://www.endeavourpress.com/?p=13497 ‘Keep writing…’ It’s the only instruction given to Suzanne, my novel’s protagonist, by her mystery captor, but it’s also the mantra that swirled around my head until I’d finished Five Parks. As a debut author, it’s tempting to see the attraction of being locked alone in a dark room with only the light of a laptop to guide your way. No distractions. We grew up reading the books we love that way – huddled under a duvet, the pages bright yellow with torchlight – so why not write them like that? The windowed room is the enemy of the writer, full of the promise of the real world when they should be gazing through the pane of their own imagination. In Five Parks, Suzanne is offered no such luxury. At the beginning of the novel, she wakes up handcuffed in a dark room. Her only companions are a chair, a […]

The post Five Parks, by Ross McGuinness appeared first on Endeavour Press.

]]>
‘Keep writing…’

It’s the only instruction given to Suzanne, my novel’s protagonist, by her mystery captor, but it’s also the mantra that swirled around my head until I’d finished Five Parks.

As a debut author, it’s tempting to see the attraction of being locked alone in a dark room with only the light of a laptop to guide your way. No distractions. We grew up reading the books we love that way – huddled under a duvet, the pages bright yellow with torchlight – so why not write them like that?

The windowed room is the enemy of the writer, full of the promise of the real world when they should be gazing through the pane of their own imagination.

In Five Parks, Suzanne is offered no such luxury. At the beginning of the novel, she wakes up handcuffed in a dark room. Her only companions are a chair, a table, a laptop and her blog – Five Parks.

She was on her final date – the last of five blind dates in five London parks with five different men – when she blacked out. The blog she wrote during the previous month about those five dates contains the clues that will help her identify her kidnapper. But which of the five took her? She must read her blog – and keep writing it – if she is to solve the puzzle and escape her prison.

The idea for Five Parks came to me after leaving one of them, another almost wasted afternoon in one of London’s many green spaces. The novel, an old-fashioned whodunnit with a modern edge, is my twisted love letter to my adopted city.

Ross McGuinness is an author and journalist from Northern Ireland. He has written for Metro, Yahoo, The Guardian and the BBC. He lives in London. Five Parks is his first novel. He can be found on Twitter @McGuinnessRoss.

Get your copy of Five Parks here!

The post Five Parks, by Ross McGuinness appeared first on Endeavour Press.

]]>
13497
Scandals, Intrigues, Family Feuds, Murders, Hatred, Love and Envy: Episode 5 http://www.endeavourpress.com/scandals-intrigues-family-feuds-murders-hatred-love-envy-episode-5/ Wed, 04 Oct 2017 15:12:32 +0000 http://www.endeavourpress.com/?p=13488 By Joy Martin Ulick de Burgh, the 14th Earl of Clanricarde in County Galway, had a second title and, as Baron Somerhill, an automatic seat in the British House of Lords in the early 19th century.   His marriage to the Honourable Harriet Canning, daughter of the British Prime Minister, George Canning, added to his prestige, leading to his appointment as British Ambassador to Russia. Handsome and charming, Ulick de Burgh is rumoured to have sired several illegitimate children. ULICK’S DAUGHTER is a novel based on the story of one of them. Eva Dillon is a woman driven by the urge to fulfil what she perceives as her destiny – to be acknowledged as ULICK’S DAUGHTER. As she says of herself: ‘I am not like other people: my life was planned out before I was born.’ Her ambition leads her to abandon her true love and to ruthlessly claw her way […]

The post Scandals, Intrigues, Family Feuds, Murders, Hatred, Love and Envy: Episode 5 appeared first on Endeavour Press.

]]>
By Joy Martin

Ulick de Burgh, the 14th Earl of Clanricarde in County Galway, had a second title and, as Baron Somerhill, an automatic seat in the British House of Lords in the early 19th century.   His

marriage to the Honourable Harriet Canning, daughter of the British Prime Minister, George Canning, added to his prestige, leading to his appointment as British Ambassador to Russia.

Handsome and charming, Ulick de Burgh is rumoured to have sired several illegitimate children.

ULICK’S DAUGHTER is a novel based on the story of one of them.

Eva Dillon is a woman driven by the urge to fulfil what she perceives as her destiny – to be acknowledged as ULICK’S DAUGHTER.

As she says of herself: ‘I am not like other people: my life was planned out before I was born.’

Her ambition leads her to abandon her true love and to ruthlessly claw her way up from a lowly job as a hotel maid in Dublin to the role of governess to the children of a Russian family – and a loveless marriage of convenience designed to realise her ambitions.

When she and her husband are invited to the ball at the British embassy in St Petersburg Eva believes that fate is at work.   Dressed up to the nines, with a diamond bracelet on her arm, she is ready to be received and finally acknowledged as Lord Clanricarde’s daughter.

But when she presents herself as Eva de Burgh she is met with a puzzling silence.   For Ulick de Burgh has been disgraced and, as Eva overhears somebody say at the ball, there’s not much merit in being his daughter…

Get your copy of Ulick’s Daughter here!

Joy Martin was born in Limerick.    A former journalist, she is the author of eight novels.

Her agents are Coombs Moylett Maclean, 120 New Kings Road, Fulham, London SW6 4LZ.

The post Scandals, Intrigues, Family Feuds, Murders, Hatred, Love and Envy: Episode 5 appeared first on Endeavour Press.

]]>
13488
Susan E. Willis gets caught up in the suspense of her new novel, The Girl In The Dark http://www.endeavourpress.com/susan-e-willis-gets-caught-suspense-new-novel-girl-dark/ Mon, 02 Oct 2017 14:57:01 +0000 http://www.endeavourpress.com/?p=13404 Following its launch last week, Susan E. Willis talks about creating suspense in her new novel… The Girl In The Dark, is my first novel in contemporary romantic suspense and I’ve loved writing this story which is set in Durham City. The storyline is not a who done it thriller but, a psychological page-turner. I read somewhere that Alfred Hitchcock was dubbed, The Master of Suspense, and was one of the first to move away from the who done it concept, knowing exactly how to manipulate the viewers in the cinema to keep them watching the film. Suspense is created whenever there is something the reader wants to know, and in my story the tension and trepidation for the reader is in the fact that my heroine, Kim, blindingly puts her trust in the wrong man. Throughout Kim’s journey, the reader will be uncertain which photographer is to be trusted, […]

The post Susan E. Willis gets caught up in the suspense of her new novel, The Girl In The Dark appeared first on Endeavour Press.

]]>
Following its launch last week, Susan E. Willis talks about creating suspense in her new novel…

The Girl In The Dark, is my first novel in contemporary romantic suspense and I’ve loved writing this story which is set in Durham City. The storyline is not a who done it thriller but, a psychological page-turner.

I read somewhere that Alfred Hitchcock was dubbed, The Master of Suspense, and was one of the first to move away from the who done it concept, knowing exactly how to manipulate the viewers in the cinema to keep them watching the film.

Suspense is created whenever there is something the reader wants to know, and in my story the tension and trepidation for the reader is in the fact that my heroine, Kim, blindingly puts her trust in the wrong man. Throughout Kim’s journey, the reader will be uncertain which photographer is to be trusted, until chapter eight where the villain is revealed to the reader only, and innocently, Kim is lured into his trap.

Captured in a studio, shooting food photographs, I’ve withheld information from the three main characters to allow the readers to draw their own conclusions about what is likely to happen, and hopefully, I’ve made the readers feel powerless to prevent Kim from stepping into the trap that only they can see.

Hidden motives from both photographers affect how Kim acts, and she draws her conclusions about them, but the reader has no idea if she is right or not? Who, if either, is the unstable character?

And, will Kim stay with the tried and tested people in her life, or venture forth into the new and unknown?

Get your copy of Susan’s brand new novel here!

The post Susan E. Willis gets caught up in the suspense of her new novel, The Girl In The Dark appeared first on Endeavour Press.

]]>
13404
How I Wrote My First Novel, ‘Blood Will Be Born’ http://www.endeavourpress.com/wrote-first-novel-blood-will-born/ Fri, 29 Sep 2017 11:54:16 +0000 http://www.endeavourpress.com/?p=13400 By Gary Donnelly Part 1: ‘GONE FISHING’ For me, stories begin with images more often than not. Sometimes they’re grainy, but more often visceral and clear. Blood Will Be Born started in this way and was written on and off between 2014 and 2016. But the vision that fathered the novel can be found further back. In 2006 I started to write a short story that I did not finish. It featured an old Irish man, sitting out the dead hours of the night alone. Or, perhaps, he is not entirely alone. A voice has started to speak to him from his cupboard, a voice that fills him with fear. He knows it is the Pooka (a shape changing entity which recurs throughout Irish folk tales). He had a brush with this thing as a child in the wilds of the west of Ireland. He outsmarted it then, but it […]

The post How I Wrote My First Novel, ‘Blood Will Be Born’ appeared first on Endeavour Press.

]]>
By Gary Donnelly

Part 1: ‘GONE FISHING’

For me, stories begin with images more often than not.

Sometimes they’re grainy, but more often visceral and clear. Blood Will Be Born started in this way and was written on and off between 2014 and 2016. But the vision that fathered the novel can be found further back. In 2006 I started to write a short story that I did not finish. It featured an old Irish man, sitting out the dead hours of the night alone.

Or, perhaps, he is not entirely alone.

A voice has started to speak to him from his cupboard, a voice that fills him with fear. He knows it is the Pooka (a shape changing entity which recurs throughout Irish folk tales). He had a brush with this thing as a child in the wilds of the west of Ireland. He outsmarted it then, but it has hunted him ever since. And now it’s found him and wants to play…

The story remains unwritten, and over time, my vision of the old man faded, as did his story, until both had disappeared entirely.

Or, perhaps, the dark matter that makes up such dreams never really disappears.

Like all energy, the potential for a good story does not really get destroyed any more than it is actually created by us in the first place. It simply changes form.

In 2014 I enrolled in an Online Novel Writing Course under Scott Bradfield at the City Lit. We ‘met’ (a team of four of five regulars spread between the Hebrides and London) virtually, once a week to critique each other’s homework assignments, discuss lessons from reading exercises and benefit from guest writers. When it was my turn to write a thousand words for shared weekly butchery, something weird happened.

I saw a man, sitting in a sparsely furnished apartment, candle light flickering. In one hand he had a near empty bottle of fortified wine, in the other, he held a razor blade. His arms were bare and they were scarred. I knew he was a former paramilitary prisoner of the Irish Troubles; a man of violence who remained a captive of his past. When the wine was finished, the blood would flow.

Not the same old boy from my 2006 story, but I’m pretty sure both visions shared the same DNA. The little homework piece was returned to time and again until the man had a name, John Fryer, and I knew what he was really afraid of; the Moley.

Each artist is different. John Lennon once said that song writing for him was like being a spiritual medium; the words flowed onto the page through but not from him. I can dig that. Want to start your first novel? Put a sign on the door that says ‘GONE FISHING’, and close the blinds, cast a net into the black waters. See what you haul up, look it in the eye and start to tell its story. But mind how you go, you might catch a monster.

Gary Donnelly is a writer and teacher who was born and raised in west Belfast. After attending a state comprehensive school, he read History at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and has lived and worked in London since the late 1990s. Blood Will Be Born is his debut novel and the first book in the DI Owen Sheen series.

Get your copy of his debut novel, Blood Will Be Born, here!

The post How I Wrote My First Novel, ‘Blood Will Be Born’ appeared first on Endeavour Press.

]]>
13400
Scandals, Intrigues, Family Feuds, Murders, Hatred, Love and Envy: Episode 4 http://www.endeavourpress.com/scandals-intrigues-family-feuds-murders-hatred-love-envy-episode-4/ Mon, 25 Sep 2017 15:37:04 +0000 http://www.endeavourpress.com/?p=13321 By Joy Martin In A WRONG TO SWEETEN and its sequel, A HERITAGE OF WRONG, the life of Milliora O’Brien is undermined by murder.   Yet she feels more threatened by the customs and beliefs of the countryside than by human fear and hatred. She is a woman from the town.   When nine figures wearing straw masks turn up at her wedding reception and whirl her into a dance, her reaction is to scream while everybody laughs at her.    The visitors are members of the Claghera, or ‘Straw Boys, and to the wedding guests and bridegroom they’re just part of the traditions which mark country life in Ireland, like the feasting at the meitheal, the all-important festival to celebrate the end of harvest, or the killing of ‘the barrow’, when the local slaughterer (the buisteir) plunged his knife into the heart of the fattest pig as the farmer and his family […]

The post Scandals, Intrigues, Family Feuds, Murders, Hatred, Love and Envy: Episode 4 appeared first on Endeavour Press.

]]>
By Joy Martin

In A WRONG TO SWEETEN and its sequel, A HERITAGE OF WRONG, the life of Milliora O’Brien is undermined by murder.   Yet she feels more threatened by the customs and beliefs of the countryside than by human fear and hatred.

She is a woman from the town.   When nine figures wearing straw masks turn up at her wedding reception and whirl her into a dance, her reaction is to scream while everybody laughs at her.    The visitors are members of the Claghera, or ‘Straw Boys, and to the wedding guests and bridegroom they’re just part of the traditions which mark country life in Ireland, like the feasting at the meitheal, the all-important festival to celebrate the end of harvest, or the killing of ‘the barrow’, when the local slaughterer (the buisteir) plunged his knife into the heart of the fattest pig as the farmer and his family watched and cheered.

Country pastimes could be brutal.   Although cock-fighting was illegal, this appalling so-called ‘sport’ continued in some country districts even when I was a child and the description of the fight in A WRONG TO SWEETEN is based on my recollection of it.

‘The hoods were removed from the birds’ heads.   The red-combed game-cocks – one brown-red, the other, a birchen grey – confronted each other across the grass pit.  Intent on the fight, none of those present noticed Milliora reach the back of the line of men.   The game-cocks had stepped warily towards each other and she saw that each wore tiny spurs, which were glinting in the light…’

 Get your copy of A Wrong to Sweeten here!

Joy Martin was born in Limerick.   A former journalist, she is the author of eight novels,

Her agents are Coombs Moylett Maclean, 120 New Kings Road, Fulham, London SW6 4LZ

The post Scandals, Intrigues, Family Feuds, Murders, Hatred, Love and Envy: Episode 4 appeared first on Endeavour Press.

]]>
13321
Outrageous Behaviour http://www.endeavourpress.com/outrageous-behaviour/ Thu, 21 Sep 2017 09:59:06 +0000 http://www.endeavourpress.com/?p=13314 By Graham Brack You can blame ice hockey. There isn’t any where I live in Cornwall, so when my wife and I booked a winter break in Prague, we made a deal. I’d go with her to the ballet, if she would come with me to the ice hockey. So, one afternoon we took the Metro to Nádraží Holešovice, from which it ought to be a short walk to the Arena; except that I had not realised that the station has two exits, and the directions I had assumed we had left by the north exit, whereas in fact we had taken the south one. This meant that we explored the district for a while. Then I saw a car pull up, and a man and boy in Sparta hockey jerseys got out. This was my clue to follow them, which we did; and the relevance of this is that […]

The post Outrageous Behaviour appeared first on Endeavour Press.

]]>
By Graham Brack

You can blame ice hockey. There isn’t any where I live in Cornwall, so when my wife and I booked a winter break in Prague, we made a deal. I’d go with her to the ballet, if she would come with me to the ice hockey.

So, one afternoon we took the Metro to Nádraží Holešovice, from which it ought to be a short walk to the Arena; except that I had not realised that the station has two exits, and the directions I had assumed we had left by the north exit, whereas in fact we had taken the south one. This meant that we explored the district for a while.

Then I saw a car pull up, and a man and boy in Sparta hockey jerseys got out. This was my clue to follow them, which we did; and the relevance of this is that where they parked their car is where the body is found in my novel, The Outrageous Behaviour of Left-Handed Dwarves.

Next I needed a detective. You didn’t need to talk to Czechs for very long to discover that they were very cynical about those in high places. As one person put it, if you’re old enough here, you’ll have a past. So my detective became a man nearing retirement who knows that he did things he wasn’t proud of during the Communist era, and assumes everyone else of his age did the same. Except, that is, his immediate boss, a man of impeccable integrity but very little detective ability. Slonský – the name is derived from slon (elephant) so, if it means anything, it’s elephant-like – will defend those who are honest and despises those who are not.

Now he needed someone to tell his thoughts to as the investigation unfolds. I didn’t want the whole thing to be cynical, so we needed someone fresh, young and idealistic. Navrátil has just left the police academy. Slonský is so difficult to work with that nobody who has any choice will do so. Navrátil does not have that luxury. And while Slonský has always resisted having anyone to mentor, he finds he likes it. The future for Czech law enforcement is bright, if he can shape Navrátil correctly.

It’s strange how the rest of the cast just pop into your head. I find that the scenes play inside my skull like a movie, and all I have to do is write them down. That’s why there is so much dialogue in the book, I suppose.

Slonský is a Czech as the Czechs like to see themselves. He likes a beer. Well, actually he likes a few beers. A sausage or two would go down nicely too. He’s good company. He’s straightforward. He is, in his own eyes, Everyman.

We can only be grateful that he is wrong about that, because a world full of Slonskýs would be a difficult place to live.

Keep in touch on Facebook (GrahamBrack), Twitter (@grahambrack) or my website grahambrackauthor.wordpress.com. 

Get your copy of Graham’s novel, The Outrageous Behaviour of Left Hand Dwarves, here!

The post Outrageous Behaviour appeared first on Endeavour Press.

]]>
13314