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The hidden realm - excerpt from Unseen Alliance

In the summer of 1940, while the Battle of Britain was being fought in the skies, two men walked through a dimly lit corridor behind the scene-dock of a minor London theatre.

The shorter of the men said, ‘I needn’t tell you that no one must know of this visit.’ He stopped and lit the cigar he was carrying. ‘It will be a lacuna in the records, as though it never happened. If this becomes public knowledge the government will be a laughingstock.’

They stood contemplating his words, then he continued, ‘Unless, of course, the German Army crosses the Channel. If that happens, we will need them.’

The smoke from his cigar hung around the bare light bulbs. Further along the silent corridor a woman appeared in a doorway. The taller man stepped forward, his hand inside his jacket.

‘It’s alright Walter. I believe this is the theatre’s cleaning lady. No need for firearms.’

They saw an elderly woman of dark skin with a long silver plait hanging down her back, dressed in tunic and trousers under her overall. The older man recognised her as a child of the Empire, he thought she must be from India, and he smiled and touched his hat as they walked past her. He was disconcerted by the smile that was returned. It was more than recognition; it was a look of knowledge and experience and not what he expected.

If Winston Churchill was worried by the meeting he had just attended and not keen to have its contents made public, she was even more concerned. What was the Prime Minister doing in a second-rate theatre in the middle of a war with only his bodyguard for company? Where were the private secretaries and cabinet ministers?

Mariel McKinley was a woman who had lived a long time and seen great changes in the world, and she suspected that Winston Churchill was a man open to dangerous ideas that would not have been considered by other world leaders. Although these were desperate times for the country, she was familiar with the occupants of the Hermitage Theatre and knew what secrets might be found there. She was aware they had become dissatisfied and restless and was afraid that their primitive morality would thrive in the maelstrom of total war.

A few weeks later a land girl working on her uncle’s farm in Hampshire received an unexpected visitor. She was invited to participate in one of the most extreme measures that Great Britain’s government would consider to ensure its sovereignty and that of its empire. She would, of course, accept the invitation.

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Magical realism

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OPENED GROUND - The St Jude's Hauntings

Sarah Madeley has a secret when she is summoned to a deconsecrated church to investigate the ancient stones found beneath it. There is a history of unquiet spirits and it has suffered the collapse of part of its graveyard. Torrential rain and a new farm road have conspired to open the ground around St Jude's. Each member of the team of archaeologists responds differently to the power of the site.

Cut off by the storm, they are disturbed to find evidence of a long history of blood sacrifice and murder. The past is revealed through the ghosts of the victims and historical documents that tell the story of a ruthless killer. 

In a high risk battle of wills Sarah must  discover who began the spiral of death and what has been unleashed on this ancient hill that had been suppressed by the presence of the church for a millennium.

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FALLEN ANGELS - Alchemy or Artifice

It is 1848 and Robert McKinley has fallen in love with an actress from a travelling company. There is something magical about the world of the players, but they disappear without trace.

He is torn between the search for her and joining fellow Pre-Raphaelite painters to form an artists’ community. They long for the idealised simplicity of medieval art, aware that a desperate struggle is beginning in the English countryside. Industry wraps iron bonds on its people as surely as the railway spreads through the ancient landscape, but they are not the only creatures caught in the great web of technology.

Others have lived in this realm far longer, gods and lords of the old order, under and over hills, possessing magic and longevity, in harmony with nature. McKinley must battle an unholy alliance of men and these creatures to find the woman he loves. This is a bloody story of passion and the mystical.

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