Jenny Kane & Jennifer Ash

Jenny Kane: Coffee, cupcakes, chocolate and contemporary fiction / Jennifer Ash: Medieval crime with hints of Ellis Peters and Robin Hood

Tag: P J Reed

Opening Lines with P J Reed: Welcome to Witherleigh

Opening Lines time has arrived once more!

This week I’m delighted to welcome my friend and fellow author, P J Reed with the first 500 words from her brand new release,

Welcome to Witherleigh.

Over to you Pam…

I would like to thank Jenny Kane for inviting me onto her wonderful blog to write about my new novel ‘Welcome To Witherleigh.’

I am P.J. Reed, a multi-genre writer, from Devon. My background is in history and archaeology research which I like to use to add authentic flavours to my writing.  I have written several short horror stories, six poetry  collections, and one high fantasy novel. Most of my work is set in Devon, Exmoor, and Dartmoor and explores the darker side of country living. Welcome To Witherleigh is based on the little village of Witheridge, set on the outskirts of Exmoor. If you visit Witheridge after reading this book, you might even recognise some of the buildings described within its pages.

This book concerns a young man, Richard Radcliffe who has left the stresses of London under in order to start a new life for himself in Devon. He finds work as a church appointed playleader and looks forward to the local villagers and living life at a gentler pace. Unfortunately, as soon as he arrives in Witherleigh,he realises that something is very wrong with the village as he is pulled into an alley and warned that he will be next. He then sets out to solve the riddle of the village and to find out why the ghosts of Witherleigh still walk the streets.

This book is a paranormal, murder mystery with a dark vein of humour running through it.

The story appeared to me when one day Richard Radcliffe walked into my walk, sat down next to me, and told me about his adventures in Witherleigh.

First 500 words of Welcome To Witherleigh –

CHAPTER ONE

The car jolted unhappily through the mud-splattered lane. At least he hoped it was mud. Black and white cows peered knowingly at him through breaks in the overgrown hedge. That’s the last time I clean you until we get safely back to London, Richard thought grimly as he slowed to avoid a pair of suicidal pheasants. One stood in the road, frozen in fear, the other ran and disappeared into the hedgerows. He stopped the car and let the pheasant cross safely to rejoin its companion. He saluted the bird and watched as it ran into the lines of gnarled trees which flanked each side of the narrow road. The trees stooped over each side of the road. Their branches joined together above the middle of the lane, like skeletal brown arms twisting into each other, blocking out the late autumn sun. Richard stared at the crowding trees. There were melted faces in the lines of the bark. He shivered as a feeling of panic surged through his body.

Richard gripped the steering wheel. His knuckles whitened as electrical pulses ran up and down his spine. He swallowed and pinged the rubber band around his wrist. The sharp pain broke through his thoughts. The trees straightened, and their faces became lost in the creases of the bark. He twanged the band again. Important things had to be performed twice. Then he restarted the car and drove carefully past the sullen trees.

He had to be at the Witherleigh Day Centre by two o’clock. The ladies of the Anglican ministry were putting on a special cream tea and he could not be late.

The cluttered trees gave way to the rugged open fields of the North Devon wildlands. Undulating fields of dark green, broken by rows of hedges and the occasional windswept tree; dejected and alone amid a sea of grass.  This was a harsh land. Richard felt as if every mile nearer Witherleigh dragged him further backwards in time. He pinged the rubber band around the wrist twice. The change to a simpler life will be good.

‘It’s just what I needed,’ he whispered to himself.

He drove past a long wooden farm fence. A buzzard perched on a fence post sat so still it looked like a wooden carving. The bird flew away disturbed. Richard half-smiled.  He had never seen a bird of prey in flight and was captivated by the effortless majesty of its wings slow movement as it soared into the steel grey sky.

A four-wheel drive beeped loudly. Richard swerved back to his side of the lane, the old cars wheels squelching to a halt in the mud which ran in gulley’s along the side of the road. He let out a deep breath and waved an apology at the red-faced driver who shouted something inaudible as the Range Rover roared past him.

The little white pills were not good for his concentration levels. He shook his head. Perhaps down here he could be rid of them…

***

Welcome To Witherleigh is available to download from kindle on…

amazon.co.uk – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07SVQJ6ZR/ref=rdr_ext_sb_ti_hist_1

amazon.com – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SVQJ6ZR/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb

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Bio

P.J. Reed, writer of warlocks. Destroyer of worlds.

She is an outrageously eclectic writer. Reed lives in Devon with her two daughters, a rescue dog, and one feral cat called Sammy.

poetry by P.J. Reed

Flicker

Haiku Yellow

Haiku Sun

Haiku Gold

Haiku Ice

Haiku Nation

Website – https://pjreedwriting.wixsite.com/horror

Twitter – https://twitter.com/PJReed_author

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/p.j.reedauthor

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Many thanks for sharing your opening lines with us today, Pam.

Happy reading everyone,

Jenny x

Guest post from P. J. Reed: The Torcian Chronicles

I’m delighted to welcome my friend and fellow author, P.J. Reed, to my blog today. 

Once again the power of a trip to a coffee shop is revealed!

Over to you Pam…

A big thanks to Jenny for inviting me onto her blog. I am a completely random author. I basically fell into writing. My first hints of writing came during a poetry lesson at University where I was studying to become an infant teacher. We had to produce a series of poems in a variety of styles, which was probably the most interesting part of the course. I handed him in my meagre sleep- deprived offerings and weirdly enough he seemed to enjoy them and told me that I should seriously consider a career in writing. This struck me as rather strange as I was half-way through my teaching degree.  I was unsure whether it was a commentary on my teaching or writing abilities.

Obviously, I thought he was mad and completely ignored his delusional ramblings.

Then it happened.

One morning I nipped in to Costa for a cup of tea and a slice of chocolate tiffin, as I am particularly partial to any food with chocolate in the title and my life changed forever.  A story unfolded before my eyes like movie and I dived into Torcia the first fantasy world I ever created.  I saw the main character of the story, a warlock sitting in ragged clothes in a dingy, cluttered garret clutching onto the side of a medieval looking wooden inn. He was sitting quietly on his favourite armchair by the fire, but something was very wrong in Torcia as even from the inside of his lodgings he could feel his people’s suffering as the invasion of Torcia accelerated.  It was all very exciting as I didn’t know what was going to happen next, I just sat down at my laptop and my fingers typed the images which flashed across my brain.

After two years the first book in ‘The Torcian Chronicles’ was written.

It was a big, bold book of magic, warfare, suffering and defiance. So, I named book one … Defiance!

In Defiance, the land of Torcia lies in chaos and ruin. Naturally rich in faulstan veins, the power behind all magic a sleeping Torcia attracted the attention of Mivir, her eastern neighbour. In Torcia magic was subjugated and its practitioners imprisoned by the Protectors, a religious order dedicated to protecting the citizens of Torcia from the dangers of magic. Mivir, however, knew the power of magic and cultivated, refining the black art to create a virtually impregnable army. Unfortunately, Mivir also developed an insatiable demand for magical or aweosung energy, a need that could only be met by mining the faulstan rich lands of Torcia.  The Torcian armies were no much for the magically enhanced Outriders and warlocks of Mivir. Soon the whole of northern Torcian lay waste, devoid of life and ready for the mining.

In a desperate effort to save his embattled country, King Athemar summoned his surviving council members and devised a plan to save Torcia. He would fight fire with fire and destroy Mivir using Torcian magic. One of the last ancient warlocks of Torcian would be rejuvenated and sent on a mission deep within the Mivir while the last of his soldiers rallied for the final defence of Torcia.

It wasn’t perfect and too be honest it was full of spelling mistakes I had missed as being dyslexic I have an interesting relationship with spellings. I was then faced with the big dilemma – to self- publish or not?

I had heard the horror stories of writers being rejected for years only to end up throwing their ‘book baby’ in the flames of authors self- doubt or should I just self-publish and save myself years of heartbreak.

Being of a slightly contrary nature, I decided to send my manuscript off for one year’s worth of refusals just because my family stated in no uncertain terms I would never ever get a book published. So, I sent my manuscript off to several publishers and was completely shocked to get two offers in just under four months.  It was very strange.

My publishers even had a press release stating – “WiDo Publishing™ submissions editor Allie Maldonado found this high fantasy novel fascinating and exciting. “P.J has written a tale of depth and intrigue, complex but not confusing, with multi-faceted characters you can absolutely cheer for. Pretty amazing for a first novel. It’s a great foundation for a series.”

So here I am waiting for my high fantasy novel ‘The Torcian Chronicles’ to be published in January 2018.  For further information about The Torcian Chronicles’ visit my fantasy website at http://fantasyworlds.jigsy.com.

My publishers wanted the sequel written as soon as possible, so I sat down and began to write the sequel of prison, plots and magical mayhem.

I do not know exactly what will happen as my characters tell the story of their adventures themselves, but I know it be exciting, occasionally funny and always highly dangerous.

***

Defiance‘ the first instalment of The Torcian Chronicles, is available to pre-order at a discounted price from – 
If you would like to learn more about Torcia please visit the Fantasy Worlds website at http://fantasyworlds.jigsy.com or leave a comment below!

 

Bio – P.J. Reed is a writer and poet from England. She holds a BAEd from Canterbury Christ Church University, an MA from Bradford University and has dabbled in Psychology at the OU. She is an outrageously eclectic writer.

Her work has appeared in a wide variety of online and print magazines, collections, anthologies and podcasts. In 2015 she was shortlisted for the National Poetry Anthology award. Her haiku collections include – Haiku Nation, Frozen Haiku, Flicker and Haiku Yellow.

The Dark Tales of Witherleigh’ her sinister thriller based on a remote Devon village is available to download from Radish Publications.

Defiance‘ the first instalment of The Torcian Chronicles, her high fantasy magical adventure series will be published Spring 2018.

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Social Media Links

Read More at http://fantasyworlds.jigsy.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/PJReed_author

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/p.j.reedauthor

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Many thanks Pam – fabulous blog. Love that map!

Happy reading,

Jenny xx 

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