Alternate History Thriller set in WW2
South Wales is the setting for this brutal and disturbing World War 2 thriller.
Germany invades mainland Britain. Storm-troopers swarm ashore along the South Wales beaches, determined to capture the Welsh Steelworks and Coal Mines.
Newport is blitzed. Irishman Danny O’Shea’s house is bombed and his wife is killed. His young son Adam has learning difficulties. Terrified of what the Nazis will do to him, O’Shea tries to take him to neutral Ireland.
Penniless and desperate, they head for Fishguard. But on an isolated Welsh road they witness an attack on a German convoy by Welsh Nationalists. The convoy is carrying some mysterious boxes that were discovered in a secret laboratory near Brecon.
German Captain Eric Weiss, responsible for the boxes safe transfer to Berlin, knows that his job – even his life – depends on him getting them back.
But, following a major disagreement among the Welsh insurgents, the boxes disappear. Then O’Shea goes to the aid of a dying woman – and both the Germans and the insurgents believe she’s told him where the boxes are.
Suddenly O’Shea is separated from his son and catapulted into a world of betrayal and brutal double-cross. Pursued by both the Germans and the insurgents, his only concern is to find Adam and get him to safety.
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Suddenly a violent flash lit up the inside of the tram like a burst of sunlight For a moment there was total silence, then an almighty thud blew the windows of the tram into fragments of flying glass.
Everyone leapt from their seats and scrambled for the door, clutching frantically at each other as they fell over themselves, pushing blindly to find the way out.
‘For God’s sake, Danny.’ Elwyn grabbed at O’Shea’s coat. ‘Get out, get out!’
More explosions pounded down the street like enormous footsteps, flattening everything in their path. The building on their right erupted, spewing shattered stone out through the huge plate glass window.
The tram bucked violently and started to roll over. It skidded across the road in a screech of torn metal and flying sparks before it hit the front of a building with such force the impact bounced it upright again.
Then the noise stopped as suddenly as it had begun, and an eerie silence fell down around them.
‘Oh, my good God …’
The desperate groan came from somewhere behind O’Shea. He opened his eyes slowly, but all he could see was the side of Williams’ head pressed back against his face.
He drew back instinctively and went to sit up, and he froze when something sharp dug into his back, high up under his shoulder blade. Sagging back down again he took a slow, deep breath. Then very slowly he worked his hand around so he could reach behind him.
What he felt was cold and pointed and very long. And his heart skipped a beat because it was also very wet and sticky.
He gave it a gentle tug but there was no movement in it. It felt like a solid steel rod. He gave a harder tug, but again there was no give.
‘Brian!’ It was a loud whisper and it was right in his ear, but Williams didn’t move.
O’Shea brought his arm slowly and carefully around to the front again and he gave the head a gentle shove. And he recoiled in horror as it slowly rolled sideways and dropped with a dull thud onto the floor.
About the Author:
I was born in Tralee, Ireland and now live in Newport, South Wales, United Kingdom.
As a child I spent his summer holidays in Listowel, Co Kerry where my uncle Moss Scanlon had a Harness Maker’s shop. It was a magnet for all sorts of colourful characters, and it was there that my love of storytelling was kindled by the likes of John B. Keane and Bryan MacMahon, who often wandered in for a chat and bit of jovial banter. The numerous short stories I’ve written based on those characters have been published in various anthologies and eMags over the years. I have self-published twenty of them in a collection called Dreamin’ Dreams  and also as stand-alone stories with Amazon.com.
Dark September  is my first novel and is published by Tirgearr Publishing.
Gallows Field  is my second thriller and is also set in WW2, only this time in Ireland.
A Pale Moon Was Rising  is a follow up thriller involving Eamon Foley again.
Thanks for doing an interview! Could you tell our readers a little bit about your writing journey?
When I won my first writing competition I was so excited I ran all the way home. I was about eight years old. The Fun Fair was coming to Tralee – our little town on the West coast of Ireland – and apart from Duffy’s Circus which came every September, this was the highlight of our year. Our English teacher asked us to write an essay about it, and I won the
Anyway, I left school at fourteen and went to work in hotels in Killarney, and I quickly got caught up in the excitement and colourful buzz of the tourist industry – remember, this was in the 60s when the Beatles were creating a heady revolution and engulfing the youth with hopes and dreams of a wonderful future – so I felt no great urgency to write. I dreamed of being a writer, of course. I wanted to be a writer – but somehow life just got in the way.
When I joined the Royal Navy at eighteen I was sent to the Far East, and I spent the first three years between Singapore and Hong Kong, and again I was having so much fun I didn’t get to write anything, although there were loads of stories bursting to get out.
It was only when I got married and the children came along that I made any serious attempt to put pen to paper, and the result was Dark September, an alternative history thriller set in wartime Britain.
I loved writing it – I always wrote in longhand in a school notebook – but I hated having to type it. After working a ten-hour day, I’d be clattering away into the early hours of the morning on an old Olivetti typewriter and getting on everyone’s nerves. Then I’d scream in frustration when I’d discover that hours of hard work were ruined by some horrendous typo error, and I’d have to start all over again.
Amazingly, I found an agent almost immediately, but she insisted on some major changes so I spent a year re-writing it.
Unfortunately my agent died suddenly and the agency closed. It took ages to find another agent, but he too demanded even more changes. It became too much for Jennifer and the kids, so my manuscript hibernated in the attic for a few years.
Then Jennifer bought me a computer for Christmas – with Spellcheck! This time finding an agent has proved impossibility – they only want to represent people who’re famous for just being famous – so I self-published it with Smashwords.com, though I still longed to have it accepted by a mainstream publisher.
Now I’m delighted to say the book has been accepted by Tirgearr Publishing – an Irish company, and I’m delighted with the result and all the hard work they’ve put into it to make it a great success.
How many books do you currently have published?
*Four in total;
· Dark September, Gallows Field, A Pale Moon Was Rising are all novels.
· Dreamin’ Dreams is a collection of 20 short stories all set in Ireland.
What has been your favorite book to write so far? Why?
It would be very hard to choose. I love the writing journey and the odd way a story can take on a life of its own.
Are you currently working on a book? Will this be your next release?
I am. It is also a thriller set in Ireland during the sixties and concerns a young American girl backpacking across the country during a beautiful summer. But she wanders into a sinister little seaside village where people are being randomly attacked. …
What do you enjoy most about writing?
The way a story develops. Often the end product bears only a passing resemblance to what I set out to write.
Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it?
No. I just continue to scribble word down in a notebook and then have great fun in shaping them into something solid later.
Have you ever had one of your characters to take a twist you weren’t expecting and surprise you?
It happened all the time. In Dark September the beautiful, loving and kind Cerys turned into someone I would not like to be involved in real life.
Which of your characters is your personal favorite?
Eamon Foley in A Pale Moon Was Rising
Liam Edge, Garda Sergeant in Gallows Field.
He used his position to pursue a brutal relationship with a vulnerable woman.
So far, what has been your favorite scene to write?
When the baby Adam O’Shea fell into the River Usk and his mother’s desperate chase to catch up with him and save him.
What lessons have you learned since becoming a writer? Do you have any tips for new writers?
Let your imagination run riot. There is no right and wrong way to tell a story. Always try to use your own voice.
If you were to recommend your books to a stranger, which book would you advise them to start with?
Because it introduced Eamon Foley who also appears in the follow up A pale Moon Was Rising.
Do you have any extras you’d like to share, like a teaser about an upcoming new release, a summary of a deleted scene, or a teaser about a surprising plot twist or character?
Dark September has a few surprises that shocked me when they took me in a direction where I was out of my comfort zone.
Now it’s time to get to know you! What are some of your favorite books to read?
Anything by Andy McNab, Val McDermid, Ann Cleeves.
What about television shows? Movies?
Thrillers and Murder stories.
Is there a book that you have read that you feel has made a big impact on your life?
The Wind In The Willows.
I fell into that book as a child and lived every day with the characters.
Can readers find you at any live events, such as book signings or conventions?
Not at the moment. I’m a very shy and private person and hate being the centre of attention.
If you had to sum up your life as a writer in ten words, what would you say?
I wish I’d put more effort into it when I was younger.
Do you have anything else you’d like to share with readers?
Just to repeat what the experts say – you’ll never get rich by writing a book so sit back and enjoy the journey.