Competition to Win Free, Signed Paperback of Screaming Angels!

My new romantic spy novel Screaming Angels published!

 

To celebrate, I will be giving away one, signed copy  of Screaming Angels to my Newsletter readers in a competition on 16 October at 5pm BST. To sign up for the Newsletter before then, click here or go to the menu  at the top of this page.

Screaming Angels paperback at Amazon.

Screaming Angels Kindle.

Screaming Angels paperback at B&N.

Yulia let the rare intimacy hang in the air. It floated away on the evening’s love.

“The biggest twist was at the end – I really didn’t see that coming” – Eileen Thornton

How the Soviets stole the secret of Rolls Royce’s best jet engine and built the greatest fighter in the world.

Excerpt:
Don, the only member of his Rolls Royce Nene team that called his boss Ed, was a working-class Yorkshireman, Edward, a graduate from Dorking. They were Surrey chalk and Yorkshire cheese, but when Don had yelled “Pass Ed!” during a company football match, Edward let the term of endearment go with a smile and they had been close ever since.
“Right! Let’s tidy away and get testing!”
The seven men tightened every bolt on the jet engine’s outer casing, checked the test stand bolts for tension once more and wiped everything clean. Edward left the test chamber through the partition door and took up station with the rest of the team, behind the control panel. Don checked the last few hose connectors and left the chamber, closing the thick door behind him, but struggled to slide in the heavy draw bolt for a moment, with his back turned. Edward couldn’t see what Don was doing.
“Don’t touch the master door lock!” Edward joked.
“I never would. There! Got it!”
Edward completed the test form, pushing his spectacles up on the bridge of his nose to focus better:

Monday 22 July, 1946
RB.41 Nene MK.3 throttle-up test. Attending: Nene team, headed by Donald Hill. Manager: Edward Torrens.

“Right. Fire her up Don!”
Edward’s affable smile belied the tension in the small control room. The cream, concrete partitions had been designed to muffle the sound of WWII piston engines, not stop exotic alloy jet turbine blades, turning three or four times as fast, from exploding. Only a few weeks previously another of Edward’s Nene engineers had been injured when a fragment penetrated the wall and ripped part of his cheek away. As Don pressed the starter button, Edward wondered why such an alchemist’s brew of wires, alloys and unearthly, screaming power amounted only to the placid sounding ‘Nene’ in the Rolls Royce executives’ minds. Everything went well until Edward yelled into Don’s ear at the top of his voice:
“Full power!”
Edward realised he had actually crossed his fingers, just before he heard a high-pitched, metallic ‘ping.’ He lunged for the red cut-off button and smashed it down with his fist.
Don and the others stared at him with blank expressions, as if trapped in a slow-motion movie clip.
“Duck!” Edward yelled, before dropping to the floor and scrambling under the bench, dragging Don with him.
The turbine’s shriek had dropped in pitch about half an octave in those few seconds, but then the air ripped apart with a giant explosion. The sound or rending metal, mixed with the sound of concrete being ripped apart and debris hitting the walls made them shut their eyes and pray.
Eventually, silence returned, followed a moment later by the blaring of alarms and the sound of rushing feet.
“I didn’t hear owt!” Don said between coughs. “Bloody good job the engine revs dropped a few thousand! Or else I don’t think any of us would be here!”
Covered in white concrete dust and debris, the others scrambled to their feet while Edward looked for his spectacles in the debris. He found the metal frames, but the round lenses were both missing.
“I heard it!” he muttered. “A fan blade breaking loose. One of the advantages of managing four test teams and attending all tests – not that Sanderson approves. You learn what to listen for! I lost my spectacles and I think some of the glass went in my eye. I can’t see!”

Advertisements

Today’s News From: Rip – Find the Magic Key

indigo swatch— Brina is keelhauled. —

Brina didn’t remember what keelhauling was, but she decided she didn’t want to know.
Many of the ship’s crew stared at their feet while others dragged her to the bow.
“Do you think this a good idea?” she heard Devlin say to Brindley. “Suppose she dies? She probably will!”
“Then we won’t be docking in Tasman.”
“She’s only a woman!”
“Shut up Devlin. Do it now!”
The crewmen lowered Brina over the bow by the length of rope attached to her wrists while another sailor guided the other length of rope to the stern. He worked it under the moving ship’s hull and pulled it taught.
“Ready!” he yelled from the stern.
Six men lowered Brina to the crashing bow-waves, while three others hauled on the stern rope. Her feet touched the cold water, so she began to take deep breaths, taking her last a moment before her head went under. After that, she understood little of what happened, except that the sea battered her against the barnacle-studded planks of the hull and her lungs began to scream with the agony of asphyxiation. She held on as long as she could, feeling her chest convulse with its primitive urge to breath. The last thing she saw was a patch of light in the bottle-blue water behind her thrashing legs.
“You’re a lucky bitch!” a male voice said. “The Captain wouldn’t have revived anyone else but you!”

Rip-Find the Magic Key: 2nd longest Western novel at 1 M+ words. Subscribe bit.ly/LazloFerran | Buy Vol 1 bit.ly/ripvol1 | Understand more bit.ly/inforip

Today’s News in: Rip – Find the Magic Key

blue swatch— Omah needs a shave. —

“I need a shave.”
“Let me show you. Take this off first.”
She tugged on the collar of his jumpsuit.
“Oh no! You’re not getting me naked that quick.”
“Ha! You’ll see us naked before too long. Don’t be shy.”
“No!”
“Alright! Just strip to the waist then.”
Omah unfastened the sticky front tab and peeled the smooth, metallic top down to his waist, rubbed his bare chest out of embarrassment and gave Archivist a lopsided grin.
Now look in the mirror and say, “Shave!”
“Shave! Hey! What’s this! I have a white mark on my chest. Like a key!”
“Yes. I thought it was kinda cute when we were shown your body in one of our first briefings.”
“Oh god! You mean you’ve seen me naked?”
“Sure! All of it. And you’re quite a healthy man.”
Omah blushed and replied.
“But what does this mark mean? Do you have it?”
“No. You’re the only one. We don’t know what it means. You had it when you came to u- … . Oh there, now you’re jumping the gun! Or making me! Let’s do the shave.”
“But wait a minute! At least it’s something not blue! And Controller; he seems very emotionless and blank. Are you all robots?”
Archivist’s laugh sounded like the delicate titter of a teenage girl.
“It sometimes feels like it.”
“Androids then? Cyborgs?”

Rip-Find the Magic Key: 2nd longest Western novel at 1 M+ words. Subscribe bit.ly/LazloFerran | Buy Vol 1 bit.ly/ripvol1 | Understand more bit.ly/inforip

Today’s News in: Rip – Find the Magic Key

blue swatch— Omah wakes up after an unknown period of cryo-sleep. He’s not sure where he is or why the woman looks the way she does. —

The blue woman began to unfasten Omah’s sleep corset with practiced skill.
“My name’s Soother.”
Omah wasn’t a tall man and always felt inadequate until he knew whether a woman stood taller than him or not, and when he felt inadequate, he tended to be aggressively sarcastic:
“Soother? Is that your boyfriend’s pet name for you?”
“You can cut the jokes. I don’t have a boyfriend. Such concepts died long ago.”
“They did? Nobody told me.”
“How do you feel?”
“Hm. A bit angry. I think I argued with somebody last night. My partner?”
“If you did, she’s long gone. You should forget the argument.”
“What? What year is this? I think I feel sick.”
“Never mind the year. It’s a long time after your last memories. You’re a survivor.”
“Well that makes me feel a little bit better.”
“Do you feel like walking? It’s good to walk if you can manage it. It will help you to recover quicker.”
“Well, I don’t think I can walk. My legs feel like jelly. But I would like to take a look around … . If you don’t mind?”
“Not at all. I’ll get a buggy.”
Omah noticed the second disconcerting thing. It had been on his periphery for some time, but he had managed to ignore it. Now he no longer could. His arms were blue too.

Rip-Find the Magic Key: 2nd longest Western novel at 1 M+ words. Subscribe bit.ly/LazloFerran | Buy Vol 1 bit.ly/ripvol1 | Understand more bit.ly/inforip

Today’s News in: Rip – Find the Magic Key

blue swatch— Omah wakes up after an unknown period of cryo-sleep. He’s not sure where he is or why the woman looks the way she does. —

My brother had a ball. When you tried to kick it, it moved away from you. I grew tired trying to hit the thing.
“Don’t think about kicking it,” he told me. “The ball is designed to read your intentions. Think about nothing.”
It felt very satisfying when I finally got a foot on it and sent it into the back of the net.
A ‘beeping’ interrupted his memories.
So I have been asleep?
He tried to open one eye, but it felt gummed up. Screwing his face up to make tears, he eventually managed to open one, only to see a panel, which proved to be the source of the ‘beeps.’ A sign flashed, ‘Hello Omah,’ in in red letters. You’re in waking up phase. I’m administering stimulants.’
“Oh great! Thanks! I hate cryo-sleep!”
A distant hum occurred at the same time as his cryo-chamber began to incline. The glass-lidded container, little more than a box, began to raise at his head’s end and continued inclining until he lay at a forty-five-degree angle. The lid opened and straps released his arms and legs. He felt sharp stabs of pain as a needle retracted from each arm, but didn’t have the energy to say:
“Ouch!”
His legs felt distinctly wobbly, so it came as a relief to see an attractive woman approaching him in a white jumpsuit. The only problem; her skin was blue.

Rip-Find the Magic Key: 2nd longest Western novel at 1 M+ words. Subscribe bit.ly/LazloFerran | Buy Vol 1 bit.ly/ripvol1 | Understand more bit.ly/inforip

Today’s News in: Rip – Find the Magic Key

violet swatch— Ome explains how he got his strange name. —

Somebody slapped the canvas on the outside of the tent and shouted, “Service!” Moments later the whole camp stirred into weary activity. The woman’s eyes lit up.
“No not that sort of service,” O’Mally explained. “No room service here baby. You’re expected to attend a church service every day. Christianity has returned here. Even for the Muslims! They won’t mind if we miss a day. Shamus is my family name. My mother’s father was an O’Mally, so my mum had the bright idea of calling me O’mally. Stupid. I suffered.”
O’Mally became silent for a moment. He gave her the thousand-mile stare and continued:
“Believe me, I suffered. But anyway, I got into acting; small stuff, a few movies you might have heard of, but bit parts. It became useful then ’cause I called myself Sean O’Mally. For the book writing I changed it again, to Seamus Mally. Anyway, my friends call me Ome, so you can too.”
“And the story?”
“Yes. Apart from the alien stuff. But that’s my interpretation.”
“Is that true about the Jesus and Brazil?”
“Yeah. Believe so. I saw it. Took me almost six months to get here. Now I have to get back. The car is gone of course. Useless without chargers. I have to get back to my girls.”
“In London?”
“Yes.”
The woman shook her head slowly, but said nothing.

Rip-Find the Magic Key: 2nd longest Western novel at 1 M+ words. Subscribe bit.ly/LazloFerran | Buy Vol 1 bit.ly/ripvol1 | Understand more bit.ly/inforip

Today’s News in: Rip – Find the Magic Key

violet swatch— Sabrina reaches a camp in Wales and reads a strange story in a sleeping man’s notebook. —

I feel somebody is in the room so I try to open my eyes.
But, as sometimes happens when your mind is awake and your body is still asleep, try as I might, I could not open them.
I tried harder and harder, as I imagined footsteps approaching my bed.
A voice, deep inside my head screamed:
“Open!”
But I couldn’t do it.
In my dream, I levered myself out of the dirty sheets and dragged on my dirty clothes.
I became aware of distant alarms and rushing feet in the corridors outside. When I opened the door, I saw panic in the eyes of those running.
The hostel had its own infirmary and my legs dragged me there, for no reason I knew of.
I pushed open the double doors and strode into the small ward.
Empty
I pushed open the doors to the operating theatre without considering my action.
“Who are you? Get out!” screamed a doctor.
I couldn’t help staring at the body on the table; it looked like the flesh of the man, if a man he was, had been sucked out from the inside. Luminescence.
The body was no more than a husk. It was the alien’s alright, and I had to run.
With a last, terrifying effort of will I opened my eyes and saw only an empty room. The other five beds were unmade and empty, all except one. A man, whose name I did not know, slept on.

Rip-Find the Magic Key: 2nd longest Western novel at 1 M+ words. Subscribe bit.ly/LazloFerran | Buy Vol 1 bit.ly/ripvol1 | Understand more bit.ly/inforip