Saturday, March 10, 2012

Wild Talent is available again on

I'm happy to say that after a long hiatus, my historical fantasy novel Wild Talent: a Novel of the Supernatural, set in the London and Paris of 1888 and 1889,  is once again available on

Here, speaking for themselves, are some of the historical figures who appear in its pages:                                                                                     
Adventure is my only reason for living.
-- Alexandra David-Néel

 To pursue the mysteries on our earth is not without danger, but how much greater the risk incurred by those whose imagination incites them to wander in those domains they believe are situated beyond our normal frontiers. -- Alexandra David-Néel, Le sortilège du mystère

I am but the reflection of an unknown bright light… I cannot help myself that all these ideas have come into my brain, into the depth of my soul; I am sincere although perhaps I am wrong.
--Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky

…in a street, in the heart of a city of dreams -- Paul Verlaine

And Jeannie Guthrie's adventure begins:

It was not yet light when I crept out of the house, and I dared not take any food from the larder for fear of waking my aunt and uncle; and so as I made my way in the chill grey dawn toward Berwick I was hungry and thirsty and my spirits very low. But as I came near Berwick I could hear the dawn chorus of the birds, and then the sun rose. From the fields all around came the fragrance of dew-soaked grass, and in the hedgerows the hawthorn was in bloom. I was sorry, then, that I must leave. But I thought, however drab and grey the city may prove to be, and whatever misadventures may await me there, I cannot stay in a place where they think me at best a witch, at worst a murderess. And I remembered how Father used to say that opportunity could grow out of mischance, so as I trudged towards Berwick station I imagined the oak desk, the sunny room, the shelves of books with my name in gilt; and I began to walk faster, with a lighter heart.

So here I sit, on the morning train to London, with my journal on my lap. The woman beside me stared when I sat down, and I know how bedraggled I must look, with my hem all smirched and my boots muddy where I cut across the fields.

But now we have crossed the great viaduct, the Royal Border Bridge, that spans the Tweed from Berwick to Tweedmouth, and the train is gathering speed, hurtling into England. Stone walls and lonely farms and flocks of black-faced sheep all rush by, and on the other side is the sea, the Holy Isle of Lindisfarne, and the twin castles facing each other across the bay. Soon we will be in Newcastle, with the Borders and my old life forever behind me. I mean to keep a careful record of this journey, writ plain and in proper English, as a novelist would; for when I come to write the story of my life, this will be the opening chapter.

I must not think any more about George. It was a wicked thing I did, whether I meant it or not, and it is a shame I must live with. But more wicked than the act itself, I realize now, was the guilty joy I felt as my weapon found its mark.

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