Thursday, 31 May 2012

Chapters 7-8 of End Game

Chapter 7 Unforgiving as Metal

Laurel began to stir and tried to move her arm to check the expensive Rolex watch on her wrist. However with the sound of clinking metal, she found herself unable to move, struggling to breathe, her mouth blocked by something, she wanted to spit out, but couldn’t. Then she remembered. The metal securing her wrists was still cold, mean and unforgiving. She had tried to get some sort of leverage, in a vain hope that they would break, but nothing. With a sigh she fell still, feeling the roughly sewn sacks beneath her. Her heart pounded and with a sinking feeling she thought of Darren. Her loving, considerate husband. Was he worried yet? What the hell was going through his mind now?

Tristan breathed a sigh of relief as he saw her move. He'd been worried she'd overheated, perhaps died in the boot of his uncle's snow white Mercedes convertible with personalised number plates. The car had of course been "borrowed" without the owner's consent, many years before, false number plates added and registered to someone who didn't exist, or had died conveniently at the end of a bullet several years before.

He had been relieved therefore to see her chest rising and falling as she breathed. She had however passed out. A dead hostage was no good to anyone and his uncle was an unforgiving man, as unforgiving as a knife blade thrust into your ribs. He had spent a long time plotting revenge from a prison cell. Tristan was pleased to note that nothing seemed impaired. Yet it was unwise to let her die of heat exhaustion.

She felt a stinging as the tape was ripped roughly from her mouth, then someone trying to get a bottle of some sort between her lips and opened her mouth obediently. Water trickled into her mouth and she swallowed gratefully. The bottle was taken away
“Thought you might be thirsty. Hungry too I suppose?” a soft lilting Irish accent spoke from the corner. She nodded. “I’ll fix that in a minute” he promised.
Then before she could stop herself, she spoke the words. The question that she had never meant to ask, the question that had been obsessing her brain.
“Who are you? What do you want with me?” she asked. The slight edge in her voice, betraying the terror she now felt in full force.
“That’s not a question, you should be asking me, I’m just the guy they employ to do their dirty work. Don’t ask no questions and I get paid the agreed fee at the agreed time. Safer that way see. If you don’t know nothing, nothing you say can incriminate you later, see.
"If it's money, my husband will pay" she vowed. Her companion seemed to sigh.
"Not everything is about money you know. That's what people like you need to learn"
"People like me?" she looked confused.
"You and your husband think if you throw money at a problem, then it solves it. You're about to learn a lesson you'll never forget lady" the threat in his voice chilled her to the bone.

He offered her a rather mouldy looking garage bought sandwich, ripping open the packaging for her and feeding her as though she were a baby. She took a bite. It was rather horrible, but she was nearly sick with hunger, so ate greedily. Who knew if and when she'd eat again?

Chapter 8 Held to Ransom

Darren sat on the edge of the bed, hyperventilating slightly. He took several deep breaths, before his fear gave over to a full scale panic attack. He’d tried several times to call her, always with the same result, voicemail. Alarm bells were really starting to ring now. But what could he do? If he reported her missing, the Police would only point out it had been less than 24 hours. He didn't even know when the 24 hours expired. Plus there was still the very slim chance, nothing had happened at all. She might well come in tomorrow, with a breezy “Stayed the night at Marina’s, forgot to call, weren’t worried were you?” He wouldn’t even be angry, if this was the case, just relieved.

He toyed absent-minded with the phone in his hand, thinking. He must have tried at least a dozen times to call her. Always the same result, that unconcerned robotic automated voice, declaring “The person you are trying to reach is unavailable.”
This was new. Did it mean her phone had died by now? Or was she somewhere that was out of range of a mobile mast. No service? In pure frustration he considered throwing his phone at the wall, but just in time, rational thought concluded that this course of action probably wouldn’t help matters. He hugged her pillow, as though by doing this, he could magically transform it into her. No such luck.

He picked up his mobile and went through his contacts. He should call the police. He knew this. But he couldn't. Reporting her missing, would make it official. There would be an investigation. He didn't think he could handle the fact that people would be looking for his wife, poking through his life.  He ran his hand through his spikes yet again.   

The rattle of the letterbox and the soft thud of something falling on the doormat, drew his attention back to Earth. It was way too early for the postman to call. Feeling slightly curious he got off the bed and went downstairs. This was a strange sensation, as the only feeling he’d had for several hours was blind panic. On the doormat lay a large package. He  picked it up and stared down at the spidery unfamiliar handwriting. He retreated slowly to the living room, retrieved a steak knife from the table and clumsily ripped open the package. His hands were shaking so badly that several times during this process, the knife was in danger of slipping and slicing his thumb.

Finally though the package was open. He flung the knife away from him and slowly tipped the package upside down, his heart thudding audibly in his chest. As his sapphire blue eyes moved over the contents, his face became steadily paler. On the floor were both of her rings, wedding and engagement and the silver winged locket he had given her on their wedding day. Also on the floor was a DVD. With some trepidation, he bent down slotted it into the DVD player and switched on the TV. He began to watch. As the first image came up he gasped. He had never in his worst nightmares expected this.

This couldn’t be true, it couldn’t be happening, it just couldn’t. Someone’s idea of a sick joke. He ran a hand through his greying blonde hair.  In a matter of minutes, his life had changed irreversibly. Even if things went back to normal, they would never be the same again, how could they be? He didn’t know what to do, think or feel.  He ran into the kitchen and swiftly vomited, until there was nothing left in his stomach.

He went back into the room. Darren picked up the two rings from the floor and  listlessly turned them over in his hand. He barely registered the stab of horror that went through him. The gold one, set with a band of gold and silver entwined was the engagement ring. He remembered going to choose it, aged just 16. The other was also a gold band, set with rubies, diamonds, sapphires and emeralds. Each stone sparkled as it caught the light, each individual colour dancing, was Laurel’s wedding ring. He had not seen it leave her finger since he had placed it there, exactly 33 years ago today.  

The notes of We Will Rock You by Queen ripped abruptly through the air. Darren was off the sofa and across the room, as fast as a bullet shot straight from a gun. He snatched up his ringing phone. It vibrated in his hand as he read the name on the screen. The slight tremor of his hand could be mistaken as a last vibration. He took a deep steadying breath and his finger stabbed down as though on autopilot. Praying his voice would hold steady he cleared his throat and raised the phone to his ear.
“Darren Hunter”

He listened as a cold, chilling voice answered.  He suppressed the shudder that ran through him. By the end of the conversation he could barely speak. He now knew what he had to do. He closed the phone and it fell with a dull thud from his limp fingers, to the thick red and gold patterned carpet.  He sank slowly to his knees. For several minutes he was unable to move. This was so unfair, it was hardly a fair bargain, but blackmail is anything but fair. You may think that it’s an easy choice to make, his wife or some information that seemed so unimportant in comparison.  But the information they had requested was so not unimportant. Darren Hunter was essentially an honest man and he was about to make the most important decision of his life.  He wasn’t convinced he could live with his conscience, whatever he decided. However he had to make a decision and soon. He sank back down onto the black shining leather sofa and buried his head in his hands.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Chapters 5-6 End Game

Chapter 5 Blissful Ignorance

Darren J. Hunter looked at the calendar on the desk in his posh, spacious city office and grinned rather sheepishly. He couldn’t believe he’d forgotten today, the most important day of his life again. After all it was only the 33rd time running he’d forgotten it. As usual his faithful, ever reliable secretary Madeline had saved the day. He had sent her out, as soon as the shopping centre opened. She never minded getting paid for this type of work. Her number one passion was after all shopping. She would get on well with his wife Laurel, if they ever met he thought. Laurel was always complaining she needed a new this or a new that. No doubt Laurel would return from her latest shopping trip, having emptied the joint account.

Madeline had returned triumphantly several hours later, laden with shopping bags. She really had lived up to her surname (Starr.)
“There you go, Mr Hunter sir.
She had thrown his wallet back onto the desk. He had picked it up to put into his jacket pocket. Pausing slightly, he weighed it in his hand. It was considerably lighter than it had been before he’d set out for work that morning.
“Go on a spending spree, did we?” he asked.
“Only the best for you sir. We don’t want your wife to think you forgot your wedding anniversary now do we?” Madeline had trilled, fluttering her eyelashes, somewhat flirtatiously.

Darren had sighed and removed his eyes from where they had been, staring at Madeline’s figure, taking in her short length skirt and nearly non-existent top. No, he was a happily married man.  She was young enough to be his daughter God's sake. He glanced at the framed family photograph on his desk. Taken on a camping trip the summer before.
“Will there be anything else?” his secretary had asked.
“No that will be all thank you Madeline” Darren had replied. She had left the room. Now as the early evening drew in, he sighed and got up from his desk, stretching as he did so. Several of his joints creaked. Old age. Still tonight he would prove that older or not, he was still a stud. There was plenty of lead in the old pencil yet.

Today had been quite a productive day, all things considered. He tidied up his desk, grabbed his jacket, picked up the bags at his feet, pausing only to grab the flowers, standing in a vase of water. He paused on his way out to call goodnight to his business partner, who as usual was working late, that man had no life. Despite having a wife and 6 children. His wife was often heard to complain he was married to his desk. Darren sighed as the man returned his farewell greeting. He made no attempt to reach for his own jacket.

Several of his female employees called goodbyes in honeyed tones, giggling girlishly when he responded. Darren supposed he was still quite handsome in a Richard Gere kind of way. Hugh Grant and Colin Firth hadn't scrubbed up badly either. But Darren saw himself more as a Hugh Laurie type. Unassuming, unwilling to see himself as a hunk.

Once in his dark Blue Porsche with personalised number plates, he forgot about them. Laurel would have laughed at the "schoolgirls" anyway. He pulled spectacularly into his driveway minutes later, gravel spurting under the tyres. He let himself into the house.

It was strangely silent. No kids, that was good. The twins had eagerly agreed to his suggestion that they stay with friends this evening. Of course he was well aware that the £50 each he had given them had helped.  They had told him they didn't particularly relish the thought of walking in on "the oldies getting it on."

His wife was obviously still having coffee with her old friend. That was good. His plan was working out well. He went into the spacious, black, marble work-topped kitchen and hunted for his wife’s favourite glass vase, an inheritance gift from her mother, who had died three years previously."Stubborn old battleaxe" he thought.
He filled the vase, arranged the flowers and put them on the window sill. Madeline had chosen well, lilies and roses were Laurel’s favourites. He walked into the living room and set the table, candle in the middle, ready to be lit when she returned. Now Darren was a good cook and the meal was ready right on time. He laid the steak out on the plates. Now all he needed was the special lady herself and everything would be complete.

Chapter 6 Waiting Game

But 7:00 ticked by, 8:00, still no sign.9:00 ticked closer. He grabbed his mobile phone, from the sideboard and dialled the familiar number. He waited, muttering to himself “Come on, pick up.” The phone rang out several times, before cutting through to voicemail. He left her a message, trying to sound calm and unconcerned, but all the time his brain was in overdrive.

This wasn’t like her. If Laurel specified a time for anything, she was where she said she’d be on the dot. Was she OK? Had something happened? A car accident maybe? Mugged on her way home? Was she lying in some dark car park somewhere? Stabbed, bleeding out? No Adrian was on duty tonight, he would have phoned by now. Was she hurt? Was she having an affair?

No, that at least was ridiculous. They trusted each other implicitly. He took several deep breaths. He was overreacting. Marina often had problems and would go off into long stories, expecting sympathy. Laurel would try desperately to offer the support she needed, frequently rolling her lovely emerald eyes at the strange things her friend had done. She’d been held up by something Marina was saying, feeling it rude to leave, that’s all. She would arrive home soon, full of apologies, that she had ruined his surprise dinner.  With this comforting thought, he stretched out on the sofa and fell asleep.

He woke sometime later and rubbed his eyes. It was dark outside. He fumbled for the button that lighted up the face of his watch. 3:00 in the morning. It was strange, he hadn’t woken up when Laurel came in. She must have crept past him very quietly, not wishing to disturb him. Oh well, now he was awake he could go up to bed. He eased himself off the sofa, his stiff joints creaking slightly. He walked into the hallway and up the black, metal, elaborately decorated spiral staircase to the upper level. He padded quietly down the corridor and slipped quiet as a mouse into the master bedroom. He got into the king-size bed. But here he got a shock. The bed was cold and empty, his outstretched arm touching nothing but empty pillow.

He could feel the panic beginning to take over and no amount of breathing exercises were going to help him now. His counsellor had no idea whatsoever. He needed to do something. His wife had always said he didn't do enough laundry. Well now was as good a time as any. He went to the laundry basket and began sorting out the dirty washing. Suddenly he paused. Surely Laurel had been wearing those clothes earlier. He was observant enough to notice what she was wearing. In his eye line was the very ripped pair of tights, nestled snugly in the bin. They hadn't been there this morning. So by deduction she must have been home, changed and gone out again, but where?

He ran a hand through his hair. He grabbed his mobile and dialled her number yet again. The mocking robotic voice started in his ear, a minute or so later.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Chapters 3-4 of End Game

Chapter 3 Fire and Water

He took her back into the bedroom and proceeded to dress her like she was a doll, in the denim dungarees she had picked out.  He carried her down the stairs, slightly dizzy with all the turns. He cleared away the shopping bags, setting her down just as they left the house.

He had dressed her in her denim jacket, he held the back of it. The gesture was casual, as though he had his arm around her. It would appear to the neighbours that she was leaving with him of her own accord, but from here he could control her like a puppet on a string. Laurel was highly frustrated and scared. Most of the time the neighbours were as nosy as hell. Now when you needed them to be, they were nowhere to be seen. He had taken the keys to the silver Mercedes and he pushed the beep key. The car unlocked. He helped her into the driver's seat and then got into the backseat. She heard the click as the chamber of a gun closed. She looked behind her. He was pointing it right at her back. She had no doubt the silver-plated killing machine was loaded.

"Drive where I tell you? Do you understand?" She nodded in the mirror. "Good. Keep to the speed limit. We don't want you stopped now do we?"

Slowly, reluctantly she let off the handbrake. They drove for about half an hour in complete silence. How did you make small talk with a kidnapper? He'd hardly be interested in the weather now would he? He told her to stop. They were in a stand of trees. They were in a park, more precisely.  She recognised it from walks she'd taken with Darren. Sunday afternoons spent hand in hand.

There was no one else in that part of the park. He roughly shoved her out of the car.  She landed in the grass. She tried to get to her feet, to run, but he rugby-tackled her from behind. He put his knee into her spine, possibly badly bruising it. She grunted, almost screamed. He took a petrol can he'd stowed in the boot.

Laurel watched in horror as he doused the car with the contents of the can. He got a box of matches from his pocket and struck one. It was the half-used box of matches from her own pocket. As he threw the match, the car became a fireball. He waited until it was a twisted blob and then pushed it into the nearby lake. He'd  levered off the personalised number plates. 

Her mind raced. She was next. He was going to push her into the lake, weighted down with bricks, or something else heavy. She would drown slowly, unable to move, until she sank to the bottom, lifeless. Darren would call the police, he would search desperately, unable to have closure, hoping she'd walk through the door  at any moment. Just another missing person on a long list.  Then months later she would be bait on some fisherman's hook, unidentifiable. Just another Jane Doe.  She couldn't think of a worse, more depressing way to die.

He rolled her over and forced her hands behind her back. He handcuffed them there. The click of the cuffs had a certain air of finality to them. He kicked her roughly over. He took a bottle out of his pocket, unscrewed the lid, having no trouble with the child-proof cap, dabbed some on a cloth and held it over her mouth. She tried not to inhale, but finally had no choice. She began to slide out of consciousness.  Her final thought, before blackness took over was "At least Darren's not here to witness this. At least I'm the only one who had to be hurt."

Chapter 4 No one can hear you scream

She had very little memory of what came next. She wasn't completely out, which was a pleasant surprise, but everything was blurred. She couldn't speak and couldn't identify anything. For too long, confused thoughts raced through her head. But the main question that kept returning like an annoyingly persistent fly was why? Her numbed brain screamed it in her ears. If she was terrified she worked hard, not to show it. She was essentially an optimistic person. Her outlook on life was usually “Whatever happens will happen. She tried very hard to stick to that philosophy now, as she felt her world tilt upside down.

Presumably he’d slung her over his shoulder, with as little effort as if he’d been carrying a sack of grain. She counted the seconds in her head, until she was set gently back down, rolling onto her side. Muffled sounds reached her ears and then she felt a jolt, she felt her body roll of its own accord and hit something. They were moving, travelling in a vehicle of some kind, maybe a car. She did the geography. Presumably she was in the boot. Wasn’t that how it worked? The hostage was put in the boot, out of sight out of mind? Somewhere where no one could hear you scream.

Of course in TV shows and films there was always something left conveniently lying around the hostage could use to lever open the boot, or a chance to overpower her captor. But of course she thought bitterly, she had to get kidnapped in real life, where there was nothing, no convenient crowbar, no hastily discarded knife.

She tried to raise her legs to kick out, but she couldn’t move. The space was too narrow and she'd never been good at gymnastics at school. It was stiflingly hot. It was the hottest day of the year so far and she was overheating. Wherever he was taking her, she hoped they got there quickly. She was beginning to panic, if she didn’t calm down, she’d suffocate. She concentrated on her breathing, counting in her head, measuring each breath.

Monday, 28 May 2012

First 2 chapters of my crime novel End Game. All copyrighted to me

End Game
By Laura Simms

Chapter 1 Showtime

Why was he doing this? It wasn’t right, he knew that, but what choice did he have? The 20-something brown haired man stood in the shadows, gazing across the garden fence. Briefly he considered leaving the deed undone. No one would know would they? Of course they would. He needed to get control of himself. This nervous jumpy state would give him away soon, if he wasn’t careful. For the first time in years his conscience was troubling him. He moved backwards, a little further behind the brick wall, cursing as a stone, picked up from God knew where, got lodged under his shoe. He kicked out to dislodge it. It rolled to a stop, yards away.

He checked the tracks in the grass. Nothing showed. He climbed up the wall, grabbing a more sturdy brick as one crumbled. He cursed as bits of terracotta dust landed on the ground. He got purchase on the grey drainpipe. He nearly laughed. They'd felt secure enough to leave a window slightly open. Crime just didn't exist around here did it? That would be his entry point. He grabbed the frame and slid his hand in. He found the catch and opened the window fully. A quick look over his shoulder showed him that no one had observed him. He cursed as he knocked crappy bric-a-brack off the window sill of the master bedroom.

It wouldn't matter. No one was here to hear him. The sophisticated security system began to beep. He went to the DVD cabinet and felt behind one of the shelves. He turned off the security system and waited for the beep as the invisible beams deactivated. 

He quickly picked up the stuff that had fallen off the window sill. He put them back at the exact angle. It was a good thing sometimes that he had OCD. The person he was here to see didn't know they had an appointment yet and she wasn't here to keep it either. He would just have to wait.  He would have to find somewhere to hide. The room was plush and comfortable. There were pillows and cushions on the bed. He ran through and discarded many hiding places.

He lurked in the shadows for half an hour or so. He watched every tick of his watch. When would she be back? Would he have to threaten Darren too? He didn't relish separating them. He ran through contingency plans. He could tie him up. He'd do anything to keep her safe. He'd offer money, jewellery, thinking it was a robbery.  He really didn't want to do this.
Darren might even offer himself in her place and that would never do, the whole point of the exercise would be lost. He must treat them both with kid gloves if they were together, he couldn't afford for either of them to be hurt. Not at this point anyway.

He'd done all the research. He took the silver framed photograph off the desk. A happy family. Darren, with his arms around Laurel's waist and their twins, a boy and a girl behind them. The more he stared the more uncomfortable he felt. He nearly threw the photograph away from him. He laid it facedown.  Out of sight, out of mind, yeah right and he was Steven Hawking.  

He saw the trophies displayed pride of place in the cabinet and fingered them pensively. Approach from behind, don't give the target a chance. Cowardly maybe, but his survival instinct had taken over in full force.  He stiffened as he heard a key scrape in the lock. Someone was back. Time to make sure and if it was her, He moved deeper into the shadows, it was show time!

Chapter 2 Acquaintance

Laurel Hunter opened the front door, having parked her Mercedes in the drive. Her shopping bags were over one arm. Darren would complain jokingly as always, that she'd maxed out his credit card and bankrupted him. Well he wouldn't be complaining tonight when he saw her in the new underwear, she'd bought especially for the occasion. She put her bags down on the black and white chessboard style, tiled hall floor. Her high heels echoed, clicking as she walked.  She knew from the pain in her feet that her heels would have blistered painfully when she took them off. How she hated wearing high heels. The most painful method of torture ever invented.

Her thoughts were elsewhere. Her coffee with Marina had been interesting. They'd met in the usual coffee shop. Marina had had problems of course. She always did. Laurel hadn't known what to do. There never was anything she could do was there? She was looking forward to sitting down and watching TV. She still had the remains of that bottle of Chardonnay in the fridge from last night.  She put her keys down on the telephone table, closed the door, kicked off her silver glittery implements of torture. It was then that she found her coal black tights were laddered. She preferred trousers to a skirt anyway. She sighed, that was yet another pair of tights she would have to replace.

"Darren?" she called. No answer. He must be here. The alarm system was disarmed. She knew it had been activated. She'd set it herself before leaving. Only she, Darren and the kids knew the codes. The kids would still be working their various shifts. Maybe he was in the garden. The BMW wasn't there but that meant nothing. Rueben could have dropped him off, he would pick up the car tomorrow. They often had liquid lunch business meetings Darren had been known to come home from these things a little worse for wear. She would go and get changed. She mounted the black wrought-iron spiral staircase. Her scarlet painted toenails, sticking out of yet another ladder in her tights, as her feet sank into the soft cream carpet. She entered the bedroom with its ornate, gothic-style floor-length mirror.

She took the black slides out of her hair, before she got a headache, putting them on the dressing table and brushing out her back-length greying auburn hair. At least the headache had been avoided.

She opened the wardrobe and selected a set of denim dungarees. There was no one there to see her let her hair down, other than Darren after all. She took off her snow-white blouse and stood there in her pristine white bra and knickers, having taken off her skirt and stripped off her ruined tights, balling them up and getting them into the bin in one shot.

Now was the moment. He walked up behind her and slid a black-gloved hand slowly, gently, almost tenderly over her mouth. She stiffened instantly and stood rigid. He lifted her easily off her feet. He laid her on her back on the bed. He could feel her heartbeat accelerate. He smiled listening to her fear. She started to struggle. He pressed down. He liked the feeling of power over her. The smell of her perfume was erotic to him. He leaned in and sniffed at her neck. Her eyes widened as she stared at his masked face. She sensed the danger and froze. He had a job to do and this wasn't part of the brief. With an extreme effort of will, he pulled himself together and refocused on the job in hand.
"You're not going to scream, if I take my hand away are you?" he asked almost conversationally.
She shook her head, swallowing down her scream. She could barely breathe as it was. He took his hand away. She kept her word. What choice did she have? She took several quick, sharp gasps of air, presumably in case he changed his mind.
"Take what you want, whatever you want. Just please don't hurt me" she begged. He laughed hollowly.
"Do as you’re told. Behave and I won't need to hurt you" he said. She froze. "What time is your husband due home?"
"I don't know. Depends if he has meetings" she replied, as steadily as she could manage, the slight quaver evident in her voice.
"Hmm. I could use Plan B, wait for hubby to come home. What do you think he would do if I asked him nicely and used you as a shield? Would he be a good boy?" he mused.
She shuddered. She knew exactly what Darren would do. She could picture the scene now, in graphic detail. He would give this madman exactly what he wanted, in order to keep her safe. He would lay down his life for her. But could she face living without him, if it came down to it? She waited with bated breath as her captor came to a decision.
"Plan B is far too dramatic, Plan A is slightly more understated, the less obvious the better" he announced.
She found herself suddenly airborne as he picked her up in his arms.  He carried her to the study, set her down in the leather swing chair and proceeded to thoroughly search the room. He opened the laptop, which sat closed on the desk. He put in a memory stick and turned on the computer, pressing keys and a few minutes later, files started downloading.
"What are you looking for?" Laurel asked. Her tone was still shaky.
"Where does your husband keep his personal papers?" he asked.
"The safe" she looked automatically at the Picasso on the study wall.  He felt along the wall, found the hinge and pulled.
"Put the combination in" he said sharply.  
"Why should I?" she demanded. He walked up behind her, grabbed her wrist and twisted it behind her back. She winced and bit back a scream. Her emerald eyes began to water.
"OK OK" he set her on her feet and she wiped her eyes impatiently with the back of her hand, set the dial. It clicked and opened. He rifled through the sheets of paper and groaned in frustration. He lifted her back up.

Sunday, 27 May 2012


End Game

  • Author Name: Laura Simms
  • Status: Completed but requires final editing
  • Listed: May 26, 2012 5:30 pm
  • Expires: 364 days, 3 hours
End Game


What would you do, given an impossible choice


DS Steven Potter is a hard-working policeman. He has solved many cases, but this will be his most difficult and personal yet. His best friend’s wife has gone missing and it is left to Steven to return her safely. Many questions present. Is this a thing from the past. Will Steven’s friendship with his best friend survive?

No Agents Documents
26 total views, 6 toda

Taken for a Mug

  • Author Name: Laura Simms
  • Status: Completed but requires final editing
  • Similar Books: End Game
  • Listed: May 27, 2012 8:18 am
  • Expires: 364 days, 10 hours
Taken for a Mug


Some things never go away, no matter how much time passes


DS Steven Potter is on restricted duty after the events of last summer. His relationship with Darren is strained. Somehow he must pick up the pieces of his life and learn to carry on.

Book Blurb

The adventures and case load of DS Steven Potter continue in this sequel to End Game.

No Agents Documents
19 total views, 19 today

Horses for Courses

  • Author Name: Laura Simms
  • Status: Completed but requires final editing
  • Similar Books: End Game, Taken for a Mug
  • Listed: May 27, 2012 8:21 am
  • Expires: 364 days, 10 hours
Horses for Courses


The horse bolts. You can run but you can't hide...


DS Steven Potter’s case load just keeps getting heavier and heavier. Add to that he has now entered parenthood. See how this plucky cop takes on new challenges.

Book Blurb

Life is about to change irreversibly.

No Agents Documents
27 total views, 27 today

Millionaire Playpen

  • Author Name: Laura Simms
  • Status: Completed but requires final editing
  • Similar Books: End Game, Taken for a Mug, Horses for Courses
  • Listed: May 27, 2012 8:24 am
  • Expires: 364 days, 10 hours
Millionaire Playpen


Money is no guarantee


DS Steven Potter enters his 4th documented case. The teenage heir to millions suddenly goes missing and Steven must also deal with Darren’s apparent determination to self-destruct. Will he finally deal with Tristan Timberlake?

No Agents Documents
19 total views, 19 today

My 4 as yet unfinished master pieces. I have posted them to a website that finds literary agents, submitted End Game to 2 more publishers Snowbooks and Legend Press and set up a forum for budding authors on invisionfree. I haven't been trying hard to promote them have I? Have I done enough?

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Next step

End Game

What would you do, given an impossible choice

This is officially what my novel looks like listed on a website to find a literary agent, who will then hopefully find me a publisher.

Summer is here

So I'm thinking I should probably just give up expecting a reply from the publishers I sent the manuscript to. They said within the month and it's been nearly that now. Found another one I like i.e. they accept e-mail submissions, but I have to write a proposal. This is the first in a series, so do I write it for the whole series or just the one? The problem is my patience is wearing a little thin. Oh well I console myself with better luck next time and the sun is out.

Thursday, 24 May 2012


So over the last few days both Robin Gibb and Donna Summer have died. Their legacies is brilliant music, so I was thinking what's my legacy? What will people remember about me. Ask my blind friend, he'll probably say, a humongous pain in the ass, but caring. Other people I'm not so sure. This is why I want my work down on paper and official and making money.

The final episode of House airs tonight in the UK, having already finished in the US. What a creative mind David Shore, must have. Not to mention Hugh Laurie and Robert Sean Leonard and the other cast members. I have been an avid follower of House for several years now.

My point, yes yes I know there is one. I want people to say "", whatever the series is called was awesome and to fantasise about their favourite character, to look forward to a Thursday evening or whenever each episode is screened, anticipate what'll happen next.

All I can say is Long Live Doctor Gregory House, may it always be rated a top US show in the all-time charts!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Down time

So where have I been the last couple of days. I've been having some down time. I've now finished the 4th story. So I'm thinking of publishing them as short stories. Number 5 "Hollywood Dreams" will be the novel.

Seen my best friend for the 3rd time this visit and he and his fiancee bought me lunch. Normally we share costs but this time they insisted so how could I refuse? It would have been rude wouldn't it? So now with the decent weather I've been inspired. This one is a little more personal too, which should help. So watch this space...

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Olympic Generation

So the Olympic flame has finally made it into the country and has started it's journey or marathon. Plenty of story ideas. James Patterson's story Private Games is epic, though I hope the real 2012 London Olympics isn't quite as eventful.

Why did David Beckham accompany Princess Anne to get the flame? It's not like he's an olympian and he's not likely to be, he's way too old to be picked for Team GB. So who'll be watching? I most certainly will. Bring on July. The best thing to happen in a generation.

Friday, 18 May 2012


So I haven't been around the last day or two. I was busy seeing my friend again. My friend's son makes me laugh so much. I've also been marshalling my notes on my characters. My head is full of little else at the moment. Obsessive maybe? Been doing a lot of research too. You can't beat research can you?

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Time to script write

So the postman finally arrived with a book I ordered on script writing for the big screen. So I'll soon be learning  how to write a screenplay. I'm wondering whether it'll be easier to write in this form, than novel form. What does everyone else think? Time to find out I suppose.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

With a little help from my friends

So I'm thinking about dedications. Why? because my best friend since childhood, his fiancee and their 2 year old son came to visit today. Haven't seen them since the end of March, early April, so it was good to see them. Now I have to get back to writing. I couldn't believe how much my friend's son had grown. Doesn't time fly? Without his father I'm not sure where I would be.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Loop the loop

So I went to see the new Tim Burton/Johnny Depp film "Dark Shadows." A Tim Burton film you expect it to be highly wacky, but this was out of this world. All I can say is I hope my mind isn't that screwed up. If it is I hope it can be brought back from the brink.

My mind does do loop the loops, stuck as if on constant, rewind and replay. Awake or as part of my subconscious. Can dreams be real?

Helena Bonham-Carter was good as the nutty counsellor. Preferred her as Bellatrix Lestrange, but I think if I ever write a female baddie, she would have to play her. So Helena if you're ever short of work, call me.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Welcome Break

So I've taken a break this weekend. My friend came over and we had a catch up a beer or two. I actually got the characters I've lived with for the best part of 9 years out of my head. So do I self-publish or not? That's still the question.

I have so many questions, it's ridiculous.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Several Choices

So I'm trying to decide what the best way is for someone to make a dramatic exit from a story. Don't worry I haven't turned homicidal, I just don't know which one is best. So here goes
(a) Stabbed
(b) Shot
(c) Pushed from a bridge

All votes will be counted.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Epic Dramatic Death Scenes

So I went to the cinema today and watched The Lucky One, starring Zac Efron. So most of it was a pretty standard romantic story blah, blah, blah. However I particularly enjoyed the dramatic death scene of the "asshole" former partner of the main love interest. Involving a bridge and lots of water.

Now this wouldn't have been of interest to me, except I'm about to write a death scene in my latest story, so this is of interest to me, I need a dramatic exit. Given a load of ideas. Watch this space...

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Book 4

So Book 4 is already on the go. Why I hear you ask when there isn't officially a Book 1 in the series yet. Well it is a series and I need to keep my hand in, keep the characters fresh in my mind. So I was thinking if Plan A fails, I might script them and submit them to the BBC. Ambitious? Me of course. Who'd want to make a drama out of something little old me wrote.

Well in case you didn't already know, I learned script writing from the playwrite Euan Rose, who is rather successful in his own right, so I could see if I could get him involved. Cheat I don't think!

Friday, 4 May 2012

Good or Bad?

So the postman arrives and this morning there's a rather large package for me from Brighton, that can only be from the publishers, its the only people I know who would write to me from that area. So suddenly I'm nervous. A rejection letter would be better than nothing right? Don't aim too high, but no it's a load of stuff they've sent me about themselves and their back catalogue. The only reason I would want that is if "End Game was going to be included. But so far I'm yet to see it.

Is it a good thing or a bad thing that I've heard nothing? Though I do tell myself they've only had 4 days to assess it.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Waiting game

So I finally bit the bullet, so to speak and sent my book off to a publisher. The Book Guild. So I'm nowhere near arrogant enough to think they'll accept it. I'm not the JK Rowling or James Patterson of the crime world, but won't James Patterson be pleased to know I idolise him?

Its currently being considered and I may or may not hear something back, but this is all I've wanted to do since I was 6, so to keep the dream alive I will carry on going whatever the outcome.

The message to all us budding authors out there is if you're proud of your "masterpiece", then you should plug it and believe in it, because no one else will.