Sunday Sample

Something I’ve been meaning to do for a while now here on Arcbookblog is put up a regular sample to show where I am with my writing. I have a bad habit of procrastinating, however, with the result that I haven’t done as intended – I’m changing that today, though.

Without further ado, here is my first Sunday Sample, it’s chapter 33 of Where There’s A Will, which has just received it’s first editing pass of three (just to be sure there are no typos or other errors that readers wouldn’t like)


Stone was in his office, reading the reports from his various teams when he received the summons. He had spoken to the DCI after the briefing earlier, so he couldn’t imagine what his superior needed to see him about urgently – if there had been any developments, he should have been notified before the DCI.
“Nate, we’ve got a problem,” Collins said without preamble.
Another one, Stone couldn’t help thinking, after an armed robbery; a hit-and-run and a kidnapping in less than a week, he could only wonder what else had happened. “What sort of problem, sir?” he asked.
“I understand Detective Grey told you he couldn’t find DS Mason earlier.” Stone responded in the affirmative. “Well he’s been found; it seems he was on the way to work when he witnessed a purse snatching – he left his car and gave chase; unfortunately, during the chase he fell down the steps of the East Walk Underpass, broke his leg and knocked himself out. While he was out of it someone, presumably the purse snatcher, took his wallet and mobile, not to mention his keys, warrant card and cuffs.
“Which is why we’ve only just found out where he is. Once he woke up he was able to tell people who he is, and let us know where he is. Apparently, he’s going to be out of action for about two months, perhaps longer, which, I’m afraid to say, means you’re going to have to take over the investigation into the festival robbery and the hit-and-run, while running the kidnapping.”
“That’s not going to be easy, sir,” Stone said. He didn’t like the thought of trying to run two important investigations simultaneously.
“I appreciate that, Nate, but there’s nothing to be done about it,” Collins told his inspector. “Both the festival robbery and the Keating kidnapping are too important to leave to a junior officer. I’m sure between you and Stephen you’ll manage.” He had confidence in Stone. “You’re both very good officers, and you’re making good progress with the kidnapping.”
Stone recognised the compliment for the flattery it was, still, he accepted it with a nod of gratitude. “I’ll do my best, sir,” he said. “As will Steven.”
“I’m glad to hear it. Now, you’d better check in with Grey, I believe he’s made some progress with the festival investigation.”
Stone nodded. “Yes, sir, he called me earlier. He had a couple of witnesses come forward first thing this morning with a description of the car used in the hit-and-run, they were also able to provide the license number of the vehicle, apparently.”
“I know; things have progressed beyond that, however. I don’t know the details; you’ll have to check with Grey to get them, but I do know he’s been busy while we tried to locate Mason.”
“Before you go,” Collins stopped Stone as he was heading for the door. “You should know, I was forced to release Ben Logan earlier, his solicitor was kind enough to point out that he had been in custody for twenty-four hours. I reviewed the evidence, but there wasn’t enough to charge him, or to justify keeping him for any longer.
“I realise he’s almost certainly the second person from the festival,” he said quickly to forestall a protest that Stone showed no sign of actually making. “But right now there’s no evidence to back that up. I hope you also realise that there’s only five or six hours left for you to find enough evidence to charge Jerry Logan, and David Ashford; if you can’t they’ll have to be released as well.”
“Surely there’s enough circumstantial evidence to justify holding Jerry for another twenty-four hours,” Stone said, “even if we can’t yet charge him.”
Collins looked dubious. “I’ll review the evidence an hour before he has to be released,” he said. “But right now, I’ll probably order his release, unless you can come up with something more definite than you currently have – the identification of Jerry Logan from his tattoo is far too tentative, while the lack of a confirmed alibi means nothing, since you can’t prove he was involved with the robbery. “As for Mr Ashford – you have no evidence against him whatsoever.”
Stone accepted that with a nod. “I’ll see what I can come up with between now and seven. Since Mason didn’t make it to work this morning, I believe Jerry Logan and Mr Ashford are still waiting to be questioned; I’ll make that a priority while Inspector Evans is able to keep an eye on things at the Keatings’, he should be able to handle anything that comes up until I can get there.”

I hope you like it, and it whets your appetite- if you’d like to read more of the book, which has been nominated for an Ethereal award, you can read the unedited version on Wattpad

To be brief, or not to be brief

As regular readers will know, I have been posting my work in progress, Where There’s A Will, on Wattpad; I’ve been doing so to get people interested in my work prior to the book being released on Kindle, and also to get some feedback so I can make the book as good as it can be.

Advice has been limited, and I understand that it can be hard to get comments, but what I have been told is that my book is overwritten. Objectively I can see they are right, and I have been working on that issue with my current draft, but now I’m worrying that I am going too far and cutting more than just the padding, and in the process perhaps losing some of what makes people like my writing.

What occurred to me today is that Wattpad is largely populated by teens, while my target audience is older, 20+, and that perhaps I’m adapting my style of writing to suit a group of people who aren’t likely to either buy or read my books. Teens seem to want books that are shorter and more to the point, while I think adults prefer, or at least are more willing to read, books that are more descriptive.

Let me know in the comments what you think; do you like a stripped back book that is little more than plot, or do you like to see descriptive writing with a decent level of scene setting.

The Dark Place

The Dark Place

DeeJayBee (Wattpad user name)



Following the death of her mother 11-year-old Tamicka Moon and her father move from C3328880-176-k469897anada to Eastlake in England, where they both struggle to come to terms with their grief. Jack Moon becomes engrossed in writing about Munford House, the estate where they are staying, while Tamicka is left to explore the house that no-one in Eastlake, save the housekeeper, Mrs Hughes, will go near.

Why won’t anyone go near the house, though, and who is the spirit that offers to make everything better for Tamicka – friend or something else? When Tamicka befriends a local girl, Penny, the spirit warns her she can’t be trusted, and that seems to be true when Penny’s friends play a cruel trick on her; is the spirit telling her the truth, or even everything, however?

I’m sure some of you will be a little confused by the two sets of star ratings I’ve given this book, so I’ll explain.

First off, this is a 4* book, the story is a good one, with plenty of twists, a nice Gothic touch on occasions, some good characterisation, with people you’re interested in and whom you want to see either prosper or get their just desserts. The writing is nice and tight, without a lot of padding (this is something I’m guilty of in my writing and seeing who short and sharp the writing is here has helped me to work on my own books to pare the padding) which keeps you close to the action at all times. The dialogue is good as well, it fits the characters.

There’s a short epilogue which ties a few things up, with one thing that wasn’t a surprise and another that really was – I didn’t see it coming at all – and I think it’s good that you get an, albeit brief, idea of what’s happened to the characters after.

The reason there is a second rating to this book is because it’s a first draft. DeeJayBee has released her book on Wattpad, as I am in the process of doing, to get feedback and generate some interest. Because it’s a first draft there are typos that might put people off, and a few areas where a tweak might be needed, and I have deducted .5* for that. Once the edited and polished version is available this will be a 4* all the way, and I look forward to it being sorted and released for Kindle and other devices because I think it will do quite well.

If this sounds like your kind of thing, then you can start reading it here (by the way, this is a former winner of Wattpad’s Best Wattpad Reads in Paranormal so it’s not just me that thinks it’s good.)


Murder In Oakhurst

Yesterday I finished typing up the first draft of Where There’s A Will, instead of taking a nice break from writing before I get to work on the second draft, I’ve signed up to the #justwriteit challenge on Wattpad – 10,000 words in 30 days.

Since I already have Murder In Oakhurst on paper and I just need to type the first draft up, I’ve amended the challenge accordingly, I want to get at least 50,000 words done in the 30 days, so that’s an average of 1,700 words a day. I reckon I can do it, but the real challenge will be doing it alongside sorting the second draft of Where There’s A Will and working on a short I’ve been doing.

Ah well, I was never one for being idle.

Murder In Oakhurst is a mystery/thriller about a serial killer.

murder-in-oakhurst-coverOakhurst is a peaceful place to live, a veritable sleepy little village, but all that is about to change.
When a young girl goes missing and another is discovered, murdered, the village finds itself in the grip of a serial killer who is targeting its daughters. With no detective in the village, it falls to Sergeant Mitchell and Constable Rawlings to investigate and catch the killer.
Suspicion quickly falls on Zack Wild, the village’s newest resident and a writer who specialises in grisly murders, both real and fictional. He maintains his innocence, but the coincidences keep mounting, and he has a history of violence.

You can check out my progress here and let me know what you think. (The cover is only a basic thing I knocked up quickly to avoid using a placeholder on Wattpad, when I’m closer to release I’ll get a professional cover organised)



its-party-timeAfter 89,000 words in 18 days, only a little under 5,000 words a day, I have finished typing up the first draft of Where There’s A Will, woohoo! I thought it would take longer, so I’m really pleased that I’ve been able to do it so quickly. Now it’s time for me to take a few days away it – I’d like to think that I’ll take a brief holiday from writing, but I won’t, I know me – before I get on with the second draft.

Keep an eye on Wattpad everyone, because the remaining first draft chapters will be up in the next day or so so you can read the full book.

A new chapter and a new blurb

I was looking at the blurb I put up on Wattpad earlier and decided that I wasn’t happy with it, so I spent a short while playing with it until I came up with something I think will interest people more.

Here’s what I’ve come up with, I’d like any thoughts and opinions you might have.

Where There’s A Will

In the middle of the day, Alice Keating, daughter of multi-millionaire games developer Owen Keating, is kidnapped from her chauffeur driven car. The kidnappers want 3.5 million Euros or they’ll kill her.
Detective Inspector Stone is already on a case, an armed robbery, when the kidnapping happens, but he’s taken off that and assigned to find Alice Keating, even though he’s never investigated a kidnapping before.
Can he find her and return her safe to her family before the money has to be handed over?

While on Wattpad I also took the time to put up the latest chapter, I now have 7 chapters up for people to read. I hope they’re being enjoyed.

“Hello, Nathan.”

Stone recognised the voice before he even turned to face the speaker.

“Louisa.” His voice was neutral as he greeted the reporter.

It didn’t surprise him to find Louisa Orchard waiting by his car as he left the station for the evening, she had been trying, without success, to get hold of him all day; he had ignored her calls to his mobile and had Sergeant Oakley, the duty sergeant in communications, screen his calls so she couldn’t get through to him. It wasn’t a tactic he followed often, but occasionally, like today, it was necessary since he knew why Louisa had been trying to get hold of him.

Read the rest of the chapter here –

There’s a new chapter in town

writeStone and Burke had not long finished taking the official statements of David Leigh, his wife and son, and the two other witnesses to the robbery, none of which had taken long individually but which cumulatively had mounted up, and were updating the incident report when the door swung open and DCI Troyes entered the office.

“Sir,” Stone acknowledged his superior without shifting his attention from the keyboard in front of him. Touch-typing was a skill he had never been able to get the hang of, which meant he had to keep his eyes on the keyboard to limit his mistakes as he four-fingered – that was his limit – his way through the statement he was typing up.

A busy day


I’ve got a lot to do today, it’s mum’s birthday so I’m taking her out for lunch, I’ve got to go to the shops so I can get a saw – some of the old furniture needs breaking down into manageable pieces before they can be got rid of – and I’ve got to do some work on my novel; other things will probably crop up as well.

Since I’m busy, I’ll have to find the time to put up a review later on; for now, though, I’ve put the latest chapter, #5, of Where There’s A Will, on Wattpad.

Chapter Five

Stone took the steps two at a time as he ascended to the fifth floor of the grandly named Harper Tower, which was really nothing more than a high-rise consisting of low rent flats occupied primarily by single mums, the unemployed, and other benefit recipients. The lift, a cold, steel box that stank of urine and was decorated with badly spelled graffiti, like the stairwell, was out of order; that surprised neither Stone nor Burke, both of whom were sure the lift was out of order more often than it was working.

By the time they reached the fifth floor Stone was a little out of breath, he wasn’t as bad as he would have been a year or so ago, before he quit smoking after a successful campaign of nagging from his wife, but it was enough to remind him that he was still out of shape. In contrast, Burke breathed easily at his side and showed no sign of the exertion; Stone envied his partner his fitness and his clean-living lifestyle, but not enough to emulate it.

If you’d like to read the rest of this chapter you can find it here –

I’ll be back later to get some more done. Hope you all have a good day in the mean time.

Another day, another chapter


Where There’s A Will – Chapter Four

For those of you among my growing band of followers and readers, I have just posted chapter four of my debut novel to wattpad, you can find it – I hope you’re all enjoying it and looking forward to each new chapter; I hope to get one posted every day.