Synopses of Drafts

Below are the working synopses for the drafts I've written so far. Note that I'll probably edit these as I go along, so don't be surprised if they change. 

For some of the stories that are finished I've published the first chapter for you to read here. Enjoy, and let me know what you think. (They will change and be updated).  

Virtually Ideal - Season 1
Chick Lit Serial

Potential Cover Art

Laurie Barker has seven weeks to find a date for her sister’s wedding, or else. However, between appeasing her social climbing boss’ outrageous demands, baby sitting the famous and scatterbrained author Timothy Farren, and reining in her sister’s impractical wedding ideas, she hasn’t got much time to look. So internet dating seems a good idea. After all, how much stranger could her life get? 

Seven Weeks - Fourteen Episodes

(I was going to try and publish each episode as I wrote it, but as this is my first time doing a serial, I've decided to make sure I can make it all work before publishing any episodes. So hold tight, they're coming). 

The Five Day Writer's Bootcamp

This is book 2 in the Five Day Writer's series, following on from Retreat, which is available on Amazon and Smashwords and will soon be available through Print on Demand in paper copy! (very excited). 

This is not a book of general writing exercises. Those books have a necessary place in the writer's life. However, I usually find them very difficult to use once you have written a bit, because you always have a specific project in mind, and don't want to practice writing in other genres or style while you could be working on your project. Therefore, The Five Day Writer's Bootcamp is a series of training exercises, modeled on the training program for a marathon, that focus towards improving performance for a single project (like a single race). 

Over the five days you will learn how to measure and improve your writing process, build strength in your given genre, endurance for your project, and technical skill for your style of writing. On the final day you still start putting everything together so that you can see where your first draft needs to start and finish. You will not actually start writing the first draft of your project, The Five Day Writer's Drafting Affair (Book 3) will take over from there.  

This book is for plotters and pantsers (those who write by the seat of their pants) alike. It will not tell you what to write, merely how to write it, so as not to spoil the surprise. 

A Nice Guy's Guide To Writing An Internet Dating Profile.
Non-Fiction, mostly.
(Available as an ebook and hardcopy on Amazon)

By combining psychology, internet marketing targeting techniques and the craft of story telling, nice guys don't need to finish last.

As I've reported on this blog, I've been trying the world of internet dating. However, it saddened me the number of guys that contacted me with profiles that just screamed red flags which could have easily been fixed up with a little bit of 'show don't tell', and 'know your target market', as well as a bit of 'kill your darlings'. To a few of them I replied saying I wasn't interested, but I could give them some tips on improving their profile. One guy was so excited/desperate that he immediately sent me his log in details! 

So, as a service to all nice guys out there who wonder why they aren't having any luck, I'm making this step by step, practical guide to writing a strong and more engaging profile, without having to lie. 

A Little Bit of Leaven
Historical Fiction.

This manuscript was originally written by my great-grandfather in the mid-1900's. My grandparents recently handed it to me and asked me if I could edit/re-write it to see if it would be publishable. 

It is a darling story set in the early 1900's, following the adventures of a newly married couple in an industrial town in Scotland. Mark and Mary are determined that before Mark becomes ordained, he should try living as a common labourer so that he can understand their plight. Mark takes on the lowest of the low role of 'The Sweeper' in the blacksmith's shop of the shipyards, while Mary does her best to make their small one-room house feel like home. Follow their adventures as they learn about working life, meeting friends and try to make a difference. 

Filled with historical details and a love for a time now past, A Little Bit of Leaven appeals to anyone who enjoys tales of everyday life in books such as L.M.Montgomery or TV series such as Heartbeat  

The Great Divide: Theology For Beginners

Did you know there is a war dividing theological academia? After finishing a Master of Divinity at a conservative theological college in Australia then being accepted to study Old Testament at Oxford, I became VERY aware of this fact. 

Foundations of Theological Knowledge is developed from a Master thesis draft I presented to my supervisor, Prof. John Barton the Chair of Old Testament studies at Oxford. His recommendation: turn it into a book, don't submit it because it would be failed. 2 years later, I'm taking his advice. 

This book is aimed at every believer who wants to be able to study theology without fear of losing their faith. It looks at the basis for the divide in theology, and provides a practical tool kit for developing a consistent frame of reference which can evaluate and adapt to new ideas without causing a crisis of faith.  

The Five Day Writer's Retreat
(Available as an ebook and hardcopy now on Amazon and other online retailers). 

I love the idea of a retreat: time to get away from everything and bring balance and well-being to your lifestyle. It is an opportunity to enjoy nature, eat wonderful fresh food, break bad habits and think about your life and goals. It's all about relaxation, rejuvenation, and balance. So why not do one focusing on your writing?

The Five Day Writer's Retreat is a call to take some time in amongst a busy work week to prepare yourself to become a prolific and successful writer. It focuses on preparing your mind and lifestyle to make writing an enjoyable part of every day. It is aimed at any writer who wants to better understand their writing process and how they can prepare for a lifestyle of writing.

It is now available as both an Ebook and in hardcopy on Amazon and similar distributors. Or contact me for a signed copy!

It will be followed by the sequel: The 5 Day Writer's Bootcamp, which will be a practical training manual for becoming a faster and more dedicated writer.  

After the Winter
Historical Romance

A 1920's romance with the lighthearted banter of Georgette Heyer with the fun and fashion of the Art Deco period.

'You, sir, are a flirt.’ Miss Lucinda Hargraves held firmly onto her hat.
‘A flirt?’ The play of the smile around his mobile mouth was rather distracting.
‘Yes … I think. I have not had a lot of experience, but I think so.’
‘And are you not worried about being seen alone in a car with me, if I’m such a terrible flirt?’
‘Well, I have to admit I did consider it, but in all honesty, no one would ever think I was the type of woman a man like you would find interesting.’ She took a deep breath. ‘It is actually quite a liberating experience.’

It's the roaring 20's and Lord George Everdale has a reputation he wants to maintain; fast cars, easy women, good times.
Lucinda Hargraves has a reputation she believes can't be damaged; a prudent spinster now in possession of a large fortune.
So when Lord Everdale comes crashing into Miss Hargraves' life, it seems an unlikely pairing to everyone. But could Lord Everdale be correct, that opposites attract? Or is Miss Hargraves more on course when she predicts that a playboy never changes?

What to get a glimpse of the setting and main characters? Check out the Pinterest board I've created for this story:

The Calling House
Supernatural Thriller.

There is a house just a little way out of the small town of Newton. It used to be one of the grand houses of the area, but now very few go near it. But there is always one person inside, one woman, staring out into the forest, until she too is lost. 

Amelia is worried about her mother whose episodes of paranoia are getting worse. But why is her mother so worried? No one can make her go back to that house if she doesn't want to, so why make her daughter promise not to let her go?

Stephanie can't believe her luck that Sister Temperance has asked for her, out of all the novices, to come with her on a trip to America. Though it is probably lucky, as all of the novices, and most of the Sisters are scared of Sister Temperance. Stephanie knows she can be weird, and her gift of prophecy sometimes downright spooky, but Stephanie would give anything to see Sister Temperance in action. 

But exactly how much will it cost her?

The Australian Fairy tale (ie. Hasn't got a title yet).
Middle Grade Australian Alice In Wonderland style adventure.

Zoe should have listened to her mother, because then she would have known not to flaunt glittery things where magpies might see them.
That is not the only thing Zoe should have listened to.
When she is carried off by a giant magpie she finds herself in a land where all the old wives tales come true.
Can she remember enough to find her way home? 

The Secret Railway
Middle Grade adventure fantasy set in Australia.

Millie, Peter and their baby sister Petty St. Clare are stuck for the summer holidays in an ancient homestead in the middle of the bush with no internet, phone reception or even TV. Despite this unpromising start, on finding an abandoned railway things start to become more exciting. Following the stairs from the old platform that seem to disappear into the roof, the children find another platform hidden above it. They hear a whistle, see the smoke, but that doesn't prepare them for when a train pulls up in mid air and the wallaby conductor calls for all abroad. Though, they will need to learn the ways of the Secret Railway if they want to make it to the end of the journey.

Castle Innis Trilogy:
Historical adventure/romance series set in the late 1700's/ early 1800's.

Book I:
The Honourable David Lockheed, currently disowned by his parents because of his desire to be an artist, agrees to take a commission in the wilds of Scotland, if only to tide him over until the beginning of the London Season. Arriving at Castle Innis at twilight, he and his gentleman's gentleman/partner in crime, Joseph, decide to stay the night at the local inn instead of arriving so late. Around the fire with a few pints of the house ale, they hear accounts of the current Lord Innis' madness, and of Lady Claire, his poor niece who has been trapped in the castle most of her life. The young men agree they should try to rescue the damsel in distress. However, if they knew that this might involve being stabbed, shot at, almost blown up, trapped in hidden passages and falling in love, would they still agreed?

Book II:
It's almost 20 years later, and Adam Lockheed, only son of Mr. David and Lady Claire Lockheed, is searching for his own adventure. Following in his father's creative footsteps, he has been working as an assistant to Mr. Montague, a famous stained glass artist. When he is offered the opportunity to travel with Mr. Montague to Lisbon to restore the windows of the cathedral, his mother is not at all impressed. The Peninsular Wars are raging, the English have only just retaken Lisbon and Napoleon appears to be wanting to make another push to regain more of Portugal. However, she doesn't realise that it is Adam's own honourable nature which might cause him more trouble than Bonaparte.

Book III:
It is 2 years later and Adam is living as a privateer off the Spanish coast trying to find out a way to clear his name and come back into society. However, when he finds out that Christine Davies, who believes he is dead, is about to be forced to marry the very man who framed him, drastic action needs to be taken. Under a false name, can he enter into London society without being recognised, clear his name, save Christine from marriage to Lord Grey and rekindle the spark they both thought was lost?

The Sally Hunt Chronicles:
A young adults Christian supernatural series set in an Australian country town. 
It's a Karate Kid for Spiritual Warfare.

Book I: Sally Hunt Vs. God.
Growing up as a rebel from a dysfunctional family doesn't really give Sally Hunt the ability to cope when she is confronted by the Maker of the Universe. Finding that the nice old lady from next door might know a lot more than she's letting on, Sally agrees to look into the whole God thing. However, when everything starts going wrong, she finds only one person to blame. Can she bring herself to let go of her independence or will the reality of a spiritual world overwhelm her? And what about just getting through year 12? 

Book II: Sally Hunt Vs. the Bullies.
Sally is right back into bible study with Mrs. Fitzgerald, and is learning the more practical aspects of spiritual warfare. Her daily bible readings take on a whole new meaning as Sally is forced to actually put it into practice, standing up for what's right at school and relying on God to show her what's really going on behind the scenes. With a new prayer group and being friends again with Tony, Robbo and Jimmy, some of the battles seem easier to fight. But still, how many times can one girl be suspended from school in a year?

Book III: Sally Hunt Vs. the School.
Sally has worked out that Ms. Nice the town psychologist and Mr. Gore the school principal aren't exactly her best friends, but that doesn't mean they should be trying to ruin her life. And what's with her best friend Ches? Sally, her friends and her newly acquired spiritual warfare team go into detective mode - God style. But is Sally prepared to risk everything to find out what's happening and fix it?

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