Torn Veil

Murder mystery Torn Veil… Read the first 7 chapters

The first 7 chapters of Torn Veil have just been posted! If you’ve been waiting to read it, click the preceding link and get to it.

The cover art is currently in design. While we wait for the cover to be revealed, here’s a bit from the back cover:

Christmas is coming and so is a killer. Will the psychic psychologist save Christmas and herself?

Marnie Reilly is back in Torn Veil, the stand-alone sequel to Divine Guidance.

Marnie Reilly’s sixth sense is working overtime this holiday season. A haunting sense of evil sweeping through the little town of Creekwood is disturbing her dreams and her waking hours.  The ghosts of her past are trying to help, but the messages from beyond the veil are muddled and vague.

When Marnie’s childhood friend turns up dead on the wrong side of the tracks, police detectives discover her business card in the dead man’s pocket.  Is it an overdose or murder? As tensions rise in the race to solve the case, so does the body count.

Detectives Tom Keller and Danny Gregg are on the scene to protect Marnie from the evil lurking in Creekwood. Or is Marnie protecting them?

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Nicole Ballingal, Artist

Artists Supporting Artists

Whether a writer, sculptor, painter, singer or dancer, artists work hard for their craft. It’s important for artists to support the arts and one another.

My dear friend, Nicole Ballingal, is a painter, sculptress, caricaturist, graphic designer, teacher, wordsmith and so much more. I am in awe of Nicole’s immense talent.

Below is one of her beautiful seascapes. Nicole has worked tirelessly to hone her craft. She deserves every success that comes her way.

Seascape, Nicole Ballingal, Artist
Nicole Ballingal, artist

Nicole is also an art teacher with Sydney Art Space. Her bio is available in the link.

Nicole competes regularly in art competitions in her homeland of Australia. She has recently submitted a breathtaking portrait in the Archibald Prize. The Archibald Prize is awarded annually to the best portrait, ‘preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in art, letters, science or politics, painted by any artist resident in Australasia’. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

The cover art, bookmarks, posters for Divine Guidance are just a few of the pieces Nicole created for the launch. I love working with her! We can chat about a project and she creates the image I have in my head. She’s amazing like that.

Divine Guidance Cover Art
Divine Guidance Cover Art – Nicole Ballingal, Designer

Artists supporting artists is an integral component to artists living their best creative lives. We each know how much work goes into our respective crafts. Time, patience, lack of sleep…we can certainly empathize with one another. The support of family and friends also helps in our dedication to the creative endeavors we pursue.

Just in case it isn’t clear, I am one of Nicole’s biggest fans – so much so, that I created a character just for her in my soon-to-be-released murder mystery, Torn Veil.

Please support the arts and follow Nicole’s studio, Factory5 Creative Space on Facebook.

If you love a piece of artwork you’ve seen or a book you’ve read or a theater production that touched your soul, share a kind word about the artist(s) with friends and family. The artist will appreciate it.

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Murder mystery, Torn Veil – Officially on the way to the editor…

That’s right! Murder mystery, Torn Veil was sent off to the editor on Friday. That’s excellent news for readers because that means we are one step closer to release. November 2020 is just around the corner. And it’s excellent news for me because I can now start pouring my energy into the third book in the series.

As I read through Torn Veil for the fifth time, I picked out a few passages that resonate with me. Does that sound strange? Shouldn’t they all resonate? Perhaps, and the paragraphs, dialogue and chapters do, but there are moments when I write and I don’t remember typing specific sections of text. Something takes over and the words appear on the screen in front of me. It’s kind of like auto-pilot I suppose. Then again, I wrote a story that has been played out in my head for the better part of 5 years – I suppose I was on auto-pilot. The fact that I love my characters probably has something to do with it too. I do love my characters. Even the bad ones.

The character interaction is so much fun. I have conversations in my head about how they will discuss a certain subject or how Marnie will react to something Danny has done or something silly Tom has said. Their chatter is in my head when I fall asleep, brush my teeth, have a shower, cook dinner… They are with me a lot! Writing dialogue between Danny, Marnie, Tom, Carl and Tater is a breeze because of this. And the characters are bits and pieces of the many people I have met throughout my life. My characters are pieces of friends, relatives, acquaintances and of course, some people I don’t particularly like.

Adding new characters, one with a pronounced stutter and one with a Southern drawl, gave way for interesting interactions. And of course, writing for Gram is a heap of fun. Researching her Irish brogue and the colloquialisms of the Emerald Isle delivers better dialogue for her character. Watching a bit of ‘Mrs. Brown’s Boys’ was great inspiration too.

Writing Tater’s actions and behavior is such a joy for me. Tater is a cross between my first border collie, Murphy, and my second border collie, Finnegan. There are also a few character traits from my current border collies, Dougal and Callee, as well. Border Collies are such intelligent cheeky dogs. I do love writing Tater. He is my favorite character after all – and then Tom.

And then there is the genre… Having been introduced to mysteries at a young age, murder mysteries are my favorite genre to read and write. Starting with Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys, then moving on to Agatha Christie, Mary Higgins Clark, Ruth Rendell and so many others, I have consumed mystery novels for over four decades. It’s the same when it comes to television and movies. Murder She Wrote, Diagnosis Murder, Mystery 101, Murder 101… you name it, I will watch it. I love figuring out the mystery before the end.

With all of that said and/or written, I better get back to focusing my energy on Fatal Vow – the third in the series.

Torn Veil, a murder mystery with a paranormal twist

Creekwood – The Good. The Quirky. The Bad. The Evil.

Torn Veil is just a bit darker than Divine Guidance. We dive into occult practices and the seedy underbelly of Creekwood, NY, a fictional town located along the Hudson River somewhere between the Adirondack Mountains and Hudson, NY.

Why somewhere? Because reading fiction is all about using your imagination. Every writer hopes their description of a place, person or thing helps the reader see what they see. I know what Creekwood looks like – I see it in my imagination every time I write about the quaint little town. Hopefully, readers do to.

I try to do the same with characters. Gram for instance – I don’t give too much detail about her physical appearance because readers should visualize her in their own imagination. A few characters’ physical appearances are explained in detail – like Marnie, Tater, Danny, Tom and Carl. A few are not. What they look like is up to the reader.

Speaking of characters… Torn Veil has a host of intriguing characters – good, quirky, bad and pure evil. I love writing all of them – but it is so much fun to write the dialogue and the thoughts of a nasty, vile, psychotic and evil character. It’s like therapy – you get to take your evil twin out for a stroll.

Anyway, I better get back to work. I’m still fiddling with few final changes to chapters. Why? Because my proofreaders ask a lot of questions. If a vital bit isn’t as clear as I thought and two or three proofreaders ask the same question, I make a tweak to ensure clarity. Sometimes the clarity is already there and just one of the proofreaders missed it. It’s a balancing act, folks.

I will keep you posted. Have a great day!

Torn Veil – Formatting is Fun

Formatting isn’t really fun – but it is one step closer to Torn Veil being finished and released.

The dedication and prologue were written last night. The “thanks” and “reference” pages are in the works and I’ve got a few character descriptions to tuck neatly into place.

A quick reread of Divine Guidance tweaked my memory. I know I wrote it and should remember every word, but sometimes a reread is good to ensure the story flows smoothly from one story to the next.

I’ve been sitting in the in-between with my characters of late. We’re (yes – me and my characters) at the point of handing the story over to another set of eyes and it’s causing my foe, “insecurity”, to poke up its ugly head – yeah, it’s taunting me. It happens. It’s never easy handing a story over – no matter how much you like and trust the person to whom you are handing it. One last round of edits will begin…let’s say…beginning of next week to be safe. Oof!

Just a few more steps and a couple of considerations to make… November is just around the corner.

Torn Veil

Torn Veil -October/November Release

Torn Veil, the long-awaited sequel to Divine Guidance, is planned for release in paperback and e-reader versions in late October to early November 2020. It is currently in proof-reading and editing. Yay!

Torn Veil picks up where Divine Guidance left off . Marnie Reilly, the reluctant clairvoyant and hot-headed psychologist, is back. She’s analyzing her love life, battling with her inner demons, a crazed band of charlatans known as The Collective and of course, her archenemy.

Torn Veil dives into the shady underbelly of Creekwood, the occult, the paranormal and the lives of Creekwood’s quirkiest, most lovable and most despicable people. We can’t give too much away. We don’t want to ruin it for those who haven’t read Divine Guidance.

We will post the first five chapters in the near future and will ensure to post an update here.

There is a very thin veil between this life and the hereafter and we should not tear the veil down for personal gain. Those that dance between the veil of this life and the hereafter have a duty of care to protect the souls of the living and the realm of the spirit world. For some it is a double-edged sword, inspiring love and hate in equal measure – sometimes with deadly results.

Divine Guidance Book Signing – Fabulous Day

A huge thank you goes out to Richard from Book Haven, Stockland Baulkham Hills, for hosting my book signing on Saturday, September 12th.  So many lovely people came along to lend their support,

The day was a bit surreal.  I think back on the dreams and goals set so many years ago and how I used to think and say, “I will be a published author and some day I will find myself sitting in a bookstore signing copies of my novel”.

There’s something to be said for self-fulfilling prophecies.  Dreams really do come to fruition if you truly believe and work hard to support that belief.

Thank you, Universe!

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Torn Veil – Chapter One Has Evolved

As I write Torn Veil, the sequel to Divine Guidance, the storyline changes and the characters evolve.  Quite simply, the characters come to life – their personalities take shape and I rewrite paragraphs, chapters, moments in their dialogue and actions to support their evolution.

The first chapter of Torn Veil has been updated on the Torn Veil page of this site. The update reflects the evolution of Patrick – a complex and conflicted character who is coming to life more and more every day.

I can’t wait to see where my imagination takes Patrick, the main characters and what will happen next in the little city of Creekwood.  Stay tuned.