Petal and Ben’s Adventures in Thailand

Petal and Ben’s 

Adventures in Thailand 

3 exciting stories stories for children

Book One

Na Gah – The Nine-Headed Snake 

and Book Two

What a Load of Rubbish

and then Book Three

WiFied Piper!

All rights reserved, no part of this publication stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means with the prior permission of the author.

Published by

‘No Worries’ series of adult thrillers by the same author





ISBN: 9781973528586 

Written by the same author, but these dark thrillers are for adults. Set in Hua Hin, Thailand, from the late 1980s till the present date.

Violence, murder, romance, how could two young friends have so many worries living near the beach in paradise? 

As eBook or in paperback, from Amazon – 


Paperback – Posted from Thailand

Published by

These tales are for my children to enjoy. 

You watched me write your books, now you must read them!

I am honoured to be your father, but please read more!

Starting with 

Petal and Ben’s Adventures in Thailand 

Book One 

Na Gah

The Nine-Headed Snake

Book two

What A Load of Rubbish!

Book three

WiFied Piper

Chapter one

Christmas Day 1980 

“Come out of the water – now!” 

A lady dressed in a pink blouse and black knee-length skirt screamed from the beach. The lady was the mother of one child playing in the sea. The young mother was in a panic, she was jumping up and down. But she would not venture further into the sea. 

The gang of boisterous children, who a minute ago were happily splashing and playing, were now running for the sandy beach as fast as their legs would carry them. They had not noticed that one of their friends had disappeared beneath the waves. 

Chapter two

This year.

Little Ben had just celebrated his eighth birthday. He was wearing his new T-shirt. Wow, he loved that shirt. His best friend and sister had chosen it for him. She knew he loved blue. 

Ben’s sister, Petal; she was a big girl now; she had reached double figures, the grand old age of ten. 

The children’s father had enjoyed working for a newspaper in the small town where they lived in the south of England. But it was time for a move, their Dad was adventurous he wanted a big change. And a big change he got. They were moving from their house, their friends, their Granny and the school they loved.

Their Dad sat them down and told them about his exciting new job. They weren’t so sure it was exciting. They didn’t want to leave everything they knew.

He told them they had offered him a new job in a country called Thailand. They would move soon, to a new house, a new school and new friends. Ben said he had never heard of Thailand, but Petal knew all about the place.

“It’s near Turkey, where we get our Christmas dinner from.” 

Her father, named Jack, said, “No, Petal dear, I think I confuse you. Thailand is in Asia, and most people there donʼt celebrate Christmas.” 

Both children stared at their father. Can this get any worse?

“If there is no Christmas, we donʼt want to go!” 

“We can have our own Christmas donʼt worry. Just think, every day will be like summer holidays on the beach.” 

They looked at each other, then at their father.

“Okay then, let’s go.” 

Petal thought for a minute and said, “If we have to leave Granny behind, can we have a dog?”

Petal’s Mum tried to cover a smile, Dad stuck for words for a minute, then said, “I’m not sure about the rules in our new house, let me find out.”

The children ran up to their rooms smiling.

Chapter three

Thailand – and a new home

They had landed at Bangkok’s new airport. Bangkok is Thailand’s capital city, it is huge and extremely busy. They all stayed in a grand hotel for one night because their father had to meet his new boss. The new boss was editor of Thailand’s best known English language newspaper.

The children, tired because of their flight. Twelve hours on a plane was a long time for anybody, especially if you have never been on a flight before. 

“Daddy, we donʼt like it here. It’s hot and noisy.” 

“Donʼt worry children, tomorrow we are going to our new house, where it is quiet except for the crashing of the waves on the beach and sea birds squawking at each other.” 

Sure enough, when their father had finished his meeting, they set off for their new home. 

“I will work at home most days, but one day each week I have to go to the newspaper office in Bangkok. So for most of the time, we can play in the garden or on the beach, and I can spend time with you two and mummy.”

“It has been very difficult for mummy, you know?” 

Mummy has to ride in a wheelchair because she had a nasty accident and now could not walk, but she never lost her temper with Petal or Ben. 

Young Petal has a new Tablet, a present that her Granny given her, “You must send me all the news from your new home in Thailand,” she had said. 

The children missed their Granny, but at least with the Tablet, they could see her whenever they wanted to. 

Petal and Ben would soon live in an old wooden house on the beach. All their friends in England were jealous when Petal had shown them pictures of the place they would live in – right on the beach. 

“Can we come on holiday?” they asked.

Chapter four

New home 

“Wow, wow, wow,” were the delighted cries from the children. Their mother seemed pleased when they all gaped at their new home. They pulled off from the narrow road onto a large driveway surrounded by a neat garden. There was one step from the drive to the house, but somebody had been very thoughtful and built a ramp just wide enough for mother’s wheelchair. 

They disturbed an old dog who was sleeping under a bush as the car pulled to a halt.

“Wow,” again as they started the tour of their new house. 

“Wow, super wow,” they called out when they saw the sea and beach. The children ran straight to the beach without even looking inside their house. 

An old lady was waiting in the house for the new tenants. She was a small lady with grey hair and a big smile. 

“Hello, my name is Yai, I am here to look after you all and keep the house tidy.” 

She glanced up with a very concerned look on her face, “Where are the children going?” 

“They are running down there,” said their mother, pointing out to sea. 

The old lady ran to the balcony. She had lost the big smile and shouted, “Children, quick, quick, come back here.” 

The children plodded slowly back to the balcony. 

“Please donʼt do that again, you gave me a fright,” said Yai, shaking her head. Petal and Ben’s father and mother looked at each other. Did they wonder what ever could the matter be? 

Then as Yai patted her grey hair she said, “Over the years, every so often, there is a dreadful accident in the sea,” she looked anxious and then carried on, “and now, an accident is due, we haven’t had one for some time.” With that, she disappeared into the kitchen. 

As the children ran off to look at their bedrooms. Mother and father were wondering what the problem could be down at the seaside. 

The children did not have to go to school because it was holiday time at their new school, so they were free to explore until next week. 

The next day Petal and Ben decided they wanted to have a look at the mountain next to the beach. Yai was listening to the children talking to their mother. 

“Mummy, can we go to the mountain over there, we will be careful, please, please, can we, can we?” 

Yai came bursting in, “Do anything you fancy, but whatever you do, you must not go into the sea!” Then she walked out briskly. 

Mother made sure they wore sunscreen and cool cotton clothes with a cap each to make sure the sun did not give them a headache or make their skin pink. She then gave them each a bottle of water and off they went. 

Chapter five

First Visit to the Hill 

Their mountain was not really a mountain, it was more like a big hill. But when you are small, it was huge. The sea was out, so they could walk on the sand, but it quite a long way before they had to climb. 

The children’s breathing became more like panting. They huffed and puffed. All the romping tired them. Their mother was watching them from the living room through binoculars. She knew they could not be away for too long. The children sat and rested on a smooth rock. Seabirds swooped low over their heads. It sounded like the birds were talking to them. 

“Cor, Cor, Cor”, they said. 

Then they heard someone say, “Donʼt worry about them, they like to scare people.” 

The children jumped and looked around. There was nobody there. There was, however, a big scruffy monkey. 

“Donʼt worry it’s only me, I wonʼt hurt you. It has been a long time since anybody came to this hill.” 

“You can talk!” 

“Yes, and as you can hear, I speak English.” 

“Can all the monkeys here speak?” 

“No, I’m very sorry. Not all of them can talk. Some can, but not all in English.” 

“Oh, I see,” said Ben. “You mean the others speak Thai.” 

The monkey tried to tidy his hair and had a scratch, “Not only Thai but German, Russian, Italian and French.” 

“Is there a language school for monkeys here then?” Petal asked. 

“No, it’s not like that. We could speak a language before we became monkeys.” 

Now that confused the children. 

“Petal, Ben, come here please,” Father shouted. Their new friend quickly hid behind a large rock. 

The children scampered down to join their father on the beach. He kicked a new football to Ben, and they soon forgot about the monkey. 

Later, their father was busy working on his laptop. Mother and Yai were in the kitchen preparing the evening meal. Nobody could hear them, so brother and sister talked about the monkey. 

“Whatever did he mean when he said, ‘before they became monkeysʼ. What were they before something turned them into monkeys?” 

“Yes, Petal, I wondered that too.” 

They quickly changed the subject as their food arrived. 

Bright and early the next morning father was already working hard, he was busy tapping away at his laptop. He was writing a story about mysteries in Thailand. There were a lot of weird and wonderful tales. Then he had a good idea. He would ask Yai if she knew of any examples of mysteries that happened near their home. 

“Yai, excuse me, but I need to ask you something.” 

“Okay, sir, you can ask me anything. I know a lot about the area. I have lived here a long time, ever since I was born, in fact.” 

“I am writing an article about strange happenings. Did anything inexplainable happen here?” 

“No, no, no,” she said and rushed away. 

Father thought nothing of her odd reaction and carried on working. 

Chapter six

Fruit and more 

When the children came in to ask for their breakfast, “I have just finished my work for today, how about we go for a walk after you have had something to eat?” 

While they tucked into fried rice and fresh orange juice, their mother was preparing herself as she fancied joining them on the beach. 

Father pushed mother down the ramp and joined Petal and Ben on the beach. It was not too difficult pushing the wheelchair on the sand as it was wet. It is much harder to push when the sand is dry because the wheels sink in. It is a superb exercise for their father; he was feeling fitter. 

They kept on walking for a long way, eventually; they came to a small market next to a temple. Ben wanted fruit, so they went to see what they had. 

“Wow, they have got everything! Bananas both big and small, funny little oranges that were green! And what are those?” 

Ben had never seen most of the fruit on sale. There were big and spiky Durian, and little round pink berries, and many more varieties of strange smelling things. Petal said, “I am going to try everything!”

“Even the durian?” asked her mother. 

When they were talking to the stall-holder, an orange-clad monk walked by. He looked at them all as if he wanted to talk to them. 

Father hooked up the fruit they had bought on to the wheelchair as they were about to set off when the monk surprised them all by jumping out from between two large trees. 

“It is best not to be too curious around here!” said the bald man in flowing orange robes as he disappeared between the trees. 

“Whatever did he mean?” they wondered. 

The shopping was complete, bags and bags of fruit. Mother said it would be better if they returned home the long way on the road because with her weight and all the heavy fruit she would sink into the sand if they went to the beach. That made them all smile. They had all worried about what the monk had said. It was good to relax again. 

When they got home, they sampled the fruit they had bought. A big favourite was the pineapple, another fruit they all loved was ‘mankhootʼ. They had never seen it before, but it tasted wonderful. Father looked it up on Google, they called it mangosteen in English. After their fruit tasting session, the children asked if they could play on the mountain again. 

Something worried mother, she did not know why. Maybe the monk had scared her, but their father said it was okay to go, but not for too long. 

They smoothed on sun cream once again and got their enormous hats, and off they went. They climbed over some rocks, and then they saw what looked like a footpath. How could that be, if no-one came here, why was there a path? Anyway, it made the walk easier; they wandered along until they saw the monkey they had met yesterday. 

“Hello, you two. Where are you going?” 

“Weʼre just walking along to see where this footpath goes.” 

“Are you sure you want to do that? You donʼt know what’s at the end.” 

Ben got nervous, but Petal told Ben not to listen. She wanted to carry on. 

“Just a few minutes further, then we can go home, okay?” 

“All right, come on.” 

After five minutes of walking, they reached the top of the hill. The monkey trailed behind. 

“Wow, wow, wow.” 

“Wow, what a view,” said Ben. 

“You had better not go any further,” said the monkey. 

The children turned and waved towards their house because they knew their mother would watch. They then both jumped up and down to make sure she could see them. 

“Stop it, stop it now,” screamed the monkey. 

More monkeys appeared all around them. Springing and bouncing up and down, round and round.  

“What do you mean, stop it?” shouted Ben. 

“And donʼt shout,” said the monkey. 

Petal spoke quietly, “Why? There is no-one to hear us.” 

“Oh yes, there is. Now go home,” ordered the monkey. 

The puzzled pair returned home. 

Petal is always happy to try new kinds of food, but Ben only likes chicken and eggs, however, after their main course they both had more fruit. Yai had cooked a spicy curry for the children’s parents, a bit too spicy but tasty. 

“Please pass the water,” said father.

It was bedtime for Petal and Ben and when no adults could hear, “What did the monkey mean when he said, ‘Oh yes there isʼ, I think he means other monkeys, what about you Petal?” 

“Stop worrying, shall we look further down the path tomorrow?” 

“I donʼt know, Iʼm a bit scared now.” 

Chapter seven

Along the Path 

The next morning both children woke up early. As always, their father was busy on his laptop. He smiled, “Good morning, what are you two up to today?” 

“Can we swim in the sea?” 

“Well, I donʼt know. People seem worried about swimming here, how about today you go up the hill, and I’ll try to find out why nobody goes into the sea? Iʼm writing a mystery story, maybe this could be another strange mystery?” 

“Okay, Dad, what’s for breakfast?”

Their mother was still in bed. She was reading a guidebook about Thailand. She put the book down, made sure the children had sun protection and had not forgotten their hats. 

“Have a marvellous adventure, but donʼt get lost, I will watch you,” she said laughing. 

Once again Petal and Ben ran over the beach and jumped up to the rocks on the hill. They soon reached ‘their’ footpath and walked along with it. In front of them were monkeys, lots of them. They were just sitting there, looking at them. 

The monkey they had met before pushed his way through the others to the front. 

“Did you not hear what I said yesterday? I said it is not a good idea to go any further along this path.” 

Hundred of seagulls swooped and shrieked, “Cor, Cor, Cor.” 

The monkeys did not move out of the way of the birds; they did not even duck. But the children had to cover their heads. The birds flew nowhere near the monkeys, but they were very near to hitting the children. 

The next wave of birds had paper and bits of plastic coffee cups and torn shopping bags in their beaks, which they dropped on the heads of the children. 

Without thinking, Petal and Ben cleaned up the rubbish. 

One bird flew overhead again, this time without threatening injury. The bird dropped a complete plastic bag. So Ben held the bag open and Petal put all the rubbish inside it. 

When they had finished tidying up the children stood up and noticed that the birds were flying in formation, they were flying in the shape of a large circle above the children, round and round they went and all the monkeys were clapping. 

The monkey they knew came forward once more. 

“We are friends now, you can call me Maurice from now on. Your mother is signalling you had better go home. See you tomorrow.” 

The children looked over at their house and sure enough, their mother was on the balcony waving her arms. 

They rushed home. 

“Children, are you okay?” said their mother. 

“Yes, why do you ask?” 

“First, I saw all the monkeys coming close to you, and then the birds started dive-bombing you, and then what looked like a circle in the sky made of birds. It was all strange.” 

“Maurice the monkey was telling us to, eh!” 

“Shush Ben,” warned Petal. 

Their mother looked puzzled but told them to clean up and get ready for their meal. 

Chapter eight

Early morning 

The next morning the children were up and dressed early, but their father had beaten them again. He was already tapping, tap, tap on his laptop. 

“Daddy, why do you get up so early every day?” 

“Because it is cool in the morning, a good time to type. Later in the day when it’s warmer, it is a good time to think.” 

“So is it a good time to walk in the morning?” 

“That is right, Petal.” 

“In that case, we can walk now and come back for breakfast later, bye.” 

With that off, they ran. Their father thought it would be okay as they would be hungry soon and come back quickly. 

This time Ben had thought to bring a bag in case there was rubbish to collect. They soon came across Maurice. 

“Where are you going so early in the morning?” 

“We are walking and will collect any rubbish we find.” 

“Ha, ha,” said Maurice, “you wonʼt find any litter, we monkey always clear it up.” 

“But what about yesterday? The birds threw loads of paper at us.” 

“They were just testing you, to see what you would do.” 

That explains it. They had seen no rubbish on the hill, only when the birds had scattered some.

The children walked further up the path; they reached the brow of the hill. They stopped and looked at each other; they knew this was as far as they had ever been. 

They looked around. 

“Well, Maurice, shall we go on?” asked Ben. 

“If you dare” was the monkey’s answer. 

“What do you mean?” asked Ben. 

“Come on,” said Petal as she walked ahead.

At first, they could see nothing different. There were rocks and grass just like the rest of the hill. As they continued step by step, the sky became darker and darker. Black clouds surrounded them. It was dark now. Little Ben held his sister’s hand. Petal was glad she had a hand to hold. 

The clouds rumbled, then lightning lit the sky. Now both children were getting frightened. 

They kept on dawdling along but always moving ahead. Then they saw what looked like a shelter in the rocks. It rained. Petal pulled Ben forward towards the cover. As they moved under the rock overhang, Ben noticed a hole in the rock at the back. He was very curious, so he crawled on his hands and knees. 

“Look, Petal, look at what I have found.” 

Petal joined him. She bent down and when she too was on her knees; she looked around. They both peered into the hole. It was dark, but they could see it went down and down. It seemed a long way down. 

“Petal, Ben, where are you?” 

Their father was shouting behind them. The children stood quickly and ran towards where the shouting came from. As they ran back towards their father, they heard, “Cor, cor, cor.” 

The birds were swooping at their father, faster and faster, more and more birds were attacking their Dad. 

He was ducking behind an open umbrella at the same time he was swinging a closed umbrella at the birds. 

The children ran to their father. They raised their arms shouting, “Leave him alone, that’s our father.” 

The birds flew one following another in a line preparing to dive-bomb the intruder. The lead bird saw the children and pulled out of the dive, one after another bird followed their leader. They all flew away. 

Petal and Ben ran up to their father, who was looking very relieved. He opened the other umbrella and handed it to Petal. Ben joined her under the shelter. They all walked off together towards home. As they went downhill, they all saw Maurice sat on a rock, soaking wet. He was wagging his finger at them. 

They ran across the beach; the tide was coming in fast and the waves crashed down around them. 

They ran as fast as they could. They had to hold on tightly to the umbrellas as the wind tried to blow them out of their hands. 

The sea was now nearly up to Ben’s knees. They made it to their garden gate and into their house. Wet and dripping seawater and sand all over the place. 

The children spotted Yai making her way towards them; they were expecting a telling off because there was so much mess, sand and water all over the floor. 

Instead, Yai ran up to them and hugged them so hard. 

“Never, never scare me like that again,” she said. 

Father helped Ben take off his wet clothes and showered him in scorching water. Mother and Yai did the same for Petal. When they were all clean and in dry clothes, they sat down for a hot drink and some eggs on toast in the kitchen. Father, who was also now dry, joined them. 

“Now children, did you see the birds?” 

“Yes, father we did.” 

“And have you ever seen a monkey wagging his finger before?” 

“No, father we have not.” 

“All super strange,” said father. 

Yai without speaking quickly walked away. 

Chapter nine

New school 

It kept on raining for the rest of the day. Mother had been busy on the internet and she found out a lot of information about their new school. She found out what books they would read next term. There was lots of news about sports and many other interesting things. It included newspaper clippings from down the years. Somebody had scanned them into the school Facebook page. One item which caught their mother’s eye. 

“Christmas Day 1980, it was a sad day for the school when the school captain, feared lost at sea. A group of pupils were playing in the waves. 12-year-old Khun Markie was playing, shouting and laughing in the sea when he vanished beneath the water and disappeared.” 

Next to the article was a photograph which showed Markie wagging his finger from side to side and with a huge grin on his face and his mother, who looked a lot like a younger Yai, pictured next to him. 

Mother took Yaiʼs hand and showed her the picture and the article. Yai cried and said. 

“That’s where it happened,” pointing out to sea towards the hill.

Chapter ten

Dad not at home 

It stopped raining that evening, and the following morning the sun was shining. Their father had already left for Bangkok. The children asked their mother if it was okay to go outside and play. Their mother on the verge of panic now she knew what had happened to Yaiʼs son, but she thought it unfair to keep the children indoors on such a nice day. So dressed and creamed off they went. 

The children clambered up the rocks, and before they had got very far, they met Maurice. 

“I thought you would not come here today, after all that noise your father made yesterday. It was lucky for him there was thunder so that Markie did not hear him.” 

“Whatever do you mean?” 

“I thought you would have worked it out by now. Children today are not as clever as when I was a boy.” 

“That is vulgar. We are clever,” said Ben. 

“Wait a minute, you said – when you were a boy?” 

“Well, yes, I was a boy once. All the monkeys who can speak were children before.” 

The children were so surprised they could not speak. 

Instead of asking more questions, Petal marched towards the hole in the rock they found the day before. Ben was not so sure about looking for the hole. But when he saw Petal getting further ahead, he ran after her. Maurice was also having trouble keeping up with Petal. Ben wanted to shout at her, but he did not dare. 

Eventually, Petal stood in front of the hole, Maurice and Ben caught up with her. Maurice put a finger to his lips and said, “Markie does not like noise, you already know he does not like rubbish, but he hates noise.” 

“But why?” Both children said at once. 

Chapter eleven

Na Gah appears 

Then it came along and a scary, “Hissss, hissss,” 

The children were standing like church statues, as at first, a slinky head came out of the hole. It was a snake’s head, but with a strange marking on his skin, a face like a boy, in a snakeskin pattern. Then came another snake’s head, then another and another until nine heads were showing, but with only one body. A snakes body with nine heads! 

Back at home mother had a strange feeling, the feeling mothers sometimes get if they sense their children are in danger. Yai had the same feeling. What could happen? 

“Yai we have to go to the hill, I have a terrible feeling, we must go.” 

“You get in the wheelchair I will push you across the sand, then Iʼll attempt to carry you up the rocks.” 

So off they went. The sand was fairly dry and hard work for Yai; she was sweating when they reached the bottom of the hill. Now, what do we do? The ladies thought about this problem. 

The children’s mother would be too heavy for Yai. The older lady put her arm underneath our her legs and tried to lift her out of the chair, but try as hard as she could, she was not strong enough; she cried and was just about to give up when she saw birds flying in formation towards them. 

What did this mean? Then she saw a dozen monkeys moving as quickly as they could towards them. The birds and the monkeys all arrived at the same time. The birds used their beaks to poke into the mother’s shirt and began lifting her. The monkeys gathered around and using their arms and the teamwork of the birds to lift and carry the children’s mother up the hill and over the rocks. 

Back at the hole, the nine-headed snake was looking at the children closely, first one head, then the next set of eyes was studying the children. Petal and Ben too terrified to speak. The snake’s nine tongues flicked in and out. 

Their mother closely followed by Yai arrived and they both stared at the scene in shock. The birds and the monkeys carefully placed a stunned mother on a large flat rock. 

Petal was the first one to speak, “Who and what are you? And donʼt hiss at me.” 

Yai leapt forward and answered, “He can only speak Thai. That is my son. His name is Markie. He is the Na Gah. A nine-headed snake with magical powers.” 

“Well, Markie, why are you so beastly to everyone,” said Ben. 

Yai then translated Ben’s question and the snake’s answer. 

“He does not like noise or rubbish because he was sucked under the waves when he was young, he can remember the rubbish all swirling around him and the noise of the sea was deafening, so now everyone who annoys him with rubbish or loud noise gets changed into a monkey.” 

“What is so wrong with a little rubbish, it can soon clear away,” said Ben. 

“People only make a noise when they get excited, so what’s wrong with that?” said Petal. 

Then after a lot more hissing, Yai explained, “The book says it is wrong! That is why he changed from a boy to Na Gah.” 

“Let me see this book, I bet it says nothing of the sort.” 

With that Na Gah turned and went into his hole. Just a few seconds later, he appeared with a few sheets of paper. The paper was all scrunched up; it was damp and some words or letters were missing. 

Petal took the pages and carefully studied them. 

“If Markie canʼt understand English, how does he know what it says because they wrote it in English?” 

Maurice stepped forward and said, “I was the first child Markie turned into a monkey, I helped him with reading.” 

“Oh, really?” said Petal. She carried on, “You said, we were not as clever as you.” 

Petal was smiling when she carried on, “It does not say, ‘quiet’, it says, ‘would be quite niceʼ, quiet and quite are not the same. Then it says, ‘waist’ not ‘wasteʼ, this is your waist,” both Ben and Petal put their hands on their hips. 

“Not waste, like yesterday’s rubbish,” said Ben with a gigantic smile. 

Both of the children pointed at Maurice and said together. 

“So who is not clever now?”

Everyone, people, monkeys and birds all laughed, they laughed and laughed, so loud, the noise got louder and louder, even Markie tried to make a sound other than a hiss. They were making so much noise they did not even notice a cloud whistling above their heads. The cloud dropped until it covered everyone. Then a sudden crash of thunder made everyone jump. Everything went dark for a few seconds, then the sun shone brightly again.

The birds flew off happily, if a bird could smile you would see a big grin on their beaks. 

The Na Gah was now the boy Markie. Who ran to hug his mother. 

The monkeys had transformed back to the little boys and girls they once were. The children they were before they had met Na Gah. 

Maurice was once again a boy, but this time he had a dunce’s hat firmly placed on his head. 

And the biggest and happiest surprise for Petal and Ben – their mother could walk again. 

Book Two 

Petal and Ben in 

What a Load of Rubbish!

Chapter one

The mountain 

“Shall we go to the mountain?” asked Ben. “We haven’t been for a few days.” 

“Or shall we swim?” said Petal, “Or both!” 

So they decided it – both. 

The brother and sister loved living by the sea. Sure, they missed their friends in England, but they had found some new pals here in Thailand. 

Best of all was when they went exploring together. Thailand was a lovely place with lots to see and do, even better if you were lucky enough to live by the sea. The children already had a very exciting adventure. Who knows what will happen next! 

Dad was working in Bangkok today, so their mum joined them on the beach for a splash around. And splash around they did. The children both had plastic buckets, which they filled with seawater. They then both tipped the water over their mum. She didn’t mind at all because the water was nice and warm. The children continued throwing bucketfuls of water at their playful mum. They didn’t know, but their mum had had just about enough of being soaked. She manoeuvred the children until they were directly opposite each other. Just as they were about to throw another bucket load, the quick mum ducked out of the way. The water missed their mum. Instead, Petal’s water hit Ben in the face and Ben’s water hit Petal in the face. All three fell into the sea, laughing so much they couldn’t stand up. 

Time for food. They had a picnic on the beach; they lay a big blanket out on the sand. Rice and chicken for Ben, his favourite, and fried rice with various extras for Petal. Mum just had a sandwich. All three enjoyed freshly squeezed fruit juice. Better than any restaurant, they all agreed. 

It was time to go indoors; they had to finish their homework before school in the morning. 

“Please, please, please mummy let us stay for a little while, we want to go up the mountain, please, please, please.” 

“I’ll clear these things away and take everything home and you two can go for a walk for a little while, not for too long, mind.” 

“Thanks, Mum, see you soon.” 

So off went the children, running and jumping up the hill. There were still monkeys living there, they were playing on the rocks, but they could not speak, unlike some monkeys they had met before. They still had good fun watching them playfully poking each other and dashing away. The children sat and watched for a while longer until Petal decided it was time to continue with their walk. 

“It all looks the same, but it doesn’t feel the same,” moaned Petal. 

“Yes,” said Ben, “I don’t know why, but I feel scared.” 

“Don’t be so silly, Ben. Come on.” 

With that, Petal ran ahead. Ben arrived at the rock just after his sister. She had her hands on her hips, looking very puzzled. 

“What is the matter? You look worried.” 

“Look into the hole. What do you see?” 

“It’s bigger!” 

“Yes, how can it be bigger, we are the only ones who come here? Or are we?” 

“Now you are making me scared.” 

Ben hugged himself, looking for his sister to say something soothing to calm him and take away the fear. 

“Come on, Ben, we are going in.” 

“You mean in the hole?” 

Just as Petal looked like moving towards the entrance birds landed on the rim of the hole, they were shaking their heads, slowly from side to side. Then their mother shouted from the beach. 

“Come on children, your dad’s home. He has something for you.” 

Petal and Ben almost fell over each other in the race to get home. They scampered down the hill, onto the beach, and ran all the way home.

Chapter two

Dad is home 

“Right you two have a shower, your dad wants to talk to you.” 

The children rushed to the bathroom. Petal was becoming quite the young lady. She was happy to shower and wash her hair, Ben looking for an escape route – no chance. His big sister dragged him by the hair and pointed the way to the water! Soon both Petal and Ben were clean and smelling of talc. They went out to the veranda to greet their father. 

“Hello, children. Close your eyes.” 

They both did as they were told. Their dad stood slowly and quietly. He slid silently behind them and picked up a large cardboard box. The children were facing away from their father; he knew them too well. Both Petal and Ben looked through slits in their eyes. Nothing in front of them! 

They couldn’t turn, it would give the game away, so they stood still. 

“Okay, turn round!” 

Both turned and saw the box in their father’s hands. Excitedly, they rushed to see its contents. 

The quiet yelping from inside made Ben jump backwards, but Petal rushed to open the top. Her scream of delight made Ben dashed forward. Inside the box was a black and white puppy. She was sitting wagging her tail so hard her backside was moving from left to right. Ben sat down on the floor as Petal carefully lifted the puppy out of the box, giving her a squeeze and a cuddle before she sat the pup on Ben’s lap. 

They both said, “What’s her name?” 

“That is up to you, what do you want to call her?” 

This led to both children screaming out names, looking for approval from the puppy, and their father and mother. All three seemed to shake their heads with each suggestion. Blackie, Whitey, and Wiggly were no good. With all the excitement, Widdly would also not fit the bill as a small wet patch formed in Ben’s lap. The family all laughed. So they called the dog Giggles! 

Ben had to rush for another shower. They all giggled at him!

Chapter three

Back to the hill 

Petal, Ben and Giggles raced on the beach. Giggles loved running backwards and forwards to the sea. She jumped over the small waves. She was wagging her tail so hard her back legs left the ground, which made the children laugh so much their legs almost left the beach! Ben decided it would be fun to copy Giggles, which made Giggles jump on top of him. Soon they were all wet and covered in sand! 

“Come on, let’s take Giggles up the hill.” 

“Great idea Petal, let’s go.” 

The children ran up the hill with Giggles dashing in and out of tiring legs. All three of them needed a rest. They found a spot to sit down. Giggles spread her legs out front and back with her panting tummy on the ground. 

As they rested, the birds circled overhead. 

Ben looked up, “Look, Petal, what are they doing?” 

“I think they want to see Giggles.” 

“But why are they flying in circles? Remember, they did that before?” 

“Yes, they appeared scared or worried about us, I think.” 

“But what do they need to be frightened about now?” 

“I don’t know, maybe they are pleased to see Giggles?” 

The merry trio set off. Ben had spotted the monkeys gathering on rocks near them. He didn’t know why, but he was getting scared. It relieved him when their mother came to the bottom of the hill shouting for them to go home. 

There was no argument as the children and the puppy were all tired, and all, particularly Giggles, were starving.

The birds had flown away, and they could see no monkey. 

“Strange,” thought Ben, Petal was more interested in a snack.

Giggles went straight to her bowl, munching on puppy biscuits with her tail wagging. She soon curled up on her blanket and fell asleep. When the children had enjoyed their food, their father wanted to talk to them, so they sat with him on the sofa. He explained about looking after dogs, how she has had injections to keep her healthy. Giggles needed a bath after playing in the sea, but like Ben, she had escaped this time! 

“Don’t worry,” said father, “I’ll get her when she wakes up. Just like you, Ben.” 

Then, our father looked at each of them and saw they were fast asleep. One by one dad carried them to their beds.

Chapter four

A scare 

Giggles woke up in fright. She didn’t know where she was. It was her first day in a new house, and she was young, so it was not surprising she felt alone and worried. She stood up, had a good shake, and off she walked. Like all dogs, she followed her nose. She could smell Ben, now, where was he? Soon enough she was scratching at his door. A very sleepy Ben opened the door. Uninvited Giggles padded past Ben, jumped up on the bed, well she tried, but the bed was too high, Ben lifted her, she curled up and was soon asleep. Ben eased himself next to her and he too was soon asleep.Early the next morning their mother was arranging coffee. Something was wrong! She was sleepy. In a daze, she got mugs from their hooks. Something was wrong. It was only then she realised no Giggles! There was no food in her bowl. 

“Oh no! She must have gone in search of food,” she said to herself. 

She forgot the coffee. Mother searched everywhere, all she found was a small puddle. So Giggles had been here. But where was she now? She called her father. He too searched cupboards, the sofa, behind kitchen units. They both put their hands on their hips, shaking their heads. They were both worried about telling the children about the disappearing dog. 

Petal usually woke before Ben. Sure enough, she did that day. She came out rubbing her eyes, expecting to greet Giggles. But where was she? Petal’s mum and dad had moved out to the garden to find Giggles out there. 

Petal with tears in her eyes said, “Where is she?” 

Her mother was also crying, “Oh darling, we don’t know where she is, we have looked everywhere.” 

“There is one place you haven’t looked at.” 

With that, Petal runs off towards the house. 

“Mum, Dad, please come here quietly.” 

Petal was standing outside Ben’s open door. She was pointing at the sleeping pair. Giggles lifted her head, turned around and went back to sleep. Ben didn’t stir. 

Petal, mum and dad moved back to the kitchen very relieved. At last, the father got his coffee.

Chapter five

To the hole 

“Come on, Ben, let’s take Giggles to the hill.” 

“Okay, but I think she likes to play in the sea best.” 

Giggles looked at both of them. It was as if she was weighing what to do; she didn’t want to upset either child, so she ran around in circles. Her rear end was going faster than her front. She lost control and tumbled over, making the children laugh. 

Soon enough Petal took the lead and off she strode up the hill. Ben and Giggles following close behind. 

They soon reached the hole. It seemed even bigger! The birds came and made a terrific noise. The trio looked up, wondering what was going on. Then the monkeys, who it seemed had appeared from nowhere, jumped up and down. Ben cuddled Giggles. 

Petal, hands-on-hips, shouted, “What is the matter with you lot?” 

She received no answer. The birds flew faster, and the monkeys jumped higher! 

Petal shook her head, grabbed Ben’s hand and pulled him towards the hole. Giggles looked at the children, stopped wagging her tail, turned and ran home. Ben turned and watched to make sure Giggles was safe. She was running as fast as she could through the waves and on to the beach. Petal was shouting at Ben, trying to get his attention.

Ben turned, Petal had gone. Ben looked into the hole and saw his sister as she climbed down further and further. 

At home, Giggles had reached the house and was running on to the verandah looking around for someone, anyone. She spotted the children’s mother and ran round and round. 

“What is the matter with you?” 

The puppy wished she could speak, but all she did was jump, bound round and round. Mother sensed something must be wrong, as mothers do. 

“Come on, Giggles, show me.” 

They ran back to the hill, birds circling above. When the pair reached the hill they climbed, they then noticed the monkeys who made such a noise, screeching louder and louder. The birds swooped lower and lower. Mother was anxious.

Back in the hole, Ben said, “Come on Petal, I want to go back.” 

“Okay, I think we are too tired, we can come back next time. And then go further!” 

The children retraced their steps up and out of the hole. Just in time. 

Mother was not looking happy! “What have you been doing? Why did you scare Giggles? And why are the birds and monkeys so flustered?” 

Petal had her innocent face firmly in place. She kicked her brother. 

“Nothing mum, we were just walking. Weren’t we Ben?” 

“Um, yes,” said Ben. 

The birds had flown away; the monkeys had disappeared. 

“All extraordinary! Why don’t I quite believe you Petal?” 

“I don’t know mum, look Giggles is fine. We are dirty, that’s all.” Petal put on her best smile at the same time as staring at Ben. 

Their mother is a clever lady. She knew something was going on but did not know what. Petal was a smart girl too, she had thought to move some rocks in front of the hole, the mother could not see the hole. Her hole!

Chapter six

Once again down! 

“Morning mum, good morning dad. What’s for breakfast?” 

Petal woofed down her peanut butter on toast. She waved and called over her shoulder, “Ben is still asleep, I’m going for a walk, he can catch me later.” 

With that, she rushed off before her parents could say a word. 

Her head up and determined, she strode across the beach, up the hill. Until she reached the top in double-quick time. Birds were gathering, monkeys were chattering. Petal took no notice. She slowed her pace until she reached the little mound of stones she had built the day before. She could feel a tingling in her legs and fingers. 

“No need to be nervous, Petal.” She said to herself. 

With a glance behind, and ignoring the birds and monkeys, she entered the hole! 

It slowly got darker and murkier. She forced herself not to worry. At least that’s what she was thinking. The hole was not much bigger than her and sloping steeply down and down. She had to be careful. There were ugly lumps of rock sticking out. Her father had told her they called the rock on this hill sandstone. She slowly went deeper, rock after rock. Eventually, she came to a small cavern. It was big enough for their family car. 

“Maybe this is where Na Gah used to sleep, it looks smooth and comfortable, at least if you are a snake!” She was talking out loud to herself. “I am scared, I wish Ben was here.” 

Petal carried on. Then she could hear the sea. The waves nuzzled their way underneath her. She could not see the water or the sand from where she was. The reason soon became clear. There was a huge rock in the way. 

She reached the larger sandstone, Petal was glad because she could get more comfortable. There was more room, she could stretch out and rest against the large rock. 

Petal looked around. If she moved either left or right, she could continue with her climb downwards. If she went one way, she would soon have to drop to the sea below. She realised she had no way of telling how deep the water was. And she wouldn’t be able to get back up! If she went the other way, it seemed the hole went further backwards, again she could not see if she could get to the bottom. She rested longer. It was then she could hear sounds. 

Ben was up, and soon he worried about his sister.

Petal heard noises. They sounded like whispers, like at school, a classroom full of children talking quietly, hoping the teacher could not hear. 

Petal peered and strained to see what or who was making the hushed sound. Then something strange happened. 

The sea below her moved in quicker and quicker circles. Normally the sea moves in and out. Here, the water was going round and round. 

Gradually, beneath the little girl, lumps of plastic rose to the surface of the water. Bottles and plastic bags were swirling in faster and faster clockwise motions. Not only that, but the rubbish was getting higher above the water. The whispers got louder. 

“What are you doing here?” 

Petal was sure she heard the plastic talking. Then … 

“Petal, Petal, where are you, come on, don’t play games, I’m scared! Where are you!” 

She heard her brother from above. All the plastic crashed back into the seawater. Petal climbed as fast as her legs would take her. 

“I’m coming, don’t worry.”

Petal was now the one worrying. She finally pulled herself out of the hole. She glanced over her shoulder, calmed herself and said, “Have you been up here for long?” 

“Mum-mum. Mummy told me to come and get you, we are going outttt.” 

Ben was talking so fast he could barely get the words out. He had been anxious about his big sister. 

Petal decided not to tell anyone what had happened, at least not yet. She pretended she was calm, but her tummy was whirling like their mummy’s spin dryer. 

Giggles ran up to Petal and jumped up and down, wagging so hard she fell over. Giggles had noticed her change, but everything was calm again. 

“There were more birds than I’ve ever seen, the monkeys were going fan-frat, frantic, I mean crazy. What happened?” 

“Oh nothing, just a little excitement, I guess.” She carried on, “Where are we going?” 

“We are going to Phetchaburi to see a temple. Come on, mum and dad are waiting.”

Chapter seven

The temple and the monk 

Giggles was jumping and running in circles so excited, but she didn’t know why, just that something was about to happen. Mummy said she thought they shouldn’t take dogs to temples. Daddy said he didn’t want to leave her alone. So they decided it; she was going on her first family trip. If there was a problem, dad would sit with her in the car. So off they went. 

Phetchaburi was about 45 minutes’ drive north of Hua Hin. Father passed the town every time he went to his office in Bangkok. He had never stopped there, so he was keen to see all the temples and other sights the old part of the town offered. 

They had a pleasant drive around. When Ben saw the temple monkeys he shouted, “Oh no, not more monkeys!” 

Phetchaburi was famous for its sweets, so mother bought some, they could eat some on the way home. 

“There is one more place I want to visit,” he pointed up, “that temple, up there.” 

It was an ancient temple, with fantastic views. You could see right across the town, across rice fields and all the flat land surrounding the built-up area. They wandered around enjoying the sightseeing. Giggles was being well behaved. She was enjoying her day out too. 

As our father was leading the family to the steps down again to the exit, an ancient monk dressed in orange robes waved a shaky hand at Petal. She jumped back. She knew females could not touch monks. The old man did not catch her he wanted her to stop. He shooed mother, father and Ben away, but he allowed Giggles to stay. Petal’s parents, alarmed, but stood back, staying in hearing range. 

“Now young lady, I have been a monk for fifty years, before that I trained in London as an architect, that’s why I can speak English. Never mind all that, I need to speak to you.” 

He signalled for Petal and Giggles to move nearer. He then whispered, “There is something strange happening, I know you can feel it too. I mean both of you, girl and dog, I don’t want to scare you, but you must beware of anything out of the usual, anything that seems odd, be very careful. Your little dog can guide you, I know she is young, but she has a special sense. Now go to your family. Give this paper to your father. Farewell.” 

Giggles wagged her tail, but Petal was thinking hard as she handed the folded paper to her father as she had been told. 

Father got down on one knee, put his hands on the girl’s shoulders, looked into her eyes and said, “What was all that about?” 

“Oh nothing dad, here this is for you.” 

Dad looked at the paper. It said: Anytime you need me just call 032 555 555! Father folded the paper and put it in his pocket. There was no sign of the old monk. 

Mother and father looked at each other, they then looked at their children, and then at their pet. All were happy. Time for home. Giggles and Ben fell asleep after just a few minutes in the car. Petal was deep in thought. One thing she knew, she would go back to the hole. With Ben, if he would go. And Giggles, but there was a problem. How could the dog get down the hole? Petal wanted to get home and into bed. She knew an idea would come to her there.

Chapter eight

Next morning 

Petal was not sure if she was keen to get to her ‘hole’ or if she was too nervous. She decided she wanted Ben to go with her. 

“Only if Giggles can come!” her brother said.

“Okay, but take a long rope.” 

“What for?” 

“And I’ve got a feeling we will need a sack.” 

“What for?” 

“Never mind, if you want to come, do what I say. I had a funny dream last night, about the old monk we met. In the dream, he said I should keep a sack handy.” 

“Is one of mum’s rice sacks what you mean, or the one dad uses at Christmas?” 

“I don’t know, just bring both!” 

Giggles was jumping about, knowing something was happening. She was expecting a snack, maybe a walk, or a game on the beach. She did not understand what would happen. Or maybe she knew? 

Petal led the way, Ben just behind with Giggles running round and round, in and out of the brother and sister’s legs. Nobody tripped up, “That is amazing” Petal thought. 

Up the rocky hill, they went, along the pathway, until they reached… the hole. Birds were swooping and Cor, Cor, Coring for all they were worth. Monkeys were jumping between rocks and swinging round and round like circus chimps. 

“Ignore them,” ordered Petal. 

Ben found that difficult as a bird only just missed his head. Giggles was crouching with her tail firmly between her legs. She too could not ignore them. 

“Be careful going down here, I’ll go first, Giggles in the middle, then you at the back. It will not be easy for a puppy, I’ll hold her rope in case she slips. As I’ve been before, I know the ropes as Granny would say!” Petal laughed at her humour. 

Ben had too much to think about without trying to work out Petal’s joke. She was right; it was far from easy, Ben found the climb down very tricky. He had to concentrate. Both children had empty sacks strapped to their backs. Having the sacks didn’t help. Giggles was having no problem. Maybe it was easier having four feet. 

Gradually and carefully they made their way to Na Gah’s old bedroom. Giggles jumped across and into the opening. The lead was long enough, making the swing onto the smooth rock easy without stretching the rope. But… Ben stuck solid! 

“I can’t let go Petal. How can I get in with you two?” 

“Don’t worry, but you must watch where you are going. Let go with one hand, then reach out with one leg, you will feel the rock beneath your foot.” 

Ben did as instructed. His foot touched the rock. Safe at last! The three friends made themselves as comfortable as possible. Then the noise started. 

“Who are youssssh!” 

“What was that – I want to go home!” 

“Be quiet, Ben, I want to know what is happening.” 

“You are not welcomesssh!” 

Then another voice joined in, “Get awayssssh!” 

“Oh, I don’t like it.” 

The water swirled rounds and round, getting higher and higher. 

Giggles was barking louder than she had ever done before. She ran round and round. The rope came loose from Petal’s grip, Giggles jumped. 

Chapter nine

At home 

Dad was stalking up and down, “Mother, what is going on? I’ve got a funny feeling, something is not right.” 

“Come on, get your shoes on, we had better run to the hill, I have a feeling, and it is not funny. Our children are in danger.” 

Mother and father were holding hands as they sprinted across the beach. They jumped up to the rocks. They clambered for all they were worth. Birds and monkeys added to the panic. If only the creatures could talk? 

“Where are our children?” wailed mother. Father could only shake his head.

Chapter ten


The whooshing got louder, the water swirled faster. The voices now screamed. 

“Get outsssh.” 

“Go, now, before it’ssssss too late.” 

But even worse, Giggles had gone. There was no sign of her. From the circling water came a large plastic person, followed by three smaller plastic people. All made of plastic rubbish. The children could see water bottles, shopping bags, and oddly enough, clothes pegs all tangled together, making figures of various sizes. As the water swished about so did the plastic, before there was one large and three smaller figures, now there were dozens of small ones. The noise got louder and louder; the children had to cover their ears. Then … 

A huge plastic man was growing out of the water. 

Petal grabbed Ben’s arm and said, “Come on, we have to save Giggles.” 

With that, the pair jumped. They did not know how deep the water was, they just wanted to save their pet. Down they went, getting tangled in plastic. They still had the sacks secure on their backs. 

A big splash greeted them as they hit the seawater. The huge plastic creature towered above them, screeching, twisting and turning above them. 

Ben looked around him. He spotted Giggles paddling for all she was worth. She had a plastic water bottle in her mouth. 

Ben found he could touch the sand with his feet, so he tried to wade across to the pup. Because the water was going round and round so fast, it was difficult to make any progress. Petal had the same problem, but worse because the plastic was covering her. Strips of discarded rubbish were sticking to her body. 

Chapter eleven

At the top! 

“Where can they be?” the children’s mother screamed.

Birds and monkeys continued making a racket, so much so that father slipped and nearly fell. Mother was trying to chase away the animals. She had birds getting tangled in her hair. It was all very frightening. 

Until… silence. The monkeys were no longer in sight. The birds flew to the edge of the hill, then they dived towards the sea. What is going on? 

Father and mother hugged each other. Calmed, they moved towards the hole. It was now in sight as Ben had moved the stones away. They took it in turns to peer down. Looking at each other and shaking their heads. 

“They wouldn’t, couldn’t, would they?” 

“Oh, no! Please no.”

Chapter twelve 

Wet and scared! 

Ben tried his hardest to get near his sister, who was slowly getting covered in the plastic rubbish. Then he had a horrible feeling. He could feel plastic getting tangled around his legs. Tighter and tighter it wrapped around his knees. He looked for Giggles, who was making her way back to Ben. But the plastic was slowly pulling her deeper into the water. 

Then there was splashing all around them as monkeys were dropping into the water. 

Birds swooped in under the overhanging cave rocks at the front. A whoosh as birds flew in, more and more, whoosh, whoosh in they came! The birds picked at plastic, shaking their heads with small pieces sticking out of their beaks. 

The monkeys made their way to Giggles, splashing and waving arms and legs striking out at every bit of plastic they saw. 

Ben still with Santa’s sack strapped to his back was making his way to his puppy. She was free from plastic now and swimming hard. Petal could guess what was happening. She loosened the sack from her back, opened it and collected any loose water bottles. As she grabbed a bottle, it seemed to wobble and wiggle in her hands. The screeching continued but was quieter now. The plastic now was saying, “Help ussssh.” 

Petal didn’t feel sorry for the noisy rubbish. She snatched up every piece she could reach and stuffed it forcefully into the sack. 

Santa would be proud of Ben. He had collected even more plastic than Petal. As the sacks filled the cave quietened, the birds were busy collecting small pieces and flying out, only to come back for more. The monkeys who were smashing lumps with their fists were now busy collecting bits and putting them into the sacks. 

The seawater was gently moving backwards and forwards. All was quiet. 

The puppy, Petal, Ben and their friends made their way to the entrance of the cave. The children had to duck under the rock and out to the sea. Petal and Ben had their full sacks, the birds had mouthfuls, and the monkeys carried bits of plastic.

Chapter thirteen 

Back at the top 

Mother and father were peering into the hole, shouting the children’s names. Neither of the adults could fit into the hole. They didn’t know what to do. 

“Shall we get the police, or the rescue people, or the army, what shall we do?” Mother was in a panic. Father was thinking hard, scratching his head. 

Then behind them, they heard barking, not too loud, more of a puppy’s yelp. Mother looked at the children’s father. A smile appeared on her face. She ran to Giggles, followed by her husband. He was eagerly looking past their little dog. 

Sure enough, here came the children, filthy, wet, but with the brightest warmest smiles you have ever seen! 

The birds flew above in the formation of a capital V. The monkeys marched behind the children, all wet but happy as they lined up and saluted as parents and children hugged each other. Not forgetting their new family member who was wagging her tail so hard she toppled over. 


Father was busy dialling the number the old monk gave him. 

The voice of the old man said, “The children did well. They have asked a gang of monkeys to bury all the plastic in a big hole. We have now covered it. In the future, we will know how to get rid of all waste plastic for good. I advise you use glass water bottles from now on!” 

They ended the call with their father having a very puzzled look on his face. 

Ben shouted, “It’s called a rubbish can. Not rubbish cannot!”

Book 3

WiFied Piper

Chapter 1

At School

“Sorry Petal, you cannot take your phone to school,” mum said.

“But mum, everyone has got a mobile but me,” said the unhappy girl.

“What about me?” asked Ben.

“No. Neither of you. They ban phones at school. We received a letter from the head-teacher. He said that too many went missing and caused too much trouble. So, sorry, no, and that’s final.”

“That’s not fair,” echoed along the hallway as the siblings trudged off to school. 

“It’s no good asking me,” said their father as he started the car.

Their pet dog, Giggles, felt nothing like giggling. She hated it when ‘her’ family argued.

Petal and Ben entered the school gates, “That’s funny, why is everyone looking at us?” asked Petal.

Their school, like every school, was a place where you met your friends, a place of fun, and a place of noise, lots of it, at least until the school bell rang, but today it was different. Where was the noise, the running, the squabbles and all the chatter?

Everybody was looking at Petal and Ben… in silence.

“What’s wrong?” she said as she checked her uniform. Ben was making sure his zipper was up.

Then… as quickly as it started, all their friends were running, shouting and playing as normal.

A gang of Petal’s friends pulled her off to join their gossip about who had forgotten their homework. Ben’s buddies invited him to join one team engaged in the FA Cup Final under the basketball hoops.

Later at home, Petal pulled Ben out of earshot of their parents, “What happened earlier at school?”

“Dunno, weird, wasn’t it?”

Chapter two

School – as normal?

“I wonder what will happen at school today?” said Ben.

“What do you mean?” asked his dad.

“Oh, nothing, I was talking to Petal.”

Petal kicked her brother in the backseat of their car.

“Sssh,” she whispered.

“Come on you two, what’s going on?”

“You know mum said we can’t take our phones to school?”

“Yes, I remember what she told you,” said their dad.

“All our friends still have their phones.”

“That is up to them if they want to get in trouble and have their mobiles confiscated.”

“Yes, but dad, no one is losing theirs.”

“They will, I expect.”

“Not only that…” started Ben, as his sister kicked him again.

They were nearing the school dad was losing his patience, “And?”

Petal put her hand over Ben’s mouth to stop him from answering.

“Nothing really,” she said. “They looked at us funny, that’s all.”

Petal and Ben quickly jumped out of the car and waved a hasty goodbye to their father as they entered the school drive. As the car slowly moved off, their father was watching. 

The same thing happened as the day before. Silence, stillness and everyone had turned to look at Petal and Ben.

“I don’t like this,” said Ben.

“Nor do I,” agreed his sister.

They continued walking towards their classrooms, then shouting, playing and jumping continued, but this time it took longer to return to normal.

Petal approached one of her friends, “What was all that about?”

“What do you mean?” she answered.

“The silent treatment to my brother and me?”

“What are you talking about?”

“Forget it,” Petal groaned.

They lined up for the morning assembly.

“It has come to my attention that some students are still using their phones at school,” said the head teacher.

“All except us,” whispered Ben to no-one in particular. 

“You were all told, and your parents received a letter,” continued the head.

Petal looked around. All the children were tapping messages into the phones. Nobody was listening to the speaker on stage. 

The teaching staff were oblivious, in fact, most of them were checking their phones.

As soon as assembly was over Petal ran to find her brother, “Keep your eyes open, I feel something odd is going to happen today.”

“Come to my office,” bellowed the head teacher.

“You mean now,” said the science master Herr Hoffenheim.

“Yes, this minute,” said the head as he waltzed through his door.

“What can I do for you, Sir?”

“Your appointment was a mistake, I blame myself. The children can’t understand your English.”

The science teacher smiled.

“What is so funny?” 

“Oh, nothing, trust me and I’ll sort it out.”

“What are you talking about?” The head teacher was fidgeting in his chair. The meeting was not going as he had planned.

Herr Hoffenheim leant back in his chair and lit a cigarette.

“What are you doing? You know there is no smoking in school.”

The science master blew out a long cloud of smoke.

“See you later,” he said, as he dropped the cigarette and marched to the science block.

Chapter 3

Rushing around

Ben was looking over the second-floor balcony. There was a great deal of rushing around by pupils. He could hear Herr Hoffenheim bellowing orders.

“What is going on?” Ben said to himself. As his classmates pushed passed him and rushed to the staircase. Just then he saw his sister looking perplexed.

“Petal,” he shouted. “Wait there, I’m coming down.” 

Brother and sister watched in wonder. Their friends, classmates and other students were all walking in the same direction with their arms stretched in front. All were looking at their phones.

“Let’s follow them,” suggested Petal.

“I wish we could phone mum,” said Ben.

“I don’t know why, but I’m glad we haven’t got our phones with us.”

The column of school children stretched all the way to the gates, with Herr Hoffenheim at the front. Everyone was skipping from one leg to the other. The security man guarding the entrance was too busy with his mobile to even look upwards.

Herr Hoffenheim halted the traffic by raising his arms. Drivers on both sides of the road were unhappy, having to wait for the long line of children to cross to the beachside of the road. Eventually, they entered a small Soi, or lane as we know it in England. This narrow road starts as concrete, but as it nears the sea, it is a dusty narrow footpath on to the sand.

Nobody was speaking. The only sounds heard were the slap of school shoes as they skipped from foot to foot.

“Where are we all going?” whispered Ben.

“Look, they are turning right at the beach,” said Petal.

“Maybe they are going to our house?”

“I hope they are not. Mum will go mad.”

“Where then?” asked Ben.

Back at the school, the head teacher was busy writing a note to parents. He looked up.

“Miss Yangaluk, come into my office, please.”

The door did not open. The head teacher slid his chair back angrily and marched across the office. He pulled the door open.

“I asked you to come in.”

The lady continued tapping the keys on her phone. The head teacher shouted, “Why is there no noise? What is going on?”

The secretary ignored him again. The master tried to snatch her phone.

First, she glared, then she growled. The man let go instantly. The lady continued to tap tap tap.

The head teacher went to the window and looked out. There was nobody in sight, no noise, nothing. He checked his watch and ran down the stairs to the ground floor.

Chapter 4


The skipping column of boys and girls was nearing Petal and Ben’s house. Ben grabbed his sister’s arm.

“They are going to ‘our mountain’, I want to keep it as our secret place,” he said.

“I think you are right, they went that way, but why?”

“Petal, look up there,” Ben pointed to an enormous circle of birds flying round and round above the rocks. “I think I can hear the monkeys squabbling?”

“Yes, I can hear them too.”

In Petal and Ben’s house, their mother was folding the washing as she saw all the children coming along the beach.

“How lovely. They must have a school excursion. I wonder if our two are with them?” she called to her husband. He left his laptop to check.

“I can’t see them, they are too far away, but getting nearer quickly.”

“Is that them? Near the back.”

“The school didn’t inform us about a day out of the classroom.”

“I’d better ring the secretary and check alls okay. Oddly, all the children left school together. Do you know the teacher at the front?”

“It’s that German fellow. Why is there only one person looking after such a vast group? My goodness, it looks like the entire school.”

Petal’s mum looked worried as she put her mobile on the ironing board.

“No answer from the school secretary, I tried Ben’s class teacher, no answer from her too.”

“This is strange, we had better keep our eyes on them all.”

“There, I can see them, the only ones without arms sticking ahead.”

Yes, what are they doing? And why are our children not copying the rest? Look, our two are not skipping in time with the rest. We had better try phoning some parents.”

Herr Hoffenheim clambered over the rocks at the base of the hill, followed by the leaders of the pack. The birds were now squawking louder and louder. The large circle had now broken into half-a-dozen smaller circles. It was as if the rings were bouncing on the children’s heads. The kids didn’t seem to notice, all except for Petal and Ben, who were ducking as each bird dived at them. Monkeys were jumping and waving their arms like cave dwellers hollering as loud as they could.

Giggles came rushing from home barking. She rushed up to Ben and tried to knock him over, Ben remained on his feet so she tried Petal. She was stronger than her brother, Giggles failed again. She jumped and bit into Petal’s school shirt, and pulled for all she was worth.

“Giggles, stop it, you’ll tear my blouse.”

Giggles was shaking her head with a mouth full of uniform. By slowing the two down, they were now at the back of the line. The leaders were halfway up the rocks. 

The parade kept skipping forwards over rocks, marching higher and higher.

Monkeys got noisier with their screeching, bouncing higher and higher. The birds flew closer and closer to the unaware children.

“I don’t like this, Petal, let’s go home,” said Ben as he tugged his sister’s arm. It was as if Giggles nodded in agreement.

“No, we’ll follow them to see what they will do.”

Chapter 5

Call the police

“Should I ring the police?” asked the children’s mum.

“I don’t think they have broken any law.”

“What about an ambulance?”

“No one has injured themselves, yet,” answered her husband.

“We must do something!”

“Our children are there, possibly in danger. I’m going to catch them. You stay here. When I wave my arms, ring the police. Okay?”

“I don’t want to stay here. I’m coming too.”

“Right, grab your mobile, let’s go.”

Petal’s mum and dad put on sensible shoes to prepare for the climb. They raced to the hill.

Herr Hoffenheim and the leading children were now out of sight at the top of the hill. Petal and Ben were halfway up. The birds tried to fly between them and the rest.

“It’s okay birds, thanks, but we need to see what is happening to our schoolmates,” said Petal.

The birds flew back to the front. The monkeys were also at the front, making themselves as noisy and distracting as they could.

Ben pulled his sister to a stop, “Look, they are going into our hole.”

Giggles bark to a halt. She knew what the hole meant, danger. A year ago, when Giggles was a puppy, she had gone into the hole and faced danger with the plastic monster. She wasn’t keen to do it again.

“Don’t worry, Giggles, the rubbish has all gone away,” said Ben.

“But what is in its place?” wondered Petal. “Come on!”

“I don’t like this,” said Ben as Giggles was pulling him backwards.

“If you want to go home, go,” said Petal.

The children’s parents were now jogging across the sand, they could no longer see the children as they had all reached the top and disappeared behind the rocks.

“Nearly there, are you ready for a climb?” called their father.

Ben and Giggles were both in two minds. Shall we go, stay, or run home? They both thought.

“Come on, I’m with you Petal,” Ben and Giggles climbed on and up.

“Look,” she pointed, “They are going down the hole.”

“Then what?” asked Ben.

“Let’s watch.”

There was a queue at the hole. Gradually the children were dropping from view. Petal and Ben knew only too well that after clambering down the rocks inside, then you have to drop into the sea. They could hear, splash, splash as their friends were entering the waves. 

“Quick, quick, we are nearly there,” shouted their father.

Mum grabbed his arm with a terrified look, said, “What, what if we lose our children?” Tears were running.

“Come on, let’s rush.”

They ignored the screaming animals and screeching birds and raced forwards as quick as they could move.

Petal, Ben and Giggles were at the entrance of the hole, “Now or never,” called Petal as she went down, followed by Ben and Giggles.

Chapter 6

Where are they?

“Where are the children? Our children and the rest?”

“What was that teacher thinking of, bringing hundreds of young ones up here?”

“Oh, God, they must have gone down the hole!”

“Quick, let’s go,” they rushed to the edge and looked in.

“Petal, Ben, stay where you are, do not move another step,” shouted their father.

“We are not going with them, we just want to see where they go,” called up Petal.

“Stay where you are, then gradually turn and get up here,” screamed their mother.

By the sound of her voice, she meant it, no arguing.

Petal knew she was risking big trouble. Petal lay down and peered through the hole.

“What is it, Petal? What can you see?” called her brother.

“They are jumping into the sea, and… and…”

“And what?”

“You two, get back up here now! I mean it!” shouted their father.

Petal looked terrified, “Dad, run around the rocks to where you can see the sea. Are the children there?”

“What does she mean?” asked her mum.

Father ran around the big rock to the edge of the cliff. He peered at the gently waving sea. The birds were now flying in their giant circle formation out to sea. 

He put his hands to his mouth and bellowed, “There are no children here, none I can see.”

He rushed back to his wife and children. 

Ben helped Giggles back to the top, then climbed out of the hole. Petal followed him. The only sounds you could hear was the lapping of waves at the bottom.

The children were full of questions. Dad only said he would ring the police and then the school. It delighted giggles her family were safe. A worried mother put her arms around her children and guided them home.

Chapter 7

Here come the police

Both mother and father’s mobiles were hot all the way home. Petal kept looking around to see if her friends were following, they weren’t. Ben’s eyes were red and puffy from tears.

Soon sirens screeched and father rushed out to meet the police chief and the ambulance team.

When he came home, he had slumped shoulders and said, “Sorry, children, there is no sign of Herr Hoffenheim or any children. I must meet the head teacher and tell him what we saw. Cheer up. I may have some better news later.”

An hour passed. Our Mother tried to brighten the mood of brother and sister. They didn’t even want to look at their phones.

Dad came home. He shook his head and gathered his thoughts.

“Have you ever heard the story of the ‘Pied Piper’?” he asked.

Mother knew the story, but only the Disney version. Giggles settled down for a long rest.

“Many years ago in Europe, I think it was Austria. Rats and all the germs they bring invaded a town. The town folk insisted the mayor did something.”

“What has that got anything to do with our town?” asked Petal.

“Let’s see if you can tell me. When I finish telling you the folktale, okay?”

She nodded.

“The mayor employed a rat catcher. This man played a pipe. The rats were at first transfixed and then followed the ‘Pied Piper’. They tailed him all the way to the outskirts of the town. The town-folk and the mayor were all so happy. No more rats. All was well until the ‘Pied Piper’ asked for his payment. The mayor laughed at him and refused to pay. The ‘Pied Piper’ walked out.”

“Just walked out? Wasn’t he annoyed?” asked Ben.

“I haven’t finished,” said dad, “The ‘Pied Piper’ started playing his pipe… All the town’s children followed him, off and away, never to return. It is an ancient tale, but historians say there is a lot of truth to it.”

Petal spoke up, “How has that got anything to do with what happened here?”

Mother understood, Giggles grunted and turned over, Ben was scratching his chin. Petal was deep in thought.

“So, you are saying, Herr Hoffenheim was our ‘Pied Piper’?”

“Yes, he has had the sack by your head teacher.”

A little while passed with Petal and Ben deep in thought.

“The rats are today’s mobile phones?”

“Yes, Ben.”

Tears were rolling down Petal’s cheeks, “Did those children ever come back?”

“It was a long time ago. We don’t know what happened.”

“Was it not on the news?” asked Ben.

“They had no Wi-Fi then,” answered dad.


Also, adult thrillers by Colin Devonshire





All in the ‘No Worries’ series – available from

All in the ‘No Worries’ series –  Available from

Serve It With Floss

by Colin Devonshire

Serve it with Floss

“Hi, Mr Perkins, your father is in his room.”

“Is he okay? No dramas?”

“He is fine.”

“Thanks, I’ll go and see him. Oh, my son is in the garden with one of your carers. Can you show him the way to his grandad’s room when he’s ready?”

“Of course. Have a pleasant visit,” the nurse smiled and bustled down the corridor.

“Hello dad, how are you feeling today?”

Silence followed by a grunt, then, “I don’t know why you are here.”

“Dad, please, do we have to go through this each day I come?”

“Please open the window, I can’t smell the flowers.”

John Perkins smiled and pushed the windows wide.

“Beautiful day dad, the sun is shining.”

“I can tell when the sun is out, even with these eyes.”

The grey orbs could detect changes in light, but not much else.

“Yes dad, can you smell the roses down there?”

“I can list the flowers by smell if you want me to. By the way, who are you again?”

“Your grandson is here today. He is growing fast and will start school next term. He is very excited about it. Please say pleasant things about school.”

“What is his name?”

“His name is Paul. Here he is.”

A timid lad was hiding behind a green uniformed lady. Left and right she moved, young Paul remained behind her.

The old man suddenly beamed, “I can smell candy-floss!”

“Where did you get that, it’s bad for your teeth,” said son to grandson.

“One of our residents loves it. Her daughter always brings a stick when she visits. Unfortunately, the lady is unwell. Young Paul was in the right place at the right time,” the lady explained.

“Once in a while won’t hurt, I guess?”

The lady smiled and led Paul to his father.

“Can I have a taste?” said the old man.

Paul carefully placed the stick in his grandfather’s hand.

A grin spread across his face as he breathed in the sweet aroma.

“Let me tell you a story, young man. Come and sit next to me.”

A gentle breeze blew the curtain as the old man drifted back in time.

“I was just older than you when I first thrilled at the travelling fair. It came to our village every summer. My granny had saved up a jar full of coppers, which she emptied into my jacket’s pockets. I can feel the weight of those old pennies pulling me down now. Off we went to the common, I could feel the excitement growing as we neared the fairground. The first thing I spotted was the helter-skelter. ‘Can I can I’, I asked. ‘It’s your money’, she said. I raced off to join the queue of boys and girls all waiting their turn.”

His grandfather’s every word entranced Paul.

“It was while I was looking at the children sliding, round and round, that I got a whiff of heaven. A huge lady was spinning a stick in a vat of pink sugar. When she finished her creation, a cloud of rose-coloured candy-floss, the prize handed to a pig-tailed young lass, she skipped away. I no longer wanted to clamber up the stairs up to the top of the ride, I wanted the pink treat.”

Son and grandson were speechless, both entranced by the speech. That summer day all those years ago had started a train of thoughts they would never forget. Young Paul pinched a hand full of sticky floss, bringing delight to his grandfather’s face.

“I was standing, holding my prize, staring at the dodgems when my granny grabbed my hand and led me to the stepped rim of the circuit. The rumble of the wheels, the squeals of excitement and the thrill of the chase was all too much for a young boy, I had to have a go.”

The small audience grew as two of the nurses heard him talk at length for the first time since he arrived at the care home. Soon the room packed with residents and more staff as people crept in to hear more.

“I fell in love with the dodgems. Every year when the fair came, I worked for ‘Old Pikey’ the owner of the ride. My job was to knock at neighbouring houses and collect newspapers which were used to clean the ‘cars’. In exchange for a pile of newsprint, I handed them tokens for free rides. My wage was also tokens, but I got free candy-floss too. The candy-floss lady was ‘Old Pikey’s’ wife. My mind is drifting away from the dodgems, just as they skidded across the steel floor. That lady always smelled sweet, but her husband smelled of fish,” he grunted at the thought.

The afternoon’s tea trolley pulled up outside and offered a steaming cup to all inside, the bedroom filled with intrigued listeners.

“It was then I met your grandmother.”

Paul’s hair standing on end, ruffled by shaky fingers, his head now rested on his grandfather’s chest.

“‘Old Pikey’ had a daughter. He kept her away from the ragamuffin customers and workers. I included. We did not know about her, we didn’t know she existed. One day I was delivering papers, the door to the caravan opened a little, a slender finger signalled me to go near. I crept over, ‘Take me to the bus stop please,’ I heard whispered from behind the door.”

He stopped talking, frozen in time and deep in thought. He shook his head, then slowly and confidently continued his race on the memory circuit.

“She was just fifteen, I was fifteen going on sixteen. The lass told me she wanted to run away. Her father and mother kept her locked away, she didn’t go to school and had no friends. The girl had secretly watched me each year when the fair arrived on the common. She desperately wanted to speak to me, but couldn’t get her nerve up, until that incredible life-changing day. She was beautiful. I was in love.”

Again the storyteller drifted, lost in ancient memories. The audience transfixed by his tale. Holding their breath until he continued. This a resident who didn’t speak more than a handful of words each day.

“We ran away, we went to Brighton, thinking we would find work. It wasn’t to be. We had nowhere to live and were starving. My mum allowed us to return. The police had been to the house and scared the life out of her with talk of kidnap and such things. We were both sorry for all the distress we caused. Sally fell pregnant, we had a hastily arranged marriage, and I found a job. John here was born, fit and healthy. All was well until one day there was a knock at the door. It was a Sunday, my mum was at church. I opened the door and smelt candy-floss.” 

Tears ran down his cheeks.

“I never saw her again. Her sweet-smelling mother dragged away her. Her father punched me, then used a tool from the dodgems and poked my eyes out. Sally was screaming as they frogmarched her away. Years later ‘Old Pikey’ died and Sally tracked me down. She had sold the fair and came to live with our son, yes, John you, and my mum.”

A burst of applause shattered the silence. An old man wondered what all the noise was for? Why were the people in his room? And who was on his bed?


Photo by Harrison Haines on

If you enjoyed that, you may like my full-length novels?

Not Far Enough From Worries (No Worries Book 1) by [Colin Devonshire]

A drug lord fathers his lesbian niece’s child, but not in the usual way! 
Set in Thailand late 1980s. Action, fun, romance, and tears. Breathtaking violence and tender moments add to a fast-paced read. Two young and gullible Englishmen move to Hua Hin to start a new life in the tropical heat. Along the way, they meet a dodgy Dutch ship’s engineer, two lovely French girls who are more interested in dogs than romance. A tall Welsh man with a chequered history of drug abuse, but a unique skill of mixing things to make other things. This talent gets the attention of seriously evil people. A lesbian newspaper reporter rides a powerful motorbike has an important family secret. The whole story unfolds in an action-packed finale.

Worry No More: Thai Thriller (No Worries Book 2) by [Colin Devonshire]

Set in Hua Hin and Bangkok, Thailand. Horror with suspense and a touch of humour. The tourist town of Hua Hin is considered as a quiet place where nothing happens. Don’t you believe it! How can Thai twins become Siamese twins? You will have to think about that. No need to feel sorry for them, they like eating people! Meet Randy, an American who has a problem with split personalities. A mother and son team of debt-collectors have a nasty habit of setting fire to their victims. Camilla, the ex-reporter lesbian, is central to most of the action. Would she really give her daughter away? Any movie fans out there? Do you know of 1932 black and white classic, ‘Freaks’? A casino owner has a dream, to remake the film in Bangkok. It is not easy, you need some deformed actors and real Siamese twins. Camilla can solve most things. 
Are there any ‘nice’ characters in this book? Well yes. Skylab is a darling.

Children With No Worries: Do Children Scare you? by [Colin Devonshire]

Aren’t children lovely? Most are. 
Philippa’s mother was killed. Philippa didn’t care. She now lives with her ‘half-brother’ Nick, a French lady and a large dog. They all live in a beach house in Hua Hin.
An English film make-up expert comes to Thailand to enjoy a second honeymoon with her husband. To say he has an ‘eye’ for the ladies is true, in more ways than one.
Gail is naturally upset when her husband goes off to enjoy his holiday without her. The children decide he needs to learn a lesson. Was he being set up for murder? The victims all lose a body part. Is there a message hidden in the deaths?
Skylab, fresh from the temple, along with her boyfriend, Kev, set about finding out. They team up with a friendly Thai detective to solve these crimes. 
The action moves from Hua Hin to Pattaya for a fast, hard-hitting surprise. Horror when you don’t expect it!

We Have More Worries: Thai Thriller (No Worries Book 4) by [Colin Devonshire]

A twisted young man has dreams, one is to be straight. People suffer. His grandfather would not accept anything which goes against his Far Right beliefs. His second wish means baby girls must be killed. It is raining in Thailand, a monsoon hits land and upsets his plans. Deep in a cave, kidnapped baby girls wait. Parts of these children will be used to further evil. Kev and Skylab are expecting their first child, a girl. They are drawn into a chase to stop the horror and to save the child inside. 
A god-fearing backpacker, Debbie, is swayed by the handsome monster to assist him in deadly acts. Her parents fly from the UK to find out what has happened to her. They need Kev and Skylab to help. Little did they know all the crimes were linked. Is the strange Burmese girl holding the key to unravelling the mystery?

Great news!

Not only is the ‘No Worries’ Box set available FREE but number 4 in the series ‘We Have More Worries’ has been published at Amazon.

But, you have to get a move on the box set is only free until Tuesday 7 July.

Get it NOW!

For those who love the feel and smell of paper, it is also available you can get it here great value at £15.99. Supersized book.

Living or visiting Thailand should be a dream come true. Right? Book number one – Not Far Enough From Worries. A drug lord fathers his lesbian niece’s child, but not in the usual way! Set in Thailand late 1980s. Action, fun, romance, and tears. Breathtaking violence and tender moments add to a fast-paced read. Two young and gullible Englishmen move to Hua Hin to start a new life in the tropical heat. Along the way, they meet a dodgy Dutch ship’s engineer, two lovely French girls who are more interested in dogs than romance. A tall Welsh man with a chequered history of drug abuse, but a unique skill of mixing things to make other things. This talent gets the attention of seriously evil people. A lesbian newspaper reporter rides a powerful motorbike has an important family secret. The whole story unfolds in an action-packed finale. Book 2 – Worry No MoreA sequel to “Not Far Enough From Worries”. Set in Hua Hin and Bangkok, Thailand. Horror with suspense and a touch of humour. The tourist town of Hua Hin is considered as a quiet place where nothing happens. Don’t you believe it! How can Thai twins become Siamese twins? You will have to think about that. No need to feel sorry for them, they like eating people! Meet Randy, an American who has a problem with split personalities. A mother and son team of debt-collectors have a nasty habit of setting fire to their victims. Camilla, the ex-reporter lesbian, is central to most of the action. Would she really give her daughter away? Any movie fans out there? Do you know of 1932 black and white classic, ‘Freaks’? A casino owner has a dream, to remake the film in Bangkok. It is not easy, you need some deformed actors and real Siamese twins. Camilla can solve most things. Are there any ‘nice’ characters in this book? Well yes. Skylab is a darling. And Book 3 – Children With No WorriesAren’t children lovely? Most are. Philippa’s mother was killed. Philippa didn’t care. She now lives with her ‘half-brother’ Nick, a French lady and a large dog. They all live in a beach house in Hua Hin. An English film make-up expert comes to Thailand to enjoy a second honeymoon with her husband. To say he has an ‘eye’ for the ladies is true, in more ways than one. Gail is naturally upset when her husband goes off to enjoy his holiday without her. The children decide he needs to learn a lesson. Was he being set up for murder? The victims all lose a body part. Is there a message hidden in the deaths? Skylab, fresh from the temple, along with her boyfriend, Kev, set about finding out. They team up with a friendly Thai detective to solve these crimes. The action moves from Hua Hin to Pattaya for a fast, hard-hitting surprise. Horror when you don’t expect it! Published by

The paperback version available now at Amazon £12.99

The Kindle ebook is on pre-sale for only £0.80 until it is released.


New Cover

Amazon refused my advert, they deemed the cover was too ‘gory’, yes, it was. But I thought it did its job well.

I changed it as you can see, no longer ‘gory’. The Satanic goat appears as a tattoo on a character’s arm.

The ebook is available for only £0.80/$0.99 until August 1st. I hope that readers will send a review to Amazon or Goodreads, if not, enjoy the read.

You can find details at

or under Colin Devonshire at Goodreads.

New Covers – What Do You Think?

I have been given a lot of stick about my covers. Especially book three, ‘Children With No Worries’.

So, I have been busy 3 new covers.

What do you think? All books are set in Thailand and are thrillers.

I’d love to hear your thoughts –

Now a brief announcement – the 4th novel in the ‘No Worries’ series, will be published soon!

All books at Amazon.

Day Nine

Day nine was Christmas Day, the family had all gathered; they decorated the table with holly and crackers. We were all smiling, Dad had been generous with gifts this year. Mum carried the turkey from the oven. Uncle Pete stood, pulled his Browning and shot his brother, my father. The bullet entered below his eye, killing him instantly. 

Mum dropped the bird and stood opened-mouthed. My sister screamed. Granddad pushed his chair back and started after uncle Pete. The door slammed. Uncle Pete fired the engine and screeched down the otherwise quiet street. The black Jaguar disappeared by turning left.

I jogged back inside. Granddad was coughing and bent double by the door getting his breath back, I passed him to check on my mum. She was crying, slumped in an armchair. My fifteen-year-old sister, calling emergency services, hammering number nine. My dad? He hadn’t moved after hitting a side-plate with his head. Oddly, I noticed the family framed photo behind him, glass shattered with a small lump of metal buried in mum’s face.

Dad was wearing his Christmas present, a light-blue button-down collar business shirt. He also sported a bulky bandage on his wrist. A thought struck me, “How come did Dad and Uncle Pete have the same taste in clothes. When Dad wore light blue, Pete wore a slightly different shade of blue. If Dad wore yellow, Pete would wear orange, if Dad wore burgundy, Pete sported maroon?” I also wondered, “Why does uncle Pete have a bandage wrapped around his head?”

Pete and my Dad would meet up most mornings, they planned their next robbery. In the evening they would share a few beers, sometimes here in our living room or down at their local.

“What happened?” I asked my sister.

“You saw what happened, don’t ask stupid questions,” she answered.

I asked my mum and anyone listening to the same question. The replies were grunts or shakes of heads.

Then the police arrived, followed by the ambulance.

 The Doherty boys were well known to the ‘Old Bill’. The questioning went on for an hour. The police received similar answers to me. My granddad lost his temper, swore and threatened the police. They arrested him. They sent my sister and me upstairs.

Mum continued talking, but we couldn’t hear, even when we crept closer down the stairs. Janice grunted, “I’m going for a walk,” slamming the front door.

“Can I come?”

“No!” she yelled at me.

Day 1

“The Post Office offers such slim pickings these days, we should try something else,” said Pete.

“What have you got in mind?” asked my dad.

“I watched the employees at that Indian factory in West Road. Friday nights they check their pay packets as they exit the door.”

“You want us to knock a few foreigners over the head? And nick their pitiful wage?” asked my Dad.

“Because they are illegals, they don’t have bank accounts, so, all cash.”

“That means somebody has to pay in pound notes? Why not nick the lot? We are wasting our time by taking each worker’s salary. We’ll hit the boss,” said my Dad smiling.

Both Dad and Uncle Pete leaned back and fiddled with their neckties, Dad’s plain dark blue, Pete’s Paisley patterned royal blue.

Day 2

Sat in the Jag, they took it in turns to watch the factory. Taking snaps of everyone who entered the works. Most walked along the road, a few came on the bus. The first to arrive were in a newish Mercedes. A large turbaned man driving the passenger was a strikingly good-looking young lady in a silk sari. They sauntered through the main door.

“He must be the boss. Who is she? Too young to be his wife. Well-dressed for a secretary?” said Pete. “Christ, she’s beautiful.”

My Dad had given up trying to find a wife for his brother. He snorted, “Get a nice English lass. What’s wrong with you?”

Day 3

The staff must clock in at eight. The turbaned man and the good-looking lady were already in their office. Just after noon, a new van pulled up, the driver in smart casual clothes, flicked his ginger hair from his eyes as he breezed in. Five minutes later he left, after assisting a pair of men loading the van with bundles wrapped in brown paper. Dad and uncle Pete followed the buyer’s truck.

“Hello mate, what’s the food like in here?” said Dad to ginger.

“Yeah, pretty tasty mate.”

The pub was empty; the cooking smells wafted into the bar.

“What are they cooking, smells great?” asked Pete.

“They knock up a special, good job you’re here early. It gets packed at one when the factories shut for lunch. Sit with me if you like?”

The three men sat by the window tucking into the special lunch.

“Are you your own boss?” asked Dad.

“Yeah, I buy a bit of this and that. Hope to sell it for a tasty profit. Doing well with fancy rip-offs,” he chuckled.

“Really? That sounds good. Tell us more. What are you selling?”

“I sell fashion polo shirts, stuff like that. I get a good deal from that Indian ‘gaff up the road,” said Ginger.

“Indians, eh? Are they good to deal with?”

“Yeah, except they want cash upfront. It was difficult at first, but now business is great.”

Day 4

The Merc arrived well before eight. Later, the silk sari flowed to Starbucks on the corner. Dad stayed in the car, while Pete decided they needed coffees too.

“She smells divine,” Pete mouthed silently, following the sari.

He rushed ahead and opened the door for her, “After you,” he said.

“Thank you, kind gentleman,” she said, brilliant white teeth flashed a shy smile.

He turned and opened the door for her once more. Coffee in hands, she walked back to work.

Pete made sure nobody saw him get in the Jag.

“We’d better park somewhere else, I’m worried they’ll get suspicious, us here day after day.”

“It wouldn’t be a problem if you hadn’t got out. You and your coffee? We have dark windows in case you’ve forgotten. Come on, that’s enough surveillance for one day.”

Day 5

Pete was busy Googling at six am, finding out all he could about Indian ladies. He wanted to learn about saris, in case he got another chance to speak with her.

Dad swapped his car for his mate’s Ford, “Just for a day,” he told Mum. She was proud to sit in the Jaguar and didn’t want to lose it.

Late that morning a ten-wheeler arrived, staff rushed a forklift to the doors. Soon bolts of cloth, blues of many shades, creamy white and bright yellows and oranges hastily shipped inside. The driver left, stuffing cash-filled envelopes into his cab.

“Come on, let’s nick that lot,” yelled Pete.

“Don’t be so hasty, young brother. They deal in cash, right? That means there will be a lot more. Just wait, we will be in for a bumper payout,” said my Dad happily.

Day 6

They parked the Jag in the opposite direction and further down the road. Dad had brought his binoculars.

He was jumping with excitement when he came home at the end of the shift.

“You should have seen the number of customers they had, in and out, all day.”

He was rubbing his hands as he told us about bundles and bundles being shifted.

Pete was strangely quiet as Mum served the dinner.

Day 7

Pete was late coming to our house that morning.

“Where the hell is he?” asked my Dad.

“Maybe he overslept?” answered my Mum.

“He never sleeps in when we are working,” said Dad.

Pete was not in bed, he was timing his walk to coincide with the Indians.

“Good morning, lovely day,” he said.

The turban grunted, “Good day.”

She chuckled as she ducked through the door.

“Where the hell have you been?” asked my Dad.

“I went to the factory early, to see what happens before the staff arrive.”


“You never know,” Pete said.

“Did anything happen?” asked my Dad.

“Er, no.”

“Don’t be late tomorrow. We’ll complete our business, then the day after we can enjoy Christmas.”

“What’s our plan?” asked Pete.

“They will stuff the office with cash, as all the dealers will try to hit shoppers on Christmas Eve.”

“Why don’t we go after the dealers as they arrive. We know they have cash?”

“That cash will all be in one place if we wait. It makes our job easy,” said Dad.

“Yeah, but we have to go inside,” said Pete.

“We used to go into the Post Office too.”

“I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”

“You won’t have a bad feeling when we divvy up.”

Day 8

“Good, you’re early. Got everything?” Dad asked.

Pete showed my Dad his pistol, it was a newer version of Dad’s one. They bought them from a man they know down the pub.

“Taking the money is one thing, but I don’t want to shoot anyone,” said Uncle Pete.

“It has never bothered you before.”

“What’s the matter, Pete?” asked my Mum.

She rarely got involved in men’s business.

“It’s the Indian lady,” said Pete nervously when Dad wasn’t listening.

My Mum controlled herself after her unladylike raucous laughter, “What are you on about?” she asked.

“He’s in love!” grinned Mum when Dad returned.

“Come on, let’s do it,” said Pete.

Both men checked their weapons. Hiding them as they walked towards the car.

They watched the factory doors, no one in or out for thirty minutes.

“Okay, let’s go,” said my Dad.

Scarves hid their lower faces, hoodies hid the rest.

The factory was noisy. Machines clattered as the brothers walked to the office.

“Hands up,” Pete shouted.

“You, open the safe,” said Dad.

“Sorry sir, but I can’t,” said the man with the turban.

Pete walked up close, pointing the barrel inches from his chin, “And why not?” 

The man shook his head, “I do not know the combination.”

“Yeah right, your factory, your safe,” said Pete.

“Oh no, sir, it is not mine,” he said.

The graceful lady put her hand up, “It is my business, he does not know how to open it.”

“Your business?” asked Pete. “Who is he then?”

The turban moved like a cobra striking, knocking out Pete with one punch.

As he turned towards Dad, the Browning fired, the shot hit him in the leg, collapsing; he hit the floor.

“You open it,” said Dad, panting, the gun now levelled at the lady.

She glared and was in no hurry to move. Dad shook his gun under her chin.

Still, she refused to move. He turned his shoulders, keeping his eyes fixed on the owner. He shot the man’s other leg. At last, she slowly knelt and started twisting dials.

“Come on, we haven’t got all day,” he screamed at her.

The well-oiled door opened, revealing wads of used notes.

“Put it all in this bag,” Dad thrust the sack at her.

The turban rolled slowly and silently, pulling a blade from a hidden sheaf. He lay on his back then released the short sword, throwing with tremendous power. Blood spurted from my Dad’s wrist. The gun fired.

It fired again, this time aimed. The turban soaked in blood. Dad slapped Uncle Pete awake. Grabbing the sack, they ran for the door. Factory workers rushed to witness the puddles of blood. Dad waved his pistol at them, they retreated.

The injured brothers escaped with a sack of cash. Job done!

Day 10

“Please, guys, give mum a break. Can’t you see you’ve upset her?” I said.

“Your father shot and killed a young business owner and her bodyguard, both in cold blood and in front of dozens of witnesses. That much is clear. What we are unsure of, is why Peter Doherty killed his elder brother?” 

“My Mum has answered all your questions, now go!” I yelled.

“Sit down and shut up, unless you wish to tell us more about your family?” the younger of the two officers reddened.

“What can you tell us about the budding romance between your brother-in-law and the factory owner?” asked the police officer.

“Pete hasn’t got a lady friend, hasn’t had for years,” Mum answered.

“We checked his email account, he sent four unanswered emails to Miss Sharma. The last one sent two days ago, ‘Darling, I can’t wait until we can be together. Please answer my letters. Your loving Pete.’ All his emails were unopened. What does that mean to you?” said senior.

“Who do you know in India?” asked the young one.

“No one, why?” answered my Mum.

“Your brother-in-law landed at Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi, this morning.”



Horniman, Birley and Craine is a highly respected legal firm with clients drawn from the highest in the land. When a deed box in the office is opened to reveal a corpse, the threat of scandal promises to wreak havoc on the firm’s reputation―especially as the murder looks like an inside job. The partners and staff of the firm keep a watchful and suspicious eye on their colleagues, as Inspector Hazlerigg sets out to solve the mystery of who Mr. Smallbone was―and why he had to die.


The Spider's Web: A British Detective Crime Thriller (The Harvey Stone Crime Thriller Series Book 2) by [J.D.  Weston]

Hunted by the police, and with his daughter’s time running out, Debruin must pick his way through the killer’s victims to discover the truth before he strikes again – But little does he know, the truth will destroy him and everyone he loves.

Set in the grimy back streets of London, this British detective novel is a roller-coaster ride of murder, mystery, and suspense, laced with cruel twists that will keep you turning the pages.


Something different!

An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Hell and Noise!

I came to live here in peace, what do I get?

My Generation? Listen to them.

I thought I had found heaven. Living on a dairy farm a full fifty miles away from the torture of New York seemed like a paradise. It was.

Now what is going on? I stirred, shaken awake, the normally peaceful surroundings were now alive with action, bustle and people, trucks and tons of equipment. What is it all for? Birds no longer sang.

The last couple of days were bad enough, people were moving things, big things. The noise started early, banging, drilling and worst of all, shouting.

It soon dawned on me that worse was to come. They had erected stages. More people, this time not only scruffy but filthy too. The men’s hair was long and unkempt, the women’s hair was croppedand ugly. Admittedly, they were all working hard. 

Banging drums, thrashing about with electric guitars and the endless ‘Hello, hello, testing, testing’, with microphones. What is wrong with these folk?

Later there were endless processions of people parading up and down in my, my field. Lugging bags, backpacks and hookah pipes. Have I gone crazy or has the world?

A gorgeous young thing, still a teenager I guess, laid out some nylon, aided by a slightly older man, together they constructed a garish blue and green tent. 

“What would her mother think?” I asked myself.

Talking to myself is something I got used to. Now, I wouldn’t have it any other way, I even answer myself.

The V for victory was being flashed by people passing. Funny that, we didn’t see much victory in Viet Nam.

I had spent most of my time looking after people who could no longer, or had no intention of raising their fingers. War does that.

Occasionally I put soldiers out of their misery.

Richie Havens’ name was being screamed, who the hell is he? I wonder if he could play some Wagner instead? I doubt it. This gets worse.

Explosions of bad temper regularly disrupted my early life, fiery outbursts I thought these tantrums were behind me. It seems not. I used to kill things, pets at first, the hamsters were passedoff as ‘not understanding how to care for them’, but the puppies were takenmore seriously, I had to go to a special school. I was the only sane one there, and that included the teachers. 

Rage is bubbling and boiling under my skin. ‘What have I done to deserve this?’

My mind flitted back to Saigon. My family had decided it was better for all who knew me, that I serve my country. They drafted me into the medical corps. I served as a nurse, a wonderfully fitting job.

We saw a lot of pain, often caused by stupidity. Being smart and not wanting to be a hero, I remained well away from the action.

Lysergic acid diethylamide, you will know as LSD, or commonly Acid was lockedin our hospital lockers. We saw lots of it, not by soldiers ‘having fun’ but combatants taking it under an order, or prisoners who unknowingly had some white powder added to their food. Our special forces were fearless, we, as medics knew why. They were givenpower drinks. 

Prisoners, both enemy and our guys, spewed out information, without painful encouragement. What are the ‘slants’ planning? Who were the ‘peace and loving’  GIs in our force? The guys that needed reminding why they were there.

The man passed her a joint, she took it, sucking hungrily,  “Man, the music gets better.”

“Yes, I will get some Acid. You don’t mind do you? I know you can’t.”

“No, help yourself, I’ll stick with thisthanks.”

The crumpled reefer had too much ash hanging. 

“How are you feeling?”

“I’m fine, my only problem is the toilets, too far and too busy.”

“Look, don’t worry, if you need to pee, do it behind the tree. Everyone will be smashed, they won’t care.”

“Just make sure I drink plenty of water, ok? It’s more important that I drink gallons, than embarrass myself by wetting my jeans.” 

She laughed, but not enjoying the humour. He nodded and grinned, knowing her kidney condition was not a joke.

Now I knew what I could do. LSD caused havoc to those little organs we call kidneys. Oh, what fun this will be.

The music got louder; the excitement increased. As the grey clouds descended on my shoulders, the only rainbows I could see were the seven colours on t-shirts and even hideous jeans. 

I couldn’t stop the noise, but I could ruin someone’s fun.

Calmly descending the tree-trunk, I crept into the tent and hid. Right on time he returned. Throwing a small packet next to his backpack.

Back outside he joined the others, shouting out the lyrics to a song fortunately I’d never heard before.

I have small hands, therefore carefully emptied the screwed up paper pack into her drinking bottle. Dusting my hands of white powder, I headed towards the tent’s flap.

“Oh look, a beautiful squirrel, isn’t she gorgeous?”

She? I could cry.

“Never mind the vermin, there is a new band starting.”

“Off you go baby, back to your tree.”

I’m going, but I want to watch this.

“Come on, they are playing.”

“I can hear, just need a drink first.”

The doctored water bottle was drained, the hallucinations started within minutes. That was the fun bit, but then the agony in her lower stomach and back, her boyfriend did not understand what was happening to her. She died in writhing pain, her friends danced around her and cheered the new moves. 

Did you know squirrels could smile? I was stuckin a furry body, for how long I don’t know. The girl had more peace than me, eventually they would move on. How many more would I minister to before they leave me in peace? 

My Generation ended. I committed suicide in Saigon two years ago. And no, it was not an overdose of LSD!

Did you enjoy that very short story?

There’s more – my latest novel ‘Children With No Worries’ has been published: $3.99

No squirrels I promise!

…. And now the latest selection of FREE books

Searching for your next favorite story?

Look no further! These bestselling authors have teamed up to offer a delightful selection of new books. Available for free for a limited time.

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The intersection of sanity and revenge. Anna Hanks, relentless.

Get your FREE copy of Lioness


He shot her husband…

What is the best anchor to reality during a trauma-induced breakdown…


Anna could let the police handle it…

…but she’s been one of their most vocal critics.

She could make her own justice…

…but it’s dangerous and she has no experience.

Fortunately Anna has friends.

With help from sex workers, a post-operative princess, a cop named Cuddles, and a fictional detective, Anna goes to war! 

Anna Hanks. Mother. Wife. Activist. Business Owner.

Judge. Jury.

Lioness is a fast and menacing ride through the intersection of revenge and madness.

Anna should be on her way to a padded room, heavy sedation and therapy sessions.

But she’s got this one thing she needs to take care of first. 

Get it now. 

Anna Hanks. Relentless.

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Unspeakable medical procedures. A crazed serial killer. Who will protect the innocent and at what cost?

Get your FREE copy of Forbidden Birth: A Chris Ravello Medical Thriller


Doctor Christopher Ravello is driven by an unquenchable desire to avenge his mother’s senseless murder. He forsakes a lucrative career in medicine, and plunges headlong into the brutal, unforgiving world of a New York City homicide detective. Head of the new Division of Medical Crimes, Ravello’s first case pits him against a brilliant, sadistic serial killer. Known only as The Giver, he is hell bent on subjecting young women and their unborn babies to his illicit experiments. As the body count rises, New York City is engulfed in fear. Fighting an illness which threatens his job, immersed in turmoil at home due to his radical career change, Ravello struggles to understand who The Giver is and where he will strike next. Just as he discovers the killer’s identity the unspeakable happens, and Ravello is confronted with an agonizing choice: will he play it safe or make the ultimate sacrifice to save his loved ones and the city he is sworn to protect and serve?

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Unlock the secret…

Download your copy of Best Kept Secret


Natasha Dawson is a lucky woman. Her career as a fashion photographer has taken off magnificently. After her imminent marriage, she will have a stable future to look forward to and a loving husband in the funny and generous Luke Stevens. Everything is very nearly perfect. But her ex-boyfriend has disappeared, and, try as she might, she can’t forget about him. Some part of her feels she’s about to marry the man of the wrong person’s dreams. The other man in her life is handsome, engaging and passionate, and Natasha is deeply in love with him. But he also has a terrible secret, and Natasha may have to risk everything if she wants to uncover it…

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Newly joined Siamese twins – work that one out!

Get your FREE copy of Worry No More


A thriller set in Thailand.

This is the sequel to the popular ‘Not Far Enough From Worries’. Kev and Skylab pit their wits against Camilla, the beautiful but ruthless lesbian.

This dark novel starts in Hua Hin, a sleepy seaside town in Thailand. “Not much ever happens there.” Don’t you believe it! A thriving gambling hub, wives kill husbands to raise a stake for the next turn of a card. Never owe the debt-collector or his mother. You may be set alight!

Kev and Skylab are now the guardians of a very talented child, amongst other skills, he can tell if you are lying, making Kev very nervous, fortunately, the only person Nick will talk to is Camilla’s daughter, Philippa. That ability is useful if you want a casino.

Characters to avoid on a dark night are Mik and Mak, Thai twins, yes, real Siamese Twins. You’ll have to think about that comment. Their ‘friend’ Randy has some mental issues. He ends up missing part of his body!

The action moves to Bangkok for a fast, hard-hitting surprise. Horror when you don’t expect it!

This is book two in the ‘No Worries’ series. Book 3 ‘Children With No Worries’, to be published 2019.


“Siamese twins?”

Published by

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The Story of When Kathleen and Jake Meet…

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What happens when love is based on a lie?

When Kathleen Cunningham approaches PI Jake Travis in a hotel bar, he knows trouble when he sees it. Kathleen wants his help finding her missing brother-in-law. Jake has sworn off the opposite sex for good after a disastrous affair, yet…he can’t resist her request.

But as the two slowly fall in love, Jake learns that Kathleen isn’t who she says she is, and not only is her life in terrible danger…so is his.

Equal parts suspense, humor, and romance, Midnight on the Water will hook you on Jake Travis, a character Florida Weekly calls, ‘One of the best leading men to take the thriller fiction stage in years.’

Midnight on the Water is the never-published prequel to Robert Lane’s award-winning debut, The Second Letter.

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More about The Reichsbank Gold by Mark O’Neill

February 1945 : With the war nearly over, the Nazi regime moves their entire cash and gold Reichsbank reserves, from Berlin to the salt mines of Merkers. But some of the gold is stolen and is never found again.

September 2017 : A fierce national election campaign is being fought out in Germany. Extreme right-wing nationalists, connected to a major election candidate, are terrorising the streets and murdering at will.

Captain Sophie Decker of the elite Department 89 is given an order by the German Chancellor to stop the violence. But little do they know that the missing Reichsbank gold and a long-lost Nazi icon will light the spark that will make Berlin explode.

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Get your FREE copy of The Meeting At Bishop’s Rest


Jack Sibley came up to Bishop’s Rest with one thing in mind: to get even.

When he and his blizzard bound hunting party come face to face with a ghostly apparition known as The Long Rider, however, all of their lives irrevocably change course in ways they could hardly imagine.

The Meeting At Bishop’s Rest is an excellent novella introduction to The Strange Air series of Oregon-based supernatural mysteries. Check it out now for your chance to dive into this eerie world of spooks and specters.

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When your partner goes missing and you

Get your FREE copy of Living with Saci


Living with Saci is set in the sprawling metropolis of São Paulo, Brazil. It tells the story of Teresa da Silva, an overweight, depressed, drink dependent, and her struggles in the city. Estranged from her daughter, who lives with the ex-husband in England, life seems to constantly deal Teresa a bad hand. She begins to wonder whether the mischievous character from Brazilian folklore, Saci, might have something to do with it. Events seem to be taking a turn for the positive when she meets Felipe, who asks her to marry him. But when he disappears, Teresa finds that she is the object of suspicion.

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More about The Stickup by Leopold Borstinski

The prequel to the Lagotti Family series, this stand-alone novella follows Frank Lagotti as he tries to get some bread to pay the rent and maybe make some seed capital so he can rob a bank one day. His pal Louis might be the brains of the outfit but he also has a keen interest in sex and drugs – not a great mix when your future rests on the next robbery and he’s the one who has planned everything out to the finest detail. Or not.

Can they pull off the job with their motley gang or will the cops come screeching round the corner and shoot them all to hell?

The Lagotti Family series follows Frank and his girlfriend Mary Lou as they rob a bank, try to escape and live off the proceeds of their crimes – spanning thirty years of American crime family life.

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Here’s your invitation to signup for my Titus Ray Thriller newsletter!

After signing up, you’ll receive One Step Back as a welcome gift!


Titus Ray tries to recruit a nuclear scientist in Tehran.
Days later, he goes on the run from the secret police.

CIA intelligence officer Titus Ray has been in Iran trying to recruit assets willing to feed him intel on the Iranian opposition. When he unexpectedly meets Amir Madani, one of Iran’s premier nuclear scientist, he can’t resist the opportunity to pursue him as a CIA asset.

Although Chaman, a beautiful Iranian socialite, warns Titus to stay away from Madani, he ignores her advice and befriends the nuclear scientist. The consequences prove disastrous for Titus, and, as the secret police close in on him, he’s forced to find shelter with a group of Iranian Christians, who risk their own lives to save his.

One Step Back, a Titus Ray Thriller novella, is the prequel to One Night in Tehran, Book I in the Titus Ray Thriller Series.

Here’s what reviewers are saying about Titus Ray Thrillers:

“I recommend these books for all who enjoy good clean fiction, especially those involving current events in the world. I like the development of the characters and their relationship. I gave it five stars for the great storyline and the characters that seem so real.” -Amazon review

“The characters are very well-developed and believable. I enjoyed the way the author described Titus Ray’s internal struggles and character flaws creating a very authentic main character. The story was action-packed and one is left wondering how the author could be so knowledgeable of the CIA and the work of their covert operatives.” -Amazon review

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A gripping psychological thriller filled with mystery, suspense and intrigue, that keeps you guessing from beginning to end.

Get your FREE copy of She’s Gone!


On a rainy September morning baby Cassandra is kidnapped while her mother cowers in a closet. Shea is a victim of post-partum depression. 

When Detectives Darby and Mel begin to dig the truth becomes more and more murky. Ugly secrets from the past emerge. No one is above suspicion, least of all Shea, herself. In her desperation to find her baby who can she trust? Someone is watching . . . And nothing is as it seems . . .

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Get your FREE copy of Michael Ridding


In Southern California, three terrorists of unknown allegiances slaughter dozens of men at a shopping mall.

In Denver, the eccentric CEO of Denver Communications, or DenCom, has a target on his head.

In the wilds of Greenland, a long forgotten enemy is reaching out for recognition and revenge.

At the center of it all, a special investigator for the “communications” company is dragged into a supernatural war he can’t begin to understand.

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Terror lurks on the highway…

Get your FREE copy of The Botanist


Alex knows one thing for sure:

Something creepy happened on that abandoned stretch of desert highway.

When Alex Thompson is pulled over by a squad car in the middle of nowhere, the police officer acts downright bizarre. She’s positive something’s not right about the whole situation.

Years later, a mass grave is discovered in that same area, and she knows she came close to being one of the victims. So why did the killer let her go?

Cody Oliver is a small-town detective. His department can’t handle a case this huge. When a mysterious woman, Alex, appears from the past, it stirs something in him.

Could a chance encounter a million years ago have been that important? Could a short, random meeting he’d dismissed as soon as it ended be the key to stopping a serial killer?

Give me a “hell yeah” and pick up this book with one click, because if Cody and Alex can’t unravel this demented mystery, the desert will continue to fill up with bodies.

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Get your FREE copy of Brownies and Dark Shadows


When Sandy Bay’s crème de la crème congregate to raise money for charity, Meghan Truman is proud to have her tasty desserts the talk of the party. She’s not so proud when the wealthiest couple in Sandy Bay are discovered dead and rumors circulate around town that her brownies are the cause of this tragedy. 

This murder case casts a dark shadow over Meghan’s budding romance with handsome Officer Irvin who’s disappointed that she’s once again at the center of another murder investigation.

With everything to lose, Meghan must work hard to clear her name, restore broken relationships and solve this murder mystery before everything she’s worked so hard to build comes crumbling down.

Book 2 in the Sandy Bay Cozy Mystery series, which can be read in one to two hours! Can be read as a standalone, but enjoyed better as part of a series. Perfect for a lunchtime read. If you love cozy mysteries with an amateur female sleuth, mouth-watering culinary desserts and a gripping murder mystery, then you’ll love Meghan Truman and the quirky characters in Sandy Bay! 

No cliffhanger, swearing or graphic scenes!

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Enter the mystery…


Growing up in a state hospital like Creedmore could have broken Ena’s spirit, but instead it gave her the will and drive to seek out the mother who had abandoned her there as a child. Her search leads her at last to a small town near the Shawangunk Mountains in upstate New York. Yet after moving to Harlow, she hesitates to make contact with her mother.

Instead, hired to collate archaeological documents at the local college, Ena is drawn into unraveling the mystery of a dig that is being sabotaged, and helping the Welsh-born detective Galen Hill find a killer.

When she discovers artifacts stored from a dig in Peru, handwritten archaeological journals lead her to a curious connection between the artifacts themselves and the intricacies of an old video game about a legendary journey through time. What she doesn’t know is that her research is a threat to someone who isn’t willing to let the truth be known. The closer she comes to a solution, the more real danger waits for her.

To her surprise, her involvement with Galen grows stronger and deeper as together they seek to reveal their adversary. Gradually, in the midst of the chaos and darkness of what unfolds, Ena begins to find a way to let go of the past…

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Fast Paced/Twists/Jeff Case, just out of the Army, saves an old lady from a mugging on the streets of NYC. It could get him and his wife killed. This lays the foundation for the Jeff Case adventures in the Kill Crime Series.

Get your FREE copy of Life-Changing Money


Life-Changing Money

(A Jeff Case Short Story)

Prequel to the Kill Crime Series

Meet Jeff Case before his world explodes.

Jeff Case does what most people would never do, and thank God for that. He makes the community a safer place. But before he moved to Houston and his world turned upside down, Jeff had a different plan.

 Former soldier. Defender of the innocent.

Case may have left a warzone, but he soon discovers that the New York City streets and brownstones can be just as dangerous.

 Case is ready to move on after his successful military time and start a new life and civilian career with his wife, Becky.

When he sees a woman being brutally attacked from the backseat of a taxi, Jeff leaps to her defense. But, did Case prevent a mugging or a murder? The heroic rescue is a catalyst that kickstarts the day from hell. A day that Case and Becky may not survive.

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More about Death Dolls by Simon Farrant

Benjamin McGuinness fulfils his dream of establishing successful businesses and gives jobs with a new home to some of life’s misfits, deep in the English countryside on a farm. Everything seems perfect and his workers are as close as family. 

A fire strikes close to home, a disaster that changes his perception of life and one of his loyal workers takes the chance to propose a life-changing venture. 

This new business drags Lisa, his sister, into the deadly web of deception. 

When exiled Russian twins join the family a symbolic tattoo is created that drives Benjamin’s money into a new league. 

Benjamin knows that his future is defined by ‘the family’. 

Will greed cause everything to crumble before his eyes, or will there be brutal consequences to their actions?

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What can stop the rise of a Fourth Reich on American soil?

Get your FREE copy of Wall of Secrets ( Book One of the Vital Secrets Series)


1961 – Adolf Warner is a second-generation Nazi whose sole focus is to restore Hitler’s Reich to its proper glory.

Manfred Amsel is a college professor and Allied spy, tucked in the Soviet sector of a conquered and divided Berlin. 

As the Berlin Wall’s path through the city nears completion, a fateful encounter sets each man on his own quest to escape.

Fifty years later, their paths cross again – this time in America.

Who survives the reunion?

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Get your FREE copy of Madman: A Diamond and Doran Mystery


Grieving the loss of his best friend, while covering for colleagues killed and wounded by the unknown Haymarket bomber, Sergeant Billy Doran is not a happy man.

The rookie he has thrust upon him to complicate his working and personal life only adds to his frustration, but when a madman appears from the shadows to stalk his city and endanger his own family, Doran knows he must find a way to work with his new detective if they are to catch the killer, or it will be more than the city of Chicago that will lie in ruins.

Bully for YouGARY KITTLE

When Chris Haynes is beaten up one evening, a nightmare begins.

Struggling to cope as a single parent, Chris is attacked again – only this time the mugger uses his name and hints that he knows a secret about his volatile son, Bradley. Why does Bradley hate his father so much? And what does Chris have to feel so guilty about? 

The mugger’s game intensifies, and Chris tries desperately to reach out to his son, suspecting that he alone holds the key to solving the mystery. But Bradley has a psychological game of his own to play, driven by resentment, rage and terror. He intends to put what he knows about Dad to his own ends, to punish his father for what he sees as the betrayal of his absent mother. 

In this tense urban crime thriller, Chris is driven towards a mental breakdown, a victim of vigilante justice where the nature of his crime is never stated. What does the mugger really want? What role does Bradley’s new school friend, Gordon have in this unending nightmare? Does he know the mugger too? And what is hidden under the floor of the Haynes’ summer house? 

As the intimidation and violence escalates, someone is heading for a bloody fall, and someone stands to lose everything – even their life.

Read more…Get My Book

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Welcome to Essex County. Expect no mercy.

Get your FREE copy of Shaking the Tree


What would you do if you found a suitcase in the woods? 

What would you do when someone came looking for it?

Out of prison, but still on parole, Max just wants to keep his head down, go to work and maybe grab a cold beer at the end of his shift. He doesn’t even care that the program stuck him in Essex – a nice, but nowhere small town. With his head already full of bloody and painful memories, he’d like it just fine if his past and future stayed nice and quiet.

Too bad the present just got really messy.

A body in a tree. A missing briefcase. A Russian hit man. A DEA agent bent on revenge. Not to mention a sheriff with dangerous ambition and some pissed off bikers. Things are suddenly very interesting in sleepy Essex county. Bodies are turning up. Secrets are coming out. Questions are being asked.

It’s not good being the new guy in a small town.

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Six Stories of Cold War Noir

Get your FREE copy of Welcome to the Hotel Yalta


Six Stories of Cold War NoirAn heiress who can’t seem to keep her legs closed. A Russian plan for dominating the space race. An assassin with a penchant for rich food and sadistic murder. When you’re alone in the cold, passion and betrayal are commodities and love hangs on by an icy thread. From the author of The Bone Church and Cold, comes a white knuckle tour de force of Cold War noir.

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Get your FREE copy of The Secret Diary of Helen Blackstone


In 1929, Helen Blackstone is forced to do the unthinkable—return to her childhood home.

A place full of secrets and lies … where her mother had gone mad.

Helen had hoped she had left those dark days behind her, but when her brother is threatened, she uncovers a shocking truth that changes everything …

From the award-winning series — A Secrets of Redemption novella.

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Meet Chisolm, Katie MacLeod, Stef Kopriva…

Get your FREE copy of Under a Raging Moon


These are the patrol officers of River City – that mythical thin blue line between society and anarchy. They must stop the robber, all the while juggling divorces, love affairs, internal politics, a hostile media, vengeful gang members and a civilian population that isn’t always understanding or even grateful.

Written by a real cop with real experience, Under a Raging Moon is like a paperback ride-along. Enjoy the ride.

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Now, for example, we are sending a sample chapter of ‘Children With No Worries’ we are sure you’ll like it – who doesn’t like spooky little killers?


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