Today’s post is very long, very interesting, and very colourful. My guest, Nikki McDonagh is a very talented artist and everything is grist to her creative mill. She hasn’t sent me an author pic this time but you can see what her mug looks like if you go here. I’ll hand over to Nikki to introduce herself.
I am a creative writing tutor, photographer, and published author. I trained as a photojournalist many years ago and have an Honours Degree in Drama and English Literature, and a Diploma in Creative Writing.
I used to be an actor/director and scriptwriter, but gave it all up when I moved to Suffolk, where I live with my husband and cats in a 17th Century timber-framed cottage. I love being creative with words and images, and enjoy experimenting with language and photography.
Echoes From the Lost Ones: Blurb:
I’m not like the other girlygigs in Cityplace; I’m a bringer. I can sing to the only animals left in NotsoGreatBritAlbion and make them land. Adara, catcher of birds -that’s what they call me and that’s what I can do.
Now that the Agros have cut supplies and folk are near starved, I’d best keep shutums about my name though, or everyone will want a piece of me.
I’d best creep and peep all stealthy-like to track down my bro-bro. Snatched by Agro scum for who knows what.
Good job I’m trained in S.A.N.T. ways too, for I’ll need all my roughhouse skills to keep the Agro spies, Nearlys and wolfies at bay until I find and bring home my bro and all the other missing Meeks.
I just wish I knew who or what is following my every move.
We stood in the dark not able even to see our own limbs if we were to lift them to our faces. I turned my head skywards and saw nowt, no moon and no stars. I heard Wirt take a gulp and I too felt a dryness creep up my throat. I remembered the last encounter with wolfies had been in daylight, and with some sort of diversion for us to make our escape. Out here in pitchy blackness, I feared for us all and shuffled nearer to Eadgard.
“Shhh! Quickly stand back to back in a circle and do not move, or make a sound. Do not turn on a torch or any source of light. The darkness now is our only protector. These hounds, although fierce to be sure, are about as bright as a black hole and will only attack when they see movement. Again I urge you to be as still as still and quiet as quiet. Now let me feel your hands,” Eadgard said and Wirt and I did what we were told.
The grumbling, rumbling noise grew louder and I smelled a pungent wetness waft across my face. The darkness seemed to thicken around us and I saw red dots appear here and there. They winked and burned and I knew they were the soulless eyes of the Cloniewolves that Eadgard had described. A dagger like voice slashed into our ears.
“Heel! Heel, you rawbone jackals. Heel!”
A whip crack sound echoed round us and the burning flecks disappeared. I felt both Wirt’s and Eadgard’s hands relax in mine. A different smell spiralled up towards my nasal passages. A sweet and sickly aroma like something gone rotten.
“Strangers here, we tell. We leave all to mercy of houndlings, have ourselves goodly feed. Meat scarce to come by, we here not particular where it comes from. All better when fresh.”
“Quiet, Marcellus. Stand back, shine our light.”
“Do as we say. Or Vea will hear of this.”
The stinky pong diminished and I heard a sparkly crackle sound. Then a light as bright as two suns, or so it seemed in the blackness of our surrounding, splashed before our eyes. I held my hand across my face and blinked until my vision made sense of such illumination. I gave out a greatly gasp and let instinct propel me backwards at the sight that came into view.
*Blogger’s Note: You will have noticed that Nikki has a special way with words. That alone makes her book worth reading. Here is my review of Echoes from the Lost Ones
A Silence Heard is the second volume of the series.
A Silence Heard – Blurb:
It’s a sickly wind that blows, ash black and full of menace. I hear them through the blackness – voices inside my noggin. Meeks calling from deep within the ground.
I stop listening and catch another sound. Agros, lots of them. Feet pounding, shaking the earth, drawing closer. An unseen army equipped with tech we know nowt about. All I have is my voice and the power of friendship. I must act now before the Agro menace snuffs us out.
But there’s a stone in my guts. A hard thing that won’t move. Yet I must, I must rise from all this grief and sing. Sing to save the Meeks, sing to destroy the Agros, and sing The Song of Forgetfulness to send lost loved ones to a better place and peace.
You’ll see, I’ll save my bro-bro yet.
Eadgard walked over to the other two Agro guards, who remained flat on the floor. He grabbed one of them by his shirt collar and yanked him to his feet. “Disarm the cams,” he said. The guard gulped. Eadgard pressed two fingers into the side of his neck and the guard choked. “You on the floor, get up.” He did and quickly too. “Disarm the cams or your friend will join the others.”
The male shook his head and said, “I have not the power to do this.”
Eadgard gave his prisoner a swift jab in the throat and down he went. He stared at the remaining guard. “Disarm the cams.”
“I do not know how.”
Eadgard leant closer to him. The male sank to his knees. “Do me no further harm. I cannot do as you ask, I cannot.”
“Do so quickly. We cannot be observed.”
“I cannot. I do not know how!”
Eadgard shoved him forward and the trembling Agro scum sprawled out, blubbing like a newbie. Eadgard raised his foot over his head, but before he could make contact with his skull, Kendra approached him holding out a black rectangle.
“Wait. I still have the communications console from the ‘Play Area’.”
Eadgard placed his foot on the ground and the guard curled up like a womb bub. Kendra lifted the com, tip-tapped it and the red dots of light on the cams went out.
“There, all fixed.”
“Why did you not use this device before?” Eadgard said.
“Because I wanted to show this Agro slime that we are not to be taken lightly.”
Kendra walked over to Alfred and glared at him so hard that he looked away as if
burned by the sun. “I wanted him, and all those that are spying on us right now, to see the strength we have.”
Marcellus pinned Alfred’s arms behind his back and he let out a yelp. Eadgard pulled the prostrate guard from the floor and pushed him towards Wirt, who pointed a gun at the Agro’s head. The puny male began to weep and Eadgard walked away, a look of loathing on his face. He stood by one of the cubicles, turned his head and looked into the window. He narrowed his eyes and peered closer. I thought him daft since all I could see was gloom.
“Hey! Hey! Over here. I think I see something,” he said and beckoned us to join him. Kendra and I sped to his side, whilst Wirt and Marcellus pushed and prodded the Agro males before them. Eadgard had his nose squished against the glass. We all, except for Alfred, and the Agros, crept nearer and stared into the darkened room behind.
We all jumped back.
Out from the unlitness, a face appeared.
Then another, and another, and another.
As light filled the cubicles we saw more and more young ’uns and bubs alike, staring back at us.
Their hands pressed upon the panes.
Their eyes wide, their mouths open.
Glimmer is a collection of seven compelling and darkly humorous stories that deal with obsession, loss, redemption and hope.
In these tales of mysterious liaisons, supernatural intrigue, deathly hauntings and disturbing fixations, characters reveal hidden secrets, forbidden urges, untold yearnings and skills in necromancy.
The world will not end because I close my eyes. The sun will still shine, so too the stars. Yet the darkness behind my drooped lids tells me otherwise. I see a macrocosm made up of swirling silhouettes and geometric shapes that aren’t strange to me at all. This is where I live now, in x-ray blackness. There is peace in this non-colour. A stillness that demands quiet.
This is what I need if I am to receive their call.
Though my eyes are closed and my breath is short and shallow, I see and hear everything. Sometimes it’s too much and I have to take a break and let my mind wander down a quieter path. But I get lost and end up back in the place of noise and trouble. They must sift through all this debris and find me out.
Before I stick to the sheets.
Extract: On the Eighth Day:
Rain. Lots of it.
What a contrast to the day before. The monochrome light showed more than it should. I began to notice cracks in the cornicing and areas of discolouration on the burgundy painted walls. Even the bed looked unwelcoming and I shuddered as a memory from the past crept into my head. My wedding day. Not a joyous affair. A marriage I allowed to happen because I feared the alternative. I was not a great beauty. My charm lay in my chastity. And my new husband, Alfred, valued it above all else.
“You are my salvation. My pure one. Soon, when the moon is blue, I will come to you and lavish my affection. You will endure pleasures beyond your comprehension. You cannot know what things are to come,” Alfred said. He was right. I could never have imagined what was in store for me.
Adam lay stretched flat upon the floor. Two white plugs stuffed into his ears. His head nodded in rhythm to a faint beat. I grew weary of watching his eyebrows rise and fall at each change in tempo, and stared out of the murky window. My mind turned to thoughts of last night and the intriguing man that I had met.
I looked down at the street below. A grey scene that reflected my mood. I saw grey people walking along grey pavements under a grey sky. I looked back at Adam, he too was grey. He noticed me and caught me up in his big fleshy palm. I scratched his knuckles drawing blood. He withdrew his hand and sucked at the wound. I watched the red liquid drip, and thought it a relief of colour against this atmosphere of dull.
Before we flip over to another facet of Nicola McDonagh’s creativity, here are the links for her books.
Now for the colourful bit—a sample of Nikki’s stunning photographs.
Thanks so much, Nicola McDonagh for brightening up my blog and wishing you all the best with preparing the third book in the series.
If you want to catch up with Nikki and learn more about her and her work, here are a few more links.
Author Website: http://www.nicolamcdonagh.com/
Book series site: http://www.thesongofforgetfulness.com/
Blog Page: http://nicolajmcdonagh.wordpress.com/
Book trailer 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xJ0A36Ha8U
Book trailer 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQ8o_mBopYM