Softly Screamed the Devil.
There is nothing civilised about the Civilised World.
The theocratic rule of the Church of the Last Breath is enforced by the brutality of its Keepers. An incurable pandemic waxes and wanes, killing without rhyme or reason. The Endless War rages into its second decade.
Sau Clevy spends his days mediating for a broken legal system and struggling with transcendental visions that have haunted him since boyhood. When he is arrested for an assassination he did not commit, Sau realises the true ruthlessness of the system that he had so blindly trusted. In the eyes of the Keepers, his innocence is irrelevant, and torture has a way of changing a man.
Teenage Hannielke Alvarez has invested her life in becoming a Keeper. When a golden opportunity arises, she is horrified by the vicious prerequisites attached. Feigning naïveté is not an option. Hesitation is heresy. And Hannielke is running out of time.
Then a mysterious collective, the Cannibals, blaze into Sau and Hannielke’s lives at the eleventh hour, and change all the rules with a seemingly impossible prospect: freedom.
If you could only flee the abyss by stomping on the broken backs of innocent, would you start climbing?
Softly Screamed the Devil is a haunting exploration of ethical quandaries in a world where truth is relative, fear outweighs love, and the only way to save yourself is to dive into the darkness.
Masque of Scars.
Book One of the Soles Weep Red tetralogy
No caste system is kind.
The Tokugawa people endure life in the slums, senseless airstrikes, and the perpetuity of poverty.
Their caste is a community, but even communities have absolute rules. Fear of inter-caste breeding, or “dilution”, fosters suspicion between friends and neighbours, even as they work shoulder-to-shoulder in trades that exist solely to accommodate the needs of the Elite.
Despite the wretchedness of their caste and the strain within their home, Vandhana and Tolo Willoughby have scratched out a halfway comfortable existence over the years; not only for themselves, but also their three children: ambitious Sora, sensitive Teoh, and baby Kenyon. It may not be a happy life, but it’s a life.
Until the Elite make an example of the wrong person. Until a martyr is created. Until the disempowered decide to avenge their dead… with revolution.
When the oppressed raise their hands against their masters, can idealism conquer brute force?
Should one align with their tribe when there’s family to think of?
And if a war is coming… how do the Willoughby family dodge the crossfire?
Masque of Scars is the first instalment in the Soles Weep Red tetralogy.
The Gentle Art of Snapping Ribcages.
Scarlett Hawkins left Australia at the age of 23 to travel the world. With no real plans, and no real timeline for return, she had only one rule: “Go for the greatest story.”
Sometimes the greatest story is found in the bioluminescent glint of the Andaman Sea as a thunderstorm crashes on the horizon. Sometimes it’s found in the backseat of a Mini Cooper as it zips across Texas to kickstart a last-minute international tour of spoken word poetry. Sometimes the greatest story isn’t a story at all, but rather, the moment a person tells themself that it’s too soon to fall in love, but tumbles headfirst into it, all the same.
But just like life in the ‘real world’, travel is never a perpetual montage of exclusively brilliant moments. As with the euphoria of a truly perfect day, the greatest story can be found in the most macabre: in the gruesome paradox of genocidal sites flaunted as merry tourist attractions, or staring down the barrel of an AK-47 in an active warzone, or even from being pickpocketed by a sociopath with a neck tattoo… despite having spent the previous hour making out with him.
And for this author, it’s all of the above, and more.
At 94,000 words, The Gentle Art of Snapping Ribcages is one woman's study of self-awareness when displaced from the safe confines of home, a love letter to every country that didn’t turn her away at the border, and a relentless mockery of 'traveller, not tourist' travel elitism.
Kimba Reid has a love-hate relationship with most things in her life. Not least of all, her job.
As a professional cupid for the sprawling conglomerate that is Love, Inc., Kimba’s days are consumed by spearing strangers with arrows, churning through reams of paperwork, and trying to extricate herself from potential friendships with her chipper, overfamiliar colleagues.
Her life is unexceptional, and that suits her just fine.
Then she meets Lucas McIntyre, a liquor-soaked yuppie in the throes of a quarter-life crisis. Before long, Lucas develops a new purpose in life: courting Kimba.
When romance is an occupation, and not an aspiration, unrequited attention wears thin fast. But how does a reluctant Cinderella deter a self-declared Prince Charming who has watched too many romantic comedies?
Love, Inc. is a biting satire of the tired tropes that comprise the backbone to the world’s most popular genre, set in the cosmopolitan surrounds of Melbourne, Australia.