Were JFK and Marilyn Monroe’s deaths linked? Find out in my story “The Babushka Lady”, now published in “The Chronos Chronicles”

Did you ever wonder if the deaths of Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy might be connected? The lead character in my short story The Babushka Lady is on the trail of the killer — but is everything as it seems?

The Babushka Lady is the latest of the Million Eyes short stories to be released. It’s a time travel story that homes in on the continuing mysteries and conspiracy theories that surround the deaths of Marilyn Monroe and JFK. It also explores the identity of the ‘Babushka Lady’, the woman who saw and took pictures of JFK’s assassination but has never been traced or identified.

The mysterious Babushka Lady

The story has been published in a time travel anthology called The Chronos Chronicles by Indie Authors Press. Sci-fi author Paul Levinson calls it a “riotous feast of time travel stories, fresh and profound, touching the classic bases with a surprising originality and diversity of style”.

The book is out now and available to buy for £9.99 — which is cheap for an anthology! You can find out more about the book and its authors or you can buy a copy.

I hope you enjoy reading The Babushka Lady. It was definitely one of the most fun to write!

If you’re interested in reading more Million Eyes short stories, here is a list of all the places where they’ve been published.

Advertisements

My story “The Emancipation of Google” has been published in Theme of Absence

I’m thrilled to announce that my short story The Emancipation of Google has just been published today in Theme of Absence, an online magazine of speculative flash fiction and short stories. Click the image above to read it or go here.

At nearly 1,300 words, it’s a short read. It’s about an unusual encounter between a student and a search engine and is based on a popular internet conspiracy theory…

The Emancipation of Google was previously the winner of the Rushmoor Writers Founders Cup 2015. It got longlisted by Inktears and shortlisted by England’s Future History in 2016.

Theme of Absence also conducted an interview with me. In it I talk about my writing goals, my approach and experiences, how I got started, and more. There are also some (hopefully useful) words of advice for fellow writers. Click the image below to read the interview or go here.

Very proud to be part of this awesome magazine! 🙂

All the places you can read the “Million Eyes” short stories

The Million Eyes short stories are standalone short stories set in the same universe as the Million Eyes Trilogy. Here is a list of all the stories that have been published so far, with little blurbs and links to where you can read them.

Rachel Can See

Rachel Evans is having memories of things that didn’t happen. A shadowy organisation, concerned by what she might reveal, takes action.

Longlisted by Inktears in 2014, Rachel Can See was published in Metamorphose Volume 2 and won an honourable mention. Click the icon below to buy a copy. You can also read a sneak peek on Metamorphose’s website.

Paul

A car crash that wasn’t supposed to happen. A much-loved musician who wasn’t supposed to die. It’s time to set things right — but at what cost?

Shortlisted in the Aeon Award Contest 2015, Paul was published by Storgy Magazine (and later re-published in Suspense Magazine). Click the icon to read it.

Who is Rudolph Fentz?

A man discovers that a fictional short story by Jack Finney about weird time travelling goings on in New York might not be so fictional after all.

Who is Rudolph Fentz? was published in Issue 68 of Scribble Magazine and won 3rd prize out of 19 stories in that issue, voted for by the readers. The issue is now out of print, but it was later re-published by Storgy Magazine. Click the icon to read it.

The Charlie Chaplin Time Traveller

A woman on a mobile phone — in 1928? Film director George Clarke investigates a time-bending oddity on an old Charlie Chaplin DVD, but needs to be careful where he pokes his nose.

This story was published in Issue 11 of Tigershark Magazine (and can be read here) and the March/April 2017 edition of Suspense Magazine. Click the icon to read it in Suspense Magazine.

The Home Secretary is safe 

Cody Evans is sick of hearing about how Mrs Battersby needs to trim her unsightly hedge, but the woman opposite on the train won’t stop saying it. What’s going on?

The Home Secretary is safe was published by sci-fi magazine Phantaxis in Issue 6. Click the icon to buy a copy from Amazon.

Operation Loch Ness

DS Claire Garrison is tasked with investigating the disappearance of an amateur Loch Ness Monster hunter. It turns out Nessie is the last of her problems.

The longest of the Million Eyes short stories, this was published by strange fiction magazine Idle Ink. Click the icon to read it.

Rachel Can Still See

What do you do when a time traveller goes rogue? Rachel Evans is about to find out.

The sequel to Rachel Can See, this was published in Phantaxis Issue 7. It was also highly commended by Writers’ Forum and won the Rushmoor Writers Hyde Cup in 2016. Click the icon to buy a copy from Amazon.

There are further stories coming soon…

The Babushka Lady will be published by Indie Authors Press in their time travel anthology The Chronos Chronicles, set to be released imminently.

Eryl Mai’s Dream is set to be published by Dark Tales in their forthcoming anthology Dark Tales 17. This is currently set for release sometime in spring, but there’s no firm date yet.

A very loosely linked story, The Emancipation of Google, is due to be published by Theme of Absence next Friday (11th May). More details on that soon.

In other news…

I’m still writing for the Time Travel Nexus, so please follow, like and share my posts on there. I write regularly for a column called Time Travel Nexus Investigates, which is all about time travel conspiracy theories and urban legends. Last month I also wrote a post about time travel in Star Trek and how the 2009 movie buggered up the entire Star Trek universe.

Here is a list of my TTN posts so far, with links:

Time Travel Nexus Investigates

Misc

Lastly, I got some super-positive feedback from a potential publisher on the first novel in the Million Eyes Trilogy, with some constructive advice on things I can improve and strengthen. So I’ve started a new edit. It’s not a major overhaul or anything. It’s just a case of fleshing out and adding to what’s there. Going well so far…

That’s all for now. Oh, and May the 4th be with you!

My story “Operation Loch Ness” has been published by Idle Ink

My short story, Operation Loch Ness, has been published by online short story magazine Idle Ink and is available to read for free here.

This is the latest of the Million Eyes short stories to be published, following Rachel Can See, Rachel Can Still See, The Charlie Chaplin Time Traveller, The Home Secretary is safe, Paul and Who is Rudolph Fentz?

Operation Loch Ness follows multiple characters across time embroiled in the strange goings on at Loch Ness, Scotland. The most prominent of these characters is Detective Sergeant Claire Garrison, who is tasked with investigating the disappearance of an amateur Loch Ness Monster hunter and gets caught up in a deadly, time-bending conspiracy…

Idle Ink is an online publisher of “strange fiction”, initially established in 2017 as a print zine. It is looking for genre fiction and “oddities” too weird to be published anywhere else. I’m very glad that Operation Loch Ness has been deemed strange enough to be part of it!

This week: a rundown of my latest publications, including articles written for the Time Travel Nexus and all the places where you can read the Million Eyes short stories.

A home-grown conspiracy? The Salisbury attack on ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal

On 4th March 2018, former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in Salisbury, England, with a Novichok nerve agent. UK Prime Minister Theresa May has accused Russia of the attempted murder, but could her own government be responsible?

Over the last few years, tensions have been rising between Russia and Western states, particularly the US and the UK. A number of events have contributed to these tensions:

  • Russian military intervention in Ukraine in 2014
  • Russian interference with the 2016 US general election in order to bolster Donald Trump’s campaign and undermine Hillary Clinton’s
  • a 2016 ruling that Russian defector Alexander Litvinenko was assassinated on British soil by the Russian government
  • Russia’s support for the Syrian government in the Syrian Civil War.

Now that a Russian former spy for the British secret services has been poisoned with a deadly nerve agent on British soil, there can no longer be any doubt. The Second Cold War is in full swing.

But is everything as it seems?

66-year-old Sergei Skripal is a Russian former intelligence officer who betrayed Russia to the British and became a double agent for the UK’s intelligence services during the 90s and 00s. At 16:15 on 4th March, a passing doctor and nurse found him and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia Skripal, unconscious on a public bench in the centre of Salisbury. An eyewitness saw Yulia foaming at the mouth, eyes wide open, pale as a ghost. The UK government soon announced that the two of them had been poisoned with a nerve agent. For several weeks, Skripal and his daughter remained in a critical condition. By the beginning of April, both were recovering in hospital. (Bugger, thought the assassins.)

On 12th March, UK Prime Minister Theresa May said the nerve agent had been identified as a Novichok agent, developed in the 1980s by the Soviet Union. It’s been speculated that since Yulia Skripal had just flown in from Russia the previous day, the nerve agent was planted in one of the personal items in her suitcase while she was there. US media has speculated that it was planted in their car.

The bigger question is — by who?

Continue reading

New flash fiction story “There’s Something About Anne” published and free to read

If you’re after a quick read — and when I say quick, I mean it’ll take you approximately 15 seconds — then I’ve just had a new flash fiction story published on ChristopherFielden.com.

This story, There’s Something About Anne, could also be classed as microfiction. It comes in at 81 words and is part of Christopher Fielden’s 81Words Writing Challenge. He’s aiming to set a world record for the most authors published in an anthology. His intention is to publish 1,000 81-word short stories all by different contributing authors, so if you have a flash fiction piece of your own that you can dust off and edit down to 81 words — go ahead and submit!

The challenge is in support of the Arkbound Foundation, a charity that aims to widen access to literature and improve diversity within the media industry.

My story, There’s Something About Anne, is Story 341 and can be read here.

Be sure to check out Story 272, 323, 326, 328, 330 and 338. These are all stories from my writers’ group, Rushmoor Writers. We’re trying to get all of us in there!

Next week: a one-off blog on the poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia

 

The murder of Princess Diana: the conspiracy that won’t die

A shroud of strange coincidences, missing evidence and sinister unanswered questions continue to hang over the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. In this article I’m going to home in on the three big ones: the white Fiat Uno, the lack of CCTV, and Henri Paul’s blood…

Diana’s death is Britain’s JFK. It remains the nation’s most talked-about conspiracy theory. The fact that the 2007 inquest failed to delve deeply enough into the possibility that the princess was murdered has kept conspiratorial tongues wagging ever since.

Now, as I’ve mentioned before—many times—I’m not a conspiracy theorist. But Princess Diana’s death has always disturbed me. There’s a LOT that doesn’t add up. Does that mean I believe she was murdered by government agents as part of an elaborate royal plot? Not necessarily. But I’m open to the possibility that she could’ve been.

Let’s talk first about Henri Paul, the man who drove Princess Diana to her death in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel on August 31st 1997, killing himself and Dodi Fayed in the process. Officially, as of the 2007 inquest, Henri Paul is guilty of the “unlawful killing” of the princess through negligence—specifically that he was driving while drunk. He’s been accused of having connections with the security services, disappearing for several minutes for unknown reasons shortly before the fateful journey from the Ritz Hotel, and secretly communicating with the paparazzi. But I want to talk about one thing: his blood.

Henri Paul’s blood

The French investigation into Diana’s car crash concluded that Henri was drunk, his blood containing three times the French legal limit. A British pathologist hired by Mohammed Al-Fayed, Dodi’s father, disputed this. Henri Paul’s parents did not accept that their son was drunk, and maintain that he always took his responsibilities as a driver seriously. Material evidence reveals that Henri only purchased two alcoholic drinks, and on hotel CCTV, he shows no signs of being intoxicated.

This led to one of the most famous Diana conspiracy claims: that Henri Paul’s blood was swapped with that of a deceased drunk driver in order to place the blame for the crash squarely on him.

Continue reading

King William II murdered in the New Forest?

On 2nd August 1100, while hunting in the New Forest, William II met his maker at the end of an arrow. It was deemed an accident, and yet something about that day continues to raise eyebrows. Could the Red King have been murdered?

The mysterious death of King William II—nicknamed William Rufus or the Red King because of his ruddy complexion—is one of the first things I remember learning about in History when I got to secondary school. It stuck with me because of the mystery and conspiracy theory that continues to surround the incident to this day.

Our view of the hunting expedition on 2nd August 1100 is murky at best. Contemporary chroniclers have tried to piece together the events, but all of them had agendas and none were eyewitnesses. The earliest mention of the event is in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, which records that William II was “shot by an arrow by one of his own men”. Later chroniclers gave the name of William’s killer as nobleman Walter Tyrrell, sometimes spelled Tyrell or Tirel.

The most extensive contemporary account comes from William of Malmesbury, writing in circa 1128—so still almost 30 years after the event. He says that the king dreamed he was going to Hell the night before the hunt and that the Devil had said to him, “I can’t wait for tomorrow because we can finally meet in person!”

The next morning, William and his hunting party headed out into the New Forest. Walter Tyrrell was present. So was William’s younger brother, Henry, along with several other lords. William forbade them from leaving his side but, as the hunt began, William and Tyrrell ended up separated from the rest. Apparently, Tyrrell went to shoot a stag but missed, his arrow plunging into the king’s chest.

Tyrrell fled the scene and hightailed it to France. The king’s body was discovered by a poor charcoal-burner called Purkis, who placed the body in his cart and conveyed it to Winchester Cathedral.

Continue reading