I can’t believe it is here already! It seems like only yesterday I was sending my letter to Santa and getting ready to cry, “Happy New Year!”
2020 has sure provided it’s challenges so far. It’s been a full year. Coming this May I am excited to bring you a new novel that I hope you will love reading as much as I enjoyed writing. So without further adu here are ten things you can expect from HARBOUR HOUSE.
1 – Three times the charm.
MAESTRO (2016), MUSE (2018) and KNOCK KNOCK SEASON 1 (2019) all had one thing in common – they each had a character finding themselves in Harbour House rehabilitation clinic. Music teacher, VINCENT BAINES, was put there after sessions with his pupil GEORGE BECKINGRIDGE … well let’s not say too much we don’t want to spoil. After a struggle with a drug habit, artist, DAVID FINN, checked in too and found a new friend in the maestro. Finally in the Knock Knock series, beloved aunt of the BOSS LADY herself, TAWNY, was taken to Harbour House for treatment of trauma after an attack on the club. So three unlikely friends came together and at that Harbour House opens.
2 – Maestro missing days.
In the conclusion of Maestro there is a ten year time hop. A lot of what happened within that time scale will be explained.
3 – An artist’s struggle.
David is hapless, he can be frustrating to his friends but despite his terrible upbringing he has a good heart. Readers of MUSE will be familiar with his struggle but as enters Harbour House he may find it is the best place for him.
4 – What happened at Knock Knock?
In the Knock Knock series, TABITHA arrives at the club as a girl to find it burned out (sorry, spoilers). All that is explained is that it was attacked and caused a mental break down of our now Harbour House resident. As Tawny’s struggle to get well continues the details of what really happened that night will be revealed.
5 – Sex, drugs and some questionable decisions.
Early readers described it as the boldest book yet. It contains scenes that became the subject of discussions at interventions (no exaggeration). Whilst the shocks and the grimaces are there, there is also a lot of heart. Rehabilitation isn’t an easy journey after all and all the love and support in the world is required.
6 – Villains times three.
Speaking of questionable decisions: I had a poll with early readers to pick who of the three villains would be deemed the most despicable by the end. Yes, you read that right. Since there are three heroes there would naturally be three villains pursuing them as they aim to get well. According to the readers it was a close match because each were just as nasty as the last.
7 – Irrational fears.
A fear of breast milk, a fear of stripping in front of your lover, a fear of being rescued by a handsome lunatic or a fear of your corpse being violated. Yes … Erm … So there’s that.
8 – Knock Knock! Who’s there?
Whilst it can be read independently of the Knock Knock series, Harbour House will act as a bridge between Seasons 1 and 2, beginning where S1 ends and leaving where S2 begins.
9 – The promise of a cure.
DR WINSLOW is nothing if not a good doctor. When he promises cure to his residents, brought to him for addiction, trauma and obsessive disorder, it is a promise he intends to keep. How the residents will combat their issues and how it will leave them in the end remains to be seen but the promise of a cure is very real.
In order to bring that cure the characters and reader are taken away from the usual experience of the Shady City. Isolation is key to cure and when the doors close on the residents, the reader is held behind those walls too. Don’t worry, there are pretty gardens to enjoy and all the coffee you can drink.
10 – An escape.
Readers, viewers, audiences. We all look to fiction for an escape. Wether it’s an escape from stress, an escape from the mundane routine or even just an escape to worlds where anything is possible. We lose ourselves in fiction because it pushes the boundaries of reality. Opening it’s doors in May 2020 so that you can join our rehab residents and escape, ladies and gentlemen welcome to Harbour House.
All Shady City thrillers can be read and enjoyed without the others and there is no particular order that is needed but if you are looking for the bigger picture be sure to check out as many as you can. As always I am so thankful to all of you. Readers are what makes an author’s work all worth it. I hope you enjoy Harbour House when it is released. In the meantime let me know your thoughts on Maestro, Muse and Knock Knock. Don’t forget to tip your author with a nice little Amazon review 😉
Like a military parade the nurses of Harbour House were set in a neat line ready to hear their orders for the day. They were waiting for their super star doctor to begin his rounds. The polished wing tips, sharp, well tailored suits and neatly combed hair he was like a film star within the facility. Although, Beverly wished he hadn’t shaved his moustache. He looked so much better with the moustache. Without it his face seemed longer, more angular.
“Good morning ladies,” said he. Beverly handed him a clip board of notes.
“Good morning doctor,” they all rhymed off like obedient school children.
Winslow read through the notes quietly.
“Beverly?” he turned to the burly, middle aged matron. “We need some vitals and a urine sample from Mr Finn.”
“Yes doctor,” she replied.
“He can be a bit of a challenging rascal so if he gives you any trouble call a porter.”
Beverly set off to her task.
She glanced in the window of the room to see artist, David Finn, lying on his bed sketching on a scrap piece of paper with a blunt charcoal pencil. She knocked on the little window and he looked up. She pointed to the back wall. David grinned and raised his middle finger at her. She frowned and darted her finger more severely. David rolled his eyes but he stood and put his back against the back wall. It was rules in Harbour House that addiction residents had to keep away from the door when nurses were bringing in the carts. A nurse had been attacked recently when one of the addicts tried to steal medication from her trolley. Beverly didn’t feel unsafe around David. Having his back against the wall wasn’t going to make much of a difference anyway. If he really wanted to feed his addiction he would and the cameras watching wouldn’t stop him.
“How are you feeling today?” she asked as a nurse’s general enquiry as she wrapped a blood pressure cuff around his arm.
“Been better,” David replied. “Been worse.”
The cuff began to inflate to the point he felt his arm was going to pop off. It made him self conscious of the track marks the needles had left behind. He found this strange because they never seemed to bother him before. When the blood pressure was taken and pulse checked she handed him a urine cup.
“I need you to fill this,” she instructed.
David made to take it from her and head to the bathrooms.
“Sorry,” she said stopping him. “You have to do it here. They weren’t happy with your last results.”
“That’s abuse,” David protested with some humour.
“When you are sufficiently clean and sober you can take it up with the city Medical Authorities. In the mean time fill the cup please.”
David wrinkled his nose. “I’m a nervous pisser.”
Beverly shook her head. A smile traced her rosy lips. “Hurry up Finn. You haven’t got anything I haven’t handled before.”
David giggled like a school boy. “Okay nurse kinky, you said just fill the cup.”
Beverly checked the watch clipped to her breast pocket. “And if you could hurry along I’d appreciate it.”
With raised eyebrows David filled the sample cup. The nurse wiped it, stored it and finished checking temperature and pulmonary rate.
Down the hall the beautiful cry of the violin sounded. A group of nurses sat along the bed listening.
‘So handsome,’ they cooed. ‘So talented.’
Vincent Baines had first picked up the violin at age six. It called to him in a way no other instrument did. It cried. It laughed. It covered a whole range of emotions and from the first time he struck the bow across the quivering strings there was love between them. His relationships with people were fraught with emotional turmoil but the violin always hit the right note when needed.
He loved to write concertos for the cry of the violin because only its soft strings seemed to understand him. Sure, the piano had a lot to say and they were well acquainted but it didn’t fill Vincent’s heart and mind they way the violin did. Even with everything that lead him to Harbour House the violin still made sense. It never changed. It never judged. Highs, lows, soft and harsh the violin concerto had it all and for as long as he could play it would always love him.
After the last note was drawn the emotion of the piece still lingered.
A nurse wiped a tear that was forming in her eye. Thy all applauded. Vincent, holding the bow in one hand and the instrument in the other bowed graciously.
“That was beautiful,” one of the nurses gushed.
“Thank you,” Vincent responded politely, storing the black violin with red trimming back in its case. “Just a little something I’ve been working on.”
A bell rang.
“Time to get back to work,” announced the self appointed leader of the group. They filtered out chatting merrily. Vincent followed behind them but took a right in the corridor towards the rec room.
In another part building lay a dressing table. It was old, well used. A special addition to make the occupant of the room feel at home. Tawny was a longer term resident so the good doctor gave some special allowances. The mirror was covered in old fliers from the Knock Knock club as well as photos of old friends, Agnes and a young Tabitha.
The lady herself was found on her way to the rec room. She had her arm linked in that of Glenn’s. “You spend way too much time in here,” she was saying. “You’re a big, handsome fella. You should be out there.”
Glenn smiled shyly. “Between two jobs and my wee lass to look after I don’t really have time …”
“You must be going blind old girl. He’s an ugly cunt,” Curtis teased, sauntering along beside them.
Tawny laughed. She patted Glenn’s arm. “Don’t you listen to him.”
“I don’t,” Glenn assured.
They reached the rec room. “Anyway boys, this is where I get off.”
Vincent was seated at the piano preparing to practice some exercises. Tawny wrapped her arms around him and kissed him as she passed.
“Good morning, gorgeous,” she said. Vincent smiled and patted her arm.
David was leaning over the sofa trying to find the remote so he could switch off a Coldford City football game. City were up three nil against Swantin and he couldn’t bear to watch the celebrations of the arch rivals of his beloved Coldford Athletic. Tawny slapped his backside.
“Good morning, handsome,” she winked. She held out a cigarette. “Ciggy?”
When he looked up he could see Beverly waving the remote at him.
The three took seat at their usual table by the fireplace. Winslow watched them from the door way. Like a fine, oiled machine his beloved facility ran. It was his passion project and like all his other pursuits, Harvester Farm for example, things had to run a very particular way.
Time is ticking by for the residents of Harbour House. A unique rehab facility with standards, laws and regulations all of its own.
He’s an adorable little psychopath, right? Well perhaps not. He tends to rile the readers but he does give a lot to talk about. So with that in mind here are ten things you (probably) didn’t know about the heir to the BECKINGRIDGE TOWER.
This may contain some MAESTRO spoilers so if you haven’t read and wish to do so click HERE.
1: Crazy on his mother’s side.
KNOCK KNOCK readers will have met ERNEST BECKINGRIDGE, George’s father, in ISSUE 17: HIGH FLIERS but Maestro readers will remember George’s mother, Alice. Tall, demanding and with a reputation of being a bit of a dragon Alice had a reputation that resonated through the town of Filton and with good reason. She was tough, charismatic and was ahead of her husband in leadership of the Beckingridge Manor. What you may have not known was that Alice was treated as girl for rage bouts and psychopathic tendencies. It seems its like mother like son for Alice and George.
Before music teacher, VINCENT BAINES, came into his life George had no friends. The Peterson twins in the neighbouring mansion house avoided him as best they could. The only person he had ever grown close to or would even consider a friend was a little boy named CECIL. Cecil was sick though. George was never told what had happened to him but when he failed to turn up at school one day George was informed by their teacher, Miss Matheson, that the little boy had died in the night. George was inconsolable.
To say that George has strange quirks would be putting it mildly. But among those quirks George has a deathly allergy to bee stings. At age seven George had been stung whilst in the gardens of his manor home. His tongue and throat were swollen but his mother Alice, watched him. He was close to death when finally his father gave him his epipen. George, as you can imagine, hates bees.
4. Highly intelligent; emotionally stunted.
Even as a grown up George still has the tendency to behave like a child and a very spoiled one at that. He has the emotional level of an eight year old but when tested he showed an extremely high IQ. Some doctors reckoned most of his childish outbursts were an act. He seemed to enjoy shocking people.
5. Twin birthdays.
Speaking of spoiled. The Peterson twins, with some hesitation, offered an invitation to the Peterson manor for their joint sixth birthday party. George accepted. However, seeing the attention the twins were being showered with GEORGE created a scene the way only George could. Ernest had been present but unable to stop his son wrecking the gifts that had been brought for the twins and attacking Oliver Peterson with a soiled nappy. Twin, Ollie was a feisty little boy though and George was sent home with a burst nose.
6. A night at the movies.
We all enjoy a good flick, right? George does too. In fact he had been sat in front of the television so often as a tot with little else to stimulate him it became something of a nanny. He especially enjoys the older films when actor, LAURENCE DUBOE was in his prime.
7. On display.
George was sent home from school one afternoon when he was eight after exposing himself to the entire class. Ok maybe that’s not exactly a big surprise but he enjoyed the wave of shock he had brought to the room. Perhaps enjoyed a little too much. It wouldn’t be the first time he exposed himself, nor would it be the last.
After his mother died George became interested in the embalming and preservation process. He learned everything he needed to know from books he had insisted on getting from the library and even had a shed full of dead pigeons he planned on putting his knowledge to the test on.
9. A distraction.
When Vincent first meets George’s Aunt ELIZABETH, she informs him that his latest pupil may be a bit of a handful. It seems Beckingridge Manor has had some trouble keeping its heir in line. Vincent has been enlisted as a music tutor not only to offer the boy some refinement but also to distract him. Vincent fails to ask what exactly they are trying to distract him from. He finds out for himself soon enough.
The reason music is chosen rather than martial arts, drawing or any other pursuit is because George’s favourite place as a boy was the music room. He would spend most of his time in there and when he was in there Alice could lock the door and forget about him for a while.
10. 10 years is too soon.
George was a kidnap victim. After seeing what George was capable of and what the Manor environment was doing to him his teacher offered him a way out. Naively, perhaps but at least it did keep him out of trouble for a while.
Now George is back. He’s all grown up and he’s ready to take the reins of his father’s empire. Part of that empire leads him to Harbour House and the place where his favourite teacher is now resident.
#amreading #thriller #harbourhouse2020 by @VivikaWidow
He’s the man with the Muse but like most artists there is a deeper side. This may contain some spoilers for MUSE. If you haven’t read yet click the link. Ready to move on? This is ten things you perhaps didn’t know about artist, David Finn.
1: Daddy Issues.
Growing up with his mother and younger brother Adam, readers of MUSE will find that no mention is ever made of his father. David doesn’t know his dad, he has never met the man and doesn’t care to. Like many of the one parent families in the Shanties where David grew up absentee fathers were considered a way of life.
2: Award Winning.
At age sixteen, David was granted the Junior PENN Prize for a piece he had submitted titled ‘Long Roads; Short Walks’. His submission was anonymous and he hadn’t even told the Ferrald family who practically raised him. The prize was granted and the money received donated to Rita Penn’s community fund. To this day no one knows the winner was a David Finn. His addiction was taking over his life and he barely remembered himself.
An artist is a passionate being. Passion burns hot but it can also burn fast. David finds himself easily swept in the company of a beautiful woman. He has been engaged several times over the years but never has actually been married. Perhaps one day the wayward artist will settle down but in the meantime he has bigger problems to work through. The beautiful JULIA HARVESTER makes the perfect Muse. It is so easy for him to lose himself in her divine but earthy beauty.
4: Fan Boy
COLDFORD ATHLETIC football team call the Shanties their home. It is the pride of the poorest in the city and David is no exception. He is a die hard and attends Starkland Park whenever he can.
5: old school chums
David attended the public school in City Main known as the grange. There he shared classes with a girl named Lisa. Lisa would later go on to become the bubbly bar maid that reporter SAM CRUSOW meets when he begins uncovering the story of the KNOCK KNOCK CLUB.
6: Eye catching
You don’t make a name for yourself in the Shady City without attracting some unwanted attention. After a very public fall David certainly turned heads. Julia Harvester steps up as his new Muse but he also pricks the ears of the eminent DR WINSLOW, the Penn family and even as far as the HIGH COURT!
He would spit at the idea of becoming a tortured artist cliche but that – in a lot of ways – is what he is. He carries a lot of emotional scars but he tries to do so with good humour and a no nonsense attitude that is typical of the people of the Shanties.
He blames his allowing his scars to cover his emotions for his work becoming mundane. He lost his vision and slipped too much into a cliche leaving him with only drugs to turn to. It all changed when he met his new muse.
8: Painting the whole picture
David accepts people at face value. He is naive in this sense. He fails to see when he is being manipulated. This makes him a target for the vagabonds and drug dealers he finds himself in company of.
One such dealer, Joe, managed to take the profit from David’s first ever substantial sale. Not being money focused David never did get back.
9: The Shades of Coldford
It’s easy enough for mayors, high court judges and even club owning Boss Lady’s to fight over what is best for the City. They stand above it looking down with a good view. They don’t have the perspective of of someone on the ground who has witnessed first hand how Shady the Shady City can actually be.
The poor are desperate but no one in high office saw just how desperate David’s neighbour Fergie was when her son died of a heroin overdose. Fergie was unable to pay for a funeral for her son. The social services failed to respond immediately. The body was left to rot until the people of the Shanties put together their money.
10: Resident 1310
David’s drug addiction is no secret. Before his breathtaking art work, before the loyalty he shows to his friends and before the steps he is taking to try and better himself it will always be the first thing the public will recognise about him. His horrific upbringing by an abusive mother, the trauma he faced in childhood are no excuse for him.
The city’s best rehabilitation clinic has opened its doors for him and the next stage of his journey will continue in 2020. Welcome, Mr Finn, to Harbour House.
David finds his vision again with the help of a coy, farm girl. With his new MUSE he is making shades in the city again.
So he made an impact in KNOCK KNOCK SEASON 1. After a subtle entrance into the first volume followed by a more … well … wilder, one in the second, Buddy Owen sure got the readers talking. The following may contain some spoilers from the Knock Knock series so if you haven’t read yet you can do so for free by clicking HERE.
The following may contain some things that are too much for some readers. Ready to move on? Good. Then let’s move on. Here are ten things you probably didn’t want to know about Buddy but will be glad you do by the end.
1: Keeping the Sabbath day Holy.
Buddy was born on a Sunday. This may not seem very consequential but Buddy is from a family who try to maintain conservative values. His uncle JERRY OWEN was a reverend. Being born on a Sunday meant the entire congregation were rejoicing when their Reverend excitedly announced to them he had become an uncle.
The church bells rang and celebrations were carried out. CHARLES ‘CHICK’ OWEN had been given a son and heir to the powerful Owen Inc.
2: Owen swimmers are strong.
Before attending FILTON UNIVERSITY and taking his place as Chapter House leader of the Owen founded KAPPA SO fraternity, Buddy was a champion swimmer. He had competed at national and international levels. Because of a deepening cocaine addiction Buddy’s enthusiasm for the sport waned when he reached the Shady City.
3: He loves the pussy.
As a boy, Buddy had a cat which in true Buddy fashion he named Pussy. It followed him everywhere around the Owen Ranch and when it died it upset him. In order to deal with his grief he had expert taxidermists, who handled the finest kills from the family hunting trips, make pussy into something that would always be remembered fondly. Taking pussy with him to Coldford, it would receive the respect it deserved. With raised eyebrows the taxidermists had no choice but to the take the boy’s request fearing Chick’s wrath. So with that pussy was returned as … Well …
4: Study up.
Buddy was sent to Filton University in Coldford to take over its CHAPTER HOUSE but also to study. The field Buddy had chosen was Sports Science which the University of Filton has the best facilities in the country for. He had shown some promise in sports in High School as previously mentioned he was a champion swimmer. It even looked like the Owen heir was going to become the man his father always wanted to be. He attended lectures, he took the pool again and he was adapting to leading Kappa So like a duck to water. The Cappy was made proud.
With it being so unlike Buddy the second brother of Chick, Ronnie, decided to pay his nephew an unexpected visit. The Chapter House was was a mess of broken furniture, the tables covered in the remnants of powder binges and girls, some naked, all drugged, were making themselves at home. Buddy hadn’t changed that much it seemed. The lectures he had attended weren’t him at all but a doppelganger. It didn’t really matter anyway because the lecturer had been held up. She was with the real Buddy having powder snorted from her breasts.
5: What’s the Rush?
When hotelier, RODNEY WEIR, urged his son, Daniel, to pledge Kappa So it ended in horror and a stay in hospital for the photography student. After discovering that Daniel was gay, in true Kappa So logic, Buddy urged the other pledges to beat him, strip him and rape him. This was homophobic nonsense brought on by a cocaine high and the excitement of having new pledges to torture, but like most Kappa So pledge parties it got well out of hand.
Being a brother himself, Rodney was hesitant to make complaints about the fraternity. To make sure the press fallout was handled properly the Owen propaganda machine spurred into action. A video of the incident was leaked not only outing Daniel publicly but also making it seem like he was participating in gay pornography.
6: Jet Setter
The Owen family jet has been the source of bragging for the powerful Great States dynasty for a long time. Buddy, likes to play fast and loose with his family heritage. It’s protection over the years has left him feeling invincible. Once again, empowered by drugs and alcohol he took it upon himself to commission the jet to take him to the Asian continent. He had no real destination in mind nor did he have any prior arrangements.
The jet missing, not to mention theheir to The Cappy, caused a global search for the miscreant. He was eventually found a week later in a whore house deep in the Asian continent. Needless to say the family were furious. For Buddy his Uncle Jerry protested ‘boys will be boys’. For the pilot who accepted the commission his wings were clipped. He was rumoured to have returned to Asia but there was no verification of this. No one asked any further questions.
7: Full of Surprises
Buddy is many things but it may surprise you to learn that he is also a superstitious man. Before arriving in Coldford he had never heard the phrase ‘touch wood’ to show someone didn’t want to tempt fates. After finding the phrase hilarious with its obvious connotations he became so consumed with it he started to use it. He became so obsessed with the phrase and the idea of not tempting fate he started to carry a small block of wood with him. It comforted him having it on hand should the need arise to touch it but it also gave him opportunities to show others his wood. No, that wasn’t always innuendo.
8: Mamma’s boy
Buddy respects his father. The Cappy gives no other option and makes no exception. However, his mamma, Ida Mae Owen, has a completely different relationship. Buddy is close to his Mama. Ida knows her son’s whims. She was a bit of a tear away herself as a girl travelling on the beauty pageant circuits.
Yes, the former Miss Star State knows her son, she doesn’t make excuses for him but she understands him.
9: Brother for life.
Anyone who pledges Kappa So becomes a brother for life. For Buddy it is a way of life. His father has a huge name and reputation to live up to. Being chapter leader of his brothers gives him some kind of authority and a chance to prove himself worthy of taking The Cappy’s place one day. Mostly Buddy’s nature keeps playing against him. He is an overgrown man child but with the backing of his brothers that childish disregard for rules and laws coupled with wealth and privilege make him a very dangerous man.
10: He never misses a target.
Every member of the Owen family are taught how to handle fire arms from an early age. They are all expert marksmen and when they aim they aim true. Buddy feels most at home with a gun in his hand and even on a powder high he will never miss a target. If anyone or anything is caught within his scope they will meet a grisly end.
Care to see what Kappa So are capable of?
Why not ask hotel heir Daniel Weir just how tough pledging can actually be!
Shy vet, Alex, receives an unexpected patient. When he saves the lives of two of Reggie Penn’s beloved rats the triplet is eager to befriend him. Better keep your distance Alex. Better stick to online.
Complete season 1 of the Knock Knock graphic novel series is free to read HERE.