Set on Tyneside in 1988. Music reporter Phil Sturgess discovers that the lead singer with an up and coming rock band is a lot darker and much more dangerous than he at first appears.
The music of Minstrel’s Bargain seems to possess people who listen to it with a psychotic need to murder and maim and Sturgess finds that he is the only one who can do anything to stop the rising evil.
As Sturgess’ life slowly starts to fall apart he realises that perhaps the only other person who can help him is the very man he fears the most.
Sturgess must make a decision. Fight or flight, Heaven or Hell. Live or die.
Whatever he chooses it will be a Devil of a decision.
Targeted Age Group:: Adult.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Minstrel’s Bargain came about because of my love of 80’s horror novels by the likes of James Herbert and my love for classic rock music. The two go hand in hand.
If I hadn’t written Minstrel’s Bargain I would buy it because it sums up the two main passions in my life.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The main character had to be connected to the music industry, and yet also be an ‘everyday’ kind of guy. A music reporter seemed to be the logical choice.
I also wanted him to be an intrinsically good man. Sturgess has to make a huge decision in the story, and only a man who would be willing to sacrifice everything for the people he loves would be good enough for my story.
For Kick Bizarre, I wanted someone who was larger than life; self composed and intimidating. I actually based him in my mind on Gene Simmons from Kiss. The demonic personality was something I really wanted to get across.
She opened the door and the sight that confronted her had her totally, instantly confused. Here was Gregg, standing, waiting to be let in. But there was something different about him, something strange.
She saw him lift his arm, and she didn’t even have time to open her mouth to scream before the axe he was holding smashed into her chest. She took a step backwards and then collapsed to the floor, blood already soaking through her clothes and into the carpet underneath her. Numb with shock, her hands travelled slowly up her body and touched the axe in her chest, and it was only then that the pain hit her. She tried to scream but it came out as a gurgled gasp, causing even more blood to pump from the huge wound. Unbelievingly, she looked up at her son, standing silhouetted in the doorway, the fixed, almost plastic looking grin still on his face.
As she watched, he bent down and swung her legs over the threshold of the door, closing it to the night. She lay there, unable to move or make a sound, only her wide, staring eyes swivelling in their sockets. She watched him walk away through the door into the kitchen, and her breathing, already laboured, became even more ragged as she saw him come back with a bread knife in his hand, its serrated edge gleaming wickedly in the hall light.
Gregg bent down beside his mortally wounded mother, his thoughts non-existent, not even knowing where he had taken the axe from that was quickly ending her life. There was a very dim memory of the tool shed in the small garden, but these thoughts, like everything else about him, were simply electric currents, no inspiration behind them. He could still talk though, even if his mouth worked as if it were rusted, as though the ability to speak was something he himself could not do. It was almost as though something else was doing the talking for him.
‘Don’t worry, Ma,’ he said slowly. ‘This won’t take long’.
His thumb travelled slowly down the blade of the knife, blood flowing straight away. He kept on going, slicing deeper and deeper, until his whole hand was covered in blood, and with a thrill of fresh horror, Barbara actually heard the grating of metal on bone. And all the time he grinned that awful, unholy grin.
‘You’re always talking,’ Gregg said after pulling his blood-spilling thumb from the knife and examining the wound as if it were a splinter. ‘All I want to do is make it easier for you.’
Although everything was dimming for Barbara, she eventually found her voice to scream when her son placed the knife sideway into her mouth and began to slice it backwards and forwards. Gregg kept grinning as he sawed his mother’s mouth wider and wider.
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