Deception Crossing started life in November 2015 as my NaNoWriMo project. I won. Trouble with those 50,000 words was that they weren’t quite what I’d expected. Was it even possible to bite off a book that was harder to chew than Ghost of the Navigator? Yep, and I already knew I was doing it when 50k didn’t feel like a dent in the ideas I had. I was chewing hard, and Deception Crossing was ripping the fillings right out of my teeth.

Deception Crossing did my head in so much for the following eight months that in July 2016, I decided to take time out and write what became the two Carnathia’s Underground books, because the frustration just had me on my knees, but damn it, I need to write something.

Screft and Oscar’s blood soaked, erotic, plot-twisting adventures got me back on Planet Writersanity. And a good job the pair of them did too, because while I wrote their story, I realised that there were, in fact, some very good ways that it could tie in with the Talent Show books further on down the line.

March 2017, I signed a contract for a new day-job, moved out of my parents’ house, released Fighter’s Defiance, and got back to work on Deception Crossing. Just before NaNo2017, I finally had a completed, workable draft. Strange then, the night I finished it, after a 12,000 word all day lock-in with only coffee and snacks, I didn’t know whether to celebrate or just drown in feeling depressed, because that’s what I felt like. Two years, and I felt like the whole thing still sucked.

I should have celebrated. In fact, I did, as much as I could. I managed to listen to that voice that said ‘It’s probably not that terrible, and the only thing you can’t edit or repair is a blank page, so go drink enough scotch to knock out drug-wolf Shadow himself and don’t touch that story for at least another month.’

I felt completely mind-burned, before I’d even poured myself a Glenlivet. Yet I had the hottest keyboard fingers I’d had in years, and a completely new series idea I thought up months ago, and I’d wanted to finish DC so I could finally give it some TLC. So fool that I was, I signed up for NaNoWriMo 2017. Two good things came of it. First, I won. Citizen Erased turned out to be quite a good project, and nothing like Talent Show at all. Second, it cleared my head of the Talent Show books. I’m now feeling almost ready to try falling back in love with them again.

And this awesome cover, designed for me by Dane Low at is a pretty good way to start.



Yep, there really is sky-diving in this book. In the kind of suits that can re-enter an atmosphere from space, withstand a missile strike, fly a human being like a peregrine falcon….except that humans aren’t the best at this kind of thing. I’ll give you one little teaser here: when I look at that cover, I imagine the one on the left is Screft. Yep, he’s still alive and now he’s in the Talent Show books, and he’s just heard about who Shadow is…

My two favourite characters, set on a course where they might finally meet each other. It feels a bit like Pacino finally sharing screen time with De-Niro in Heat.

What would he and Shadow talk about if they ever met? Will they ever cross the divide between their two planets and meet each other for some coffee before one of them gets themselves killed? What if they actually didn’t end up liking each other? Two people with abilities like that, what happens if they’re not on the same side?


Reasonably spoiler-free blurb time!

Following the bloodbath that ended his life on Earth and cost him the people he loved, Shadow’s mission is to do one thing: destroy Daniel Penhallow’s criminal empire. After months of struggling to get inside it, he realises there’s one simple way to change the game plan: tell the world the truth about who he is, and admit he’s killed to keep it secret.

When the truth shakes the world to its core, powerful Seekers on both Earth and Carnathia all want a piece of the action. Things are already heating up in the Outland civil war, and Shadow’s revelations could make or break the peace negotiations. Especially as he’s now allied himself with Dakota Silverwood – the youngest Seeker in history, whose ambitions to outsmart his elders all require daring stealth missions that most would consider impossible.

With Shadow destined for prison after his confessions, and his former ally Blake destined for worse, Dakota takes the reins of the mission to restore the Lockyer family to their former power and crush the corrupt members of the Seeker’s Council. Lies, murder, extortion, nothing is off limits to the enemies Dakota and Shadow are about to make.

Deep inside the Outland underworld lurks a shapeshifting fugitive and his human soulmate, whose services Dakota must seek out if he’s to get what’s needed for the Lockyer family, and have any hope of defeating Daniel’s empire. If they can’t pull of a virtually impossible mission to the planet Nastrophen together, history could repeat itself for all the wrong reasons.

Not to mention that the most powerful Seeker on Earth, Kester Offren, would like nothing better than to watch everyone destroy each other and then simply clean up the mess with a new society, where the likes of Shadow, Dakota and their allies would not be welcome…