Henry Frey Versus the Dark Santa book cover

Henry Frey Versus the Dark Santa – Free download!

As it’s Christmas, I am giving away my new Christmas fantasy adventure for free! Download Henry Frey Versus the Dark Santa now.


Henry Frey smells danger when he spots an old enemy in a London toy store. Trouble is, Christmas is just days away, Britain is in chaos and he hasn’t heard from anyone in Alvahame in months. With no one else to help, Henry sets off to save Christmas alone.

A tall hooded figure in a sleigh led by eight reindeer lands in central London. But it’s not Santa Claus. And they’re not reindeer. Henry finds himself out of his depth against a powerful enemy who has been planning his attack on Alvahame for years and knows a lot about him. With his every weakness exposed and his new family in danger, will Henry’s friends from Alvahame be there to help?

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Happy Christmas to all my readers!

At home watching TV

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Without having actually met him, I was already thinking of Silas as a friend. He understood just what it was like being cooped up here like a prisoner. The TV wasn’t much. I could follow a few favourites like NCIS, Agents of Shield, Person of Interest and Scorpion. But having to limit my online activity meant I couldn’t order or stream anything, so he sent me some DVDs to keep me entertained. Turns out we have similar taste in crime and murder: Criminal Minds and Castle for starters. There was the first season of Blacklist and a few episodes of Blindspot to try as well.

When I was in Sarasin’s cave, we watched Star Wars through the Infinistra, but that could only hold me for so long. I always write with something on the TV anyway, so I soon felt at home and was able to get on with my work.

Living in a hotel, I was cut off from the world. I almost forgot that there were people out there looking for me.

The Dangerous Reality

jason ryback bullet point for blog“Take it easy in future,” came Arvalane’s voice from just beyond my right ear. “That thing’s not meant for you.”

I came to, lying on a mattress in the adjoining cave.

“You’ve been asleep a while, but it’s time you got up. You need to see this.” Arvalane helped me to my feet. “Merry Christmas.”

I saw hundreds of happy childern opening their presents. I watched thousands of awestruck elves gazing from their snow-covered city – like in Sarasin’s book.

My attention turned to other familiar characters. I realised I had a choice to make. New Year’s Eve was amazing. Fireworks everywhere. I saw every spectacular show on Earth. And a few from somewhere else altogether – I couldn’t bring myself to ask.

Next thing I knew I’d been there a week, sitting on the floor, staring at the Infinistra, gazing at one unfolding real life story, then quickly scouring the images for a better one. Right then, I knew it. I had to be a writer. I needed the stories. If I backed out now, I would never forgive myself. I was scared of the danger that still lurked around every corner, but I had no choice.

The conflict could make me a better writer – and give me my own story to relate to my readers. Whatever the danger, I had to use Sarasin’s stories. I had to see more. I was finally earning a living as a writer and I couldn’t stop now.


jason ryback bullet point for blogIt was a demand and an ultimatum. I knew the same demand would keep coming until he got the answer he wanted. And the answer I gave would change everything.

We were at a point of no return. I was left with no other choice. There was no point lying because he already knew everything about me anyway.

I stood at my desk and looked all around me – as if I suddenly expected to see him. I took a deep breath. I spoke.

“Yes. I want to be a writer. More than anything.”

He Came Back

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The second I woke up, I knew I had to get out of the flat, so I showered, got dressed and left as quickly as I could. I took a train, desperate to get as far away as possible, and found somewhere for breakfast. I wondered around, doing anything I could think of to wipe it all from my mind. But I had to go back eventually. And the intruder was all I could think of.

He appeared again. I was waiting, but I didn’t move once I saw him. I simply sat up in bed and watched.

After staring each other down for what felt like hours, he strode to my desk and produced a piece of paper. He left it there. Then he was gone. It was a simple note written in ink with a quill pen:

“His name is ShadowAspect.”

I Lay in Wait for Him

jason ryback bullet point for blogI was ready for him. I didn’t even try to sleep. All I could do was run through my plan in my mind again and again, rehearsing and preparing for every possible outcome. What choice did I have? I can’t let this torment continue.

He melted out of the shadows. I sprang out of bed fully clothed and leapt at him. He moved so quickly. In a flash, he grabbed me while I was in midair and slammed me to the floor. Pain shot through my body. I lay helpless on the carpet. He crouched over me. I looked up, waiting to finally see his face.

There wasn’t one. He had no distinct features. He was just the vague shape of a man. A three-dimensional shadow. I waited for him to make his next move, to reveal what he wanted with me. But he stepped away into the shadows and vanished.


jason ryback bullet point for blogI went to bed certain the intruder would return, my hand strapped to a torch so I was ready. I lay awake for hours, jumping at the slightest noise from outside. When I did sleep, I dreamed of him appearing in my flat and I jerked away, flashing my torch around the room like an automatic reflex.

I don’t know how, but I knew he was there, standing at the foot of my bed. I reacted in an instant and aimed the torch beam to identify him at last.

But even in the light, all I could see was a dark figure, a shadow. I stared him, waiting for identifying features to become clear, but none did. Then he stepped back into the shadows and vanished.

The Intruder

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I woke up with a jolt and sat bolt upright. I stared into the darkness until my bedroom materialised in front of me. My eyes trained on a shape that shouldn’t have been there. A figure. A person standing in front of my bed.

I froze with fear, staring at the intruder, not even daring to blink. Then he took a step back. I couldn’t see him anymore. I scrambled for the torch on my bedside table and flashed the beam around the room. He was gone. But I wasn’t imagining it. I know he was there.

I was too afraid to get out of bed. I lay there, my heart hammering at my chest, waiting for him to return. I didn’t sleep.

If Something Happens

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I don’t know how he does it but he’s everywhere – at work, in my home and anywhere in-between. What does he want with me? One thing I know for certain is that he isn’t going away anytime soon.

I sat down at my desk and managed a serious writing session without his presence distracting me, but I’ve read it back and I’m still not happy with my work. I wonder what he thinks about what I write. I know he was watching.

This blog was just going to be about my struggle as a writer, but it has become far more important now. I can’t tell anyone what is happening to me because they would never believe me. But I have to get this out there as soon as possible, so if anything does happen to me, someone else will be able to put the pieces together. Whatever he has planned for me, I think it’s going to be any day now.


jason ryback bullet point for blogI need food. I haven’t eaten in days. No chance of an expensive takeout and I can’t afford a sugar or carb crash, so it needs to be something quick and healthy.