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?
Click the download button below (PDF 0.5MB opens in a new tab)
Happy Christmas to all my readers!
It’s been a while but my blog is back, this time as part of my brand new website, jasonrybak.com, which is the perfect place to peruse my books, check out this blog and keep up-to-date with my latest news and releases. There’ll be the occasional freebie as well! More on that below.
You can sign up to the blog and receive email alerts when the latest edition is published. As well as new releases and descriptions of books already on the market, the focus of the blog will be continuing my fictional story, The Diary of the Writer on the Run.
The Diary of the Writer (Part One) is free to read on jasonrybak.com as a PDF. It’s part diary, part thriller, part fantasy. You’ll get the chance to meet my alter-ego as well!
Here’s a brief description:
Stalked by someone who leaves no evidence of their presence, a writer (me) gets caught up in the dangerous world he’s written about in his books – which he thought were just made up and imaginary.
Part Two begins on Friday.
PS Happy Halloween everybody!
I got comfortable. That was my mistake. After moving from place to place and surviving more attempts on my life than I want to remember, I guess it was bound to happen. I mean, I’m a writer, not a spy.
The fact we were still in the same house that Six found for us weeks ago had given me the chance to catch up on some work and actually be a writer – rather than someone who calls himself a writer but pretty much spends all his time trying not to die.
I was also supposed to be investigating the death of retired detective Robert Gentry and trying to find a file he’d hidden somewhere. A hitman from a parallel land had appeared and said he’d kill me if I didn’t. Then there was the young woman with the long auburn hair. She’d spied on us and followed us. She’d also saved my life. I just wished I knew what she saved it for.
I had a spreadsheet in my head. It had three columns:
Whoever this woman was, she was firmly in the “Don’t Know” column. She wasn’t the only person there either.
I put the mental spreadsheet to one side. Our safehouse in a chocolate box little town on the edge of the quaint English countryside was starting to feel like home. I was getting some work done and I was tired of constantly moving around.
We were starting to relax and venture out more. We used the local shops. We’d even drive into town sometimes. I knew I was taking less care about staying hidden, that more people were seeing my face. But surely no one would find me there.
But then an instinct crawled out of the depths of my brain. Wondering if someone had found me. Wanting something to happen – to be part of a story again. To see new stories happen as they unfolded.
I began to convince myself that I could feel someone watching me.
Or it was just that I wanted someone to find us?
At night, when I finished writing, I turned off the lights and opened the curtain. I stared out into the night, waiting for my eyes to catch something, to spot someone lurking outside.
I did it every night.
I could tell Six had noticed. He didn’t say anything. He was only twelve, but an experienced spy and a killer. Of the two of us, he was the patient one. But I couldn’t help thinking he was becoming restless. That he wanted something to happen. He spent a lot of time pouring over the evidence Silas had left us. He’d studied the conversation ShadowAspect had overheard between two arch criminals. But he didn’t know who either man was.
He kept referring to the safehouse as “his” – but never revealed how a twelve-year-old could own a house. But then, Six was no ordinary twelve-year-old.
Night came again. I finished work, shut down my computer, turned off the lights and opened the curtain.
I realised I’d been looking forward to this portion of the evening. I was too comfortable to leave safety and run into more danger. But somehow, I was willing danger to come to me.
Then something happened.
I almost missed it.
I locked the front door behind me and stepped out into the cold night air, then ventured through the trees around the back of the house. I’d wandered through there so many times I could do it in the dark no problem at all.
Every slasher horror film I’d ever seen flashed before my mind’s eye – where some idiot gets a call or hears a noise outside or wonders where their mate Weenus went. Instead of waiting inside where it’s safe, they step outside the safety of their home to see if they can see anything, usually leaving the front door open for any psycho to creep in unseen. Every time I see one of these films, I always shout at the screen:
“Stay inside, you idiot.”
Then the idiot gets stabbed to death and their body is found in a pool of blood.
So here I was, creeping outside the safety of the house to see if I could see anyone.
My heart hammered. The blood roared through my ears. My head throbbed to the rhythm of my pounding pulse. I couldn’t work out if I was scared or excited.
I’m not as easy to creep up on as most normal human beings – not any more. Being followed and watched has made me hyper-vigilant – at least that’s what I call it. I can now feel when someone is watching me. It’s like an itch in the back of my head.
I felt nothing. So I kept going, trudging through the trees. There was enough light from the little town close by for me to just make out where I was going. The shapes off the trees all around me materialised in the darkness. They were all I could see, rising up either side of me, closing me in, more densely packed together the further I walked from the house.
I kept going, trudging through the trees. I had no idea if I was still on the route I usually took or not. Every square metre of forest looked exactly the same as the last.
My eyes caught a movement – somewhere ahead – across my eyeline from left to right. It was no more than a fleeting glimpse. But I took in enough to be sure it was human. And it wasn’t someone out for a stroll. They disappeared too quickly.
I picked up the pace.
Part of me wanted to run. To get there as soon as possible. To find whoever it was and work out what they were up to. To see a story unfold before my eyes.
The rest of me wondered what the hell I was doing out there and if I was finally losing my mind completely.
I fixed my gaze on the point ahead where I was sure I’d seen the dark figure vanish and brushed all other thoughts aside. In the darkness, it was almost impossible to gauge distance, but I reached the area I was aiming for, took a right turn to follow the dark shape and kept going. The fact I’d have trouble finding my way back now barely registered. I was on a mission and that was all that mattered.
The iron gate was floor to ceiling, stretching across the entrance and exit. There was no way of climbing over or breaking in.
“Now what?” Six demanded.
I stared helplessly at the gate. Did Silas think it would be open – or did he have some way to get us in?
My phone vibrated. A text from Silas.
“You’ll be needing this.”
His next text was a ten-digit number.
What was that for?
Then Six pointed to a keypad set in the wall. I typed in the number Silas had sent and the iron gate slid back.
I led the way inside the carpark, suddenly realising I had no idea what I was looking for. The text came.
“You’re looking for a grey Audi S3.”
As we neared our next destination, our pace quickened. It felt like we were being followed again. I shot a glance over my shoulder and caught sight of a silhouette on a rooftop. I didn’t know who it was, but someone must have found the carnage I’d left behind by now.
“We can’t stay,” Six said. “We need to go – now.”
Once the hotel we were supposed to be staying in was just a hundred metes away, I texted Silas.
“They found us. We need to get out – now.”
A text came back in seconds.
“Hotel carpark. Round the back. Lower ground floor.”
We hurried around the back of the hotel Silas had booked us in for the night, then down the ramp to the carpark.
An iron gate was shut across it. We were locked out.
“So it wasn’t you who pulled me out of the van?” I asked Six.
“I was on a rooftop,” Six replied. “It must have been the same person I’d shot at before.
One of them got mixed up in our first shootout. Didn’t end well for him. But I knew then that they were coming for you.” Six shook his head. “I saw him from the rooftop. So quick.” He shot me another look. “He could do things – things that should’ve been impossible. I tried shooting at him anyway and I still couldn’t hit him. He pulled you from the van without touching you.”
“Did you get a look at him?” I asked.
“Wouldn’t know him if he passed us on the street right now.”
We took a longer, roundabout route to out next destination, circling back on ourselves a couple of times just to make sure we weren’t being followed.
“Gonna need more ammo,” Six grunted eventually, a scowl on his face.
“You ran out?”
“Can you get more?”
“When we get to London – I have some hidden in a few places.”
“You have ammo hidden around London?”
“And some other stuff.”
Six looked up at me before I could ask any more questions.
“I barely landed a shot,” he said pointedly. “That first guy I ran into – I didn’t get near him. Whoever he was – he was so quick. Then I made it to the cathedral as that team were shoving you in the van. I took a couple of them down, but then he attacked them and killed the rest.”