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Like all adults looking for an excuse to discover, or rediscover, children’s books, I used to read to my children every night when they were small. My son had a shelf of stories he chose from and was satisfied with those. My daughter though was far more challenging. She always wanted me to ‘freestyle’ on the spot, the more ridiculous the better. One of her favourites, the sports reporter commentating on a game where everyone on the pitch is called Norman, doesn’t make for interesting reading. But I thought I’d try and lay out some of the more involved ones and see if I could make them work as complete stories aimed at thirteen to fifteen year olds. Below are the results so far.


On a school trip to historic Minerva Hall, popular troublemaker Luke Morgan, and loner Chyna Blue, are reluctantly thrust together in the hope that each will be a positive influence on the other. But then they are drawn through a painting and travel back in time.

With only their twenty-first century wits, and a few modern day gadgets to help them, they must outwit a relentless Persian soldier, evade a mountain lion, and escape slave traders. They also have to learn to get along in order to trace a route home.

Then, a mysterious Samurai warrior informs them that the multiverse behind the paintings is much more complicated and far-reaching than they could ever have imagined, and that their destiny is not what they had once presumed.


Luke and Chyna have escaped the world behind the paintings, but in doing so they have destroyed their route home and are now trapped in an alternate 1989. This is a world of perpetual war, and where mythical creatures roam freely. They must not only find their friends, but locate a second Minerva Hall in order to re-enter the paintings and escape this perilous world. But Chyna is the only Time Key in existence and, to prevent her unique skills being used against them, there are many people willing to see her dead.

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 Author's note: It would be nice to say that The Time Key was well received, and that the Three Samurai is eagerly anticipated. But I can't even say the reponse was lukewarm - so I've decided to remove the Time Key from sale, and to instead produce a combined copy of both books some time next year. The Three Samurai is almost complete, but to combine them will obviously necessitate a major rewrite of both, and I intend to complete the adult books I currently have on the go first. Should anyone have purchased a copy of the Time Key, and was keen to find out what happened to Luke and Chyna, then I'll be happy to send a free copy when it's complete - just drop me a line.

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