Saturday, September 24, 2011

Oh, hi there

No more new flash on Fridays will appear here as I concentrate on other projects, so if you're after news on my writing adventures, please head on over to my website.

You can also follow me on Twitter and 'like' my Facebook author page.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ooh! Don't miss out! It's not too late to head on over to Literary Mix Tapes for Volume Two - Nothing But Flowers. While there, check out my story, 'Grey, Like Stone'.

If you missed the window to read it for free, don't despair - you'll be able to pick up an eBook or paperback AND support the Queensland flood relief effort in the process.

What are you waiting for? Scat!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Short fiction eBook available

How remiss of me! I forgot to post a link to the Deck the Halls antho, which was published on Christmas Eve.

In it you can find 20 tales that may or may not be suitable Christmas reading! There are more genres than you could imagine, with each story having been inspired by a line from the carol 'Deck the Halls'. So go on and fa la la la la la la la la your way over to the eBook and read some fab free stories. You can even check out mine, 'Not a Whisper', a tale of fiddles, bushrangers and eggnog.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Great Chocolate Conspiracy Part 14

Welcome to The Great Chocolate Conspiracy! Chocolate Digestive biscuits have disappeared from the shelves right across the eastern seaboard of the USA, and now the shortage has spread to London. Detective Chief Inspector Sam Adamson and his international team of investigators from the Metropolitan Police's Confectionery Crimes Unit (CCU) have been tasked to solve the mystery.

This is the penultimate installment of this multi-part flash fiction story that originated during a chat between the authors on Twitter. You can read how it all began here (links to all the installments will be added to the author list as they are posted).

The final installment will appear on Friday, December 10th at Nishi's (@cafe_nirvana) blog, and you can keep up on developments in the meantime by following the #GtChocCo hashtag on Twitter.


Before Dr Nishidi could close the gap between herself and the CCU’s finest, the thumping ‘wokka wokka’ and sharply thrusting downwinds of a large helicopter blasted the foul smell from the air as the large beast came to a graceful landing on the tarmac.

A dozen agents dressed from head to toe in cocoa brown battlegear swarmed from the sky machine like a swarm of bees. In no time at all they had Dr Nishidi and her henchwomen surrounded.

PCs Fox and Bourneville leapt from the helicopter and hit the ground at a trot, dashing over to Adamson and the team.

“Sir, we are glad to see you’re in once piece!” It was Fox. She looked rather happy to see him.

“And, I, ladies, am more happy to see you than I care to admit. I must say your timing is rather impeccable. I think you saved me from a rather painful end. But, how did you get here?”

Fox and Bourneville were grinning like fools.

“We did what you always told us to do, Gov!” said Fox, who was looking pretty proud of herself.

Adamson was perplexed. He didn’t recall ever having told the youngsters anything much of value.

“We followed where the evidence led us!” Bourneville recited as though she’d heard it a thousand times.

“To Grimsville, Idaho?”

Fox and Bourneville looked at each other and giggled.

Agent Ling, with not a hair out of place on her head, strutted over to the happy trio, reporting with aplomb that FRAPPE had been iced. Adamson raised an eyebrow.

“I do allow myself a quip or two once the case is closed,” she admitted, with what came perilously close to a twinkle in the sparkling green eyes framed beneath perfectly arched brows.

“Agent Ling, allow me to introduce you to two of the Met’s finest up and coming detectives. PCs Fox and Bourneville.”

“It’s always a pleasure to meet new colleagues so far from home.” Agent Ling was all charm, although perhaps a little amused at DCI Adamson’s all-female posse. Agent Bronyaur was still skulking in the background, a little intimidated by his European cousins and their lurid underwear.

“Come on boss, I think we’d best get you all out of here.” said Fox. “Our lovely, warm friends from COCOA will explain everything once we get you lot out of here.”

Adamson shrugged his shoulders as he and his crew climbed aboard the Chinook, which rumbled up into the air and spirited them away. FRAPPE, TEA and now COCOA. The DCI doubted anything else would surprise him today.


“This is one briefing I think I want to hear,” said Adamson to La Paglia and Marier as they sat down either side of him.

They were seated around a large conference table in the US Headquarters of the Confederation of Chocolate Organisations and Alliances in Chicago. Several large platters of chocolate biscuits were placed strategically around the table, in easy arm’s reach of the assembled guests. Steaming mugs of coffee sat atop coasters and there was a pleasant aromatic blend of scents filling the air, a combination of sweat, perfume, coffee and chocolate.

Adamson rocked back in his chair, continually impressed by American ergonomics, thinking that right about now might be a good moment to consider retirement. He could go out on a high, having played a major role in foiling an international conspiracy. Hell, he’d probably even get a medal of some description. He could almost picture himself at Windsor Castle, waiting in line to receive a gong from the Queen. DI Hawthorne would be able to watch it on telly. The thought of it made Adamson grin like a madman.

The smile died on his face when the boardroom doors opened and in strode Angelina, she of the olive skin and tight skirts.

“Buongiorno tutti,” purred the Italian.

“What the flock is she doing here?” stammered Adamson. “I demand an explanation!”

“Relax, my little English dumpling. You are among friends, is that not right, Vice Ispettore Mari Juniper?”

“Si, Angelina.” Juniper turned to Adamson. “I’m sorry I could not tell you before, Sam, but Angelina here has been deep undercover as an operative infiltrating FRAPPE. She has been our woman on the inside, as it were. If it were not for her, you may well now be... how do you say? Ah, si, toast.”

Adamson was reeling. He could feel his gong slipping through his fingers.

“Who is we, Juniper?”

“I am sorry I could not tell you that either, Sam. I have been on loan from the Italian State Police to COCOA for three years now. Angelina and I are part of a team that has been tracking a number of hardline underground chocolate groups for the past five years,” explained Juniper.

Angelina took up the narrative. “Some of these organisations have been threatening the world’s supply of flavenols, which, as a connoisseur of chocolate digestives, you will understand keep the world on an even, how you say, kilter. Without cioccolata, nation states around the world would begin to crumble. You saw yourself in Idaho what can happen.”

“You mean,” said Adamson, playing for time while his brain caught up with the implications of what they were saying, “there are more organisations than FRAPPE out there trying to steal all the chocolate and coffee?”

“Sam, what you have seen is the tip only of the iceberg. In fact—“

The boardroom doors were thrown open by a man in a hurry.

“What is it?” asked Angelina.

“We’ve had a coded call from London. A mystery buyer has just purchased Europe’s entire chocolate supply!”

Angelina looked with alarm at Juniper.

“Oh no, Dr Eno!”


I hope you enjoyed this episode of The Great Chocolate Conspiracy. Don't forget, the final installment will appear on Friday, December 10th at Nishi's (@cafe_nirvana) blog, and you can keep up on developments in the meantime by following the #GtChocCo hashtag on Twitter.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

#fridayflash: I Have Ten Fingers

Now for something completely different. A poem for a friend.

I have ten fingers
I have ten toes
My limbs connect to my body

I have two arms
I have two legs
My brain connects to my body

If I have ten fingers
If I have ten toes
Why don’t they feel like my body?

If I have two arms
If I have two legs
Why don’t they move like my body?

I have no pain
The pain is gone
In its place is nothing

If I have no pain
If the pain is gone
Then why can I not feel something?

I have to eat
I have to drink
Neither hungry am I nor thirsty

If I have to eat
If I have to drink
It’s not to slake my desire

I cannot feel
I will not touch
This body that is not mine

If I cannot feel
If I cannot touch
Then why have this body that’s mine?

I have ten fingers
I have ten toes
Growing inside of me

I have two arms
I have two legs
A foetus whose need is me

I will have pain
And when it’s gone
A baby there will be

I will want to eat
I will want to drink
For both my child and me

I will want to feel
I will want to touch
My baby’s pure soft skin

I will count his fingers
I will count her toes
I will caress those arms
I will stroke those legs
I will love the pain
And when it’s gone
He will eat
She will drink
Together we will feel
Together we will touch

Together we will be.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Chinese Whisperings: The Yin and Yang Books

The Yin and Yang Book eBook(s) have been published. Go and buy them now!

22 fabulous stories from 22 writers from around the world, including yours truly - my story 'Double Talk' appears in The Yin Book, but I would recommend you buy the combined anthology for the full effect.

More details about Chinese Whisperings and the anthologies over at my website.

Friday, September 24, 2010

#fridayflash: Skin Therapy

Congrats to all the #fridayflash crowd whose stories made the 50 Stories for Pakistan longlist. Mine didn't, so here 'tis - it's been a while!

Skin Therapy
Lily Mulholland

Dr Harold Kinsella, Harry to his friends, was a well respected plastic surgeon transplanted from America to London, where he’d earned a number of gongs in recognition of the pro bono work he did with burns victims. Internationally renowned for his skill with the surgical blade, Dr Kinsella was in hot demand, with a waiting list longer than a conga line in a retirement village.

Dr Kinsella’s dedication to the job earned him plaudits from his peers in the UK and around the world, although it had cost him his marriage and the company of his two lovely daughters. He saw them irregularly, what with his patient load and constant travel on the international lecture circuit.

Which was where he was returning from just now. A member of a high-profile panel at Plastic Surgery 2010, held in Toronto, Canada, he had held the audience in thrall with details of the latest advances in tissue engineering. The panel discussion had run smoothly until Randall Weiss started sticking the knife in. Despite their long-held rivalry that dated back to Stanford, Harry had been thrown when Randy questioned his surgical approach to challenging reconstructive cases.

Harry cringed at the memory of their heated and unprofessional argument, where they had both tarnished their reputations and left the other panel members embarrassed. Two of the world’s top plastic surgeons duelling over technique. Worse, the panel was one of only a handful open to the world’s medical and mainstream media.

He imagined the headlines; they weren’t going to be pretty. Harry knew he would have a ‘please explain’ from the British Association of Plastic Surgeons, which had funded the trip. The stewardess moved past as he groaned.

“Everything all right, sir?”

“Yes, fine, thank you. Actually, I could do with another whisky.”


She returned with his drink. Twelve-year, single highland malt whisky on ice. In a real glass. Harry enjoyed his frequent upgrades to First Class.

“Is there anything else, Dr Kinsella?”

“No, I’m fine.”

He watched her sashay across the aisle and stop to attend to a female passenger he hadn’t noticed during the previous three hours of the flight; he had been buried in a medical journal, trying to forget the humiliation. The woman was attractive, although he only looked at women the way a conservator sizes up a damaged canvas.

The angle of his seat afforded a reasonable view of the woman: late forties, sharp hairstyle, and a large diamond earring dangling from her visible earlobe. He noted the developing buccula beneath her chin, the creases that formed at the corners of her eyes as she chatted with the hostess, and the pigmentation spots on the skin beneath her cheekbones. That she had good bone structure was clear even in the artfully dimmed light of the cabin’s interior.

Harry thought about slipping his card into her pocket as they exited the plane. After his Canadian ordeal, he felt the need to cut away some ugliness and make something beautiful again.

(Image: Bestlin Plastics)