Extracts from other published books

Extracts from my published books:
Extracts from 'The Baron's Tale' vol i part i now available on Amazon either as an eBook at The Baron's Tale vol i part i or in paperback at Paperback

So what I did was lob the burning tube under the bed on my mother’s side, hop back in and pretend to be asleep. As the smoke began to waft around her nose, however, it wasn’t long before she woke with a start, leaped out of bed and instructed me to go and fetch my sister… Luckily for us, the Earl must have already been up and about because, in less than a minute, he could be seen waddling across the courtyard in his dressing gown and pyjamas brandishing a fire extinguisher.

My father did his best to steer the car as far as he could towards the lefthand bank but when the lorry driver slammed on his brakes, the rear axle swung round, hit the Herald and swept it halfway through the stone wall! It all happened in the blink of an eye. Then there was a moment’s silence before my father said, ‘Charlie, are you all right?

It certainly wasn’t unusual for a small group of us to bring up the rear of the crocodile specifically with the intention of diving into the local sweet shop while walking back to school after the Sunday service at St Martin’s. We would quickly buy what we wanted, nip out again and catch up with the crocodile as if everything was in order…But on another occasion, we pushed our luck too far.

I’m not even sure that on one occasion, there wasn’t such a coffin lying in wait at the top of the aisle but maybe my ripening imagination was getting the better of me. However, taking heart from those stories about poor old Bach clambering into the organ loft with his flickering candle, my nerves would soon settle once the bellows had stopped creaking and wheezing and I began to feel safely cocooned in my cockpit of keys and stops.

Then, when she spotted the bulge in my duffle coat pocket, she suddenly emerged from the shadows like one of Jason’s biggest nightmares and said, very excitedly, ‘What’s that in your pocket, Lush? What have you got in your pocket?’ as she proceeded to withdraw the bottle from my duffle coat…(Her husband) then withdrew it himself and with one of his characteristic chuckles, said, almost nonchalantly, ‘What’s this, old man?’ before giving it a wee twirl in the palm of his hand as if it was a dud grenade.

Mr Grant wasn’t particularly pleased with me either when he caught me doing my Biology Hall in a lesson while he was trying to teach me something about pulleys and levers. ‘Lush, what are you up to?’ came the usual inquiry. And ‘Writing an essay on the comparison between amoeboid osmo-regulation and the water-balance of a fish, sir,’ came the honest response. ‘But this is a Physics lesson, Lush, not a Biology one. Bring it here!’

So you won’t be surprised to hear that when the rest of the staff began to filter on the stage, there were a number of hisses and boos as we identified those we thought were the ringleaders. At one point, I even thought there was going to be a riot which could have been interesting between six hundred boys and fifty members of staff.

Extracts from 'The Baron's Tale' vol i part ii now available on Amazon either as an eBook at The Baron's Tale vol i part ii or in paperback at Paperback

'Someone, however, must have been listening to my prayers via Bluetooth, or what was available in the seventies, because with impeccable timing, I literally flew straight across the skis of one of the happily oblivious students and kept on going.'

'Obviously, after hearing the shots himself or being tipped off by one of the residents in what was generally known as 'Mad Valley' due to its incestuous notoriety, the keeper, Eddy Brown, had assumed there was a poacher about but was happy to see that he was mistaken. Only next time, he suggested I gave him a call beforehand.'

'But the sausages fought back. One day, after wheeling a trolley laden with them into one of the freezers, some idiot closed the door behind me and there was no way of opening it from the inside. Consequently, I got rather chilly and decided to light my pipe to keep my hands warm until another student eventually wheeled in his trolley and let me out.'

'No problem. Once the examiner and I had reached the designated spot, I then had to perform some basic manoeuvres, all of which went as smoothly as a certain American inspector stubbing out his fag on an inflatable doll.'

Extracts from 'The Baron's Tale' vol ii now available on Amazon either as an eBook at The Baron's Tale vol ii or in paperback at Paperback

'One of these drivers, Jane, also had an altercation with a policeman when she stopped to ask him for directions. 'Well, madam,' said the policeman, 'if you would kindly take your car off my foot, I would be happy to tell you!''

'In the second photo, I'm not sure my father's seat on a horse looked any less awkward than my own. We were both very fond of horses but neither of us had a clue what we were doing once on board - motorbikes were more our thing - and it never took long for even the most accommodating animal to figure that out!'

'Breakfast at Gleneagles was only free because when I first tried to pay for it, I failed to convince the receptionist, who was most probably foreign or from Dundee, that I wasn't in fact a hotel resident for whom breakfast was included in the package. Consequently, because of all this nonsense, I never offered to pay again and enjoyed another two or three breakfasts of porridge, kippers and some excellent black pudding before someone must have go wise to the fact that were twice as many people stuffing their faces in the morning as there were sleeping in their beds overnight! Happy days!'

Extracts from 'The Baron's Tale' vol iii now available on Amazon either as an eBook at The Baron's Tale vol iii or in paperback at Paperback:

'Nevertheless, I still spent quite a lot of time in the library between lectures and tutorials...and even though silence was the order of the day, I could never resist the occasional 'How's your father?' to a pretty face in a short skirt and leather boots.'

'Indeed, I can well remember the startled looks on some of those poor girls' faces as they were obviously wondering what the stripper was going to do next!'

'I loved nothing more than taking my plane into a steep dive as if I was taking a sharp bend on a motorbike or bearing down on an ME109.'

'Although some of (the Ladettes) could be pretty wild, she assured me that the real psychos had already been weeded out so there was no danger of me being stabbed in the back with a carving knife which was most reassuring.'

Extracts from 'The Baron's Tale' vol iv now available on Amazon either as an eBook at The Baron's tale vol iv or in paperback at Paperback:

'Having been allocated a seriously sexy blonde, seemingly with little between the ears besides a big kisser and a pair of very kissable eyes, I was asked to get down on all fours so she could ride me around the arena as if she was on horseback, would you believe? Well, that certainly got a few laughs, even more so when she pretended to whip me and I pleaded for more. But perhaps the climax of our double act only came when I asked Big Brother if the blonde and I could swap places whereupon even he roared with laughter.'

'Even the man at the desk was well-dressed and well enough spoken to express how delighted he was to welcome a baron to the hotel. As far as he could remember, they had never accommodated a baron before and I daresay they never would again. But when he checked his reservations, there was no sign of any such baron on his list...Fortunately, the girl I spoke to assured me that the matter would soon be resolved (once she had put her nylons back on) and, when I informed my man that this was the case, he promptly offered me complimentary drinks while I was waiting so I ordered a long Bloody Mary complete with ice, lemon, celery salt, Tobasco and a generous splash of Worcester Sauce...'

'Not being much of a fan of television comedians myself, although I had been known to watch The Two Ronnies, The Dick Emery Show and Prime Minister’s Question Time, I knew that I would have my work cut out trying to shield myself from this comedian’s banter. But for now, we were just so amazed by the fact that we had finally made it to the Big Brother house to do anything other than celebrate.'

'...so I have absolutely no idea what I was doing in such a den of iniquity but I do remember enjoying the company of a very well-informed and sexy young shop assistant whose pragmatic approach I found most entertaining. Without batting an eyelid, she would come out with comments like, 'I think that one might be a little too small for you, dear,' casting an eye below my belt. 'Try this one instead!' And after demonstrating the variable speeds and motions of some other device, she answered my question with a wee chuckle and said, 'Oh no, don't put it up there! You might never see it again!'

Extracts from the romantic novel 'Single Fury' now available on Amazon either as an eBook at Single Fury or in paperback at Paperback:

'On reaching the landing, we bumped into her brother and his mini-skirted girlfriend who looked as though they had just been doing what we were about to do. He was a tall, handsome young man of few words bearing what I could only describe as a deceptively distant look in his eyes. As he casually struck a match on the sole of his shoe and lit a slim panatella, he reminded me of Clint Eastwood, not so much as the American super-cop but as an urbanised version of the drifting cowboy. Needless to say, it was Fiona who did most of the talking while he was exhaling clouds of thick pungent smoke over the banister and his partner was shuffling nervously past us in a futile attempt to conceal her post-coital glow.'

'On the way, I ran out of petrol just south of Aviemore but, fortunately, always carried a spare can. And when I reached Aviemore, I was even stopped by the police for doing forty in a thirty mile an hour speed limit. One of the officers asked me if I was going shooting and, at one o’clock in the morning, I could only assume that either his truncheon had a double entendre attached to it or that his mind, and probably his body, had just been blown by the attractive WPC in the back of his squad car. I once knew a policeman.'

'And at the end of the row in the far corner was an elderly, fragile man with only a tissue of hair and an oasis of watery eyes. He looked as though he was trying to say something so I leaned forward to encourage him but he said not a word. For a moment, I wondered if he too had picked up a virus and, consequently, had lost his voice. So I rummaged in my pockets for the packet of extra strong Fisherman’s Friends which always accompanied me to public places. Then, once I had located them, I leaned forward again and brandished the packet on offer. His lips started to shudder and the ruts in his face intensified to such an extent that I felt sure he was bound to say something this time. But he didn’t. All that materialised was a single tear dribbling down his creviced cheek and I wondered if he, like me, was also a single man with no-one to leave behind. Or maybe he had just lost his geraniums to an early frost.'