Prologue for THE OPERATOR, UNITY VOL.3

This book has been the undoing of me, I have to tell you that. Anyways, here’s a snippet you might like…

This is from the third book in the UNITY series and you can purchase the first two by visiting unitynovels.com

The following is unedited, subject to change etc, but I can tell you this book is the best thing I’ve written yet…

So here we are…

PROLOGUE

When you grow up being told that people are either good or evil, you don’t ever know any different. You can’t distinguish any middle ground. You are told most are evil, though you don’t really know what evil is until evil does. A childhood knowing only that people are to be mistrusted ‒ it stays with you forever and ever. Eighty-odd years of life didn’t convince me that I will ever get over what happened to me both then, and afterwards. What I learned over time, however, was that people and their individuality make everything better, more wholesome. Lots of people along the way smoothed out my rough edges and wore away at my hard shell.

I used to think it was enough to take succor from small things. Perhaps that was my way of coping. Beach walks, strolling around markets, a street stall jacket potato still in its foil wrapper and a plastic fork… those things still seem pretty great, even though I can’t have any of them, not anymore. That is not the world in which we live now.

I used to look at other people and envy them their ignorance, their naivety, their carefree ways. I’d assess them within a heartbeat and know everything about them and their needs, their desires. The stressed-out girl on a delicatessen was only concerned with getting out of there so she could spend her pennies at the local pub with her scruffy boyfriend. The man power-walking the streets with fury was only doing so because his wife wouldn’t put out and he had no other way of sweating off some steam. That paper boy who never spoke… that businesswoman who wore gray suits with such swagger that she convinced herself we didn’t all know it was just High Street clobber and not designer, not at all. That bus driver who always gave me the eye and complained when I didn’t have the right change. All those people, those beautiful people, made the pattern of what was once our world.

Oh we all see the outsides of people. We see the outlines of shapes and images, but do we see their essence, their souls? Their real story? Everyone has a story so they say. Some are possibly better left unsaid.

When you get to the end of my tale, you might wish you’d never heard my story. Sometimes I wished I’d never heard my story. However, it is what made me, me. What shaped me and formed me into the person I became.

Somebody made me realize that surviving wasn’t enough. This person challenged me. Really changed me. Whatever you believe about love, I might show you otherwise. Whatever you think love is, I may prove to the contrary.

You know the basics… now to get to the grit of this tale of UNITY.

You know who I am…

I am the Operator.

 

RELEASE DATE TBC

99 cents each…

the radicalIn the first instalment of S.M. Lynch’s dystopian adult romance series…

The year is 2063 and Big Brother has control; 40 years previously Officium took over global intelligence, government, supply and policing. In the wake of viral disaster they offered to return the world to order, but at a cost.

New York journalist Seraph Maddon has been trying to link the death of her British parents to the group that has rinsed the world of all hope – but more than ten years of investigations have turned up nothing. It is only when she leaves her job behind to travel to England for a funeral that she starts to unpick her family’s involvement in a movement known as UNITY.

Someone intends Seraph to cross paths with Dr Ryken Hardy and when they meet, it is not long before they are running for their lives – their combination a significant threat to those who believe themselves beyond surveillance.

Seraph’s rollercoaster journey of reawakening and newfound love is a battle to finally break free of the shackles of oppression. Secrets and lies are the norm amongst a frightened population and the truth may be best kept hidden.

But someone is determined… the truth will out, for better or worse…

The story continues in UNITY Vol.2, THE INFORMANT

EXCERPT

“All we know is that we were born into corruption and madness and that nothing can move forward until the veil is lifted. Knowledge is freedom, and if the world knew the truth for a certainty, I’m sure people would rise up against Officium finally. But without definitive proof, we can do nothing. We need hard evidence otherwise anything else might send panic through the population again. I know one thing for sure at least, they will stop at nothing to keep the truth hidden…”

 

the informantIn the second instalment of S.M. Lynch’s dystopian adult romance series…

Exploding the secrets of 2023 was just the beginning. The Operator’s legacy has yet to be fully realized and there are those among the resistance who are having a hard time following orders…

Camille knows a few secrets guaranteed to create havoc if they escaped. While she watches two families come together to prevent Officium’s resurgence, she hovers on the brink of despair, desperate to be released of her responsibilities once and for all.

Meanwhile Seraph starts a new life in Paris, hoping to leave all her ghosts in the past. However, dark truths threaten to tear her world apart and a dramatic confrontation in the Catacombs spells tragedy for one UNITY member.

Still the journalist, Seraph is always listening… and always watching… and dark secrets seem abundant…

EXCERPT

I was both the Principal and me, needing to suffuse the two to become something more powerful than I had ever been before. I saw the images of all I loved and ran at the group, holding a hand out for Mara to stay where she was. As I neared the pack, I reached down for the instrument hidden within my knee-high boot. It swished and gleamed against the twinkling skies overheard. I heard the emissaries take a quick intake of breath and licked my lips at the sight of their fear.

 

 

 

 

Another instalment in the saga…

Two years ago when I was pondering whether or not to self-publish my first book, I had no idea how my work would be received. No idea. When people texted/emailed me to say they couldn’t put it down and were in love with the characters, I just didn’t believe it. Couldn’t believe it. To me, writing was just something I enjoyed and that others enjoyed it was such a bonus. I didn’t know it would lead me on to write a book like A Fine Profession, nor A Fine Pursuit or Angel Avenue, which have been so well received since then. And the journey continues, the development is ongoing…

Today THE INFORMANT went live on Amazon. I am not going mad promoting it yet. I will do however when Volume 4 comes out. Then I will go mad. The reversions of what was the Ravage Trilogy, to me, signal the end of this stage of my creative development and the beginning of something new. It was only today I went to give a talk on self-publishing and had a potential pack of ten or more writers ready to put their work in my hands to edit and publish. I owe a lot to that first novel. I wouldn’t be here now without it.

Anyway, what I can tell you (without spoiling the plot) is that when I was writing these sci-fi novels, I was a new mum. Many of you know that. I was writing for the first time and it is only natural that a lot of my new concerns in life came to the fore in those novels. Also, a lot of people that came and went in my life, and those still with me, manifested in some respects in those early works that were more me than I think anything else ever will be.

It is sci-fi. Yet it has such a romantic edge. These are just stories that can take you away from this place. One major theme in the UNITY series is motherhood. I guess that will always stand prominent in any work of mine. You see my own mother was fostered when she was four and didn’t have it easy. My husband’s mum lost her mother when she was eight. That wasn’t the beginning of it for either of our mums. Both my mum and Andy’s mum strived so hard to give us what they never had. When I had a child too, so much hit me. I am sure so many other mums here and elsewhere can relate to that. UNITY is not only about a virus attack – it is about friendships, lovers, connections, relationships… it’s about alcoholism, abuse and how our imbedded personalities define us – all against this mad background of threat and suspicion, fear and longing. Dive in. I dare you!

Click covers to buy or visit unitynovels.com to find out more!!!

the radicalthe informant

unitynovels.com

Some of you know me only as an erotic/romance author. Some of you know I started out by writing futuristic stories that combine romance, thriller and scifi. Well, soon I will be unveiling how my work is developing and going down two separate routes. Don’t get me wrong there is always going to be some romance in anything I write. There will always be plenty of STEAM (to highlight the story, mind). However, when it comes to my scifi writings I will be known as S.M. Lynch now. That is because the scifi is definitely grittier and less forgiving than my other novels. Although if you read anything of mine you may notice I don’t write simple characters – ever – I always writing 3D souls who’ve seen, done and been places. Some protagonists may aggravate you but then not everyone is likeable in real life – it’s just understanding why that is sometimes difficult to comprehend.

So… I have a new series coming out very, very soon. I say NEW but I released these books before – at a time when I didn’t know much about professional writing. I just knew I had a good story. Perhaps a great story. I just didn’t really know then how I could tell that story in the best possible way.

I believe when you leave a story alone, and go back to it after a period of reflection, you obviously have a lot more perspective. I can’t recall exactly when I decided to revise these books but it just hit me before Christmas that it was important that I SHOULD.

If you visit the above website, you can get a feel of the series. I can reveal that one of the reasons I thought I should revise these books is because I do have some ideas at the back of my mind for a follow-up series to this series. The possibilities excite me very much. You see – these are set in the future. And the future is for the taking.

THE RADICAL is fully edited and will be released on track, this Saturday. If you like a read that you can swish through in one gulp, you will love this book.  It will keep you guessing right until the very end and hopefully – well definitely – will make you want to read on. THE INFORMANT will follow pretty closely behind.

So just how do I get you to invest in not just a trilogy, but a series? It’s a big, big ask. All I can say is that we’ve surely heard and read the same plots retold in different books over and over again. What you may like about my scifi novels is the characters. They’re all different. I push them through individual challenges and the world in which they live is a tightly controlled environment of fear, dread and corruption. So getting away scot-free won’t come cheap…

Please head on over and take a look at unitynovels.com

the radical

 

A recent interview I did…

1. What inspired you to write your first book?

A dream first and foremost. An idea lingered in my mind for years until I finally had time to put pen to paper during a long period of maternity leave. I suppose a childhood love of literature became a lifelong obsession! I cannot imagine ever stopping writing now.

2. Writing can be a difficult job, what inspires you to keep going?

Mostly, readers. When I get an amazing reaction from one of my readers, I know something is working. Writing a book can sometimes feel lonely, desolate and doubtful. It is the possibility of the finished outcome and seeing that achievement come to fruition that spurs me on too.

3. What are you working on now?  What’s next?

At the moment I am writing/re-editing a series of science-fiction novels set in a futuristic world. The planet is struggling to cope in the wake of viral attack and love is the key to breaking a stranglehold of fear that looms over everyone.

4. What’s your writing process, schedule, or routine?

Most writers write in the wee hours, when the world is quiet and we feel quiet in our own minds too. I am no exception. Sometimes if I am close to a major breakthrough in a plot, I lock myself away for a day or two and my husband brings me cups of tea and toast intermittently, but otherwise I just write when the world lets me, or when I get an idea. Sometimes even on my Windows Phone if I am on the bus or train!

5. Who is your favorite book character of all time? Why?

That is a hard question, it really is *looks at bookshelf in a bid to seek help*. There are so many good, strong characters from books I love. There are also some baddies you have got to love too. I am trying to avoid picking one from the classics but it is inevitable… Celie from The Color Purple. It is a beautiful book I could read again and again. Her voice is so authentic and simple, yet so spiritual.

6. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Keep writing. Honestly. You just never know when something might click.

7. What’s your favorite quote?

How can you do this to me? Ha-ha! I will go with this one… it says it all, for me… “That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

8. Who would you most like to have a cup of coffee with? (Dead or alive) Explain…

I would like to sit down with Tom Cruise and ask him why he didn’t just bloody marry me. No… actually, I would like to sit with Shakespeare and interrogate him on his work schedule, whether he really knew he would be eternally famous and how the hell did he write Romeo and Juliet without convulsing in agony like the 14-year-old version of me did? LOL. I just think it would be fascinating to see into the mind of someone like him and get a real picture of the man. He saw the spectrum of humanity and for some reason, we are still reinterpreting him all the time.

9. What is your biggest pet peeve?

Smoking. Can’t stand it. Doesn’t mean a character can’t smoke though! As long as they don’t leave their tab ends around me…

10. Tell us something quirky about you.

At school I was so much better at Maths than English. In fact I don’t think that has changed.

11. Favorite comfort food?

Burger and fries (or chips as us Brits call them J).

12. Star Wars or Star Trek?

Star Wars!

13. Sunrises or Sunsets?

Sunsets.

The Beauty of Science Fiction

I recently did a guest post on another website but thought I would post this here too… it pretty much says everything I am currently going through… 😉 and it’s all good!

The Beauty of Science Fiction…

As an author of erotica and contemporary romance, plus science-fiction, I have been on all sides of the writing spectrum. Each genre has its own challenges. In fact, genre is something widely discussed amongst the Indie writing community purely because many Indies have books that don’t necessarily fall into one category and therefore have been passed over numerous times by agents and/or publishers.

When I say science-fiction, in my mind I think of Quantum Leap, Star Wars, Star Trek or The Fly (this film terrified me when I first saw it). I think of Stephen King and The Stand, another story that left a lasting impact. I think of Blade Runner, The Fifth Element and even Demolition Man (don’t beat me with a stick). There are so many other films/books/comics I love because I love science-fiction. In fact, there are so many books/films that bob under the sci-fi radar because it is a genre that is all-encompassing. Did you think The Adjustment Bureau was necessarily sci-fi? Did you think Never Let Me Go was? The Time Traveller’s Wife?  Sci-fi does not leave those who prefer more romantic stories out in the cold.

My husband and I met through a mutual love of the arts. We were sent together to a Press night to review a play for a university magazine and it turned into a story… nine years on we have a daughter and have been married almost six years. When I met him, I had no idea I was marrying into science-fiction madness. His mother is a mad Trekkie. I am talking super mad! She can name you the title of any Star Trek episode just from the first line. She dragged my husband to Star Trek conventions when he was little and he has been indoctrinated in all the various offshoots of Trek… and beyond. My own love of sci-fi was something burning deep but not on the surface. I am just a lover of great stories… aren’t we all? It was only when I started writing sci-fi that I realised what a great source I had in my husband for ideas and opinions. Thus he became my editor.

When I started writing my first novel, all I saw was a theory. I didn’t classify it as one genre or another. I knew there would be a love story at the heart but I also knew the book would be set in the future and in some respects, this already placed it in the sci-fi bracket. Yet I also had a yearning for romance and felt I had to weave this in. I needed that too. So when I was asked to write this post, I got to thinking what differentiates straight erotica, straight romance, straight sci-fi. Setting perhaps, language maybe, yet you still have to throw a lot of imagination into whatever you try to tackle, whichever genre that may be.

Erotica was something I wanted to try my hand at because it was a challenge. It is not necessarily where my heart lies. Don’t get me wrong, I love erotic stories. I didn’t love Story of O at first. In fact I hated it. However, I grew to love it and now class it as one of my favourite books. Every reading always produces another insight or a different reaction. When I finished writing a pair of erotic novels last year, I was pretty pleased with the result. Some said the books were much more than erotica. And they were. I tackled some subjects that I felt were important to explore. In fact, there are tons and tons of erotic writers out there that have written much better stuff than will ever see the bottom of a jumble sale. That is because erotica, when done right, allows us to explore emotional issues no other genre allows so easily. Erotica can be so much more than just fantasy. It can be a vehicle of exploration for how intimacy and sexual honesty between two people can be such a force of good.

So after writing two erotic novels I wrote a contemporary romance titled Angel Avenue. It was such a joy to write, so easy in fact. I wrote about exactly what I knew. It is set in my own environs and it features characters I am familiar with, or versions of real people I know and respect and love. If any writer ever tells you they are not inspired by life, they are lying. Whether directly or indirectly, we all are. We are sometimes subliminally, subconsciously, inspired by real life whether we like it or not. Anyway, it was this switch from erotica to contemporary romance that made me realise a few things. It made me realise sometimes we forget the small stuff, which can make a heck of a difference in books. It makes us connect with characters so much more.

As for the sci-fi, that very first novel I began during maternity leave almost three years ago turned into a trilogy. It spun wildly out of control and I never thought I would get any success at all from it. In fact my first novel was my first creative outing. I had never even attempted a short story before then! I just had this dream and I followed it. I explored ideas and theories until they were wrung out. The point of this article is that I have recently gone back to these books and re-written/re-edited and re-imagined them. When I went back to the drawing board after writing three romance novels, I realised just what a task I had accomplished in writing a trilogy of sci-fi books. Because as you can imagine, sci-fi sometimes requires a whole new setting to be explained and described. It asks that we IMAGINE like we never imagine with any other genre. In science-fiction anything is possible. Nothing is off the table. As a romance writer first and foremost, that was difficult for me to master at first. I constantly thought of things in terms of would this actually happen ?? When in actual fact, I should have been telling myself, this is science-fiction and anything can bloody happen! My point is, science-fiction can comfortably feature action, thriller, romance, drama, adventure and fantasy, all within a completely different world. It can comment on universal political, social, moral and ethical issues. The challenge is immense but it is one I love and relish. Nothing excites or enthrals me as much. The possibilities are endless. It is exploring the people we are, through the things we could be capable of. And that is the beauty of science-fiction.

 

I Am Editing a Trilogy…

I began writing a trilogy some three years ago. Sometimes I still say to myself, “you just wrote a few strings of tales together and it somehow ended up as three books” because it will never sink in what I achieved. Writing those books was an enormous period of creativity for me. In fact, a lot of fellow journalists can probably sympathise with this – because I spent years hardly having time to read or write for myself. When you have been doing it all day, you hardly want to give it a go when you get home.

Years, and I mean years ago, I had this dream. It was of a couple in an airport lounge and I had the sense of them having been on a long journey together. They were facing a crossroad and had to decide whether to go forward together or go their separate ways. I had this strong sense of theirs being a world where love was dangerous. If you had someone, you had something to lose. There was a mysterious force at work behind the scenes… and well… I won’t spoil it.

That dream stayed with me for so long. I mean, my daughter is nearly three now and it was years before that that I had this dream. It never went away. I suffer vivid dreams all the time and never remember them, but I remembered that one.

So when I started to put it down it was without a clue what I was really doing. I just knew I had this story and I wanted to tell it. I didn’t think about the technicalities. And then, well, I put it out there and didn’t really promote it. Didn’t get any response from agents or publishers, as is par for the course. Family and friends told me they loved it and I just thought, “yeah, yeah, yeah…” you know, because they are biased and all. You can guess the rest…

So, over the course of my writing journey I have learnt that I feel most comfortable writing from a First Person perspective. I find Third Person difficult, not natural even, because I struggle to put myself in the mind of my characters then.

I felt stifled when I began novel writing, as if my mind was putting so many constraints on myself and what I could do in a book. I was too bothered by the little things to think more about the bigger issues. It is a difficult thing to explain. So I am NOW re-editing the entire trilogy with sections ripped and others re-enforced, with the singular voices of Seraph, Ryken and Camille et al guiding you on what will be an explosive, emotive, thrilling and escapist journey into a dystopian future world.

If any of you think you might find a blog history of my editing processes interesting, I might be persuaded… Otherwise don’t expect to get any sense from me for a while.

More details coming soon…

Excerpt from Beneath the Veil… one of my personal favourites

The milliner had been given only two hours to deal with her target. She had arranged it so that he would come to her. It was imperative she got in, and got out. She couldn’t risk her identity. As far as the authorities knew, she wasn’t even in the country, so being caught would spell certain catastrophe for not only her – but the cause too.

She was dressed casually, and with her hair pulled back into a tight bun, she looked just like any other library frequenter – except for the black ballet pumps laced firmly around her ankles – easier to perform in. No-one would presume that she was one of the deadliest creatures on the planet.

She sat at the end of a long, wide, wooden desk, reading Balzac quietly, with a polystyrene cup containing her espresso to hand. Even though she could barely see her surroundings, she resisted the temptation to switch on one of the desk lights, knowing the dim lighting would allow her more of the element of surprise. This part of the New York Public Library, the rare books section – with its crowded shelves but few visitors – was deserted save for her.

Like clockwork, he appeared. Smart navy-striped suit, possibly Saville Row. Grey hair, broad shoulders, bulky physique. There were three desks between hers and the one he had chosen to sit at.

******

As far as he was concerned, he was finally getting to meet a representative of the group he had risked so much for. He had sold out some good people to finally get his fingers in a few pies. This was everything he had ever wanted. Money, power, success. He could smell it, taste it almost, and he wore his best suit for the occasion. That morning, when he got the message to meet, he had not thought for a second that he would be placing himself in danger. He was not even concerned that the message came from an unknown source. He was simply overtaken by excitement at finally getting what he deserved. Status.

He had joined the resistance to get knowledge of their inner workings, hoping it would gain him respect from Officium if he could find out enough about their enemy. He was fed up of being an underachiever, a mediocre excuse for a man, and a disappointment to his wife and son. He’d never been fit and strong enough to become an agent, since a childhood illness left him without his left foot. He needed more than to be a simple tailor, in a dwindling and dying market. When a client of his, Hamish Maddon, told him about a resistance group he knew of, he had leapt on the opportunity to get in on it. He made promises about using his clientele to gather information. But he had secretly had a very sinister, ulterior motive. He had unwittingly given up Maddon, who had died along with his wife, after he had revealed the location of RAO’s meetings in New   York. However, he had not carried out the act, so as far as he was concerned, he was without sin or recrimination. He simply knew he needed more from life, that’s all, and now he was there – deliriously expectant.

A mildly attractive woman suddenly appeared before him, standing with a book in hand. She smiled sweetly and asked, ‘Excuse me, but do you have the time? I can’t seem to find a single clock in this place.’

‘Of course,’ looking down at his watch, he said, ‘It’s a quarter to two.’

‘Thanks so much, that’s very kind of you.’ She continued smiling at him and stayed standing there. He felt it would be too rude to ask her if there was anything else, but his contact could arrive at any moment, and he became anxious.

She noted, ‘I hear the police are making headway into finally getting hold of the person responsible for the Maddon killings. You know, the heart surgeons? Apparently their loss will now mean at least four dozen people will have to wait six months longer for bypasses.’

He looked up at her face, shock spreading across his. He wondered, but it couldn’t possibly be… He had been so careful… hadn’t he? He nervously stood up. He looked into her eyes, but he struggled to gauge what was behind them. She stood there with hardly any expression whatsoever. That scared him more than anything.

‘Who are you?’ he asked.                                                                                    

‘I’m a friend of the dressmaker. You might have heard of her?’

He wanted to bolt out of the place. He was desperate to just start running.

‘Yes, it was a grave shame about the Maddons. Their daughter is without both her parents now. Imagine that, a young woman without her mum and dad. Being without one would certainly be bad enough, but without both…’

She didn’t seem intimidating, standing there casually holding her book between both hands in front of her. However, her words almost shocked the life out of him. He started to move away from behind the desk to make his escape. However, her book suddenly fell and he was drawn by its flight toward the floor.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw an almost inhuman shadow move with incredible velocity. She leapt up onto the desk he had moved away from, suddenly threw her body in the air and expertly sent a foot crashing into his chest to ensure he had taken his last breath. Then there was nothing. His mass fell to the floor, and she walked toward the exit to the stairwell.