Helen J Beal, was born in York in the north of England. She has a degree in English Literature and Language from London University and a professional background in Information Technology sales, specializing in creating and growing start-up businesses. She is the author of four novels, plus a collection of short stories.
What do you do when you owe the Ukrainian mafia a huge amount of money that you don’t have? Drive a twenty-year old ambulance ten thousand kilometers from London to the remotest country in the world, of course. Not to run away, you understand, but to bag your share of a million pound cash prize.
Melissa, a suddenly unemployed City trader, finds herself stunningly in debt to Victor, a leading light in the Ukrainian mafia following an unlucky hand in an underground poker game in East London. Escaping to her grandmother’s flat in Hammersmith, she is reunited with old school mate Julia, who offers her the chance to take part in the Ulaanbaatar Cup – where competitors drive to the capital of Mongolia in chase of a one million pound cash prize.
In the high-pressure atmosphere of challenge, sabotage, espionage, misinformation and unmitigated disasters with Melissa’s future up against the clock, against all odds she finds herself having more fun than she can remember, forging friendships that will last for life and falling head over heels in love. But what will happen when she returns to London?
What happens when the old money runs out and the new money rolls in? Welcome to Bestwood, a dilapidated estate in the wilds of the English countryside where Herbert, a giant land tortoise presides over the tatty menagerie. The zookeeper, Bob, and his daughter Stella are mystified when rock legend Dave Palmer arrives with his twin sons; that is, until they announce their plans to reinvent Bestwood as ‘Palmer Springs – Where Hope Is Eternal’ – a luxury refuge for creative souls – and no place for a menagerie.
This contemporary retelling of the classic Greek myth, Orpheus and Eurydice, takes sex, drugs and rock and roll, mixes them up with doses of evolution and pantheism and swings between comedy and tragedy.
An ostentatiously luxurious super yacht. The endless cerulean blue of the Indian Ocean. The sun warming your skin. Sounds like heaven? Not when you are hostage aboard, captured by bandits, waiting for the ship’s owner to pay the ransom for your release and you find out he’s going bankrupt. This is a story about paradise becoming a prison.
When super yacht Talisman is hijacked on her way home to Cyprus from the Seychelles, stewardess Rachel still thinks she’ll be spending Christmas in Cornwall. But negotiations with the owner, businessman Herr Liebe, now in Paris on the last leg of his honeymoon, leave his crew high and dry and moored a mile off the coast of Somalia, a warship impotently looking on.
Captive aboard, living with their gun toting, khat chewing guards, the crew’s belongings are ransacked and their supplies commandeered. Lars, the ship’s captain, refuses increasingly forceful attempts to move them off the boat onto land, fearing that Herr Liebe’s overriding concern is for Talisman and not the human lives aboard. He also knows that separated from the boat they will be virtually impossible to find in this lawless state.
The arrival of the gang’s translator and negotiator, Omar, a Boston educated, spectacle-wearing Somali, renews hope for their release, and to Rachel’s delight, he can also play Scrabble. But at what price their freedom?
A woodpecker who creates sculptures for the opera singer he adores, a sculpture that collects the thoughts of the people who touch him, ghosts of owls that portent death in the castle, a secret night-time visitor finding his own way to say goodbye, mobile phones that metamorphosize into fruit on the strike of midnight and help stitch a marriage back together and the last survivors on earth – on the moon.
Metaphysical, anthropomorphological, spiritual and fantastical this collection of short stories stretch and bend the imagination, explore the nature and endurance of love across time and across space and see how frictions can create fractures.
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Author K. Meador is a mom to two grown sons who are currently pursuing their adult lives outside the home. For the past several years, she has traveled with her job and has now settled down in Oklahoma City area.
She enjoys photography, walking, and visiting with family and friends.
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