There’s always more to a town than meets the eye. You just need to scratch the surface. The quiet town of Hopfield is no exception. There are everyday people doing everyday things – just like where you live. But history has a way of coming back to find us. And the voices of the past can change our lives forever.
Three fabulous fables for your delectation and delight:
The Spirit Archer
Campaign of the Gods
Mark of the Legion
The Hopfield Tales is a trilogy of three novellas. Each story is set in a town in present day Yorkshire and involves people who have encounters with characters from English history and legend. The tales include the final, as yet unpublished story, Mark of the Legion.
The blurb for the unreleased novella, Mark of the Legion:
Bentham Cawley enjoys and quiet and humdrum life as a monk at the Brotherhood of the Resurrection in Hopfield, Yorkshire. But this is all about to change – when he unwillingly embarks on the monastery’s new friendship programme and meets remarkable octogenarian Ernest Teale.
Just how does Ernest know so much about the past, and how is he connected to the legendary but doomed Roman Ninth Legion?
Some secrets wait centuries to be unlocked…
Review samples for The Spirit Archer and Campaign of the Gods:
“This is a novella that is entertaining, informative and imaginative. It’s a wonderful story that put a smile on my face.” (The Spirit Archer; Ann Werner, Amazon)
“This is a good fun read which I really enjoyed. I particularly liked the way the scenes cut back to the gods and their fated board game and the effect that had on our world of ‘Midgard’. A great, light-hearted bit of fun.” (Campaign of the Gods; Ignite, Amazon)
The voices of the past can change our lives forever…
From The Spirit Archer:
According to the map, he was now in the middle of Priory Wood, right next to where the grave should have been – except there was no sign of it. About him was the mixed warbling of birdsong and the rustling sound of a breeze blowing through the tree tops. In the distance he could make out the hum of traffic on the busy road. Nice place, he thought – apart from the cars. Where the hell was the grave? Looking around, Jamie noticed a trail heading through a thick cluster of trees and made his way along it. And then he found it. It was huge. It was over 12-feet tall and was constructed out of bricks and had tall pillars on the corners. Between the pillars, high, wrought iron railings had been set up to protect the grave, and the effect was altogether grand. On further inspection, Jamie noticed that it had fallen into disrepair and two of the pillars were missing. It was still very impressive nonetheless.
The thoughts filled Jamie’s mind: what on earth was Robin Hood’s grave doing here, and why did so few people know about it? Talk about a secret! Feeling elated at finding it, Jamie walked around it and began searching for inscriptions or words indicating the identity of the deceased. There didn’t seem to be much on the outside, and peering through the railings, Jamie caught sight of the grave stone. It was blackened with age and flecked with moss. Jamie squinted – he could just make out the inscription written on it:
Here underneath dis laitl stean
Laz robert earl of Huntingtun
Ne’er archir ver a hie sa geud
An pipl kauld im robin heud
Sick utlawz as his as iz men
Vil England nivr si agen
Obiit 24 Kal. Dekembris 1247
Jamie photographed the words on his mobile phone’s camera, before stepping back to take more pictures of the whole grave. This will surprise a few people, he thought. Jamie looked around, and spotting one of the pillars lying on the ground nearby went over and sat on it. After checking through the photos on his phone, Jamie could feel the warm fingers of spring sunshine coming through the trees. Ah, what a lovely spot, he thought, and wondered what could have given Jock and Angus the heebie-jeebies. There certainly wasn’t anything creepy about the place. Jamie stood up and, for a laugh, began talking to the grave:
“Rise up, Robert, Earl of Huntingdon, and summon your Merry Men!” he commanded, regally.
“Tis’ now the time to protect the poor and unwary – CARPE DIEM, MIGHTY ROBIN HOOD!” he proclaimed, grandly. The words echoed through the woods, startling some birds in the trees nearby.
Mike often taps out stuff on his keyboard in the fantasy, urban fantasy and paranormal genres: a habit which his wife finds fairly amusing – and sometimes a little bit strange.
So far he has published two novellas – The Spirit Archer and Campaign of the Gods – with GMTA Publishing. Along with Mark of the Legion, the novellas are due to be published as The Hopfield Tales in summer 2013.
Mike’s debut novel, The Chaosifier, is also available on Amazon, where it is ambushing unsuspecting fans of contemporary fantasy with its general mischief and mayhem.
Mike’s educational background is in History, International Conflict Analysis and Education. He is qualified as a teacher in ESOL and Adult Literacy, and lives and works in West Yorkshire. He’s married to a long-suffering wife, Joanne, and they have a young son called Joseph.