I am now speaking to a well presented gentleman. He is groomed, well dressed and watching me keenly. Former music teacher, Vincent Baines, initially appears to be a person whom most would respect and even admire. He is after all a talented musician. However, he struggles with serious personality issues and his residence at Harbour House came at a huge cost.
Interviewer: Son of the great composer, Fredrick Baines. A concert pianist by age 12 and a professional violinist by age 15. By all accounts you are an accomplished man so I must ask, where did it all go wrong?
Vincent: I thought that much would be quite clear. It was all over the newspapers at the time.
Interviewer: It was indeed. Murder, kidnapping and making an enemy of the richest family in Coldford City. But I’d like to hear it from your own perspective. Can you tell me a little bit about where it began?
Vincent: (Taking a deep breath) Must we?
Interviewer: I’m afraid we must.
Vincent: I was contacted by Elizabeth Beckingridge. She was looking for a music tutor for her nephew, George. George had been exhibiting severe behaviour problems and she thought it might help. He was a natural with the piano.
Interviewer: But the tutelage didn’t go so well did it?
Vincent: I did what I thought was best. When I first arrived at the Beckingridge Manor there was still police tape. How was I supposed to know?
Interviewer: You suffer from Obsessive Personality Disorder, correct?
Vincent: All my life, yes. It did me no good with the Beckingridge family though. When I met George all I could think about was getting him away from such a toxic environment. I didn’t realise he was the cause.
Interview terminated by my own choice. Vincent continues to struggle with what he did and it may be best he be allowed to settle into the Harbour House rehabilitation facility before reconvening.
#amreading #harbourhouse2020 #thriller by @VivikaWidow
Bring me your sick. Bring me your troubled. Bring me those that society can no longer cope with for they will always have a home here at Harbour House.
Did your aunt tell you she murdered someone? No, she would leave that part out.”
Killing is a game for the rich.
When Vincent Baines is given the job of teaching music to little George Beckingridge he expects a typical commission from a privileged, wealthy family. George’s outbursts become more and more violent. His father is always absent, his aunt is afraid of him and his sister has been sent away to boarding school. Vincent is the only one who can get to the bottom of what is causing the child’s manifesting distress and unearth the terrible things the boy has seen.
***** A thrilling read ***** Hits all the right notes
Can we have some quiet please? It is a clinic after all.
Creating noise won’t do our residents any good. They are hear to recover.
Trauma. Obsession. Addiction. All those little bugaboos will be locked away, examined closely and treated accordingly.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the finest facility this city has to offer. Bring me your sick. Bring me your troubled. Bring me those that society can no longer cope with for they will always have a home here at Harbour House.
#amreading @VivikaWidow and I am ready for rehab! #harbourhouse2020
Being on lockdown has given me a lot to think about. Mostly I’ve been thinking about what I would love to do when we are able to move about freely again. So let me introduce you to my bucket list. The ideal situation would be to strike all of these off before I reach the age of forty.
SWIM THE ENGLISH CHANNEL This is something I’ve had in mind for a long time. Despite being a strong swimmer I do realise that in order to do it safely I have some training and preparation to do. One day will be greasing on the pig fat and running into the sea with the aim of reaching France. It seems lucky that I’ve never minded cold water then, doesn’t it?
VISIT PARIS Of all the places in the world with all the fascinating histories, sights and draws, Paris is one city I would love to visit. Again this is something I have been aiming to do for along time. In the course of a short flight I could be ready to experience the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and a whole host of other things. Over so many other places in the world, Paris has just had a draw for me.
VOICE A CARTOON This sounds like a strange one. I’m not an actor by any stroke of the imagination but ever since I was a little girl I have always wanted to provide a voice for a cartoon, especially a musical one like a Disney flick. I’m not saying I have the talent for it (speaking or singing) but I know I would be a very happy woman if I was given the opportunity to be part of an animated movie. Perhaps one day …
GET A DRIVING LICENCE This isn’t so much a bucket list item as it a necessity that my family keep begging me to do. It’s not that I have an aversion to driving I’ve just always managed to get wherever I need through public transport so I’ve never felt I need it that much. I’m a bit of a clumsy B at the best of times so I can only imagine what kind of menace I would be on the road. Besides, I do love just lying back on the train with my headphones on and losing myself in my own head. Can’t do that when driving. Can you? Ok mum and dad, I’ve added to my list.
BUY A BOAT Who needs a car when you can have an boat, right? This one is cheating a little because I did have a boat before but cutting a long story short it sunk (see above clumsiness). On my bucket list is to have one again, perhaps bigger, prettier and it would be named the Cooper Mare (see KNOCK KNOCK). The adventures I would have! The places I would sail to!
HAVE A PLAY PERFORMED I’ve been a writer/ author pretty much my entire life in greater and lesser extents. I have had written plays and I have been in discussion with the productions of plays and I have had performances but I am still yet to see an entire stage performance. I love the theatre and I would love the opportunity to see an entire play of mine performed.
So that is my list. What about yours? As you are held at home have you been thinking about what you plan on doing afterwards? What things do you miss the most? What are your dreams and ambitions?
A beautiful and rich area of what is for the most part a Shady City. Time Line main is filled with boutiques, high class coffee houses and most importantly jewellers and diamond merchants. The notable Bergman family have been housed there for generations. It is a vibrant area for all corners of the city to flock to and acts as the main access to CITY FACE. When you walk down Time Line Main in the early morning when the traffic is quiet and before the bustling visitors have flooded the area you can hear the noise of the City Face clock.
TICK BOOM. TICK BOOM. TICK BOOM.
Although it is expensive to spend any amount of time there and rental prices in the area are some of the highest in Coldford it is still a highly sought after for tourists and Coldford natives to capture photos. A series of images titled TIME STANDS STILL by photographer DANIEL WEIR were awarded the Penn Photography Prize.
It is called Time Line Main because from the foot of the street which begins at the entrance into City Main lies modern stores such as Coldford City Sports stores and Rose Diamond but as you reach further you fall back in time to the golden age of diamond trading with the Bergman store until you reach City Face itself, one of the oldest pieces of established Coldford’s architecture.
Out Now. Daniel had turned his back on his life as the heir to the Weir Hotel empire in City Main. Sometimes its just hard to run from your true calling. His music teacher boyfriend, Vincent, knew that well and it led to those he loved being hurt.
Coming 2020. Despite its close proximity to the rest of the City, rehabilitation clinic Harbour House seems a world away. It seems the only way to get back to normality is to completely detach from it.
Daniel is son of hotelier Rodney Weir. He is heir to the WEIR HOTEL chain with sights set upon running the City Main Weir after his father retires. Running a hotel in the Shady City isn’t without its challenges. It requires complete discretion, the ability to overlook shady doings and a firm hand when guests get out of control. This lack of moral thinking never really sat well with Daniel and through it he and his father clashed. Rodney had at least hoped the support of KAPPA SO brothers would help Daniel survive in the Shady City but pledging required a spirit that Daniel just didn’t possess. A night at the CHAPTER HOUSE left Daniel in hospital. After this event Daniel swore he no longer wanted anything to do with his name sake hotel or the father who was pushing him to be someone he just wasn’t.
Kind spirited, trusting and loving, Daniel sought the quiet life of a photographer instead. When he met a music student, VINCENT BAINES, he finally started to drift into the life he had always wanted. A loving partner, a nice home and a promising career it seemed Daniel had it all. But that danger his father had always tried to prepare him for ran deep under the grounds of Coldford. Even the beautiful suburbs of FILTON was not far enough away to escape it. His partner had issues, his home could not lock out psychopaths and his career would be cut short. If he had listened to his father, taken his place at the Weir and allowed himself to embrace the bad blood that ran through his veins, that same blood that allowed the Weir to survive, things might have been different.
Daniel learned the hard way that trust and kindness only get you so far when the policy of your family hotel is that once the reservations are made you pay no mind to what goes on behind the closed doors. His partner, Vincent, didn’t want that life for him either. He knew what good a person Daniel was and he shuddered to think of what the hotel life would do to him but no matter how far you run you can’t escape your true calling. Isn’t that right, Vincent?
I am reading @VivikaWidow. #maestro #harbourhouse2020 #thrillerfan #blogreads
Daniel can’t help but notice his partner, Vincent, is acting strangely. The muddy footprints, the unexplained absences. He’s letting his obessions get the better of him again and someone is going to get hurt.
Vincent Baines has made many mistakes in his life. What happened to Daniel was the biggest. He just can’t help his obsessions hurting the ones he loves.
Let me begin by saying that at the tender age of (ahem) I don’t really see myself as having an old mind but for the purposes of this article and for the reasons I am about to discuss I will.
Little kids are like sponges, aren’t they? They are observing, exploring and learning all the time. When you start to reach a certain age that process slows. Where does all that mental capacity go? Well it doesn’t go anywhere. I refuse to believe you can’t teach old dogs new tricks.
Back in 2017 I decided to pick up the cello. I have no musical ability and no previous experience. I just happen to love music and really wanted to learn how to play. Some would say it was too late to start learning how to play an instrument and I admit it was a little more difficult than it would have been if I had started at an early age. The point wasn’t to become an expert. I wasn’t planning on selling out concert halls or anything. What was important was the happiness it brought me to be learning something new, acquiring new skills. It wasn’t brilliant playing but it was my playing and something I had learned to do.
I guess my point it is never too late to try and learn something new. A few other things I would like to put on my bucket list of learning include: Greek, vocals, photography and how to cook. What’s yours? What are those new skills you would love to learn?
Coming May 2020. Bring me your sick. Bring me your troubled. Bring me those that society can no longer cope with. They will always have a home here at Harbour House.
I can’t believe it is here already! It seems like only yesterday I was sending my letter to Santa and getting ready to cry, “Happy New Year!”
2020 has sure provided it’s challenges so far. It’s been a full year. Coming this May I am excited to bring you a new novel that I hope you will love reading as much as I enjoyed writing. So without further adu here are ten things you can expect from HARBOUR HOUSE.
1 – Three times the charm.
MAESTRO (2016), MUSE (2018) and KNOCK KNOCK SEASON 1 (2019) all had one thing in common – they each had a character finding themselves in Harbour House rehabilitation clinic. Music teacher, VINCENT BAINES, was put there after sessions with his pupil GEORGE BECKINGRIDGE … well let’s not say too much we don’t want to spoil. After a struggle with a drug habit, artist, DAVID FINN, checked in too and found a new friend in the maestro. Finally in the Knock Knock series, beloved aunt of the BOSS LADY herself, TAWNY, was taken to Harbour House for treatment of trauma after an attack on the club. So three unlikely friends came together and at that Harbour House opens.
2 – Maestro missing days.
In the conclusion of Maestro there is a ten year time hop. A lot of what happened within that time scale will be explained.
3 – An artist’s struggle.
David is hapless, he can be frustrating to his friends but despite his terrible upbringing he has a good heart. Readers of MUSE will be familiar with his struggle but as enters Harbour House he may find it is the best place for him.
4 – What happened at Kappa So?
In the Knock Knock series, TABITHA arrives at the club as a girl to find it burned out (sorry, spoilers). All that is explained is that it was attacked and caused a mental break down of our now Harbour House resident. As Tawny’s struggle to get well continues the details of what really happened that night will be revealed.
5 – Sex, drugs and some questionable decisions.
Early readers described it as the boldest book yet. It contains scenes that became the subject of discussions at interventions (no exaggeration). Whilst the shocks and the grimaces are there, there is also a lot of heart. Rehabilitation isn’t an easy journey after all and all the love and support in the world is required.
6 – Villains times three.
Speaking of questionable decisions: I had a poll with early readers to pick who of the three villains would be deemed the most despicable by the end. Yes, you read that right. Since there are three heroes there would naturally be three villains pursuing them as they aim to get well. According to the readers it was a close match because each were just as nasty as the last.
Look me in the eye.
7 – Irrational fears.
A fear of breast milk, a fear of stripping in front of your lover, a fear of being rescued by a handsome lunatic or a fear of your corpse being violated. Yes … Erm … So there’s that.
8 – Knock Knock! Who’s there?
Whilst it can be read independently of the Knock Knock series, Harbour House will act as a bridge between Seasons 1 and 2, beginning where S1 ends and leaving where S2 begins.
9 – The promise of a cure.
DR WINSLOW is nothing if not a good doctor. When he promises cure to his residents, brought to him for addiction, trauma and obsessive disorder, it is a promise he intends to keep. How the residents will combat their issues and how it will leave them in the end remains to be seen but the promise of a cure is very real.
In order to bring that cure the characters and reader are taken away from the usual experience of the Shady City. Isolation is key to cure and when the doors close on the residents, the reader is held behind those walls too. Don’t worry, there are pretty gardens to enjoy and all the coffee you can drink.
10 – An escape.
Readers, viewers, audiences. We all look to fiction for an escape. Wether it’s an escape from stress, an escape from the mundane routine or even just an escape to worlds where anything is possible. We lose ourselves in fiction because it pushes the boundaries of reality. Opening it’s doors in May 2020 so that you can join our rehab residents and escape, ladies and gentlemen welcome to Harbour House.
All Shady City thrillers can be read and enjoyed without the others and there is no particular order that is needed but if you are looking for the bigger picture be sure to check out as many as you can. As always I am so thankful to all of you. Readers are what makes an author’s work all worth it. I hope you enjoy Harbour House when it is released. In the meantime let me know your thoughts on Maestro, Muse and Knock Knock. Don’t forget to tip your author with a nice little Amazon review 😉
He’s an adorable little psychopath, right? Well perhaps not. He tends to rile the readers but he does give a lot to talk about. So with that in mind here are ten things you (probably) didn’t know about the heir to the BECKINGRIDGE TOWER.
This may contain some MAESTRO spoilers so if you haven’t read and wish to do so click HERE.
1: Crazy on his mother’s side.
KNOCK KNOCK readers will have met ERNEST BECKINGRIDGE, George’s father, in ISSUE 17: HIGH FLIERS but Maestro readers will remember George’s mother, Alice. Tall, demanding and with a reputation of being a bit of a dragon Alice had a reputation that resonated through the town of Filton and with good reason. She was tough, charismatic and was ahead of her husband in leadership of the Beckingridge Manor. What you may have not known was that Alice was treated as girl for rage bouts and psychopathic tendencies. It seems its like mother like son for Alice and George.
Before music teacher, VINCENT BAINES, came into his life George had no friends. The Peterson twins in the neighbouring mansion house avoided him as best they could. The only person he had ever grown close to or would even consider a friend was a little boy named CECIL. Cecil was sick though. George was never told what had happened to him but when he failed to turn up at school one day George was informed by their teacher, Miss Matheson, that the little boy had died in the night. George was inconsolable.
To say that George has strange quirks would be putting it mildly. But among those quirks George has a deathly allergy to bee stings. At age seven George had been stung whilst in the gardens of his manor home. His tongue and throat were swollen but his mother Alice, watched him. He was close to death when finally his father gave him his epipen. George, as you can imagine, hates bees.
4. Highly intelligent; emotionally stunted.
Even as a grown up George still has the tendency to behave like a child and a very spoiled one at that. He has the emotional level of an eight year old but when tested he showed an extremely high IQ. Some doctors reckoned most of his childish outbursts were an act. He seemed to enjoy shocking people.
5. Twin birthdays.
Speaking of spoiled. The Peterson twins, with some hesitation, offered an invitation to the Peterson manor for their joint sixth birthday party. George accepted. However, seeing the attention the twins were being showered with GEORGE created a scene the way only George could. Ernest had been present but unable to stop his son wrecking the gifts that had been brought for the twins and attacking Oliver Peterson with a soiled nappy. Twin, Ollie was a feisty little boy though and George was sent home with a burst nose.
6. A night at the movies.
We all enjoy a good flick, right? George does too. In fact he had been sat in front of the television so often as a tot with little else to stimulate him it became something of a nanny. He especially enjoys the older films when actor, LAURENCE DUBOE was in his prime.
7. On display.
George was sent home from school one afternoon when he was eight after exposing himself to the entire class. Ok maybe that’s not exactly a big surprise but he enjoyed the wave of shock he had brought to the room. Perhaps enjoyed a little too much. It wouldn’t be the first time he exposed himself, nor would it be the last.
After his mother died George became interested in the embalming and preservation process. He learned everything he needed to know from books he had insisted on getting from the library and even had a shed full of dead pigeons he planned on putting his knowledge to the test on.
9. A distraction.
When Vincent first meets George’s Aunt ELIZABETH, she informs him that his latest pupil may be a bit of a handful. It seems Beckingridge Manor has had some trouble keeping its heir in line. Vincent has been enlisted as a music tutor not only to offer the boy some refinement but also to distract him. Vincent fails to ask what exactly they are trying to distract him from. He finds out for himself soon enough.
The reason music is chosen rather than martial arts, drawing or any other pursuit is because George’s favourite place as a boy was the music room. He would spend most of his time in there and when he was in there Alice could lock the door and forget about him for a while.
10. 10 years is too soon.
George was a kidnap victim. After seeing what George was capable of and what the Manor environment was doing to him his teacher offered him a way out. Naively, perhaps but at least it did keep him out of trouble for a while.
Now George is back. He’s all grown up and he’s ready to take the reins of his father’s empire. Part of that empire leads him to Harbour House and the place where his favourite teacher is now resident.
Broken and disgraced. A music teacher, an artist and an old show girl form an unlikely friendship. Inside Harbour House all they have is each other.
Little George Beckingridge has become too much for his family to handle. Perhaps music lessons from the talented Mr Baines will give him something more positive to focus on.