A scruffy young man is sat before me. His hair is bleached, his body thin and a little malnourished. He’s been through a lot it seems but brought to Harbour House to combat a drug addiction he’s on the list of those we aim to make better.
Interviewer: You were once described at Coldford City’s most promising young talent. You were a truly terrific artist. But you threw it all away on drugs, didn’t you, you rogue.
David shuffles a little. It seems the close scrutiny is making him nervous or perhaps withdrawal from needles is already getting to him. Still, no fix until he begins to cooperate.
David: You know what happened. You’re the reason I’m here, man.
Interviewer: How do you feel?
David: Like I got a life that ain’t worth saving.
Interviewer: A little bleak but I can see why it seems hopeless for you right now.
David: It’s the baby that got me the most. Elliot? What’d he do? What did his mums do?
Interviewer: You feel responsible for what happened?
David: Of course I do! He’s not the first kid I’ve said goodbye to either.
Interview terminated. Resident 1310 became too distraught to continue. Awaiting notice from Dr Winslow.
#amreading #thriller #harbourhouse2020 by @VivikaWidow
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
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 the man with the Muse but like most artists there is a deeper side. This may contain some spoilers for MUSE. If you haven’t read yet click the link. Ready to move on? This is ten things you perhaps didn’t know about artist, David Finn.
1: Daddy Issues.
Growing up with his mother and younger brother Adam, readers of MUSE will find that no mention is ever made of his father. David doesn’t know his dad, he has never met the man and doesn’t care to. Like many of the one parent families in the Shanties where David grew up absentee fathers were considered a way of life.
2: Award Winning.
At age sixteen, David was granted the Junior PENN Prize for a piece he had submitted titled ‘Long Roads; Short Walks’. His submission was anonymous and he hadn’t even told the Ferrald family who practically raised him. The prize was granted and the money received donated to Rita Penn’s community fund. To this day no one knows the winner was a David Finn. His addiction was taking over his life and he barely remembered himself.
An artist is a passionate being. Passion burns hot but it can also burn fast. David finds himself easily swept in the company of a beautiful woman. He has been engaged several times over the years but never has actually been married. Perhaps one day the wayward artist will settle down but in the meantime he has bigger problems to work through. The beautiful JULIA HARVESTER makes the perfect Muse. It is so easy for him to lose himself in her divine but earthy beauty.
4: Fan Boy
COLDFORD ATHLETIC football team call the Shanties their home. It is the pride of the poorest in the city and David is no exception. He is a die hard and attends Starkland Park whenever he can.
5: old school chums
David attended the public school in City Main known as the grange. There he shared classes with a girl named Lisa. Lisa would later go on to become the bubbly bar maid that reporter SAM CRUSOW meets when he begins uncovering the story of the KNOCK KNOCK CLUB.
6: Eye catching
You don’t make a name for yourself in the Shady City without attracting some unwanted attention. After a very public fall David certainly turned heads. Julia Harvester steps up as his new Muse but he also pricks the ears of the eminent DR WINSLOW, the Penn family and even as far as the HIGH COURT!
He would spit at the idea of becoming a tortured artist cliche but that – in a lot of ways – is what he is. He carries a lot of emotional scars but he tries to do so with good humour and a no nonsense attitude that is typical of the people of the Shanties.
He blames his allowing his scars to cover his emotions for his work becoming mundane. He lost his vision and slipped too much into a cliche leaving him with only drugs to turn to. It all changed when he met his new muse.
8: Painting the whole picture
David accepts people at face value. He is naive in this sense. He fails to see when he is being manipulated. This makes him a target for the vagabonds and drug dealers he finds himself in company of.
One such dealer, Joe, managed to take the profit from David’s first ever substantial sale. Not being money focused David never did get back.
9: The Shades of Coldford
It’s easy enough for mayors, high court judges and even club owning Boss Lady’s to fight over what is best for the City. They stand above it looking down with a good view. They don’t have the perspective of of someone on the ground who has witnessed first hand how Shady the Shady City can actually be.
The poor are desperate but no one in high office saw just how desperate David’s neighbour Fergie was when her son died of a heroin overdose. Fergie was unable to pay for a funeral for her son. The social services failed to respond immediately. The body was left to rot until the people of the Shanties put together their money.
10: Resident 1310
David’s drug addiction is no secret. Before his breathtaking art work, before the loyalty he shows to his friends and before the steps he is taking to try and better himself it will always be the first thing the public will recognise about him. His horrific upbringing by an abusive mother, the trauma he faced in childhood are no excuse for him.
The city’s best rehabilitation clinic has opened its doors for him and the next stage of his journey will continue in 2020. Welcome, Mr Finn, to Harbour House.
David finds his vision again with the help of a coy, farm girl. With his new MUSE he is making shades in the city again.
Like all the farm hands for the Harvester brand Curtis knows that the key to success is hard work and team work. He is close friends with GLENN and of the HARVESTER family. Curtis was brought onto the farm as part of a Steps to Work programme brought City Hall. After three months in Coldford Correctional (better known as The Boss) for house breaking his choice was continue serving his time or contribute to society with manual labour. His choice changed his life.
Curtis’ job isn’t all fun on the farm. He also spends time as a porter in HARBOUR HOUSE rehabilitation clinic. He was a dry wit and a dark view of the world which serves him well with some of the duties he is required to carry out for either of his occupations. Most of his recent work tasks would see him back in The Boss.
Julia Harvester is a nice girl. She is kind, sweet and used to being posed in all the best positions. She is the perfect artist’s muse. Click HERE to read the full story.
Curtis has seen a lot as working on Harvester farm. When the farm is taken over by the eminent Dr Winslow, his job opens up.