I am cheating slightly today by revamping an old story - I am heavily involved in our village Christmas Fair and haven't time to think, let alone write!
The challenge for Day 8 is to take a discarded bit of work and write it into a new story. My discarded phrase is in italics and comes from ROCK CHILD, my first attempt at a novel, written about 15 years ago. I have since rewritten it entirely to create my LIVING ROCK series.
Some of you will have read A VOLCANIC RACE, the first in the series, and I hope will buy WOLF PACK, its sequel, due out any day now. So now I've got the sales talk out of the way, here's my story.


“Matt – I saw a raven this morning – a bad omen.”
“I was fortunate to get a place on the King’s ship, and God knows we need the money. Now hand me my knife, Jenny – ‘tis honed enough.”

Matt stepped into the tender and was rowed to the ship, scrambled up the net and hurried to his post beside the gun. He was still a strong man despite his age and could lift the heavy cannonballs with ease. At the sound of a band striking up he looked through the gun-port to gawp at the King arriving, but as the sails unfurled with a snap he returned to his work.

Outside the harbour a violent gust shook them. Matt balanced with practised ease for the return lurch but the ship heeled further, cannon-balls rolled, guns careered across the deck, and in seconds the sea had flooded in. Unbelievably, within sight of land, they were sinking!

Matt snatched a breath and swam for the gun-port, but his legs caught in a tangle of ropes. He fumbled for his knife and slashed frantically, blessing Jenny’s honing skills, and burst free to swim to the surface. Far too few followed him.

Through the clear water beneath his legs he watched the ship sink, the crew trapped by the anti-boarding nets. A watery sunbeam flashed on gold paint – MARY ROSE.

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