The Latest News From Fortune's Fools!

In case you missed it, the entire Haruspex Trilogy is now available!

Trust A Few

“You’ve been gone a long time Jaz, and word is you’ve come back – changed." 

After five years of brutal convict military service, Jaz just wants to rebuild his shattered life. But the past is hard to escape. The 'City has always been a dangerous place to live: now it's lethal. Not only are the crime lords exploiting its lawless streets, it is also the unwitting test bed for a sinister corporate technology. As Jaz tries to find an old friend who needs him, can a new ally help? Can he even be trusted?

'Trust A Few' won gold and bronze awards in two science fiction categories at the Virtual Fantasy Con Awards. It is the first book in 'Haruspex', a tense new, sci-fi trilogy from Fortune's Fools.

Edge of Doom

Dear Durban, I know I've not been in touch as much as I should but I brought a man to the City called Zathery Ryle. He is paying me to help him kill you. Take care. Best wishes, Charis.

When Charis discovers her best friend has taken over a criminal syndicate and her boyfriend has been keeping dangerous secrets from her, things begin to spin apart. She learns the hard way that in the City your own fingers can easily get just as dirty as those you despise.

A Walking Shadow

"There is a man who knows the planet and the people, speaks the language - and has the reputation you need. He delivers. He's never not delivered."

One man stands between Kahina Sarava and her lifelong ambition. So she is hiring the best professional killer in the business to deal with him. It should be no contest.

Or go back to the beginning, to where it all started.


Transgressor is a collection of all three volumes in the first trilogy of the Fortune's Fools saga, now gathered in one single ebook.

Temsevar is an insignificant Periphery world on the very fringes of galactic civilisation. Settled long before the rise of faster-than-light technologies and left isolated for hundreds of years, its population have degenerated into the barbarism of a medieval culture. This primitive world has nothing the wealthy planets of the Coalition could want, until it becomes unwitting host to one of their most dangerous enemies - Avilon Revid.

Coming soon:

Iconoclast Trilogy - Book One: Mistrust and Treason

In the criminal jungle that is his turf, Grim is the apex predator. When the Coalition Security Force wants someone really dangerous brought to justice, he is the one they put in to do the job. When Grim is after you, there is nowhere to run. Yet his reputation may be his downfall – for he is tasked to take on a hunt more lethal than any he has ever faced. This time failure is going to be more than a black mark on his resume - on this hunt, the predator may become prey.

Dear Durban...

Charis never intended to wind up in the 'City.

She is a Central girl, born and bred, with no wish to be a part of the criminal underworld. But she quickly found out that the 'City is not so easy to break away from once you are there and that if you are not very careful, you find your own fingers getting as dirty as those you despise.

When Charis discovers one of her best friends has taken over a criminal syndicate and the man she has fallen in love with has been keeping dangerous secrets from her, things begin to go badly wrong.

Charis learns the hard way that in the 'City who you know can be - quite literally - a matter of life and death.


5 Stars For 'Trust A Few'

Read the full review from

Bryan Pentelow


You can purchase 'Trust A Few' on AMAZON for your Kindle or in paperback. It is also free to read on KU.



Also, check out the full version of these reviews HERE.

Thanks to:

Jane Jago

Eric Klein

Layla Pinkett



The entire, epic story of Transgressor, is now available in one convenient, omnibus edition ebook.

All three volumes, The Fated Sky, Times of Change and Dues of Blood, have been brought together and given a stunning new cover designed by Robert Lee Beers.

Free to read on Kindle Unlimited

Available to purchase here

The Fortune's Fools Universe

It all began on Earth, though those living in the Fortune's Fools universe don't recall now where, exactly, that was. Nor do they know why it was that humanity, lacking any ability to conquer the speed of light at that time, sent out generational ships to all the exo-planets they could find.


“This meant that for the best part of at least two and a half millennia humanity was dispersed and developed its own separate ways across the vast tracts of the galaxy, largely undisturbed by even close neighbours – unless those neighbours happened to share a star system.”

“So we are all descendants of the same people?” Jariq found the idea almost blasphemous to his own caste-based worldview, in which slaves, freemen and nobility were not just of different social status, but essentially different beings.

 “All humans – even those with blue feathery hair and vertically elipsed pupils – are from the same stock,” Avilon assured him, “and ironically, some recent research found our original home planet is now just another insignificant and exploited Periphery world.”

There are no other developed, intelligent, sentient beings in the galaxy and the majority of the diaspora of humanity dropped back to more primitive levels of technology for millennia. But not all was lost, one group of planets settled together were able to keep in contact and pool resources to rebuild and reaquire lost skills and technologies and develop new ones. Eventually, they formed themselves into the Central core of a Coalition, which then spread its influence and technology over the galaxy - a process much speeded by the development of a gravitational drive which allowed Faster-Than-Light travel.

"We have three kinds of planets: the Central, Middle and Periphery worlds and the Coalition is an elected oligarchy based almost purely upon commercial interests...

 “And, not surprisingly, that makes a culture in which wealth is seen as the only thing to be valued. Everything has a price and can be bought and sold. The people of Central tend to live pretty happy, secure and very comfortable lives, thank you. So they elect the same people to rule them again and again to keep it that way.”

“And what of the other worlds – the Middle and Periphery worlds - what are they like?”

“Some Middle worlds advance enough to be admitted into the golden circle of Central and achieve the status of full Coalition membership. But most are considered as Protectorates – they benefit from the supposedly civilising influences of the Coalition whilst not being expected to maintain the high standards of Central. So they have planetary governments which are of varying levels of corruption and laws which suit their rulers. Middle worlds can be very enlightened or very oppressive – they range from full blooded and fiercely independent democracies which give the Coalition regular headaches, to places like Thuringen where half the planet is under the rule of criminal gangs.”

“And the Periphery worlds?” Jariq asked, very interested now as he knew Temsevar was in that grouping.

“The Periphery is where they get most of the raw resources which keep Central in the lap of luxury... The Coalition extends its grip there not to rule but to exploit. Most Periphery worlds are controlled by one of the big conglomerates as their own private domain – they run the place just exactly as they like and answer to no one."

Against this grasping greed stands The Legacy,  seen by those in the comfortable worlds of the Coalition as a terrorist organisation and by those on the oppressed edges of galactic society as valiant freedom fighters.

"If you are blind you will destroy visual beauty as it has no meaning to you. Only the sighted can appreciate it and only the sighted will work to preserve it. The Coalition is blind and those who live in its shadow, even if born with vision, come to believe that their own eyes are undesirable and should be kept closed – or ripped out. But some people still live with their eyes open.They know the value of that precious vision and they are prepared to fight to keep themselves and their children sighted.

“The Legacy is a torch of hope to those invisible billions of people - and the Strike Force of the Legacy, which I command, is its sword. A sword of defence, a guardian of vision in a sightless galaxy.”

Find out more about Fortune's Fools

Haruspex Commences!


Trust A Few, the first part of Haruspex Trilogy, will be available for purchase on 26 March. Come to the Launch Party! Find out more about the main characters:

Jazatar Baldrik – The Mercenary
Charity Sweetling – The Freighter Pilot
Avilon Revid – The Convicted Terrorist
Durban Chola – The Enigma

And read a teaser short story to get you in the mood:

Doubled Spirit

This wonderful promo was kindly made by Robert Lee Beers. And if you have yet to read all of Transgressor Trilogy, you can catch up with the story HERE!

If you would like to know more, sign up for the emails and find me through the SciFi Roundtable on Facebook!

Amazing Story!

There is something special about having a legendary name take an interest in your work. It suddenly makes you feel like a grown-up author! So you can imagine how I felt to find that not only had an Amazing Stories reviewer, Matt Mitrovitch, written a review of 'Tales of Wonder', but my story was one he singled out for a positive mention:

“Changeling Child” by E.M. Swift-Hook: A young girl named Tani and her father are forced to leave their home as bad Lowlanders are coming for them. Tani, however, becomes separated from her father and soon finds herself near Castell Blighe where she hears the disembodied voice of a  faie…except this fairy tale creature is made out of switches and wires.

The old fairy stories are not something I am that familiar with, but elements of them (like not eating the food they offer to you) are familiar to me. I thought this story did a good job using those old tales in a world that appears to be a technological civilization that suffered some great catastrophe. Now the thinking machines of old have become the supernatural creatures that go bump in the night, making this a fun story for genre fans who remember the old tales.


No. Wait. Grown-up response:

I have to say I am absolutely delighted with Matt's review and was also thrilled by having an Amazon Vine reviewer Darcia Helle praise the anthology too.

If you want to check out the full Amazing Stories review you can find it HERE.

And whilst I'm on the topic of awesome reviews, I have to share this one for 'Times of Change' which has had me blushing today:

Melonie Purcell's 5* Review of 'Times of Change'.



One of Fortune's Fools

I'm Just One of Fortune's Fools

I used to play Bridge when I was an Uni. It was only fun, simple Bridge - natural bidding or the easiest of conventions and we would swap around partners depending who had a lecture or tutorial to attend. I remember one player, though, every time someone hesitated before drawing trumps, would mutter, 'He who stands on the riverbank...'

I never did find out what the end of the saying was supposed to be, but it implied that it was a bad idea to dither around not getting on with a job that needs doing. This is a job that needs doing, on the bank of which I have been standing for a good long while.

So today I'm jumping in the river - I am starting my own blog.

It's important to be well connected

Every author has a blog. I think it is as compulsory as having an author page on Amazon and Goodreads, or a  Facebook and Facebook Author Page and a Twitter presence. But aside a couple of small sallies on my provided Goodreads blog, dipping my toes in the river, I have not been blogging. That is now remedied thanks to the technical assistance and hosting from Ducky and Eric of the SciFiRoundtable.

So you can look forward to an interesting and varied diet of reviews, short stories, poetry, pictures, interviews and any other odd items that turn up and seem good to share with the world - not forgetting updates on my books and background nuggets on Fortune's Fools.

If you like what you see please do leave feedback and - of course - please sign up so we can keep in touch by using the subscribe button on the sidebar.