Category Archives: Music/Writing Collaborations

Phenomena: The Shimmering Star

Create an original superhero with an extraordinary tale…is the brief for Samantha Geary and Audiomachine‘s Epic Hero Event: Phenomena.

The story is inspired by Audiomachine’s ‘Fortress of Solitude’ which will be available on their new album ‘Phenomena’ released on May 6th 2014.

To enhance your enjoyment of my story please listen to the track while you read…

The Shimmering Star*


Photograph by Lisa Shambrook (Please do not use without permission)


(1151 Words)


*Author’s Note: 

This story has been removed as I have reworked it for a story included in A Symphony of Dragons. I loved this story so much and knew I wanted to work on it. It has entwined with my wip (work in progress) which will become The Seren Stone Chronicles… 

You can read the brand new version of this story The Legend of the Seren Stone within A Symphony of Dragons. You can find this enchanting book of short stories in many outlets in both paperback and eBook or at my publisher BHC Press.

(However you can still find and read the original version in the comments on Samantha Geary’s Epic Hero Event: Phenomena.)


Composers for Relief: Beyond the Binding

I recently wrote a piece for the ‘Composers for Relief Companion Collection’ ebook. I wrote to a beautiful piece of music called ‘Fighting Back’ by Dreammaker. This is my story: Fighting Back.

Now the ebook is here ‘Beyond the Binding’:

Embark on an exciting journey “Beyond the Binding” of the imagination with 29 authors from across the globe, in a groundbreaking collaboration where music meets fiction. Surrender to soaring compositions as they surge through the veins of every story, capturing the triumphant pulse of the notes in heart pounding sci fi, enchanting fantasy and gripping slices of realism.  

Beyond the Binding

Cover designed by Jennifer Redstreake Geary

All proceeds of the Composers for Relief  album and Companion Collection ebook will go to Gawad Kalinga (“give care”) and GVSP (Gualandi Volunteer Service Programme), to support the relief efforts for victims of the deadliest natural disaster in Philippines’ history, Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

Ebook available from Amazon, Amazon UK, iTunes, B&N, Kobo, Sony, Diesel & Smashwords.


Composers for Relief album available on ITunes, Amazon, CDBaby & Spotify

Read more about this fantastic project and read Samantha Redstreake Geary’s gorgeous tale incorporating all the pieces of music on her website.

Composers for Relief: Fighting Back

I am very privileged to take part in Samantha Redstreake Geary’s Composers for Relief: Supporting the Philippines musician/writer collaboration. 28 tracks from gifted composers and stories written by talented authors to accompany each track to produce an album and accompanying eBook. All proceeds go to Gawad Kalinga to support the victims of the Philippines’ worst Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

I chose to write to a gorgeous track called ‘Fighting Back’ by Dreammaker. Our theme is ‘hope’ and that’s exactly what this track gives me!

Album cover, designed by the talented, Ryo Ishido
Fighting Back 
Aiden stood poised above Eloise, nerves tingling and iron bar in hand. He scanned every dark corner of the dingy scrapyard for danger as she caressed the delicate shell beneath her fingers, softly murmuring spells of protection that he dared not disturb. She smoothed her hands across the silver and white streaked egg, and he desperately fought the urge to touch her alabaster skin.
Far off tyres squealed, engines screamed, and Aiden flinched. He instinctively reached out and grabbed her hand, recoiling as hot white flickers burned his fingers. The iron bar clanked to the ground.
As pain surged through his scalded fingers he met her eyes with alarm. “We have to go!” he hissed, and she hurriedly placed the egg in her small leather satchel.
“Sorry,” she whispered, glancing ruefully at his blistered fingers as she slipped her own hands back inside protective leather gloves, “I’m still linked to the egg!”
He shrugged and his pale eyes flashed as they leaped astride his motorcycle. “I was warned not to touch bare skin, when I was assigned you.”
White sun blazed, glinting and blinding against the warped scrap metal piled high in the yard, and Aiden revved the silver Bandit. He tensed as Eloise wrapped her arms around his waist, and her bare cheek, against his leather jacket, sent heat radiating and pulsing through his shoulder.
Rubber scorched the tarmac like her skin had burned his…
They burst through the gate pursued by huge bellowing bikes, belching black smog. Fear clutched Aiden’s heart as he twisted the throttle speeding through back alleys, flanked by uniform grey tenement buildings and gunmetal lampposts. Eloise tightened her grip. “Hurry!” she cried. He glanced in the mirror, Eloise’s pale hair streamed wildly behind and the black Triumphs droned, bearing down.
Aiden felt her heart beat, fast and uncontrolled, through his heavy leathers as they roared out onto the highway. He swiftly wrenched the bike off road and down through trees on a loose gravel track. Ashen trunks towered and their colourless, paper-thin leaves fluttered beneath a grey, cloud daubed sky. Eloise’s dove-grey skirts wrapped tight around her legs as her knees gripped, and her black coat flapped at her hips. Aiden’s heart hammered against his ribs as they bolted through the monochrome terrain.
The bike disturbed a horde of shrieking birds and Eloise screamed. Aiden fought to retain control of the Bandit as birds burst into flight, flapping wildly before him. He swerved into a thicket of narrow chalky trunks and dappled grey foliage, struggling to remain upright. The bike wobbled and Eloise grasped her faded leather satchel to her chest as he skidded, and the bike careered across the blackened grass. Eloise’s scream echoed throughout Aiden’s head as the bike spun out and they were hurled from the smouldering, throbbing machine.
Aiden rolled and sprang to his feet as rumbling motorbikes rose over the brow of the hill charging towards them. Eloise was already on her feet, her bag still clasped to her chest. “Stay with me!” Aiden yelled running alongside her.
She caught his eye and stumbled, crying out as a latch on her satchel tore open. The precious egg shot out of her bag. It flew and bounced on gravel and grit, and Eloise flinched as it hit the ground.  “No!” she cried.
A dull thud, as dull as the pallid landscape, rang out as it bounced and fractured.
Eloise moaned. “Not yet, too soon…”
The menacing, pursuing bikes created an alarming crescendo close by as the marbled white and silver egg rolled and came to a halt. The egg began to ooze and Eloise fell to her knees and wept.
A dazzling brilliant flash burst from the egg, and as their hands fell from their faces they stared in astonishment as vibrant swirls coiled like steam from the splintered egg.
The shell shattered and a bird of fire rose from its fragments.
“Red…” Awe struck Eloise.
Aiden stared in confusion. “Red?”
 She nodded vigorously as the bird rose within a mixture of vibrant shades never before seen.
“Fire!” cried Eloise, ignoring Aiden’s bewilderment. “Yellow, red and orange!”
The bird’s glorious plumage lit up the forest, and suddenly the grey earth turned to shades Aiden did not recognise and the silver trunks became dark. Aiden’s mouth dropped as foliage suddenly matched Eloise’s glowing eyes, and he grinned as his leathers turned the new shade of dark fire.
“What is this?” he asked in wonder as the bleached landscape warmed as the bird hovered before them.
Aiden flinched as Eloise reached for his hand. “Colour!” she said, “Green and blue, and red and gold…this is colour and this is what I’ve been fighting for!”
Vivid colour seeped out of the egg, staining the ground, and as the bird flapped its resplendent wings, colour exploded into the grey and colourless world.
Eloise blew a kiss at the fiery bird then flung her arms wide. “Go! Go now phoenix…go and colour the world!”
The bird trilled and fluttered, spiralling up and into the now very blue sky. The grey men on bikes, their mission doomed, hurriedly dispersed, colour chasing their exhaust plumes as the phoenix rose.
Eloise turned to Aiden. “The egg was the last of its kind, and I was charged to protect it, and you to protect me.” Aiden gazed as she again reached for his hand. He winced as she took it and lifted it to her cherry-red lips. “I’m free. I’ll never burn you again…” She kissed his finger tips and fire blazed in his cheeks. She smiled. Eloise leaned in close as the grass in the far meadows turned the same emerald as her eyes, Aiden’s became the colour of the sky, and she finally let her lips touch his. His face flushed red and she whispered. “Now let me colour your world…”
(974 Words)

Composers for Relief: Supporting the Philippines is available on iTunes and Amazon.

Tree of Life: Chimera: Selkie Vow

This is for Samantha Redstreake Geary‘s latest Audiomachine ‘Tree of Life’ promotion writerly contest. Choose your favourite ‘Tree of Life’ track and write up to 150 words…
My favourite tracks are ‘Rebirth’, ‘Homecoming’ and ‘Day One’…and track #10 ‘Homecoming’ fit this story perfectly.

Photograph by Lisa Shambrook, Streamzoo and Pixlromatic
(Please do not use without permission)

Selkie Vow

She flicked her tail and gazed across the foaming crests, huge black eyes rested on two silhouettes on the beach. Her heart pounded within her ribcage and as the sun began to drop she allowed its warm rays to caress her glistening skin as water lapped against her rock.

She slid into the water, swimming with ease against the outgoing tide. Seals bobbed in acquiescence as she slipped through the rippling waves.

Reaching the shore, she rested and flipped her tail, splashing one last time. Sun bathed her body as she stepped out of her pelt. A smile painted her lips as she ran a finger down the white lace draping the rock.  Silk clung to her form as she crossed the sand. Before the priest, she turned to her love offering both a smile, as radiant as the evening sun, and her treasured pelt.
And there two destinies entwined.

(150 Words excluding title)

 For further insight to this story, please read ‘Stay’ …

‘My Friends and I’ – Lionheart

Picture taken by Lisa Shambrook (please do not use)
Jasper dismounted and landed with a soft thud. Clouds of swirling dust eddied and clung to his boots, but his eyes were fixed on the foreboding mountain before him.  Dawn’s pale light tickled the edge of morning, as Jasper strode purposefully towards the foothill. 
Already exhausted from days of travel, nights beneath the stars, and years of battle across the border, he paused at the foot of the mountain and rested his hand upon the hilt of his sword. He took a moment to drop to his knees and bow his head. He rose with newfound strength, and stared up into the depths of the giant silhouetted before him. His neck arced as he traced the lines of the mountain, until his eyes picked out a tower cut into the side of the cliff, not far from the top. 
He could have ridden up with ease in the saddle upon his dragon, but this was a journey that needed to be made by foot. 
Jasper checked the straps on his pack and quickly downed a mouthful from his water skin, before glancing up again at the tiny tower.  The sun rose behind the mountain and barely any light crept to the bottom of the track. He looked over his shoulder; his dragon was curled beneath a crop of rocks, soothing away the endless days of travel in heavy slumber. Faint rays shimmered across his scales, and Jasper smiled. 
He was up the lower slopes by the time the sun peered over the summit, and moving onto the less traversed trail. The going was tough, but the pathway ascended and Jasper climbed. 
Rocks and crags jutted across the path, and Jasper began to swelter in the midday sun as he ducked and vaulted under and over stony obstacles. The ruthless heat pervaded the shade, beads of sweat glistened on his brow and muscles complained. His ragged breath growled in his throat but he knew the journey was worth making. 
He sank down onto a boulder and rubbed his calves. He laughed, imagining how good icy water would taste, but this mountain was dry and he gulped down a mouthful of tepid water from his skin instead. He stared up into the peak, the tower was hidden behind the stack of rock before him, but he knew she watched and waited, and he wasn’t about to let her down, again.
He tightened a boot buckle and rose from the ground, smoothed down his jerkin and pushed up his sleeves. The path got steeper and, as the sun baked, Jasper pushed on. Loose rock made the path harder and the heat beat down upon his damp hair. Red streaks shone through his auburn locks, and dark, wet straggles stuck to his face. Rivulets of sweat ran down his scarred cheek, down his neck and across his taut chest. He paused and loosened his leather tunic, releasing buckles and opening the neck of his shirt. As he climbed, Jasper sighed with relief as the relentless path cut through high tors and finally moved out of the sun. 
Memories coursed through his mind as he rested; battles out on the field, the clang of sword and the weight of armour. Blood curdling screams and cries of triumph echoed, and he wondered if she’d forgiven him for leaving her? 
He lifted his hand to his chest and fingered a scar running from his shoulder to his heart. The offending sword should have run him through, but a side step he’d learned while sparring with her as a child had saved him. Now he was coming home, and nothing was going to stop him. 
He climbed, even though the path was now gone and the trail nothing more than a narrow ridge on the edge of the precipice. He climbed through the glare of the afternoon sun, until a prominence blocked his way, and the ridge faded beneath his feet. 
He balanced, hugging the bluff, his eyes scanning and his fingers feeling desperately around the protrusion for a notch, a nook, anything… Fear rose, a flame of dread curling within his belly, and he glanced back at the rock face stretching behind him. There was no other way, no other path, and yet, his way was barred and he had nowhere to go.
Beyond the overhang, the roof of the tower peeked enticingly, but the rock yielded nothing beneath his fingers. 
His heart dropped, until a sweet voice spoke softly. “We can move mountains…”
He shook his head trying to rid his brain of delirium. 
“We can move mountains…but we must move them together…” Her voice hung in the cloying air as he balanced, and his aural hallucination extended to other senses as the scent of honeyed neroli wafted on the breeze.
He hugged the cliff and stretched his hand around the lump of rock. A kiss settled like a butterfly on the back of his hand and then two strong hands gripped his. His mind whirled with impossibility and recollection of gymnastic moves learned when he was young. What he’d learned on the battlefield would serve nothing up here, but her gravity defying acrobatics filled his mind. 
“Move this mountain aside…” came her command and he acquiesced, allowing her strength to pull and flip him as he jumped. His arm twisted, and his shoulder was almost wrenched from its socket as he rotated in the air with death-defying grace, but he landed beside her on the other side of the plateau.
She stood in glory, her lithe figure clad in leather and her golden hair a shining halo in the evening sun. Green eyes twinkled, “You do, indeed, have a lion’s heart!” her voice rang out, but before she could say another word, he leaned close, placed his impatient lips against hers and claimed his lioness.   
(970 Words)
After taking part in a couple of music based fiction writing works, I joined Ruth Long’s band of writers to write for an album called:
‘My Friends and I’. 

Ruth’s friend Big Earl Matthews put out a CD, put together by a group of local bands. Ruth masterminded an idea for a writing/music promotion, merging several creative forces and disciplines. Thirteen writers: M.L. Gammella; Ruth Long; Sarah Aisling; Lillie McFerrin; Jenn Monty; Jeff Tsuruoka; Lisa Shambrook; Lizze Koch; Samantha Geary; Nick Johns; L.E. Jamez; Jeff Hollar; Bradley Richter joined forces and wrote 1,000 words each inspired by the song of their choice.
Cover Art by Micah Van Zandt
An ebook has been produced (Links to be added when book live) and the artwork donated by the talented Micah Van Zandtartist, musician and performer. He used the writers’ pictures to design an ebook cover, mimicking the CD cover.

I chose a gorgeous and evocative track by Sommer Cooks called ‘Lionheart’.

The CD ‘My Friends and I’ is available from: Amazon and CDBaby, or you can listen on Spotify.

Here is the album’s Kickstarter page.

Illumination: Remember Me…

Play this piece of music whilst reading…
Let the music take you to another world, 
read slow and allow the music to dictate…
Photograph and Dragon by Lisa Shambrook (Please do not use)
Remember Me…   
Huge, ivory wings trembled as he lifted higher, rising through misty wraiths of memories, and he shivered in the cold, crystalline dawn. Heavy sighs wafted as his breath mingled with daybreak’s swirling, frosty veils. Still climbing, fighting his overwhelming desire to rest, he passed through dawn’s penumbra out into morning’s gilded rays. Dew shimmered across his age-worn wings, and muted bows cast soft reflections across his iridescent scales.    
The dragon drew strength from the pale golden light and ascended, lifting higher with every gust that caressed his wearied wings. He circled, and rose above the mountain peak before bursting out of the feathery plumes into the glorious azure sky. 
One last time he soared, rising into the sun’s intoxicating warmth, before gliding, floating, dropping and landing in soft, virgin snow. There, the spent creature, the very last of the magnificent Krystallos, released his final breath… a spiral of lost snowflakes… 
(150 Words)

This is written for Samantha Redstreake Geary’s Illumination challenge. Michael Maas’s release of ‘Illumination’ and ‘Piano and Strings Edition’ offers some stunning music and some beautiful tracks to write for. 150 words or less on the track of your choice and I chose ‘Remember Me (feat David Christiansen)’ from Michael Maas’s ‘Piano and Strings Edition’.
Go and read all the beautiful pieces…

Tree of Life: Branching Out: Day One

When I got asked to take part in Samantha Geary’s Tree of Life – Branching Out collaborative writing challenge, I was unbelievably slow to respond. I thought maybe I’d been asked by mistake!
Once I realised how amazing this challenge was I was wholeheartedly involved and have loved it!

Audiomachine make epic theatre/movie trailer music and this album ‘Tree of Life’ has entered the Billboard Classical Charts at #12. They have recorded music for The Hobbit, Thor and Star Trek to name but a few!

26 authors were given one of each of the new tracks and asked to write around 150 words in a continuous story. I’ve been following the story on Samantha’s blog and eagerly awaiting my turn. This is my piece…

By the way once I’d heard the music, buying the album was a must…and I adore it!

Please Read Angela Brown’s piece first…it leads perfectly into mine…

As the storm finally subsided… and light, melodious rain fell, Zoe rested replete in Adam’s arms. Crepuscular rays bathed their searing, salty skin and Zoe’s soft smile lingered. Waves rippled and scintillating diamonds glittered on the ocean surface.
A drip, from the leaves above, sizzled as it touched her skin and Adam’s finger trailed the bead of water down to her breast, where he let it settle. Zoe raised her hand and stroked his thigh, their eyes meeting in calm satiety and love. Zoe’s hand smoothed across her belly and down into the sand.
“So, this is life…” Zoe sighed.
Adam nodded, “Giving and creating…” A wide grin spread across his freckled face as he lifted a daisy from behind her ear. “We’re intrinsic now…to this earth, to this life…to the dance of this planet.”
They laughed as an exultant neigh interrupted their moment, and they beheld their unicorn galloping across the endless stretch of sand and sea, daisies blooming beneath his hooves and waves crashing in his chaotic wake. 
Laughter lit up the sky and Adam pulled Zoe’s lips to his. As they parted a breeze danced across their bodies and they shivered in unison. Adam’s words resounded across the wide expanse as they embraced. “We are one.”
Across the ocean, on the far horizon, a mountain grumbled beneath simmering clouds.
(222 Words)
Tree of Life – Audiomachine Available here: CD, or via streaming at Spotify.
Track – Day One