Arthur Shale (1971-present) was born in Brisbane, Australia, and has worked in the Broadcast Television industry for twenty years. He created the "Mischance and Happenstance" series in 2006, which includes; "Ad Lib", "The Hitherto Unknown", "Mischance and Happenstance", "The Whereabouts of Wherewithal" and "The Law and the Mule". Other projects include the science fiction series "Rise of the Tek", featuring the books "Solis" and "Nemesis" and the prequel to the Obsidian Fantasy series - "Vagabond". The first of his "Marcus Strabo" crime thrillers - "A Body of Doubt" - was released in January 2013 and his work is currently focussed on the Fortuna Victrix series - recounting the epic final battle for Gaul.
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The Morning's Night (Fortuna Victrix - Volume 1) - Synopsis
Its December 53BC, a harsh winter looms and Romes annual elections are descending into chaos and farce. Powerful factions are tearing the city apart and threatening the Roman Republic. Far to the north in Gaul the barons and knights of the wealthy Celtic states are taking sides too forced to decide between their Roman Governor, Julius Caesar a man armed with the greatest standing army in Europe, and his many enemies in Rome.
Thrust into this maelstrom of political intrigue two young army officers fresh from battling a violent insurgency in Greece. Segomarus, grandson of the Arvernian Wolf Prince, and Sulla, the great nephew of the reviled Roman Dictator and now estranged from his wealthy family. They are brothers-in-arms, but suddenly find themselves on opposites sides of a new and dangerous tactic planned by the Roman Senate. To destroy Caesar, the Senate compels their Celtic partners to rebel against him. It will mean war on a scale never before seen in the western world. But its not just soldiers caught up in this unstoppable chain of events. Wellborn ladies, Coelia Adiega and Aestivia, the slave girl, Salixia, and the children of the rebel outlaw, Gutuater, all soon find what this war will truly mean for them ruined cities, ruined states and millions dead. No one escape. Few will survive. This is the Rebellion of Gaul.
A Body of Doubt (first book of the Marcus Strabo series) - Synopsis
Sherlock Holmes meets James Bond on the windswept island of Sarnia a lonely speck of land at the edge of the civilised world. When the local militia find the winemaker Claudius Dicax strangled in his stables they call upon Marcus Strabo, Sarnias sharpest mind to lend his thoughts to the investigation. Together with his steward, Aulus Vivax, they must explore a murder on an island infamous for its secrets a place long sought out by those running from the past and those hiding behind a dozen different names. In a world of black and white, Sarnia is the island of grey. The task would seem impossible the suspects could be many, the motives could be plentiful. What other life did Dicax live? Strabo has only a dead man and a few scratched words to tell him. But as events unfold it is Vivax who realises the secrets the murdered winemaker once kept could be the same as Strabos. The next time the killer appears it could be much closer to home a matter of grave concern for a young man who must protect a pregnant wife and a patron. For both master and servant, it becomes a race against time and they soon realise there is no one left to trust...even each other.
Nemesis (second book of the Tek series) - Synopsis
Spar Antipas awakes aboard a slave ship. He cannot remember the day before, he cannot remember getting there instead, his head is filled with dreamy flashes of a life long ago a life that couldn't be his a life where he has already died.
How could it be? Who has such powers and why have they awoken him?
The Masada militia is sent to investigate the violent murder of an elderly pirate in Hebron. For the militia commander, Felix Jan-Amathus, this crime is personal since he too was once an outlaw from the Lost Moons. Is this death simple revenge or is it something more could he be next? There are already rumours a slave rebellion has begun in the regions led by the mysterious zealot 'Nemesis'. A creature only the God-spirit Ione could create. Some even say it has returned to destroy the corrupt despot, Niter Phaseal.
So with Gabriella Sen-Sebaste his brightest officer and once sworn enemy Felix must discover the truth. Answers that could make him a puppet to the regime; answers that will turn his back on the culture he shares with the slaves. Can he dare stop the Nemesis? Can he dare not to?
This is the future. This is the coming of the Tek.
An orphan lost in an Alpine blizzard makes a bargain with Death. For the life of her grandfather she must find a dragon and steal its treasure alone. So begins the quest of Makepeace.
Along her journey she finds the kindness of strangers and discovers the good in those she most feared. A gruff farmer, a retired soldier, a disfigured priest, a brigand boy each one she helps and in turn they give her whatever they can. Eventually they take her across the sea to the mysterious islands of Briton.
Now so far from where she began Makepeace learns her past is still keeping up with her, and even here in these islands there are those who seek the girl who was lost in the snows not for her bargain but for the secret she has kept since the beginning just who she actually is...and why the Roman Emperor wants her dead
March 2004 the Insurgency is taking hold of Baghdad and international news crews risk their lives for every story outside the Green Zone. Where a media pass once kept a journalist safe it is now a liability and getting the story means tempting fate every time.
Dee Johnston and her bodyguards don't suffer any illusions about their task. But like her Bureau Chief said, 'this is the big one'. This is finding Iraq's most talked about lost antiquity stolen as the old regime collapsed and then busting wide open the black market trade in Iraqi history.
A four tonne casket of lead, sealed by Saladin himself, bound so tight with tradition and fear even Saddam Hussein wouldn't have it opened...even if it was filled with half a billion dollars of Crusader gold.
Why the fear? Why the intrigue? Could it really contain the Wrath of God? Or is the sarcophagus an elaborate fake to hide Iraq's missing Weapons of Mass Destruction? Dee Johnston intends to make certain her story answers all the questions even, is such a thing worth dying for?
It's 80BC and Quintus Furius Calvus is down on his luck. He's a struggling actor and not a very good one at that. Finding the blood, murder and injustice in Rome all too much he makes a move from his parent's house and decides to explore the world starting with Arretium...a county town no one else has heard of either. Things couldn't get any worse...could they? Well, when he discovers he's in the middle of a plot to murder the Roman Dictator, it appears things can. It's days like this our acting hero prefers a nice lie in and pretend this isn't happening. Still there's no avoiding calamity with Calvus around, so arming himself with a slightly whiffy fish, he takes on the might of Roman crime...and as usual...he almost wins.
Click here to find out more about Calvus . . .and then here to find out how the Calvus books were discovered.
It's 80BC and Quintus Furius Calvus is a very ordinary actor down on his luck. He's skimp and out of sorts with the ladies. Things couldn't get much worse. Well, except that he may have just tried to snuff out the world's most powerful man in order to restore his family's honour and err for a decent wad of cash. Doing the bunk to the holiday paradise of Massilia, Calvus escapes Rome's Secret Police, but instead finds a whole city keen to snaffle his take. Oh, and his occasional friends, the real assassins, want their share too. Suddenly being caught by the law doesn't seem so bad, particularly when the chief investigator turns out to be the very comely niece of a still very alive Dictator. Naturally Calvus takes his chances and loses. But no matter, instead of joining the lions for a spot of chase-the-actor-around-the-arena to clear his name our thespian only has to save the Roman Republic from certain destruction.
A simple quest for a stout-willed hero with a loose idea of where Gaul is.
However, for our friend of bad taste and poor timing, Calvus is going to need more than a little help from the gods to convince the forces of evil to take their leave, and on top of everything he's got to visit his Ma and Pa along the way. This could be our short, podgy Second-Surly-Servant-From-the-Right's tightest spotyet.
In a time when men were men, and women could say hurtful things, life was hard for the luckless actor. And then you could get stuck in Gaul convincing an army of angry barbarians the Italian sun isn't all it's made out to be. But Quintus Furius Calvus is not one to shy away from a mission, particularly if he can do the bunk instead. So with his diplomatic career in tatters, Ma on his case and a nasty rash, Calvus returns to Rome expecting a hero's welcome. Instead he gets arrested by the Dictator, beaten senseless, humiliated and thrown into prison which is somewhat better than last time.
Of course then things really go astray.
Po the Ionian orphan he saved from generally bad people in Gaul finds herself kidnapped by other generally bad people in Rome. So enlisting the aid of his brother and the Dictator's unpredictable spy-mistress, our podgy Second-Surly-Servant-From-the-Right gallivants into history on his trusty flatulent mule. Can he save Po from a blood lusting Druid? Can he outsmart the Dictator? Can he tie his shoelaces properly? Probably not, but, be rest assured, he's bound to give it his best shot before finding the closest wine-bar.
Driven by twenty-five thousand years of planetary migration, humans have become two distinct species - culturally disparate and religiously adverse. The ancient Homen are being pressed ever further from their origin star - while the modern Mar-Sen relentlessly pursue those territories occupied by their predecessors.
The many star systems remain separated by the vast distances, and despite light travel, mariners and colonists wait lifetimes for new media and messages from those far beyond - providing the breeding grounds for the insular thought and contempt for the outside.
Ignorance grows and hate follows - until no one remembers how it came to be so. This is the future Solis inhabits.
It follows the shipwrecked Nadir Sen-Bol - crashed among the Homen and discovering the nature of humanity and all the evils of close-minded belief - both theirs and his.
As a woebegone Gulliver exploring foreign realities, Sen-Bol must learn right is not always written, and the heart is the better judge of wrong. Yet, when at last he can embrace this truth, he must also face the opportunity to achieve what he was sent to do - to destroy the Homen and end a battle that has murdered nearly all those he has ever held dear. All of this for one lost Sen to decide.