Book Title: The Scars of
Author and Publisher: David
Cover Artist: David
Release Date: June 1,
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Literary Fiction,
Tropes: Sexual identity, bisexuality, forbidden love
Themes: Psychological twist, mystery, family drama
Supplementary themes involve sexual identity and a teenage incestuous occurrence: neither
are covered in detail, or described graphically, as they were ‘incidents’ rather than
relationships, though they have an impact on the development of the narrative.
Heat Rating: 2 – 3 flames
Length: 95 000 words/362
It is a standalone story and
does not end on a cliffhanger.
It has a HEA of sorts – it fits
vaguely into the romance genre with a lot of psychological suspense and mystery
Buy Links – Available in Kindle
Amazon US | Amazon UK
Paperback also available from
Barnes and Noble
A troubled mind, a
dysfunctional love story, a psychological twist….
Somerfield, a young journalist for Planet Earth magazine, shares a brief
friendship with the enigmatic Mike Stokes during an assignment in Devon. It leads to a
disruptive fascination and a reluctant complicity in events that evolve from Mike’s tragic
On a journey
where emotions influence his brittle control, Paul pursues the truth. But the truth has many
disguises which disrupt his relationships, his rationality and his life.
A reminder of how fragile the stability of love and trust can
be: a journey that follows fear and doubt as they steer lives into a downward spiral of
(To place in context: Paul (the main character) has just taken a trip over the moors
(Dartmoor, Devon, UK) with Mike (the mysterious second character) who he met just a few
days ago and befriended).
After a few minutes, with the sun transferring energy to
untanned skin, Paul plunged forward to swim towards the opposite bank. Standing up in the
shallow water, his gaze rested on his friend still stretched out below him. Mike’s eyes
remained closed, the gentle rise and fall of breath the only movement in his body. He could
almost have been asleep, but Paul knew he was not, and equally certain of Mike’s awareness
of a close observer, perhaps another gift to them both from the custodian of the paradise
who chose to share it. Paul was neither embarrassed nor aroused by the hedonic posture,
which perfectly balanced the equilibrium, complimenting the setting. He only felt
Time slowed to allow appreciation of the scene. Eventually,
with reluctance lest the spell be broken, Paul spoke again, “You need another cold dip,
mate.” The words were an intrusion. He strained to speak at all. An atmosphere of
expectancy subdued his responses.
Mike remained silent. As he turned his head, his eyes filled
with a remote but compelling vision. Paul was a prisoner to that gaze. The surroundings
drifted out of focus as the man held out a hand in an undeniable gesture of
The sensual element formed a command. With water
lapping knees, he leaned as fingers enclosed one arm in a soft grip. Mike’s eyes held a silent
appeal. It defied refusal. Legs felt weak, folded, he fell forward, his free hand placed near
“Mike….” Words came like sobs from his lips, “I … I don’t … I
can’t….” He took shattered breaths, which formed around, “I’m sorry….”
Steady hands cradled his bowed head in a gentle caress.
Wet hair supplemented the tears that unmanned him. The softest touches of Mike’s fingers
smoothed them from his cheeks.
“Get out of the water, Paul.” Words almost whispered, close
to his ear, with barely disguised authority.
Paul responded, unconsciously, climbing onto the
Lines of sweat blurred his eyes. The atmosphere, heavy
with anticipation, directed his senses, regulated his responses. Or, a will projected from a
powerful force far below him, buried in the rock beneath. The body below him appeared
able to harness that power without the need for physical participation. Paul, aware of the
reaction of his own body to so sensual a situation, was powerless to subdue it. His skin
absorbed the life below with every touch. Nerves ignited with every caress. His senses
stimulated by conduction from another’s, as the strained form below him ascended the
pinnacles of climactic rapture. Salt tears and sweat, sun warmed skin against his lips, shared
breaths of confined desire; the noise of life pounding at his ear, the considerate grip of
passion embracing him with a bond of impregnability. All volition was gone.
Suddenly, as though perpetrated by a violent act upon the
man below him, the body became still. Only Mike’s relaxed breathing convinced Paul he was
innocent of such a deed. Time was striving to catch up with its unnatural stagnancy. A stale
memory of desire stained his mind like a contamination of his thoughts; the fruit of an
unguarded crop of passion, which left behind the bitterest aftertaste.
Paul stared at the slope they walked down earlier. Then he
stood, turned, and dived back into the water. He held no immediate aspiration to emerge
from that tranquil medium, doing so only when the pain in his chest forced him to return to
reality. Thrusting his feet towards the bed of the stream, he launched to the surface, gasping
for air. The vision that met his eyes when his violent breaths had calmed was of a dream
shattered. The picture was not as it appeared earlier. The sky painted a tormented brown.
The breathtaking scene, transformed to a bleak and forlorn landscape. Air and water around
him, tainted with pollution.
Turning his eyes across the water, he saw Mike walking up
the slope wearing his shorts, boots held by their laces in one hand, his T-shirt trailing from
the other and dragged along the grass. Swimming to the bank, reaching his clothes, he
fought jeans over a wet body and slipped on his shoes. Grasping his shirt and camera bag, he
stumbled up the slope in his haste. “Mike! Wait!” he called in a weak voice, breathing hard.
The man did not respond to his cry. Catching up as they entered the trees, he reached out to
the man’s shoulder, halting his progress.
Mike turned, a hard, almost pitiless stare, as he looked
deep into Paul’s eyes.
For a moment, Paul was unable to speak. So intense a
visage, it took away what little breath he had left. “You bastard! Don’t walk away from me as
though your dignity’s been bruised.” He dropped his shirt and bag to his feet, and braced
both hands on his knees. Breathing heavily, he waited for some reaction.
“Don’t lecture me about dignity.” The man answered,
He felt a consuming fury growing within. Standing again,
Paul received a harsh look of accusation. As anger conquered instincts, he swung a clenched
fist towards the man’s head. The punch found its target, striking a heavy blow to the jaw.
Mike made no attempt to avoid the impact; blood soon appeared between his lips, trailing
down the side of his chin. He stood motionless, looking into the eyes of his assailant. Paul
remained poised, as though prepared to deliver another attack. Yet, in reality, he’d been
stunned by the recognition of his actions. Mike’s eyes never flinched as he reached towards
the fist, then enclosed it in a strong grip. Paul stood, mentally helpless and physically
defeated, as the man lowered the arm back to his side.
“Paul, let’s go home.” The expression on his face softened
before he turned to walk ahead.
About the Author
David Blyth was born in
Staffordshire, in the UK. He graduated from Nottingham and Wolverhampton
He lived for many years in
South Africa, where he witnessed the political and social transformation during and after
His interests, apart from
writing, include anything that helps him to stay relatively sane.
The Scars of
Life was written during a two-year overland
exploration of southern, central and east Africa; much was achieved sitting under the shade
of a huge mango tree on the shores of Lake Malawi, always with a beer near at
Development, which is in fact his second novel,
though published first, was written at his home in the English Midlands.
He is currently working on his
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