Welcome to my stop on the opening day of the blog tour for ‘Poetic Justice’ by Mark Tilbury. Something a little different this time around from Twisted Tilbury. ‘Poetic Justice‘ is a collection of five short stories, each one preceded by a poem that acted as the inspiration for the story. I have a little sneak peek for you guys but first, let’s see what these stories are all about.
Author : Mark Tilbury
Title : Poetic Justice
Pages : 296
Publisher : Tilbury Publishing
Publication date : November 18, 2021
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
Five twisted tales of murder and revenge.
Time doesn’t heal; it’s an incubator for old wounds.
Lucy’s return – No one remembers Lucy at the school reunion, but she remembers them. Especially one boy who made her life hell, and now she’s going to do the same to him.
The Tallyman – Donna is in debt, and the loan shark is making her life unbearable, with increasingly vile demands when she can’t make her payments. But her elderly neighbour, Elsie, has the perfect solution to get rid of the tallyman once and for all.
Last Orders – Jeff Tully’s wife has left him. Trying to run his pub single-handedly, he increasingly turns to his barmaid, Alyson, for help. But when Alyson tells him of her own troubles, they hatch a plan to get rid of Alyson’s violent, abusive husband. But will Jeff live to regret he ever got involved with his barmaid?
Ballad of the Unsung Hero – Retired shopkeeper Jennifer Price is at her wits end. Her husband Kenneth thinks more of his fishing than he does of her. But when she meets the man of her dreams at a spiritual church, Jennifer is hell-bent on getting her man – whatever it takes.
Private Museum – Retired nurse Mandy Rostron never thought she’d find love again after her husband died, but in Anthony Mallard she’s found the perfect gentleman. Or so she thinks. Mallard has some very dark secrets in his basement, or his Private Museum as he calls it, and Mandy is about to discover the truth about the man of her dreams.
| EXTRACT |
From the author : Poetic Justice is something different to my past releases. I wanted to write something I hadn’t tried before, and although still ‘twisted,’ the stories in this book aren’t as dark as my others. The book comprises of five poems, each inspired the story that follows it. I hope that people enjoy reading the book, as much as I did writing it. Here’s one of the poems from the book, and a small extract from the first chapter.
Along the road from nowhere, from nowhere else at all
I stopped off at a tavern as sorrow gave a call
Hey, old pal, come in here, come join the faithless crew
Tell me what’s your poison, son, what’s your chosen brew?
We’ve fine fermented tears, squeezed from a bleeding heart
D’you want a dash of bitterness from a heart that’s torn apart?
Sit with me upon this stool in the land of reminisce
We’ll talk about what might have been and all we dearly miss
Remember once upon a dream when spirits danced so free?
The fires burning deep within to light eternity
And gathered with us here today your seven deadly sins
Let me reacquaint you all, let’s see where they’ve been
The soul destroyer, paranoia, feel his every breath
He’ll hold you by the hand so tight and lead you unto death
From heartbreak city, meet self-pity, she wrings her bloodstained hands
She slashed her wrists and damned her soul and shredded all her plans
Beyond the pale, our friend betrayal, he does his dirty deed
A parasite of love and trust who feeds upon your greed
Here stands bold, whose wings unfold, but they are sadly clipped
He tried to fly, to soar so high but wasn’t well-equipped
Poor old hope, She couldn’t cope, planting all those seeds
In her land of broken dreams, she choked on all the weeds
What have we here, that coward, fear, he hides beneath the table
Come out now and face the truth, confront me if you’re able
And me, you see, I am the truth, the ringer of the bell
Time to hit the road, my friend, away to live in Hell
Upon waking, Jeff Tully momentarily forgot his life was in pieces. For a few seconds, he imagined his wife, Tara, was in the bed with him. He even smelled the aroma of stale perfume lingering in the air and felt the heat from her body next tohis.
But Tara wasn’t there. She was gone. No prior warning, no note of explanation – just an empty space in her wardrobe where her designer-label clothes used to hang, and nothing left on the huge heart-shaped white dressing table beneath the bedroom window where she’d spend the best part of an hour each morning putting on her face before going downstairs to get the bar ready for opening.
Jeff found it hard to describe the pain and humiliation he felt every time he stepped behind the bar without Tara beside him to light up the room and bring life to the small village pub. The indignity of all the well-meaning remarks by the locals. She’ll be back. Tara probably just wanted a break. Keep your chin up, Jeff.
All well and good if it was true, but Jeff knew, with a certainty only his heart could describe, Tara was gone forever. Why had she left? That was another question, and one that would probably never be answered. He thought she’d been happy with him. Loved him. Loved life in the pub, too, chatting to the locals, being at the centre of the village community. She was friendly, intelligent and, most importantly, a good listener.
One thing Jeff had learned from running The Shepherd’s Hut for ten years, was running a pub was so much more than simply pulling pints and making sure the pipes were clean. It came with social responsibility. Fulfilled a need in people to unwind after a long day, air their grievances, and that old cliché: put the world to rights.
The Shepherd’s Hut provided a counselling service – had even saved a couple of marriages down the years – and a whole range of social activities ranging from darts and billiard nights to the traditional pub quiz on Thursdays.
Well, now all that could be someone else’s dream. He couldn’t carry on going through the motions without his wife. Life was hard enough, without the added burden of a broken heart. Tara had been his soul mate, and now he felt like a helium balloon cast to the wind. Rudderless, directionless, and helpless.
He rolled over and ran his hand across the sheet. So cold, so lifeless. How could she do this to him? How could she kiss him goodnight, tell him she loved him, then just up and leave like that? It wasn’t right. She’d solemnly swore before God to uphold the values and tradition of marriage. Okay, so the ‘obey him’ part of the vows was a bit of a stretch by anyone’s standards, and Tara certainly wasn’t a sit-up-and-beg kind of woman, but the very least he’d expected was honesty.
He swung his legs over the side of the bed. It took a monumental effort to get up in these post-Tara days. His once clean-shaven face now sported a month’s growth of beard, and the eyes looking back at him in the bathroom mirror each morning bore no resemblance to the clear blue ones he’d had prior to her leaving. Red-rimmed and underscored with dark smudges, they were now the eyes of a haunted man witnessing his own steady decline into alcoholism and self-pity.
After dressing in jeans and a red rugby shirt, he made his way downstairs, head still fuzzy from the previous night’s consumption of alcohol. Existing on a diet of six or seven pints of Stella, and the odd bag of peanuts for sustenance, Jeff knew his body would soon join his brain in meltdown, but he no longer cared that he was forty-five years old and destined for an early grave.
How cool is this? And this is coming from someone who couldn’t be less interested in poetry if she tried 😳. But I love this and I think it’s very cleverly done! If you’d like to read more, Poetic Justice will be available to buy on Thursday, November 18th or you can pre-order now.
| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |
Mark lives in a small village in the lovely county of Cumbria, although his books are set in Oxfordshire where he was born and raised.
He’s always had a keen interest in writing and after being widowed and raising his two daughters, Mark finally took the plunge and began self-publishing. Mark’s writing has earned him the name #TwistedTilbury due to the dark and twisted nature of his books. He’s published 10 thrillers, and an 11th is due out 24th June 2021
When he’s not writing, Mark can be found playing guitar, reading and walking.