Calorean Bestiary #3

Man Eating Ray

She took off her boots and stockings. Holding her dress high she waded in. The water was crystal clear. Silver finned fish snaked through bunches of red sea weed and a family of shepherd lobsters marched across the shingle. She watched in fascination as the largest one used its claws to round up a passing gaggle of sea snails.

“Look at this Arnold,” she laughed pointing to the lobsters.

“Most amusing,” he said, looking down the beach.

“What’s that?” he asked pointing to the shore.

“I can’t see anything, “replied Skyle continuing to watch the lobsters at work.

“Look, the beach is moving,” cried Arnold jabbing his finger towards the shore line.

“Well I can’t see……..”

Then suddenly she could see. Almost the entire expanse of the beach trembled momentarily.

“I think we should leave,” she whispered.

Without further warning, the beach shook itself spraying grey sand into the air and hurtled towards the water.

Skyle’s scream pierced the air.

“Run,” she cried tearing across the gravelled floor of the cavern, ripping the soles of her feet as she scrambled up the track.

Arnold joined her at the top of the path and they looked towards the pool. Half in and half out of the water lurked a flat, black, pulsating piscine creature the size of Skyle’s village. Two narrow eyes stared from a spiny head, its long pointed fangs visible even from a distance.

“It’s a man eating ray,” breathed Skyle.Man Eating Ray


As Mad as a March Hare……

Running hareIn Calorean, the main mode of transport is hare back riding. Not only does Beau get about the realm by hare, but he is also an accomplished jockey and regular competitor in the annual Calorean hare hurdles.

Calorean hares Septima and Bluebell are similar to Lepus Europaeus, the native brown hare of England. This species was introduced to Britain in the Iron Age, originating from the other side of the North Sea.

The brown hare has long, black tipped ears, golden brown fur and a black tipped tail. Accelerating to speeds of 45mph, it’s no wonder that Beau is able to compete so competently on his Calorean equivalent.

Brown hares live in grassland and arable land, dwelling in a small depression in the ground called a form. There, they raise young leverets, feeding them daily on wild grasses and herbs. Brown hares have 2 – 3 litters a year and breed in March and April. The expression “mad as a March hare” comes from the ‘boxing’ displays as the female fends off the male during the mating season.

Bronze hareHares have enjoyed much publicity in Gloucestershire this year with the arrival of the Cirencester Hare Festival over Easter. 25 giant, fibre-glass sculpted hares were created and positioned around Cirencester. It’s well worth a visit to see these beautiful hares, lovingly crafted by local artisans.

 To read about Beau, Skyle and their beloved hares, click here.  cropped-beau-book-cover13.jpg


Calorean Bestiary (1)


The behaviour of fungi in Calorean varies from village to village.  In the dwarf realm and in Skyle’s village, fungi grows in the ground.  But the fungi in Beau’s village of Lochnar Common moves around freely.

“Skyle felt something move against her leg & looked down to see a collection of tawny coloured mushmers milling around near an old log”



Beau Garnie – an introduction

Two years ago, on a rare week off in the summer holidays my son Alex & I were walking the dog across a local common.  We passed our time imagining a world  full of little people and hares, warmongering dwarves and impossibly vain moth men.  Before we knew it, Calorean became lodged in our minds and wouldn’t let go.  Then Alex asked if we could write a book about it and in a moment of ill-considered indulgence, I agreed.  I signed up to a writing course with The Writing Magazine, wrote the first three chapters and after some very pleasing feedback from my tutor, mentally committed to completing the book.

Three months on and I began to flag.  Writing a whole book was an enormous task & with two demanding day jobs, finding time to write seemed somewhat self-indulgent.  But Na-No-Wri-Mo came round just at the right time & with the discipline of a daily word goal, all 67,000 words of Beau Garnie & The Invisimin Mine were finally completed.  After a year of editing I thought my pledge to Alex was fulfilled; but writing the book wasn’t enough.  He wanted it published too.  So thanks to David and the team at PublishNation BG&TIM was born in paperback & kindle this week.

You can read more about Beau, Skyle and all their friends as they travel through Calorean on their loyal hares by visiting Amazon Kindle or Lulu (see links in shop menu).