1.3.5 "The Red Grouse Tales"

Comprising four intriguing novella length contemporary stories, which contain mystery, a hint of the supernatural or paranormal, together with a passing nod towards philosophy and religion - though in these modern fairy or folk tales the fantastic doesn't happen in some remote fantasy world, but right here in this one, in very ordinary, almost everyday circumstances!

These are adult fantasy stories for those who like to think about what they are reading.

To purchase this collection of stories click here.


The Little Dog

A story of good and evil, and retribution.

“And I saw an angel standing in the sun”

Is told by Bill, a retired forester, and takes the form of most of the stories in our lives, namely, that we have no idea that we are living a story until later when previous events suddenly seem to fall into place and make some kind of sense. Bill recounts a week in his early working life when, paired with an older, unsavoury and unpopular colleague, they find a little dog sitting beside the forest haul-road way out in a remote part of the forest. What is the little dog doing there?


As the week progresses Bill finds himself becoming emotionally attached to the little dog while also becoming increasingly concerned about just who is his objectionable workmate, and when he notices that the little dog is no longer present at its usual spot his concerns heighten, as he cannot help but feel that his workmate has something to do with the dog's disappearance. Although a troubled Bill has a conversation with his local priest and learns of the nature of sin and evil, he remains blind to that which is right in front of him. However the very next day events suddenly take an unexpected turn and the young naive Bill starts to learn some awful truths.


To see reviews and sample chapter of The Little Dog click here.

The Crow

A sad, poignant story of misunderstanding, bitterness and blame.

Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.”

This story, which centres on our almost desperate desire to leave something to mark our lives upon this earth, is told as a history recounted by Dave, of the time when he, as a child, was taken by his mother to a hospice where he met a dying and embittered old Irish priest known as Mad Father Patrick, who told him about the school days and subsequent rise of a local councillor, Reginald Monday, and of his (Monday's) involvement in the construction of a dam which flooded a valley. Father Patrick's increasingly mad tale is told with a blend of biblical quotations, philosophical musings and wild fantasy, but how does it end and just why is he so bitter?


To see reviews and sample chapter of The Crow click here.

The Golden Tup

A dreadful tale of a young couple's paradise being cruelly taken from them by latent evil.

“But whom sent I to judge them?”

Can evil be in a place? The tale opens with Verity, a farmer's wife, recalling how a young couple were arrested a few years previously for killing their new born baby. How could such a nice young couple have done such a dreadful thing? Through a series of flashbacks we learn how they had created their rural idyll, how an enigmatic man had come into their lives and how their idyll and relationship had gradually fallen apart - how, with references to Milton's Paradise Lost, their paradise was lost. Gradually the young wife reveals a dreadful past, but Verity realises that she is holding something back, but what? What is the terrible truth that caused her and her husband to kill their baby?


To see reviews and sample chapter of The Golden Tup click here.



The White Hart

A happy ghost story, if there can be such a thing!

“Not everyone who is enlightened by an angel knows that he is enlightened by him.”

Told by a likeable male chauvinist, bachelor and keen fell-runner, Pete Montague recalls three strange incidents which he initially thought were unconnected. The first is his encounter with a little albino deer which he found in the forest when he was out for a jog. The second is that of a chance meeting with a beautiful, young but somewhat enigmatic girl in a remote chapel, and of their conversation in which she told him of the tragic story of the daughter of the family which built it. And the third incident …...


To see reviews and sample chapter of The White Hart click here.



Background Information.

I honestly can't remember when I first came up with idea of a group of friends telling each other tales in a pub, but it was that idea which gave rise to The Red Grouse Tales - The Red Grouse being the name of the pub - and as for the tales; these I wanted to be slightly fantastic whilst at the same time being as real and plausible as possible, modern day fairy stories if you like.

For background on each individual story, either check the links above or use the main dropdown box to locate the individual story.


Sample Chapters.

For sample chapters of the stories, either check the links above or use the main dropdown box to locate the individual story.




For reviews of each individual story, either check the links above or use the main dropdown box to locate the individual story.



Reviews of The Red Grouse Tales.


" Brilliant read - can't wait for more! Wonderfully defined characters, pleasing perspectives and some excellent details makes these stories an immersive insight and brilliant escape into another's world. Accessible, easy to get lost in and I've read them far too quickly! Can't wait for more to be added to the set. "


(See review by Amazon Customer on Amazon)




"A really good collection of four short tales all told in the manner of a personal recollection told to friends over a pint (hence the title). The author's style is easy to understand and very readable. My personal favorite is "The Crow" but read them all and make your own mind up."

(See review by George G on Amazon)




"This is an interesting collection of tales, novellas if you will that are similar thematically, each contains a mystery of sorts and has links to good and evil. This was a step away from my usual crime thrillers or contemporary fiction, but something I am very grateful for having had the chance to read.

With beautiful descriptiveness in each story the reader is transported ...... 


The dialogue used in the tales is also wonderful, I especially liked where a local dialect was used and the author took a moment to add parenthesis, I felt that this added to my enjoyment of reading the tales, particularly where I felt that I had learned something new.

A very enchanting read, and very much a book to read as a break from day to day life. Extremely well written, the stories are well thought out, an excellent cast of characters that are multidimensional and interesting - even the flawed characters are enticingly interesting!

The idea behind the tales being stories recounted by friends in the local pub is one that really appeals to me, reminds me of listening to family friends at a gathering or sitting listening to folk tales that my grandfather told me as a youngster. The ease at which the writer recounts these tales makes for an enjoyable and captivating read. "


(See full review by The Quiet Knitter on The Quiet Knitter and Amazon )




"An interesting set of stories linked by themes of good and evil. I enjoyed The White Hart the most and I think the stories would work very well as radio adaptations. Overall, I would recommend the collection of stories and eagerly await the author's next publication.

(See full review by Pulcinello on Amazon)



I enjoyed these stories! I hate to spoil anything so I will just say that you should read this book, you will love the paranormal.

(See review by TDC Book Reviews on TDC Book Reviews and Goodreads)




Amazing group of tales, centering on the Christian beliefs in good and evil. Each employs a supernatural power, sometimes as a person, sometimes an animal.  A must read for stormy nights!

(See full review by Maryrose 0n Amazon)