Keith and Jess reside in the beautiful mountains of Vermont with their two children, three cats, a dog, and an immortal guinea pig. Jess has worked in newspaper and art publishing, freelance writing, cake decorating, and presently works as a special education teacher. She enjoys playing the ukulele badly, reading, and binge-watching unhealthy amounts of TV. Keith spent many years as a chef and business manager and now runs a quaint country store. He can often be found writing poetry, reading, or cooking something amazing. They love to cook together, go hiking around the gorgeous terrain Vermont offers, and spend time together and with their boys. They also enjoy working together to create a world with interrelated but independent compelling stories.
The Arbitratus Trilogy.
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the light shineth in the darkness and the darkness comprehended it not.
That’s when things got complicated.
Always Darkest, Book 1 of the Arbitratus Trilogy
Ronoven, a demon dreaming of an escape from Hell, finds an excuse for an extended vacation on Earth, where he pretends to be a young drifter called Ben. Everything is going great until he meets Chris. This unassuming teacher is using an assumed identity, too. Cursed with immortality and named in a prophecy Ben thought was fake, Chris becomes an unlikely friend. Together the two of them discover the main subject of the prophecy, Mal, a young woman not only fathered by an angel, but also the last in the direct line of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Mal learns her true identity but is determined not to be forced into a corner by circumstances or some ancient scrap of paper. Falling in love was never part of Ben’s plan, but together he and Mal are drawn into conflict that could destroy them. Slippery ancient gods, as well as angels and their fallen siblings bring to bear all of their power to force Mal to their side. With the help of a small band of allies, Mal tries to shake free of the cage of prophecy and end Hell’s hold on Ben. Will any of them find the future they desire?
Before the Dawn Book 1 of the Arbitratus Trilogy
When Mal Sinclair first learned she was the child of an angel and a Divine bloodline, named in a prophecy of Biblical proportions, she thought it was the end of the world. She had no idea that only months later she’d need to know the plural of apocalypse.
Mal had always believed good and evil were pretty black andwhite until Ben Brody, the love of her life and one of the best people she’s ever known, turned out to be a demon.
Learning more about the Emerald Hill Prophecy and the lines being drawn Above and Below, greys her worldview even further. Heaven and Hell both want to force Mal to tip the scales in their favor as the time of prophecy draws near. A clash between them in her home city of Burlington, Vermont sends Mal and her friends on the run.
Mal’s celestial relatives try to help her, but are thwarted at every turn by the power hungry in Heaven who offer apparent escape for a price. Hell is breathing down their necks, sending monsters and legends to push them toward a destination of Lucifer’s choosing. The Church and the Knights Templar might render aid, but their allegiances and motives remain unclear. All Mal and Ben know for certain is they want a future together on the other side of the prophecy. An angel reveals there might be a way.
But first, they have to save the world.
This is a compilation of the prizewinning and best runner-up stories of 1500-3000 words, based around a stock picture, that were entered in the 2016 Crimson Cloak Publishing short story writing competition.
Jess and Keith’s story ‘WHAT YOU WISH FOR’, tells the tale of what happens when a demon in hell commits a crime so dire that the Lord of Darkness himself requires justice. But being Hell, the punishment involves a twist …
Book 2 in the Crimson Tales series of anthologies.
The tale Fare Thee Well, was written by Jess and Keith Flaherty.