Welcome to Karen Tucker’s web site
Please feel free to browse around, and if you like what you see, let me know. There’s lots to read, including samples of the various genres I write in, so grab a cuppa, settle down, and read on!
You may also want to have a look at my blog, available on GoodReads, for updates and insights into my writing life.
If you’d like a free short story to take away with you and read, please sign up to my email list, so you can get updates when I’m working on a new project, or when I publish something new. If you fill in your contact details on the sign-up page, you will get a special free gift of a short story. I may include in my emails, from time to time, inside information on my characters, worlds or scenarios – little snippets that no-one else will have seen.
I’ve always loved reading, and even as a young child, it seemed a natural progression for me to start writing my own stories. So I’ve been a writer of fiction most of my life (with occasional gaps when life got in the way). In more recent years, I’ve branched out into non-fiction, and also done a little proof-reading. I’ve had several pieces published in the magazine of the Institute of Qualified Professional Secretaries, and was writing reviews for Paradigm Shift magazine for a couple of years; I also had an article on Past Life Therapy (in which I am well qualified) published in an on-line spiritual magazine.
For more about me and what makes me tick as a writer, please see my About Page.
Healing the Wounds
A novel of past-life trauma and present-life healing
Interested in past lives but unsure how they can be relevant to your life today? Healing the Wounds is a novelised account of my own past lives, showing how healing them in the present day can help speed spiritual development and clear ancient karmic debt, raising your vibration and connecting you to your higher purpose.
Cathy Heritage has lost a child, an embryo she carried for only a few days. Haunted by the loss, she dreams about a past life in which she was brutally killed while pregnant, and learns the reason for a painful relationship break-up. As more past life issues on a similar theme begin to come to light, Cathy learns to find relief from the karmic emotions she has carried for many lifetimes, through forgiveness, understanding, acceptance and compassion.
With tears and laughter, the unfailing support of good friends and her spirit guide, and initially the bewilderment and scorn of others, Cathy learns to release much of her past-life trauma. Along the way, she helps others release their own trauma, forms new friendships and frees herself to find a wonderful new relationship, as well as a possible new career. But the hardest lesson of all is to let go of the little girl she never got to hold.
I’m currently working on a sequel to Healing the Wounds, provisionally titled Claiming the Pearls, in which Cathy continues her exploration of past lives. She also learns about modern shamanic and other healing techniques, and experiences the power of the pagan way, helping her to rediscover old gifts, knowledge and talents. Look out for the latest episode in Cathy Heritage’s personal journey.
Stories to Warm Your Heart
A short collection of short stories
This small collection of short stories is designed to be read in those moments when you have a short time to yourself – on the bus, tube, subway, etc; in your lunch or tea break; or any time you have a few minutes to relax.
There are six stories in all – six romantic or simply heartwarming moments to make you smile. They are:
- The Rainbows – a very short, but very romantic, starter
- The First Kiss? – a young man’s fancy turns again to the love of his life. Will he manage to tell her this time?
- What Comes Between – taking the brave step of living with her new love is only the start. Can she accommodate her man’s divided loyalties and accept his cat, too?
- Finally – A Rose! – they’ve waited a long time, but finally, the big day is here … and full of romance!
- The Once and Future Marriage? – can Pete and Dorothy’s marriage survive the boredom that seems to have set in?
- A Crazy Sort of Love – a temporary security assignment has unforeseen consequences.
Horripilations Volume 1
Only $0.99 or £0.75 on Amazon Kindle
In this short collection of short stories, each designed to be read in a few minutes, you will find a selection of tales to chill you to the marrow, or just to send a shiver down your spine. The stories in Volume One are:
- The Voice in the Trees – a short piece of flash fiction to get you looking over your shoulder.
- The Spirit of the Loch – short-listed for the Annual Ghost Story competition by Writers’ Magazine in the late 1990s, the tension builds in this story of lovers parted by death until the final, satisfying ending.
- A Bit of Friendly Persuasion – an ordinary tale of ordinary greed, with a shiver at the end.
- The Cleansing – a young woman inherits something she did not expect when she buys a new home in which to bring up her unborn child.
- Death in the Nightmare – what does the recurring dream Kelly suffers from mean, and how can it help her?
Horripilations Volume 2
A second short collection of short stories designed to be read in minutes – in your lunch break; on the train, bus, subway or tube; or snatched moments between caring for loved ones. More tales to chill your spine or just provoke a shiver. Volume Two contains:
- The Hanging Room – a short piece of flash fiction to really get the tingles going.
- Susan – when an old ‘friend’ from her schooldays starts appearing in her dreams, Cathy has no idea of the discoveries it will lead her to.
- No 1 Acacia Place – a chilling tale of sibling rivalry. Will the evil twin get her revenge?
- Full Circle – originally published by World Wide Writers in 2000, this old-fashioned tale of the old man in the attic and his chilling intention was originally written for an RL Stevenson anniversary competition, and is written in a style similar to that of the original writers of ghost stories.
Liberty Gibbens, Ghost Whisperer – Volume 1
Following on from the success of the Horripilations volumes, two of these stories are inspired by, and pick up the loose ends from, those tales and resolve them. The other is a fictionalised version of a house-clearing I once did.
Liberty Gibbens, also known as Libby, is an osteo-archaeologist by trade, but has a psychic talent that she is just beginning to learn to use and control. Through a series of short episodes in which her particular skills are much in demand, she develops her talents and her experience in the world of paranormal investigation.
There are three short stories in this volume:
- The Voice in the Trees – intriguingly begun in the very short piece that opens Horripilations Volume 1, this story tells the tale behind the flash of white in the undergrowth and the screaming voice in Ruth’s nightmare. Who is the woman, and why did she contact Libby’s friend?
- Sarah’s Dilemma – Libby is taken on a training assignment by the teacher from her development circle, to discover the truth behind an unexplained chill in the air and a smell of pipe smoke in the living room. Have the children really seen a flapper on the stairs?
- The Unwanted Guest – picking up on the story of the ‘friendly persuasion’ from Horripilations Volume 1, this is the story of the guitar-playing boy and Libby’s attempt to dislodge him from the house he was unwittingly invited into.
Liberty Gibbens, Ghost Whisperer – Volume 2
This is the second volume of short stories in which Liberty Gibbens investigates ghostly activities, meets the culprits, and helps them to pass to their rest. Two of these tales are based on, and follow on from, the last two ghost stories in the collection entitled Horripilations Volume 1. The other two are new stories. All stand alone and need no knowledge of the previous collection.
- The Reparation – following on from The Cleansing in Horripilations 1, this story follows Libby as she contacts the spirit of the man in the basement. Can she persuade him to leave Julie and her newborn baby in peace?
- Relieving the Nightmare – Libby encounters Kelly, struggling to find peace after she was saved from a horrific death by a nightmare. But what happened to the woman who died? Can Libby set Kelly’s mind at rest?
- Freeing the Captives – at a meeting of the local psychic circle, Libby learns a new skill; that of helping to release a spirit attachment from a person’s aura. Why does Annette suffer from hip trouble, and crave custard cream biscuits?
- The Governess – persuaded to advertise her services, Libby’s first ‘client’ has an unusual request: can she rid him of the governess in his room?
I’m now working on a third volume of Libby’s exploits, drawing on stories from the second volume of Horripilations.
Works in Progress
The most exciting collaboration I’m currently working on is with a friend in America. It’s a series of spiritual novels entitled Journey Into the Unknown and Back Again. We’ll be releasing it in separate chapters (with bonuses) on a subscription site, starting soon. Watch this space for more details!
I’m also helping a friend, James Bambling, to re-work his children’s fantasy novel, Cloud over the Citadel, into a longer and fuller story, and helping my friend James Coppard to create his fantasy novel, The Adventures of Foxhound.
I have a full-length non-fiction book in the pipeline, provisionally entitled Loving Ourselves, which is aimed at helping readers improve their self-worth, self-esteem and self-confidence by improving the relationship they have with themselves. It draws on the ten years of study and practice I’ve put into my holistic therapies business, Em’brace Healing.
Paranormal Crime Novels
My paranormal crime novel, Past Sins (starring Liberty Gibbens, heroine of the Ghost Whisperer stories), was shortlisted by the Crime Writers’ Association for their Debut Dagger Award in 2003. I have since finished drafting this novel, but I’m still editing it, so it’s not yet ready for publication.
Fantasy Novels for Children
I also have a number of fantasy novels in progress, notably a two-book children’s series called The Secret Magicians, which I have finished drafting and am in the process of editing. I’ve tested this series with a couple of child readers, both of whom have absolutely loved it, so I have high hopes for it when it’s published. It was sparked by a short story I wrote for the Swanwick Festival competition 2014. It’s called The Secret Magicians, and it’s available here on the site, and also in a collection of short children’s stories by the Tunbridge Wells Writers Group, on Smashwords; but it went off at a bit of a tangent when I started to expand it, and became:
The Secret Magicians, Book 1
The Flight to Safety
Jack Skipper, aged 10, discovers one day in the marketplace that he has a talent for Magic, but there’s a problem. If the authorities find him, they will take him to be a Magician, fighting in their endless wars. Thankfully, he is discovered by Mrs Ermine, a kindly woman who offers to teach him how to use his talent safely, and for good.
But his stay with her is cut short by disturbing news – the war is coming to them, and they need to move to safety. A plan is formed, and Jack’s party is the first to leave, heading for a safe house in the mountains.
Unfortunately, the monastery where they are to meet the others is under threat from goblins, and inhabited by dwarves, with whom they make friends. As the others leave in one big group, evicted from their home by soldiers who want it for a barracks, Jack and his friends must help the dwarves to defeat the goblins, and find out why they are attacking.
Conjuring images to frighten the goblins seems to help, but on capturing two of their attackers, they discover that this is only the beginning. The Talasian Empire, whom their government is fighting, has plans to crush their country quickly – starting in the mountains!
The Secret Magicians, Book 2
How to Stop a War
The first challenge is to stop the goblins taking over the monastery. The second is to bring the others to safety. The third is to stop the war.
No pressure, then! Can Jack and his friends accomplish all their goals, and prevent a lot of unnecessary deaths?
Teaming up with the dwarves, it turns out, was only the start. As the struggle progresses, giant eagles, elves and a goddess join in the fight. But to actually prevent the war from reaching their shores, they need to discover who is behind it and persuade him to change his plans.
Jack’s talent for Magic is already highly developed, after the journey to the mountains. But can he stretch his skills even further and sneak into the mind of the powerful Magician they are up against? Better yet, can he make friends with him?
Written (as a first draft) in just twelve days at the end of November 2015, as part of a final push to complete the NaNoWriMo challenge of writing 50,000 words in just one month, Grail Maiden tells the story of 12-year-old Aelwen, daughter of a Prince of the Land, whose world is changed forever when she finds an engraved slab, which seals the cave where the Merlin lies in an enchanted sleep. To free him, the Bard Derwen must create a girl/woman out of flowers; but when he is awoken, their troubles are just beginning.
For the woman who imprisoned the Merlin also stole the Spear of Grievous Wounding, and in order to slow down his pursuit and distract him from his vengeance, she uses the Spear to wound the King. The King and his country are inextricably linked together, so this act sends the Land into decline. The weather turns damp and misty, crops begin to fail, and Aelwen’s uncles slide towards civil war as they vie to rule as regent while their injured father sleeps a magical sleep.
Only the Grail can heal the King, but can it be found in time to prevent the Land from being ravaged by war? Will Aelwen’s people survive the lean times and drive off any attackers? Will the new skills Aelwen is taught by the Bard be enough to help her people, or will she fail them in the end? Can she and her brother, Macsen, help to locate the all-important Grail?
All we know is that she will do her best – but will it be good enough?
The story begins with the Bard’s retelling of the ancient story of Bloddeuedd, the Woman of Flowers. Translations from the original can be found in the Mabinogion, but here is my version, told by Derwen the Bard.
Another children’s novel I’ve started is provisionally titled Girl-Boy-Girl, and stars Imperial Princess Lin Fow Yat, whose problem is that she’s the wrong gender to inherit her father’s throne. But he’s told his people he has a son. Can she rule the Empire and still be herself?
I have also started a number of fantasy novels aimed at the more adult market, but none is finished yet. See the Fantasy Novels page for more information and some samples of these works.
And Finally …
Last, but by no means least, I follow a Pagan path and as such, sometimes write under my ‘pagan name’ of Rhianna Nodens. As Rhianna, I have contributed an article to the Moon Books publication, Naming the Goddess. I’ve written a number of poems under this name, which I may publish one day, and I’m also undertaking a self-directed course in Bardism, as a means of developing my writing skills still further.