A Stormful of Pickles

It’s a week before Christmas, and the worst storm in twenty years is about to descend upon Maidstone.

Fran, youthful dinner lady and regular churchgoer, feels a storm building inside her, too. To escape her overbearing father, she has foolishly married Mr Edward Dobbs, a dull and pious fellow, not a bit like the manly heroes of her beloved erotic historical novels. And now she’s trapped behind walls of her own making. She has accepted her life of grey domesticity with stoicism, the only buffer to the monotony of her existence being her weekly visits to a lavish hotel tearoom, where she can indulge her modest fantasies. 

But this is all about to change. Fran is about to embark on a roller-coaster of sexual frustration, desire and fulfilment. Not necessarily in that order. And she’s going to take the men in her life along with her.

As the storm hits, Fran huddles under a tree, waiting for a bus that doesn’t come. Enter not so Good Samaritan Peter Pearson, head of the school English department, with his warm dry car and his seductive Irish charm. While her dark-horse husband cavorts with a forbidden colleague on the other side of town, can Fran repel the charms of this broken teacher and chart a course back to the tranquil waters of her boring life? Does she even want to? 

This storm is about to throw all their lives up in the air. And where they will land is anybody’s guess.


Meet Elliott Fassbinder

Elliott Fassbinder’s professional life has revolved around finance, in some guise or other. But it was his battle with alcoholism and addiction ( recovered alcoholic, 15 years ) that gave him the ideas, and the fuel, to write this story. He believes his experiences in tackling his affliction and the subsequent search for meaning in his own life has given him a profound insight into the absurdity of the human condition. He lives in Hastings, England.

Welcome to D*ck n B*lls Tower!

What’s it like to live and work deep in forested isolation at a fire tower for six months of the year? While battling mental instability. And the medication prescribed for it. And your Mother. And your Maker. And your Maker’s assassins who see you as nothing more than an easy piece of meat supported by two edible stilts. And inappropriate behaviour around your female supervisor’s posterioso perfectus. And a tendency to enter your wiener boat in too many spankathons. And a multitude of other questionable habits. And, and, and, ad infinitum.

Oh, Tony. Tch, tch, tch.

Meet Tony Butterworth (and his unfortunate sidekick, “Gorby”), a fifteen-year veteran of forestry’s seasonal Game of Towers. A secret worshipper at the altar of that delectable skankstress, Muffy—sixty kilometers to his southeast. Co-conspirator and trusty lookout for Dingleberries’ infamous “Turd Burglar,” Boogie Bowshaw. Sufficiently obsessed with the legendary tower duo, D*ck n B*lls. Novice Cornholer. Whisper Gardell’s new reluctant boyfriend.

Oh, Tony. It’s Uncle Bonzo, mate. Can you smell the shrimp on the barbie? Why don’t you drop in and join us for a round. Where for art thou? Tony. We miss you.

“Hysterical and inventive … an ingenious and brilliant work of art … I won’t be forgetting it any time soon.” – Foluso Falaye (5-Stars: Readers’ Favorite).

“If I had to summarize this cocktail of insanity, I’d say get a tall glass, add one shot of Terry Pratchett, a healthy measure of Hunter S. Thompson, top up with some Jim Jefferies and garnish with one of those special mushrooms people aren’t supposed to eat….” – Michael Gardner (5-Stars: Readers’ Favorite).

“The plot is quirky and completely unique … the narrative throughout is wonderfully vivid and descriptive … this novel will make you laugh but also shed a tear….” – Lesley Jones (5-Stars: Readers’ Favorite).


Meet Jeff Pearson

Jeff Pearson was born in Pembroke, Ontario, Canada, in 1963 and attended Carleton and Lakehead Universities where he mostly majored in Maximum Intoxication / Fiasco Production. Then he went vagabond—rambling / exploring / travelling / working—for years, all over Canada and beyond. For the past twenty years, he has been manning various fire towers deep in the Canadian wilderness. Mr. Pearson’s memoir, Miss Nude Canada’s Shoes (And Other Fiascos) – Act I * Greenhorn, was a 2020 Readers’ Favorite book award winner in the non-fiction humour category. Jeff has been seriously stoned on ASMR since he stumbled upon it in 2014.

The Free

Milgorry turned cold eyes upon Tiernan. ‘Say it,’ he demanded. ‘If you do this, I’ll hunt you down and return your dead body to the Creator. That is the law, and I’m bound by the law. I am a Guardian. I’ll have no choice,’ his voice dropped to a whisper. ‘There’s always a choice,’ said Milgorry. ‘If this is such a problem why don’t you return me right here and right now? You know you can!’‘ Because you’ve not done anything wrong yet,’ said Tiernan, sounding insecure.‘ But you can see into my mind! You know I’m going to do this!’ Tiernan’s shoulders sagged. ‘Please don’t do this. There must be another way.’‘ I don’t see any other way,’ Milgorry said bleakly. ‘Then go. But think hard on this before you act. You say there’s always a choice, but I’m not Free. For me there’s no choice. So be assured, if you do this, I will come after you. And I will find you. And I will return you.’ Milgorry was startled to feel the depth of pain emanating from the Guardian. ‘I’ll think on it, but if I find no other way to save my people, I’ll do what I have to do, and you can hunt me down and return me if you must.’ He ran down the stone steps, dodging Borgulnay, Timbul and Araas as they passed by. ‘Mil!’ Timbul called after him. ‘Where are you going? ‘Home,’ said Milgorry, not looking back. Disease ravages the land of Nyinaku, bringing the physically superior race known as the Fallen to their knees. Unable to watch his people die, Milgorry of Tarl, the land’s foremost cunning and deadly warrior, defies Tiernan, Lord of the Guardians, and returns to Nyinaku, intent on sharing the forbidden gift of healing with the Fallen race. Constrained by the laws of the Guardians, Tiernan struggles with the fact that he is required to disregard their friendship and hunt down the most dangerous Fallen warrior he has ever known. Meanwhile, knowing the illness will spread like wildfire and cripple neighbouring countries, an army of Fallen warriors prepares to use the opportunity to their advantage, and defying the orders of Prince Garran, they gather for war against the humans in the land of Alkira and their Guardian allies. In the Kingdom of Alkira, young King Kelian races against time to find a cure for the disease as it decimates his people, whilst preparing his nation for a war he knows he will not win.


Meet Danielle O’Sullivan

Danielle (Dan) O’Sullivan is a writer of fantasy fiction who has published 4 books in the Daoine Maithe series. She was born in 1971 in Emerald, Queensland, Australia, and her family relocated to Toowoomba at the age of 8. After marrying an Australian man of Irish descent, she became interested in the idea of a world with a fusion of Australian and Irish mythological history, hence the combination of interesting names, places, and language in her books.
O’Sullivan is currently working on a fantasy trilogy for middle grade children, titled The Ruby Key.
Her hobbies include amateur astronomy and teaching classical ballet, jazz ballet and tap dancing at her own dance studio located in her home suburb of Highfields. She is an avid fan of the works of JRR Tolkien and Raymond Feist. She has a particular interest in fantasy fiction for middle grade children and is working towards publishing The Ruby Key trilogy in the coming year.