Sequels, Prequels and Interquels

Be careful, the note said, for I had found a phantom. Albert Price had been known across Europe for the past fifty years, although if he were real or a legend, no one knew. – The Alchemist of Rome

When your main character has lived for centuries, are your books sequels, prequels or interquels?

The Alchemist of Paris and The Alchemist of Rome – plus some coffee rings on the table, evidence of the many cups of coffee consumed during writing!

The Alchemist of Paris is set in 1820, and centres around a mysterious scientist called Albert Price. In one scene, he tells the heroine, Elise, that he had lived in Rome many years before. After I finished the Paris story, I began to wonder. What had happened to Price in Rome? Who had he met? Was there a villain who had pursued him – a bad alchemist, the opposite of Price?

Sequel – a story continuing or expanding from an earlier work but complete in itself (Lord of the Rings Trilogy; Twilight Series)

Prequel – a story describing events prior to the story

Interquel – a story describing events that takes place in a period between two other books

The Alchemist of Rome is therefore the sequel and the prequel to The Alchemist of Paris. It tells the story of Albert Price’s time in Rome in the 1760s – the era of the Grand Tour when European aristocrats were re-discovering the ancient world, and the elixir of life seemed entirely believable.

Being immortal, maybe some of Price’s acquaintances survived until this day. Perhaps a modern-day tourist would meet one of these immortals, and cross paths with some other characters from The Alchemist of Paris.

I hope readers can read the books in any order, as they are both complete stories.

Now I’ve finished, I realized three of my characters, Albert Price, Elise and Antonio, lived in England in the 19th century. Another sequel (or prequel or interquel) is forming in my mind – a gas-lamp mystery called The Alchemist of London perhaps?

*  *  *  *  *

The ebook of The Alchemist of Paris is on sale for 99 cents until early next week.


Cover Reveal: The Alchemist of Rome

The Alchemist of Rome

Cover Design by Adriana Hanganu,

Beware when magic crosses your path. You may live, but you will live to regret it.

Almost one year ago, on 31 March 2017, I first set pen to paper on The Alchemist of Rome, the sequel to The Alchemist of Paris.

There’s some familiar characters and some new ones. The mystery begins in Rome, and then moves to the Amalfi Coast and Malta – I always love a book where the characters travel.

This wonderfully atmospheric cover was designed by Adriana at

Leaving home

At twilight I slipped out of the convent and into the herb garden. Unlocking the gate, I strolled under the old stone arch to the fields beyond. The sky was blue violet, and a golden moon was rising over the hills. The air was sweet with the scent of the rustling grasses. Wildflowers, some blooming only for a day, shivered in the evening breeze. I walked through the fields, until the monastery and convent were only a dim silhouette behind me. I breathed in over and over, wanting to savour the scent and the taste of the countryside. The forest on the hillside was dim and silent and the tree branches were like lace against the setting sun. The meadows rolled out to the horizon, where the river glittered through banks of poplar trees. I tried to capture each part of the landscape in my mind, so that I could imagine it, wherever I might go.

– Story Excerpt “The Alchemist of Paris”


Like the character Elise, I grew up in the country before moving to the city. (Strange fact – I grew up next door to a convent!)

Are there places that you have left behind in your life? Do you think of them often? If you are a writer, do you incorporate those memories into your writing?

Midnight in Dublin

Did I mention “Midnight in Dublin” is free until December 12th?

Midnight in Dublin - cover design by

Midnight in Dublin – cover design by

Today you can find ‘Midnight in Dublin’ featured on the fantastic site A Girl and her eBooks, alongside many other fabulous book bargains! I really recommend you check out this site for free and bargain ebooks.

Happy reading!

“Midnight in Dublin” – new cover reveal


Midnight in Dublin - cover design by

Midnight in Dublin – cover design by


Here is the amazing new cover for “Midnight in Dublin” created by Adriana Haganu at

“Midnight in Dublin” is a supernatural thriller with magical realism elements, set in Dublin, Ireland. Here is the plot:

When Lizzy James flies to Dublin, all she wants is to forget her worries and have a relaxing weekend. But the mist-shrouded streets hold many memories from the carefree summer she spent as a student in the city, and she cannot shake off the feeling that something is unfinished. The past grows stronger when Lizzy receives a message from an old friend, the annoying and glamorous Alice, who has gone from one dazzling (and surprising) success to another since college.

But perfect Alice has a guilty secret – on their last night in Dublin seven years ago, Alice swapped destinies with Lizzy. The deal ends at midnight that very night.

Lizzy has no choice but to join Alice as they race across the city, unravelling the past and confronting their supernatural pursuers. Their fates entwined, the girls have one night to put things right and restore destiny to its proper path. If they fail, not only is their destiny and happiness at stake, but Lizzy’s very soul. Will what was meant to be, finally be? As the hour draws near, anything can happen at midnight in Dublin.

I need you! (If you’d like to be a book reviewer that is). If you’d like to read “Midnight in Dublin”, or know someone who might, please send me an email at mcdulac5 at gmail dot com so that I can send you a free review copy in return for an honest review on Amazon and Goodreads.

“Midnight in Dublin” is a short read at 51 pages.

20. The End of the Twenties

I’m back with another “Fiction by Numbers” tale.  We are now up to number 20.

*  *  *  *  *

In her apartment high on the hillside above Hollywood, Lotte raised her glass of champagne to the twinkling lights of the city.

The air was sweet with the scent of hibiscus and geranium. The low buzz of the city, the buzz that had enticed her across a continent, filled her ears.

The champagne tasted bitter. It was 1929. She was 29 years old and tomorrow she would turn 30.

There’d been a financial crash back east, they said, and all sorts of talk of doom and gloom. Winter was coming, just as she was facing the winter of her thirties.

She had begun the decade by accompanying playwrights to restaurants in New York, then followed them out west to be part of the new world of motion pictures. There’d been parties and actors and writers and dances, and even a few walk-on roles for herself.

But her 20s and the glittering 1920s were gone now.

Jimmy, the playwright, had succumbed to drink.

Billy, the actor, had driven too fast on the canyon roads once too often.

Marty, the producer, was a bounder.

Alvaro, the lounge singer, was drop-dead gorgeous, but was, as her best friend pointed out, a gangster.

So what was a girl to do, when she was too old to be a starlet, and had no career to speak of?

Lotte swung around the column on her balcony. The steps to her apartment were so steep, cascading down to Sunset Boulevard, where the sidewalks jostled with new eager faces, just like hers.

She swallowed her champagne.

Such a long way down. Her life was a mess.

The twenties were coming to an end, and she had no idea what lay ahead.

Just then she saw a movement on the steps below.

It was her neighbour. The handsome young guy who worked as a carpenter at the movie studios. Their eyes had met so many times. Tonight he smiled and waved.

“See you at the party tomorrow?” he called hopefully.

That’s right, she remembered. The residents’ party.

“Sure,” she called.

And he kept looking at her, all the way to his door.

Lotte bit her lip. She raised her glass again, smiled at the stars and toasted her thirties.

*   *  *  *  *


Do you love silent films and cinema? “The House of Lost Shadows” is a paranormal mystery set in 1920s Berlin. Join intrepid Chicago reporter Grace O’Hara as she tries to solve the disappearance of a film director and his crew during the filming of his final movie.

I’ll be announcing a special offer at the end of the week!