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The Butterfly And The Bear

Henry Ovmeister came to terms with his past a long time ago. He buried it deep in his soul – a place where it needn’t be disturbed – and moved on. 

When Henry meets Malissa, he builds a whole new life. He never tells her about his former life, and he never needs to. They are the perfect match. They are happy.


But when a place sacred to Henry catches fire, everything goes up in flames. Secrets are revealed. Memories tumble out of the flames. And Henry must confront the ghosts that have haunted him.

Will Henry and Malissa find their happy ending?
Or will Henry's complex family history tear them apart?

To the outside world, their romance belonged in a fairy tale.

Beautiful people living a wonderful life. A life he thought he’d never find.

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Reviews for The Butterfly and the Bear

"If you are looking for a book that will take you back and forth through the past 70 years, revealing secrets and twists, grab this gorgeous paperback and hide away from the world."
An Extract

An Extract




Returning to the restaurant, she was immediately reclaimed by the obnoxious Mr Clark and her hopes for a more pleasant afternoon seemed well and truly scuppered. Of some consolation was the fact that Malcolm and two other guests were now sharing the conversation, so at least the burden of ‘Mr Been-There-Done-That’ was diluted. 

Her morning had been hectic. Pondering what to wear for the occasion initiated her first crisis and she’d spent some time deciding whether the fascinator really did go with her outfit. Then she had to ask the driver, a nice man who seemed to approve of her appearance, to turn back because she left her ticket behind. Then the A3 closure. 

She hated being late and felt uncomfortable as soon as she arrived. Almost immediately, Mr Clark had pounced on her. Her boss, Brian Fenner, had warned her he could be a bit full of himself. “Up his own arse,” he’d said. “But Mr Clark is an important associate so try and give him some slack.” 

Malissa had done, but, straight after lunch and in response to his outrageous invitation to dinner that evening, she had got up pretending she needed to make a phone call. She needed that time to recompose herself. 

Now, back at their table and conjuring up as much humour and enthusiasm as she could, she noticed the ‘phone man’ was sitting at another table talking with two middle-aged women. He was a kind looking man and Malissa didn’t doubt the conversation he was enjoying was much more convivial than the one she was engaged in.

The Phone Man looked over at her and, despite the distance between them, their eyes met. She smiled at him. Then, remembering their earlier encounter, felt herself blush. He obviously recognised her and was probably wondering why she had been standing outside the phone booth like that. She upped her involvement in the conversation, though having no knowledge of horseracing was sure her contributions were scarcely relevant. He was looking again. And then he was getting up. Maybe he was going. God, he was coming her way!



She had turned when he called her name. Her eyes were a soft and dreamy shade of hazel and the tilt of her head promised playful mischief. She had clearly taken great care in preparing herself for the day. So lovely in an outfit of unbelievably cohesive pink and orange, with hair painstakingly arranged beneath a little matching hat. As she resumed her walk back to the restaurant, loose blonde curls bouncing off her shoulders, he found her draw magnetic. 

He made his way outside to the owners’ bar to meet Bobby Anderson. 

“All good Hip?” 

“Yeah, fine Bobby.”

“You look like you’ve just seen a feckin’ ghost. All okay at the office?”

“Yeah, all okay. I was just thinking.”

“Dangerous when you think, Henry. Anyway, she looks great. Real spark in her eyes this morning. Bit flustered when she got here, but that’s the occasion. She’ll settle down. She’s a good’un, Hip. I know it. Gorgeous.”

Bobby was enthusing about the horse, but the sentiments could so easily have fitted the image in Henry’s head. “Was she biting her lip and blowing up her nose in contemplation?”

The trainer shot him a quizzical glance and handed him a beer. 

Henry smiled. “I’m sure you’re right. I’ll be in the restaurant if you need me. Brad said I should call in on the charity ladies.” He took a couple of swigs, placed the glass on the bar, beamed broadly at Bobby, and left.

Meet The Characters

Meet The Characters

These are Gary's visions of some of the main characters.

Notably, he has not included one of Henry Ovmeister himself! 

Malissa Keats

Born: 1961

Malissa enjoyed the shelter of a middle-class suburban upbringing with doting and loving parents. She excelled at school and harboured ambitions of becoming an actress before joining the Fenner Agency, whose business was predominantly that of a publishing company, where she extended the agency’s reach into the theatrical world.


Somewhat shy and unassuming as youngster Malissa blossomed at Fenner’s and her gregariousness, enthusiasm, work ethic and natural willingness to assist people in their development quickly earned her a glowing reputation.  Although a powerful and respected woman in her industry she remained kind and unassuming and was clearly revered by those who came to know her.

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