Jess and Keith Flaherty



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.Ē

Thatís when things got complicated.

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.

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 Ė 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 Benís 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 Hellís hold on Ben. Will any of them find the future they desire?

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.

Their story WHAT YOU WISH FOR, tells the story 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 ...