Novels & Short Stories

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I have two novels which I am very happy to present on this website. The second novel Black Hearts, Gold Warriors is presented first, as Gold of The Generals my first novel, is being revised and prepared for e-book distribution. Both novels are thoroughly researched, partially illustrated and highly entertaining with lively and believable characters. The settings feature the exotic Indo-China and Pacific Islands landscapes, the hunt for the Tiger’s Treasure, temple ruins and war loot, old Spanish Forts, shipwrecks, murder and blossoming romance. Good reads and addictive page turners.

Black Hearts, Gold one

BLACK HEARTS, GOLD WARRIORS is a tale of the hunter and the hunted. It is an adventure thriller, with an elaborate plot, that begins at the close of WW2 in Vietnam, climaxing in the Southern Philippines in the early 21st century. This an epic story of one man’s journey to rebuild his shattered life, always just one step ahead of his tormentor. And of his adversary, an evil man who will do anything to have the temple treasures looted from across the ancient Nan Hai trading route. Into this cauldron of loss, desperation and conflict are woven layers of romantic tension and archaeological mysteries, in the midst of exotic sensory, cultural and travel locales of South East Asia. 

360 pages, ISBN 978-0-9895141-0-1, published by N.K.Richards, November 2013. 

Price $15.95 hard copy, $4.50 e-book (if purchased direct from this website);   Philippines Php 595 hard copy, Php 225 e-book, local sales, excluding freight. .

Read Reviews

‘Black Hearts Gold Warriors, is a nail biting action thriller that breaks new ground within a timeless genre. Guaranteed to keep reader hooked from the explosive opening pages to its exciting conclusion. His writing is vivid and distinctive.’  - Candice Lemon Scott, Quick Assessment Reviewer.

It’s not very often that I read a novel and find references to the Philippines or its culture (the last one I read a few months back with links to the homeland was Daniel Brown’s Inferno). As a Filipino, it’s always intriguing to read how non-Filipino authors see the Philippines; what they particularly think is interesting to warrant a mention in their books; or at the very least, as in the case of Brown, to help along in concocting their plots. I’m often not sure if authors do indeed spend time at least to go (or live) in places like Manila to offer a first-hand view of what it truly is like or do they just base it on news they’ve heard perhaps on CNN.

The Philippines, unfortunately, have been portrayed in most media as corrupt, poor, filthy – almost primitively backward. The moviedom’s phase of craving for ‘slum porn’, popularised by gems like Slumdog Millionaire, has propelled places like Manila as interesting places to weave stories through. As proof, Manila’s overcrowded slums were the focus of climactic scenes in The Bourne Legacy.
It was with a deeper gusto then that I read through N.K. Richard’s wonderful book, “Black Hearts, Gold Warriors”. Richards himself has spent a good amount of time living in the Philippines and has married a Filipino wife, which gives him enough credence to write about Filipino places and people.

“Black Hearts, Gold Warriors” was a delight to read through – able to hold you in its exciting tentacles with enough action, plot progression and moral core. The story centers around Jim George, an Australian and the anti-hero with a taste for adventure and gold – the kind that one finds in buried war treasures. Jim is a professional archaeologist, but his taste for treasures spiraled out of control and plunged his life into ruin.

Jim becomes a treasure hunter, and ironically, becomes the hunted as more powerful adversaries with insatiable greed complicate his sorry existence. But this is not another run-of-the-mill Indiana Jones yarn, though it would be natural to compare it with such genre. We would meet Jim at his lowest, a wretched pimp in Manila’s red light district. His life would take a turn though, as he would be given another chance at life. Here, at his life’s crossroads, he would meet his apsara, the beautiful Jorani, a Cambodian survivor and French-speaking archaeologist.

They’re thrown together by different circumstances into another treasure hunt cum archaeological find in the jungles of Mindanao. Their ultimate decisions on life and love would either mean their destruction or salvation; or for Jim, a chance at redemption. Only the strength of his resolve, his wit and his remaining strength will see him (literally) dig his way out of his grave and finally rid him of his arch-enemy.

“Black Hearts’ twists and turns would take you to other Asian locations, and meet a host of colourful yet believable characters: a murderous Vietnamese mob boss, a gay Russian paedophile thug, and a Japanese sensei, among others. It’s also fun to read through a mob of Pinoy personalities – Richards has seemingly characterised them with a certain degree of accuracy. You can almost hear the unique inflections in their tones, the Tag-lish conversations and the peppering of humour. Richards has captured the admirable (or terrible) minutiae of the Pinoy culture: the food, the funny dialogues, the clothes and yes, the corrupt political environment. There were parts here that were hard to dismiss as just fiction, ergo the hideous massacre event in the late chapters, as those events are in fact happening in real-life in Mindanao.

Richards has provided a thrilling ride through the chapters, and has managed to bring its plot to a satisfying conclusion (there’s a “Breaking Bad”-like moment in there, which I enjoyed). Altogether, “Black Hearts, Gold Warriors” was an easy, enjoyable read. It is the second in the series, and I would be looking forward to the third and final part of this trilogy.  4.5 stars out of 5. by Winston, Bayanihan News, Sydney Australia.

In Black Hearts, Gold Warriors by N. K. Richards we are presented with a story that is a classic adventure story with high moral purpose as evidenced by the ways in which the characters adhere to and assert their code throughout. We are treated to an array of locations and settings which gives the book a flair that helps the reader to engage with the situations presented throughout. The title seems to this reader to be an evocative way of setting the reader up for the ideas and themes to come. The overall design of the book is professionally executed. The cover image for the book is striking and conveys the real gravity of the situation while giving the reader a clear and specific goal or icon to focus on. Like so much about this book, it is handled gracefully and keeps the reader embroiled in the world being created page after page. I like the wry narrative voice here. Not first person but clearly centered on Jim, the reader is given a particular insight into his thought processes but also in terms of how he handles and thinks of given situations and scenarios.   Judge’s Commentary,2nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards 2016.

Purchase from these online retailers

In the Philippines Black Heart, Gold Warriors hard copies autographed, can be purchased through Fully Booked stores in Manila, Davao and Cebu. With advance payment I can courier copies to people also at about Php 150 per book via LBC. For overseas readers, the book is not yet ready for hard copy distribution, but I will set this up as soon as I can. Price is currently Php 595 per copy.

Below is some template text and links you can use on your website to assist you to load your purchased files. Remember, MOBI is for Kindle, and EPUB for just about everything else. The PDF option is for PCs mostly. To load the Kindle file (.mobi) on any Kindle device or in any Kindle app, first upload it to the Kindle Personal Documents Service. This service will allow the file to be treated like any Kindle book you purchase from Amazon, including syncing your bookmarks, reading location, highlights, etc. between your devices.

For example to load the EPUB file in iBooks on an iPad/iPhone,etc., add it to your iTunes library choosing File > Add to Library, or drag the EPUB file to the Books library in iTunes on your computer. Then just sync your device with iTunes to add the book to your iBooks library. Alternatively, you can visit the apple  book download page in your iPad browser (Safari, etc.) and click on the download link. That will open up a dialog on your device asking if you want to load the file in iBooks.

Here is a helpful video about how to sideload the EPUB file on a NOOK device. To load the EPUB file on a Kobo device, use the Kobo Desktop application.

Gold of the two

Gold of the Generals is an action thriller which pans across the Pacific, from the exotic Philippine Islands to the paradise of the New Guinea Islands. Murder, greed, natural disasters, romance and adventure, are soaked in layers of Pacific war-time history, Spanish colonization of Manila and the mania of treasure hunting. Lurking always, a treacherous underworld tycoon, who will stop at nothing to have the Gold of the Generals.


PACIFIC LOOT is a surprisingly good adventure novel in the unusual setting of Rabaul, New Guinea -- one of the world’s most beautiful but little-known places.  As Volume One of Nic Richards’ series GOLD OF THE GENERALS, it gets off to a good start by taking us from the familiar surroundings of Manila to the volcanic cone of Rabaul, where the Japanese Imperial Army hid weapons and war looted gold in a swiss-cheese of caves.

Richards builds an entertaining and suspenseful plot around a group of odd-ball characters involved in the hunt for “black gold”, in the literary tradition of Alistair McLean’s GUNS OF NAVARONE and WHERE EAGLES DARE.  Happily, this is not just another secret agent rip-off. The characters are highly original loose cannons, their dialogue rich with regional accents that Richards captures nicely.  And the climax is suitably suspenseful and explosive. - Sterling Seagrave author of GOLD WARRIORS and the YAMATO DYNASTY.

I have read much and widely, and read a lot of ‘how to write’ books. But nothing can substitute for actual research, plotting and planning, writing, revising, reviewing, rewriting, reducing and careful editing experience. Developing one’s skills in the craft of writing and also the business of writing, which is the pathway I am now embarked upon. For me writing is often sheer hard work, requiring great discipline and consistent application. Just sitting down and putting words on paper, no matter how good or bad they may be. Many times I reach the ‘zone’ where words and thoughts just appear and my fingers do the work. That is the magic and mystery of writing. The beauty of it is how well our words and dialogues convey mood, images, thoughts, and sensory dimensions, to our readers. And transport them to other worlds of our making and their interpretation.

As a writer, I draw on the rich and varied people, places, cultures, histories, foods, humor, politics, conflicts and religions that I live within and engage with, in my professional work, for ideas and inspiration. The good, the bad and the ugly. The suffering and the hope.

The tenacity and desire to improve. The essence of life that binds us as humans. The daily battle with poverty and struggle to survive. The virtues and ties of family and society. The simple and extraordinary acts and events that happen each day to us. The resilience of people. The humorous and charming customs and practices that mark a national identity.  

My writing is atmospheric and sensory, to put you in the scene. I put a lot of effort into character development to make them plausible and not just card board cut outs. I use dialogue to advance the plot and to set up tension. My intention is to make a story which is a ‘great read’ and highly enjoyable. Please take a look and decide for yourself.

You can buy by clicking on the URL links aboveJust jump over to--- Don't forget Gold of the Generals will be available in mid-April, so please check back then. You can also subscribe to the newsletter to get updates  on this site, services and books.