WIP Blog Tour – Bound, Incarnate, Teasers and More

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Hello lovely readers 🙂

So, straight to it. My lovely friend and utmost writing hero J.S Collyer has proceeded to nominate me for the WIP blog tour. I am honoured she has done such a thing as I am a relative unknown in the literary World still. J.S herself has had her debut novel Zero published just this last year and she is already working on the sequel Haven which has a release date of October 2015.

Now I’m getting ahead of myself, let me back track. J.S’s debut novel Zero is a wonderful slice of literary sci fi goodness wrapped in sparkly lasers. Hugo is the reluctant Captain of the Zero after a space manoeuvre during a battle went wrong. He doesn’t expect much from this motley crew but he never expected the type of loyalty, trust and sense of family that he finds. How can he carry on with his orders now? For my full review of this fabulous novel please click hereHaven will be just as epic as the first book so please make sure to check her work out.

Now back to the blog hop. The rules (yes there are rules) basically are:

  1. Link back to the post of the person who nominated you.
  2. Write a little about and give the first sentence of the first three chapters of your current work-in-progress.
  3. Nominate some other writers to do the same.

And follow with interest as I break a good few of the rules 🙂

My First Novel – Incarnate

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Incarnate is the first novel in my Angel of Death series. It is currently with the editor getting shined and be-sparkled ready for my searching for a publisher (I’m a little nervous about that but we’ll see how it goes.) You always have the hope that your work will be good enough for a publisher to be interested in but I also believe that I write for myself and I can be proud of what I do.

Alyssia Morgan has dreams of terror and darkness, falling and endless agony. She discovers all she knew was tainted by her mortal stance and everything around her is a lie. She is the last reincarnation of the Angel of Death and her lover… well… who knew he was magical royalty? She finds herself realm hopping, Angel avoiding and battling for her life while the Second Coming begins. Can she find the strength she needs to fight against fate? What will she do now that she knows she may lose this battle? And what stalks her in her dreams?

Incarnate Extracts

Chapter One:

Darkness surrounded her. Cold slivers of wintry hot fire were caressing along her back, making her gasp. Lovingly aggressive hands held her in place, only holding her arms, but she felt shackled by a million chains in a million places. She heard a laugh, close to her ear, from miles away.

Chapter Two:

The darkness surrounded her once more. She was dressed once again in the shining silver armour, her large ebony wings resplendent in the darkness. Aly turned and turned but couldn’t see where to go. She was lost and she would never be found.

Chapter Three:

She stood in the archway of the overtly extravagant Roman home. She was from Gaul and never quite cared for the luxuries these Romans indulged in, however, it made her enforced Roman husband happy; and when he was happy, she was not beaten.

Hopefully that will intrigue enough people to want to read more 🙂

My WIP – Bound

3908f175914bfe9145d3510ae6db8a56 My WIP is the second novel to the above, entitled Bound and continues the trials that Alyssia Morgan and Alethea, the Angel of Death, face.

No longer does Alyssia house the soul of the Angel of Death but the roles are quite reversed. Alethea is now in control and although sworn to stay out of the business of celestial beings she finds that she’s drawn once again into their pathetic power plays. Hell has quite literally frozen over. The once burning halls of Pandemonium are frosty with the cold and Lucifer is bound by impenetrable crystal. Alethea has to deal with Angels demanding her presence (again, sigh), demons, paranormal beings and her own nagging doubt that she shouldn’t be the one in control given her dark nature. Oh, and lets not forget the mortal housed in her head (a disconcerting feeling to be sure), what more did she need? She’s sworn that she will never be held again but doesn’t her duty govern how she acts? Will she ever gain the peace she so desperately longs for?

Bound Extracts

Chapter One:

She stood with her eyes closed, unwilling to open them. She could smell burning all around her and refused to look at the source. She knew what she would see should she open her eyes anyway; a burned battleground, bodies fallen where they had stood and blood seeping into the Earth. This wasn’t a mortal battle, this was of the divine and utterly… completely… fucking pointless.

Chapter Two:

She was on the battleground once again, the eyes of the fallen staring up at her accusingly. She had failed them but it wasn’t her, not really. She watched as a copy of herself split off and readied her weapons. The armour was strange yet somehow comforting and familiar. Her copy was ready and Thea gasped at the blonde foe the other her faced. He was the absolute double of her boyfriend Lucas but how could that be? The armour and weaponry were alien but somehow, disturbingly, the evil glint in his eye was exactly the same.

Chapter Three:

Alethea groaned as she opened her eyes, her body aching and her wings felt knotted. How long had she been laying here in that Him forsaken spell? Gingerly she moved one leg over the side of the ice laden alter, not quite liking the sacrificial implications. After she found this a success she moved the other and mentally berated herself for going slowly.  Rise and shine sleeping beauty, came her voice from the back of her mind. You are not funny mortal, she replied already casting her senses out to see if danger were near. They appeared to be in an ice cave of some sort but why would Lucifer store her here away from his slimy grasp? I would look closer were I you, came the voice again.

Next on the WIP Blog-Hop I Nominate…

… some of the most brilliant authors I have had the honour to be in contact with. Check out their work now, you won’t be disappointed 🙂

Philippe under carpark

Philippe Blenkiron is a British poet and the author of ‘The Pustoy’, a dystopian novella in verse. He holds a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Keele University and enjoys writing poetry of varying styles, some of which can be found online at
Ink, Sweat and Tears: (http://www.inksweatandtears.co.uk/pages/?s=philippe+blenkiron)
Dagda Publishing: (http://dagdapublishing.co.uk/2014/08/22/faces-curtains/)
and The Screech Owl: (http://www.thescreechowl.com/page-2.html)
as well as in many other print publications.
Philippe’s current projects include adapting ‘The Pustoy’ for the stage/screen, fronting alt-metal band ‘Skybald’, and work of a more theological nature. He also has some ideas brewing for a second novella, but is keeping his cards close to his chest for the moment…

Order ‘The Pustoy’ at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Pustoy-Philippe-Blenkiron/dp/1499238665 

ericEric Robert Nolan graduated from Mary Washington College in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.  He spent several years as a news reporter and editorial writer for the Culpeper Star Exponent in Culpeper, Virginia. Eric’s debut novel is the postapocalyptic science fiction story, “The Dogs Don’t Bark In Brooklyn Any More.”  It was published by Dagda Publishing on November 19th, 2013, and is available at Amazon.com both in paperback and for Kindle. Eric’s poetry and short stories have been featured by Dagda Publishing, Every Day Poets, Every Day Fiction, Illumen, Under The Bed, Dead Beats Literary Blog, Microfiction Monday Magazine, Dead Snakes, The Bright Light Cafe, Aphelion, Tales of the Zombie War, The International War Veterans’ Poetry Archive, and elsewhere.

Order ‘The Dogs Don’t Bark in Brooklyn Any More’ at Amazon UK here.

Find Eric’s fabulous work along side some of my own in Threads and All Hail the New Flesh.

dennis

“Dennis Villelmi was born in Norfolk, VA in December of 1976.  An only child, Dennis very early on developed an imagination that ran the gamut.  But it wasn’t until the age of thirteen, with the discovery of Clive Barker’s ” The Great and Secret Show,” that Dennis realized that he wanted to be a writer, and moreover, like Barker and H.P. Lovecraft before him, a traveler through realms surreal, macabre, and, to a measure, blasphemous.  But it wasn’t until Halloween of 2014 that Dennis Villelmi finally etched his name onto the roster of explorers, both well known and obscure, of those tenebrous avenues that many would choose to ignore with the publication of his book, “Fretensis.”  Dennis Villelmi continues to live and work in Virginia.

Order Fretensis at Amazon UK here.

Thank you 🙂

Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume Two by Helena Hann-Basquiat

Evening lovely readers 🙂
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Today is super exciting. In this short post I get to reveal to you Helena Hann-Basquiat’s, one of my favourite writers, forthcoming novel Memoirs of a Dilettante volume Two. As many will know, Helena is a wonderfully imaginative writer with a widely ranging handle on many different genres. I myself have been privilaged enough to read several of her thrilling horrors that leave you desperate for more. However here’s what she has to say on her new book:
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MEMOIRS OF A DILETTANTE VOLUME TWO – COVER REVEAL!
COMING SPRING 2015 — official date TBA

Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume Two is the second collection of reminiscences, following Helena Hann-Basquiat, a self-proclaimed dilettante who will try anything just to say that she has, and her twenty-something niece, who she has dubbed the Countess Penelope of Arcadia.

Speaking of Arcadia, this volume delves into Helena’s childhood, as she revisits what she calls the Arcadia of the mind — that place that keeps us trapped and holds us back from our potential. Some of her most personal stories are included here, interspersed with hilarious stories of misadventure. It’s not a novel, really, and it’s not a memoir, by the strictest definition. But most of what follows, as they say, is true. Sort of. Almost. From a certain point of view.

Discover Helena’s tales for the first time or all over again, with new notes and annotations for the culturally impaired — or for those who just need to know what the hell was going through her mind at the time!

Cover art by Hastywords.

Helena is going to be running a crowdfunding/pre-order campaign at Pubslush, a community focused solely on indie writers, and has set up a profile there to launch Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume Two.

For more information, and to follow the progress, Become a Fan at http://HelenaHB.pubslush.com

If you just can’t wait and you want a taste of Helena’s writing, follow her blog: http://helenahannbasquiat.wordpress.com/

If you just can’t get enough Helena, or you want updates on further goings on, release dates and miscellaneous mayhem, follow Helena on Twitter @hhbasquiat

I know right? Helena is an inspiring woman in that she always strives for excellence in everything that she does. She has developed and set up her own publishing house, Dilettante Publishing, and yet still works on her writing whenever she can. She has been a great friend to me and personally I will always strive to be more like her in the literary World.

She has set up a crowdfunding page on Pubslush where if you support the book you may just get some exciting goodies in return. Imagine helping to support a wonderful writer in her life long dream. You get ooey gooey happy feelings as well as exclusivity in the literary World.

Now, enjoy Helena’s writer bio and burn for the release of the book, coming soon but not soon enough 🙂 Toodles 🙂

BIO:

The enigmatic Helena Hann-Basquiat dabbles in whatever she can get her hands into just to say that she has.
She’s written cookbooks, ten volumes of horrible poetry that she then bound herself in leather she tanned poorly from cows she raised herself and then slaughtered because she was bored with farming.

She has an entire portfolio of macaroni art that she’s never shown anyone, because she doesn’t think that the general populous or, “the great unwashed masses” as she calls them, would understand the statement she was trying to make with them.
Some people attribute the invention of the Ampersand to her, but she has never made that claim herself.

In 2014, she published Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume One, several e-books which now make up Volume Two, as well as a multimedia collaborative piece of meta-fictional horror entitled JESSICA.

Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume One is available HERE in e-book for Kindle or HERE in paperback.

Helena writes strange, dark fiction under the name Jessica B. Bell.
Find more of her writing at http://www.helenahb.com or http://whoisjessica.com or connect with her via Twitter @HHBasquiat.

Fear in a Handful of Dust

Evening lovely readers 🙂

Here is a guest post by yours truly exploring the concept of fear and phobias. Admittedly I have a few so I could pull from life but everyone should have a go at writing out of their comfort zone. I hope you enjoy and I hope you follow Helena for some great fiction with ooey gooey literary goodness 🙂

Thank you 🙂

For One Of My Best Friends

Evening lovely readers 🙂

inspire

Have you ever noticed that sometimes inspiration can pop up and smack you round the chops without your realising? A wonderful instance happened to me that has urged me to write something outside my comfy-almost-like-pyjama’s fantasy genre. I received a message off one of my best friends and the lovely lovely lady had meant to type the word probably. However due to her phone mishap I got the name Rob Ably instead 🙂 This was my *Ping* moment Ladies and Gentleman and this children’s story is what came from it. This is for you Cheryl Denise Westby, I hope you like my silly jaunt 🙂

The Tale of Rob Ably and The Missing Gerri-Faff

Little Princess Narky Nappy was not a happy girl. She screamed the palace down and down from pillar up to pearl. The King and Queen were really sad not knowing what to do. What could have set their darling off? Was it something new?

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They rushed into her nursery affright with all the noise. They searched and looked and gave her tons of all her sparkly toys. But nothing would ever do and would not make her laugh. They finally saw the problem too she’d lost her Gerri-Faff.

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They searched and searched but could not find the little animal. They’d pull someone up from the town ’twas always nice and full. They rushed on over to the phone sat nicely on the table. They need a man with hearty will who’s good and nice and able.

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Twas Rob Ably that turned up, a good and happy fellow. He took it with a pinch of salt and kept it nice and mellow. He promised he would search the World to find her this lost toy. And with a sigh he started off on the long and lonely ploy.

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He decided he would search up high upon the mountain range. He couldn’t find it anywhere nor birds flight which is strange. There were no trees, no rocks nor bush for life to live and hide. There were no nooks and cranny’s for a Gerri-Faff to reside.

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Next he settled on the beach in hopes of search and sun. There were no people here in fact enjoying all the fun. The golden sand did burn his feet and caused a rosy hue. But missing from this perfect scene was a little Gerri-Faff too.

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At last he came upon the sea all beautiful and clear. He trembled as he looked upon in such a dreaded fear. He had not found the Gerri-Faff, not hide, not hair, not stuffing. When it dropped into his hands, dropped by a passing puffin.

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Rob wanted to jump for joy, to bound, to scream and leap. At least he knew now once at home his small life he would keep. He placed the Faff deep in his bag and shut it nice and tight. He needed to get it home right now with no dark extra fright.

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And so Rob jauntily sauntered off with high hopes for the Faff. He returned it to the throne to make the Princess good and laugh. Rob was honoured for his deed, given titles, lands and lease. And finally the small kingdom returned to its natural peace.

 

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THE END

This was just a silly rough attempt at a children’s story, pay it no mind 🙂 Thank you 🙂

 

 

Passion of My Life

Hello lovely readers 🙂

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A few days ago when thanking all you lovely people who have followed my blog I promised I would dust off my very questionable poetry skills and write something about my passion. I really love to write and use my imagination for strange and wonderful things, as you’ve probably guessed from previous posts lol 🙂 Forgive the calibre of the poem, it’s been a long time and it only took me thirty minutes to write lol 🙂

 

Passion of My Life

Like many in this life who think
To do what they do love
I pick up my large frosted drink
And thank the powers above.

 

I use my brain to think up stuff
With such a happy fashion,
With a sigh and heave and huff
I carry on my passion.

 

Believe me when I come to say
There’s something just so good and bright
When I spend the entire day
With the beautiful, deadly chance to write.
 
And there you go. I told you I was very rusty 🙂 I hope you enjoyed it. Now I must dash as my eight month old is screaming the house down. I guess it’ll have to be a #FlashSaturday again. Sorry 😦

Thank you 🙂

 

 

Passivity, Get Thee to the Bowels of HELL!!!!!!!!

Hello lovely readers 🙂

Today I’m going to talk about something that plagues my writing; the passive voice. This little devil keeps slowly and lazily rearing its ugly head; I mean its passive, its not going anywhere fast.

Essentially, passive voice is when the focus of the sentence is on the action. Those who perform the action are not important. On average, there is usually some version of the verb be which is coupled with a past tense. For example,
                                                                                          ‘She felt her soul had shattered.’

Now this is the complete opposite of using the more active voice where the subject causes the action of the verb, for example – “I sing a song of the soul”. It’s great because in one sentence you get cause and effect, a solid moving forward of the narrative. I, like every other writer in the known World, always try to write my best and if I’m honest using the passive voice is not done intentionally; it’s just really bloody annoying when it pops up regardless lol.

Lets not forget the fact that by making the object of an action into the subject of a sentence can effectively change how we view the World. What?? I hear you shout. How the Hell does grammar affect our view of the World?? Well consider this, how can we understand the World to begin with when the tool we use to define it can be moulded into such a lacklustre, slow, almost drippy language? For example, Richard Mitchell in Elements of Style, stated it best when he wrote – “You may want to object that a whole view of the world and its meanings can hardly be importantly altered by a silly grammatical form. If so, you’re just not thinking. Grammatical forms are exactly the things that make us understand the world the way we understand it. To understand the world, we make propositions about it, and those propositions are both formed and limited by the grammar of the language in which we propose.” Richard Mitchell. 

From now on I will have to make sure I really do rewire my brain to write in the active voice permanently, which I do do in my writing now but passivity attacks on the rare occasion with a vengeance. Does anyone have any tips? I’m not too proud to say I accept any and all advice 🙂 I’m proud of anything and everything I write 🙂 Tomorrow will be a post on my study on the active voice and how I will apply it to my writing.

Thank you, vent over. My head hurts and I feel like my passive polar bear at the top. Hope I haven’t hurt your head too much 🙂

Reslogging the write … er… Rewriting the slog and a New #FlashForFriday

Good Evening lovely readers 🙂

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I’m writing, I promise I’m writing. I just have a teething baby, several different musical mobiles going at once and a 6 foot 2 extremely sexy distraction to contend with but I AM writing lol 🙂 I have only two chapters left of my novel to rewrite and then I will just spend the rest of the time going over it and then going over it and then going over it again 🙂 Roll on the end of May and sending this baby off to my editor. I’m so excited so back to the novel I go but I leave you with a new flash fiction piece set in the Worlds of my novel. Please enjoy 🙂 (other flash fiction pieces can be read here)

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The Price of Freedom

Lucian placed one foot on the cold hard marble of the temple floor. He knew she would never forgive him for leaving her chamber during the night but if he were to escape his father’s grasp it had to be tonight. His father was off planning his next attack on the Life bearers and thankfully he would not be near enough to sense the power surge of his spell. He could never understand why the War rooms were situated outside of the palace; for the Lady’s sake, they weren’t even situated within the city. It seemed a foolish and weak manouver to him, essentially leaving the palace unprotected despite the few guards milling around. He shook his head.

He moved to leave the bed itself and felt a strange pull on his cursed emotions. Occasionally he wished he were heartless as his father was. He looked back at the prone form shrouded in black lace and silver trim. He did not truly love Illaria; she was a crass shrew of a woman with too much insight and belief in her own power. She may be the high priestess of the Seers but she had not a shade of his mothers power.

Thinking of his mother always brought a black sadness to his heart. She had died far before her time and despite his fathers official declaration of her Death at the hands of assassins, he knew the truth. He knew his father had murdered her because of her attempts to protect Lucian. She did not want him to become like his father and she had paid the ultimate price. Well he would fulfil her wishes tonight, of that he was certain.

He caressed Illaria’s cheek once more. They had shared many years of passion and in a way he would miss her but he would not let that stop him; in truth it would not plague him for long. He placed his other foot on the floor, stood and quickly dressed in his armour. He reached for his silver sword and gun, the gun given to him by his wonderful grandfather, and took one last look around the room. He felt a sense of homesickness already but he knew what had to be done. He could not let his loneliness stop him this time. As he was leaving he came across the portrait of him and his mother. He had to smile at that. She always had worn such a happy temperament in life even though she balked at her destiny. He caressed the name plate underneath and ran his finger along the letters; Queen Aria and Prince Lucian. A tear slid down his cheek,

“Goodbye Mother.”

Lucian left the temple in the cloak of darkness. It was only a short walk to the palace and Lucian raced to perform one last feat for his people before he left. The streets were empty apart from the Nightstalkers and the guard at each intersection. He walked with confidence and grace as was expected of someone of his station. He was the Crown Prince for all intents and purposes and no one had any reason to suspect his plans just yet. Each guard nodded at him, each Nightstalker saluted and even the rare Lady smiled his way. He loathed all of them. He hurried on to the gates of the palace hiding his disgust from view.

His passage to the throne room was simple; the Crown Prince was merely going to check the state of affairs within the kingdom. He projected the air of authority even if he did not feel it. He had one thing to do before he left forever; one thing to ensure that his father’s state of power was broken. He pushed through the great doors and approached the throne quickly. He knew his father was miles away but part of him still feared him knowing. Hanging from one arm of the throne was the royal pendant. He could not understand why his father left it here but he would not moan on such fortune. He grabbed it quickly and placed it around his own neck. Not only would it enhance his own power but he felt that he HAD to take it, he would need it he was sure. Not only that but his father was near invincible with his own power, the power of the throne, the power of the crown AND the power of the pendant. At least this way he would be weakened.

Lucian turned quickly to ensure that no one had noticed him. He took one last longing look around the room; he had grown up here, this was all he knew. He smiled sadly and took the idonbark from his pocket. He would use this as the catalyst for his spell, it did not work as well as tearcrystal but he was in a rush.

“Spirits of the realms above,

on waning wind and searing flame.”

Lucian was stopped mid spell. A heat had started to gather on his chest where the crystal of the pendant fell. A bright black light began to shine and he merely thought of the portal he needed. He was a little taken aback; he hadn’t expected the pendant to work so well so soon. As he had begun to chant he had waved the idonbark much as the conductors of mortal orchestras do. He had felt silly so he was extremely glad his power had taken over. A doorway of black flame swiftly opened in front of him. He took one last look at the throne room, took a deep breath and stepped through the portal. His surroundings went from silver tinged marble to murky towering constructs of metal. He seemed to be in some sort of alley with smoke and puddles adorning most surfaces. There were loud waling noises and bright lights and Death everywhere. He truly was in the mortal realm now. He turned to the portal and moved to wipe it from existence before his father found hm. He would never see his home again…

 

It’s a bit rushed and not very full of action but I hope you enjoyed. It sets the scene for one of the characters from my novel and the hardships he has already gone through. I will be improving this post as time goes on (and when I’m not so tired to own the truth.) Thank you 🙂

All Hail the New Flesh by Dagda Publishing

 Where to even begin with this book? As previously mentioned this is the new anthology from the epic Dagda Publishers. It contains within thirteen futuristic tales of dystopian Worlds and technology gone mad; and my God it’s a cavalcade of creative goodness that has your mind soaring from a mix of imaginative stories and language so delectable you feel full just from the one reading.

I had initially intended to speak of only one or two of the stories within but I now know that is a distinct impossibility. Many of the stories called out to me in various ways that has my mind returning to each tale again and again. You may think I am going overboard with my description but believe me, pick up a copy, you’ll be in my mind set before you know it.

I must begin with the story from one of my best friends and my writing hero. Isaac Heights by J S Collyer is such a fantastical journey of science and emotion that it’s hard to tell where one leaves off and the other begins. A perfect image of a young moralistic Dr, Jasper, struggling to establish himself in a mental institute for androids is painted before your eyes in such a way that you can almost physically see the moral dilemmas he finds himself in. In retrospect, his almost fateful meeting with one of the inmates perhaps was not best for his career. Would his morals be tested? Would his belief in equality be heard? Would the ultimate freedom for all be achieved? One aspect of this story I loved was that the language use, while detailed, didn’t serve to alienate the reader from the subject matter; the language was so well written that alienation from the narrative was in no way a possibility. If I take, for example, this description ‘She was one of the most early models before they’d refined the iris spectrum. Instead of the delicate sky-blue of the newer makes he’d worked with at college, her eyes were the colour of burnished bronze,’ how wonderful is that combination of language? You have the cold description of models and spectrums expertly meshed with the almost reverent description of colours. In turn, the story flows in such a creative way that you find yourself ensconced in the narrative and eager to find out the climax; and I can promise you in that you won’t be disappointed either. This is a wonderful story of technology, suffering, conflict and perhaps, in the end, misplaced trust.

I now have to move onto the exceptionally written At the End of the World, My Daughter Wept Metal by Eric Robert Nolan. Now first off, how great is that title? I am absolutely in love with concepts of literature that sound to be idealistic but turn out to be a wonderful description of the narrative itself. It reminds me greatly of the novel that the film Blade Runner was based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, another brilliant title. But sojourn into the random aside, I have to say this story perfectly establishes for you the struggles of genius when striving to cure the World of all ills. The protagonist represents said genius in the form of Jacob Farmer, a scientist determined to advance past his research into artificial hearts to create something that would cause Human kind to heal itself of all ills. Little did he know that essentially he was catalyst to a certain type of apocalypse… but I won’t give up any spoilers here. I strongly suggest that you pick up a copy as there are twists and turns here to fully engulf you and leave you literately sated afterwards. The language use here is also exceptional; for example look at the description the protagonist uses for himself ‘The point is this – I created thinking organs. I have a genius for mechanics that rival’s Strasburg’s own. (I am not a modest man.)’ How fabulous is that? The personality of Jacob really shines here through expert language use, from his belief in his abilities to the knowledge that one day he would do something great, all portrayed in a few sentences. The effects of this wonderful narrative are one of a well written story filled with achievement, love and inevitably sadness.

My third choice is one of the stories that really had an effect on me; one of emotion and I will admit, almost a kind of fear. Taking direction by Samuel Barker is an effectual tale of loneliness, begrudging friendship and reliance on technology that borders on the extreme. We are introduced to the protagonist Ben, in his dark grey World of loneliness, and Derek his almost absent minded neighbour and occasional friend. He goes over to Derek’s house sometimes so that they can share coffee and Derek can talk of some of his inventions; at the moment he is intent on finishing a highly intellectual sat nav like device. They both make believe that Ben understands what he talks of as it relieves Derek of some of his loneliness too. What would happen if one was so lonely they were extremely susceptible to any power of persuasion? What follows is a tail of loss, obsession and at moments we are led to believe that there are aspects of the occult. Such wonderfully descriptive language is used that I am certain it will have individual effects on each and every reader; I personally was chilled after the climax, that kind of I-just-watched-a-horror-movie chilled but it may be different for other readers. I loved this descriptive section ‘”Ben.” I heard it again, so familiar, like a sheep’s bleat. But I was awake. I felt my body going rigid. Cold sweat formed under my arms… “Ben.” My heart seized up. It was Derek’s voice and it wasn’t outside; it was in the room, somewhere to my right. Close.’ Placed where it is in the narrative this served to begin that aforementioned fearful feeling and had my mind racing at the possibilities of the ending. What followed was highly intuitive, extremely creative and very thought provoking; a great story.

I have to now move onto the wonderfully written The Best Medicine by Jessica B. Bell. Again I will admit that this too started to provoke in me that same fearful feeling but this was quickly overridden by my sense of enjoyment at the well thought out story, brilliant language use and, much as the previous mentioned tales, fantastic character development. What would the World be like if it were ravaged by a disease so virulent that even loved ones became horrendously deformed, mindless enemies? Where would the search for a cure lead? This story expertly delves into the recesses of such a narrative that even from the beginning you are presented with a World left with no hope but only desperation and the will to survive. I felt that in a way I really connected with the story as the protagonist is a mother Hell bent on protecting her daughter at all costs. Having recently become a mother myself, and having the rampant imagination necessary for the survival of us writers, I could really project myself into this narrative and could easily feel the emotions that character felt as if they were my own. The part of the text that really stuck with me was ‘”Shhh!” Judy hushed her, holding a hand firmly over Helena’s mouth. The older woman’s heart was trembling in her chest, and her mouth was dry and cottony. She licked her lips and whispered: “We’ve got to get out of this house.”‘ This was just the beginning of some excellent descriptive language and I myself could feel the panic rising in me as if it were tangible. It only goes on to get better and you are ultimately left feeling satisfied with the excellent ending; one that presents sadness, loss and a twist so well written you are actually left smiling.

And lastly I want to mention the excellent Retrograde written by Seppo Kukri. This is one narrative that quite expertly melted my brain through twists, turns and language use so good you follow the story without being aware that you do; your brain is still five pages behind trying to gather up all the different detail. Now I can’t say much about this story in all without giving too much away. You are presented with a forgetful protagonist that knows he has to do something important, it’s why he is on the train, but he can’t remember what. You are eventually treat to his past and this part does actually flow so well it’s like water, even though there is literally a narrative twist on each page. A military operation left him as the sole survivor, having witnessed the gruesome deaths of his colleagues and experiencing a madness so deep no one believed him. A botched experiment on the operation had far reaching consequences that would last the rest of his life. You read and you start to think that perhaps the author missed something as a certain integral detail was different two pages before but they haven’t; this is an expertly written piece designed to leave your mind reeling while efficiently describing the unstable state the protagonist is in. I can’t even tell you much about the language without giving spoilers away. Just trust this is an exceptional piece.

Sorry for going on so long, I do tend to ramble a bit, but I just had so much to say about this wonderful book; and hopefully in a coherent manner. I have attempted to leave major plot points out while telling you of the stories so you can find out yourself about the brilliance of these new authors and what they can contribute to the literary World. Buy this book, you won’t be disappointed 🙂

And yes I too am published in here but it’s bad taste to write about my own work, especially when the genius of these above authors, not to mention the others in the anthology, is so plain to see 🙂

Thank you 🙂

Who Knew? Secret Confessions of an Unknown Whovian??

Have you ever had something grab you that you never expected? Has a story which you enjoyed but thought nothing of come back to your mind again and again until you actually find yourself sat there thinking about nothing but it? I have done this several times with many different novels but never really with a television program. Now I’ve never watched Dr Who, which is in total contrast to my eldest sister who is Queen Whovian, but last Saturday I was pretty bored so I turned onto the Dr Who 50th special called ‘Day of the Doctor.’ I have to admit, what I found shocked me. There was a pretty decent attempt at a story line in a Universe where anything could happen, not to mention there was my not very well concealed secret crush David Tennant 🙂    Nom!!! 🙂

The story began in what I imagine is a standard Dr Who beginning; the Doctor meets up with his companion, in this regeneration cycle it’s Clara Oswald, and they are whisked off to begin their Dr Who adventure. It was an interesting enough beginning but when you’re in love with David Tennants’ Doctor it’s hard to pay attention to anyone else (sorry Matt Smith 🙂 ). My attention was finally grabbed however when one point actually made me laugh…

Clara: “Some day you could just walk past a fez.”

Doctor: “Never going to happen…”

The episode then begins to flash between three different moments in the Doctors multiple lives; the present with Clara, his previous incarnation with Queen Elizabeth the First in 1562 England and an unknown Doctor with Rose Tyler (David Tennants’ Companion) on the last day of the Time Lord War. Now there had been a glimpse of this unknown Doctor in another episode and the present Doctor reacted that this was a life he forgot and never wanted to speak of. Immediately you think “whhhyyyyy???” but you are left guessing until it is revealed that the unknown Doctor plans to detonate a weapon to stop the Time Lord/Dalek war by killing and destroying everything on and around Gallifrey (the Time Lord Home World). The episode then throws the Doctors together and we realise that the story is actually about the unknown Doctor, who gets renamed as the War Doctor. It turns out the Rose he is accompanied by is actually the consciousness of ‘The Moment’ the weapon the War Doctor plans to use to destroy Gallifrey. Rose thrusts the War Doctor into the future to see the men he will become if he does decide to use the weapon. As Rose says “They’re you and what you will become if you destroy Gallifrey. The man who regrets and the man who forgets…” I think this is a very poignant line and is used very well to establish the different Doctors personalities and the effect choices can have on a life, or lives.

The episode continues after the dilemma in the present as both the future Doctor’s travel back to the War Doctors time in order to share the burden of guilt for destroying Gallifrey. They realise that sometimes there is no good option, that sometimes the many must be sacrificed to save the few. It’s not until they’re all together in this time that they realise there is three of them now and that if there could be three then there could be more. So the Doctor calls on all of his past lives to come and help save Gallifrey and store it frozen in a moment of time. Once it disappeared then the Daleks would destroy themselves and the Universe would assume that they destroyed each other. At this point we are treat to an almost nostalgic look at the eleven Doctors that appeared in the series through the use of old footage, though we are led to believe that they have taken moments from their own time lines to come and save Gallifrey. Even the Commander in the Time Lord War Room comments, “I didn’t know when I was well off… All twelve of them.” It’s then that a booming voice rings out “No sir, all thirteen.” This is an excellent touch which I would openly admit had me baffled for a while as I missed this on first viewing. I spent a while trying to comprehend who the thirteenth Doctor was and if they had indeed blanked out another of his previous lives; and then it occurred to me, they had included Peter Capaldi in the Doctor stew complete with his own Tardis. Peter Capaldi is set to be the next Doctor so not only had they included all of the Doctors previous incarnations but his future one as well…

…and so Gallifrey is saved and all the Doctors return to their respective times.

The episode, despite it’s jaunts in time, flows very smoothly and the confusion is kept to a minimum (until someone tries to describe it lol.) I really enjoyed the character development and the various aspects of humour, satire and grief used to portray the very nature of the characters. You can enjoy something that’s very well written in any form and I have to say this episode caught me just as well as any novel, not to mention I liked the little references to previous series’. The language use was well developed and the casting perfect. Even though it didn’t convert me I can understand why these series are so well loved throughout the ages.

I’ve tried not to add in too many spoilers but of course there’s no way to get around the fact that time bends and we have to deal with a whole multitude of Doctors. I believe this is why the episode has haunted me for so long. The idea of time travel fascinates me. What could be done if you could go back and change it? Or indeed go into the future and help out? It’s something I always wanted to add into my own writing but have feared it will turn out stereotypical and almost corny, not to mention confusing; to which I hope I haven’t confused anyone by trying to describe this episode lol 🙂

Thank you for giving me the chance to talk about this. Though I don’t think I’ve been converted to Whovianism I would like to thank the creators for giving me something to think of, maybe perhaps the confidence to include something like this in my own writing, and the chance to stare at David Tennant more lol 🙂

The perils and pleasures of being an editor

Read this brilliant article 🙂 I have to admit I’ve never laughed out loud as much. This is an example of a great editor with a keen eye and a good view of what we should look out for as a writer for when we need help 🙂

Eagle-Eyed Editor

As a professional editor, I’m often asked to read someone else’s writing. I’ve edited people’s resumes, books, requests for proposals, news articles, press releases, short stories, newsletters and other written pieces.

Sometimes it’s easy. In some cases, all that’s needed is proofreading. I check over spelling, punctuation, grammar and other basics, marking up the work with a red pen or using MS Word’s editing feature.

But if someone’s work requires substantive editing….well, that’s a judgement call. Substantive editing is when you check the overall parts of what you’re editing: Does it make sense for the target audience? Is the wording going to be confusing or should it be simplified? Is the writing well organized? Have the facts been double-checked for accuracy?

Substantive editing requires diplomacy. Some writers don’t mind the changes when the writing improves due to the editing. Others get feisty, wanting to sneak up behind me and whack…

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