Archive for » December, 2011 «

Sherdan’s Prophecy: Chapter 3

Sherdan paced as he listened to the radio chatter. His men were closing in on the woman but so far she had still not been captured. He had watched her dive out of shot when she had obviously heard the approaching guards but there wasn’t a camera in the room she had sought refuge in.

He sighed with relief when he heard the patrol’s report of her capture and demanded her brought to him.

“I want to know how she might have got in and have it prevented from ever happening again,” Sherdan yelled at the room. He went to his retreat and poured himself a brandy.

Glaring at the opposite wall, he waited for her to be brought before him. He was furious, both that the woman had eluded capture for so long and that she had somehow gained access to his facility in the first place. He wasn’t going to let her see his anger, however, as the last thing he wanted to let an enemy know was how well they had managed to pursue their goal.

For someone who appeared very under-prepared to overcome his defences she had got a long way into his compound. He knew his men were well trained.

While thinking this over Sherdan picked up a report he had left on the coffee table earlier and flicked to half-way through. He retrieved his favourite pen from it’s usual place and pretended to be making notes on the document as if it were of great importance.

This was how he looked a few minutes later when the patrol knocked on the far door. Sherdan bid them enter and watched, pen and paper still in hand, as the woman who had interrupted his evenings relaxation was marched into the room.

She shivered and waited with the black bag over her head. He briefly admired her figure. The skin-tight stretchy fabric of her top made full use of her athletic shape. The tips of her blond hair poked out of the bottom of the black bag which Sherdan finally let the men remove.

Anya blinked several times and squinted at him. Her shivering had stopped but she didn’t say a word and appeared to be calm in every other respect.

“Who are you?” Sherdan asked, breaking the silence. The four guards all stood waiting for their next commands.

“Who I am isn’t important,” she replied. He was impressed by her well spoken accent. There was a hint of the Somerset lilt in her voice but it was mostly as upper-class as his own accent.

“I do think it’s important and I need you to tell me.”

“Why I am here is more important.” She stepped towards him. “Are you Sherdan Harper?” He nodded but didn’t speak.

“Then I would like to see the prophecy you have.”

Sherdan blinked, but it was the only outward sign of shock he gave. No one but Dr Hitchin and himself knew about the prophecy.

“My church have sent me to read it if you’ll allow it. We don’t think it’s wise of you to make plans for the end of the world and not include Christians, I mean it’s partly a Christian concept.”

Sherdan didn’t respond to this at first. The guards were all listening intently and he didn’t want them to know about the prophecy at all.

This girl, who refused to tell him her name, knew something she couldn’t possibly know. Yet all he knew about her was that she definitely wasn’t part of his program.

“I’m afraid you are very much mistaken about any kind of prophecy. I am not Christian and do not believe in any end of the world stories. Now if you don’t tell me your name and why you are really here I will have to resort to some less pleasant methods to find out the answers I want.”

“I can’t tell you my name and I have already said why I am here,” she replied without hesitating. It was like his threat had not been taken in at all. He didn’t really think she was lying but she obviously did not realise the level of danger she was in.

Sherdan couldn’t do anything to protect her without raising more suspicions from the already curious guards. He had no choice but to hand her over to his interrogation team. If she was as smart as she appeared to be by sneaking so far into his facility she would make up something much more plausible and give him something to work with.

“Take her away and interrogate her,” he said to the nearest man. Sherdan didn’t look at her but went straight back to his document and fake notes. They put the bag back over her face and removed her from both the room and his presence.

As soon as she was gone he shivered and decided to see if Hitchin was awake. They needed to talk. Sherdan needed a rational explanation for how she knew about the prophecy.

He left his refuge and made his way to Hitchin’s laboratory. If he was still up and about he would be working.

On his way Sherdan passed the exact spot where the girl had been captured but he didn’t note anything of importance. It astonished him how close to him she had come. She had to know something more than she was saying.

Hitchin wasn’t asleep yet and was checking something in his microscope in his lab and greeted Sherdan enthusiastically.

“Hello, Hitchin, how are you today?”

“Not bad, thank you. How are you though? You look like a bear with a sore head.” Hitchin looked at Sherdan over the top of his glasses and waved him towards a stool. Sherdan didn’t sit down.

“Not great. We just had a break in. I don’t think anyone but the security teams noticed but nonetheless we’ve had someone get past your defences.”

I assume they didn’t get far?” Hitchin seemed totally unphased by this news.

“They got further than I’d have liked but most worryingly they knew about the prophecy. They asked to see it. I denied it’s existence of course.”

“Of course, a wise move. Let’s face it, most cults have something prophetic they follow. He could have been any old crackpot who heard of us.”

“You didn’t tell anyone about the prophecy then?” Sherdan looked piercingly at Hitchin.

“Of course not. There is only one time I’ve mentioned it to anyone and it was only when I wrote it down and gave it to you. You have the only copy.” Hitchin didn’t look away or even blink.

Sherdan sat down and sighed. Hitchin didn’t hesitate in pouring them both a drink. Sherdan didn’t refuse the gesture nor when he was poured another straight after downing the first.

They continued to drink for several hours while Hitchin steered the conversation away from the intruder and everything else to do with her. Sherdan didn’t even correct him that it was a female rather than the male Hitchin had assumed it was.

When Sherdan finally left to go to his house and get some sleep they were laughing over the day they had first started their program. Sherdan himself had been the first subject, followed by Hitchin. Those had been good days.

It wasn’t until the walk back through the underground route to his house that Anya invaded Sherdan’s thoughts again. Normally he could forget about anyone not in his program with ease but something about her unsettled him.

When he arrived back in his study he went to pour a final brandy before sleeping. The fire had pretty much died down in the three hours since he had left it. He didn’t bother rebuilding it.

Instead Sherdan took his nightcap to his desk. As he did he noticed that one of the monitors was showing the footage from the intruder’s cell. He moved the channel to his larger central screen and sat down. The guards had wasted no time in starting the interrogation process.

While he sat watching the guard yanked her up from her chair by nothing but her hair. He yelled in her face as she remained impassive and non-responsive. Sherdan was impressed that she could remain as calm in the face of such abuse.

When the guard still did not get the information he wanted he gave her a right hook into the face. She went flying back over the chair she had been sitting on and landed on her shoulders. The table mostly covered her body from Sherdan’s view but he winced regardless. That must have hurt.

As the guard lashed out and kicked the girl in the side Sherdan reached out and switched the TV screen off. He couldn’t watch that right before sleeping. It usually wouldn’t have bothered him at all, but either the alcohol or something else had made him more sensitive to this females suffering.

Sherdan finished his drink and went to his bedroom. He sank into the warmth of the duvet and looked around his comfortable yet large room. He had insisted it be constructed in the image of the upper-class bedrooms of the early nineteenth century and contained a four poster bed with an oak panelled effect on the walls up to just over half way. The rest of the walls were a deep burgundy colour.

The fire his maid had lit was still reasonably well fed. Sherdan turned the last of the electric lights out to fall asleep in the cosy glow cast by the blaze from one side of the bed.

It was Sherdan’s alarm that woke him the following morning. The room was still dark and cold. His head hurt from the alcohol the night before and he didn’t want to get up. He knew he had to.

He had three meetings in the morning and needed to write some notes for a press conference the following day and would need to be very careful with what he said. Thankfully he had been given a list of probable questions his interviewer would ask. That was something he could plan for.

As usual his breakfast was laid out in his dining room. He helped himself to a small amount of scrambled eggs and bacon before turning to the selection of fruit. He didn’t like to eat a lot before a big day. It made it harder to think.

While eating he briefly flicked through the paper but nothing of interest caught his attention. He didn’t need advice on what to do with his last week before Christmas and he really didn’t need to know that yet another celebrities’ husband had been caught sleeping with some easy blonde. If they were stupid enough to get caught they should pay the price.

When he had finished he got up and went through to his study. He immediately noticed the central monitor and couldn’t help but turn it on again. The table and chairs were gone and in it’s place a bucket of water.

The girl was drenched and kneeling in front of the water. Her hands and feet were manacled behind her to the same metal hoop in the floor. Both her tattered clothes as well as the floor around her were splattered with her blood.

Thankfully the guards were no where to be seen but she sat, her lips moving even though there was no one to listen to anything she said. Her eyes were closed but he suspected that her right was swollen shut anyway.

For a moment he desired to rush into the room, undo her bonds and carry her to safety. He soon reminded himself that she had brought this upon herself. He would be kinder to her when she finally talked, if she hadn’t already.

While Sherdan watched her captors came back. She didn’t even stop talking or acknowledge their presence in the room. She continued her kneeling; ceaseless murmuring with her eyes closed. Sherdan wished he had installed a sound feed to satisfy his curiosity over what he assumed to be praying.

It was possibly just rambling as a result of what she was going through but she had already informed him of her faith. He wished to know which it was as it appeared to be helping her.

She didn’t stop speaking until one guard grabbed her, shoved her head into the bucket of water and held her there while she struggled against him. As soon as she was let up she coughed and spluttered and went straight back to her ritual.

Sherdan watched this happen another three time before he was interrupted. The security guard who had spoken to him the night before was back.

The time it wasn’t bad news but his agenda and several different reports, including the weekly report on base security. Without the girls addition to the report it was otherwise a very healthy break down. Any other security issues had been dealt with so effectively that he was impressed with the guards.

“Is there no update on information the girl has divulged yet?” Sherdan asked when he noticed the missing report.

“No, Sir. They’ve not got her to speak yet.”

“I guess they took a break to sleep.”

“No, Sir, they’ve been trying all night. She’s one tough chick. She just keeps talking in this language no one understands and ignores almost everything they try and do.”

“Ignores it?” Sherdan looked pale but he tried not to let his guard see how moved he was.

“Yes, she feels the pain for sure. She flinches and cries out occasionally, but she carries on talking right after. Me and Matthew have never seen anything like it.”

“Thank you Nathan. Have me informed as soon as she does say something and get them to feed her. We’ll need to keep her alive until she talks.”

“Yes, Sir.” The guard saluted Sherdan and left. Sherdan looked back at the screen. They had given up on the water and each held an electric baton. He felt sick just knowing what would come next. Reaching out, he switched the monitor off again. He hoped she’d talk soon.

 

For previous chapters and more info check out the Sherdan’s Prophecy book page here. Chapter 4 will be blogged next year. Have a good new year’s eve everyone and I hope you have a great start to the new year.

Hanna: A Review

Hanna is a film I’ve already seen twice in a very short space of time. I loved the main actress, who’s name I can never spell or say, Saoirse Ronan, from City of Ember and Atonement. I wasn’t dissapointed with her in this film either.

The plot was unique enough that it held my interest all the movie. It had a fairytale style storyline combined with the action of well trained assasins. In principle the idea sounds absurd but it was actually very well executed. The two blended together for a very special plot.

Hanna is a gorgeous character. Naieve yet intelligent, young yet wise and curious and cautious. So many amazing oxymorons rolled into one person. She had me lauchung at her and feeling sorry for her almost simulataneously.

I couldn’t fail to love such a film of opposites and the actress did a superb job of her acting. She is an amazingly talented actress, especially for her age.

This was also the first film I’ve seen where Cate Blanchet played the villian. Her acting continued her run of good performances. She was so evil and acted so well I couldn’t decide whether I liked or loathed her.

For action fans I’d highly recommend this film. It’s cutely packed with fights and many other action moments. On top of that the Chemical Brothers did an amazing job at the soundtrack.

Innocent Hearts

As I mentioned yesterday my new ebook is out, Innocent Hearts. It’s two short stories of the fantasy genre and two brief blurbs for each story are near the bottom of the blog.

The reason I’ve written this blog is two-fold. Firstly if you are going to buy my ebook anyway, this is a request that you do so on a particular day. December 27th to be precise. Having lots of people buy my ebook in a short period of time makes it climb the rankings faster and gives the book more exposure from Amazon. Amazon calculates the rankings hourly and several sales in a single hour even can have a huge affect.

The other half of my reason is simply this – Half of all royalties of this book in its entire lifetime will go to the TRC. Here’s a link for the people that don’t know what charity that is: http://www.trc-uk.org/

It’s my chosen charity for all my book related fundraising. In June I climbed a mountain in the middle of the night to raise money for them and I’m sure I’ll be doing something whacky next year as well, so you’ll also be lining their pockets.

Now I’ve stated why I emailed here’s those blurbs finally:

When Bronwen’s parents die she has to leave her home in the wilderness and try to find the elf city her mother told her about, but with little food and no experience in the wild she risks her life just trying.

Liza doesn’t fit into the Nepharil society, she can’t fly, something her father reminds her of daily. She hasn’t given up trying but her time is running out and her father is impatient to have her married and out of his hands.

To top all that off, if you’re still not convinced I’ve had the ebook priced at the lowest amazon will let me set it to. $0.99/£0.86

So to clarify, please buy my ebook on December 27th and half of all the royalties will go to the TRC and help change the lives of children.

Here’s the two links for the US amazon and the Uk amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Innocent-Hearts-ebook/dp/B006PEPI0W
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Innocent-Hearts-ebook/dp/B006PEPI0W

Also if any of you know any other people who might be interested, please forward the link to this blog on to them or if in the US consider gifting them a copy of the ebook as well.

Thank you.

Happy Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone. I know most of you will be too busy to see this but for the few people who might log onto the web I hope you have a good Christmas period and to help boost your Christmas I’m going to give away a copy of my latest ebook Innocent Hearts to one commentor (assuming you’re not too busy to comment). I’ll Announce the winner in a few days.

Again Merry Christmas everyone.

Entropia land deeds

I’ve blogged about Entropia once before. It’s one of the MMOG’s (massively multiplayer online game) I play.

Recently they’ve added something to one planet in Entropia called Land deeds. There are 60,000 of them. Each one represents a chunk of the planets surface and gives the player 25% of all gross revenue for that planet on a weekly basis. Not bad really. Each one of these deeds costs 1000Ped or $100 worth of in game money.

I had a look at the companies financial statement and worked out based on the 2010 gross revenue for the planet that the return should be somewhere in the region of $27 per year per deed. A nice healthy 27% ROI per deed. So scraping together some of my in game ped I bought one. I’ve had several weekly payments now and can say I’m very pleased with the amounts I’m getting.

As I predicted it’s around the 27% ROI mark and a nice little earner. I would seriously encourage anyone else interested to check them out. I may even do some kind of low key share based investment into them with other people. If anyone has any other questions then just let me know and I’ll try to answer them. Also here’s a link to the previous entropia blog.

Author Interview: L. A. Tripp

My latest interviewee is L. A. Tripp

Tell us about your latest project.

I’ve got a brand new series I’m super proud of! It’s unlike anything I’ve written before. It’s more of a comedic adventure called All Jacked Up. We follow a young man, Jack, that is just starting out on his own. Single, getting a job, finding his own place, and dealing with the inevitable craziness of his parents, new friends, new co-workers, and the like. Jack strives to make a life for himself, yet tends to fall flat on his face, time and time again. Jack allows us to laugh at ourselves while we laugh at him . . . and mourn for him. This is intended to be a long term series that readers can enjoy for years to come.

What’s your favourite genre to write and what’s your favourite genre to read?

Favorite to read is romantic suspense, ala J.D. Robb. The In Death series is my all time favorite. My favorite to write is anything where I can explore the wonders of sex between a man and a woman. Although, Jack does not have a life full of sex.

Would you still write if there was no financial need to, and if not what would you do instead?

Yes. I never realized this in school, but I’ve written stories for a long time. I wrote my first couple of short stories before high school. I love to write, to create worlds and characters, to create and change the pace of the story. I’d also be doing something else I’m currently doing . . . helping others get their voices out there, too.

Would you ever consider publishing the first things you wrote or would they be too amateur for your own liking?

In their present form, no. Once edited and brought up to my current standard, maybe.

Are there any of your characters you particularly relate to, if there is, who and why?

Yes. The main character (Troy) for my debut series (Woe to the Rich!) was based, in part, on me. The main character in my non-fiction book IS me. And, I definitely took some elements of myself for Jack, too. Which elements I won’t say. You’ll have to read the books to find out, haha.

What are you planning on doing next/What else are you up to?

Next. An extremely busy holiday season. Through a combination of my own books and other authors I’m working with (through my pub company), I have 6 books that are due out in the next 3 months. So, next on my plate is getting all of these projects wrapped as well as keeping the plates spinning on future projects, that are also already planned. As far as what’s next for my own writing, that would be developing Jack and his series, plus a few stand alone stories along the way.

What made you decide to become a publisher?

For one, to help myself. For another, to help other authors. For a 3rd, to ultimately change the way the game is played in publishing. To change the paradigm and rock the world of the Big 6.

You seem to be helping others a lot, is that purely in a publishing capacity?

No, I also help direct them in their marketing efforts and pass along whatever tips I can in this field. Plus I like to build relationships with them and see who they are, as people.

 

For anyone who wishes to find more info on Jack and his adventures you can do so here

Sherdan’s Prophecy: Chapter 2

Here’s chapter 2 in the book. For previous chapters and other information check out the Sherdan’s Prophecy book page.

 

Anya stepped off the train onto the Bristol Temple Meads platform. She followed the few other people who had been on the train with her, down the steps and along the tunnel underneath all the other platforms. She tried to stay near the back of the group and not look too out of place.

For mid December she wasn’t wearing very much. Black trainers, trousers and a black long-sleeved top that clung to her small frame. She had a scarf on but the train had been warm and until now she had needed nothing else. The first shiver ran through her as she put her ticket into the barrier and made her way through to the exit of the train station.

Anya hesitated in the last warmth of the building before stepping out into the evening air. She had a twenty minute walk from here to her destination. determined, she set out at a brisk pace.

She had memorised her route by studying the map for several days and even though she had never been to Bristol before now she didn’t make a single wrong turn.

The whole time she prayed in tongues under her breath. She had read a book many years earlier about a Christian woman who had lived in the slums of Hong Kong and had done the same everyday as she had worked and lived there. The gangs had never done anything to harm her.

When Anya reached the last bin on her path she stopped, checked there was no one watching, removed her scarf, and placed it in the bin. She then continued as if nothing had happened. She shivered so much she could not tell if it was the cold, nervousness at her task, or most likely, a combination of the two.

She arrived at her destination five minutes early so stood and got her breath back on the corner of St Michael’s hill and Royal Fort Road. She knew she was already within his territory and briefly wondered if he knew of her existence already.

As soon as her watch said half eleven she took a deep breath and walked down Royal Fort Road. She didn’t have a plan for the next part. She wasn’t even sure where she was going, only of why.

Continuing to pray she walked towards the largest building she could see. For a moment her nerves got the better of her and she hesitated.

She looked for the nearest door while, controlling her breathing in a vain attempt to calm her heart beat back down again. Walking against the wall to the only entrance she could see, she tried to push it open.

It didn’t move. It appeared to be a safety door that could only be opened from the inside by pushing a bar or handle of some kind.

Anya went to find another door, knowing she shouldn’t waste time, but something made her stop. Instead she put her fingers against the crack in the door and tried to pull outwards.

The door clicked and swung open. It was a fire door but it couldn’t have been latched properly as it had swung out with no resistance.

She sneaked inside and pulled the door shut behind herself. She then crouched listening and never ceasing to pray. Every moment her lips moved in almost silent words she couldn’t understand.

Taking another deep breath, she moved from her spot. Picking her directions purely on what felt right at the time, she made her way through Sherdan’s compound.

While she explored she wondered what the man was like. She was almost certain she wouldn’t like him. How could she like anyone who ran a cult for their own benefit. He wasn’t the reason she was here, however, at least not directly.

Several minutes of slow creeping passed before Anya found herself taking her first wrong turn. She had wandered into a storage room despite having been led there by her feelings.

She frowned and was about to return through the door when she heard the sound of approaching people. Being as quiet as she could she shut the door and listened for any signs that she had been seen.

Whoever walked along the corridor did so cautiously. They took many minutes to pass out of earshot again and at several points when they had been right by the door she had thought she would be discovered. She had felt so sure of it that it took her a few more minutes to calm her nervous shaking.

Anya continued sneaking, pressing her whole body up against the wall and walking sideways. Each slow step took her several seconds and already twenty minutes had passed by when she moved through the third door.

The décor changed dramatically. What had been normally furnished rooms and corridors became concrete hallways and black walls, save for the lights at regular intervals. It was the fist sure sign that she had travelled in the right direction. She sighed and continued praying.

Anya heard sounds from behind and moved across the corridor to a door the other side. She didn’t wait to listen for people as she had at every other door but pulled it open and quickly ran inside. The light in the room came on automatically, showing her someone’s bedroom. Thankfully unoccupied.

She could hear the sounds of moving people getting louder as she ran towards the bed and crawled underneath. Her heart pounded in her chest and she strained to listen for the noise from outside the room.

It suddenly occurred to her that the light would give her away if anyone looked into the room. There was no other door and it was triggered by movement. As if responding to her thoughts the light went out, plunging her into the relief of blackness.

Less than five seconds later the door was yanked open and the light blinked on again. She heard two people shuffle through the doorway. She had scrambled under the bed the wrong way to be able to see anything but the wall in front of her.

“Nothing so far,” she heard a man say.

Anya closed her eyes in relief as they both walked out and closed the door behind them. For the moment she felt too shaken to continue.

She rested and waited until the light went out again. Before she could move the door opened for a second time. More feet could be heard walking in. They stayed a lot longer than the previous set but neither looked under the bed.

Almost as soon as they had left she slithered out from her hiding place. There had now been three sets of guards in a short space of time and she needed to get a move on as they were obviously aware she was here and searching for her.

She checked her watch. She had been in the building forty-five minutes already. It would be a long night.

Biting her lip She continued her escapade and made it to the end of the hallway. She found herself faced with a t-junction and hesitated for some minutes, unsure which way to go. The corridor continued in both directions before both ended in doorways.

Logically the right would take her in a similar direction to the way she had come so she opted for the left, however, after several minutes sneaking along the edge of the wall she felt increasingly unsettled. For now she ignored her feelings and continued but her unease grew.

Unable to disobey her doubts any longer Anya turned around and headed back, more swiftly than before. She had barely reached the t-junction again when the sound of approaching footsteps came from behind her.

These sounded different to the previous type. They were moving quicker and not trying to hide the sound at all. She had no where to hide but the junction itself and she pressed herself up against the wall, hoping they would walk right past and not notice her.

She didn’t dare breath and hardly dared to look. The next few seconds felt like minutes until the two people walked straight past her.

They were both engrossed in conversation and neither noticed her. They wore lab-coats and one carried a clipboard in his left hand.

Anya watched them go through the door at the end of the passageway and followed as silently as she could. She had now been in the compound for over an hour and the toll of being buzzed with adrenaline for that long was beginning to show.

The doorway opened to another corridor and Anya slowed again, having no idea where the two scientists or doctors had gone. She did not want to draw their attention.

She felt tired and had to try even harder to stay quiet as she moved. She was concentrating so hard it took her a moment to realise she could hear noises again. They were up ahead but she couldn’t tell if they were getting closer.

Anya considered going back but the door behind her started opening. She had no choice but to rush through the only other door off the room she was in.

She hastily turned and shut the door only to notice that she wasn’t alone in the room. The two men she had followed were staring at her.

“Hi,” she said, not knowing what else to do. She then waved, Neither of the guys said anything.

“I don’t suppose either of you know where the bathroom is do you? I get so lost here.” One guy pointed back the way she had come.

“Go left and it’s the third door on the left in the next hallway.”

Anya hesitated. The last thing she wanted to do was go back out of the room. She had already noticed that there wasn’t another exit, however.

“Where’s your identity badge? Sherdan requires everyone have one who works here,” the guy said.

“Ahh, crap.” She noticed that both of them had ID tags pinned to their lab coats. “I’ve gone and forgotten mine, I’m really ditsy like that, I mean I am blonde.” She pointed to her hair.

The guys just grinned. There was an awkward silence as Anya listened to the guards outside coming closer.

“So… I don’t think we’ve met, I’m…” Anya didn’t get to finish before the door behind her burst open.

“Don’t move or we’ll shoot,” the guard said. Four men stood in the doorway with four very large guns aimed straight at her.

“Hi.” She waved again. Her game was up and she knew it. All of them came closer to her as she waited, unmoving. When the front one reached her he pulled her hands behind her back and tied them.

He pulled the plastic ties so tight they dug into her wrists and made her wince. She was then patted down for weapons but the only thing she had on her was her watch and that was soon removed. She had deliberately left everything else at home.

No one said anything to her but one of the guards leaned into the radio pinned to his chest.

“We’ve got her safe and secure.”

“Bag her and bring her here,” a voice came back moments later. Anya gulped. Before she had time to react a black bag was pulled over her head. Her world descended into darkness. She blinked a few times, hoping her eyes would adjust to the dark but it was so black they couldn’t.

Both of her arms were grabbed making her flinch from the pain of her bonds digging in even further. She was steered towards the door.

As soon as she had been brought out into the corridor she was spun on the spot until dizziness spilled her into the arms of one of her captors.

“Walk,” someone yelled. Both of her arms were taken hold of again as she was marched off, now so disorientated she could have been going back into the same dead end room.

The only thing she knew for sure was that her bindings were too tight. They rubbed as she walked and dug so deep that she could feel the first few trickles of blood running down her hands.

 

Chapter 3 should be posted sometime between Christmas and new year.

The Return: A Review

The Return is the second book by Victoria Hislop and is a fiction book, mostly about spain and dancing. I have to admit I have no idea what genre it’s actually classified as. I was rather mystified while reading it.

I only read this book because it was lent to me and I thought it might be worth a shot. It was the only thing that kept me reading until the end.

Admitedly the book had a very well written account of tragedy in the civil war in Spain and it moved me. The writer did a reasonably good job of tugging on the heart strings. Unfortunately the plot seemed rather disjointed. The first 20% of the book was in present time in the life of a woman who while I felt for her I was only vaguely interested in her life. She didn’t particularly do anything special and didn’t seem that alive as a character for me.

The next 70% of the book was about the civil war and it was obvious where the link between the two was far too soon. Even knowing that the two seemed alarmingly irrelevant to each other. I guess I just didn’t care enough about the character in the present to care about why the story she was told of the civil war was important but it just seemed sad for no point. The last 10% back in the present seemed entirely pointless too.

On top of the plot and character issue I got increasingly frustrated with the way it was written. The editor of the book should be ashamed of themselves (and possibly the writer to) for the state of the book. There were changes in character point of view with no indicator to the reader leaving me very confused on many occasions who was doing what. This was especially bad during the civil war part when they switched briefly back to the present. There was no indication until you saw the name of a character not in the past but the present.

I also wasn’t impressed with a lot of the dialogue. The characters were very samey which is probably why I struggled to relate to any of them.

Over all if a struggle type war book is your thing you might like this book but it will leave most people just feeling sad without really knowing for sure why.

 

How to create something people care about

I have had several discussions lately with people talking about Christian artwork and books. Most people who don’t particularly follow the Christian faith avoid anything labeled Christian at all costs. We discussed why.

Our first reason was that most of Christian artwork tends to depict one of a very few things. On the art side of things it tends to be pictures of Jesus on a cross or fish. In writing it’s poorly disguided preaches on what is considered morally acceptable to God.

Even when this is not the case the art work tends to only speak of lightness and happy things. Most seem to avoid all of the darker subject matters. They focus on the light of God and the good things that result in being a follower of Jesus.

The problem with both of these is that they mean very little to a person who hasn’t experienced them. Telling someone that life for someone else is amazing doesn’t make them feel any better.

To show someone faith and the light of God it requires something more. People relate to pain and suffering much quicker and more easily than happy things.

If Christians truly want people to understand how God can make a difference in their life they have to show that they understand the persons life before God, that their pain is understood, and their grief. It’s no good showing them the bandage but not what it can do.

For the help God can give and the light of God’s world to show it needs to be contrasted with darkness. Pain is there before healing. Loss before regain. Real life isn’t just answers. There are questions too. If we are intent on showing people the things God can do surely it helps to show them the situation before God does his thing.

On top of that being a Chrisitian isn’t always light and fluffy. Crap things happen in life regardless of who has a God to help them or not. Too many Christians seem to think they need to show an outside look of perfection and a happy life because otherwise it will make their God look bad. It doesn’t. It just makes it difficult for anyone to relate to what their saying.

In short people need to be real with the things they create. To create it out of real emotions, passions and situations. Not out of some preach they have in their head. To not be afraid of taking their work to darker places simply because that’s how they felt the day they created that part.

When viewers and readers can relate they begin to care. Caring is only the first step in the process but it might just gain back some of the reputation Christian artists have lost.

Author Interview: Pam Logan

Pam Logan has kindly allowed herself to be interviewed for today’s post.

Tell us about your latest project.

“How Do You Say Goodbye?” is a 130,000 word General Fiction Drama.

With a death sentence of an inoperable brain tumor, Samantha Collins tries to come to terms with the meaning of life, her belief in God, her battle with sobriety and her hope of it all ending on the beach.

As Sam’s life dwindles away, memories of abuse, mistakes and bad choices haunt her by way of terrifying nightmares. She relives her tumultuous childhood, remembering the beatings her brother received and the sexual abuse her sister endured so that she wouldn’t have to. Sam’s escape at an early age led her to a life of alcohol dependency as she partied her way into her adulthood.

Now, almost forty years later, she rides her Honda Goldwing across the country with her passenger and trusty companion, MyLo, a wolf-like dog, on the back as she says goodbye to the people she loves. Laugh with her as her best friend and confidant, Johnny Styles, jumps into characters of his favorite movies. Cry with her as she meets up with her old friends, Cody, Leeny, and Mac and reminisces about the past.

While she can’t decide if she should make new friends, her good-natured banter with the fearsome, domineering, Judge Styles, Johnny’s father, opens up a whole new world for her. In an incredibly short time, she becomes part of a family she could never have imagined.

Learn how one life can touch so many and have such a drastic impact on those around her.

Sam’s life sounds like it’s been a very full life, did you make everything that happened to her up entirely or is some of her life inspired by either other things you’ve read or watched or perhaps even the lives of other people?

Sam’s life is not based on anyone in particular, but I suppose her actions and reactions are inspired by things I have seen or heard. She just took on a life of her own as I wrote, but after the book was done and a friend of my sister’s read it, she thought Sam had a lot of the same qualities as my sister. I didn’t realize it at the time, but looking back now, I can see the resemblance, even though her life was nothing like Sam’s.

What book do you wish you had written?

I don’t know if you mean a particular book that was already written by someone else that I could take credit for, or possibly a subject that I could have written about. There is nothing already written that I wish was mine, but I do hope to someday be one of those authors that a new writer looks up to. If you mean a topic that I could have written about, not yet. I have a lot of ideas in mind and hope to accomplish all of them before it is my time to say “goodbye.”

You say you have a lot of ideas in your mind, do you write your ideas down somewhere or rely on your mind to pull them to the surface when you want to start the next book?

I don’t write them down. I keep telling myself I should, but for some reason or other, it doesn’t happen. I hope I can remember them when the time comes.

What’s your favourite genre to write and what’s your favourite genre to read?

This was my first book and I guess it would be considered Drama as it is very emotional. I enjoyed writing it; I laughed and cried right along with the characters. I do like books like that, but my favorite is mystery, thriller type. Dean Koontz books dominate my book shelf.

What started you writing if you remember, and why do you write now?

When I was young, I kept a notebook with poems, some copied and some I wrote. It also contained just random thoughts and short stories. Life got in the way and the notebook got lost. Recently I tried to write a song and failed at that. I began thinking of my Mom and a few family members that passed away and wondered how they must have felt, knowing the end was coming soon. With those thoughts in mind, my character, Sam, came to life and completely took over; I enjoyed spending time with her and her friends. When the book was done, I missed her and her friends so much, I had to start another book.

You imply that Sam and all the people in her life are real enough to spend time with, do you see them as characters you’ve created or in another way?

I don’t think I created them; I think it’s more like I discovered them. As I delved into Sam’s life, they were just there, waiting patiently for me to get to know them.

What are you planning on doing next/What else are you up to?

My next book, “Life Goes On” is a continuation of the first, but is more of a mystery, thriller. Johnny finds himself in more trouble than he can handle.

You can find out more about Pam and her first book as well as read samples and reviews at her website.

To buy the book there is either the ebook or the paperback.