Recommendations: Blogs, books and bonkers

First off the bat, hello. Second, welcome to my first ever leap year day post! It hasn’t been strange, different or even eventful, just another day with too much going on at work, deadlines creeping up and marriage proposals being aired on the radio by random people. Seems like the world has started to go mad…or madder….or mad madder. Or even bonkers. So here is a light hearted post to join in.

Right! I have been thinking about my likes and loves recently in the world that ranges from and to all sorts, and thought I would recommend a few things. I shall start, with the first B world of the post.

BLOGS

  

I got into the world blogging late in life. I feel I have missed out on a lot, but have loved the experience so far and fingers crossed, that pleasure will never wane. In that time, I have been inspired by and fallen in love with some of the blogs I my best to keep up with. So, I recommend, if you don’t already, to follow the following:

Mollie

Sarina
KJ
Claire
Faith
Jasmine
Holly
Kay

They are just some of amazing blogs I try my best to keep up to date with. Please take a look (not just yet though, I have a blog post for you to finishing reading). 

On to the second b recommendation.

BOOKS

The original Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson (A fantastic read that had me on the edge of my seat the whole time) 

The Shining by Stephen King (Read this is the midst of winter with the snow falling and the boiler broken. So intense)

  

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz (Brilliantly written and after I finished it, stayed with me for long after) 

Dark Matter by Michelle Paver (Haunting! Have a spotlight at the ready)

  

Night in the lonesome October (Read this over ten years ago but keep meaning to re-read. It’s atmospheric and vivid with great characters.)

  

These are just some of the great books I have read over the past few years and do not include anything that I have read this year or last. I will come to those in a later post. 

It is my duty (nods and winks to Mollie), to end this post with the final b….

BONKERS

Bonkers is more than a song, more than a cartoon, it’s also the way to end my post. I wouldn’t really say it’s bonkers but I am just going to recommend a few things that fits all categories. 

HOUSE 

Yes, I know it finished awhile ago, but for those who haven’t seen it, or need reminding of its genius work, I recommend going back and watching! It’s a treat.

BON JOVI  

Just because!

DISNEY WORLD 

I recommend near enough anything Disney, but if you get chance, go to Disney World. I can’t wait to return. 

M&Ms  

PERV (erm, I mean admire)

   

    
    
 
And always have fun!  
Thanks for reading 🙂

The Siblings Edit – A quick update

 Good Sunday one and all!

For the past week I have been working hard on the edit of The Siblings, my first foray into the self publishing world. So far it is going well, I have cut a lot of information that was no longer needed, eliminated a few unnecessary characters and even included a few more that I didn’t realise until the edit were needed. At the moment I have done all editing on the laptop and has worked well for me, seeing that I did the majority of the writing on my phone. 

I have adjusted the minor spelling mistakes and grammatical errors and hopefully by next weekend I will be at a point where I may ask if anyone is interested in an advanced copy. Even typing that has wrecked me with nerves and jitters, my hands trembling and my mouth drooling – okay it’s not that bad but you get the jist. I am nervous. 

I have allowed my short stories to shine and fall in this blog but to venture into the novel reading world worries and pains me. This story has been an amazing experience to write and I do worry that it may fall. I need to shove those feelings away and allow the positive ones to flow. When I thought about the prospect of releasing the novel I stopped walking and the realisation overcame me. I eventually carried on. I am now realising it is nerves of excitement as well, the thought of publishing an achievement in many that I hope to complete. 

So please let me know if you are interested in reading and for the lucky few we can discuss the finer details nearer the time.

Does anyone else have similar fears as myself? How do you battle them? If you feel like opening up, please let me know 🙂

Serial Sunday Finale – Evie

Good morning and happy Sunday! 

I hope everyone is well and ready for the Series Finale of Serial Sunday Professor Hokum. This isn’t goodbye from the story, just that I want to take a short break away from it so that I have time to complete my edit and other nagging things in my world.

If you haven’t, please trace back and have a look at the origin of this story over the last so many Sunday’s and thank you for the readers who come back for more 🙂 I appreciate the time you take to read and comment! 

                                       Evie

I’m not scared. I’m not scared.
Evie would repeat this over and over in her head, not allowing the behemoth that sat in front of her to hear her concerns. She took a step back and took the stranger’s appearance in.
At any other time she may have thought of the man as handsome. He was tall and muscular, but that did not make him strong, as she had proven, looks can be deceiving. The man’s jaw line was prominent and his hair slicked back from the rain. His head hung to the side, blood dripped from the corner of his mouth from the blow Evie had delivered when he had not answered correctly. The hilt of the dagger dug into the skin of her hand as she eyed the intruder with her hand clenched.
“Staff,” the man groaned, spitting blood to the side of the chair. 
Evie’s eyes widened and heart fluttered. She had not expected him to communicate, but perhaps the blow did some good. Staff, if he was truthful with his name, straightened in his seat, the rope bound tight against his body and around the seat. He did not seem to struggle, he just sat there and smiled the hideous grin once more.
“You don’t understand. You are just a pathetic girl, being led by a man who you know nothing about.”
Evie struggled but contained her composure. She could not allow her hatred to show. Evie stepped forward, ran the back of her fingers over the man’s right temple and smiled.
“Why would you care so much? Why does it matter that I have put myself in his trust? What makes you think it matters?” Evie whispered. 
Staff’s eyes darkened and pulled away from her hand.
“See, pathetic. You do not know even why you were left on his doorstep. The real reason he showed you the beings in the park. He thinks it will make you stronger; but the more he holds back, the more likely you will fleet.”
Evie slapped the man hard across the face out of frustration. Staff smirked and spat out blood, a gesture that angered Evie more but she pulled a blow back. She turned and paced around the room, thinking, her mind swirling with thoughts.
Staff knew much more than he was letting on and Evie had to come up with a plan to ease the information out of him. She stopped dead mid step and clutched the dagger tight, her head turning towards the man and a smile of her own returning. Evie approached Staff and stabbed the dagger deep in to his leg, pulling it out then imitating the action on the opposite leg. Staff screamed and the sound was music to her ears. 
“If you cannot give me the answers I need, then I only have one option. Speak to a man who can. Looks like your time is up.”
Evie kicked him hard in the face, the first time in a long while she used her agile frame to her advantage. The chair tipped back from the momentum and hit hard against the floor. Evie peered over at him clutching the dagger tight. 
“You had your chance, Staff. You had your chance.” 
She raised her hand up, her mind and body filled with rage, ready to execute the final blow. 
“You are the saviour, Evelyn,” a voice echoed throughout the area.
Evie turned in a swift fashion, forgetting about Staff and facing a silhouette resting against the entrance. 
“The reason why Professor Hokum was not killed by that filth on the floor, is the same one as why he hoped to kill you.”
Evie’s heart thumped and sweat perspired from her pores. “Why?” Evie’s voice wavered and her confidence was lost in the question.
“If you die and Hokum lives, the human world falls,” the voice said with a hint of humour. “But the question you should really be thinking about, is how you will kill the Professor. How will you kill a being that is immortal?” 
The silhouette disappeared and made way to the backdrop of rain. Evie dropped the dagger and stared into the dark night. 

The Playlist Shuffle Tag

  
Thank you KJ Chapman for tagging me into this post. I enjoyed listening to the songs on shuffle during my first part of work and gave me a post to write on my break. 

The rules of this tag:

Put your music playlist on shuffle and list the first 15 songs to play (no cheating), then tag 10 others to do it as well.

I used my full playlist for this tag but has now got me thinking into making more specific ones for writing etc. The songs that played are ones that I class as favourites, a few I haven’t heard in a while and some that have given me thought for The Sibling Sequel and other writing projects. 

1. In her arms – Foxes
2. She’s too good for me – Warren Zevon
3. Dude looks like a lady – Aerosmith
4. A short history lesson – Less than Jake
5. Never – Flo Rida
6. The Phoenix – Fall out boy
7. Livin’ on the edge – Aerosmith
8. Saturday Night gave me Sunday morning – Bon Jovi
9. Boom Clap – Charli XCX
10. You’re True – Eddie Vedder
11. How it’s going to be – Gerard Way
12. Tomorrow – Sixx am
13. ’78 – Michael Monroe
14. Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever – Alice Cooper
15. We don’t run – Bon Jovi

I did have fun listening to the songs this morning and was a great way to start the day. I will tag a few names:

Jewel

Holly

Jasmine 

C.E.L Stefani

But please feel free to do your own for those that have not yet been tagged. It’s fun! 

Awkward

 Welcome to the Tuesday post. I have caught myself up to date with the editing of The Sibling novel, and hopefully won’t be too long now until that is complete and can start thinking about ARC distribution and publication date. I feel the nerves, they are tingling. 

This post is all about an experiment though. To improve my writing, I have started to write in a format or genre I am not confident in and used this blog as its base (it is isn’t groundbreaking or innovative, just a new way for me). This week I return to first person. It’s in a different style to how I would write but found it enjoyable nonetheless.

This was also a challenge as I capped the word count at 500. No more, no less. I hope you enjoy and I have an amazing Tuesday! 

                                    Awkward     

The moment I first felt alive was when I killed Orson Jones.

Okay, not a great way to start, but it was essential for you to know that, so you can appreciate how far I have travelled. It has been a turbulent journey, one if I had a second chance, I would repeat again. There are no mistakes in this life, it took me many years to reach that conclusion, and many lifetimes to accept it. 

I am not a bad person, I just do terrible things in order for the world to continue along on its unheeding path towards the apocalypse. I do it for survival, is that a bad thing?

If you think about all the times you leave the room to complete a task, only to return oblivious to the original place confused or stand staring at an item you have no intention of using. You may even ask yourself, or others, if you are lucky enough to share a life with someone; what did I come out here for?

You wanna know the real reason for that aberration? It’s quite simple really. I just prevented your shadow from entering your body and possessing your soul. Could you imagine the hysteria, the religious wars, and meltdown the world would go into if cases of such subjects made its way in to the media? You are welcome. 

I have no intention of starting at the end and I am getting way too far ahead of myself. Allow me to start where all good stories do, with an introvert child lost in the world of sexual adventure, puerile activities and the supernatural. I was never the cool kid, just so you know.

If you thought this was the story about the arsehole who went through life with cheeky quips, an award winning smile with an air of confidence unmatched by even the most beautiful adult, then you sir, or madam, are sadly mistaken. 

This story begins with me, a sixteen year old inept, awkward confused Demisexual bookworm, lost in mind and soul, looking for answers that would not present themselves for time to come. I didn’t know that back then, and in hindsight would have come in handy. Nonetheless, it is where the adventures begin, and like any other good story, it started with a song.

Eyes set upon me, their lips turning into a wry smile, the audience waiting for the awkward individual to fall. I could hear the heavy breathing, the tension building. Oh how they would applaud. I felt the nerves, my hands trembling, stomach gurgling; but I took it as a good sign, as without them, it wouldn’t have meant much. Surely? I wrapped my fingers around the housing of the microphone, closed my eyes, and opened my mouth. The music started and my fears dissipated, for when I sang, I was transported into my own world. It was there the melodic tune soothed the aches and pains of the world away. 

I was home. 

H.K Morrison: Mistress of Peril

Good morning/afternoon/evening! As always, dependent on the time you are reading this. I waited to post this after 12am as I did not want two posts in one day (I have done that too regularly in the past few weeks).

This Monday post has had a little shake up. This has nothing to do with me but all about an amazing woman and her book! I met this lady over on the world of Twitter. She posts amusing, thought provoking and cute tweets, is supportive and a lovely human being! She also has adorable pets! I volunteered to beta read for her, which was idiotic on my part for my own deadlines, but I pushed things back and took time to read it. Oh my, and what a read it was. So allow me to continue.

The Book: Mistress of Peril by H.K Morrison

  

“The Government has issued an evacuation for the Eastern seaboard. The new spread of rabies virus dubbed ‘the zombie virus’ by media is airborne. Remain calm and pack two-three days worth of staples and water while your county evacuates towns to the designated location. If you experience fatigue, hallucinations, or episodes of rage. Please see your local CDC medical facility that is now located in all major cities along the eastern seaboard. In further news to…”

That’s the first paragraph and introduction to the book. It grabbed me by the throat and pulled me in straight away. From there, I was introduced to Sage, the main character. I enjoyed following her on her up and down journey to find her out what had happened to her twin. I found myself rooting for the character from the bat as she was likeable and had flaws. Sage was real! 

The world had fallen apart and the writing was so fluid and descriptive, when I pulled away from the story I feared the world outside was infested. H.K Morrison has a knack for detail and I could visualise every movement and action. 

The story is in a third person perspective which introduced new characters throughout. My favourite was Bones, a mutated creature that had his own battles and ways. Another interesting individual is Orion who I wanted to know much more about and gave me even more reason to keep reading. I shouted at the pages at times when the chapter ended leaving it on a cliffhanger. My nights became endless (Thank you, Heaven.)

The story included sporadic expletives which were well placed along with sexual content (it is a lesbian fiction novel) that had the right amount of detail and at times got me hot under the collar. At times it even made me annoyed with the arrogant and sadistic Keel, so the author delivered superbly on all fronts.

The Chapter titles are apt, and a couple of my favourites are: Into the Den and Monsters Closet.

Overall I class this as a must read, definitely if you enjoy great character development, the apocalypse and an adventure. I cannot wait till this is published as I will buy a copy on release day.

H.K Morrison bio and Q&A

  

How adorable is that picture? 😍 I know, right? I have been communicating more and more with Heaven and she gets more interesting by the day. So here is a short bio and she even kindly answered some questions for me to include on this post. 

Heaven lives with her fiancé, Ashley, in Raleigh NC. By day she is an assistant manager and a writer in her spare time. She loves animals and has quite the array in her apartment that include: a ball python, crested geckos, leopard geckos, and a tegu along with her more “normal” pets: her two dogs and a cat. She has a fondness for essential oils and loves being adventurous. Someday, she hopes to be a full time writer and a world traveler. 

1/ Which person(s) has/have inspired you the most? 

              Quite a few people have inspired me and helped mold me into the person I am today. First and foremost, my parents. Both have taught me to strive foreword no matter what and not to give into pressure, whatever it may encompass. As a writer, I know I should have more authors who have inspired me, but I’ll be completely honest: Steve Irwin was a major model in my life. He taught me the world is beautiful in its many forms and there is so much out there to experience. No matter how hard the fight, its worth it in the end.

2/ If the theme in your story happened in real life, what would be the one book you would want to save?

As dorky as it sounds (I’m a huge nerd) I would save a picture book of the Earth. If our life decayed into a wasteland, I would want something to remind me of its beauty. And the beauty that it can become if everyone could band together against a common advisory. 

3/If we were to meet, what hot drink would you have and the three topics of conversation?

I would get a Sumatra roast coffee with soy milk and one packet of sugar in the raw! I would probably talk about earth science first and foremost, traveling, then animals! As stated before, I’m a giant nerd. Just today I went the the Musuem of Natural Science here in Raleigh, just to go watch the sloth get fed. Yeah, I’m that kid. 
NB I wish I could have tagged along to the Museum! 


4/ What prompted you to write the Mistress of Peril?

NaNoWriMo actually spurred me to write it. Before Mistress of Peril, I never actually finished anything I wrote. I wanted to prove to myself I could write something. I’ve always wanted to write something that has to do with the Earth and how we abuse it, but also bring in a light of hope because nothing and no one is ever too late to save. 


5/ How old were you when you realized that writing was your calling?

My mom had said I was writing short stories when I was five or six. I had a crazy imagination. I wrote my first fifty page story when I was in sixth grade. Ever since then, I would write simply to write. My love for writing really surfaced my first year of college when my teacher submitted my descriptive essay into a publisher and it got selected to be in a college book! 

6/ If you were to recommend three writers and three novels, not neccesarily linked, who and what would they be?

I have an affinity for LGBTQ books so the three writers I am currently in love with are Heather McVea, Radcliffe writing as L.L. Raand, and Julie Kirton Chandler. Because they are my favorite authors at the moment, each of them have a special place for me. My favorite novels are Lyovitalis, The Midnight Hunter series, and Veritas. 


7/ Bones was my favourite character, and Sage was a close second. Out of the characters, which was the most fun to write? And which one was the hardest?

I would have to say I adore writing in Orion she’s so fun. She’s rough around the edges and so sarcastic. She has her own demons she’s working through and to see her struggling with them while trying to find out she isn’t a monster is endearing to me and I love to write out her cocky attitude! Sage is actually extremely difficult, ironically. She’s very complex and it’s hard to portray every aspect of her. She’s confident but unsure, flighty but a spit fire. I think she portrays a basic human being, everyone has their doubts, everyone has their moments of clarity. It’s her complexities that are hard to write in. 


8/When are you hoping for the book to be released?

I submitted my manuscript to a couple agents, but I actually submitted my full manuscript strictly to Bold Strokes Books who’s a leading publisher for LGBTQ. Regardless of outcome, Im looking to hopefully get it in the publication process by summertime. 

I would like to thank Heaven for the time and patience to answer the questions in full and give an insight in to her life and her writing process. She is recently engaged and would like to congratulate her. Her fiancée is a very lucky lady 🙂

You can find H.K Morrison on Twitter @TheArdentPen 

Thank you for reading 🙂

Serial Sunday – The Intruder

  

It’s Sunday and time for the Serial to continue.  If you have not read the previous entries, I would suggest going back to the First Serial Sunday post and following on from there before reading this one. If you have been along for the whole journey, thanks, and welcome back. 

                               The Intruder

A pain shot through Professor Hokum’s temple.

He clutched his head as he rolled on to his side and his eyes adjusted to the light. Through blurred vision he noticed the front door open wide, rain sweeping in along with the cold air. Hokum managed to shift his form into a seated position. The pain was there but would soon go. He would allow his natural medicines within his system to work magic, but until then, Hokum needed to move. 

“Evie.”

The shout came across as nothing but a whimper. He attempted again and the second time was more of a croak. Hokum gave up on his voice and stumbled to his feet, falling to the wall and only just managed to stay in a standing position. The kick to the head had done more damage than Hokum wanted to believe but fought through the best he could. His vision was blurred and the first few movements he made were towards the front door. It wasn’t until the heavy rain splashed against him that he realised he was headed in the wrong direction. Hokum slammed the door shut and huddled up. It took a few moments for the nausea to pass, and once it did, he headed to his intended target, Evie’s room.

As he past through the building, there were no signs of foul play. Everything was where it was meant to be. That was until he reached the shattered door. Evie’s bedroom door was hanging off its hinges with shards of wood splintering out. Hokum rested against the wall, allowed his breathing to settle and the nausea to calm. 

In one swift movement, he gripped the smooth edge of the door and yanked it open with all of his strength. He stepped in expecting and fearing the worst. The room was immaculate and empty, with no sign of struggle and no sign of Evie. Everything was too much. His head floated into nothingness and the dim light turned to dark. 

“Who are you?” 

He smiled but did not say a thing.

“Who are you?” Evie repeated, running a delicate finger over the man’s blade that she held in her hand.

In the past few weeks of being held up in Hokum’s building, Evie had learnt a lot. The first was blending into the fixtures and being surreptitious. The other was thinking of all possible ways to defend herself. Since the night she saw the creatures of different origin to her, she had thought of ways to escape Professor Hokum’s grip. Now away and free, she wanted his guidance more than anything. But turning back would mean she had failed. There was something Hokum wasn’t telling her, and each time the subject was approached, the further the Professor descended into his own darkness. Evie had to take matters into her own hands. 

The tall ominous figure of the intruder sat tied to a wooden chair in the dimly lit tunnel beneath the park. It was once Evie’s permanent residence and it was her safety zone. The rain hit hard against the entrance, the light from the lamps billowing in and shining on the intruder. Blood seeped from his skull, the blow Evie made with a blunt tool she found in her room. Once the man had been disarmed, it did not take much to lead him to the unknown.

She was proud of herself and had to remain confident. She could not allow the intruder to see her weakness. Evie needed to go to extremes. She sauntered across the room, hid her nerves beneath a confident smile and slashed the blade across the man’s cheek.

“Next time it will be your throat. Tell me who you are and what you were after.”