Category Archives: Guest Posts – Authors

12 days of Clink Street Christmas Event: Guest Post – Peter Worthington (@CatshillPeter )

12-days-social-banner

As part of the 12 days of Clink Street Christmas blog tour i’m very happy to bring you a guest post from Peter Worthington, author of “The Eden Tree” which i reviewed back in July. If you missed the review click the image below to open a new window 🙂

1

I’m very glad to say Peter has kindly offered to share with us a little flashback revolving around the charterers in The Eden Tree. I hope you enjoy


The Last Christmas at Kirmingsham Hall

Back in 2006 – before his grandson Wesley was diagnosed with cancer – John Morgan had said: “Christmas is made for grandads.” Thanks to a chance meeting with a flower-seller John traveled to Israel and returned with a mysterious antique box the contents of which saved Wesley’s life and led John to an amazing adventure. One considered his destiny.

A decade later on Christmas Day John’s thoughts were of a familiar aroma floating towards his nostrils. He reminisced of his grandma’s baking and entered the Kirmingsham Hall kitchen to the dulcet tones of “Mary’s Boy Child” playing in the background.

“Is that mince pies I can smell?” he said, taking a long sniff, and reached for the overflowing plate.

“Yes, John, we’re baking for the party tomorrow,” his wife said, tapping a wooden spoon in her palm, “and don’t touch again.”

He kissed her cheek, ignored her chastisement, quickly grabbed a pie, and ran for the lounge, crumbs falling onto the hall tiles. His eyes found the faces of family and friends relaxing on blue leather sofas, chairs, or cross-legged on soft pillows and red carpet. The spacious Tudor property had been their home since John and Liz married in the summer of 1986.

The gathering was planned for weeks. The Morgan Christmas Day celebrations would begin with a full English breakfast at The Black Swan and continue with traditional turkey dinner at home. Traditions would be broken, however, in ways that were staggering.

“Mince pies. Yum.” James said as he followed his wife Alyanna through the swing door.

“Keep ya’ mitts off them, James my boy,” Sean said with a wink as he grabbed one off the plate. “Jesus, these are hot” he blew on his fingers as Rachel play-punched his shoulder.

Rebecca, their toddler, was in the lounge playing horsey on Goliath’s back. Goliath – aptly named as he was six foot eight and weighed twenty-six stone –  was Aly’s cousin. Rebecca and her mum had benefitted from a miracle too. On Christmas Day the family would travel together to the mysterious garden. Probably for the last time.

The laughing toddler’s tiny legs hardly encompassed the giant’s massive frame. Roisin, Goliath’s fiancée, knelt close as guardian angel.  The lounge door opened and two teenage boys bounded in to take their turn at the rodeo.

“Mum and Josh have just arrived,” Wesley said, looking through the patio window.

“Oh great,” Iggy said, “now we have ex SAS and Mossad here. What Christmas party-poopers!” He slapped Goliath on his rear as he mounted his back. “Gee up, horsey.” The man mountain twisted and Iggy fell off laughing.

Watching her labours devoured Liz said with a shrug, “I can make some more.”

The two family dogs lay by the stone hearth. Presents under the tree testified that Christmas was for dogs too.

After a sumptuous breakfast handshakes and farewells were given to the landlord and staff. Sadness and anticipation in the air. Cars made their way past the iced-over pond, the remnants of festivity strewn around the village. Steering his BMW through the double gates for the last time John grasped Liz’s hand and pushed open the front door.

Christmas carols by choristers played over the hi-fi as the household opened presents. A pile of multi-coloured wrapping paper growing on the carpet.

“Slippers. Bleedin’ slippers,” Sean tore at his parcel.

“Language, Captain,” Rachel pointed to a toddler placing Lego blocks together to make a huge tower which toppled to her exasperation. Periodically someone carried turkey remnants, mashed potato, sprouts and other greens on a platter, alongside pizzas, chilli and rice. The group dined until the Queen’s speech after which James called out “Okay, Rambo, you can come back in now.”  Sean returned and gave a thumbs up.

“Can we have some games?” Wesley said, winking at Iggy.

“Yes of course, Sweetheart,” Becky said, “and you were a brilliant innkeeper.” Wesley blushed as his mum smiled proudly.

Through the late afternoon and early evening there was laughter, fun and merriment as various games were played. After a very competitive final attempt at Twister Becky surrendered and John realised it was time.

“Okay everyone. It’s time to go.” John gathered everyone for a massive group hug.

One by one the family and friends stepped through the portal and entered Eden –  never to return.

12-days-2016-poster

The Eden Tree Blurb

” Mark Twain said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” John James Morgan knew the day he was born. Two days before his sixty-first birthday he found out why. John is a happily married businessman, father and grandfather, living in Cheshire, in the heart of England. Happy, that is, until his family face a crisis. A terminal one. At the local market, a flower-seller tells John a story that changes his life. Assured his destiny is in his own hands, John crosses the globe in pursuit of a religious artefact which has remained hidden for two thousand years. Presented with an antique box containing maps, parchments and a bag of leaves, John returns to the UK and witnesses a miracle. With the box in his possession, John and his family find new friends and enemies; lives are threatened and people die, although some will be healed. With the help of many different people, from all walks of life, John’s journey will finally lead him to the discovery of an extraordinary and mysterious tree. But what will this Eden tree mean to John, his family, their faith and their future? The Eden Tree is author Peter Worthington’s first novel; a fictional account based on his own experiences with his son, John Wesley, who underwent treatment for cancer but sadly passed away shortly after his seventh birthday. The Eden Tree has allowed Peter to give his much-loved son “a happier ending.”

About Peter Worthington

Today Peter Worthington lives in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire with his wife Margaret. Peter has enjoyed a bright and varied career as a church minister, financial adviser and internet consultant. Now retired he is busier than ever thanks to his three grandchildren, studying for an Open University Degree in Creative Writing, voluntary work, playing World of Warcraft, serving on the board of a housing association and writing. He has previously published short stories in a number of Christian magazines. His first novel, The Eden Tree (published by Clink Street Publishing 19th July 2016 RRP £8.99 paperback, RRP £2.99 ebook) is available to purchase from online retailers including amazon.co.uk and to order from all good bookstores. For more information you can follow Peter @CatshillPeter or visit http://www.edentree.co/

Advertisements

Short Story by AW Rock (Part Three) @SohoHoney #12DaysofClinkStreet

12-days-social-banner

As part of the 12 days of Clink Street Christmas blog tour i’m very happy to bring you part three in a short story from AW Rock, author of “Soho Honey” which i reviewed recently

If you didn’t see the review click the image below 🙂

3

Before you read part 3 you can find parts 1 & 2 on the blogs below. Click the links to open a new window

Part one can be found on The Nerdgirl Review – http://thenerdgirlreview.blogspot.co.uk/ 

Part two can be found on Between The Lines Book Blog– https://betweenthelinesbookblog.com/ 


Soho Noel – Part Three

Father Christmas said, “Don’t jump to conclusions. You have no idea what this is all about. When I saw you I knew that you have seen things and experienced things that most people know nothing about.. that’s why I’m here.”

“How do you know?” I asked.

“I have had to deal with fear.. I have seen terror in people’s eyes too many times. I have learned to understand people.”

“You didn’t show much understanding earlier on today.”

Father Christmas jumped as Costas broke in, “Christmas isn’t on my agenda and I don’t know you..”

“I’m no threat to anyone..”, said Father Christmas.

I looked at him with disbelief.

“.. I’m celebrating having removed a cancer from the past and looking forward to spending Christmas with my kids.”

Costas was a Greek Cypriot and family life and traditions were part of his culture so he let it go. He turned to me, “You don’t usually have a snorter this early.. what are you up to?”

“It’s been a fascinating day so far, Costas, and I’ve no idea how it is going to end.”

Jack jumped in, “Well knowing you it’s either a fuck or a fight.”

“You don’t know me”, I said.

Charlie suddenly woke up and waved his glass in the air, “Get me another fucking drink, will you? Where’s that useless barman?”

Jack had moved over to be with the women in the corner.

Costas checked him out, “There’s too much testosterone in this place… Jack, get Charlie a drink.”

Jack, “Doing my best, Boss.”

Costas went over to the optics and poured Charlie’s drink.

I turned to Father Christmas, “So now what?”

“People put presents in stockings at the bottom of their children’s beds. That man violated many children and he got away with it.. and there is more, much more.”

“What do you think I’m going to do about it?” I asked.

 

Father Christmas didn’t answer. He got up and walked out. He knew I was no threat to him either.

 

THE END.


12-days-2016-poster

Soho Honey

This contemporary crime story takes place over three weeks in November and unfolds against the multi-cultural backdrop of Soho, London. Branen had to leave the UK six years before to escape his complex clandestine history and the consequences of a crime that achieved worldwide notoriety. When his daughter is brutally murdered in Soho he believes that he could be the reason. He returns to his old hunting grounds to find the killer. His search brings him into conflict with the British Secret Service and Soho’s underworld. He is forced to flee Soho again after a tragic meeting with his ex-wife. His past has caught up with him and the hunter becomes the hunted. Now forty years old Branen wants to stop running and to remove forever the continuing threat to his life. In an effort to get rid of his pursuers he is faced with the prospect that his only chance of survival could lead to his death.

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Soho-Honey-W-Rock/dp/1911110241/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1478775644&sr=8-1&keywords=soho+honey

aw-rock

About AW Rock

Based in London AW.Rock has been a regular on the Soho scene since the 1960’s working in various sectors of the entertainment industry.

Website – http://sohohoney.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/SohoHoney

Twitter – https://twitter.com/sohohoney

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/sohohoney/

Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbobu4S36R9CSMklBZ4AEMA

12 days of Clink Street Christmas Event: Guest Post – Monika Jephcott Thomas

12-days-social-banner

As part of the 12 days of Clink Street Christmas blog tour i’m very happy to bring you a guest post from Monika Jephcott Thomas, author of “Fifteen Words” which i reviewed recently

If you didn’t see the review click the image below to open a new window 🙂

41nshar8xul

I hope you all enjoy the guest post! My blog is yours Monika.


monkika-jephcott-thomas

Christmas In Germany 

Christmas for me as a child was a wonderfully long drawn out affair. It started 4 weeks before X-mas with Advent and ended on the 6th of January on Epiphany. During that time there were highlights filled with long established traditions in our family.

There was no Father X-mas. Presents would be brought by ‘Christkind’ i.e. baby Jesus, on Christmas Eve.

Every Saturday night before the 4 Advent Sundays we children put our shoes outside our bedroom door, well cleaned and polished and lined with x-mas wrapping paper. If you had been a good girl the angels would come during the night and bring you little presents and on the first weekend also an Advent calendar. Not a bought one with doors to open and finding chocolate behind it but one that was made by my Mum, which must have taken her ages for all of us. Little felt bags on a string for every day with the dates on it.  When you opened it there might have been a couple of marbles, some sweets something little that I was really looking forward to.

On December the 4th , St Barbara, we would go into our garden and cut some branches from our fruit trees. These would blossom at Christmas and would decorate our dinner table.

On December  6th , St Nicholas was celebrated. In the early evening we would gather as a family in our living room and sing X-mas and Advent songs, read poems and my parents would read us stories. Then at some stage there would be a loud knock on our front door. St Nikolaus, dressed up as a bishop and Knecht Ruprecht, St Nikolaus’ slave, dressed up as a chimney sweep, black and dusty, would arrive when snow was outside, on a horse drawn sleigh. He would come into our living room with a golden book and a sack of presents. We would sit with big eyes and in expectations of what presents we would receive and also a bit frightened about how Knecht Ruprecht might punish us if we had not been good over the year. St Nikolaus would read out from his golden book all the good things we had done during the year and also remind us where we had to improve so Knecht Ruprecht would not have to be angry with us next year. Then he left the sack of presents and we waved to him good bye from our front door when he left in his sleigh. It was so realistic and I wondered for many years how he knew all the things we had done over the year.

On the 3rd Advent Saturday night we wrote a letter to Christkind with our wishes for presents for X-mas and the angels would take this to him.

Every day during Advent we also had a wooden crib on the window sill of our living room. Every night before going to bed my mother would take us to the crib. We had to either choose some hay if we had been good to put it into the crib or some straw if we had not. We were in other words responsible for how comfortable baby Jesus would be when he was born and would lie in the crib under the X-mas tree. An effective way for parents to get 4 weeks of good behaviour!

On X-mas eve we would gather up in our dining room and sing X-mas songs until a little bell rang and the angels had finished arranging our presents under the tree (a big fresh pine tree with real candles). After a delightful time of unwrapping all we had our dinner which was always fish and then went to Midnight Mass

X-mas day was spent with our grandparents and X-mas dinner always was a goose, red cabbage and Kloesse (dumplings)

We had a relaxing time playing with family, celebrated NY eve with fireworks in our garden and had a family holiday till Jan 6th, Epiphany. At breakfast my Mum would have baked a sponge cake and a coffee bean would be buried in it. Whoever got the slice with it was King for the day and could do what they liked (within limits of course.) After breakfast my father followed by us would go to our front and back door and write e.g. AD 19 C+M+B 56 (initials of the 3 kings) in chalk over the front door to bless the house for the coming year and the same on the back door which would first be opened to let the bad spirits out.

12-days-2016-poster

Fifteen Words Blurb

Two young doctors form a profound and loving bond in Nazi Germany; a bond that will stretch them to the very limits of human endurance. Catholic Max – whose religious and moral beliefs are in conflict, has been conscripted to join the war effort as a medic, despite his hatred of Hitler’s regime. His beloved Erika, a privileged young woman, is herself a product of the Hitler Youth. In spite of their stark differences, Max and Erika defy convention and marry.

But when Max is stationed at the fortress city of Breslau, their worst nightmares are realised; his hospital is bombed, he is captured by the Soviet Army and taken to a POW camp in Siberia. Max experiences untold horrors, his one comfort the letters he is allowed to send home: messages that can only contain Fifteen Words. Back in Germany, Erika is struggling to survive and protect their young daughter, finding comfort in the arms of a local carpenter. Worlds apart and with only sparse words for comfort, will they ever find their way back to one another, and will Germany ever find peace?
Fifteen Words is a vivid and intimate portrayal of human love and perseverance, one which illuminates the German experience of the war, which has often been overshadowed by history.

Purchase on Amazon UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Fifteen-Words-Monika-Jephcott-Thomas-ebook/dp/B01MCWG3IJ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1477564925&sr=1-1&keywords=fifteen+words

About Monika Jephcott Thomas

Monika Jephcott Thomas grew up in Dortmund Mengede, north-west Germany. She moved to the UK in 1966, enjoying a thirty year career in education before retraining as a therapist. Along with her partner Jeff she established the Academy of Play & Child Psychotherapy in order to support the twenty per cent of children who have emotional, behavioural, social and mental health problems by using play and the creative Arts. A founder member of Play Therapy UK, Jephcott Thomas was elected President of Play Therapy International in 2002.

12 days of Clink Street Christmas Event: Enemy Series Intro & Review – Rob Sinclair

12-days-social-banner

Today i’m very  happy to bring you my review of Dance With The Enemy by Rob Sinclair and also a little intro to the series which Rob has kindly written for us.

First off i must say I’ve heard many a good things said about this author by fellow bloggers. I’ve actually had the three books in the series for a little while already so when i heard he would be taking part in the Clink Street Christmas event it was an easy decision for me to pick him as someone i’d like to feature . Word of mouth speaks a lot to me and with so many good comments i just had to buy the series and i’m very glad that I’ve had the time to read/review the first book in the series.

I’ll pass you over to Rob to give you an intro then you can read my review 🙂


Intro to Enemy series

My Enemy series of books have now sold 200,000 copies worldwide since the release of the first book, Dance with the Enemy, in 2014, which was followed by Rise of the Enemy and Hunt for the Enemy. But for those people not familiar, what are they about?

I set out with the Enemy series to write books that were fast-paced and filled with action, because those are the types of books that I’ve always enjoyed reading myself (not to mention the types of TV and film that I watch too). I had a vague concept in my head as to who the central character would be. A tough guy. An all action hero who’d lived much of his life in that vast area of grey that separates right and wrong, but who had a certain vulnerability about him too. That last part was very important to me. I’d become increasingly tired of heroes who were too perfect, almost superhuman, and wanted a much more grounded and human hero. One who makes mistakes and one who gets hurt. And so was born Carl Logan.

Many years ago Logan, as a tearaway teenager, an orphan moving from foster home to foster home, and increasingly getting himself mixed up with gangs and drugs, was recruited by a shady law enforcement figure – Mackie-  as a low level informant. Over the years that relationship grew until Mackie himself moved on in the world becoming a Commander of a secretive intelligence agency known as the JIA (Joint Intelligence Agency). Seeing potential in Logan, largely given his bleak outlook on life and his nothing to lose mindset, Logan was brought into the fold at the JIA and, through years of physical and psychological training, was turned into something of a killing machine, travelling the world and carrying out the dirty work of the UK and US governments, under the radar.

But, despite the brainwashing training, there was always a gnawing inside Logan that he was more than just an assassin, a feeling that wholly comes to the fore when Logan is captured, tortured and left for dead while on a JIA mission in the Middle East. Which is the point in time where the Enemy series picks up, with Logan struggling to come to terms with that trauma, and trying to figure out exactly who he is, with many in his organisation now believing him to be goods damaged beyond repair.

The three books follow Logan from that lowest point on a journey of not just redemption and proving his self worth, but of revenge too, as he tries in vain to get his life back on track and to get his own back on those who’ve wronged him. Starting in Dance with the Enemy, Logan is drawn into a plot to kidnap America’s Attorney General in Paris, and the series follows Logan across the globe as he tracks down the bad guys whilst coming to terms with betrayal after betrayal – some closer to home than others – and all the time wondering where his life is headed, and whether he can ever truly escape his past, and what he is.


 

My Review – Dance With The Enemy 

Carl Logan is a man who has been trained to take orders and not ask questions but after things go wrong on a recent job he’s no longer the same agent he was. He’s been broken and it’s clear throughout the story that while he’s still good at his job he’s just not as focused as he should be.

From the first big scene involving the kidnapping of the Attorney General Frank Modena I was hooked. The detail had me gripped as I focused on the action.

Logan is sent in to find and retrieve the Attorney General little does he know that the man who broke him is involved somewhere along the line.

What happens next is a great spy thriller  where Logan has to put the pieces together and find out what’s truly happening. It’s clear to Logan from the start not everything is clear cut as some would like it to be.. so what is the real truth behind the kidnapping??

I won’t give the game away but the author did throw in some great twists. One i’ll admit i thought was coming but as to how it played out i had no idea.. and wow..it’s a good one.

Development is a big thing for me. Not only do i have to like the characters but i need to see a path for them to grow and Rob Sinclair delivered everything i could have wanted with Logan. You’re  given tit bits of info building as the story unfolds and this way of developing the lead character really helped hook me in.

I loved that Logan isn’t perfect..he’s far from it. You know he won’t come out of this without a scratch and it just makes the whole tale all the more  gripping.

The supporting characters were pretty well covered too. i loved the way the author managed to again give little bits of info.. just enough at the time but never overdoing it..keeping you just a little in the dark to everyone’s motivations.. as it should be with a spy thriller.

When i reached the end i could easily see why so many people had given great reviews..it’s more than deserved.

This tale is ultimately about revenge. It’s full of action and intrigue. The plot has to be the number 1 thing that stood out for me.. lot’s of different motivations and agendas and i just couldn’t put it down

My rating – 5/5 Stars!

12-days-2016-poster

About Rob Sinclair

rob-sinclair

Rob’s first novel, Dance with the Enemy, was published in June 2014 and is the first in the bestselling Enemy Series following embattled intelligence agent Carl Logan. Rise of the Enemy, the second book in the series, was released in April 2015, with the third book, Hunt for the Enemy, being released in February 2016.

The Enemy series has received widespread critical acclaim with many reviewers and readers having likened Rob’s work to authors at the very top of the genre, including Lee Child and Vince Flynn.

Rob’s latest thriller, the pulsating Dark Fragments, was released by Bloodhound Books on 8th November 2016.

Rob worked for nearly 13 years for a global accounting firm after graduating from The University of Nottingham in 2002, specialising in forensic fraud investigations at both national and international levels. He now writes full time.

Originally from the North East of England, Rob has lived and worked in a number of fast paced cities, including New York, and is now settled in the West Midlands with his wife and young sons.

Rob’s website is www.robsinclairauthor.com

He can be followed on social media at:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RSinclairAuthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/robsinclairauthor/

Dance With The Enemy – The Enemy Series Book 1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dance-Enemy-gripping-international-suspense-ebook/dp/B00KK6FJSC/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Dance with the Enemy is the explosive first chapter in the highly-acclaimed Enemy series of espionage thrillers featuring Carl Logan.

Rise of the Enemy – The Enemy Series Book 2

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rise-Enemy-The-Series/dp/1909477850/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1438198518&sr=8-3

Redbrick “Carl Logan may be a battled hardened agent, but Rob Sinclair has managed to find his soul” – bestsellingcrimethrillers.com

Everyone has a breaking point. Carl Logan might just have found his. The Joint Intelligence Agency sends agent Carl Logan on a routine mission to Russia. It should have been simple. But when Logan’s cover is blown, he’s transported into a world of hell he thought he would never see again. Something is different this time, though, and before long doubts begin to surface in Logan’s mind as to why the assignment went so wrong. Logan has never been short of enemies. And sometimes the enemy is closer to home than you think. Could his own people really have set him up?

Hunt For the Enemy – The Enemy Series Book 3

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1911110128/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_3?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=7RN6PPZTNPA2HH8A440W

They’ve erased his past. Wiped out his very existence. But Carl Logan isn’t finished yet. On the run in a harsh Russian winter, Logan – once an invaluable asset but now branded a traitor – has been framed for murder. His own firm, the secretive Joint Intelligence Agency, have labeled him a rogue operative after two decades of loyal service. The agency is hunting him down… and they’re not the only ones. But there’s much more at stake than just Logan’s life. One by one, agents and informants from all sides, all allegiances, are dying. And Carl Logan is the only man who can put a stop to it, once and for all.

Guest post – The Matter Conundrum by Arthur M. Doweyko (@aweyken)

51lid3qtnxl

Today i bring to you a guest post from Arthur M. Doweyko author of As Wings Unfurl which i’ll be reviewing on my blog in the near future!

Here’s the blurb..

Applegate Bogdanski returns from Vietnam with a missing leg, a Purple Heart, and an addiction to morphine. He stumbles through each day, looking forward to nothing and hoping it will arrive soon. When he attempts to thwart a crime, he is knocked unconscious and wakes up to discover that people are once again calling him a hero, though he feels undeserving of the praise.

Apple returns to work and meets Angela, a mysterious woman who claims to be his guardian. Immediately, he feels a connection to her, which morphs into an attraction. But he soon discovers that Angela is much more than she seems.

Apple and Angela are swept up in a conspiracy that stretches through time and space. Together, they must fight to save everything they hold dear from an alien race bent on destroying humanity.

If you’d like to learn more about the book you can visit Goodreads or Amazon!

Thank you for agreeing to guest post and without further ado my blog is yours Arthur, enjoy everyone 🙂


The Matter Conundrum

by Arthur M. Doweyko – 20 Nov 2016

Our definition of what’s alive is quite simple: it needs to move, eat stuff, replicate, and mutate. That’s all based on our observations, mostly of animals and plants on this world.

Now, it’s easy enough to apply these rules to just about everything we bump into on the Earth, and for that matter, elsewhere, when the time comes. There are of course a few wrinkles, like virus particles and even prions (proteins that have the wrong shape and convince normal proteins to look they do). This can be sticky territory and apt to result in lengthy discussions which generally end where they started.

Now, let’s make things a bit more controversial. There’s this whole thing about self-awareness. We claim to have it, and we may accept that some other animals have at least some elements of such awareness. Even plants are aware of their surroundings. So, how is it that matter, namely atoms and molecules, can assemble in such a way as to observe itself? There’s something downright spooky about that, especially if we assume that matter itself is inanimate. Somewhere along the line of molecular evolution inanimate matter became animate, and in the case of beings like ourselves, continued to evolve into something that’s self-aware. We could slip in a soul at this point to explain the transition. But that might not be necessary.

What if there was something special about matter that might explain everything? Take a close look at the atom—a nucleus surrounded by electrons. One of its physical properties is the tendency to react. Atoms will bump into one another and the result can be a fusion, a bonding between two or more. Not all atoms react with each other. They have specific likes and dislikes. The same goes for the molecules they create, leading to very long and complicated molecules created from a wide variety of atoms. Each molecule’s likes and dislikes steer that molecule’s association with other molecules. Our current understanding of evolution suggests the growing  complexity led to the creation of simple organisms, and eventually to us.

That last line is where theologists may begin pointing at the Divine, for how could it be possible that life sprung forth from inanimate matter? But what if matter is not inanimate?

What did you just say?

Think about it for a moment. If matter was “animate” to begin with, then where’s the surprise that complicate combinations of matter start crawling around, assimilating other molecules, making copies and changing their makeup with changing conditions?

We recognize that the simplest forms of matter, let’s say, atoms, have likes and dislikes. Why did matter come into existence with such a property? The Big Bang could easily have produced a bunch of mush that stayed mush for the last 13.7 trillion years. Instead, atoms showed up which had tiny personalities, which led to specific interactions, which led to us. You might even think that atoms are aware of each other. Curious, isn’t it?

Guest Blog – JJ Sherwood – Character Interview – Kings or Pawns Blog Tour

Today i bring to you something a little different..a first for my blog. I’ve opened my blog to the awesome JJ. Sherwood to host a interview with a couple of the characters from her book Kings or Pawns, if you’ve not read my review yet click here 🙂

Without further delay…here we go

Hey Soplings! Today we have a special interview where I sat down with Itirel and Sellemar to ask them some pressing questions that you, as fans, have been nagging me about. Well, I don’t have the answers, but these two do!

JJ Sherwood: Welcome Itirel, Sellemar. It’s a pleasure to have you two back for an interview—and together, no less! What a treat!

Itirel: Why thank you for the opportunity, JJ.

Sellemar: Thank you.

JJ: Let’s start with you, Sellemar. People often wonder about your identity and by association, Itirel’s. In Kings or Pawns, Alvena romanticizes that you look like the statue of the legendary king, Ephraim. How do you feel about this? And, if you were Ephraim, who then would be Itirel?

Sellemar: I assume by feel you mean think. I think it is a silly notion fantasized by a child. But on that note, who would not wish to be Ephraim? He was respected and unparalleled in talent. And wealthy: as opposed to myself. Who currently lives in a rundown flea mine.

Itirel: *chuckles*

Sellemar: *glares at Itirel* As for Itirel, he would be my servant. Because if I was Ephraim I would be a king and as such, I would certainly need servants. He could be… a cleric in service of Sel’ari and his job would be to pray and heal me during battle. And cook, because as a king you must overwork your servants or they will find time to invent notions for gossip. As Alvena clearly has.

JJ: Well, I can’t say I’d be eager to serve you if you were king. But, speaking of kings, let’s touch on the True Bloods. We know Sellemar has a uniquely close relationship with their royal family, in particular King Sairel—how about you, Itirel? What is your relationship with the True Bloods?

Itirel: I consider myself to be very fortunate to be able to call the True Blood royals my allies. Their friendship and generosity has been a boon in these difficult times—both for myself and those I seek to aid.

JJ: That’s very interesting. How did you two meet? Was it through the True Bloods?

*Same time* Sellemar: Yes.

*Same time* Itirel: No. *Itirel looks reproachfully at Sellemar* I will answer this question on Sellemar’s behalf because it seems he is determined to take the easy way out of answering. In fact, the story took place as follows: near Sellemar’s place of birth, there is a glade through which a small river flows. In the heat of one summer, Sellemar’s father bathed in this spring, unaware of a northern human settlement which had taken to dumping the bodies of their plagued into this same river. He became gravely ill and healer after healer was called upon to save him—but they too succumbed to the illness. At this time, Ilra saw fit that I should pass through this city and, upon hearing of the people’s misfortune, there I remained until the plague was no more. As I spent time with Sellemar’s father, I too became acquainted with Sellemar himself. When I was preparing to depart for a dangerous mission, Sellemar asked to accompany me as payment for his father’s health. And we have had many adventures since.

JJ: Oh, what a fantastic story! Sellemar, you would have robbed us of that?

Sellemar: *Shrugs*

JJ: *Sighs* Ok, let’s move on—Itirel mentioned Ilra as the god whom he serves. Sellemar, you, as we all know, serve Sel’ari. Are you a cleric of her order then, as is suggested in Kings or Pawns?

Sellemar: *Irritably* One need not be a cleric to be religious.

JJ: Well… it’s just that there are other signs… you know…

Sellemar: …What other signs?
JJ: Well… I mean… I’m mostly thinking about women.

Sellemar: Women?

JJ: Yes. Well, you… seem a bit oblivious to their existence. In Heroes or Thieves, you hardly seem aware of Ilsevel’s advances. So I was just wondering if you had taken a vow of celibacy…

Sellemar: *Flushes* No. I—I do not—have not. I just simply am above the seductive wiles of lonely females.

Itirel:

Sellemar: What?

Itirel: Nothing. I was only thinking that this was the time to take the easy way out of answering.

JJ: Er, this is where we should take an intermission—*cough*before Sellemar walks out on me*cough*! But we’ll continue with Part II of their interview on August 26th at http://www.stepsofpower.com/news.php?s=both! 

I Had A Dream by Owen Mullen – Guest Blog

Recently I reviewed Games People Play by Owen Mullen which follows the life and cases of PI Charlie Cameron. You can read my review here

Today i’m very glad to say Owen has kindly offered to do a guest post on my blog.

I very much enjoyed the book and I’m looking forward to reading the second book Old Friends and New Enemies in the next few weeks

Click the images below to head to Amazon

 

0 (1)          0 (2)

I hope you enjoy the post 🙂


 

I Had A Dream

I didn’t start out to be a writer. Or rather, I did but somehow managed to forget about it. One early memory I have is of a recurring daydream – I guess I would be twelve or thirteen at the time. In the dream I saw myself on top of a hill, lying on the grass with paper and a pen. Below me was a city. The city was Naples. No idea why; I’ve been to Italy many times though never there. Around that time I was reading the short stories of Somerset Maugham. Maugham was tremendously successful and wealthy enough to be able to live in the South of France, which has always had a particular fascination for me. The writer’s life allowed him to travel and many of his stories are set in the Far East: ‘Rain’, ‘The Force of Circumstance’ and ‘The Outstation’ are favourites of mine.

So I grew up with a head filled with the idea of me as a well travelled writer living in the Mediterranean. Now, many years later, I fit that description. The daydream has become reality. With my wife, Christine, I have been all over the world – mostly organised by ourselves – from the Brazilian Amazon to the Himalayas in Nepal; Borneo to Botswana; the Ganges to the Zambezi. And great fun it has been. As for the rest, well, we didn’t quite make the South of France and settled for the Greek Islands instead. Shame, eh?

The journey has been interesting.

Those childish ambitions were overtaken by another creative outlet, one that seemed much more glamorous and exciting to a teenage boy: Music.

When I was sixteen I started a band with some of my friends. I played guitar [kind of] and practiced in my father’s garage. Where else? Of course, as you might expect, we were pretty awful and before long a few of the guys got fed up and moved on. I stuck at it.

A month before my nineteenth birthday I packed in my job and ‘went professional’. By then, I was in a group with people who had a lot of talent and a couple of them went on to be famous. I washed up in London, writing songs with another guy, doing session singing and playing the London club and pub circuit which existed at that time. But I didn’t make it and eventually went home to Scotland with no idea what I was going to do with the rest of my life.

Fortunately I met Christine.

We had met when I played her school Valentine’s Day dance. She was fifteen. I was seventeen. But I remembered her. With her help I got down to creating a new life. I went to college then university. As a teenager, music had been just the distraction I needed to bomb at school. Two higher and some ‘O’ Levels were all I had to show for the many wasted years in classrooms switched off from the lesson. Now I was on the road back. I re-invented myself as Owen Mullen MSc DipM CIM and ready to take on the world.

Getting a job was the next step. Not easy. Not many employers are keen to take a chance on an old muso; they’ve heard the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll hype and believe it. So they should. In the end I realised I was a free spirit and could do better on my own. As a marketing manager I had had dealings with design companies who charged a fortune for their services. I hadn’t been over impressed with the ones I’d had dealings with and had been forced to step in and rescue the artwork more than once. I left – you may have noticed I have had a habit of pulling the plug on ‘good’ jobs. It’s true. I didn’t know it, of course, but I was going full circle; all the way back to the boy and his daydream – and-set up my own business which, thank god, was successful.

But there was always that Mediterranean thing, wasn’t there?

On one particular trip we made a detour to the Greek island of Santorini and loved the climate. When we got back to Scotland I said to Christine. ‘Why don’t we pack everything in [there I go again] and move to the Greek Islands.’

She considered this for almost five seconds and said, ‘All right. Let’s do that.’

The idea in my head was that we buy a fisherman’s cottage and do it up. We were out of luck. We couldn’t find the fisherman or his cottage and instead bought land on a hill overlooking the sea. We found a builder, an architect and began to build our new home. That process is probably a book in itself but eventually we were in and ready to live the dream. Little did we know that just over the horizon was the biggest financial depression in living memory.

The life we had planned was in danger. We had to do something so I started to write, thinking I could save the day, not realising that the book business had troubles of its own. I couldn’t have picked a worse time to become a writer.

Somehow we survived.

When my first book, Games People Play, came out I remembered the twelve year old boy and his day dream. That was when it hit me. I was on a hill, though in a villa not lying on the grass. And the pen and paper was a pc. From the window I can see the blue water of the Mediterranean.

The dream has come true.

Games People Play and the follow up, Old Friends and New Enemies, are in print and doing alright. The third book – as yet untitled – is underway and will be finished in about ten weeks.

And then..?

Well, if form is anything to go by I’ll pack it in and do something else, won’t I?

No. Not this time. I got where I wanted to go. Now I intend to get as many people as possible reading about Glasgow PI Charlie Cameron. For me and for  Charlie, the adventure is only just starting.


Twitter – @OwenMullen6

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/owenmullen10