Here is a little taster I wanted to offer you in the form of a free ebook. It’s a short story called ‘Lost in My Word’. It’s a story that is not quite as it first seems. The story is based in an English hospital where David Polk is a patient. The story is written in the first person as David Polk, who tells of his recent birthday when he has just turned fifteen and how his life has been put on hold since being admitted into hospital. David’s frustrations grow and his mischievous nature gets the better of him as he tires of the hospital routine.
This book is one you can sit back with and get totally absorbed into the atmosphere of the setting. I found myself pulled into the pages on a tranquil wave lazing on the deck of a boat, in the beautiful Caribbean sun, but every now and then there was a sense of unease that alerts you to the more sinister unveilings that are to come. It focuses on four main characters and starts in Belize City when Rob and Anna meet Owen and Kim who have their own boat. Rob and Anna decide to charter the boat and the three of them set off on a journey from Belize to Roatán a small island off the northern coast of Honduras.
The characters gradually build throughout with each exposing flaws as time sails on making them believable and real. A combination of the setting that is cleverly portrayed envelopes a feeling you are there and with the strong character depiction the plot drifts along that as the reader you roll with it needing to know what happens next. This is a psychological thriller that is definitely worth a read as it builds to it climactic ending.
Another great novel by Stephen King. Mr Mercedes is a thriller that plays with the mind with the twisted madman Mr Mercedes. After mowing down a crowd of innocent job seekers killing eight people he then continues his madness with his mind games with the now retired detective Hodges who failed to track down the killer.
With the New Year we all make our resolution and at the time we all have the absolute intention of sticking to them. So this year I will spell them out here so cometh the end of 2017 I can look back and check I stuck to my word.
In 2016 I had been working on writing a book or three. They are almost there but still need a little more work. There are three I am currently working on and my resolution is to have them all completed and published by the time the clock strikes midnight on 31st December 2017.
No 1: The first is a novella. The title is still to be confirmed but is looking to be ‘Lauren’s Story’. This is about a teenage girl living in an abusive and dysfunctional family who leaves home and ends up living rough on the street of London. The story is based loosely on a true story (I will blog a little more about Lauren as her character develops in my book).
No 2: The second is a collection of short stories I have that I simply really like. I don’t want to turn them into a full novel as they seem to fit well in the short story category. These cross a number of genres from literary fiction to thriller/crime and others that I am not quite sure where they should be.
No 3: Complete my full novel that is currently three quarters complete in draft format. I don’t have a title for this at the moment but will blog it out when I do. This one is a thriller with the main character Vincent Velussi as a successful businessman being blackmailed. To protect his marriage, his career and his reputation he embezzles money from the company he works to pay the blackmailers off. It doesn’t end there and a number of twists and turns along the way follow.
Until then I wish you all a Happy New Year and look forward to interacting with you all in the year ahead.
On Friday 25th October 1415 Henry V and the English defeated the French at the Battle of Agincourt against all odds. They were outnumbered and with the French sensing victory they celebrated the predicted slaughter of the English the night before.
Two months both prior to that date the English had set sail from Southampton to France with 11,000 men including 8,000 archers in a fleet of 1,500 ships. They arrived in Chef-de-Caux near Harfleur where they battled to take the town. The French resistance was greater than expected and the English lost a great number of men. Eventually the English gained victory, and from there, made their way northwards 100 miles to Calais. By now, the English were short of food and, the conditions led to dysentery and illness that took more lives depleting the English army to half its size.
The French blocked Henry’s route at Agincourt and waited to bring the English to battle. The battlefield was narrow and heavy rain made the terrain thick with mud. The two armies stood off and waited for the other to attack. The English mocked the French, and before the order to attack was given, the French broke ranks and charged forward. This worked perfectly in favour of the English, with the mud and longbows they were able to kill thousands of the French before they made it to the English lines. The professionally trained archers could shoot six arrows a minute and injure the enemy at 600 yards and kill at 300 yards. With the hail of arrows coming down on the French, panic set in and in the narrow area of the battlefield, they ended up crushing and disabling themselves from the number of advancing French from the rear, leaving them stuck in the mud.
The English seemingly had victory in their sights when news arrived of a French attack coming from the rear. Henry, now had a problem, due to the French outnumbering the English they had taken more prisoners than they could control. The fear the prisoners may fight back, Henry gave the order to have them killed in cold blood, perhaps bringing an end to chivalric ideology
The victory at the Battle of Agincourt goes down as one of the greatest English victories with loss of only 600 men compared to the French that was in the region of 6,000.
In 1420 Henry was accepted as heir to the throne of France; however he died two years later from dysentery during the siege of Meaux.
I am near to publishing my first book and, was suddenly hit by the fact, traditionally it is in good grace to write an acknowledgement, thanking those for their help in writing my book, and to dedicate my book, I have spent months and months agonising over to someone who once said ‘Oh, are you writing a book!’.
Oh well, not one to break from tradition, I thought I would check out a few from other authors. Here are some of my favourites I came up with.
Silly Verse For Kids by Spike Milligan
This book is dedicated to my bank balance.
Ship of Magic by Robb Hobb
To caffeine and sugar, my companions through many a long night of writing.
Heart of Goof by P.G. Wodehouse
To my daughter Leonora without whose never-failing sympathy and encouragement this book would have been finished in half the time.
My Shit Life So Far by Frankie Boyle
To all my enemies,
I will destroy you.
Visions of Cody by Jack Kerouac
Dedicated to America, whatever that is.
Austenland by Shannon Hale
For Colin Firth
You’re a really great guy, but I’m married,
so I think should just be friends
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
What can I say about a man who knows how I think and still sleeps next to me with the lights off?
I may have to add to this list but if you have any good one I would love to hear them.
I love music but I must confess I struggle to find new bands or artists these days that inspire me as they did when I was in my teen years. Yeah I know I am one of those boring old farts who continuously rant about how great the sixties and the seventies were and the music today all sounds the same. Oh no – I think I am beginning to sound a bit like my parents. However I do make an effort to try and listen to new bands and as part of my lifestyle relaxation program I like to pour myself a glass of wine and sit trawling through artists, unknown to me, on YouTube in the hope of finding something of brilliance.
January this year I discovered the band Mischief Brew that I just sat back and thought ‘WOW’. Erik Petersen the songwriter in the band, produced lyrics that cut to the bone with the music raw and dissonant with a distinctive timbre producing something unique and brilliant. The first song I listened to was Dirty Pennies. This song is about a peasant lady and her friendship with a young boy that proved Erik Petersen talents in song writing and are worth reading on their own. It starts with the lines:
“In a small town where all knew all, wondered a peasant lady nobody knew,
But her only friend was a young boy, brought her hot tea and leftover stew,”
I had a holiday planned, for July, in Florida this year and being Mischief Brew came from America I thought I’d check to see if they were performing anywhere near to where I was staying. Ironically, whilst I would be in America Mischief Brew would be in England playing, my chance to see this band lost.
It was whilst in America that I read the tragic news of Erik Petersen who had gone missing and later to be found dead with the cause of death as suicide. It seemed Erik lived a tortured life suffering from depression and anxieties over the quality of his art and music not being as successful as his ambitious mind had set.
Here are some of the songs that made this man such a great talent and why the world of music will sadly mourn his loss.
Old Tyme Mem’ry by Mischief Brew
Squatter Envy by Mischief Brew
Erik Petersen at the age of 38 died on the 12 July 2016.