Blurb Reveal – Book 6 – ‘Darke Awakening’

Coming this September (that’s rather soon!), my 6th book and sequel to ‘Darke Blood’ and the next story in the Order of the Following Series;

Darke Awakening: Embrace the True Darkness

Here’s the blurb…

Darke Awakening blurb announcement

Of course any critique on the grammar/structural front is welcomed, I can’t really change the content in terms of the story as it’s already written… either way, I hope you are ready for what I hope is going to be quite an event. 13 or more sales on release day is considered a win. It will be available for Pre-order soon – I hope some of you will at least think about supporting this one. 

More information about the wider Order of the Following Series can be found here. All three of the books that precede this one are discounted to 99 cents in most territories. If they are not available where you are and if you promise to leave a review, I will send them to you free of charge. The book cover shall be revealed soon! 

Rock and roll, peace out and thanks for tuning in!

The Order of the Following Banner

Weekly Ramble #76

Those two words. The ones every writer aims for, but many never get to. Truth is, they don’t come along that often for me. Even though the back list will say otherwise, all good things in this world worth having, take time and work. 

It does just start by putting one word in front of the next in succession. All stories are just a series of words put together in an orderly fashion physically but within that order is where you’ll find the story and our vessel is the imagination.

Reaching the summit of a story is both empowering and sombre. It’s a goodbye after all, and living with the characters who have completed their journeys and arcs makes everything seem quiet for a while or even empty when they are done. I guess the same can be said for life also, and relationships or even the times. They end and new ones spring up eventually.

I’m constantly driven by what’s next on the horizon, what I’ve done in the present isn’t enough, I could tell you the next five projects I plan on trudging to next. This writing deal has never been a sprint, but an endless marathon. I’m too busy for it to reach the end… 

 

Best Books I’ve read this year, so far…

Whoa we’re halfway there… but I suppose with all that’s going on, living on a prayer is out the window… but books aren’t and no matter what shit storm is going down out that window, the Hall of information vowed to carry on and carry on is what we have done!

Now that we are halfway through 2020, I am also half way through my TBR list and so here’s a breakdown of some of my best reads so far…

 

‘Dead End’ (Clown Conspiracy Book 1): A Short Thriller’ by Mallory Kelly

 

dead end

Short books don’t get nearly enough credit especially when they do everything a longer book can. This series known as the ‘Clown Conspiracy’ is like a bunch X-files episodes that all carry the same chilling clown type theme but branch out in story with individual arcs in each addition. From this first one I was hooked and went back to the series over the past six months. Give short reads a chance! Here’s my review from January

 

‘Nocturnal Farm’ by Villimey Mist

nocturnal farm

Vampire stories are still very relevant today, even more so when they break the usual mould and take a path less travelled like Nocturnal Farm which is the sequel to Nocturnal Blood. Book one was a chase style story that introduced the universe while this one represented more of a rescue effort while uncovering more of the vampire world already introduced. The MC is a sufferer of OCD and anxiety, but it’s not glorified or exploited, it’s highlighted in a brave and original way.  The Nocturnal series is definitely the one to watch right now as more sequels are planned! My full review is here. 

Break Them All!!: A Modern Era Awakening! by DRTao

48720608. sy475

The Hall of Information proudly takes on books from all corners of genre. Fiction or non-fiction we’re happy to read them and this unique self help book can best be described as ‘A unique mind opening insight into breaking the shells that govern our existence…’ and that’s taken straight from my review.

Break them all can be picked up by anyone looking for a little more insight into their own mind. It’s written in that accessible way and like I said in my review It’s intelligent but easy to take in and highlights how to see things differently and perhaps not the way we usually see them.’

Nightjar by Paul Jameson

39991159. sy475

Every now and then a true literary gem comes along and this one took me by complete surprise. So much so I had to drop mostly everything and just read it cover to cover. Nightjar can best be described as something between folklore and fantasy while being written in a classic literary style. It’s a fresh story with an oldie style and that will take you back and it’s a combination that makes this one a potential read of the year! Trust me, check it out, my review is here…

Swinging Sanity by N.F. Mirza

44172434. sy475

And now some poetry because every reader’s list should have some on and mine is no different. ‘Swinging Sanity’ is a deep and sensory collection of poetry, by that I mean it’s  an emotion fuelled account full of feelings that covers a range of subjects. ‘From self harm, depression, anxiety, loneliness, love, individual suffering and pain to everything else that centres around our sanity, you’ll see it represented here without any reservations and with honesty – something the world needs to talk about more…’  Check out my full review here…

The Band Director’s Lessons About Life: Volume 1 – 50 Parables on Life’s Performance Cycle by Donald Lee

50052263. sx318

The Hall of Information was approached directly by Donald Lee who introduced his work and it didn’t take much to convince me to check it out. This collection of scenarios serve as parables related to the teaching of music that reflects on lessons learned. The subject matter ranges from time management, knowledge, belief, having fun, performing, forgiveness, failure and so much more (50 in total). This is a book that’ll make you think and hopefully motivate you to be better in the same sense. My full review is here…

Memories of Mars: a Novella (Custodian Library Archives Book 1) by Colin Yeoman

38106336. sx318

I cannot stress how good short books can be when they are good and Memories of Mars is one that caught me off guard yet again. Part science fiction and part literary ficton, this brand of ‘Fringe fiction’ faces the age old question about our origins and that of the red planet’s. To quote my reviewColin Yeoman has cleverly fused real elements of biological transmission experimentation with the human memory which possibly fills in the gaps of our history in the universe and more specifically Mars which is wholeheartedly original…’

And so that wraps up my ‘best books of 2020 so far’ but there are a stack of great reads I did not mention as I am saving them for the yearly review. Thanks for stopping by!

Stuff I’m watching right now to stay sane…

Ah yes, sanity, it’s an interesting subject right now and like the elevator industry for me it has it’s ups an downs… The truth is and although ‘governments’ are trying to get folks back to work and out of lock down, it isn’t over yet, not for a long while and personally I’m staying in for the near and possibly distant future. 

Just how am I staying sane every other day in this emerging world of being inside and sat on one’s posterior? It’s simple really, I’m re watching a lot of stuff that I liked in the past so here are a few recommendations that have been keeping me distracted from my own sanity…

Life on Mars – Series by BBC – Available via Netflix 

BBC One - Life on Mars

It’s hard for even me to accept that 2006 is over 15 years ago but facts and age realisations aside because Life on Mars is somewhat of a time travelling gem in my eyes. This is because the show has aged rather well and portrays 1970’s Manchester through the eyes of Detective Sam Tyler who is run over in the present day and wakes up there – it’s a pretty genius and ‘out there’ concept that works. Sam must survive life in the 70’s as a detective and find a way home.

There’s a level of authenticity about the whole thing and not to mention the atmosphere is captured well. Now I was born in the late 80’s but after watching it beside my Old man back in the day who left school in ’74, he can vouch for the authenticity of what is a police procedural show that captures the times and has a side serving of science fiction/Bowie-esqe weirdness. Because it arrived in 2006 there isn’t a lot of PC stuff which makes for more realism and if you do watch it, the show is dominated by a great performance from Phillip Glenister who plays the boozing, scruff snatching, say what he want’s DCI Gene Hunt and not to mention the soundtrack is golden!

The X-Files (Season 2) – Available on Amazon Prime 

Without doubt Sci fi television what not be what it is today without Mulder and Scully’s antics. I’m currently near the end of Season 2 and this show overall is still very watchable and stands up to today’s standards. Just the stand alone capers these agents find themselves in make for some great 45 minute escapism with a hint of the weird.

Amazon.com: The X-Files: Season 2: David Duchovny, Gillian ...

Spotlight – Netflix 

Although it’s not a show, Spotlight is a great film that has been on my sights for a while and so the other day I spent an evening watching what is a gripping roller coaster of deception and unravelling of truth. The film follows a group of investigative journalists in Boston who uncover the truth about a racket of sexual abusers in the Catholic church.

Spotlight (film) - Wikipedia

What hit me the most was how determined these journalists were in finding the truth. They weren’t looking to create a story, they were proper journalists – unlike many in the media we see today. It just reminds us how there can be responsible ways news can be reported as opposed to the fear mongering, bad news churning machines most outlets are today.

The cast is stellar, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams and Mark Ruffalo head up a great film and story which will keep you gripped.

The Walking Dead – Season 3 – Available of many platforms 

The Walking Dead season 3: All named character deaths

It’s such a shame this show became what it did, but back in the day in the earlier seasons this show had a heart and soul. It portrayed horror and the struggle of surviving. The characters and their arcs were like nothing we had seen in the genre. It was beyond a soap opera, it was an art that the actors wonderfully created. The acting in this thing has always been great and recently I have been working my way through what is a show that I keep close to my heart- up to season 6 anyway.

For those who have never tasted water from the walking dead well, try the first few season and you’ll understand.

Aliens – DVD 

Aliens (1986) – Deep Focus Review – Movie Reviews, Critical Essays ...

Possibly the finest hour of space action. Aliens is the blockbuster sequel to possibly the finest hour of space horror and they are both in my top 10. James Cameron directs what is both action and horror fused together by the unknown of what a small team of mercenaries and a survivor from last time face. The cast, the production design, the action, the suspense all of it still hold up very well today for what is a film that released way back in 1986. The extended version isn’t that much longer than the cinematic version so it’s worth a look. Of course Sigourney Weaver sealed her place in the action hero hall of fame. Watch it, you will not be disappointed.

And so that wraps up the things I’ve been watching to stay sane. What have you been doing to stay sane? 

Weekly Ramble #48

This has been probably the most important year of my life, in both writing and everything else and even now there are several plays to be made before the final bell is rung. 

Everything that I have achieved hasn’t been easy but it never is. This blog is approaching 400 followers, this year we started south of 200. Incredible things happen when decent people back you and that’s probably my real secret to all of this; good people trusting my words which are also good and honest.

Story telling as a whole is just a collection of good ideas fashioned into some kind of order and then put on the page. Convincing people to take on those pages is the hardest part of all of this, but we’re getting there. This always was and always will be a one person at a time kind of deal. To all 398 of you who one by one made the effort to follow this Hall of Information – thank you, when it reaches 400 there will be something of a reward…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Real Neat Blog Award Nomination II (+ tags)

The Hall of information has received it’s fourth award nomination of 2019!

It truly is an honor to be noticed as a blogger and I would like to thank big time blog-star Megan from A Geeky Gal for the nod. Let me take this opportunity to tell you about what a great blogger she is!

geeky galMegan is the epitome of blogging and without doubt one of the benchmarks that I follow for inspiration . Not only does she blog about all things geek but she also blogs about some very important subjects in the field of self care and mental health in the geek community. Very recently Megan completed a 30 Day Geek out Challenge which not only shows how dedicated she is to blogging but also how similar our tastes are in so many different things! So thank you to Megan for the nomination! 

real neat

The Rules:

  • Display the Award Logo.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and post a link to their blog.
  • Answer the questions of the one who nominated you.
  • Nominate 7-10 bloggers.
  • Ask them seven questions.

Questions from Megan: 

1. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

That depends of how self assured you want me to be… If things continue the way they are going now then the dreamer in me would like to think things would be pretty good. I’m certain the next decade will probably be the most important of my life as a writer and of course the person outside of those efforts. There’s a big motherfu**ing world of opportunity out there that I intend to go after and that includes seizing every moment I get. A couple more amazon reviews wouldn’t be a bad thing either…

2. Who or what is your spirit animal?

The cliche answer would be Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters but I’ve heard at least two people say the same. I like to be different because I am so I’m gonna say my spirit animal would be the wind. Fierce sometimes and gentle on other occasions. You can’t see it like most spirits but it’s there, always (deep right).

3. What is one thing on your bucket list?

Above all I would love to see my writing make its way to the big screen and then be a success. Most of my stuff is written in a cinematic style and to even see the trailer of something I wrote would be enough to convince me this was all worth it (plus there would probably be tears…).

4. What is your strategy for the zombie apocalypse?

Well I can’t shoot, I don’t like to run (even though I can) and I’ve never really been one to fight so my efforts would sway towards hiding out of sight most probably above ground with some beer and just let the whole thing play out…

winchester.PNG

5. What movie/book character are you most like?

dickens

Great question! And right now I have the perfect answer although I may appear to be reaching here but at this point in time I see myself as being mostly like Charles Dickens from the 2017 film ‘the man who invented Christmas’. The film highlights Dickens struggle to pen his most famous, the most famous Christmas story.

Now people are probably thinking how dare you compare to such a literary master and if I told you the true reason why I see myself as him I would be giving all my cards away – let’s just say this year and the festive season coming may have a quite a surprise in store… For anyone who is a fan of Dickens, literature and of course ‘a Christmas Carol’ I highly recommend taking a look at this film!

6. If you could do anything you want for a living, what would it be?

The older I get the more I have come to appreciate the English language. Now I don’t see myself as an academic but if money was no option I would seriously consider being an English literature teacher. There’s a lot of great literature out there that just isn’t reaching the generations of kids in a way it deserves to be recognised, teaching stuff like that needs someone relatively hip and with it; I am both of those things, plus I’ve written books and plays… #morethanqualified – and I mean that without any course to put down any teachers currently out there – you guys rock!

robin quote

7. If we were all forced to wear a warning label,  what would yours say?

‘Warning: This writer will use what you say, do or think in a future project. Speak, act or think at your own risk’…

or more realistically ‘keep away from booze’ 

A huge thanks to Megan for the nomination and now it’s my turn to nominate the following for the real neat blog award: 

  1. LillBlu1981
  2. Mullen Crafts
  3. Stoner on a Rollercoaster
  4.  Debjani’s Thoughts
  5.  Christina Engela
  6. The Alchemist’s Studio
  7. Book Steff’s Bookish Blog

And here are the questions for the nominees: 

  1.  If you were to give a TED talk, what would be your specialist subject?
  2.  What is your favourite season of the year and why?
  3.  If you could time travel, where are you going? The past or the future? And why?
  4.  (Stolen from Megan because it’s a good question) Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
  5.  Name a book, a tv show or a film that you could watch or read over and over again?
  6.  Are you superstitious?
  7.  What do you think is the most important invention of the past 20 years?

 

Of course anyone who hasn’t been nominated is free to participate and those that do remember to link me in the post so I can see those answers! Rock and roll man! Peace out….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Real Neat Blog Award Nomination!

The Hall of information blog has been nominated for the Real Neat Blog Award by Jaycee Lynch of the Thinking Moon Blog!

real neat

In what appears to be my most important year for writing and blogging things just get better and better. It’s an honour that a blogger as renowned as Jaycee would think of an operation like this and so a huge thank you to an awesome fellow blogger and important member of the writing community.

thinking moon

Seeing as one of the only things I am good at is manners I shall take this opportunity to tell y’all a bit more about the blogger who nominated the Hall of information. The Thinking Moon Blog is a plethora of adventure into the written word. From sustainability, to interviews, music and various immersive writings, it’s the pinnacle of what a successful blog should be. Plus we’re both huge fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer so it’s safe to say we’re cultured individuals with aligned tastes. Jaycee has been a huge supporter of my work and is one of the helpful few who have allowed me to reach the many.

So what does the Real Neat Blog Award nomination mean? Well there’s some rules which are:

  • Display the Award Logo. 
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and post a link to their blog.
  • Answer the questions from the blog who nominated you.
  • Nominate 7-10 bloggers.
  • Ask them seven questions.

Ah right, I think I got this… so here are the questions provided by Thinking Moon that I shall try my best to answer in a fun, witty but clever way…

1. If you won a Grammy for any genre of music, what would it be? 

It would most probably be for a musical album, no joke. If I were ever to enter the music industry it would have something to do with my writing getting me there. I’ve always played around with the thought of converting one of my sci-fi stories into a full on musical. Just imagine being in the cinema watching some epic inner city battle between robots and humans; then they break into song!

2. Who is your favourite villain(s) from any universe?

There is a stack of awesome bad guys out there but so many of them are missing that final piece of a nearly complete puzzle – beliveable motive. In the comic book universes especially; a big bad will normally show already being bad and it just feels one dimensional.

dent.PNG

I don’t have a specific bad guy that I am fond of but my favourite in terms of journey, motive and all around reasons for being bad is Harvey ‘Two Face’ Dent from the Dark Knight. Here we see a man who is good and wholesome, but the world his character interacts with has turned him into the villain he becomes in the latter stages of the film. He is a creation of the environment around him and actually sees sense in aligning himself with the anarchy of the Joker. This also moves us to a pretty awesome segway into question 3…

3. What was your all-time favourite Halloween costume or cosplay you’ve done? Pictures please! 

I was literally asked the other day by someone; do you remember Heath Ledger’s Joker from the Dark Knight?

joker yeah

Way back when, before the aging process set in, I looked a lot like Heath Ledger (apparently… I didn’t just go around saying this to everyone) but you got to admit; that picture above, I can confirm is me at the London New Years Day parade, does look a bit like Heath’s joker.

nor con

4. What’s the weirdest trend you’ve ever partaken in? 

In the age of the internets there have been a huge amount of flavour of the week fads or trends and in all honesty I don’t usually get myself caught up in such things, I live under a rock most of the time, but even I couldn’t resist the urge to play…

flappy bird

Now considering I am a bit of technophobe/ can’t be bothered to keep up type of person, this game had me hooked!

5. What Movie/ Play/ Game soundtrack is your favourite?

If I want to be consistent with question 1 then I’m going with a musical soundtrack. The Greatest Showman is possibly one of the best modern musicals for a very long time. Nearly every song is catchy and meaningful, plus for Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron reasons.

showman.PNG

An honorable mention must also go to my top Nightshift listen ‘Once more, with feeling’ the album taken from Buffy’s famous groundbreaking musical episode!

once more

6. What was the best thing, before sliced bread?

Although sliced wholemeal does appear frequently in my diet I will have to say the best thing before they decided to sell sliced bread would have to be books! I wasn’t around when they first decided to slice bread but I know for a fact they were slicing pulp into pages way before! Although I am kind of obligated to say books (being an author and all) I have to show my support for the literary industry as a whole…

cropped-boooks.jpg

7. What is your favourite inspirational quote? 

I actually have two which come to mind. Both from films that have influenced me:

robin quote

Of course I couldn’t just leave a Robin Williams quote without saying how much his work influenced and filled my childhood with awesome memories. Even into to adulthood I learned to appreciate his comedy, energy and presence. Robin Williams was truly a wonderful performer who left us too soon.

doc

Back to the Future is my all time favourite film and the series isn’t far behind. No matter how many times you go back or forward in time to change things and no matter how much time you think you don’t have; you future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one!

Nomination time

Fellow bloggers I would like to nominate and acknowldge for the Real Neat Blogger Award are: 

  1. Debjani – Debjani’s Thoughts
  2. Blair – Feed the Crime
  3. Bookshelf Q Battler – Bookshelf Battle
  4. Irene – Irene Pylypec.com
  5. Christina Engela – The Crow Bar
  6. Sifar – sunilmdabral
  7. Michaeljordahl

Questions for the nominees

  1. From all the books you have read, name one you would have loved to have written and why?
  2. What was the subject of your very first blog post?
  3. Do you believe in ghosts? If so, have you had any paranormal experiences?
  4. Do you have a go to music album or vocal artist you have always listened to?
  5. In a few sentences how would you define blogging?
  6. Have you ever had a hero you’ve looked up to?
  7. Are you a believer in luck? Tell me about your luckiest moment in life?

 

Thanks for reading and of course thank you to Thinking Moon for thinking of me with the nomination. Rock and roll man!

A thank you to everyone!

I don’t normally post something on here unless I have the material but guys the follows and overall support I have got this month as an author is incredible!

From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU ALL. Like publishing a book in general I took a plunge or leap this month while already riding the coat tails of some already epic numbers this blog has seen in 2019. Just look where we stand now….

dem numbers

I mean those figures speak for themselves alone just for this month, but 2019 so far has been huge compared to before and there’s another incredible result…

teleporter logo

Last year I dove into the unknown of publishing a super hero comedy novella. Upon release the sales figures were insulting, my ego diminished and all belief in book stuff pretty much gone. We all want instant results but they don’t happen and so after some serious time spent making a name for myself in the literary world of indie publishing/ reviewing, The Teleporter finally arrived!

tp promo results

As you can see The Teleporter shifted some big time numbers and even had a stint as #1 in it’s particular ‘genetic engineering’ chart…

And that isn’t all because there are some genuine results from the Teleporter’s arrival!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I had to put together a fricking slide show to display the amount of new reviews we got!

But wait there’s more, I’ve even had fellow bloggers write reviews which I then re blogged here so Thanks to Mullen Crafts and  also thanks to Elysia Lumen Strife. Both of your reviews were probably better than the damn book itself, and they made it all the way to Amazon.com! the holy grail of places for reviews! 

There was also a 1 Star review which I won’t dwell too much on, but I think some people came out to read the Teleporter in response and support of me, so thanks folks. You can read my reaction to it here via weekly ramble numero 30…. 

For those looking for book promo tips I recommend this little results post I put together earlier in April

And to everyone else, writer, blogger, tweeter or reader, a tip of the cap to you all. Peace out! That’s April folks… my best month ever in writing!  

April 7th… 

tp reviews

April 30th

teleporter now

Amazon US 

amazon us

Weekly Ramble #23

I’m still coming down. And god damn I am proud of what we did over the weekend. For the first time in the 76 year history of Iver Heath Drama Club we put on our own written pantomime show.

This journey hasn’t been easy (and there’s still another weekend of shows to go), they never are and the reward is like nothing I have ever felt before. Writing plays is something I transitioned into from performing, every show I was cast in, I took that as an opportunity to fuel my learning. Eventually that turned into the unique ability to be able to tell my own stories and the open welcoming environment of Iver Heath Drama Club has fostered and nurtured my writing to heights I could never imagine.

I take a look around and ask myself how the fu** did we get here? How did this whole deal become this big. The answer, like all big answers is relatively simple. Without intentionally being deep, the answer much like everything good we ever do or create comes from within.

And I say this now as advice to anyone looking to succeed in not only writing, but in life and work. All you have to do is show up on time and work hard. Get there and roll up your sleeves. If the environment you’re in is decent and so are the people, eventually they will reward you for showing up and doing a shift. And quite possibly they might even love you for it. Everything else will follow, we all learn in our own way.

I view story telling as just a sequence of ideas put together in a neat orderly fashion. The more time you spend tidying up those ideas in that mind of yours, the better the stories will get along with those ideas. Above all I create because I enjoy it, making something gives me the greatest sense of fulfillment in life and this time around I am not alone. We put together a show as a team, and for the first time, writing hasn’t been a solitary lone affair, its been so much more and so I can live with being high on that for a while…

Weekly Ramble #12

I can finally move on. The book is finally published in paperback and my job is done. It’s been an emotional roller coaster. Releasing stuff always is because in essence its a part of me until I let it go. 

Now I can focus my emotions onto something else; first of all nothing; sometimes nothing is your friend; emptiness and silence can fulfill where there was once chaos. The words I have laid down this time around were for a specific group; those who supported me in the beginning and those who have read my work.

I don’t do this for money, for fame or for even recognition. I’ve been lucky enough to discover my calling in life; telling stories; stories that are a part of me; characters and situations which are intertwined with truth and fiction. Imagination is what sets us apart from everything else. Even though that’s deep after everything they are just words.

Many writer folks and even novice wordsmiths will be delving into the na-no-wri-mo thing this month; me I’m officially in off season. And if you ask me writing a novel in a month is just opening yourself up for disappointment. Stories take more than time limits to find shape. They grow over months and years and not for the sake of a hashtag. Try writing all year round.

Nobody can be taught to write and anyone who claims they can teach writing is full of shit. Learning to write is something you can only find alone and it comes from within. This craft is built upon time spent laying down words. And when you aren’t writing you should be reading; everything by everyone. Indie work, traditionally published stuff, unpublished stuff and even newspapers. Read, read, read, and write all the damn time; eventually your voice will discover itself.

There will be more books but for now my mind will rest and delve towards another script; a play about a certain forbidden fruit.