Books With Unique Voices

If we don’t talk about books, then how is the world going to know they exist? 

In the past few years and even recently I’ve delved into some truly unique stories that deserve a little more than a review. And a little more than a review is simply talking about them. 

With that in mind let’s dive in and look at some books with unique voices…
good audit.JPG

The Good Audit by C.P Aiden (cool pen name) tackles the subject matter of accounting in a funny but very accessible way where pretty much anyone can enjoy it. This book is unique because the delivery style intertwines with a sense of humor that captures every essence of the pressures, the laments and even the eating habits of those who work in accounts. Characters are simply named by their job title which is an original concept as well as a potential protective measure for any type of libel. You don’t need to know about auditing or accounts to enjoy this one!

the 4

The Four Before Me by E.H Night is an 80’s slasher that brings a whole new dimension of intelligence to the genre. It’s unique because of that and over the years literature and cinema have churned out so many stories that follow the same slash, character makes a stupid decision, kill, repeat formula without any depth. This one breaks that mold with a twisting story of suspense and an array of realistic primary and secondary characters that make up the small town vibe where four women have previously gone missing, women who share similarities to the main character. By the end this book becomes more than a slasher trust me…

fated to mee you

Fated to Meet You by Despoina Kemeridou is a modern fairy tale that serves for some unique escapism much like the M.C ‘Nora’ who literally escapes to another world of Kings, Queens and Castles. It’s a quick read that brings a modern twist the the genre that might possibly be as old as time…

39991159. sy475

Nightjar by Paul Jameson is truly unique for it’s writing style that reads much like a classic. It’s no easy feat to achieve that and keep it going for the entirety of a book which sits somewhere between fantasy and folklore. Set in a ‘Feudal Future’ two boys stray from the confines of home and embark on a unique journey and come face to face with Nightjar – just who or what that is, read the book and find out…

53551587. sy475

American Blasphemer by John Gillen is unique literary fiction like you’ve never seen before and I say fiction but from this book you’ll get biographical vibes from the very beginning. You can probably guess what unfolds by the title and yes to some it might appear Blasphemic or even the anti bible, but to me it serves as a companion to life in the United states while everyone can relate to it. From sex and drugs to family and religion or even Bob Dylan this one is incredibly unique.

LJ and Rom

How LJ and Rom Saved Heavy Metal by S.D. McKinley is the reason I put this list together and it’s not only unique but fun, sometimes random but always enjoyable. To quote my very recent review  ‘Main characters LJ and Rom decide that they are done with rally car racing and decide to make a pilgrimage of sorts across country along the open road to save their close friend. The action picks up quickly and doesn’t let off the gas near enough all the way through page turning chapters where our heroes come across a multitude of ‘out there’ experiences from trashing motel rooms rock and roll style, fixing their vehicle, high speed racing to even the supernatural and everything else in between...’

Is there a unique tale you want to share with the world? 

 

Weekly Ramble #70

What are you doing to look after your mental health? Right now more than ever do we need to be conscious of our subconscious because every so often in times that are different it’ll peek out from behind the curtain and catch you out..

Many of us are creatures of habit. We rinse and repeat in a our lifestyles, it’s how they were designed. The ‘routine’ was our nuts and bolts. In most structures, if you take the nuts and bolts away, things fall to the floor. Our brains are no different, and after extended time in isolation and away from those who make up the construct of our human routines, it’s getting difficult. Everything is making me fed up.

If you like me, you’re probably sick to death of hearing phrases like ‘unprecedented times’ or even ‘corona’. The news is a plague in it’s own right. It’s sole content is this crap the world currently faces, yet another uphill challenge but this one has us all directly gripped. I try to stay away from it. This whole deal won’t change in days or probably weeks. Journalists, or at least some of them have slipped in my opinion of them. If you watch the daily briefings in whatever land you are, and there’s an opportunity for Q and A, you’ll hear the upmost absurdities being regurgitated from their mouths.

Recently here in the UK the daily brief has included questions from real people who are asking what we want to know (not journalists). Not about the stupid fucking economy but when will we be able hug our grandchildren, or take them to play in parks. Real questions that have a human implication to emote. Journalists default to this mode of questioning that is both aimed at making a figure head stumble and bring a somewhat level of misery to everyone else. Are they things we need right now? How are we going to relate to them if they just ask questions that trigger bad thoughts?

A key and gospel way of looking after your mental health is to choose. And by choose I mean not be around certain people and places. While this is hard because we are isolated, I have abstained from listening to the Q and A part of the daily briefings. While I wholeheartedly support freedom of speech and questioning the authority to an extent, there is some journalism that is just destructive and bares no necessity in the modern world. Fuck off with your negativity and stop trying to divide us. The one thing we will always have as a species, isolated or not is each other, let’s keep it that way shall we….

Its going to be alright…

Watching the news before bed isn’t a good idea,

The media and their tactics will fill you with fear.

This whole covid deal might take quite a while

So dig deep and find a reason or anything to smile.

Play games, read books even connect online,

Reach out to others and we will all be fine.

Some folks are going out hoarding more and more,

Too ignorant to realise this is our own world war.

It’s up to us to protect the generations of old,

Because as kids it was our hands they would hold.

To survive we’re gonna need to fight,

Then I think, it’s going to be alright.

 

 

Weekly Ramble #3

Reboots, are they just the outcome of failed originality? Or is there a deeper meaning and reason to re-tell a story of old? It seems nearly every other film release is a sequel or call back to a story previous these days. And is that the reason fan basses shudder at such an idea?

This is going to be a conflicted one, three questions in the introduction alone indicate that but for good reason, this ramble is close to home and heart.

created by

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is in the news and crosshairs as a rebbot has been announced. A show that is much more than a monster of the week quirky horror come sometimes comedy, its also the reason I am a writer today.

So maybe you’re thinking that my thoughts would be negative, not so because the idea of a Buffy reboot means fans like me get to see more of a story we have grown up loving. There were and is so much that came from that show, it influenced a generation and got scores of kids, teenagers and adults through the struggle of life in general. This included a 12 year old me. Afterall the galvanising quote of Buffy is about life and the fact the hardest thing in this world is living, sometimes.

download.jpeg

The whole journey of not just a vampire slayer but her likeable and very followable gang reached a status that not many televison clans ever think of gracing. Buffy may actually be the greatest character driven narrative ever and for that I became inspired to tell stories myself with the messages Buffy carried.

I am more than welcome to an idea of a reboot if it manages to carry with it what the original did so damn well. High school is hard if not hell sometimes, listen and learn from your elders, rely on friends and learn from one another. They are all just some of the moral themes Buffy carried and if that can be reproduced then this generation of kids need the slayer.

Not to mention the original show broke boundaries socially. As long as the reboot doesnt become just an opportunity to protest about the obvious problems this world has then it may be good.

We as fans will always have the memories of what that original run of 7 seasons did for us and me. Maybe it is time for the story to start again and show the world a still very relevant story.

The Walking Dead Season 8 Finale Review

It’s been a pretty enduring season for The Walking Dead, a roller coaster that many fans will prefer to leave behind, myself included. Opinions are divided and most viewers haven’t been happy with recent decisions for the overall direction of the show. Here’s my review of what was an interesting and important turning point for Rick and the gang…

twd

They had to do something with Negan…

negan 2

No doubt JDM has brought a masterclass of villainy to TWD, his arrival two seasons previous will go down in history and turned the whole story upside down. The original execution and motives of such a big character is probably the sole reason for the show’s downturn. I have covered Negan before but my concern has always been what will they do with such a momentous character, a seemingly indestructible force in a fragile world. His whole deal seemed to grow stale after the past two years, and there were scenes where I honestly thought the show’s writers didn’t know what to do him.

This seasons final episode set in motion a direction which sat somewhere between expected and unexpected. We finally got some level of resolve towards Negan and an indication of where his fate will move to next. You could tell especially in his half of S8 that they were doing something, and the pay off came, eventually.

Clearly the show running powers that be have spoken…

Looking around the internet rumor mill its no secret the show runner position for the walking dead has changed mid season, lets face it, they had to change things. You could tell almost straight away in the mid season premiere it was out with the old and in with the new, of course Carl’s death foreshadowed anything drastic and essentially became the theme of events to follow.

Although I truly believe Carl’s death should never have been, it has given the show an almost refreshing direction, now stay with me here, but the Rick we saw in the last episode of this season has been shaped by the loss of his son and the legacy he left behind.

Mercy is the greatest weapon of all, and a key to character development…

We’ve seen Rick take down the big bad before, we’ve seen the group move from settlement to settlement before, we’ve seen them deal with trust issues before. The decision for Rick not to kill Negan has interrupted the stale routine this show has got itself into, they have broken the cycle and maybe without knowing displayed a huge amount of development for the characters of this show. The take away moment from this episode was Rick showing mercy to a defeated Negan and the saviors. He has taken the high road and showed that people can be better than just killing.

That triple cross though…

coral 2

Eugene was playing chess quite simply and to see the moment his manufactured bullets backfired was a huge unexpected twist. Something had to happen and this was the moment the tables turned, for the better.

For the greater good of the group

Let’s face it there have been some wonderful character performances throughout the 8 years of TWD. Many of which were on display in this episode which to me felt like a television special. Jerry and King Ezekiel are wonderfully likable characters with a natural chemistry on full display as the episode opened.

Morgan has always been a favorite for me and the deep psychological issues he faces and tackles is superbly depicted. His character may seem erratic but under the hood he knows what is going on, and even referenced to the ‘bar’ scene him and Rick found themselves in a few episodes previous. Their decision to break the bond of their word didn’t fall on silent ears and was addressed, a pivotal moment which has broken the usual vague style TWD carries.

An unexpected emotional moment came to me through Dwight’s retribution and apology to Daryl. He is a man with nearly nothing left and somehow stands out as someone very relevant in the world where Negan is now a prisoner.

I enjoyed Father Gabriel’s journey toward the light, and again it seems his faith has pulled through. Another example of great emotional acting.

There’s still a long way to go

I know for a fact it wasn’t perfect, but this episode was the first good’un in what seems like a long run of dud episodes. Most of the season was in fact a dud without direction and too spread out. With the dissolution of Negan’s reign there seems to be a new fresh route this show could take.

There are still many open plot points which need to be answered, that will always be TWD’s style, but for the first time in a long time, this show has got itself a win, and we still get to keep Negan, something which I am sure will have some level of resurgence and value in later episodes.

A feel good factor

It feels good for the first time in a long time to watch this show, that whole putting the audience though as much shit as the characters has finally been lifted. Carl’s memory and contribution were memorialized throughout the episode playing on the audiences heart strings and perhaps sub consciously nodding to the fact he probably shouldn’t have died, even though his death may have got the Walking Dead out of this rut.

Overall I liked the episode

From the very open of this episode I could tell it was going to be good. The twists and turns which led to Negan’s defeat were simple and straight to the point. I enjoyed the fact it happened just after the halfway point leaving more time to move towards next season’s plot.

The overall character development of this show has been flexed in this episode and I think the cast have ridden a proverbial shit storm out of a shituation. Full credit to the sheer effort they put in to make this whole deal feel so emotionally real. TWD has always captured the emotion above everything else.

Should they really be divided?

That’s the question most people are asking, and I think its another interesting twist. Was it right to publicly show mercy to Negan in front of the likes of Maggie. If so a civil war could be on the horizon. I’m not sure I fully believe the motives of Jesus and Daryl as they align themselves with Maggie, that may be my only criticism of a decent episode of the Walking Dead and for the first time we have no frustrating cliff hanger!

coral

Darke Blood Goodreads Giveaway

It’s time for a Giveaway! Yes free stuff alert, because I have began a Goodreads giveaway for my latest book Darke Blood…

You can get your hands on a signed copy of my latest book by entering the giveaway for free here! In order to enter you can sign in to Goodreads through Facebook making this whole deal a lot easier than signing up to a site you may not use often. I am asking for an honest review in exchange of entering the giveaway because it’s all about reviews, reviews and more reviews! Over 100 people have entered so far!

With publication day and the release of Darke Blood behind me now its up to the rest of the world to help spread the word about the book. Reviews are what sell books and must I implore you to leave one on either amazon or goodreads  or both; even if you are only a portion of the way though Darke Blood, every review helps! 

And some of you have been fantastic in showing your support, the #darkeblood selfie movement has begun which is massive in getting the book seen across social media.

Publication Day! Darke Blood out now!

The day is finally here! My second book Darke Blood is officially out now! The selfies already started earlier this week after I kicked off proceedings on Instagram where I can happily say we have already broke records with the amount of likes it recieved.

image

That many likes for something without a cat, food or cleavage…

And that is all I want out of this book, growth and evolution. A few more sales and few more likes than last time will make me a happy independently published author.   Above all more reviews on Amazon and hopefully Goodreads will grant this project a success, so please if you read my work leave a review!

I must take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support towards Darke Blood, this was indeed the hardest story I have ever struggled to tell and seeing the whole thing come together with your support has been fantastic. Being a two time author makes this all seem like I am more than just a lucky one off guy who published one book, plus it gives readers a back catalogue to delve into if they like my work.

If you like Darke Blood and survive the ride,  the twists and the turns then I guarantee you will be a reader of my stuff for years to come. This one really tests the boundaries for the reader as well as tell an atmospheric psychological story of redemption and identity. And yeah there are vampires, witches and some connections to Open Evening!

This hasn’t been a sole effort and I must thank my editor and publisher Nicky from Satin Publishing for helping me so much develop this story into what was an initial draft all the way to polished published book. Darke Blood went through many minor and major changes throughout the drafting and editing process. My next thank you goes to Design for Writers , they simply gave this book an identity by creating a fantastic looking cover. I was really stumped as to what I wanted this one to look like so Design for Writers saved me in that sense and the outcome is a world class looking cover.

All there is left for to say is thank you everyone, I have achieved my dream once again and now it’s over to you to help me find some success with it. Let’s start a new selfie movement with Darke Blood and remember your shares, likes and comments are what generates buzz about this, and will ultimately decide its success!

Happy publication Day!

And heres the direct link to the book…

My second book cover… Revealed

OKAY EVERYONE HERE IT IS….

THE COVER OF DARKE BLOOD IN ALL IT’S GLORY…

..

..

..

ARE YOU READY??

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

dfw-lh-db-cover-wrap

Andrew and Rebecca from Design for Writers have put in some fantastic work with this cover and I think we can all agree it looks awesome! 

The final steps are approaching for the publication of my second book but there is still so much to do. As we get closer to publication day on the 25th I will be organizing a Facebook event to gather everyone for an online launch. Your likes, shares and comments are what will make this book a success and I have to thank you all for the continued following and support.

Any big news from now on will first break via my email list, so sign up today via email (box up in the top right corner) and you will be the first to get stuff (this includes free books/material). 

Rock and roll man…

dfw-lh-db-cover-3d

 

Great Conspiracy Theories

Before you scroll past this blog link which seems like click-bait, it isn’t. If there’s one thing I love it’s a good conspiracy theory. As the internet becomes more and more powerful and public free speech continues in most places there will always be conspiracy theories. So here’s my take on some personal favorites. And there may be a special very soon to be relevant theory that may just be fiction, or not…. (nudge/ wink) 

Roswell 1947 – Present day!

Many will say this is where the birth of the ufologists came from, yes there is a name for people who study this stuff. I have even had the pleasure of working with someone who used to be a ufologist and seeing as I love a conspiracy we have spent many a night shift discussing this stuff.

ufo

In 1947 something crashed on a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico. Wikipedia says it was a balloon and so did the military, but the press and eyewitnesses said something different. Of course in all reports like this there are difference of accounts and opinions. Some people saw a ‘flying disc’ and those who found wreckage of what crashed was made from a material described as ‘nothing made on this earth’. So how could this be a weather balloon? Further witness reports even suggested ‘bodies’ were removed from the crash site wreckage. Aliens?

Over the years many people tried to debunk what the military firstly reported, there were books written and several eye witness accounts going into the hundreds. Roswell itself cashed in big on the theory and see’s tourists flock there every year. But what did really happen?

In the 90’s the US military eventually released two statements. Firstly they concluded the wreckage was most likely from a high altitude surveillance balloon used in something called Project Mogul. Then they tried to explain the presence of ‘bodies’ recovered from the wreckage. Memories of accidents involving military aircraft combined with them using dummies in previous projects were to blame for people thinking they saw ‘bodies’ when they didn’t. Seems legit huh?

Either way Roswell was a cool conspiracy theory and the alien autopsy that came out in the 90’s adds a new spin on the whole thing, but was proved to be a hoax.

The Solway Firth Spaceman

spaceman

You cant help but let your imagination jump to several conclusions when you see this pic. Now to me the figure seen behind the little girl looks like somebody fencing (sword fighting).

Taken way back in 1964 by a man named Jim Templeton in Cumbria UK, he seems to have captured more than he bargained for. Many people contest that this photo is indeed an alien or spaceman. Mr Templeton claimed at the time the photo was taken there was nobody in the background so it wasn’t until he got them back from Kodak that he saw this.

Kodak confirmed the photo was genuine and hadn’t been tampered with. He even took it to the local police who found nothing suspicious about it. To make things strange Jim was even approached by two people who claimed to work for the government. They asked him to show them the site and then abruptly left after. Weird or what?

The Darke Crusader

This is a largely unknown one, but still cool if you get my drift? So back in the early 2000’s a forum appeared on the now defunct or forgotten geocities web hosting service (remember that?). The original site was deleted long ago but someone did manage to grab a few screen shots of the original forum.

crusadertruth

The Darke Crusader whom runs this forum talks of visiting a town where things start to get weird. The last entry talks of this ‘crusader’ going into the forest. That was the last anyone heard of the host. The only trace left is of this website which appeared recently.

The Dylatov Pass Incident

After spending many hours of boredom combing YouTube and Google I stumbled across what is my favorite and creepiest conspiracy theory.

The Ural mountains, Russia, 1959; cold war territory. A group of mountain trekkers braved the snow on a expedition which would claim their lives. All of them were highly experienced on the mountains. During their hike the weather gradually worsened and moved the group off course. They eventually set up camp on an open mountain side as opposed to a nearby forest area which would provide better coverage from the elements. None of them knew at that point that was their final camp.

Eventually the group were reported missing and rescue efforts were mounted. All 9 of the expedition were found dead but this is where it gets really weird. Their tents were torn from the inside and there were signs of the group fleeing the area without adequate clothing for the weather. They were running from something.

dylatov

The camp discovered later on by a rescue team

 

Initial investigations confirmed 6 of the group died of hypothermia whilst the others had signs of trauma caused by something physical.  Another suffered brain damage but with no obvious cause from impact. What made this even weirder was one woman was found with her tongue and eyes missing. Some of the group were found separately whist others had grouped together, but what happened to those people on the mountains of Ural?

Well the camp showed no signs of intruders, the group left there willingly. Many of the injuries they had couldn’t have been caused by an animal such as a bear. There was a theory suggested an indigenous people lived near by, but were believed to be peaceful.

The bodies and condition of their organs was never made public.

Other hikers 50km away from the camp reported the sight of ‘orange spheres’ seen in the sky that night which points towards military. But the investigation concluded a ‘compelling force’ had caused the Dylatov Pass incident, but maybe we will never know. There are some great resources of this theory on youtube but remember when your watching this stuff at 2am, don’t have nightmares….

Open Evening Goodreads Giveaway

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! WHY NOT HELP AN INDIE AUTHOR BY GETTING YOURSELF A COPY OF OPEN EVENING FOR $3 

Thank you for everyone who entered, much love LH!

March is officially here and is officially the month of giveaways! As some of you who are in on the social media loop will know at the beginning of the week I initiated an Amazon giveaway allowing the people of America to enter with a chance to win one of two copies of my debut book Open Evening. The criteria is simple, follow me on the tweet machine. So far over 400 people have entered!! That’s some great visibility

image

Well that’s good news but the even gooder news is I am now running another give away, this one is available to all those who live in the following countries;

United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Belgium, British Indian Ocean Territory, Cambodia, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Isle of Man, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Pakistan, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and United States Minor Outlying Islands.

Entry Requirements

All you have to do for my Goodreads giveaway is be a member of the site, it’s free like my giveaway and then you will be in with a chance to win 1 of 3 signed copies of my book. Now a review would be nice if you are a lucky winner but it isn’t mandatory. The competition runs from now (02/03/17) until 21/03/17 so it’s now closed….

 

Other News

In other book related news, I have heard from my editor Nicky and the edit of my next novel DARKE BLOOD has begun! I’m looking at a May release for this one so watch this space.