Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 197

This week's picture prompt remains uncredited. The weirdest thing happened when I looked it up on Google Image Search and TinEye - no matches of it anywhere! I saved this down from Tweetdeck - maybe the person removed it, sadly I  no longer know who did share it. So if you happen to know, let me know. 

And this one gives me another Tricky story. She's so ready for her next two books to be written and giving me some great snippets! 

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.



Spying

Tricky stayed in her position and watched them walk by. She listened to their boots crunching in the snow until it faded, then she moved out of her camouflaged spot and leaned round a tree trunk to watch them. She knew one of them but the other had yet to be named. The tree gave a slight rustle and showered her in snowflakes.

‘I know, deary, they’re trouble. It’s why I’m watching them. Did you hear what they were discussing? That’s yours truly.’ Tricky grinned. ‘Oh yes, I’m on their minds alright, and they should be worried about it.’

She stepped back into the undergrowth. She wasn’t stupid enough to walk in the open thoroughfare through the forest, not just because of the sound of the snow, or leaving tracks, but because if they were talking about her, they were having her watched – even out here. Tricky was cleverer than that.

She took a breath and inhaled, bringing up energy from the ground and trees around her. It meant she could glide through the forest unheard at twice the speed and get ahead of them again.

She found another spot, a bit higher up than the path, but it gave her a bird’s eye view. She blew out in a line towards them to create a funnel of sound so she could hear them at this distance.

‘We’ve been warned twice now. We’re clearly not being careful enough.’

‘It’s why she’s named Tricky. But that’s not her real name, surely?’

The man stopped for a second. ‘Don’t tell me you don’t know who she is? Patricia Hayek! I’m paying you good money to be informed, and keep an eye on her movements. I know she’s out here in Ferristan, but none of you seem to have been able to keep her in your sights!’

Tricky snickered to herself. Serves him right thinking he could.

‘I’m sorry Mr Stanislav, but she uses magical means to stay hidden. We haven’t worked out how yet.’

‘What do you mean you haven’t worked out how? By the same means as our friend, he should be able to fill you in.’

‘He said they use different means.’

‘Then maybe he needs to do the tracking for me!’

‘But he said he couldn’t, she’d know then, see, that it was him, and blow his cover.’

Tricky’s eyes were wide and a grin spread across her face. Oh my! What a juicy piece of gossip. There was only one person that could be, but she needed to get evidence, some kind of proof, something more tangible than hearsay.

‘I can’t have that woman meddling, do you hear?’ Then he glanced round the trees. ‘Do you hear woman? I will see the end of you!’

Tricky laughed aloud this time, startling them both. ‘Oh deary, you first!’ she called.

And with that she drew a circle in the air and jump through, closing it behind her. He’d have his trackers out faster than she could say slimy cockswindler.  


Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 196

 This week's prompt was difficult to trace, only found it in four places, two of which were twitter. I could only find it on someone called JC Music's facebook page. I assume they created it. The beach picture is a stock photo, so the guitar has been photoshoped in.

As today is the anniversary of Prince's death, (of whom I was/am a huge fan) so this piece has been influenced by him. It is afterall a guitar. 

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.




Magical Guitar

There weren’t many that could wield the guitar. There was a certain energy to music and this guitar enhanced it three fold. It was different. It had been forged out of a metal no one could identify. He only smiled when they tried. There was no explanation. It was not of this world, much like him.

His success here in this time and on this planet was considered exceptional. He was adored and worshipped, but he had little interest in any of that. He was only interested in one thing, the guitar, and playing it at every opportunity.

When he played the world swooned and so did he. It had a certain pitch than drew them all to him. Their energy fed the guitar, which in turn fed him. To him the sound expressed every emotion he had ever felt, and released them in ways that surpassed words. It was pure and deep and beyond anything he had ever known.

To him it became an addiction and he burned brightly with it, so brightly that it burned him out. Although his soul longed for the sound, it took its toll on his body, which wore down fast than normal. When he died, the legacy of the sound remained but it never hit the same pitch without his touch, and those that had been drawn to it and shone in its light felt something missing from their soul. 


Sunday, 18 April 2021

Review: This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior DoctorThis is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Where to begin with this brilliant book. Harrowing and Funny in equal measures, you will find yourself laughing and crying in the same chapter. It's full of black humour, but humour that is necessary to get your through it. I've read it for my bookclub and most of the times when they pick these 'award winning' books, the books are far from worthy of the awards, but this is worthy of being celebrated on all levels.

It gives an insiders view on what it is really going on in the NHS and what doctors and nurses are put through in jobs that are slowly been eroded by decades of a Tory Government. And now, just four years on since publication, more than ever the awareness of how little respect the staff get and how badly they are being treated by the government is needed. This also highlights why private healthcare won't cut it, and the true horrors that lie waiting for the public if they continue to let the government sell it off and don't take a proper collective stand.

Adam Kay worked in Obstetrics and Gynae, and rose through the levels, juggling emergency after emergency on a non-stop carrousel for his entire time working as an NHS doctor, rarely eating or sleeping. The event that brought it to a crashing halt for him was heartbreaking and left me in tears. As a woman this is a brutal view of our reality as childbearers and will give many men an insider view.

It's no holds barred, British humour at its best, but won't be for everyone, not just the language but the brutal events that can give you nightmares - trust me, don't read it before you go to sleep, it'll definitely give you insominia as you try and get your mind round how the hell the situation of such overworked and underpaid staff is allowed to continue.

But it is also a must-read if you want to have a true insight to what is really happening. I would recommend it as necessary reading for everyone living in the UK and benefitting from the NHS - but especially the government ministers. They need to read it more than ANYONE!

View all my reviews

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 195

This week's picture prompt is by Silena Lambertini, an italian artist from Bologne. This is actually the second time I've used one of her images, back on Week 124 (Sept 2019) I used another. She named that one, but hasn't give a name for this one.  

Another Tricky tale. She is so ready for me to brainstorm and write the next book. And I can't wait! 

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.





Chestwick

Tricky looked at the boatman through slitted eyes. He had a mucky face and a grin that did not reassure her. She didn’t fancy having to travel across the water alone with him, but she had no choice. It’s not as though she couldn’t defend herself, oh Tricky knew how to do that alright, and she’d leave him with sore balls for a week! But she hated being in this position: vulnerable to another. It didn’t suit her, not at all.

But she needed to get over there, to the big city. She needed to speak to Tumelo. He had to hear the truth face to face, from her lips, or he’d never believe it. Never! She could still hardly believe it herself.

She settled into the tiny boat, sitting at the back in the middle to keep it balanced. Thankfully the boatman kept to the other end as he began pulling on the oars and bringing them closer to the city skyline.

Chestwick was the landmass capital – if there was such a thing; it was where the baron resided and most of the population due to having the most buildings left after the shift. Each district had its own main town, but Chestwick was the hub. Tricky viewed the skyline as it approached, it still looked majestic but much was derelict. People had neither the time or interest in clearing it away unless it was an area they wanted to use. It had been picked clean over the centuries: materials recycled to create something new. The longest standing were the religious buildings, made of sturdier stuff and still worthy of aesthetic value, even though the beliefs that upheld them were long gone. People weren’t gullible like they were back then; things had to be seen, proven and tested for societies to take them on. It’s what made Tricky’s gifts difficult at times. People that didn’t experience the same tended to speak out against it, even if the reason was jealousy or spite.

Tricky shivered, less from the cold, more from what was ahead of her. Tumelo was an affable man but suffered no fools – he couldn’t be the baron if he did. It took integrity and intelligence, as well as the ability to handle those who were working against him. She admired him for that, but still her story wasn’t going to go down easy. If she could get it out. Tricky didn’t like this kind of responsibility; it made her skittish and want to run – and if she thought it’d helped the situation, she would. But she knew she was the only one he would listen to on this topic. It wasn’t every day you learned how badly you had been duped, and it needed to come from someone who wouldn’t revel in that humiliation. Oh she hoped she was right ...

There she went again, doubting. But every fibre of her being knew it to be true. She’d gone over it so many times she thought she might go doolally. It hadn’t been easy testing it, but each time it had held true. Telling the baron wasn’t optional it had to be done. No, this was not her idea of fun. Fun would be visiting one of those special ladies spas where she could get herself serviced, something she planned on doing while here. But telling Tumelo he’d been betrayed?

She shuddered again. The boatman gave her a peculiar look and she stared back, itching for him to try anything, if only to release this pent up stress. But he had the decency to look away and leave her to her thoughts.

She could see the details of the buildings along the shoreline now. Most were occupied. The lake had grown over the years, enabling more trade. They believed an underground spring was responsible, but no one knew for certain. The landscape of their world would change naturally and no one questioned or tried to control it. Nature was not to be controlled; the shift had taught them that.

The boatman pulled his boat up to a little jetty, identical to the one they’d left. He stepped out first and took her hand to help her out. She left a gemstone in his, as way of payment, and the smile she received made her wince. Some people weren’t graced with healthy teeth, or capable of caring for them. She would find another boatman to take her back when the time came – if the time came. She hoped Tumelo wouldn’t punish her for her news.

With a sigh and a shuffle as she tightened her coat round her, Tricky prepared herself for the noise and bustle of the city as she made her way to the baron’s residence. The sooner she got this over with the better.


Monday, 12 April 2021

Review: Book Blurbs Unleashed by Robert J Ryan

Book Blurbs Unleashed: Advanced Publishing and Marketing Strategies for Indie AuthorsBook Blurbs Unleashed: Advanced Publishing and Marketing Strategies for Indie Authors by Robert J. Ryan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Brilliant and to the point. This books gives authors everything they need to understand what they is necessary when writing a blurb, from content to how to present it on Amazon. All authors should read it, but especially Indie authors. Highly recommend. I'll be refering to this a lot in the future until it is imprinted in my brain.

View all my reviews

Friday, 9 April 2021

I need your votes! All Author Book Cover Contest

My book, The Game is entered into the All Author monthly Book Cover contest.

This consists of four rounds:

  • First, all the selected entries will contest for the next round. (Duration 1st - 7th)
  • Second, 100 top-voted covers will compete to enter the third round. (Duration 8th - 14th)
  • Third, top 50 book covers from the previous round. (Duration 15th - 21st)
  • Fourth, top 24 book covers will play the last round in the chase. (Duration 22nd - Month end)

I am currently into the second round, and trying to keep my book in the Top 50. 

The two positives are that with each round, everyone can vote again, so even if you have voted on the previous round, you get to vote on the next round, and all the votes that are place from the beginning stay and accumulate. 

However, I am still in need of a lot of votes, so if you have a chance, do pop over to the site and vote for my cover. I'd love to knock the romance/erotic titles off the top three slots! 


CLICK HERE TO ENTER






Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 194

This week's picture prompt is by i-am-JENius on DeviantArt. They call this The Vampire Hunter. It's not the first time I have used one of her pictures, and it probably won't be the last. She does some great art - worth checking out. 

This is another picture that Tricky wanted to take ownership of. It seems she wants me to explore some of the storylines for the next couple of books. This one is definitely interesting. 

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.




Dapper

Dapper, that’s the word. Oh yes, he looks dapper in that hat, and sinister. Although an axe in your hand would give that appearance. And what are his plans for that axe, Tricky wondered.

She turned another hand over the glass ball in her hands, but she could still only see the back of him walking through the trees. He couldn’t be planning to chop any trees down, not in that get-up, surely. He looked like something from the old world, one of those posh do-dahs they talked about, aristo-somethings they were called. Had lots of money they liked to show off about and wore silly tall hats and coats with twin flaps because they thought it made them look better than others – or maybe it was to wipe their bums. Stupid people they were; money had been their downfall. Although it wouldn’t be his; she would be

Tricky knew who it was alright; she didn’t need to see his face. That swagger and the silly outfit were a dead giveaway. She’d been watching him for a few days, after having found him again. He’d disappeared the night her mother had died. He’d known. The others had been naive enough to think they could get away with it, but he knew people wouldn’t stand for it.

And Linley might have been the killer, but this guy had set it up. Tricky had realised that shortly after. Dimitry Stanislav had been Vincent Linley’s right hand man and orchestrated that whole night, especially the uprising of the people. Once he’d gone they’d all been shame faced. Oh yes.

And where had he gone? It surely hadn’t been Ferriston. He hadn’t been here all that time. This place was too small to hide him. And people had looked.

He stopped walking and stood in front of something on the ground. She watched as he swung the axe, hitting something in a rhythmic fashion. Then he stopped and pulled up what looked like a hatch. He started to shrink, lower and lower. Stairs, he was descending some stairs underground. He’d been living underground! But if that was the case, why had he needed an axe to break his way in?

There were clearly many facets to this tale, and Tricky needed to learn them all. Why had he appeared after all this time? Did he think people would have forgotten? Or that they weren’t still looking? But she hadn’t had to look. He’d popped up in enough places that she’d heard, especially when you knew where to listen. You didn’t wander around woods in those clothes and think you’d be invisible. People really were ignorant of the trees.

But what was more curious than all of this was how she had been led here. She would never have come to Ferriston without the nudge from Dufray. She felt like she was being manipulated and there was a bigger picture she was missing – and her feelings were rarely wrong. Maybe she should turn the glass on Dufray and follow him for a bit. Tricky thought that was a good idea, but only after she’d noted down the co-ordinates of that door in the ground. She’d need a closer look.