Thursday, 28 August 2014

ABC Drabbles of Death - O is for Orgasm

Welcome to the second in a drabble double bill today and the latest in the ABC Drabbles of Death series. I enjoyed writing this one and the last line made it for me :-) If you've missed the previous drabbles in the series, or just want to read them through again then you'll find them all here:

O is for Orgasm

The French call an orgasm ‘le petite mort’, or ‘the little death’. At first glance it sounds like an odd phrase for such a moment. The instant which marks the culmination of union between two people. The passing of something intimate between them that can be recreated, but never truly the same.

A transient sacrifice you might say.

Personally I believe sacrifice should have value. So I slice the blade across their throats as they grunt and shiver their satisfaction above me. Their little death a damp patch between my legs and their real death a flood across my face.

Tales of the Imp - The Stud

The latest drabble (100 word story) in the Tales of the Imp series is here (and featured in today's Indie Book Bargains newsletter) and we discover what a hard life it is being a pawn of the diminutive devil! If you haven't read the previous drabbles in the series, or just want to recap then you will find them all here:

The Stud

Someone once told me that you can’t have too much of a good thing. Well they’re wrong! I’m absolutely bloody knackered. Every night the Imp brings me a new woman and he makes me have sex with them.

It doesn’t sound so bad when I say it like that, but before each session he injects me in each testicle.

That gets old quickly I can tell you!

When I complained he gave me an energy drink and told me to man up and get on with it. After all I have an army of bastards to sire.

Wait a minute!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Blog Shout Out - Carmen Amato's Author Blog

In this week's blog shout out we visit Carmen Amato's author blog. Discover more about her blog in her own words below:

Thanks so much for the invitation to stop by and chat about my blog at The blog is a little over 2 years old and was started to introduce readers to my books and the issues that inspire me to write. Originally from New York, I have lived in some unexpected places and Mexico and Central America provided the impetus for my writing career.

So far all of my books are set in Mexico, including political thriller THE HIDDEN LIGHT OF MEXICO CITY and the EMILIA CRUZ mystery series set in Acapulco, and the blog is a place to show readers the culture and history that inspires my writing. For example, the third book in the Emilia Cruz series, DIABLO NIGHTS, draws on the story of Padre Pro, a martyr of the Cristero War, a religious upheaval in Mexico that took place in the late 1920’s. DIABLO NIGHTS just came out in Kindle format, with paperback to be released later this summer. In addition to posts about my research, I announce new releases there and link to the free stories I periodically publish. Right now readers can get the first Emilia Cruz story, THE BEAST, free.

I love reading mysteries as well as writing them. Besides issues related to my own books, I write a weekly book review. Some of my recent reviews are of IN THE WOODS by Tana French and THE BAT by Jo Nesbo.

But the blog is more than just Mexico and mysteries. It’s a place for readers to enjoy all things related to reading and book discovery. I’ve done two series that readers have really enjoyed. The first was the Book Savor series in which people from all walks of life answered 5 unexpected questions about the books they savor, such as a book they’d give as a gift and what they’d serve for dinner to their favorite author, living or dead. The dinners were so terrific that I wrapped up the series with a “best of” dinner post! The series meshed well with other posts about culture, history, and travel, much of which is based on my experiences living and traveling around the world.

The second series asked the question “How can bookstores survive in the era of ebooks and ecommerce?” I asked the question of authors, store owners, book bloggers, and publishing insiders. The results were extremely interesting. I wrapped up the series, after 7 months and more than 800 emails, with 5 Lessons Learned. That was a real eye-opener, although the most-read post from the series was entitled “25 Influential Authors Weigh In,” and included quotes from Guy Kawasaki, Tim Grahl, Dale Brown, and Bernard Cornwell, among others. It is also the most widely shared blog post of all, although the page with the dream cast for THE HIDDEN LIGHT OF MEXICO CITY (starring Eva Mendes, Sophia Vergara, and Andy Garcia) is far and away the most popular page on my entire website!

An issue that keeps coming up for both my readers and fellow writers is one of time management. I think my next series will be about using time effectively. Why? To make more time for reading, of course!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope readers enjoy the free story, THE BEAST.

All the best, Carmen

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Tuesday Tease - Necropolis by Guy Portman

For this week's Tuesday Tease Guy Portman provides an excerpt from his novel 'Necropolis'. I read this recently and rated this story about a happy sociopath working at the council as 5 stars. It's an excellent read with a fun blend of dark and humour. Check out the excerpt and see if you agree:

Click on image to buy book from Amazon

by Guy Portman

Lunchtime finds me at Bella’s Restaurant and Cafe, sitting amongst the detritus of a once proud nation. Periodically the council organises these lunches as an opportunity for different departments to come together and get to know each other better. I already know them better than I would like, but these lunches are not optional. Today Burials and Cemeteries are joined by bins, the mail room and those social services staff members who were off sick during their own department’s luncheon the other week, which was about half of them.

‘All wight Dyson?’ shouts Darren from the other end of the table.

‘Good afternoon.’

‘Wherz Asma?’ continues Darren. ‘Nah halal chickin caesar on da menu den?’

Darren laughs wildly at this. Stern faces stare back at him. Darren stops laughing.

‘All wight all wight - f-a-k-i-n h-e-l-l.’

Here comes a late arrival dressed in a ghastly floral ensemble. It is the mailroom manager, T-r-i-c-i-a. ‘Sorry so-r-r-y,’ she calls out as she hurries over to the table. There are two spare seats, one next to Darren, the other next to me. No not me, no, no, oh no.

‘Really nice hair Dyson, love-l-y.’

Though I really want to reciprocate with a compliment of my own, it is impossible under such circumstances. Instead I turn my attentions to the menu. Bella’s is Italian, well allegedly anyway. Chicken Kievs are not Italian and I am pretty sure neither are fish fingers.

Alice, sitting in the adjoining seat, regales the table with details of a Guns n Roses tribute band’s concert he went to last weekend. My end of the table listens semi-attentively. Alice, not his real name, works in the mailroom. I call him Alice because he looks just like the ageing rocker, Alice Cooper. Like the real Alice he sports a mane of black hair and wizened, heavily lined features, but for record sales read envelopes. Alice halts his reminisces and reaches for the table salt. Into the resulting vacuum comes Meagre Martin, Alice’s mailroom colleague. The long-haired Meagre Martin is devoid of a chin, the face receding abruptly below the lower lip. A shrew like countenance, identical to a primordial dwarf I once saw in the mall, though he is not that far removed from normal size. Meagre Martin mentions his biker fraternity. Moans are audible, faces turn away. Meagre Martin is a biker want-to-be, severely restricted by financial constraints. He comes to work on a pitiful moped type thing with heightened Harley Davidson style handlebars; his weekends spent making ever-smaller circuits of the A909, a result of continually increasing fuel prices. A waiter approaches.

‘I’ll go with the, the tagliatelle, and a, a coke, full fat.’

Opposite me bins’s own Irene begins to quip. It is the usual torrent of misguided media obsessed political correctness. Irene once got Darren and I in trouble for saying ‘nasty things’ about hamsters that made a vegan team member cry. To look upon Irene is to stare into a looking glass, into a world of cheap retail outlets, suburban cul-de-sacs, Sky television itineraries, frozen Iceland trifles and Co-operative Funeralcare plans. Irene is telling a story now, something about a trip to the supermarket. Those on my half of the table attempt to look interested, sitting up straight, nodding sporadically. I take this opportunity to analyse the information I have collated on Kiro so far. His similarity to Darko in size, stature and most pertinently the eyes, as well as the potential logic behind his alleged nationality and the fact he does not wear t-shirts. I consider whether there is any other information that might be available. There is one more avenue of investigation that I have been planning, but have had to put off as Emma has been away for several days. She returned today. The story has finished. People are laughing. I laugh too, ‘Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.’ Maybe that was too much. Yes it appears so. In a suspiciously short amount of time my lunch arrives.

Irene asks, ‘Is that a tagliatelle?’


‘Is a pur-port-edly a sort of sauce?’

Looking up at the ceiling I marvel at how I have survived these daily intellectual deprivations for so long. I do not proffer a response.

Click here to buy Necropolis from Amazon US / UK (and it's a superb read)

About the Author

I currently reside in London, the city of my birth. Having finished my schooling I studied for a B.A. in Theology at Kings College London, a subject that I chose out of interest rather than any religious persuasion. I also have an M.A. in Sport and Leisure Management from London Metropolitan University.

My working life has included being employed in academic research and the sports industry, where I spent several years at a Premier League Football club. I have also traveled extensively, living and working in both Sydney and Tokyo.

Besides writing, editing and promoting my work I enjoy reading a wide variety of books. My other interests include sport, social media and the outdoors.

Book Impressions - The Heretic by Lucas Bale

I might have missed this new gem if it hadn't been for a few readers whose opinion I trust raving about it. This is the author's debut novel and the first book in his 'Beyond the Wall' series and lived up to the praise I'd heard. It get's going quickly and well paced throughout in a tense adventure that for this story is quite claustrophobic in nature.

The immediate action drags you in to the lives of the characters involved and I felt for them straight away. There's a good mix of personalities, some seem obvious and others are more mysterious. I'm always saying that story is king and I'm happy to accept some clumsy prose if the story is good. Here we have the gem of good quality writing to carry an excellent and interesting plot. Some of the description really stood out and for a first novel is impressive.

The quality extends to the action prevalent in the later part of the book. Not only is this well written it draws more on the characters in the situation rather than the technology as happens in many science fiction stories. Although there was an interesting development on that front which I'm looking forward to learning more of.

The world that the book takes place in is well realised. However one of the aspects that struck me was the glimpses of the wider universe that are dotted throughout the story. There's potentially a lot to explore here so I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. With this world is a history that reaches back to our own time and the consequences of choices that are made and how they effect the future.

This is fine science fiction adventure and a strong debut from a new author, may there be more to come from him.

Click on image to buy book from Amazon

Earth is gone.

Centuries have passed since the First Cataclysm ended life on the blue planet. Humanity’s survivors are now dispersed among distant colonies, thousands of light years from the barren, frozen rock that was once their home.

A new Republic has formed – one in which freedom no longer exists. In return for the protection of the Consulate Magistratus, citizens must concede their rights absolutely. The Magistratus controls interstellar travel, access to technology – even procreation. Every citizen is implanted with a device to monitor location, health and nutrition, and emotion. Perhaps more. Organised religion is forbidden. All crime is punished by banishment or a lifetime of penal servitude aboard the Kolyma prison fleet.

And humanity’s true history survives only in whispers of a secret archive.

Yet there are those who preach a new religion and who want to be free.

A revolution is coming…

The Heretic is the first book in the Beyond the Wall series, an epic story about the future of humanity and the discovery of the truth of its past.

Click here to buy The Heretic from Amazon US / UK (and it's a stunning sci-fi adventure)

My Books on Goodreads