Thursday, March 20, 2014
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Friday, March 14, 2014
This guaranteed a life time of opulence that was steadily profligate. It is fair to say that she lacked that parsimonious streak which one often finds amongst
the affluent. This predilection for excess guaranteed her considerable
popularity among her large community of acquaintances.
Childless, husbandless, and therefore unencumbered, Immelda spent the
first few years of her widowhood travelling throughout the continent. This
experience equipped her with an erudite wit and a refined sensibility, largely
inculcated by exposure and introductions to many of the finest estates of
Europe. Back in England, and residing in the Florentine/Rococo styled
estate known as ‘Elysee’ which was specially designed, Lady Brackenthorne
had developed a predilection for entertaining. She was renowned for hosting
social events during the full moon. These parties would last over several days
and nights, and were comparable in extravagance to those feted festivals
thrown by the hedonist king, Louis Quatorze.
With a penchant for all things pagan, this self-avowed ‘witch’ often
recreated rituals involving a collection of invitees presiding in the casting
of circles, leaping and dancing round large bonfires in the garden.
These guests had been spied on many a midsummer evening gambolling
unfrocked on the capacious grounds of the Elysee estate. As was to be
expected, such displays of Dionysian ostentation had created much idle
embellishment in the imaginations of those neighbours turned voyeurs,
who found loitering on the fringes irresistible. And so word rapidly
spread that Lady Brackenthorne was the hostess of orgiastic gatherings.
It was during one of these theatrical occasions that Sammy first met
the charismatic and raven haired hostess, whose sensuality was equally
matched by a gregarious and outgoing personality. Since the death of her
husband, rumours had abounded over her licentious appetite for younger
men. It was therefore no great surprise to learn that Sammy had become
her latest conquest. What was novel however and without precedent,
was the fact that she had the young scamp now residing at her palatial
estate. The consummation of this union took place on the very same
evening that Luna was visiting Alderry Place, when Sammy had been
conspicuously absent. It was also at this time that he finally succeeded in
winning over her ladyship’s affections, and so commenced the impetuous
romantic merger. The chemistry between the disparate couple justified
the young man’s immediate instatement to Elysee. Shadowy and sly as
Sammy was, he appealed to the heathen loving lady, who had eschewed to
date numerous suitors of more decorous and placid dispositions.
Sunday, March 9, 2014
Book Excerpt: (Chapter 2)
The brass doors opened behind her bringing with it an unexpected guest.
“I knew you’d come home.”
Onyx’ heart sank hearing him speak in that gentle voice. He always used that voice when he knew he was wrong; when he was trying to make her forgive him. It felt repulsively sweet now.
“She was just leaving,” Jade said in a firm tone as she turned to face him.
“Nicky, you brought a bodyguard with you? That hurts,” he sounded genuinely insulted.
“Goodbye, Philip.” Onyx said softly, suddenly lacking the confidence she just had.
Philip reached out for her arm, but Jade intercepted the action, grabbing him by the wrist and twisting it until he let out an almost inaudible yelp.
“You will not lay a hand on her. Not now, not ever again. If you so much as brush against her in a way I don’t like, I will break every bone in your body, starting with your pinky toe and ending with your skull.” She twisted just a little further.
But he didn’t lose his composure. He looked Onyx dead in the eye, “Quite a lot of bark for your little Chihuahua of a friend here, huh? Nicky, we don’t need all of this. This running away, the muscle, the hiding out, we are better than this. You know I love you more than anything in the world. Just come home, baby. I need you. It’ll be different, I promise. I’ll start going to therapy like you always wanted. You can even hang out with that crayon haired one. No questions asked. Just come home. What do you say? Come on, I need you.”
“Onyx, don’t you listen to him. Put the bags in the elevator, we’re leaving.”
Onyx hesitated, switching her gaze back and forth between the two. He looked so hurt, so broken up, she just wanted to leap into his arms and console him. For a moment, she could feel her heart ripping in her chest; she believed him. She believed he meant he would change and things would be different. She believed it and she hated herself for it.
Onyx rolled her bags into the elevator before she lost her nerve.
“Goodbye, Philip.” She said again.
“If you love her even half as much as you say, you’ll let us leave here. You’ll leave her alone and move on with your life. But keep the therapy bit, you need it.” Jade winked at him before joining Onyx.
As Jade released his wrist, he noticed a small green marking on her arm; a very familiar mark that he knew all too well.
The girls disappeared down to the ground floor, leaving Philip alone in his flower filled living room. He pulled out his phone and hit speed dial.
“She’s with the Order of Earth. Find out what family, find out who their Protector is, and find out now.”
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Urban Fantasy
Rating – PG – 13
More details about the author
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Can you tell us about your main character?
His name is Silas Stanley, as I wanted an old classical-sounding name that alliterated. Don’t ask me why, but it felt important at the time. His name was one of the first things I’d decided about the whole story. He is quite emotionally unstable, which at first is no bad thing as he’s quite childlike and impulsive. However as the pressures of life and having a family start to mount, this instability begins rocking him more violently in and out of some pretty dark places. He’s essentially a good and gentle person, whose almost naïve lack of pretence and self-control set him up for some nasty falls when things go wrong.
Who designed the cover?
Since I’ve had some positive feedback about it, I’ll admit to creating the cover myself. Somehow I’d always seen the colour of this story as a reddish-purple, odd as that sounds. I find myself randomly seeing things as a certain colour, so I wanted to reflect that with the cover. I also wanted it to be quite subtle – is that a sunset or a nuke on the horizon? I’ll let the readers decide that one.
Why did you choose to write this particular book?
Many impulses converged toward writing this one – although my first novel had a dramatic climax, I somehow felt it wasn’t dramatic enough. What could be more dramatic than a backdrop of the whole world ending? The possibilities that afforded me were endless, and as I walked back to a packed caravan site one evening with my dad and brother after a few pints of ale, my unsociable nature naturally led me to imagine the spectacular scene of the whole field lit up and burning like a pyre at night. That image was the first thing that prompted me to start thinking up an apocalyptic storyline, and five years later it was finally born.
Will you write others in this same genre?
I hope so. I’d always wanted to write something apocalyptic about the world ending, and now that I’ve done so, and read other stories in that ilk, I’m hooked. Watch this space for more cheery tales of civilisation crashing to a horrific end!
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Not intentionally, as I didn’t start out with one, but overall the theme is one of redemption. The idea is that true love often stays, no matter how clouded it gets with the darkness of the world. It usually takes a shock or a loss to unearth it, and in this case the world itself had to end before the protagonist could start to make sense of it all, but no matter how many loose ends he had left, they simply untied themselves. He didn’t have to go back and fix them all, he just had to remember who he was before he’d created them.
Friday, March 7, 2014
The unknown figure’s back was to them as he connected the wires to the detonator. Will shoved Tom. Only minutes remained.
They located the last connection point where the blasting caps were wired to two sticks of dynamite. The wires to the plunger snaked up the hill. The connecting strands were twisted, tightly, as with pliers. Tom snatched a rock, but Will grabbed his hand and pointed up the hill. Tom understood. The man would hear the pounding. They each took a twisted connection and tried to pry it apart with their fingers. They would need to break only one.
The wires resisted. Tom gritted his teeth, then remembered his pocket knife. He pulled it out, flipped the blade open, and wedged the tip between two strands. He twisted and the blade snapped. The sound startled the man. He whirled around and stared directly at the boys. Tom forced the broken blade into the gap in the wires. Will put his finger on top of one and pulled as Tom twisted. Blood ran down Will’s hand as the metal bit into his finger. They strained, and watched the man. His eyes darted in all directions. Then he made his decision. He pulled the plunger up, hesitated a moment, and slammed it down.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - YA/Mystery
Rating – PG – 13
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Volume Four - Riddle Of The Diamond Dove
Where do you hide an ancient relic that has the power to change the course of history? As Cassie Forsythe and her Arkana team discover, you scatter clues to its whereabouts across the entire planet. Five artifacts buried among the rubble of lost civilizations point to the hiding place of a mythical object known as the Sage Stone. Thus far psychic Cassie, bodyguard Erik, and librarian Griffin have succeeded in recovering two of those artifacts.
Cassie and Company find their lives threatened at every turn by agents of a religious cult known as the Blessed Nephilim. The cult's leader, Abraham Metcalf, wants to exploit the power of the Sage Stone to unleash a catastrophic plague on the world. The quest for the next piece of the puzzle has led both sides to Africa. They must comb an entire continent--their only lead a riddle carved onto a mysterious dove sculpture. Even as the Arkana team struggles to decipher the clue, new dangers hover over their colleagues at home.
Metcalf's child-bride Hannah has taken refuge at the home of the Arkana's leader Faye while mercenary Leroy Hunt creeps ever nearer to her hiding place. His search for the girl brings him dangerously close to the secret location of the Arkana's troves--a collection of pre-patriarchal artifacts which confirm an alternative history of the origins of civilization itself. While Hunt closes in on Hannah, Metcalf's son Daniel dogs the footsteps of the Arkana field team in order to claim the next artifact before they do. Daniel recruits a clever ally along the way who might be more than a match for the opposing side.
When the forces of the Arkana and the Nephilim converge on a ruined city in a forgotten corner of the dark continent, the shocking outcome is beyond even Cassie's powers to foresee. The quest for the Sage Stone will veer in an unexpected direction once both sides solve the Riddle Of The Diamond Dove.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
THE MAN CRAMMED IN THE COFFIN with Lusielle wasn’t much for words. Talking to a toad would have bettered her chances to learn something pertinent, let alone helpful. A toad would have been more forthcoming and less irritating as well.
She didn’t give a hoot about highborn and their bloody quarrels. After all, the highborn had been plotting against each other for centuries. But if she was going to escape with her life, if she was going to survive her plight, she needed to understand what the Lord of Laonia wanted and why. Her life depended on her wits.
“Word in the kingdom is that Laonians are warmongers,” she said.
A snort. “That’s what Riva would like for you to believe.”
“He’s sent away a lot of able men and women to repel Laonian raids.”
“Have you considered it could be the other way around?”
“Why would we want to attack you?”
“I’m not having this discussion with you.”
How wrong he was. “We’ve heard rumors of a few little skirmishes at the river borders over the years,” Lusielle said.
The man’s body tensed in the darkness. “Skirmishes?”
“King Riva always wins.”
“Do you always believe everything that Riva says?”
“Nobody challenges King Riva and lives.”
“Riva rules over a bunch of fools.”
“The kingdom’s cemeteries are seeded with his opponents’ tombstones.”
“He’s a man, not a god,” the lord said.
“And yet he can’t be defeated.”
“Of course he can be defeated. My father defeated him in battle twice, thirty years ago and then again twenty years ago. And less than two years ago, I repelled a full scale invasion at the Narrows.”
“The tyrant can be defeated. Laonia has seen to that.”
Lusielle was hard pressed to believe what the lord was saying, and yet she had to admit that some of what he said made sense. There had been rumors. Thousands of troops had never returned from the river borders. Sons and daughters forsook their mothers for good. Husbands and wives went missing en masse. Food had grown scarce. Even horses had been difficult to find.
Had the king managed to conceal a major defeat from his subjects? Was the Lord of Laonia telling the truth?
She had never heard anyone else speak ill of King Riva, let alone challenge him openly. Everyone she knew was afraid of Riva. Not even the kingdom’s highborn dared to call the king a tyrant aloud.
The Lord of Laonia might be short of words and quick to anger, but these days, a man had to be very brave to speak as he did.
Do you have an organized process or tips for writing well? Do you have a writing schedule?
I don’t have a schedule but I give myself a minimum of 800 words a day. 800 is bare minimum. Sometimes I manage to squeeze in 1200 before the shift starts. If I’m really into it, it can be more. But 800’s a decent average.
That said, in order to get these shorter segments into a novel, I have to have a fairly precise outline. I do spend quite some time on the outline because it will define my work for the coming months.
First I have to have this story in my guts that I feel I need to tell. If it doesn’t hit me in the guts, I don’t bother with it. But then I have to figure out if that gut feeling can be translated into 90 000 words. So I sit down and see if I can make it work. I usually outline 70% of a complete novel. That gives me the wiggle room I need to put in scenes that will come to me as I write it.
Sometimes it’s so hard to keep at it – What keeps you going?
I usually have more than one project going on at any given time. It can be visual arts, drama, events, novels, movie scripts, etc… If I run out of inspiration for one project, I can keep working on another. There’s always a point where I sit down and get a lot done on one project, but then I need to let it sit there for two or three weeks before editing it. So I do something else during these two or three weeks. Over time, that’S how I get to keep releasing books or setting up events.
I guess what keeps me going is that I’ll only work on something if I feel it in my guts to start with. It’s very Bukowski, it’s very Nietzsche if you’re into philosophy, but that’s the only way I know how to work.
Have you met any people in the industry who have really helped you?
Not in the publishing industry. I’ve become friends with a few good Montreal artists, but if you know anyone in Toronto, New-York or London that could be interested in my shit, send them my way because I do not know anybody.
What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?
I really don’t hope for anything. I write because I feel it’s there. I know some people like the way I write and some people really, really hate it. Which means I’m doing something wrong. I guess that like most artists, I enjoy provoking a strong reaction to any audience (good or bad). As long as it feels pertinent to me, it’s valid.
What’s your favourite meal?
Go to Dear Garden (corner of René-Levesque and St-Laurent in Montreal- closed on Tuesdays.) No. 118: noodles with cooked vegetables (Ask “with tofu”)
Anything at ChuChai is also incredible but it’s so fucking expensive, so fucking expensive.
What color represents your personality the most?
I don’t really know. I guess I’d say gray. It sounds boring but gray is actually a lot of things. It’s the color of ashes but also of the concrete that supports our buildings and structures. It’s also shadows and subtlety, you know? It’s almost darkness but it’s also light… (I like dichotomies a lot.)
What movie do you love to watch?
I guess that it would be Whedon’s Serenity. It’s entertaining and smart. I like cinema in most of its forms and from places all around the world (especially Japan) and I have a decent collection in many genres and languages. But say it’s Saturday afternoon and I just feel like watching a movie for the fun of it…It would be Serenity.
How do you feel about social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter? Are they a good thing?
Not a big fan. I use Facebook every day but I try to keep my friends list to people I actually met or had a significant interaction with. I have a “page” set up but I don’t really use it and I should focus on that, I guess. I hate twitter. I gave it a shot a while back and one of my editors said I needed to get on twitter a lot more but I can’t do it. I mean, Facebook you can actually set up events, chat with teammates, use it to send files…you know, work. You can use it only for memes and pictures of cats, but it’s possible to use if for work which makes it valid to me. Twitter is probably the most useless thing ever invented if you ask me. It encourages compulsive behaviours that I find really strange.
Goodreads is cool if you’re into books and I also love WordPress. Of course it’s a blogging tool, but it’s very well built and there’s just enough interaction with readers to make it useful while keeping it minimal.
If you could do any job in the world what would you do?
Besides the artistic projects I work on, there’s this one thing that I’d really wish I could get into. Basically it would be setting up and running some sort of artists/youth center (a little bit like City Kids in NYC) but mine would be in Montreal, of course. There was this place called L’X room that I used to go to a lot when I was a kid, and it plays a significant role in A Teenage Suicide as well. That room has sadly been closed a few years ago and the Church of Scientology had since bought the building the room was in and aren’t doing anything with it as far as I know.
So if I had (enough) money, there are two buildings left for sale east of downtown that are located in the only place I feel my project could work. I’d set up an all ages music venue in the basement, an independent arts gallery at street level and some workshop rooms on the upper floors. I’d like to host a few social groups, creative companies I like or NGO’s that deal with drug prevention if there would be room on the third of fourth floor and I’d just run that place, I guess.
What are you most passionate about? What gets you fired up?
All things creative, from music to art to writing and film. I read a selection of newspapers/news websites every day to keep up with current events. Political science and philosophy are both very important to me. I think my favourite art form is “moving image” in all its formats.
Genre - Literary, Coming of Age
Rating – PG13
Connect with Ian Truman on Facebook
Chiku couldn’t help stare at the large bulge that was Rebecca’s baby-to-be. It made her reflect upon the gynecological exam Dr. Kessel had just given her. At sixteen, she couldn’t imagine being anyone’s mother, except maybe a chimpanzee’s. Rebecca was only fourteen, an eighth grader back home, a middle schooler. How could she be a mother? Yet even in wealthy well-educated America girls in their mid-teens were getting knocked up all the time, having their babies, and changing their lives in ways unpredictable and permanent. Not Chiku. Boys could go to hell.
“When was the last time you saw him?” Chiku asked.
“Two week. Three week. He ask me how my baby doing. I tell him, fine. He give me twenty francs. He always give me money.”
“And that was it?” Chiku gazed at Tim who was still holding all of the things she had given him from her buried stash. “What about Dr. Fisher? Do you know why he’d be in my dad’s house?”
Rebecca dipped her head in thought then gave out with a startled grunt as the baby inside her gave a hefty kick. “Soon,” she said, “Any day my Abasi.” Then she staggered against Chiku.
“You okay? Maybe she’s coming out now.” Chiku was aghast.
“No. No. He. Not yet. No water.”
“Well, you can’t stand here. You have to sit, Rebecca. In the shade.”
Chiku pulled the pregnant girl into the cooler cover of the banana tree. “You want water? Something to drink?”
Rebecca leaned against the tree rather than risk getting herself into a position from which she couldn’t rise. She panted, holding a hand against her belly, Chiku watching that hand move not of its own volition but due to the child inside raring to get going with life.
Not for me, Chiku thought.
Rebecca said, “I okay.”
“When the water break, then we know.”
“Know what?” Chiku asked.
“That the baby is coming,” Tim said. He placed his hands on his friend’s shoulders. They were trembling as if she were the one about to go into labor. “Honestly, Chiku, what do they teach you in Brookline, Massachusetts?”
“How to avoid reality.”
Chiku took Rebecca’s hand. It was cool and sweaty and on her ring finger she was wearing something that looked awfully familiar to Chiku. “Nice,” she said. “Amethyst. My color. My ring, actually. How’d you get it?”
“Your father give me.”
“Cool. It matches your dress.”
Chiku didn’t care that it was an old ring, one that she had either lost or forgotten some distant time in the past and that probably couldn’t even fit her fingers anymore. She just wondered why her father would have given this particular girl this particular ring.
“I think they kill him,” she said.
“What?” Chiku’s eyes darted from the purple colored ring to the black face of the Hutu teenager.
“They were mad mad.”
“Fisher. Your father. Dr. Kessel. They all mad. And the others.”
“What others?” Chiku asked. “Does Colonel Fundanga know?”
“Colonel Fundanga one of them,” Rebecca said. “I keep quiet. Bad enough in the camp. I don’t want to die.”
Rebecca let out a long breath, took in a deep mouthful of air, and let out her discomfort once again. Then she smiled at Chiku before saying, “They come for you next. You his daughter.”
Genre - Young Adult
Rating – PG