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A Little Something on the Side-Book Promo: Downward by Bethan White

downward

Title: Downward
Author: Bethan White
ISBN-13: 978-0995452107
Blurb:

No fall from grace happens to just one person; when I was writing this, the term heard so often by any CSI fan was always in my mind; ‘High velocity spatter’. There is no blood and gore in this book, but the high velocity spatter of a life suddenly in ruins touches everyone and no one is ever the same again.

The other theme in the story is that no one we meet can ever be quite all they seem. No one goes to work, to a party, out shopping wearing a badge saying, ‘Hi! I am an amoral sociopath – approach at your own risk’. It might be said that things would be easier if this indeed were the case but looked at from the other end of the spectrum, fiction would be a poorer place were it so.

Not everyone crashes and burns along with Chris, a lettings agent with a partner and young child. Some are collateral damage and boy, do they deserve it. Some are hurt but can limp away, to carry on lives which are not worse, just different. Others gain knowledge, perspective and another layer of skin, making them more fit for the rest of their lives.

Through the whole tale, the soundtrack of Chris’s life plays out, sometimes black, other times blacker still. Chapter titles are taken from appropriate songs which will surely be stuck in his head sometimes as his life unravels and an unusual feature of this book which I hope readers will enjoy is a list of links to performances of the songs in question – played with the chapter or afterwards, it gives another dimension to what goes on in Chris’s head as he and his black dog crash on to disaster.’

Buy Link: T Squared Books
Bethan White discusses the inspiration behind her thrilling debut novel Downward.

‘The idea for this book began as an almost documentary style project, charting how easily someone can go, in a distressingly short time, from leading a normal family life to being on the streets. As so often happens, the characters rose up and grabbed me by the throat, demanding to be heard. As a result, this is the story of a man, no stupider or thoughtless than anyone else you might meet, whose struggle with depression and the denial which is so often its travelling companion, begins on a downward spiral, taking out so many others in his wake. The story is also told from their perspective; no one is just a bystander in someone else’s life, we all have stories which need telling.

Excerpt:
It all seemed very strange. Every day was different; that was one of the things that stopped being a lettings agent boring him to death. Actually, the only thing, but perhaps one thing was enough. It could be worse. He could be emptying bins. He could be teaching thirty snotty-nosed kids who despised him. He could be … but right now, being a lettings agent was a bit confusing. He couldn’t get the lights to work in this stupid house, for one thing. He had told the landlord over and over about making sure the bulbs all worked, that the wiring had been checked, but click, click – the switches just weren’t working. And this stupid couple he was showing round. Every time he turned his back, they wandered off. He had found her in the cupboard last time, just standing there, staring at the wall. He was going to recommend they didn’t let to these two. They didn’t seem to have all their sandwiches at their picnic.
He turned to speak to the husband, boyfriend, whatever the hell he was. And he’d gone. Again. But sitting there, looking up at him with that manic grin they sometimes seemed to have, was a black Labrador. Labrador cross, perhaps. It was certainly a big bugger. Well, that was a clincher. This house was strictly no pets. The landlord was absolutely adamant about that. He might be a total moron when it came to making the house habitable and attractive to potential clients, but he wouldn’t be shifted on pets.
This dog seemed quite well behaved, though. It just sat there, panting softly, rolling its big, brown eyes.
‘Sorry, boy,’ he said. ‘I don’t carry dog treats on viewings.’
The dog looked at him, dolefully.
‘There’s rarely the call.’ He looked down at it. Was that a tooth starting to show at the corner of the animal’s mouth? Was that rumbling noise the beginnings of a growl? Where the bloody hell were that dim couple? Standing in the cupboard like some kind of vegetables, bringing a bloody dog when there were no pets allowed, disappearing again.
‘Hello?’ he called. Had this hall always had this echo? ‘Hello? Are you there? Your dog is getting a bit …’ yes, that was a growl and now he could see all of its teeth. It was bigger as well. Could dogs grow like that? Should dogs grow like that? It was rearing up now, its breath hot and rank, its mouth wide to take his throat in just one bite, to shake him, and shake him, and shake him, until …

‘Chris! For God’s sake, what is it?’
He sat up sharply, drenched in sweat, heart racing. Where was the house, the couple, the dog? He looked round, eyes wild. ‘There … there was a dog. A big, black dog.’
Megan put a soft hand on his chest and pushed him back down onto the pillow. She pushed his hair back from his sticky forehead, soothing him as if he were Kyle, climbing into bed with them, confused and crumpled from a bad dream. ‘There’s no dog.’
He nodded, but with less conviction now that reality was biting. ‘There was. A Labrador or some such thing. Big. Black. Teeth.’ He half-heartedly mimed a vicious mouth, snapping his teeth at her, smiling.
‘Perhaps it was a Labradoodle,’ she said. ‘A cockerpoo.’
‘A sprocker.’ His smile faded. ‘It was scary, though, Megs. It was so real. So ordinary. I was showing this dim couple round a house and the lights wouldn’t come on. Then, this dog suddenly appeared and … it was friendly, then it went for my throat.’ His eyes were wide as he relived it.
She leant forward and kissed his forehead. ‘Babe,’ she said, quietly, ‘it’s just that dream. You know, that dream you have?’
‘I’ve had this dream before.’ There was a slight query in his voice. Every time, she thought, every time he wakes up wild-eyed and sweating from the dream of the dog and every time he has forgotten it is the same old, same old. But it was real to him, there was no getting away from it, and when she had had a quiet word with the GP, he had just said it would go away when Chris settled down at work, when he felt more secure, when the baby was born. There was always a holy grail in view, the time when Chris would stop dreaming of the dog. But here they were. He had had two promotions, he was doing well as far as she could see at work. They had never been closer, their relationship was steady as a rock. And if the sex was less amazing, well … that’s how it went, wasn’t it? That’s what her sister had said anyway, and no one’s marriage was sounder than hers. Samantha of course said the opposite, but then, that was Sam. Always with the glossiest boyfriend, the latest clothes. But she didn’t have a three year old. Or a man who woke up sweating and babbling about a dog he could never remember seeing before …
She kissed him again. ‘Yes, sweetie. You have had the dream before. But what do we always say?’
He smiled, remembering. ‘It’s only a dream. And as long as it doesn’t leave poo on the carpet, no worries.’
She tapped his nose with her finger and smiled. Eventually, he came out of it. But somehow, in the back of her mind, that black dog sat, waiting patiently, for its moment to come. She shivered.
‘Cold?’ he said, holding out the covers. ‘Come in for a cuddle.’
She looked longingly at the cave, with his naked body tempting her to stay. But she had heard the stirrings that meant that Kyle was waking up and long experience had taught her that ten minutes well spent now, coaxing him out of sleep and into wakefulness instead of letting him wake on his own and fly into a panic, would be time she would never regret. So she swung her legs out of the bed with a smile and went to the door.
‘It’s okay, Kyle,’ he heard her say as she opened his door. ‘Mummy’s here.’
Chris closed his eyes and listened to her voice, soothing her son, bringing him back to the world of day from the dark of night. He let her sing-song voice wash over him, sending him back to sleep. To where the black dog always lurked, ready to go for his throat.
Breakfast was the same as always. Megan ran the house on military lines almost, routine being what kept her menfolk on what passed for the straight and narrow. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree and Kyle was like his father in almost every way, looks, temperament and the tendency to completely lose the plot if things went a little bit to the right or left of centre. So breakfast was always the same. Two Weetabix with cold milk, no sugar for the big one, Readybrek with a spoonful of jam for the little. She would have a slice of toast when Chris had gone to work and Kyle was intent on his millionth rewatch of Tree Fu Tom. One thing about having a child wedded to routine was that you knew exactly what he would want to be doing at any second of any day. She had worried he might be on some Spectrum somewhere, but the GP had reassured her, just as he had reassured her about Chris; normal, just perhaps a little fragile. She watched them eat, in from the outside to the middle, turn the bowl round a quarter of a rotation and begin again. She sighed, but quietly so they didn’t hear. She just hoped that doctor knew what he was on about. Some days, she wondered.

Book of Poetry Review: Reflections of Life and Love by Steve Evans

Reflections

ISBN-10: 1530215692
ISBN-13: 978-1530215690
Publisher: Life After Death Publicationz (February 23, 2016)
Editor: Katrina Breier

In honor of the genre, I’ve decided to do something different with this review.

Review:

With a crafty set of lyrical poems
Steve Evans has made his debut
Normally, I only read romance
Would I be pleased? I had no clue

I settled back in my comfy chair
Clicked the mouse; the screen came to life
I prayed to God the work was good
It was fifteen ’til midnight

Reflections, although short, was deep
Drew me in just like a beacon
I had to stop and ask myself
Is it me to whom he’s speaking

The pain of loss, the joy of love
Politics, angels in the making
He’s come too far to turn back now
No more drinks would he be taking

Rumors and lies, they hurt us all
What more is there to say
Be careful what you wish on others
Turn about is fair play

He’s loved and loss, it wasn’t his fault
He did what he knew to do
She just wasn’t ready to accept his love
Time to move on, heal the wound

Not all was sad, things picked up
Got a few laughs from the third chapter
He survived it all, so in its own way
It’s still a happily-ever-after

Once I finished I glanced down to see
A full cup of coffee in my hand
Since I didn’t drink one single drop
It’s a definite recommend!

Rating system: Cups of coffee (The less the better)

0: You won’t need any coffee to stay up for this one. It’s intriguing enough all on its own.
1: You’ll stay up late, but not all night. Brew one cup.
2: You’ll read as long as you’re not tired. If you are, two cups should do the trick.
3: I hope you got plenty of rest; you’ll need it, or at least 3 cups.
4: If the cable goes out, read the book. It’s better than nothing, I guess. Oh, don’t forget your brew!
5: Find anything else to do- it doesn’t matter what it is. Don’t waste your coffee. Too much caffeine is bad for you.

My rating: 0 cups of coffee

 

From the author
Steve evans

Connect with the author: Twitter

A Little Something on the Side: Book Promo- Hazard of Shadows by Mike Phillips

CHRONICLES OF THE GOBLIN KING SERIES

 

hazardofshadows theworldbelow

Synopsis: Hazard of Shadows, Chronicles of the Goblin King Book Two               

The enchanted creatures of legend still exist, hidden away in the secret places of the world. They take refuge from an age of camera phones and government labs, from people who won’t let them live in peace. One of these last places of safety is known as the World Below.

Ancient powers are at work. The Lords of Faerie seek to revenge the death of Baron Finkbeiner and recover the mysterious Blade of Caro. Hidden in the shadows, they await a chance to strike. The chance arises when an old enemy escapes the splinter realm in which he is imprisoned. Anxious to settle the debt, the Faerie Lords send him to finish the Lady Elizabeth and her Champion once and for all.

After leading the revolution against the despotic ruler of the World Below, Mitch Hardy has taken the throne. He never wanted to be king. The whole idea of a government by right of combat sits poorly with him. Growing evermore uneasy with his new position, he begins laying the framework for self-rule. The enchanted peoples have known nothing but kings, but are adapting quickly to this new idea of governing their own affairs. It goes well, but Mitch’s plans are interrupted by the arrival of old enemies. Soon he is fighting for his life against a hellish enemy, the likes of which he never imagined.

 

Synopsis: The World Below, Chronicles of the Goblin King Book One         

In ancient times, magical creatures inhabited the earth. They lived on mountaintops, in fields, at the bottom of lakes and rivers. But that was long ago, before the human race declared war on the creatures they feared and hated. Now the enchanted peoples are all but gone. The only place they can hide from the ever increasing number of satellites and smart phones is in the World Below.

Mitch Hardy is going through a hard time in his life. In his early twenties, he was working his way through college when he suffered an accident that left him flat broke and physically deformed. When Mitch decides to make a fresh start in a new town, things start looking up. He finds a place to live, a decent job, good friends. He even meets a nice girl. Unknown to Mitch, his new girlfriend is one of the Elder Race, what some call the Faerie Folk. Mitch doesn’t know that Elizabeth is looking for a father she never knew. The key to finding him is somehow tied up with the mysterious Blade of Caro. Desperate, she steals the Blade from its protector, the despotic ruler of the World Below, the Dragon of Worms, Baron Finkbeiner. When Elizabeth is kidnapped by the Baron, Mitch is pulled into a world or magic and monsters he never imagined.

 

Hazard of Shadows: Chronicles of the Goblin King Book Two

Trailer:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3OTx7QB_eI

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Hazard-Shadows-Goblin-King-Book-ebook/dp/B012BQ0S98/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

The World Below: Chronicles of the Goblin King Book One               

Trailer:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8o6lq1ieLk

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/World-Below-Mike-Phillips-ebook/dp/B00BODP3YU/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Dawn of Ages

Trailer:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLB3A6yHlQ4

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dawn-Ages-Mike-Phillips-ebook/dp/B00GLGCKUK/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Reign of the Nightmare Prince

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Reign-Nightmare-Prince-Mike-Phillips-ebook/dp/B0058ORFLK/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

Author Bio:

mikephillips

Mike Phillips is author of Hazard of Shadows, The World Below, Dawn of Ages, and Reign of the Nightmare Prince. His short stories have appeared in ParAbnormal Digest, Cemetery Moon, Sinister Tales, Beyond Centauri, the World of Myth, Mystic Signals and many others. Online, his work has appeared in Lorelei Signal, Kzine, Bewildering Stories, Midnight Times, and Fringe. He is best known for his Crow Witch and Patrick Donegal series. Please visit Mike at mikephillipsfantasy.com.

Guest Post: All about Goblins

Hello everyone, and thank you for reading my guest post. My name is Mike Phillips and my new book is Hazard of Shadows. I have been asked to talk about some of the more interesting characters in the book, the goblins.

In folklore and literature, goblins have always been evil creatures. To this day, goblins are hiding in our closets and under our beds. They are wicked monsters that are no happier than when they are burning fields or robbing cradles. Living on the fringes of society as they must to avoid camera phones and governmental laboratories, goblins lead harsh lives. Once they have been won over, goblins are the best sort of friends. They may have terrible manners, they may say awful things, they may smell bad, but we can all be that way sometimes. In the end, my use of goblins helps us see the best in humanity.

Writing about goblins was a riot! Goblins live on the fringes of human society. They make their homes in junk yards, abandoned buildings, sewer systems, and anywhere else people try to avoid. Once they find a likely spot, the get to work. Goblins are clever with tools and machinery. They will use and repurpose anything they can get their hands on, so many of their dwellings look like they were designed by frat-boys. Not always the best of neighbors, goblins have to take security seriously. They construct elaborate pitfalls to keep themselves safe from enemies like collapsing tunnels, pongee pits, and mechanical traps.

Goblins, like their human counterparts, each have a unique personality. They live in what they call crews, a sort of family, a lot like college dorm-mates. Each goblin has a special skill. One might be a bully (a most desirable skill in the goblin world). Another might be crafty at making traps. Some use sorcery or poison. Others are good at machinery. Some just eat a lot (another desirable skill). Goblins, in general, have a loose sense of morality. If it doesn’t hurt another member of the crew, with the obvious exception of fighting, then it’s usually okay. Fighting is always acceptable behavior, though if an enemy is around, a goblin is expected to stop fighting the other crew member and start fighting the enemy. Common sense rules like that are the cornerstone of goblin society.

That brings us to the topic of goblin social structure. Goblin society is feudal. They organize in crews, bound by familial ties or friendship. These associations are loosely formed, and if a goblin wants to go it alone, no one holds a grudge. A crew may have two or three leaders at a time. It is not unusual for goblins to disagree, so sometimes they have no real leader at all. Though they fight with each other like crazy, but they are deeply loyal in times of trouble and would do anything for the other members of their crew. No female goblins appear in Hazard of Shadows, but that is a topic for another time.

People have been asking how to make friends with goblins, so I thought I’d wrap things up by talking about that. Goblins are monsters, after all. To begin with, don’t look like a victim. They are predators. If you run they will chase you down. The secret to making friends with goblins is not to treat them like animals. They won’t be trained and can’t be suckered. Think of them as that particularly feisty aunt that always speaks her mind. So if you want to make a goblin your friend, it’s best to start with an act of kindness. Goblins have hard lives and even a small act of kindness means a lot to them. In the book, Mitch does a favor for a goblin without even knowing it. In turn, the goblin rescues Mitch from a pan dimensional, man-eating dumpster. Friends like that are hard to find!

Thank you so much for joining me. I hope you enjoy Hazard of Shadows and The World Below. Please visit me at mikephillipsfantasy.com.

 

TRAILERS:

 

 

“Be careful about reading health books. Some fine day you’ll die of a misprint.” ― Markus Herz

Hanging with Higgins

This past Tuesday I had the pleasure of listening to Hanging with Higgins, an internet radio show hosted by @JohnJHigginsEsq on Tuesday nights at 10pm-11pm EST. This week’s guest was Ron Greenfield.

A graduate of Hunter College, Ron went from dismantling sets to graphic design to art director. He has been involved with making movie trailers as well as cross-promotions and cross-marketing. One major accomplishment was CBS purchasing his design for the U.S. Open.

Although competition in the entertainment industry wasn’t as fierce as it is now, there was also no internet, which made networking that much harder. After watching Metromedia, Ron sent Sid Goldberg, who would later become is mentor, a letter. Thanks to his passion and sincerity, Sid invited him for a visit and the rest is entertainment history.

You can listen to Ron’s interview on You Tube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5sixDsL9X4

September is Jude Deveraux Month

In honor of her birthday, September is Jude Deveraux month.

Since Lavender Morning, I’ve been obsessed with the Edilean series. I don’t know who I love the most – tough-as-nails Mike, hunky Colin, or easy-going Luke.

Let’s talk about Sara’s love of sewing, Gemma and her pens, and Tess’s lesson-teaching red dress.

We will discuss the novels and share our favorite characters, moments, and quotes.

You’ll also have the chance to dust off your brain cells with a little trivia.

Put on a kilt, grab a hotdog and join me at the Edilean fair to honor this NY Times Bestselling author!

Making the best of your life and your time and using your energy wisely

We can sit all day and think about what was and would could’ve been. A better thing to think about is what is and what will be. This is decided upon not only our actions, but more importantly by our faith. We must have faith in God and faith in ourselves to follow God.

Many things have happened to each of us. Some good, some not so good, some just downright horrible. But if you are reading this, you made it through and that’s what you should be concentrating on.

Don’t spend your life reliving horrible things that happened to you. Don’t cry over opportunities you did not get or chose not to take. Bow your head in prayer and then lift your head in praise thanking God for his love, his kindness, his goodness, his mercy, and his grace. Steer clear of naysayers and fill your life with those who have their hearts and minds open to receiving God’s word and living by his will.

Keep your nose low enough to see clearly and focus on what’s important, which is a person’s heart, not their looks.

When you get ready to turn your back on someone having a hard time, think about how you would want them to treat you if the situation were to ever reverse – and believe me, it will.

May we all find the path God has set for us.

I pray for us all and wish us all the best!

Much love to everyone!!

Romantic Series Trivia

Can you match the couples from Lisa Kleypas’ series about the Hathaways?

  1. Leo
  2. Michael
  3. Cam
  4. Harry
  5. Kev

A. Beatrix

B. Amelia

C. Catherine

D. Winifred

E. Poppy

An Original Mother’s Day Poem

Nine months of pregnancy
Thirty-six hours of pain
She took one look at you
And knew it was worth the gain

Changing dirty diapers
Proudly breast-feeding
Enduring sleepless nights
While you were teething

Warming up bottles
Making sure you were fed
A nice warm bath
Before putting you to bed

Playing dress-up
Singing nursery rhymes
Watching your favorite movie
For the umpteenth time

Crashing Tonka trucks
Playing with GI Joe
Baseball in the summer
Sledding in the snow

Playing Candy Land
or how about Chutes and Ladders
As long as you were smiling
It really didn’t matter

Taking your temp
A cool cloth for your head
A trip to the pharmacy
To pick up your meds

Cleaning the kitchen
Washing your clothes
Combing your hair
Wiping your nose

Dusting, polishing
Cooking your food
Making sure the house was taken care of
No matter what her mood

Back to school shopping
Filling out all those forms
Waiting at the corner
Until the school bus comes

Leaving work early
Just to make your game
Because without her presence
It wouldn’t be the same

Getting ready for your first date
Teaching you how to drive a car
Praying for the Lord to stay with her
Although you weren’t going that far

Preparing for graduation
Getting ready for prom
From high school to college
From home to the dorm

Through getting your first “real” job
To buying your first home
To finding that special someone
She knew that day would come

They were there through it all
Nothing could’ve kept them away
So to all you mother’s out there
Happy Mother’s Day!