debut novel

The fortune

Outside a light rain is falling

turning the concrete path grey-black.

With friends, I sit and drink. We stay warm and laugh

one cries out

“We have a treat coming tonight” and he looks at his phone.

A few drinks later, a knock at the door.

A man near to it swings it open.

A tall woman, thin and bent, her face a centre to a nest of black hair,

someone to frighten children strides inside.

She holds a red case that reads

Madame LaCarrie -Fortunes told.

The laughter and talking stops

but all around the light reflects off white teeth

the room full of smiles.

The woman stands before us, full of confidence

Surveying the room with a cruel eye and thin-lipped hunger.

She holds out her free hand, the other clutching her red box

And says

“I can see the future.”

It is all she says before striding forward and humping her box down

So that it claps with a bang.

We all follow her movements.

She holds her hands out again and waits.

Those who know lead the action

And they start to put coins in the gypsy’s palm, and she gulps them into her pockets

With greed and flashing eyes.

Someone shouts; “Turn down the lights” and they are turned down until

Only around the fortune teller lights glow, enflaming her black hair.

The box is opened, and the table is littered with her cards. She points to me.

“Choose,” she says. One eye open more than the other.

I had not laid a coin in her hand.

“Choose” again comes the hissed command

And I choose.

The card is turned over, and we look to it.

“The woman you love, loves you not,

No one will ever be true to you,

You are not true to yourself.”

It is all she says and then looks around the room and selects another.

Sitting back her words echo in my mind

And drive me into a fury.

“What do you mean?” Suddenly I shout.

The crowd stops, the old woman’s eyes smile, sending me deeper into a fury.

“I have spoken,” she says. “There are no more sights for you, remember my words.”

The woman I love has found the flaws in me, and it twists inside me

The gypsy woman has only touched the nerve; the wound appeared by my own thoughts.

Suddenly, in that crowded room, I was alone

My thoughts ran to you.

I have been cut down.

Advertisements

Why reading THE BOMBER is so important

In these early decades of the twenty-first century, literature has been highly entertaining but stagnant. Barriers are not being pushed, some critics feel literature has no where to go.

The twentieth century delivered amazing leaps forward, with society being questioned on all contentious issues, such as race, sexuality, warfare, belonging and mental health. In all these, fiction was at the forefront of one of the most memorable and violent centuries. The nineteenth century was the mother of twentieth in many ways, including the way we read and write fiction.

THE BOMBER is the grandchild of two hundred years of modern literature, but it is deeply rooted in this modern time. It is the story of a man, recently returned from an impotent, profitless war and he finds the society to which he has returned unaccepting, violent and apathetic. This main character named Joseph finds his best friend and fellow veteran Jessica unwell and in a loveless marriage to a cruel man. Meanwhile her brother is consumed in thuggish street behavior, he is a thief and homeless.

When Jessica is murdered by her husband in a brutal fashion, Joseph, uncertain on how to react decides to descend along the worse course possible, he decides to plant a bomb and destroy the killer.

When this bomb explodes, Joseph achieves his revenge but also kills many innocent people and he has to live with these results which almost drive him insane. He meets a young woman and with her help, they both steer away from the deadly brink of destruction.

I wrote this novel because it is a story from real life. Of people being isolated by society and turning to violence. It is no one person who is at fault, it is not one government. This society of violence is a combination of factors, human apathy toward the poor and vulnerable, deep inbuilt hatred of the strange, a vast human history of aggressive behavior, all these things are occurring on our streets at this moment and the most canny of police forces cannot stop these dangerous behaviors, where the gun and knife are to the poor what wealth and greed are to the rich. I needed to create this story because there is nothing else like it available. I was sick of reading fictional stories set fifty or more years ago, I was tired of paper thin ideas that had no impact on me.

When I began seeking a publisher for this novel, I wanted a publisher who was not afraid to take risks, who was not averse to new ideas and did not want the same formula that was successful last season. I wanted a publisher who like me, wants to write literature that deserves to be created, that will enter people’s minds and challenge them or comfort them depending where they stand. I chose to submit my manuscript to Pen Name Publishing because they gave me a sense they were looking for new writers with new things to say.
Pen Name Publishing received my manuscript and soon saw the potential in the work. They made me an offer of publication which I accepted and now, on June 24th 2015, the end result will be available. My editor is extremely helpful, she facilitates my writing process, offers me complete support and encourages my creativity.
This is a novel of this generation, it steps beyond what has preceded it and adds to the vast collection of English literature.
I hope you will read my debut novel.

Image

The Bomber

The Bomber, my debut novel, coming June 24th is now available for pre release order on amazon. You can order the e-book now and have it delivered to your device the minute it becomes available.

Please follow this link to have a look:

http://amzn.com/B00VQHFI9E

If you would prefer the hardcover book it will be available on the above date.

B-2tJnsUUAAcyW2

I would love it if you would add me on goodreads, put The Bomber on your to read list and after you’ve read my debut novel leave a comment on goodreads and amazon.

I hope to have your support and hopefully I can get as many people reading my novel as I can.

Here is the goodreads link:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24910237-the-bomber

COVER REVEAL COMING SOON

Ladies and Gentleman

I would like to announce that my new novel THE BOMBER will be having it’s cover revealed on February the 2nd. (East coast U.S. time).

I am excited and I hope you will come back here then to see my new cover. I have discovered that I hate helping to pick book covers because I have trouble deciding between options. I would gladly welcome opinions on the days following the release. Please let me know what you think.

THE BOMBER is a story about a soldier, Joseph Starling, who returns to civilian life and finds that he does not feel accepted or comfortable in the world. When his best friend is murdered he uses a backpack bomb to gain revenge on the killer.

His life begins to spiral out of control until he meets a woman who also battles personal issues and together they try to make a future together.

It will be released on June 24th 2015 through Pen Name Publishing.

Bob_Willoughby_James_Dean_reading_music_score_for_Rebel_Without_A_2577_41

TEASER for The Bomber

Very exciting news, my first teaser has been released. My publisher has made a series of teasers and will release them fortnightly until my debut novel The Bomber is released in June 2015.

Here is the splendid teaser:

3

Today I would like to share with you where it comes from in the novel and the general idea behind this byte.

The world in which I set The Bomber is a strange one. The setting is a city, like New York, London or Sydney. A western country that is involved in the struggle against middle eastern extremism and terrorism. The country has sent it’s troops to fight in overseas wars, these wars have become unpopular with some sections of the community and these people have come out onto the streets to protest, however a minority of the protesters involved take things too far and violence and unrest spread. It is a symptom of a deeper problem in this society, an issue of the disaffected, the unemployed, of failed race relations and the feeling of alienation among young people and new immigrants.

Anton Jones is a young man in the novel, he is a career thief and he finds this civil unrest both a problem and an opportunity as he makes his way about the streets at night. There is the problem of violence from the protestors and the issue of increased police numbers in the city. However due to the fires and looting, the stores and buildings lay open and available for him to steal what is left behind.

The main character, Joseph Starling also looks down upon the civil unrest. He is a war veteran and only just returned to the city. He is having a hard time adjusting to this world. He expected a lot more after having fought so long overseas and he does not like the violence and hatred all around him and he has had enough. Both Anton and Joseph’s lives become intertwined.

That is the world in my book, and the text in the teaser above shows the violence and destruction in the streets. Life will never be the same for any of the characters, just as it is for us in this new century.

Why I wrote The Bomber

My debut novel, The Bomber is released in June this year.  It is a story about a man returned from overseas where he was fighting for his country. When he returns he finds that his life as a civilian is not as he expected. After his best friend is murdered by her husband he seeks revenge on the killer by detonating an explosive. His life begins to unravel until he meets a woman, who with her own issues, helps the man overcome his problems.

This novel is primarily about social isolation. It is a theme I find very interesting. It is my experience that social isolation is a factor in mental deterioration and I would suspect that it is a factor in people becoming fanatical to the point of violence. isolation creates paranoia in an individual. It gives a person a view that society is hostile. I have heard people admit that they feel ‘the world is against them’ when they lack friends and steady social interaction.

Social isolation is a terrible thing to face. It can hurt any person at any age, it is as crippling as a physical illness.

My main character, Joseph Starling, the man who becomes the bomber in the novel, is stunned by his isolation. His paranoia leaves him frightened, he sits in his apartment where his dark thoughts engulf him, drive him to a point which may seems abnormal or extreme, but which he feels is perfectly normal in the circumstances.

It is important to be kind to people. This is a major point of my work, there are people around us struggling every day. The lonely, the sick, the disappointed, we all have dreams, some are caught and some are dropped. No matter how strong a person seems, kindness is the best way to deal with others. Even when they are rude, mean, cruel, the best reaction for them and yourself is kindness.

John Green, a great writer- a man who could never be describe other than a good person (as far as I can tell) reminded me (not personally but through the interwebs) the other day of a Philip Larkin poem. Philip Larkin was one of the twentieth centuries greatest poets. He was also a man who suffered social isolation and crippling shyness. Sometimes his personal views on life were extreme and even offensive but his poetry was literary gold. I have included a poem of his I associate with my main character Joseph Starling. When he exploded his enemies apartment, Joseph also killed innocent people in the building below. It is something which Joseph will never forgive himself for or forget.

The Mower
BY PHILIP LARKIN
The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found
A hedgehog jammed up against the blades,
Killed. It had been in the long grass.

I had seen it before, and even fed it, once.
Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world
Unmendably. Burial was no help:

Next morning I got up and it did not.
The first day after a death, the new absence
Is always the same; we should be careful

Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time.

THE BOMBER will be released June 2015. Please visit my publisher Pennamepublishing.com for more information.

Leigh Raines ‘We’re All Mad Here’ release and interview.

Today is the big day, Leigh Raines novel ‘We’re All Mad Here’ is released and I am excitedly awaiting my copy to arrive. Leigh is a good friend of mine, a nice person and an exceptional writer. Her debut novel released through French Press Bookworks (www.frenchpressbookworks.com) is a novel that will allow the reader to enter the world of a young woman in a mad world;

Jade Thompson had the kind of adolescence you would find in a Norman Rockwell painting. But at 19-years-old when her seemingly normal life is flipped on its head, she’s forced to take a closer look at the relationships in her life and the decisions she has made.

It feels as if she has fallen down a rabbit hole. As she returns to college and stumbles through her new reality, she finds herself more than a little lost. With the help of her three closest friends, we spend the year with Jade through her ups and downs where she discovers everyone is a little bit mad in the world. 

Here is an excerpt:

i-stood-there-thinking-my-knees-would-1

Please have a look at http://www.Leighraines.com to explore this author’s ideas and works.

She was kind enough to answer a set of my questions and to coincide with the books release, I found out a little more about Leigh.

Author Photo 1
1. Please tell me about yourself.
L: I’m just a girl, who wrote a book years ago not knowing what I’d eventually do with it….and now it releases this week and I’m altogether excited and terrified. A little about me? Born and raised just outside of Manhattan, big family, went to Lehigh University, studied Journalism. Love all things pop culture, work for a TV critique website, I love the way people use creative mediums to tell stories. Favorite shows in the world are Friday Night Lights and One Tree Hill. My French bulldog is named Minka for FNL. Favorite books, is a much hard question!
2. What do you like to read?
L: I read a lot of indie authors, mostly New Adult, young romance. I do read the popular best-seller stuff and I like some historical fiction and memoirs. I love a good love story.
3. What are you reading right now and what do you think you will read next?
L: I tend to read more than one book at once, especially because I have the nasty habit of staying up all night to finish a book I’m really into. So before bed you’ll find me reading “The Andy Cohen Diaries” because it’s funny, but I’m not addicted to finding out the ending. Last few: “The World According to Rachel” by Layne Harper, “The Before Now and After Then” by Peter Monn, “All I want (Alabama Summer)” by J. Daniels, “Captivated by You” by Sylvia Day. Next: “Maybe Not” spinoff of an awesome Colleen Hoover book called “Maybe Someday” and the “Real” series by Katy Evans, because I keep hearing about it.
4. Why do you like to write?
L: It’s therapeutic. I love telling a story. This book I wrote started as a cathartic thing for me and then I wanted to have a little fun with it. I also do weekly TV reviews. I like to just break down a story and discuss it.
5. Tell us about where you come from and where you live now.
L: I’m from Rockland County, New York and now I live on the Upper East Side in Manhattan with my boyfriend and dog. My family has a house on coastal Georgia that is a second home and I love. The only other place I’ve ever really lived was Eastern Pennsylvania for college.
6. If you could invite any person, alive today or from history, to a dinner party who would you invite and why?
L: Such a hard question, especially narrowing it down! Author wise: Jacqueline Susann because “Valley of the Dolls” was such a scandal and it also made me want to spice up my own book. I feel like she’d have a lot of juicy tales. I’m such a huge TV nerd so I’d want to meet Connie Britton and Sophia Bush, two of my favorite actresses who are also really philanthropic and inspiring woman. From a personal standpoint, I never met my grandfather whom I was named for and my boyfriend’s mother passed away 9 years ago and I want to meet the woman who raised this man I love so much.
7. What advice can you give to people trying to achieve their dreams?
L: Don’t settle and get comfortable. Rejection is normal. If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.
8. Can you tell us about the new book you have coming out and about your inspiration?
L: Some personal experiences inspired my book, but there was also a motto of “All that glitters is not gold.” Someone can have a normal great life and meltdown anyway because that is just life! I think mental health is a really important conversation to be having, especially with today’s youth. Also when I started writing this probably a decade ago, there was such a gap in the publishing industry without the New Adult category. College age is such a formative time. I wanted to delve into that.
9. Can you give us a quote from your favorite book?
L: Considering I probably can’t even narrow down a favorite book….I seriously should just link you to my Kindle Highlights page! You know I have hundreds of quotes saved on both my phone and laptop. Here are a few favorites (serious quotes):

“There are all kinds of love in this world, but never the same love twice.”- F. Scott Fitzgerald
“There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood leads on to fortune. But omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves. Or lose the ventures before us.” – Julius Caesar
“Blessed are the hearts that can bend, they shall never be broken.”- Albert Camus
And of course “Clear Eyes, Full hearts, Can’t Lose”- Friday Night Lights

———————————————————————————————————————————————-

Thank you Leigh.

covertues2

Leigh Raines ‘We’re All Mad Here’ French Press Bookworks.

Released December 10th 2014 available electronically, online or through any good bookstore.