Saturday, 15 March 2014

Announcement: Excuse of the Day

Today I'm happy to announce the publication of my prizewinning short story, Excuse of the Day.

The first three people to review this story will receive a free advance e-copy of my new book, Dance of Chaos. Email me at with a link to your review to receive your gift.


Get it HERE

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Review - Nike's Wings, by Valerie Douglas

A fast-paced action spy thriller, this book charges along like a souped-up car. Action fans will love it, I feel sure, and the occasional snide reference to America's shameful behaviour in recent years is calculated to gain the reader's sympathy. The book is well constructed and written, although I thought the ending a little rushed; more could have been made of the Torrance episode.

The one major fault in this book was the sudden switch from time to time into patches of pornography. These sudden and unpredictable jumps in style and subject matter interfere badly with the flow of the narrative, and practically invite the reader to stop reading. The book would be improved by editing them out.

Aside from that, the quality is reasonable, although several missing words and one egregious instance of 'to' used instead of 'too' suggest that time taken for a second round of proofreading would have been time well spent.

Nike's Wings 

Nike's Wings is available at AMAZON

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Guest post - Ben Ditmars on poetry, art and the beauty of the mundane

Today's beautifully lyrical guest post is brought to you by Ben Ditmars, author of Haiku in the Night.

Ben says:
I think there are many misconceptions about poetry.  I have heard that it is solely reflective and reactive and that it cannot accomplish ends in itself.  I see poetry, and all art, as much more.  We do not waste time writing about the world and what it could become.  Rock and roll did not waste time.  Painters and philosophers did not waste time.  We are creating a vision and potential future.  We are forging new ideas and blazing trails.  Authors, poets, and painters have done this tirelessly throughout recorded history.  But art is seldom appreciated in the way real jobs are.  It never has been, and people will always judge you if you aren’t rich doing it. 

I attend poetry reads and feel the same rebellious fire I once felt at rock concerts.  There are voices from men, women, young, and old that resonate.  The mundane often becomes beautiful through passion and comparison.  I think writing and poetry have taken on society as well and people are listening through SoundCloud, podcasts, Facebook, Twitter, poetry bars, and open mics.  It is a movement as much as an art form.  But what art form isn’t movement? 

The value of emotion and change are ultimately worth more than plastic cards or scraps of paper from a dead-end job.  They will endure and bring light for centuries to come.  Money will change hands and fade back into the earth knowing desire but not love.  And that is why I write, because it fills me with love.  We are alive when the light shines on our heart and the writers, poets, teachers, philosophers, and dreamers will live on forever through their inspiration.

Haiku in the Night is available at AMAZON.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

We Don't Need Another Hero

How many times a day are we shown images of football players, actors and singers, and 'minor celebrities' (people whose sole accomplishment is getting a lot of attention) with the implied expectation that they are at the top of the human pyramid? More exciting, more interesting, just generally better human beings? I've never counted, but I wouldn't mind betting that for the average person using television or the internet it would be at least several dozen times a day.

What makes these people so special? Is it their brains?


Their looks?

Their fashion sense?

Their moral fibre?

I don't think so.

And then, after being bombarded all day with this, we go off and read books and watch films about superheroes, and at the end we close the book or switch off the television with a sigh, wishing such heroes really existed.


People who wear their underpants outside their trousers.

Or undead, blood-sucking monsters, like this one and this one.  (Not directly shown here for copyright reasons).
And yet, every day the true superheroes are out there. Defending us. Facing unspeakable horrors:


Doing this:

And this:

And this:

Doing THIS and THIS and THIS.

And THIS. (Watch the video - you'll be glad you did.)

Risking their lives to protect the lives and property of total strangers, usually for no pay and at the cost of their own time, and often losing their lives, like 19 year old Katie Peters who, with fellow firefighter Steven Kadar, made the ultimate sacrifice just over a year ago.

So the next time you're casting about for someone to admire, look past the glossy images being foisted on us all day. Look past the insubstantial, empty-headed media icons, to our true superheroes.

To all brave, generous, awesome fire people: