Thursday, 8 November 2018

FREE FOR THREE DAYS "Kicker, the forgotten front" by R G Hoover.

I am a member of the #asmsg writing group and a few weeks ago I read in our newsletter about a book that had been written to remember a group of veterans from WWII that tend to be largely overlooked. In his own words. R G Hoover wrote,

Every year I watch the TV programs on Memorial Day and Veterans Day that are presented to honor the veterans of World War II, and every year I am disappointed that a segment of those veterans is forgotten.  The history and actions of veterans of the European, African and Pacific theaters are always well represented and honored, but the veterans of the China-Burma-India (CBI) theater are never mentioned. The CBI gave us such notable units as the Flying Tigers, Merrill's Marauders and the first military use of gliders. It was the largest WWII theater with the worst weather conditions imaginable and it featured over 700,000 allied troops completely supplied from the air for over 3 years.  As the son of a veteran of the CBI theater, it is very disappointing to me that such an important segment of our honored military is always overlooked.

If you would like to find out more about "The Forgotten Theatre" there is a lot of information out there. I found this site to be particularly helpful and fascinating. Beware though because once you start, it gets a hold of you.


As a way of honouring the brave men and women who died in the CBI Theatre R Grey Hoover is making his book, Kicker (The Forgotten Front), available on Amazon for free during the Veterans Day holiday. Kicker is based on actual experiences and military records and tells the story of Grey's own father and many other CBI veterans through the eyes of a single protagonist. The book does not contain vulgar language or erotic scenes and is acceptable for teens as well as older generations. It tells the story of our forgotten veterans both on the home front and the CBI front.


Blurb

World War II is raging. A young father must choose between his family and duty to his country- a decision that could cost him everything.

Based on actual experiences of United States veterans and official military aviation history records from World War II, this is the thrilling story of a family’s journey into war. While his loved ones struggle with shortages and rationing at home, Sam endures relentless Japanese attacks against his unarmed aircraft over the treacherous mountains and torrid jungles of Asia. His job is to drop supplies to Merrill’s Marauders and over 750,000 allied soldiers fighting in the perilous jungles of Burma. If the enemy is not stopped, the American way of life will end.

If you like non-stop action with a touch of humor and romance and the chance to learn about the “forgotten front” of WWII, then this is the book for you.


Excerpt

April 4, 1944 - Dinjan Airbase, India

Sam and Bobby Joe were totally exhausted when they crawled into their charpoys. The harrowing events of the day had taken its toll on them physically and mentally. In spite of the heat and noise of the jungle, Sam felt the blessed relief of sleep approaching soon after his head hit the pillow. However, as he drifted off, a feeling of unease came over him. It was a feeling that something was wrong, not here in India, but at home. He didn’t know if he felt uneasy because he still hadn’t received mail from home or because of some unknown reason, but the feeling stayed with him until he finally succumbed to his exhaustion and slipped into a deep sleep. 

Thankfully, his slumber was not disturbed by his recurring nightmare, and he slept soundly until the wee hours of the morning when he suddenly awoke not knowing what had disturbed him. A light rain was falling outside, and except for an occasional flash of distant lightning, the basha was in total darkness. He lay very still, listening to the sounds around him. He strained his hearing, but no sound came except for the steady breathing of the sleeping men around him. After several minutes, he relaxed, thinking his imagination was playing tricks on him. He was almost asleep again when he thought he detected a faint unfamiliar sound coming from somewhere in the basha. Once again, he listened intently, not sure he had heard anything; but then he heard the sound again—only this time it seemed closer, and he was sure it came from within the basha. He couldn’t quite place the sound, but it seemed like something soft brushing against an object. He listened closely, but all was silent. None of the other men in the basha stirred, and after an extended period of silence, he relaxed once again in anticipation of sleep.

He was in that dreamy state just before slumber when he felt the presence of something or someone nearby. Once again, his senses came to full alert, and he made a conscious effort not to move. He listened carefully, bringing all his senses to bear. He could see or hear nothing, and yet he was sure something was there. He was startled when someone at the other end of the room moved, but then all was silent once again. He was lying on his back, so he slowly moved his head to the right and scanned the darkness. 

  At first he saw nothing, but then attention was drawn to a slight movement at the foot of his bed. He couldn’t make out what it was. It appeared to be an undistinguishable shadow against the darker background of the room. As he watched, the shadow moved, and he held his breath as it silently glided along the side of his bed. There was no sound as it moved, and it slowly drew nearer and stopped near the head of his bed. He could tell that it was something large, but due to the extreme darkness, he was unable to see what it was. His instincts told him this was something dangerous and evil, and the hairs on the nape of his neck stood erect. At that moment, a distant flash of lightning faintly illuminated the scene, and in that instant of light, Sam could see the large form of a tiger standing beside him. 

The animal’s head was enormous. Its eyes, momentarily reflecting light from the faraway lightning, gave the beast an evil, devil-like appearance. This was death incarnate staring directly at him. 

Sam was frozen with fear, and his heart seemed to stop. His .45-caliber pistol hung on the wall not three feet away, and he cursed himself for not keeping it inside the mosquito netting with him. He knew the tiger could see that he was awake, and he feared any movement would cause it to attack. The animal stepped closer, and Sam could see its dim outline and smell its damp fur and the fetid odor of its breath. The tiger appeared to know its victim was helpless. The great beast took its time as it sniffed the mosquito netting as if testing its strength. Slowly it raised a huge paw and placed it against the puny impediment. The tiger’s claws caught in the netting, and with a mighty swipe, it ripped the flimsy material away from the bed.


Author Bio

R Grey Hoover is an Air Force veteran with a family tradition of military service that dates back to the American revolution. He wrote his book “Kicker the forgotten front” to honor his father and the other veterans of World War II who fought in the China-Burma-India (CBI) theatre.  During the war, the European and Pacific theatres got most of the supplies and media attention leaving the CBI theatre with the leftovers. Even in today’s media coverage of World War II the CBI theatre is never mentioned. The author’s book is an attempt to correct this gross oversight.

R Grey Hoover’s social media links:




Friday, 26 October 2018

Release Day! The Hunt by Jo Tannah



Title: The Hunt

Published By: eXtasy Books

Author: Jo Tannah

ISBN: 978-1-4874-2041-3

Page: 84

Word Count: 23428

Estimated Publish Date: October 26, 2018

Series: The Adventures of Marcus Kildud #1

Heat Level: 3 Flames



Categories: Adventure, Gay, GLBT, Horror, Science Fiction, Suspense, Erotica

Blurb: 

When the hunter becomes the hunted, the only thing left to do is run.

Lieutenant Marcus Kildud and his men are rangers for hire. They specialize in insertion, extraction, escape, and evasion. He answers an urgent request from the Planet Terrus’ Prelate, the Lord Fulsam, whose son has disappeared and is presumed dead.

Their task is to find the ring the Prelate’s son wore. The promised compensation and bonus offered are enough to make this their team’s final mission.

What they meet in the forest is something none of them have ever encountered before. Marcus now faces the unimaginable. He realizes too late that sometimes, running away may be the only option left to stay alive.

Note: This work has been previously published but has been reworked, re-edited, and expanded.

Social Links:

eXtasy Books Author link: http://www.extasybooks.com/jo-tannah/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoTannah
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jotannahauthor
Amazon Author: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00RCKB5J6

About the Author:

I grew up listening to folk tales my father and nannies told either to entertain us children or to send home a message. These narratives I kept with me and finally, I wrote them down in a journal way back when I kept one. Going through junk led to a long forgotten box and in it was the journal. #

Reading over the stories of romance, science fiction and horror I had taken time to put to paper, brought to light that these were tales I never met in my readings.

The tales I write are fictional but all of them are based on what I grew up with and still dream about. That they have an M/M twist is simply for my pleasure. And I hope, yours as well.



Teaser:

There it lay, unmoving, coiled around a massive branch that bent under its weight. The wind became stronger, bringing with it the first drops of cold rain. Marcus' lungs burned from lack of air and yet he dared not move. Even with his heart thundering in his head, he couldn’t move. Malik’s breathing came out loud and harsh against his ear. When one of the creature’s eyelids lifted, it revealed a yellow eye, and Marcus couldn’t help flinch back against Malik’s chest. Malik tightened his arm around Marcus and covered his mouth with a free hand.

“Don’t. Move.” Malik whispered softly in a harsh tone.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

The Faery of Beacon Lake Part 22



How much do you think a faery dowry would be for a highborn prince? Owen gets a bit of a shock when he finds out, but I don't put a number on it. I'll leave it to your imagination but I can assure you Owen and Bran are going to have a lot of fun spending it.

“Bran dear,” Aggie said when they were all safely inside, “why don’t you try on some of your new things? I’d love to see what you bought.”

“But I can show you—”

“I’d rather see you wear them,” she repeated, a sharp note underlying the uncharacteristic sweetness. 

Bran’s eyes widened in surprise, but he shrugged and headed for the stairs, still laden with his bags and boxes.

When Owen made to follow, Aggie stopped him.

“I need your help in the kitchen,” she said, straight and to the point as ever, without any of the softness she seemed to have acquired around Bran.

With a sigh, Owen gave Bran a rueful shrug, getting such a bright smile in return it was almost worth it to step back and watch him climb the stairs.

“Stop looking at his arse and get yours in here,” Aggie called sharply from the kitchen.

“I was not— Oh, what’s the point?” He set the remaining bags down on the floor in the hall and obediently trotted into the kitchen. Aggie was sitting at the table with a piece of paper in her hands. 
She seemed uncomfortable.

“What’s wrong?”

“I’ve turned the gold into numbers,” she said, her hands nervously fluttering as she fed the paper through her fingers.

“O-kay. Was there a problem?”

“No. No problem. I just wanted to talk to you about it without Bran.”

“Why?”

“Because… You need to remember, Owen, that Bran is a prince. He might not appear to be. He’s a sweet boy and not arrogant like many of the fey I know, let alone royalty. Nevertheless, he is royalty and even though he is not in his kingdom, he… His parents are anxious that he doesn’t have to struggle. They are…not confident you will be able to provide for him in the way they’d like, so—”

“Not yet,” Owen complained, but I will. I only have a year left on my degree and then I’ll get a job and…”

“Owen, are you listening? Bran is a prince, a prince. What kind of job do you think you can get that will adequately provide for him?”

Owen scowled and Aggie looked even more uncomfortable.

“He’s not like that, Aggie. He doesn’t act like a prince, and he’s excited about everything. This place is so different to his home, he—”

Aggie slapped her hand on the table making Owen jump.

“You are not listening. No mater how excited he is or how he acts the fact remains. No fae king will allow his only son to be dependent on any human, and certainly no fae queen will permit her son to live a lowly life.”

“O-kay. Got it. Bran’s parents want him to be well looked after and don’t trust me to do that. Fair point. I figure that’s why the chest of jewels, right. I mean, if we’re careful that can surely buy us a nice little house with all the clothes he ever wants and holidays every year to wherever he wants to…”

“Don’t get angry,” Aggie said with her most no arguments or else face, “and do not breathe a single word of discontent to Bran or I will disown you.”

“What? What are you talking about?”

Aggie gave him another scowl and slid the paper across the table. Puzzled, Owen picked it up and glanced at it.

If he’d been standing he would have sat down – fast. “I… I can’t… I…no. No, I can’t. It’s just. I can’t.”

“Yes, you can, and you will. You will go home tomorrow, without Bran. I’ll keep him here safe for the day,” she added when he would have complained. “You will talk to your parents and tell them everything. You will give your father this paper and he will help you work out what to do with it. You cannot do this alone, but together we can make sure you are both where you should be.”

“What about my degree? I can’t go back and tell them… Shit, I can’t leave Bran. I can’t…”

“One step at a time. You can make decisions as they become necessary but there is no need for final ones right now. Indeed, you should make none. This needs time and careful planning.”

“Planning? Have you seen how much is in there? And he said there’d be more. We could live forever on that. In a mansion in Las Vegas or Beverley Hills or something. We could buy the whole village, sheep and all.”

Aggie grinned. “That’s my boy,” she said, pretending not to notice that, even thought he joked, his 
voice shook.

Owen was dragged from his thoughts, that were gloomier than they should have been given his sudden change in status, by light steps on the stairs.

“I didn’t know how things are supposed to go.” Bran’s voice came from the hall moments before he appeared in the kitchen doorway, his head bowed, examining himself critically. “I had trouble with the shoes. I don’t usually wear shoes.” He glanced up. “What?”

“I… You…” If Owen had had trouble speaking after seeing the balance of his bank account, he was struck doubly dumb by the sight of his faery prince in figure hugging black jeans, a soft, pale blue cashmere jumper and a pair of badly laced high tops. Somehow, the stylish, well cut clothing made him even more beautiful and even more unearthly than when he was wearing nothing at all. Owen had quite simply never seen anything so lovely in all his life. He smiled tentatively and Bran grinned back.

“Do I look okay? Did I do it right?”

“You do everything right,” Owen breathed, and ignoring Aggie, surged to his feet and embraced Bran, losing himself in a heart-melting kiss.

Now drag your eyes away from Owen and Bran and visit the rest of the flashers this week. There are a wide range of stories for you today,

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

The Faery of Beacon Lake Part 21



They stopped for lunch in a little café Owen liked to visit when he was staying with his grandmother. It was cheap and cheerful but had some of the nicest food Owen had ever had in a café. Of course, nothing surpassed his grandmother’s cooking, but this came close. He wasn’t one for fancy food and the general fare of homecooked stews, pies and burgers suited him fine. They also had the best coffee he’d ever tasted outside the city. Aggie wasn’t impressed with coffee and the shit she gave him tasted like it had gone through the intestines of a cow.

Bran couldn’t sit still. Owen had led him to a table at the back of the café where it was quiet and there was space around them to stack their bags. Owen liked to sit here because it was slightly secluded and gave him an opportunity to people-watch. Bran was over-the-top excited by the prospect and bounced every time someone came in making comments way too loudly. Fortunately the comments were always good, but it still took a while and some embarrassment before Bran got the idea that people didn’t really like to be noticed, even when the really cute guy in the corner was waving and telling you the colour of your hair reminds him of flowers and perfectly matches the pattern on the walking stick you’re using, especially when he went on to say that “It’s really amazing that a human this old can walk at all.”

“But it is,” Bran said in a far-too-loud stage whisper when Owen made him sit still and sent an apologetic shrug to the woman who sat down heavily, a confused expression on her face, as if she wasn’t quite sure whether she should be pleased or offended. “Humans don’t live that long, a hundred if they’re lucky and they get… sort of…broken down at the end. Most of them give up after about seventy years and then they die.”

Owen closed his eyes and cringed. He took a deep breath. “Maybe it’s because we get old and die so quickly compared to your…people, we really don’t like being reminded how fragile and we are and definitely don’t like our own mortality shoved in our faces.”

“I don’t understand.”

“We don’t like to be reminded we’re going to die, especially if it’s likely to be sooner rather than later. We also don’t like reminding that our bodies don’t work as well as they used to.”

Bran frowned, considering, then a dark expression crossed his face, draining the joy out of him.

“What’s the matter?” Owen asked, but Bran shook his head. No amount of prompting would get him to speak, so Owen changed tack and distracted him with the menu. Bran perked up and threw himself into an exploration of human food, but he never quite regained his sparkle.


By the end of the day, they had so many bags and boxes it would have been impossible to carry them all home, so Owen called a taxi. Bran chatted to the driver non-stop all the way back. In Owen’s experience the local taxi drivers weren’t a talkative lot, but Bran had a way about him that made people open up and by the time they arrived home they knew all about, Rhys’s family, his financial situation and his slight gambling problem.

“Tell Amy fenugreek is good for menstrual cramps, especially when they’re just starting, and if she adds some lemon to the last rinse when she’s washing her hair, the sun will give her natural highlights. Oh, and tell Mair to keep her feet up. It wouldn’t go amiss if you gave her a foot-rub with lavender oil every night, either.” He helped Owen take the last of the bags out of the car, then turned back with a very serious expression on his face. “Please don’t make any more bets. It only gets worse, never better and even when you’re winning you’re really losing because it’s just sucking you in deeper. There are places in the deep lake where the floor looks pleasant, and pretty plants grow, but if you walk into them they’ll suck you down and you’ll never come out again. Please don’t do that, not with the baby coming. Mair needs you, and Amy needs her dad at home and not out hiding somewhere.”

Owen didn’t hear what the driver said, but he saw him reach out of the window and pull Bran closer. Bran bent and Owen could have sworn the man kissed his forehead. Shaking his head, Owen turned and struggled up the path with bags in his hands, under his arms, and even one in his teeth. He was wondering how he was going to open the door, when it swung back to reveal a grinning Aggie.

“Have a good time, did you?” she said, her voice lighter than Owen had heard for a long time. His grandmother was many things – wise, resourceful, capable and endlessly kind, but one thing she wasn’t – usually – was cheerful, and the first thing that hit Owen when he saw her, framed in the doorway, a bright smile on her face was that he’d never seen her smile so wide or her eyes quite so bright and she looked…younger.


Bran danced past him, just as laden but somehow less burdened, and planted a kiss on Aggie’s cheek then breezed past her. Aggie turned after him, grumbling about so much energy making her feel tired, but he didn’t miss the sweet smile, or the way she raised her hand to touch her cheek. He smiled. Not only was Bran a faery but he was magic.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Wednesday Briefs - The Faery of Beacon Lake Part 20



Buying underwear went better than Owen could have hoped. In fact, Bran was entirely uninterested and allowed him to make the choices quickly and unanimously. Bran wandered off and Owen emerged from the socks and underwear isle in a state of slight panic, which didn’t lessen much when he found Bran in the women’s lingerie aisle fingering lace underwear while rubbing his cheek against a fluffy, pink dressing gown. The embarrassment was even more acute as he had an audience of two employees, a couple of teens and a family with a young child who was demanding to be able to do the same, reaching sticky fingers toward a nightdress with bears on.
“Owen, look what I found. This is so pretty. Can I have some. And this is so soft. Do you have one. Please can I have it. If you haven’t got one, you can have one too. They’ve got different colours. Then I can snuggle you, and you can snuggle me.”
Owen’s face flamed. For a moment he considered pretending not to know Bran and walking away, but that was impossible, so he grabbed some of the knickers Bran was stroking and the dressing gown and threw them in the basket.
“Have one too. They’ve got some with little hearts on. Look.”
One of the sales assistants sniggered, and Owen glared at her. She stifled a grin and walked away.
“Is there anything else I can help you with, sir?” the other assistant said, not even trying to hide her smile.
“No thank you,” Owen replied stiffly. “We can manage.”
Slowly, the little crowd dispersed, and Bran noticed Owen’s expression.
“What’s the matter?”
“This is the women’s aisle,” Owen mumbled. “These are women’s clothes.”
“I don’t understand. Are we not allowed to buy them?” He gazed longingly at the red satin panties.
“No, we can but they… It’s just…usually, only women wear them.”
Bran stopped and stared at Owen. “I…see,” he said slowly. “But we can buy them. I can wear them but it will be different to everyone else.”
“Yes,” Owen said, relieved. His relief didn’t last.
“Wonderful,” Bran said. “I think I’ll have some of these in pink, too. What are those?”
They bought seven pairs of assorted lace underwear, two pairs of pyjamas—one with an unicorn on the front, and one with a dancing fairy, which Bran thought was hilarious, two dressing gowns and a pair of high heels, before Owen finally dragged Bran away from the women’s clothes.
They fared better in the men’s aisles, generally. Bran was all about the sense—if it felt good, smelled good, or crinkled when he scrunched it, he wanted to buy it, as he did with anything that was brightly coloured or had pictures on the front.
Owen had chosen quite an upmarket shop, at Aggie’s insistence, and the sales staff became very involved, much to Owen’s chagrin. They seemed to love Bran, though, and Bran basked in the attention. The basket turned to two, then three, then more assistants were called to help carry them. Bran danced through the middle of it all, darting to something that caught his eye and tossing it into the basket carelessly.
“You should try some of these on,” Owen said, trying desperately to halt Bran’s crazy spree. “You won’t know if they fit you properly if you don’t try them on.”
Bran gazed at him thoughtfully then grinned. “You’re right. Can I try the underwear first?”
“You can’t try on underwear,” Owen said. “It’s not allowed.”
“Why not?”
“Because if you don’t buy it, no one else is going to.”
Bran thought about it then nodded sagely. “I see. But I can try the rest?”
“As long as you keep your underwear on.”
“I will,” he sang and disappeared into the changing rooms with a handful of clothes that made him look like a bird of paradise, its wings made up of colourful rags.
When Bran came out of the changing room, Owen completely changed his opinion of the trip so far. It changed abruptly from the worst day of his life to the best, with one outfit.
Bran wore faded jeans, with artful tears across the knees, so tight they could have been painted on. Over the top was a long, black t-shirt with a gold dragon motif and a long, tailored coat with a vintage Victorian vibe in black and grey shot silk. The outfit was finished by a pair of heeled ankle book and Bran’s hair, which he’d pulled free of its band, and hung like a gleaming silver shawl over his shoulder. Owen had never seen anything so beautiful in his life—apart from Bran naked.
“Do you like it?” Bran asked, apparently uncomfortable with Owen’s intense scrutiny. He shuffled his feet looking coy, and Owen melted.
He got to his feet like an automaton and glided across the floor. Taking Bran into his arms, he breathed into his ear, “You’re beautiful.”
“Will you get some, too. Clothes like this. Yours are…” Bran bit his lip.
“Shabby and worn,” Owen said, laughing.
“Okay, I’ll get a few things but I’d rather things that are a little less…formal.”
“Okay, I’ll get not formal things too, he said with a grin. You can choose.”

From that moment, the whole thing was a game, which Owen immersed himself in wholly and it was the most fun he’d had in his life.

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Hostage at Hamony Ink


One of my favourites. Fantasy, sci fi, romance, a revolution, a train, and a vendetta turned to love all because a teenage prince was taken hostage


Buy Link


Astrin Raphael wakes up in a strange place, frightened and confused. He is told to trust someone who seems to hate him, and he tries—he really tries. However, things change rapidly when he discovers his friend is actually his archenemy, Rowan Gabriel, whose abusive behavior stems from a deeply ingrained, if unwarranted, hatred over something that happened many years before, and simply wasn’t Astrin’s fault.

When Rowan's uncle and Astrin's father are kidnapped by Strebo Michael, the two crown princes are catapulted into an adventure that forces them to work together, and along the way their feelings for each other grow. Rowan is quick to let his hate go, but Astrin can’t release his inhibitions. It takes Astrin almost dying from a poisoned dagger before he finally accepts Rowan's love.

When they return home, their problems continue as their Houses try to negotiate a way for the young men to be together. It soon becomes clear at least one of them will need to relinquish his throne.

On Sale Now Fairies at NineStar




Buy Link

All Keiron wants is a quiet life. Fat chance with a boyfriend like Bren. But if he thought Bren complicated his life, that was nothing compared to the complications that begin when he opens the door to what he thinks is a naked boy claiming to be his slave.

Draven is a fairy with his sights set on the handsome human who keeps a wild place in the garden for fairies. When Draven slips through a fairy gate into the city, he sets in motion a series of events that binds him to Keiron forever, and just might be the end of him.

While Draven explores Keiron’s world with wide-eyed wonder, Keiron does everything he can to keep Draven’s at bay, until the only way to save Draven and bring him home is to step into a world that should exist only in children stories.



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Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Wednesday Briefs - The Faery of Beacon Lake Part 19



I know, I know, I keep dropping off the face of the earth. This time, you can blame formatting. It's my nemesis and I'm stressed to the hilt trying to make sense of it. I have realized, however, that not writing is only adding to the stress, so I'm making sure I make time for it. So here we go again with good resolve to be more regular. I really want to tell Owen and Bran's story because it's such an interesting journey. We'll see

“What are you going to do with it?”
“Never you mind. I’ll have it turned to plastic by tomorrow.”
Bran looked alarmed. “It’s not that kind of gold, Lady. It doesn’t transform. Nor for us.”
Aggie smiled kindly at him. “Oh, it transforms, dear, but not in the way you think. Trust me, I’ll see you right.”
“Of course, I trust you. Come husband, lets finish our excellent meal.” He returned to eating with gusto, leaving Owen still staring at the chest.
“There are up sides to dealing with the fair folk,” Aggie said, a smirk in her voice. “At least this lot won’t turn to leaves when the sun goes down.”
Once breakfast was out of the way, Aggie handed Owen a debit card he didn’t know she had.
“Spend what you need,” she said. “I’ll get it back from this.”
“What should I buy?”
“I didn’t think I’d have to tell you that. How should I know what boys need to live these days? Start with clothes, I would think. He can’t be wearing those, he looks ridiculous, and don’t forget who he is. Get nice ones. And one of those things you’re always looking at.”
Owen puzzled for a moment. “My phone?” he ventured.
“Whatever. I’ve never understood why you have to carry computers around in your pocket. A telephone is for making telephone calls. Always was. That’ll do for me. And why would I want to take one with me in my pocket? If I’m out I’m busy and I can’t be doing with people disturbing me with idle chat or to sell me things I don’t want?”
Owen sighed. They’d had this conversation many times.
“Come on,” he said to Bran. “She’ll only keep on about it if we don’t escape now. The twenty-first century seems to have passed her by. No scrap that, I don’t think she’s got into the twentieth yet.”
Bran smiled in that vague way people smile when they haven’t got a clue what you’re talking about, and Owen sighed again.
The trip to town was…interesting. Bran was interested in everything. Apparently, he’d flows over the town before, so he wasn’t unfamiliar with its workings, but he was clearly unsettled, if not frightened by the fast pace and loud noise. Owen realized half-way to their goal that he knew nothing about the environment in which Bran lived and hadn’t once thought to ask.
“What’s it like where you live,” he asked as they walked down the main street. Bran was walking so close he kept tripping Owen who’d had to ease him away more then once. He found that holding Bran’s hand helped, but that brought a whole new set of problems, and Owen was almost as uneasy and on edge as Bran.
“Not like this.”
“I suppose it’s quieter.”
“Yes, very much so. The sound here is clearer, but harsher. Everything is brighter and faster and louder. I think it’s going to take quite a time to get used to.”
“I suppose.”
“The worst thing is the smell and the poison in the air. Honestly, I don’t know how you can live in this environment and not get sick. There are places in the river where we don’t swim because of chemicals dumped in the water, and I’ve heard of other places where the poison is so bad it kills everything for miles, or…changes things. Here, the poison is in the air and it can’t be avoided. I don’t understand why you do it, or how you can stand it.”
“I can’t lie, I don’t understand why they do it either. As for why I live in it or how I can stand it, I suppose it’s because I don’t have a choice. This is the way it is everywhere. You’ll get used to it.”
Bran looked fearful. “I don’t think I want to. Can we not live with near the lake, or perhaps in the mountains. I like mountains, although the air makes me dizzy and silly.”
“That, I’d like to see.” Owen smiled at the pictures in his head and squeezed Bran’s hand. “One day soon, I’ll take you, but I have to go back to the city, to university. I have to finish my degree.”
“Why?”
“Because I’ve worked hard to get this far, and I’ll need a degree to get a good job.”
Bran nodded seriously, although he seemed unconvinced.
“What’s a city?”
Owen considered. “Like this, but much bigger.”
Even through his hand, Owen felt the deep shudder that passed through Bran.
“Do I have to live there? Can I not stay here? Or perhaps we can have our own house. You don’t need to go to the city anymore. Not now we have the dowry. We can have our own house wherever we want and we will have enough to but food and anything else we need.”
Owen shook his head. “We’ll talk about this later,” he said. “Right now, we need to concentrate on shopping. What do you want to look at first?”
“Everything,” Bran said, his eyes wide.
Owen sighed. “It’s going to be a long day. Come on, let’s find you something to wear that fits you better.”
“That would be nice. Can I have blue ones like that?” Bran pointed across the road, where a boy and girl, both dressed vaguely goth were leaning against the wall outside the pub, smoking. The boy was wearing trousers that appeared to be leather, with inches of bare skin at the sides and plenty of silver chains and buckles.
Owen groaned and shivered at the same time. He yanked Bran’s finger down and hurried him onward, afraid the two teens might take offence at his staring. The image of Bran dressed in those leather trousers lodged itself firmly in his brain.
“I don’t think they’d have them in blue,” he said.

Now, go read the rest of our talented crew. We've got quite a selection this week

Saturday, 22 September 2018

September Newsletter


September newsletter is almost complete and will be out in a few days. There is some exciting news this month, including links to my first audiobooks and an exclusive first peep at the latest book cover in the Upstaged series, as well as general news and complaints.

Don't think I haven't noticed that no one has entered any of my giveaways. There's another chance this month for an extra special giveaway. In case it's not clear, you have to comment HERE on THIS POST to be entered. It doesn't matter what you comment, although interaction would be nice.

Feel free to comment, good or bad, on any of my work - characters, stories, covers etc - or to throw questions at me. I'm pretty affable and very approachable, especially if you bring chocolate.