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Cover Reveal – Eyesight to the Blind by Richard F Holmes

Hi! It’s been a bit of a while! Here’s a cover reveal to get this blog back into the swing of things!!!

ABOUT THE BOOK

This is an extraordinary book that tells the story of the author’s journey from a place of darkness to one of light.  You will experience a roller coaster ride of extreme highs and lows as he takes your hand and leads you on a guided tour into the depths of depression and despair.  Whilst there you will feel his pain, you will be impressed by his brutal honesty and you will also laugh… a lot!  You will then ascend; out of the darkness and into the love.

This is not just another run-of-the-mill book on the paranormal; it is also an essential guide for daily living.  Author Richard F Holmes bares his soul as he gives the reader an insight into a medium’s work and life on the road, his well over 200 out-of-body experiences and how he has experienced different realms of existence and interacted with discarnate souls.  Incredibly, he then explains how it all pales into insignificance as life starts to reveal its true meaning.

“As I take the reader through each stage of my journey from childhood to present day, I have tried to write from the perspective of the mind-set and understanding that I had at the time.  The idea is that the reader evolves with the writer through mutual experience. Although I have refrained from using bad language, the language I have used reflects who I am; after all, you can take the boy out of North London, but you can never take North London out of the boy”.

The beauty of this book however, is the central message that the author conveys via his writing.  In life you do not have to be a victim.  Each and every one of us is powerful beyond our imagination.  It is only the thought that we are not that makes us victims.  Eyesight To The Blind is an exciting and powerful book that really needs to be read from cover to cover, it combines the paranormal with spirituality, but it is also a practical guide for daily living.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK: https://goo.gl/mR2nif

AMAZON US: https://goo.gl/2mZQV3

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A Londoner by birth, Richard now lives in the South West of England.  He has written 13 books in the spiritual/self-help genre and also produced eight CDs; five of meditation and three of mantra chanting.  However, he has removed most of his prior work from circulation as he feels that it no longer represents who he is today.  As well as being a writer, Richard works in a hospice.  He is also an artist when he gets the inspiration, and worked as a medium for 17 years.

Since the so-called “shift” at the end of 2012, Richard has had what he describes as, “a series of eureka moments”, where life has started to reveal its true meaning.  As a result, he saw the futility of continuing his work as a medium and finally gave it up early in 2018.

Richard’s influences are, Ramana Maharshi, Neale Donald Walsch, Eckhart Tolle, Paramahansa Yogananda, Osho and Rupert Spira.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorrichardfholmes/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RFHolmesAuthor

Blog: https://richardfholmes.org/

THE COVER

Author

Why I unpublished my books…

A little while ago, I was involved in a discussion on Facebook (within a group of who I thought were like minded authors)  The discussion was about Self Publishing and of course, as someone who had taken those steps myself, I was very much interested in joining in.  What started as a conversation very quickly segued into an attack on authors such as myself.  I don’t claim to be a great talent, although I would love that to be the case, but I wrote books that at least a few thousand people purchased.  To me, that was an achievement.  In my eyes, Amazon allowing you to put your work out there for a small price, so that people might enjoy it, was the main goal.  Sure, I want to be successful and I want to make money from it, but in reality that wasn’t the case.   I will hold my hands up, my books were naively written, ‘formatted’ and shoved onto Amazon with the expectation of never really doing much and I was ok with that.  That is until others made me think.

I don’t know about you, but I live in a world where finances can be tight, I’m better off than many, but there’s no yachts in my future (I hate fish, so yachting wouldn’t be my choice anyway) I did everything myself, I made my covers, I edited (although clearly not well enough) and I put my work out there.  The reviews ranged from fantastic five stars to mediocre mid stars and even that didn’t dissuade me.  One of the people who claims to be a fan of mine, is actually an incredibly successful author themselves.  So I must be doing ok right? 

Wrong.  I am dragging the industry down, littering it with rubbish works that are ruining the very core of literature and I am just one of a number of selfish naive fools who are doing so…

I won’t name names, but I was completely devastated to have such a conversation with people I thought were my ‘colleagues’ other writers who had worked hard to do the best they could and get their work out there into an industry flooded with lookalike covers and stories that are blatant rip offs.  I wouldn’t ever dissuade someone from following their dream of self publishing and if ten people like your work, that’s better than it sitting on a laptop somewhere gathering electronic dust.  Other people disagree, their self deemed success was as a result of simply having funds to pay for everything but the writing to be done for them and hey, I wish I was so lucky. 

It didn’t just put me off writing, but it put me off people I’d thought were my friends and a group that until that point, I had praised in my daily life as being a font of knowledge and circle of support.  These were the same women who kept in touch with me while I was in Ireland having lost my grandfather last year, the ones who we could bounce ideas off and in turn offer to read and listen for them also.  Now I barely look into that Facebook group, I find it a place where people are so absorbed by their own wonderous capabilities that they no longer have time to offer those friendly words and help.

My books were taken down, because what is the point? I was told we self publishers are all by definition and ring fencing, ruining the quality of writing that’s out there.  Except then I had a conversation with that good friend of mine last week and she told me she was a fan and was sad my books were gone.  I was crying my eyes out as we chatted, so sad that I had failed in the one thing I had always had so much pride in.

So you know what? I’m going to put them back out there and if you don’t like the book you paid 99p for, return it.  If you do like it, leave a review.  It is that simple.

Everybody isn’t going to love everything you do. As long as you love it, that’s all that matters.

Author

The First Night…Abner

So today I got involved in a discussion about how quickly characters become intimate in books. For me, I don’t mind either way, sometimes it’s used to build suspense, will they won’t they? And sometimes it’s the catalyst for the whole story, this is kind of where I went with it. It won’t spoil the book to tell you they fall into bed within 24 hours of meeting, a huge theme for them is that Abner is supersonic and everything around him is a whirlwind. 99% of Fallen is from Fallons point of view, in Forever we get into Abners mind a bit more. Forgotten is a whole different ball game, probably 40% of the book is from his point of view, so I’ve delved in there and gotten to know him better…Here’s his take on that first night. (I forget they aren’t real, so I honestly read this and think how sweet is Abner?)

She falls asleep in my arms, her cheek pressed against my chest, curls falling across her forehead as her breaths deepen every minute. I watch her for the longest time, her eyelashes are so long they brush against her cheeks, her lips purse in sleep and every so often she stretches her legs, cold little feet pushing against my calves.
We had the most incredible day today, from the moment I picked her up at the flat, where she stood all coy on the doorstep in her cute little outfit, to the last few hours on the lawns. She charmed my family, of course our little white lie about her being Neds friend went down like a lead balloon, but they unilaterally adored her. My sisters think she’s sweet and my brothers think she’s beautiful, best of all, my parents just think she’s perfect. They worried, as always, that she’s after my trust fund, but she doesn’t know much about it, so how could she.
When the night wrapped up, she took my hand and followed me up here, I told her there were no expectations, that she could have her own room and she kissed my cheek then whispered that we only needed one. I made love for the first time, it wasn’t a shag, it wasn’t a fuck, I barely think it was sex. What happened between us wasn’t a purely physical act, with each touch, each kiss, it felt as though our souls were twinning. As if our whole lives had been lived for the moment we met, just going through the motions until we found one another.
I’ve never felt a feeling like it, I’ve had plenty of sex, more than many men. I’ve fallen into bed with women whose names I didn’t even know and yet there was never that spark, never before had my body felt so alive with vibrating energy that I thought I could conquer the world. I’m in love, if my life were an MGM musical I’d be dancing around the room declaring my love for this woman with the help of woodland creatures, all the while she’d sleep through my baritone declaration. Life isn’t an MGM Musical, but it’s getting pretty damn close. I smile as she stretches against me, she lets off a small moan and I hear my name in an almost inaudible whisper. She loves me too, I don’t even need to hear the words. I can sense it in her being. I’m going to marry this girl, I’ll never love another.

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Getting in Abners Mind…not just his pants…

Usually my daydreaming/being a serious writer/having pretend relationship with Abner, consists of describing him, putting words in his mouth but almost always from Fallons perspective. This week I am pretty much writing consistently as him, its quite liberating, I mean I know how he ticks after four years, to put his words across and back them up with how he actually feels when he says them. As opposed to the look on his face or mannerisms as he says them. So when I came up with the little scene where the delightful Abner has to, ahem, relieve some tension, it was a bit funny, ok it was hysterical.

I’ll state this for the record, I have never been a sexually frustrated thirty something man. I know, shocking, you all thought it was my secret…hahaha *nervous laughter that you do actually think I look like a man*

Writing it was an interesting task, because I didn’t just want it to read as a woman had written it. Let’s also state for the record, it isn’t massively descriptive, my intent is to have the emotion behind him being unable to make love to his wife, as opposed to how he feels when he gets his rocks off. I don’t write erotica but the characters have sex, usually as a couple, generally not alone!

In the end I got worried about whether it was relevant, he is abstaining for a good reason, Fallon doesn’t agree, so she tries to change his mind and while his body reacts as it usually would, but his mind isn’t for changing. So I asked my lovely friend Carey Heywood what she thought and after some explaining on my part, she agreed, it was relevant.

So this week I didn’t just get in his pants, I got in his mind too…in a strictly literary way of course.

Author

Bits that don’t fit…

I’m a terrible writer, not talking about quality (although some Amazon reviews would agree on that one) but I have this thing where I can’t not write something I think of, recently this has been an exercise in delaying any work on Forgotten, the third book in the ‘saga’answers on a postcard as to what else I can call this as Quadrilogy doesn’t work and I hate ‘saga’ Basically, I should be nearly there, but because I have let Fallon back into my brain, she has been giving me these moments that obviously happened but never fit into either book. So here you go, if you have read Fallen, then you can read this, if not SPOILER ALERT! I’ll set the scene, this would be between the end and the epilogue, it’s a little something I wrote because I wanted to do something where they argue but at the bottom of it all, as per usual, they sort it out. I feel very strongly that these glimpses are a valid use of my time, they set a tone for my work and with Forgotten, some may even end up in there as flashbacks. So here you go…

Best laid plans…

Christmas and New Year have been, including a very enjoyable few days at The Hall for Ned and Andy’s stunning winter wedding, now we have to focus on our own. Because they’re on honeymoon, Abner has a week off from the bar, they’re just doing the basics there and so we are spending an increasing amount of time together, basically all the time that I am not at work, he is with me. We’re sitting at the kitchen table, supposedly making decisions for the wedding, so far, he has laughed at many of my ideas, because they’re simple and cheap.
“I can get us into a Cathedral if you want” he says, out of nowhere, we were just talking about the save the dates, I haven’t even consulted him on the venue yet, or my ideas for the venue. I look at him and hope to convey my confusion with a furrowed brow and narrowed eyes.
“Why would I want a cathedral?”
“You’re religious, you say ‘oh my god’ an awful lot, especially in bed” admittedly, he has a very sexy face on as he says this and the way he breathes the ‘oh my god’ at me sends a shiver through me, but it’s hardly a good reason to get married in a bloody cathedral. How many people does he think I’m inviting?
“You are Church of England, I am Roman Catholic, your cathedral wouldn’t work for the majority of my family” this isn’t precisely true, not that many of them are what youd call devout, but they are Irish and so getting married in a C of E Cathedral might be a push too far for them.
“Oh, Okay, where then?” he concedes
“Steps of the bandstand, 21st of June, we already decided that didn’t we?”
“I guess. Um Viola can get you an appointment with Vera Wang for your dress”
“Eva is designing my dress Abner, you knew that” Now I feel angry at him for not supporting the only really personal decision I made so far, not only is Eva a fantastic designer who specialsises in Lace, which is what I want, but she’s my friend and I love the fact she’s making the dress.
“Yeah but its Vera Wang” he says with a flourish, I honestly didn’t think he’d even know who she is, never mind have such a penchant for her dresses, sure if I didn’t know Eva and if I hadn’t settled on a dress, I might go for one of hers, except the dress is the only thing my Dad wont budge on paying for, he wants to and so it wont be bespoke world famous designer.
“I don’t think my Dad can afford Vera Wang and the la…fabric is already ordered” his eyes light up at my slip, he knows nothing about the dress and that’s the way its staying. Eva is forbidden from telling Joe too, he would blab to his new best guy friend.
“Lace?” he asks with a raise of the eyebrows, I shake my head and ignore the ball of excitement from knowing he likes my choice.
“Fabric” I say forcefully
“Ok, no to Wang” we both chuckle at the double entendre for a second and then I take a deep breath and hand him the save the dates.
“Good. Here are the Save the Date choices” he flicks through the five options one by one, shaking his head and grumbling as he does.
“Yuk” he says when they are all in a mess on the table top
“Yuk? You’re 28 years of age and you go with that?” he’s got my back up now, he hates my hard work, the first of many things I plan on designing myself.
“I don’t like any of them, they’re just not very me. If you like them, then it’s fine, you pick” he looks so disinterested that I might just cry now.
“I designed them, with both of us in mind. Thanks a bunch”
“It’s not like I knew that” he says, picking them up again and pretending to care as he looks closer at them.
“You’re so fucking tactless sometimes!” I shout exasperated, grabbing at the cards he has in his hands, he pulls them back and looks at me shocked.
“Calm down” he says quite forcefully, it’s times like these I remember we hardly know one another, he should know never to tell me to calm down.
“No! I will not calm down. Just give me those back” I try to snatch and yet again, he pulls them out of my grip, selecting one and holding it up.
“I like the black one” he says with a sigh
“No you don’t, you said ‘yuk’. Well I’m sure you know someone who knows Banksy’s true identity. You could get him to graffiti something as a save the date” I snap at him, finally getting the cards out of his hands, he looks like he has no clue how to handle me right now. Because he doesn’t.
“I don’t actually even know who Banksy is, never mind his ‘secret identity” never mind the air quotes he just pulled out to mock me, how the hell does he live in London and not have the slightest awareness of Banksy.
“You don’t know of Banksy?” I ask incredulous
“Well I do now, could he do them do you think?” he replies obliviously
“You are utterly clueless about the real world”
“Good Banksy, I need a coffee” I slide my iPad over to him and wander into the kitchen to pour a mug full, he bought me a new percolator for Christmas, it was so expensive I tried to make him take it back, but he refused, it was only one of many elaborate gifts.
“You’re very stressed out” he tells me, joining me behind the counter and filling his own mug, he has a mug here now, for a second my grumpy heart melts, but then I remember how much the mug cost him.
“Do you have any clue how much stuff costs? Like ballpark, a wedding dress?”
“About twenty grand” he says before taking a slurp from his coffee, it all clicks then, he has done this before, planned a wedding and he will have had to fork out for the more exclusive of things.
“Is that how much Marcias was? Was it Vera Wang?” I say softly, I will not lose my temper, I will not shout at him as it will get me nowhere.
“Um yeah” he says quietly, he didn’t think I’d realize and its written all over his face.
“Did you jilt her in a CATHEDRAL?” oh well, I’ll go with the anger now it’s here, shouting the word at him.
“A small one. She insisted” he shrugs and I know it isn’t his fault, he was just conditioned to think all that rubbish was absolutely necessary, yet I’m still irked that he wants me to have a carbon copy of the wedding he ran out of less than a year ago.
“How much do you think our wedding is going to cost?”
“Dunno, half a mill?” the blasé way he says this sends me over the edge, half a million pounds? I don’t even earn that in ten years, the fact that he thinks that is a disposable amount of money frightens me, I don’t know how much he has in his bank accounts and I never plan on knowing.
“Five hundred thousand pounds? I’ve got £13,000 to contribute, you can match that. £26,000, five percent of what you think a wedding should cost. Dad is buying my dress, but we have music, food, drink and a marquee to sort. Not to mention flowers, cake, bridesmaid dresses, photographers, god knows what else. I cannot afford Banksy or Vera Wang” I manage to maintain my voice and he seems to think I’m calm, this is not the case.
“The food is on my parents, spend whatever you want. I got you these anyway, just in case” he pulls an envelope from on top of the fridge and hands me it, opening it I find three shining plastic cards, all with my name on them, credit, debit and savings, they are platinum, need I say more.
“What are these?” I ask stupidly, of course I know what they are but I want him to tell me what he means by them.
“Cards, on my accounts, we’ll wait till we are actually married for the joint account. So practice your new signature” my heart melts at his face when he says this and I have already nailed my new signature, I did that when we first got together, but the patronizing tone irks me further. Placing them back in the envelope I hand it over.
“I don’t want them. I have money” refusing to take them from me he shrugs, this is nothing to him, but to me it is a principle, I have denied every offer of cash before, just because we’re getting married doesn’t mean I’m going to start spending his money with wild abandon.
“So why did the gas company call about the unpaid bill?” shit, he found out about that, so in December I spent more money than usual, what with the wedding and such, it’s only two weeks until my Christmas Bonus comes through and it’s huge so I wasn’t exactly worried.
“Niamh forgot…hang on, how do you know?” if he has been in my post I might actually kill him, he thinks his should be common knowledge and leaves them lying around on my desk, but I sort mine carefully, only barely out of my student debt I don’t want to slip back into it.
“I paid it, when they called. Also I set up the direct debit on my account, so you don’t need to worry about it anymore”
“You cant do that!” I shout at him, aware that Joe has peaked his head out of his bedroom to find out what the racket is all about.
“Seems I can, I live here now, so I will pay the gas and electricity”
“No!” I shout, it isn’t for him to do and I don’t need him paying my way, that has nothing to do with our relationship, the money is there, yes, but it isn’t mine and I don’t even want it.
“Fallon, calm down” he puts a hand on my shoulder but I shake it off, Joe is still watching, an amused look on his face, he’s seen me lose my rag plenty of times now, he knows whats coming next.
“No, you and your fucking money. You know money cant fix everything”
“I know babe” he smirks, to appease me and it fails, Joe snickers in the corner, he knows how much that look will have riled me further.
“Do you? It really doesn’t sound like it” I push past him and grab my leather jacket from the side, thank god I’m wearing Ugg boots, there is actual snow on the ground outside. I sling my handbag on my shoulder and locating my keys inside it, make my way to the door with a six foot one shadow at my heels.
“Where are you going?” he asks shocked
“Out” I snap, I mean does this man not apply logic to anything?
“It’s nine o’clock at night, it’s snowing” I feel like replying sarcastically that I hadn’t noticed the white stuff falling from the sky, but I don’t want to shout anymore, I just want to be out of sight for a while, away from him and all his bloody money.
“I don’t fucking care, you are doing my head in!” I flounce out to the hallway and onto the top step, I cant slam the door as he is now standing in the frame trying to pull his own coat on.
“Wait, just wait” he says, but I make my way down the stairs.
“No, leave me alone!”
“Whats that all about?” I hear him asking Joe who is laughing at the top of the stairs, he always finds my hysterics to be hysterical, they’re never about the big things, just what happens when I get really frustrated.
“Leave her mate, she’s fine and she wont be gone long” I hear the door close gently and carry on down the stairs and out into the freezing cold street.

“Hi” I say quietly when I see him standing in front of me, I have been gone about an hour, toying with disappointment that he didn’t chase me and delight that I have been left on my own to think for a while. It feels as though I never have five minutes to myself anymore, every decision is with him in mind, even if he isn’t with me at the time.
“Hi, you seem calmer” he finds me sitting on our bench, my backside is now completely numb, it was after the first five minutes I sat here and the hot chocolate I was carrying has long since run out.
“Just needed some time out” he sits beside me on the bench, at the far reaches of the other end. I haven’t made eye contact yet, if I do, I’ll either dissolve into tears or melt in his eyes.
“I thought I would find you here” he says softly and scoots closer, I look up at him and smile.
“I love our bench, it reminds me of a time before the lies and the stress” we have returned to this bench plenty of times since that first night, but there wont ever be a time as special as that was, I sat here for hours and fell madly in love, not that I even knew it was happening. I think I fell for him the moment I saw him, I just didn’t realize right away.
“You know I only wanted you to know you can have whatever you like? It’s not that we need to get married in a cathedral, or that it’s even what I would want. Just that if you want something, well I would pretty much move the stars to get it for you” a tear slips out of my eye and rolls down my cheek, he catches it with his thumb and pulls me so I’m right beside him, arm around my shoulders, bringing with it my favourite smell and his warmth.
“I don’t want Marcia’s wedding. I’m nothing like her” I sigh, because at the bottom of it all, things would be easier if I were no doubt, instant fit with the family and all the customs I’m going to have to learn when I marry my aristocrat.
“Very true, which is why I am marrying you. I didn’t marry her” he holds my chin and tilts my face up so I cant look away as he speaks.
“I don’t like all the flashy expensive things, I don’t need to go to Tiffany for my rings” for Christmas he presented me with tickets to New York at Valentines, promising he’d rectify the lack of ring in Tiffany while we are there. My heart sank, I was sure I was getting a ring for Christmas and still here I am, six weeks after the proposal with a bare hand and nothing to prove he asked me except the deeply ingrained memory.
“But I am flashy and expensive, I need you to wear a ring that suits us both, beautiful and expensive and yes, flashy. Is it that you don’t have one yet?” he looks at my bare hand and grins, I have protested that it didn’t matter, lying each and every time, because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings.
“Maybe, a little bit. I don’t feel like it’s all real yet. People don’t believe me when I tell them” even our Facebook status of engaged doesn’t fool people at all, of course I was married to Lola on Facebook for a while., I have had horrible comments from people accusing me of inventing him in his entirety, needless to say I deleted those friends.
“So we do something about that now” he fumbles around in the pockets of his parka and produces a cigarette packet, ripping the foil from inside he sets to work.
“What are you up to?” I ask peeking down at his hands as they work.
“Just you wait and see” he turns away from me so I cant see what he’s doing, obviously he’s conjuring up some make shift ring, but the details are invisible. He turns and holds it out to me to see. He’s twisted the foil so that it looks like a rope and twirled two strands together and tied a knot in the top to look like a ring, it’s very cute.
“Here!” he says with real happiness in his voice.
“It’s so sparkly” I giggle
“Give me your hand” I hold it out to him and he slips the itchy make shift ring onto it, I think it scratches me on the way down my finger but I don’t really care. I kiss his cheek and stare at it, I look engaged.
“Now I look marked, I love it” I hold my hand up and the streetlight manages to catch one of the holographic bits, reflecting light off it.
“Good, tell me your plans for the day” he pulls me back into his arms and I rest my cheek against the warmth of his collar, inhaling his scent.
“We’re putting fairy lights on the band stand, thent he chairs can go om the lawn. We’ll say our vows on the steps and then I don’t mind. As long as you don’t run away from me, I will be very happy and content” I picture him in a morning suit, his face when he sees me in my dress, if I keep it secret from him that is, and I feel so warm inside thinking about it.
“I’m going nowhere, ever. Tell me more”
“I don’t know what our song is yet” I admit, I cant believe of all the things we do have, we don’t have a song yet.
“A Beautiful Mess, Jason Mraz” he replies quickly, he’s right.
“Oh I love that song” I beam up at him, I listen to it all the time.
“Every time I hear it, which is often as you love him, I think of you, how the words fit you and it warms my heart. So it has to be our song, it’s perfect, I suppose it could have been Cry Me a River, but that would be too depressing”
“No, it’s perfect. Abner I’m really scared, of the wedding and telling you all my worries. I’m frightened that you’ll see sense and leave me. I don’t have money, or a title. I cant go riding with you like she did or dress in head to toe couture. I’m a simple girl, without many things to share with you”
“You’ve got everything I need” he says kissing my temple
“I do?”
“Your beauty, your mind and your heart, all I need to be blissfully happy” he’s such a dope, but I love him either way.
“I love you Scruff”
“Love you too Button, come on it’s freezing” standing up, he pulls me to my feet, wrapping his arms around my waist and resting his hands on my bum squeezing gently, I think we need to ‘make up’ for a while when we get home. It will definitely warm us both up, I shiver and he drops his hands running one over my cheek.
“Jesus, here you’re freezing” he takes his jacket off and wraps it round me, he’s got a polo neck jumper and a cardigan beneath them. I fold myself back into his arms again and kiss his jaw.
“Thank you”
“Just doing my job ma’am” he says in a deep south accent like Andy’s before tugging my arm to follow him. The snow is falling and it cooling my hot temper right down, helped by the arms of my love around me.

Author

My books are my babies…

To whom it may concern, it has come to my attention that my book isn’t necessarily for everyone, that my choice of punctuation is an issue for you and you feel the need to explain this in your badly spelt reviews of my book. Well let me apologise, but firstly, let me explain…

I don’t know if you have ever written a book, like I have never had a child, you think you know what it’s like, but you can’t really ever know until you’ve experienced it. So I should say, if you have had a child, then you will know how I feel, my books are my babies. They’re the one or two, things I have achieved in my life, sure, I won’t be getting a call from Richard Curtis about his desire to make the film anytime soon (it would be an amazing film, I have the treatment in my head already) and my use of dialogue is indeed a lot (one good review said dialogue heavy like it was a good thing! Thank you Carey Heywood, my American twin) but I wrote books, plural, not just one and I have around four more in the works as I type this. You might have two children, I’ll have six books and even though they aren’t going to win a literary prize, and full stops aren’t in the right place, or you have a first edition in which a ‘rackety old couch’ comes around a corner (Couch/Coach, they mean the world to me.

I should tell you that I am a single parent to these books. There aren’t any benefits for girls like me, I have to find money to do things, I mean the writing made me £50.00 last year and the IRS took a share of that, which as a resident of England I don’t really get, that barely covered my pens and Microsoft upgrade. How much does an editor cost? I see it like this, an editor is a child care professional and they cost a fortune, but relatives do it for free, in this case, I am the relative and I did it for free. Sure, I could get a kickstarter, but can I really offer people something that they might not even want in thanks for their donations? No. So I do it all myself, I write the book, I format the book and I edit the book fifteen times before I send it to Amazon, who by the way, then reformat and make it less reader friendly. I could show you word documents where it’s beautiful, a carriage return after every spoken sentence, page numbers and chapter headings that look superb, but that’s not what happens when it gets to your kindle.

So I apologise, that the books you probably didn’t even pay for and got on a free promo, aren’t as pretty as you wanted them. I’m sorry that I excluded the inner goddess, the magic wands and the fangs. I’m sorry they don’t fight to the death in a tournament or choose a group of people and jump off moving trains. I’m sorry that there’s no boat with a tiger, or a circus that appears at night, there isn’t even a code to break to save civilisation. I won’t apologise for what there is, because I write Chick Lit.

There’s a woman, she’s not so strong in the beginning, but she gets there. There’s a ridiculously attractive man who the woman thinks is too good for her. There’s love at first sight, there’s rows and there’s making up, lots of it. There’s something that could ruin it forever and there may even be a happy ending…That description works for both books, even though the stories are different.

There’s a chance you won’t like it, but an even bigger chance that you will.

So please, when reading my babies, when writing your reviews (please do, especially if it was free) remember that they mean the world to me and are filled with parts of myself that nobody else ever gets to see, the people who don’t read my books that is…

p.s. my surname is Mahood. No second M there, just the first one…

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When Abner met Fallon…

If you’ve read both of my books, you’ll maybe recognise this snapshot into Abner, the first time the grown man meets his love, even if he doesn’t really know her yet

Happy New Year my arse, twenty six years of age and stuck with Marcia, smoking like a chimney to get away from her while she tries to slink her way around my brother, angling for a midnight proposal.  I haven’t the heart to tell her that theres no way it’ll happen, even my family agree, but Mum slipped and told her I’d inherited one of my grandmothers rings and she is now convinced, or so she tells my sisters, that I will propose over the festive period.  I finish my cigarette, drop it to the floor and stamp it out, noticing the white toes of my converse could really do with a scrub and not really giving a shit either way, Marcia will no doubt tell me to throw them away because anything that isn’t bright, shiny and new is out of favour with her, I just wish the shine had worn off me for her.  Neds is jammed, after struggling my way downstairs past couples practically screwing on every step, I make my way through the crowded bar, past a group of friends who are squealing at a video camera, with no choice I rudely push past the guy holding the camera, ruining his shot, then someone shouts nice arse and for some reason I know its about me, turning I see the caller.  She’s tiny and seems to be restrained by a much taller girl in a bright orange gaudy dress, the girl looks mortified, her pale face reddens and as she turns away I see her shoulder length copper curls bounce, I give her a grin and head back to join Ned, Andy and Marcia nearer to the stage.

“Ignore her, she doesn’t drink much and when she does she has a very naughty side” my brother tells me when I glance back and the little redhead, she has her back to us now, an emerald green dress is fit to her generous curves, she’s rounder than I would usually be struck by, but there’s something about this girl that’s caught me.
“You know her?” I look to my brother who has a smirk on his face, he nods.
“She’s a friend, sweet kid, the whole gang of them are great, been coming in here a couple of years now I reckon, she’s looking over again” I turn to look at her, catching her eye for a moment, she’s beautiful, she clearly doesn’t know it though, her boyfriend obviously does, a stocky dark looking bloke I wouldn’t want to cross, has his arm around her shoulders and then she’s delivering some sort of speech into the camera in a very animated fashion.  Someone must have spotted me staring at her because suddenly their entire party, camera included, are pointed my way, I look away quickly and down at my feet, the dirt on the toes is annoying me now.

“They look like a bunch of chavs if you ask me, what did the dumpy little redhead shout at you?” Marcias disdain for ‘commoners’ irritates me enormously and despite my best efforts can’t be quelled, she looks down her nose at them and I feel a burst of protective instinct for the girl and her friends, they look like the sort of people I’d enjoy hanging around with.

“Nice arse, have to agree with her, to be fair, I do have a nice arse” I laugh at Marcias face, Ned doesn’t look happy at all, probably my arrogance.

“Um Marcia, that bunch of chavs as you put it, are my friends and for your information, the black guy, the blonde fella and the ‘dumpy redhead’ work in media, graphics design, very good at it too, she does a lot of my menus and stuff.  The blonde girl manages the Grosvenor Hotel in Piccadilly, the guy with the dark hair is a pretty prominent session musician, none of them are ‘chavs’” he really does know them and yet I can’t bring a single photo of her to mind, physical ones in his flat above the bar, or the experience of having come across her before. It’s strange, I’m here a lot.

“Oh, well, I suppose, the redhead shouldn’t be wearing that dress, she’s too fat for it” she casts her eye over the girl, who is dancing up against the boyfriend and squealing something that makes the others laugh with her, there’s always one of them focussed on her, she’s clearly the middle of the group.
“I think she’s beautiful” the words are out of my mouth before I can stop them, Marcia looks incredulously at me, oh well, I’m a man of the truth and that girl is gorgeous.
“Well said Abe, she is beautiful, inside and out, I can introduce you later if you like?” my brother offers me the very thing I was considering asking of him, I smile back and he gets it, he knows where my mind was.
“Sure, if they’re friends of yours”
“Excuse me, am I invisible?” she couldn’t be more obvious if she tried, tonight she decided an outfit made entirely by Burberry was required, meanwhile I wore a nicer pair of jeans and tucked my Thomas Pink shirt in, barely running my hands through my hair or shaving before leaving.
“Who said that?” Andy says with a booming laugh, receiving a grunt from Marcia in response, I steal a glance at the girl again, she spots me and yet again I look away. I don’t know what this game is that we’re playing, but I’m enjoying it immensely.
“Come on guys, it’s a minute to”
“Yeah” I’m enthralled by the girl, shes now attempting the can-can, being supported by her boyfriend on one side and the guy with the wholly impractically large afro hair on the other, she might be as drunk as me. They’ve formed a circle, the blonde in orange has the camera and is panning the group from the centre, they’re having a ball and I wish I could join them.
“Five, four, three, two, one. Happy New Year” Ned shouts and before I can turn to my girlfriend, little red appears, she jumps on me out of nowhere, wrapping her arms around my neck and her lips on mine, for a millisecond I’m in shock, the my body takes over, I wrap my arms around her waist and whole-heartedly involve myself in this midnight kiss.  She goes as quickly as she arrived, I catch her arm for a second, not sure what I’ll even say but I don’t want this moment to be over yet and she spins, flashes me a gorgeous smile and winks before running back to her friends who all collapse laughing around her, leaving the taste of her on my lips.
“WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?” Marcias overly manicured hand swipes across my cheek, it feels as if hes scratched me, I look at her and see her widened eyes looking my secret kisser up and down.
“Wasn’t that you? Sorry had my eyes closed” Ned and Andy are slack jawed behind her, I do my best not to laugh, it is funny, she thought midnight was going to be her proposal, hell I don’t even like the woman, she’s alright for someone to keep the bed warm at night, but she doesn’t give me the tingles like Little Red.
“You know full well that wasn’t me Abner, how dare you kiss another woman when we are out, celebrating New Years Eve?”
“Technically I didn’t kiss her, she kissed me” I reply with a shrug, I want another of those kisses, there was an electricity I’ve never experienced before and its intoxicated me.
“Appauling behaviour, I think you were wrong Ned, your little friend is clearly of a very low moral grounding” Little Red is now wrapped in the arms of the guy I thought was her boyfriend, surely not, he wouldn’t allow her to kiss a complete stranger would he? If she was mine I’d never let her out of my sight.
“Jesus Marcia, pull your head out of your arse, this is my bar, she is my friend and you are welcome to leave any time you like”
“Abner! Come on, we’ll go to my apartment” she actually clicks her fingers at me, I shake my head, the woman is insane.
“I’m staying at Neds tonight”
“If you don’t come with me now, then mark my words, this is over and you wont be able to cope without me, I am the love of your life”
“Lets not say anything we’re going to regret huh?” is all I can muster because this isn’t the time or place to correct her.
“Oh you disgust me, right, happy new year” she flounces off, barging past Neds friends as she goes, I look to m brother and Andy and shake my head. She can’t wander Camden alone, she has no clue about the real world.
“I’d better go, just to make sure she’s ok”
“You have an out Abe, take it, she’ll be planning the wedding by summer if you don’t”
“Nah, I think she gets the hint”
“No mate, she gets what she wants, that’s her trouble, go on, I get it, its comfortable.  To think, I was going to make the introductions”
“Whats her name? Little Red over there?” we all look over and she’s on the shoulders of the black guy, arms in the air, singing along to the music, its clear that everyone loves this girl.
“Doesn’t matter now, does it? I like Little Red, she’d like that name too, I think”
“She’s really something, isn’t she?”
“Yep, I love her to bits, sure you’ll meet her in here again some night, when you’ve been released from her talons”
“God help me” I say, taking one more look at her before reluctantly going to find Marcia. Happy New Year to me, my night was definitely more than I’d hoped for.

 

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Try A Little Tenderness

I’m going to start off this post by saying that I’m peeved to say the least, we’re 17 days into a new year, a year full of possibilities, a year in which I have simple hopes that go a little something like this.
a) I never want to hear the words School Shooting uttered again, ok in reference to times passed then yes, I appreciate it, but for the future, no new ones.  That’s not asking much? Just a general shift in humanity.
b) I want to turn thirty in December and really feel like I’ve done something with the prior thirty years, achieved something.
c) I generally just want people to be nicer, not use me, not abuse me, treat me right.

So imagine how I feel when a fellow author friend sends me a message about a cruel review of her book.  Yes. We read things we don’t like, so whack a small star review on it and be done, do not write cruel things.  Personally I read of my writing that it was Atrocious, that the story was good but that my writing is horrible.  I have a style. I argued with teachers in school to be able to write how I do without being told off, creatively, surely imposing a structure beyond basic language is going against creativity.  I write dialogue, I don’t care what shade of orange the leaves falling from the trees outside a frosted autumn window in a gently flowing breeze are, I want to know how my characters feel, what they’ve got to say. Its my style. Don’t like it? Fine. Go read one of the world’s top books FSOG in which a woman wrapped copious sex scenes around badly written prose the way Anastasia wrapped her arms around her Mercurial man as her Inner Goddess tutted from her chaise long. People bought the books for the sex, the romance, not the chance that the author would become the new Jane Austen. (How many times does she need to use the word Mercurial?)

People should know, putting pen to paper or fingers to keys is not simply an act, it doesn’t just spill out of your mind. Its a craft, it takes time to create a world and lives, its not easy, its not something Anyone can do.  Sure I firmly believe everyone has a book in them, more maybe, but they might need a ghost writer to get it out.  There’s more to a book than commas and full stops. Sure it has to make sense and I admit I need an editor for Forgotten because I can’t see outside a story to see those things.  Ill admit my writing can be rough, I never claimed to be a queen of prose, I tell a story.

So if you’re reviewing a book on Amazon or goodreads (most don’t bother) spare a thought for the writer, who opened their heart and bore a little of their soul so you could or could not enjoy their book. And remember, we don’t all have a taste for marmite, so why would you expect to like every single book you pick up!

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Being a Writer

I don’t know when I became a writer, maybe it was written in the stars for my life, or maybe something inspired me so long go that I can’t remember it.  What I do know, is that its the right thing for me, I don’t claim to be amazing, I don’t even claim to be good, but I’m passionate.  My passion for writing is what drives me most days, I spend eight hours sitting at a desk in front of a computer at work, but I can’t do the work I want to do, just the work I’m paid to do.  Then I go home and I pick up a pen and pad, or my tablet, my laptop,  I even write on apps on my phone. Little conversations between characters, ideas for a setting, I just pop them out, even if they fit nowhere in a story.  Lately I’ve connected with some other authors, in fact lots of them, on Chicklit Goddesses on Facebook and its probably the best move I could’ve made as an indie author.  The ladies I’ve met, albeit solely through a keyboard and screen are some of the most inspiring and supportive I’ve ever had the pleasure of conversing with.  I could name names, but I’d end up missing someone out of my own ditzyness, and well, there’s too many to mention and I don’t like sharing!  The Goddesses are exactly what it says on the tin, there are more traditionally published goddesses and indie goddesses and goddesses that haven’t quite gotten there yet, but at the bottom of that is the drive we all have to write.  Even now I’m sitting here tapping this out and you might think its drivel, or you might think you like it, but you see I don’t do it for you. I do it for me.