Archive for the ‘Big Book’ Category

North of the Rock

Ian Jones

John smith is a man who solves problems, just don’t try to stop him. As a favour to an old friend in the FBI John returns to West Texas. But there is now a whole new town and way of life that has sprung up since he was last there ten years previously. He soon finds out he is in the middle of some very rich men who will stop at nothing to get what they want.


How North of the Rock become a book

by Ian Jones

This book started out as a vague idea I had after watching a documentary on the rise of far right politicians and public figures in the United States. I wondered if it would spread significantly over here in the UK and suspected that it probably could. So I came up with the idea initially of John Smith working to uncover an organisation in London, then as I started to write in earnest it evolved quite rapidly. I had written quite a lot then changed the text so the main body would be current day with a strong reference to work that John Smith had done several years previously while working for the government.

This was actually a very interesting book for me to write. I had been in El Paso several years previously for work, and found the whole area fascinating. I drove out to Odessa one day purely because I enjoyed both the book and the film Friday Night Lights, and there are hundreds of miles of nothing at all between the towns. There was a Sheriff’s convention at the hotel I stayed at, which was like a movie in itself. Most were friendly, but some would sit at the bar with a big shiny gun on their belt and talk furiously about the recent election at the time of Barack Obama, there was a lot of anger. The one thing that I noticed was how much the town deteriorated as it got down close to the border.

As the book unfolded I was able to establish Gray Rock so it became completely real in my own mind, and the three wise men were everything that was wrong with the rich manipulating the world to suit themselves.

Somebody who read the book said to me that I had made ‘the bad guys REALLY bad’ and I think that is probably true. Some of the facts we discover in the later stages unfolded almost on their own as I wrote (I actually write my books in order) but I don’t think that my story is incredible or unbelievable. There are those who believe themselves untouchable, and I wanted to give the book some definite right and wrong. It is fair to say that as I progressed the book almost started to write itself.

I am proud of this book, I know it isn’t perfect, and of course I know that not everyone will enjoy it but I am glad I wrote it.

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: June 2019
Format: Paperback
Pages: 308
Genre: Thriller
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Review Copy
Posted on:

Gemenicia

Nicholas Lovelock

The second part of Arthur and Jo’s strange adventures throughout the land of Discoucia, and a time when Archie the Water Goddess has made the ultimate sacrifice to rid the world of her nemesis, Cordelia Paradise, the Fire Goddess.
However, things rarely go to plan and Arthur finds himself at war with Archie’s hidden agenda rather than the insane task that he has to help Archie complete.
Hidden around Discoucia in its sixteen major cities are sixteen gems that Archie must collect before a year is up. If she wins then Cordelia will disappear to another dimension and not return until she agrees to stop causing forest fires, volcanic eruptions and droughts.
Team Archie has Arthur and Jo, who both have the understanding that by collecting these gems a natural order can be brought back and maybe Jo’s father will get well again. Team Cordelia has Alicia May, who has a talent for becoming anyone and a deep malicious streak; and Iren, who has a fanatical hatred for Archie, which Archie herself doesn’t like to talk about.
Along the way they meet old friends and old enemies, as well as Archie having to perform miracles without the use of divine power. From the murky ruins of Tanalos to the haunted corridors of Ashin Dance Academy, the frozen caverns of Icester and the verdant streets of Proceur, the adventure will take them around Discoucia and beyond, unless Cordelia and Alicia May can stop them first…


Q&A with Nicholas Lovelock

What is your favourite thing about being an Author?
My favourite thing is that I have an outlet for my imagination that before manifested itself as doodles in my school books. Now I have the opportunity to create an infinite multicoloured world that makes sense to me, not like a fair amount of the real world.

Who is your favourite character in your book and why?
My favourite character is Alicia May, who I like mainly because she is so much more complex than other characters give her credit for. She is torn between following her mother in the line of evil or doing what she truly wants to, however basic freedom is all that she really wants come the end of the novel.

What is your favourite drink to consume while writing?
Coffee or Pepsi Max mostly keep me going full blast when I’m writing notes, however when it comes to writing the final draft I stick to Sparkling Water. It has had the side effect of clicking my joints in my fingers more often, maybe there’s something magical in it.

Do you have any bad habits while writing?
I am unable to work unless something else is going on, so I usually have to watch some interesting film or a television series. If it’s new then I tend to get very distracted, my own method turning on me. My mind doesn’t tend to wander, it sprints.

How do you research your books?
It’s a very elongated process that can sometimes take weeks and months to finish, as all the notes become paragraphs, paragraphs become sequences, sequences become chapters and chapters in turn become the finished novel. However sometimes when I get a germ of an idea I write it down and look through books or the internet if there is any historical fact in it, or in case of the Steampunk inventions if there is a scientific was of truly making it work.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I am a plantser, I begin by flying to collect ideas and put them later into plots in the ‘hanger’. I’ll go off the beaten track if the idea doesn’t work and try to find a way for it to work later on, putting it in my Household Objects file with the rest of the ideas without a home. They will fit into plots somewhere down the line but until then they can stay in the ‘Idea Orphanage’.

If you could live in a fictional world, which would it be and why?
If I could live somewhere fictional I would choose to be Watson to Sherlock Holmes, but in a Steampunk imagining of the world as seen in creations like Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes of Miyazaki’s Sherlock Hound. To see the Victorian World in a time of great innovation is one thing, but to live in it and not be poor at the time would be amazing, as let’s be honest, it helps to be rich when being back in time. That would also answer the question of which character I would befriend, as I always thought that being the wingman to Sherlock Holmes would be awesome. It means less pressure as nobody really looks to Watson all the time to sole a case yet he was essential to the process and had amazing experiences working with the man.

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: May 2019
Format: Paperback
Pages: 410
Genre: Steampunk
Age: YA
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Review Copy
Posted on:

Wolves at our Door

Soren Paul Petrek

The Allies and the Nazis are in a deadly race to develop the ultimate weapon while supersonic V-2 rockets rain down on London. Madeleine Toche and Berthold Hartmann, the German super assassin who taught her to kill, search for the secret factory where Werner von Braun and his Gestapos masters use slave labor to build the weapons as the bodies of the innocent pile up. The Allied ground forces push towards Berlin while the German SS fight savagely for each inch of ground.
Finding the factory hidden beneath Mount Kohnstein, Hartmann contacts his old enemy, Winston Churchill and summons Madeleine to his side. While she moves to bring the mountain down on her enemies, Hartmann leads a daring escape from the dreaded Dora concentration camp to continue his revenge against the monsters who ruined his beloved Germany.
Together with the Russian Nachtlexen, the Night Witches, fearsome female pilots the race tightens as the United States and the Germans successfully carry out an atomic bomb test.
Germany installs an atom bomb in a V-2 pointed towards London, while the US delivers one to a forward base in the Pacific. The fate of the Second World War and the future of mankind hangs in the balance.


An Addictive Read

A Review of Book one; Cold Lonely Courage

This is one book that I was pleasantly surprised by. As a lover of World War Two movies, the ones which showed how the women took care of the country while the men fought especially, this was a book that I really loved reading about it. It starts out a little slow to start with, jumping from different years and places to set the scene but once it gets going, it is incredibly difficult to put the book down. I thought that Madeleine Toche was a very strong, pleasing character to read about and I really enjoyed following her journey with her. And, let’s be honest, reading a story set in World War Two where a woman becomes a hired assassin – what more could you want?

While I did have a few issues with the book – such as how quickly Madeleine bounces back after something that happens to her and how she constantly feels okay to just talk about what happened – these were quite small and not enough to detract from my enjoyment of the book. I am definitely hooked on the story now and cannot wait to read the second book to find out what will happen to Madeleine next! So if you’re looking for an action-filled, woman empowering novel – definitely make sure you give this book a read!

Publisher: Encre Rouge
Publication Date: April 2019
Format: Paperback
Pages:
Genre: Thriller
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Review Copy
Posted on:

Super Nutrition

Terry McIlroy

We have all uttered these phrases at one time or another:
“Your health is your wealth.”
“You are what you eat.”
Deep down, we all know, that what we choose to eat and drink has a massive impact on our health.
Confused about your nutritional needs? Not anymore! With a clear focus on sourcing the right ingredients, including condiments, herbs, spices & organic produce, we can all take advantage of, and unlock thepowerful nutrients within them, to try and ensure that we are not insufficient or deficient in any given vitamin, mineral, macro or micro-nutrient, whilst tryingto reduce our toxic load, thus easing the burden on our body’s natural ability to detoxify itself and restore homeostasis/balance. This book gives you the tools and knowledge to structure your diet and help you strive towards optimal health, with totally unique, delicious, health giving recipes, so you can enjoy the ride.
Start your new journey to health and happiness here NOW! Grab a copy of Super Nutrition today and take control of your health once and for all, shed those unwanted pounds, balance your blood sugars and heal your gut with nutritional therapy
Terry McIlroy has taken well-known, popular dishes and transformed them into nutrient dense powerhouse meals, just by making a few ingredient swaps with modern twists, such as his New Dehli Fritatta, Carrot Cake Smoothie, Mixed Mushroom, Almond & Tarragon Soup, Curried Quinoa Taboulleh Salad, Proper Spelt Bread, Southern Fried Chicken, Millionaires Shortbread and of course Fish ‘n’ Chips.


Interview

with Terry McIlroy

What inspired you to write Super Nutrition?
I was on a mission to discover what life is really all about,, why are we here,,what does it all mean? My own health issues lead me to realise that there had to be a cause, and my symptoms were the effect,,,, I looked closely at my diet and lifestyle and wondered if this was causing my ailments,,,,(persistent mouth ulcers and severe adult acne),, after visiting a nutritionist and following some of her instructions, I was convinced that my diet was playing a massive part in my health,,, I was hooked on this concept,,, and I decided to study nutrition,,, A short time into the 3 year course I knew that my calling was to create this book,,, as it was exactly the tool that nutritional therapists needed but didn’t have.

What is your favourite recipe in Super Nutrition?
I have to say that my New Delhi Fritatta is my favourite recipe.

What do you think is the most important part of Super Nutrition?
The most important part of Super Nutrition is the message of sourcing the correct ingredients which pack the broad spectrum nutritional punch.

What did you enjoy the most while writing this book?
I enjoyed the creativity of producing each and every recipe, which I believe are all totally unique, interesting, health giving and packed full of flavour.

Do you have another book in the works?
Not at the moment, however, I do have another concept in mind for my second book,,, or I may create a second edition with my new ideas incorporated

What are your favourite recipe books at the moment? (aside from yours)
Jamie Oliver Super Foods and series, ,,, and Rawsome

If you had to eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would you choose and why?
As a chef I have one favourite dish, “ Surf N Turf,,,, Grilled Fillet of Beef, Garlic Butter Poached Langoustines, Duck Fat Maris Piper Chips with Petit Pois a La Francais”

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: May 2019
Format: Paperback
Pages: 216
Genre: Non-Fiction
Age: Adults
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Review Copy
Posted on:

Cold Lonely Courage

Soren Paul Petrek

A new adventure for Madeleine Toche, alone against the German Army!
Madeleine Toche races to the front only to find her brother mortally wounded during the German Blitzkrieg attack on France at the outset of World War II. His death and her rape at the hands of an SS Stormtrooper cast Madeleine down a path of death and violence when she joins the British Special Operation Executive. Killing the Gestapo is one thing, but when she’s sent after Field Marshall Erwin Rommel the entire German Army stands in her way.
Discover a new thriller with Madeleine Toche, in war against the Germans to protect herself and her brother!


How I Research My Novels

by Soren Paul Petrek

Each novel is different, and the research requirements vary. For Cold Lonely Courage I started with the basics. I knew that my character would be in the French Resistance and ultimately the Special Operations Executive. I knew about the French Resistance from history classes and our friend Madeleine Behren who had been in the Belgian Resistance helping Jewish children escape the Nazis.

I learned about the SOE from reading a novel by Ken Follet. I was intrigued and began to look for books that told the true stories of the women in the Resistance and the SOE. I prefer first-hand accounts written by women who were in the Resistance and the SOE.

There is a wealth of information online both in the form of articles but also databases of interviews with people across the wide spectrum of society, soldiers, sailors, spies, politicians, leaders and the common folk in the street living under the bombs or caught between two armies.

I began to form a picture of the women who were given little credit for their indispensable work fighting the Nazis. Most novels about WWII focus on famous battles and male protagonists. When women are included it is usually in a subordinate role. I wanted to develop a character that borrowed qualities from all of the real-life women I studied. The dangers these common folk faced are incredible especially when people are called upon to act with little or no military training.

I continue to research as I write trying not to retell history but to use key events to frame the storyline. I love to do research as I discover a new plot twist or a historical figure that I can bring into the story.

I expect that some pure historians won’t like the liberties that I take with historical figures and events. I do not write non-fiction. My stories come from my imagination intertwined with the characters and fantastic events that happened during a pivotal time in our history.

Other books call from a mix of historical research and research done regarding places, people and things. When I wrote Angels Don’t Die, I knew little about Israel, important historical and political figures, it’s history and people.

My sister has friends who’ve lived in Israel. I asked them for various tips and descriptions of life there particularly during the time of the Yom Kippur War. I was fortunate that one of them had been there during that dangerous time.

I researched deserts, the Red Sea and many other subjects.

Research is a fountain of ideas for me.

Publisher: Encre Rouge
Publication Date: January 2019
Format: Paperback
Pages: 364
Genre: Thriller
Age: Adults
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Review Copy
Posted on:

I Love You Billy Langley

Monika Jephcott Thomas
I Love You Billy Langley
Twenty-year-old Netta can’t wait to leave Germany and teach in Brighton, England. It’s the height of the swinging 60s, but Netta hasn’t bargained for the prejudice she’ll receive in a country full of anti-German sentiment just twenty years after the war. She finds solace in Billy, the school caretaker, with whom she falls in love. But when she takes him back to Germany at Christmas it’s Billy’s turn to be on the receiving end of a frosty welcome.


I Love You Billy Langley Extract

Netta Portner looked around her bedroom as if it were the last time she would ever see it. It wasn’t.
Not just yet. But she felt the need to capture everything in her memory now, before the chaos of leaving ensued and clouded everything. As she scanned the room she caught sight of herself in the mirror on the dressing table. She turned to face her reflection, smoothed down her dress, adjusted her glasses, and raised her chin in the confident manner she prayed she could adopt when she stood in front of a class of comprehensive school students next week in the south of England.
‘Here!’ Her mother came hurrying into the room, dumping three suitcases of various sizes onto the bed.
To Netta the hurrying and dumping seemed completely unnecessary and typically dramatic. For a split second Netta wondered if it was designed to mask a sadness at her imminent departure from the nest, but that notion was soon buried under her general irritation with her mother, which Netta had cultivated throughout her teenage years.
‘These served me well when I moved here from Kunzendorf,’ said her mother.
‘During the war? When you were pregnant with me?’ Netta asked, delighting in her albeit embryonic presence in the story her mother had regaled her with on many occasions – the story of an arduous journey all the way across a devastated Germany on its knees in the final months of the Second World War. Since then Netta had never been much farther from home than the north coast for family holidays.
‘Hm-mm!’ her mother sang her response as nonchalantly as she could. ‘So a little jaunt to England should present no issue for them.’
‘It’s hardly a little jaunt, Mama.’
‘Well it’s hardly a race across a vast nation being bombed mercilessly by the Allies either, is it?’ her mother said.
Netta seethed as she flipped open the lid of each case.
Her mother, hands on hips, looked around the room as if she had never seen it before. ‘At last I can give this room a damn good clean.’
Netta looked daggers at her mother’s back as she ran her finger along the chest of drawers and grimaced at the dust she found there.
‘Oh please, mother! When was the last time you cleaned anything?’
‘Well, I’ll get Emilia to do it. Chuck out all this rubbish too.’
‘Hey! There’s no rubbish in here. And don’t you go telling Emilia to throw anything away. This is my stuff. My room.’
‘You’re moving to England. So how can this be your room anymore?’
‘I might be back… for the holidays.’
‘Oh, Anetta, either you’re going or you’re staying, do make up your mind!’
‘So you don’t want me to come for Christmas?’
‘What I want has nothing to do with it, clearly. You’ll do whatever you want, as usual.’
‘Whatever I want! That’s a laugh.’ Netta muttered the next words only half-wanting them to be heard. ‘I can’t wait to be free.’
‘What was that? Free, you say? You want to be free? And what’s that supposed to mean exactly?’
There was a lifetime of gripes Netta could have listed to answer her mother, but instead she pouted, ‘Nothing.’ Then like the child her mother could always draw out of her just as her mother drew pus from her patients’ cysts, Netta whined, ‘Mama?’
‘Yes?’ her mother said in a tone which suggested she’d forgotten there was another woman in the room and only heard her baby in need.
Netta stared into the open cases as if they were bottomless. ‘What does one pack for a whole new country?’
Her mother tutted. ‘Well, that my dear, is for you to work out. I’m far too busy with the surgery to worry about things like that.’
Netta looked up from the cases when she heard her mother’s voice tremble, but she couldn’t see her face as she was already stomping out of the room.

I love you billy langley tour banner

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: April 2019
Format: Paperback
Pages: 228
Genre: Historical
Age: Adults
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Review Copy
Posted on:

Outremer lll: In The Beginning

D. N. Carter
outremer 3: in the beginning
For Alisha and Paul, their lives settle into a new routine of normality… but the world around them is changing rapidly and that calm routine is violently interrupted. Whilst Paul strives to learn as much as he can about the mysteries in Egypt, new people enter their lives that have direct, immediate and profound affects upon them and the direction they will follow. As confusion grows about their own beliefs so does whom they can trust. As mysteries from the past stretch out calling them, they have to make decisions that not only affect their lives, but the lives of countless thousands both then and now. The decisions they made helped shape the course of history.
Confronted by impossible choices and in making those decisions, they experience at first hand the painful realities and repercussions that threaten to destroy them completely as personal tragedies rip through their lives as a direct consequence. As friends become foes, and foes become friends, nothing will ever be the same again as explosive revelations about mankind’s true past and the Church are divulged that once learned can never be unlearned or forgotten… for truth once whispered, is still truth which only grows louder no matter how hard evil forces try to control and suppress it with fear, hate and war; forces Paul will have to confront head on in order to protect and safeguard a greater secret and legacy destined for all of us in or time.


Top Five Books I Absolutely Love

by D. N. Carter

All of my Top Five Books are International best sellers in their own rights nowadays, but the first two were not so when I first read them back in the late 1970’s.

1: ‘The Great Pyramid Decoded’ by Peter Lemesurier.
This is undoubtedly my number one book of the Top Five Books I absolutely love. This book set me upon a path of research and discovery that changed the very direction and course of my life. Peter was a Cambridge-trained modern linguist, teacher and professional translator. I first read this book, whilst living in Cyprus. Having visited the Great Pyramid, I had a deep sense that it was not just simply a single tomb for a Pharaoh, so when I saw this book squeezed between two volumes in the New Age section of the library I thought it had been placed there incorrectly; I simply had to take a closer look. Having a great love of castles, ancient ruins and tombs, I liked the drawings I saw inside…I was not so keen on all the mathematics and geometry I saw but decided I would read it, for I felt it possibly held some truths. And indeed it did as this turned out to be the one most significant book I have ever read. It covered everything and hinted at so much more. To my surprise I also discovered that I actually understood it all…my school friends thinking I had lost the plot when I tried to engage them in discussions about it. Peter was a world authority on Nostradamus, which led me to research him also, which in turn sent me in many directions of research. Many years later I became friends with Peter and his guidance and advice proved incalculable. Book II of Outremer is dedicated to him. He sadly passed away in 2016.

2: ‘The Sirius Mystery’ by Robert Temple.
I read this after reading the Great Pyramid Decoded. It had just been published and I liked the look of the cover artwork. It was academically presented and looked incredibly daunting upon my initial perusal having secured it from the library. I had only just turned thirteen years of age and my brother joked that it was far too difficult to read let alone understand. My initial reaction was that he was probably correct. I faltered and put it aside and read Chariots of the Gods instead which had lots of photographs and drawings. That was easy to read and captured my imagination. Upon completion I was drawn back to The Sirius Mystery, but I have to say with a greater sense of determination to read it…not only that, but understand it. This book made me ask many questions about our origins and also to look again at our myths, which I loved, especially ancient Greek ones, in a totally different light. I did not accept everything as absolutely correct in the book, but it made look deeper and further into various subjects I had never contemplated before. They included astronomy, science, physics and chemistry. It was a life changing read in many ways and acted like a bridge between The Great Pyramid Decoded and Chariots of the Gods. It was the start of a very personal journey that ultimately led to many more specialist areas of research ranging from esoteric mysteries, medieval history to quantum physics…which in turn directly influenced the content of Outremer series of books.

3: ‘Chariots of the Gods’ by Eric von Daniken.
I loved this book because it was so easy to read; not at all complicated or full of long words I had no idea what they meant like the two previous books mentioned above. The basic premise of the book was Eric’s absolute belief that aliens came to Earth many thousands of years ago and left evidence proving so. This fascinated me, and was the reason why I often ended up sitting outside in my garden late at night with my father’s binoculars, telescopes and cameras studying the stars above. Cyprus had perfectly clear skies for this. I secretly hoped I’d see a UFO…but didn’t. As said, I loved this book but something did not ring as totally true…that aliens were responsible. I had a deep sense that a lot of what was covered was in fact down to our very own, but highly advanced, ancestors who had reached a higher level of civilisation than we give them credit for. The evidence is certainly there in physical form, but also encoded within myths and religion. In Outremer I reveal but a part of that information which can all be checked and verified.

4: ‘The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail’ by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln.
I read this book from start to finish on a military exercise whilst stuck in an old farmhouse in Germany. A lot of the information presented within it has come under severe scrutiny and generated a lot of controversy since the books release but has also inspired other international best sellers, such as Dan Browns ‘The Da Vinci Code’. The basic outline of Dan Browns book is about the survival of a blood line directly from Jesus himself. His children no less and their subsequent lineage up the present day, but the research behind the story was mainly taken from The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. This book fuelled my deep interest in all matters relating to the Crusades, Holy Grail legends and Knights Templar.

5: ‘Peanuts’ by Charles M Schultz.
What can I say about the iconic Peanuts books with Charlie Brown and Snoopy? I collected nearly all of the books in the series. Still have them at my parent’s home. They gave a genuine and profound insight into real life. Invaluable advice in a humorous format.

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: April 2019
Format: Paperback
Pages: 746
Genre: Historical
Age: Adults
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Review Copy
Posted on:

Armour Piercing

Peter Aengenheister

A defecting Russian space scientist, awaiting debrief, is in a Warwickshire safe house that comes under attack by an assassination squad. He escapes with plans for a conspiracy involving key members of secret services across the Western world. The only person he knows in the UK, or could possibly trust, is Pete Armour, the man who was to be his de-briefer. Killed before he can reach safety, he has hidden the secret papers where only Armour could ever find them. Armour becomes the target when he and a female newspaper reporter find themselves thrust together and on the run from at least two secret service agencies and British Intelligence, who seem more hell bent on killing him than helping him. And there is a price to pay. There’s always a price to pay. This is the first of the Armour trilogy. A gripping read. Fast-paced, a thriller packed with action, twists and turns.


Peter Aengenheister’s Favourite Spy Thriller Books

I tend to go by authors rather than individual books… Frederick Forsyth, John le Carre, Tom Clancy and Ken Follett…. All the usual suspects, but I also really like the Shardlake Series by C.J. Samson, and I have to say I am slightly influenced by Wilbur Smith too.

It’s all in the detail!

So, it is fair to say that I like a story that builds and is as authentic as possible in its facts and plausible in its drama. It’s great to have a lead role character who is facing the odds and manages to come through it in the end by hard work or guile. The bigger their nemesis, or the odds stacked against them, the better.

I think all the authors I have mentioned above follow a similar formula, and in doing so they have created their following.

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: March 2019
Format: Paperback
Pages: 264
Genre: Spy Thriller
Age: Adults
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Review Copy
Posted on:

Cries of a Dying Waterhole

Wa’qaar A. Mirza

It was that one fateful meeting in Arlington cemetery that started a chain reaction. The outcome that no one could predict. Covert operations, hostages, chaos around the planet, world leaders at loggerheads… and this was just the beginning. Can Harry Firstone – despite his colourful past – pull off a geopolitical coup that could bring change to the social imbalances across world? Just as the spinning plates of his emotions start to wobble with incredible consequences. Does truth have any value? And is there anything that money can’t buy? Politicians, media, bankers. We live in a world where we choose to believe in lies, but it’s in the dirtiest of swamps that beautiful lotuses bloom. This book is set to inspire you. It will make you get up and do something good. Let your conscience take you on a roller-coaster ride and uncover something you never thought you could.


What is your favourite thing about writing books?
I think it’s the fact that you have given life and personality to characters and then you are their puppeteer, you can do what you like and you are the master of their destiny. You can give them flaws as well as powers. But I suppose the most favourite thing is transforming the readers into another world, your world. That’s fun, taking people on a journey that you control giving them enjoyment.

Who is your favourite character in your book and why?
It has to be Jon, the protagonist. He has so many personal issues and his complex personality and still remains focussed in his challenges and goals. He is real and has the weaknesses that any human has often not found in hero characters. That’s what I like, a sensitive person, but who sees the bigger picture

What is your favourite drink to consume while writing?
I really like jasmine tea and mint tea one they are both good for you, (but you need to drink more water) and second it’s quick and easy to make and available everywhere you go. It’s not heavy and you can have several cups without doing any damage to your health, I always add a slice of lemon and sometimes honey. Never add honey to boiled water, its bad.

Do you have any bad habits while you’re writing?
Yes, I am sure we all do. I check my emails and take calls, it’s bad I know and does break the thought; I am getting better and with my work, is hard to lock your self away for a day.

How do you research your books?
I have travelled very much and worked in the circle of political elite and ultra rich, this has helped. I read many journals and articles and books on poverty, on actions of the government. I think I subscribe to around 8 major journals like the Harvard Business review, National Geographic, New Philosophy and many others. I did a lot of reading on the all subjects in the in book and looked at the issues facing the planet form the views of the best in the world, such as Monbiot, Rosling, Franklin, Bartlett and Chomsky to mention a few. Spent 3 months just reading about why we are in this mess in the world. Spoke to bankers, politicians, and other professionals. Can’t find any novels on my subject that I wrote about, it’s unique. I spent time with philanthropy movements to get their take on things.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I think I am a plotter, I have a game plan, I know where the book and readers are going, but sometimes you just go for it in a chapter and your imaginations just runs wild, I guess like most writers your both depending how you feel that day, but very strategic in writing.

If you could live in any fictional world, which would you choose and why?
Well I love the ‘back to future’ films, I think the ability to go back and forth in time is crazy, just imagine how much good and bad could be done, must be the most amazing experience ever. I could spend a day in the land of pharaohs and then a day with the greatest people lived. I would love to interview those that have made and ruined this planet. May be giving them some ideas.

If you could befriend any fictional character, who would you choose and why?
Robert Langdon, Dan Brown’s books. He is all I would like to do, combine science, art, history, politics etc. etc. Really is an amazing, solving problem with just a thread of history. The ability to solve problems under pressure is a skill I love and have I think.


Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: February 2019
Format: Paperback
Pages: 300
Genre: Fiction
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Faye
Source: N/A
Posted on:

The Monumental Secret of the Crucifixion

Julian Boyle

Throughout the history of Christianity there have been those claiming a monumental secret. Often centered around the Church of St. Sulpice in Paris and associated with French esoteric circles like Debussy who wrote in a review:
“Perhaps it’s to destroy that scandalous legend that Jesus Christ died on the cross.”
But even Canon Alfred Lilley came back from St. Sulpice questioning the crucifixion. There must have been some documentation in the church that convinced these people of something portentous. BUT now searching links between the history of Rome and the latest Biblical research, we finally reveal the extraordinary facts that prove exactly what the monumental secret was and its validity making the revaluation of Christianity, as we knew it, inevitable.


TEN THINGS YOU DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT WRITING

1. GO TO BED. This is not a silly answer, it is very true. The reason I place it first is that it actually relates to my writing which is mainly non-fiction. I do nearly all my reading and research in bed. I should add that there are generally three times a day I go to bed. Once going to bed at night: secondly at siesta time: (my mum was Spanish so it comes naturally) and thirdly I often wake up around 3 am, get up, have a cup of tea and go back and read. This night one is a real test of the book as I either read pages and pages or it is so badly written that I drop off after a page. I have just struggled through such a book by a well-known Professor of Middle Eastern Religions (who shall remain nameless in case I meet him.)

I get my fiction from films so I mainly read non-fiction, related to historical subjects. You may think that being in bed is restrictive – but only in how bad my handwritten notes are. I write in the back of the book listing pages where there was something interesting. Here is the back page of my copy of Friedrich Nietzsche’s autobiography ‘Ecce Homo’ (behold the man) Pilate’s words when the flagellated Christ was brought before the rabble.

You see how bad my scribbles are. I was writing a play about the tumultuous relationship between Nietzsche and Richard Wagner. And as I read I marked interesting statements or events. Then when I started writing I would write, Wagner accusing Nietzsche of being rude – so I look at the back of my books and find here – 14 Rudeness (top right) – turn to page 14 and insert it into the writing to make Nietzsche reply, “Rudeness should not be undervalued, it is the most humane form of contradiction.”

Or alternatively there is a statement where Nietzsche ‘attacks’ Wagner, -17 Attack (top right) – and I wind the conversation round to it. “My friend you are applauded by a culture that confuses the artful with the rich and the late with the great.” The part in italics is his written words. So you see how the basics of the play all come from my research in bed.

We put the play on in Edinburgh and the official Review wrote ‘How anyone could write such an intelligent, seem-less script analyzing the complex ideas of the composer Richard Wagner and the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche is beyond me. “ But the thing is, it is beyond me too – I have shown you the mechanism but I still don’t quite know how it all came together, it just seemed to happen, thanks to all that preparatory reading in bed which maybe sank in to my subconscious as I fell asleep. Performing the play was both scary and exciting as it has music section that synch with the dialogue. The ending was tremendous as it used the 2001 theme that Straus wrote for Nietzsche’s ‘Thus Sprake Zarathustra” while Nietzsche goes mad on stage. As most of the play takes place in the Turin Lunatic asylum, we were able to film it cheaply. An American Philosophy magazine wrote glowingly saying it was ‘Masterful’ and now it is used in US Universities as a teaching aid. – https://goo.gl/ofmqeo

2. MAKING FILMS. Of course when I am not writing I am making films as that is my main job. Writing is extra. I either am directing my own films or editing or shooting special Fxs for friends like Terry Gilliam. I also direct Pop videos. You might remember Kate Bush’s ‘Cloudbusting’ with Donald Sutherland, which I directed. After that I got lots of girl singers asking me to do their video. But then Iron Maiden got in touch to do their clip ‘Can I Play With Madness’ and I lost all my girl singer requests and only got Heavy Metal Bands instead.

3. HUSTLING. Of course making films requires a lot of hustling to get them off the ground. I am totally useless at the process. I couldn’t even sell a bottle of water to someone lost in the desert. That is why I really enjoyed doing the play ‘Twilight of the Gods’ as one writes it, casts it, hires a venue and go straight into production without all the hustling.

4. SPORT. I play football twice a week and squash. One of the football games is with a bunch of celebs, like Alan Davies and Mark Stong, the game is organised by the playwright Patrick Marber. I think I have a hunters instinct and where I don’t like running or swimming back and forth, if you give me a ball to chase I am off on the hunt. I have been injured the last few months and from not playing I got a clear understanding of the difference between squash and football. I miss the squash running and chasing the ball down, the physicality: while football is a team came and in defence (where I play) it is about making rapid structural decisions about your own position and moving your fellow defenders around you. These decisions are too quick to be made consciously so clearly they are being made by the right side of the brain. I am very, very left sided, brain wise, and I think football is one of the only activities I do where I know I am using the right only to make decisions. And I am missing it.

5. AVOIDING WINTER. I think it is my Spanish blood that makes me hate being in the UK over winter. In the old days I was tied to a desktop computer to write. This was also true for editing films. Originally, like on ‘Life of Brian’, we edited the actual film in an editing room. Then things changed to computer editing. Terry Jones and I bought one to edit his film, ‘Wind in the Willows’. It cost in all £65,000 plus five big heavy 9 gig. drives, costing, can you believe, £2,000 each. Forty-five gigs, we thought we were the bees knees. Of course after two years we had to throw the whole thing in the bin as we couldn’t even give it away. Now with my trusty laptop I am free to head south. I can write and even edit anywhere. I remember editing my film ‘Chemical Wedding’ on an aeroplane. And that is my very favourite place to write somewhere warm like Tenerife, just 4 hours away but under palm trees and dripping bougainvillea, with the sun glistening off the sea. I remember the Python’s going to the Caribbean to write ‘Life of Brian’. I think it was a tax dodge – but under those tropical skies they did a wonderful job. At home I have a study but I don’t write there. My bedroom is at the top of the house with a balcony overlooking London and I have put a desk up there and that is where I write. Perhaps I need to look up from my work and have a view. Perhaps it is one of my skills, having a good eye as I direct and light films. I can spot a good shot not intellectually but emotionally. I love places where the sun sets over the sea, for instance my favourite place in France is Biscarrosse Plage near Biaritz on the Atlantic coast, as you can sit and have your sardines with a glass of Bordeaux and watch that magical moment as the sun goes down over the sea. I was once in Goa, which also faces the sunset over the Arabian Sea. Nice place but you must take your mosquito tablets. On the first day I went down to the beach got a beer and sat watching the sunset. Nothing! I felt nothing at all. Must be the jet lag. But the second day the same. And there I was again on the third with my beer and feeling nothing. Something was wrong. I stopped taking the malaria pills. Next day the sun fell towards the sea, the beer in my hand glowed, my heart swelled, I was back to normal. Those bloody pills were dumbing down my senses. That is when I realized I was not reacting intellectually to visual beauty, but emotionally. This was weird for me as I am very, very left brained. I wondered how anyone could live like that without being inspired by visual beauty. In every place I go my family know I have a sunset bar. One of my favourite unspoilt villages in Tenerife is El Medano. Although it is actually on the east coast there is a projection into the sea and there is my Sunset bar where you will find me at around 6.30 with my glass of wine.

6. THE PUB. Working on the computer all day makes you feel a bit isolated so I tend to pop in the pub in the evenings, not to talk but just to be around people. I have some pretty rough pubs I like to go in as you get more animated people in them. But if there is a time limit on my work I will take the laptop with me and write there with a glass of wine and a sandwich. Posh pubs don’t let you eat your own food in them. I was watching football on the TV in the Boston, one of my rough pubs, and a Film Director friend, Sam Miller came in and spotted me in the corner. I told him I was in the corner because I was having oysters with my wine and the locals would be a bit put off by me slipping live oysters down my throat. Sam plays football in my celebs game he enjoyed telling them with great glee how he found me in the corner of the rough old Boston, sipping wine and eating oysters.

7. LECTURING. I do several types of lecturing, sometimes in Film Schools like the London Film Academy or the Havana Film School. Other times in Universities like Sheffield or Penn State in America. In these academic institutions I talk on a variety of subjects, from Film Directing, Film Lighting and editing. But I also give informal talks to clubs and association and then I talk on more popular subjects like ‘Making Films with Monty Python.” I am now being invited to talk about crucifixion as I am now an expert after Crucifying the Pythons. Favourite amongst Python fans is that I was the Policeman who brought ‘Holy Grail’ to an end. Well we didn’t have much money and all the crew had to be extras.

8. FAMILY LUNCH. My Spanish mother always liked us to all get together for lunch and even after she died we still get together for a Sunday lunch or an evening birthday celebration. My brother and I; our wives, our kids with their spouses and the grandkids. At Christmas there were 15 who sat down to dinner. We celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, the Spanish way, which works out great because as most families go through several partners, nowadays the family come to us for Christmas Eve and then to the other halves for Christmas day. Works perfect. The other good thing about Christmas Eve is that we can have Father Christmas come after dinner. My house has a pitched roof at the front but a flat roof at the back so Father Christmas appears on the roof and all the kids are told he is on the roof. They run out and from the front it looks like he is walking on the pitch of the roof. We adults take turns in donning the costume, and it was my turn this year. I gave such a great performance, I fooled everyone under 4 years old.

9. SHOPPING. As I do quite a bit of cooking I also pop down the shops and shop for the basics. Our High street has about 8 charity shops and a car boot sale every Saturday. My wife loves the Charity shops and I have been amazed at the sensational clothes she has bought there. So I have found myself, after shopping for the food, joining her in her quest for a bargain, and have pulled some great bargains for myself.

10. PHOTOGRAPHY. I am not an avid Photographer but there are moments where I feel I must capture the image. We can be walking along and suddenly something gets me. Here for instance we were walking along the beach at Hollywood. (No not Hollywood, Los Angeles as there is no beach there, but, Hollywood Florida.) I said to the wife, “Stand on that wall.” And got this classic picture. You cant see she is on a wall but at ground level it would not have worked.


Publisher: Chippenham Books
Publication Date: May 2018
Format: Paperback
Pages: 217
Genre: Non-Fiction
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Faye
Source: N/A
Posted on: