Monday, 25 July 2022

Unmasked

There's a sun and moon of bright light

Hidden by the beautiful mask,

Looped back over her ears as though

A temporal strand of dark hair




Asking for my fingertips to undress,

To attend to loose strands and unloop ears,

Peel at the fabric of lobe and cheek,

And chin and nose and lips, like




All that was forbidden in Eden.

Writ upon the naked face and in her eyes,

The simplest stirring of wings taking flight,

Erupting from the garden's bloom.

Sunday, 8 May 2022

Back, with Neon Driver on preorder!

Well... hello there. It's been a while... too long in fact. I've missed these little get-togethers - the warm sense of camaraderie from my readers that makes the writing process worthwhile, and even the marketing side! Life happens and gets in the way of our passion projects, but they don't go anywhere. They're patient, happy to wait. As it was with Neon Driver, which - as I wrote the outline for the story - I realised would actually only need to be one book, and not a trilogy. So Neon's trilogy of trilogies is now a 2.1 of trilogies. This would also allow me to move on to The Risen Part 3, which a few have asked about. So with that said - Neon Driver can now be preordered on Amazon - here for USA - here for UK. If you're somewhere else in the world you should be redirected.


The cover, created by the amazing Amir Zand, is a thing of beauty. I can't wait to get a paperback!

Here's a taste of the prologue:
 
"She's coming, Castor."
"Thanks, Apex. I can see that."
"What'll it be this evening? Spa? Shopping? Murder?" Apex wondered.
"It's a little early in the day for murder." I engaged the clutch and gassed the V8, orchestrating the pistons to a grumble in low gear.
Across the avenue, Lucyna’s autocar appeared from the parking lot beneath central tower and merged seamlessly into the westbound traffic. Apex locked on to her nondescript grey box of a vehicle while I inched forward, indicating to the traffic AI that I intended to join. Approaching autocars slowed, their inhabitants lost to their own worlds, and I slipped smoothly into lane.
“Bring her up.”
A blue circle projected onto the windshield, highlighting Lucyna’s autocar four vehicles ahead. “Tracking,” said Apex. “We’re hardly discreet here.”
“I’ll keep our distance.”
“I don’t see any other customs.”
“You won’t at Central,” I replied. The leather of my driving gloves squealed against the steering wheel as I gripped tight. I flicked my eyes to the mirrors. My foot hovered frustrated over the gas. Thirty-five miles-per-hour felt like a crawl. There were enough customs on the roads these days that Apex wouldn’t stand out too much – created in garages mostly out of the rebuilt areas of low town where once a fire had ravaged out of control and burned almost everything to the ground. Brick and wood rising in the New Dawn to replace the smoking ruins, the tombs. And within them; customs shops, most of them small scale, like mine. Each with an artist-in-residence working on something to tear at the tarmac, or rip through the sand outside the dome in the Elite’s races.
Apex was my singular creation.
Years of devotion to the dismantling of electronics, the recycling of engine components, the moulding and remoulding of the chassis and its compartment elements. Nights of neglect, where the shadows of regret roamed, slowly becoming the black matte of Apex’s skin, milking into the windshield and glass.
In Central, Apex accelerated, screams internal sundered loud.
“No, Castor,” said Apex.
Lucyna’s autocar turned into 45th northbound, the three between us all continuing ahead. With the sun glazing the edges of the Trans-port Tower’s gleaming fascia, Apex followed at a discreet distance, my foot daring over the accelerator but a picture of stillness for now. We drove towards the orange globe, filtered and swimming towards dusk on the other side of the dome. We did not have a good relationship – the sun and I – I kept my focus on Lucyna’s rear, the square-box of her coffin.
Heads bobbed atop high-level pedestrian walkways flanking the skyrises, concrete and steel bridges criss-crossing at intervals and rending relief from the dull sun. “Reduce opacity.”
The blue circle around Lucyna’s autocar dimmed, along with the windshield.
“Everything okay?” asked Apex.
“Peachy.”
“This can wait if you’re suffering.”
Suffering. The edges of my driving gloves rubbed against skin, exposed knuckles white. I relaxed and blood returned, and then I removed the gloves. The steering wheel hide was smooth underpalm. Every bit of Apex’s architecture pulsed through it.
“I am always suffering.”
“You lie.” Apex did not have a face, just a standard control unit lifted from an autocar that was involved in an accident years ago. Detached from Neon’s grid, with expanded capacity, he was no longer an autonomous drone. He was more. The smell of hours spent buffing leather. Of chicken-flavoured noodles. Of lemonese suds washed into the carpet of the footwells. The way the knob of the gearstick was moulded to my palm. How it shifted with fresh gearbox fluid changed every fortnight; the flywheel and clutch plate dismantled and cleaned and put back like new. The carbon-fibre dashboard sweeping in a clean line above the self-contained steering column, backlit projections thrown up onto the windscreen. Synthetic rubber tyres with inch-deep grooves and two-inch wide diamonds laced across its face, specially moulded for asphalt and the day we would finally hit the sands. 19-inch alloy wheels with five, thick spokes. A body of deep, reflectionless black.
“You lie,” repeated Apex, his green soundbar emanating from the lower-central portion of the windscreen.
“There is always suffering.” I can see a corner of myself in the rearview mirror; long, dark hair, greased by oil and bodysweat. A shadow of a beard.
“You could always give me away – end my suffering.”
“Mute yourself.” There was nothing to say. Just Lucyna and her damaged autocar heading north.


Thursday, 1 April 2021

Book giveaway bonanza before Easter

 

Hello one and all! A bit of a bonanza this week as I sign off before Easter for a few weeks. Hopefully by the next time you hear from me there will be a new book to scream and shout about! Until then, thank you for your support, thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy this taster below. I've made some titles free or discounted where Kindle still allowed me to. Plus, there's the usual promo links.

Things inevitably quieten while my newsletter isn't heading out (I don't run much advertising at the moment) so if you do enjoy any of my reads, please consider leaving a review. It helps exposure and helps keep up my momentum! Much appreciated, all. Stay safe and well, enjoy Easter, and see you on the other side.
FREE
FREE
FREE
Click here to connect to Goodreads to review. Please also consider Amazon!
#amreading : The Flashlighters by Daniel Barnett
#amwriting : Neon Driver 
#amwatching : Curb Your  Enthusiasm
Facebook
Twitter
Blog
Instagram
Ten Billion to Ten  (text by Adam J Smith)
"Best concept album I've heard in a long time. Great music, amazing story, killer spoken word. Prepare to have your mind blown. Listen to the whole album in one go with good headphones for maximum effect. This is fantastic! Favorite track: Goldilocks Enigma."
PERMAFREE NOVELLA

Friday, 19 March 2021

Plains of Ion on discount

 

67% off
This week I had a little TV binge of Castle Rock. If you're a fan of the Stephen King world you'll enjoy this series - season one had The Outsider vibes, and a creepy Bill Skarsgaard. Though I wish that season had a clearer resolution, perhaps clarified with season two. That said, season two with Annie Wilkes is going nicely, and the Laughing Place episode was a great one for character study, with an ending that had a heavy impact. Recommended!

Please check below for this week's other recommendations, offers and promos. My title Plains of Ion above is discounted by 67% - click the image to link through. As always, most titles are on Audible and in Kindle Unlimited. Happy reading!
 
AUDIOBOOK CODES
In the strange labyrinth of pipes on the planet called Dark, things are falling apart.
Click here to connect to Goodreads to review. Please also consider Amazon!
#amreading : The Flashlighters by Daniel Barnett
#amwriting : Neon Driver 
#amwatching : Curb Your  Enthusiasm
Facebook
Twitter
Blog
Instagram
Ten Billion to Ten  (text by Adam J Smith)
"Best concept album I've heard in a long time. Great music, amazing story, killer spoken word. Prepare to have your mind blown. Listen to the whole album in one go with good headphones for maximum effect. This is fantastic! Favorite track: Goldilocks Enigma."
PERMAFREE NOVELLA

Thursday, 11 March 2021

Neon City - FREE

 

FREE
Another week another freebie. Neon City, the 1st in the Neon City trilogy and book 4 in the overall Neon arc, is currently free, and for the next 4 or 5 days (I forget!) Click the cover above to be redirected! A fave review:

This trilogy starts after Neon Sands. Neon city is a city of Hierarchy and the top level keeps a boot on the lower levels. This is a revolution in the making. The characters are fleshed out to the max. You learn to know them well. The plot is the good as it keeps the stories tied together. There is suspense, fighting, and plans that go sometimes right and sometimes wrong. The writing is very well done which keeps you involved and not left hanging. All 3 books are exciting and you certainly get your money's worth with this trilogy.

If you pick it up, thank you! Enjoy!

Some of you may be wondering about Neon Driver, book number 7 in the Neon arc. It's coming along. It has a change in approach, inspired by the first person narrative of The Risen Part 2. I wanted to really get into this character's head, so it's likewise first person, with deeper psychological exploration and added cyberpunk elements - at least that's the plan. As always, no character is black and white. Add it to your goodreads list below.
 

When he puts his foot down someone will die...
 
FREE Come explore our brand new world of space opera stories in the Antigravel Universe

The disease takes the world by storm. Ravaging the living, it takes no survivors.

Stories of Thrilling Alternate Histories, Stunning Science Fiction, and Outlandish Horrors all available to own
Click here to connect to Goodreads to review. Please also consider Amazon!
#amreading : The Flashlighters by Daniel Barnett
#amwriting : Neon Driver 
#amwatching : Curb Your  Enthusiasm
Facebook
Twitter
Blog
Instagram
Ten Billion to Ten  (text by Adam J Smith)
"Best concept album I've heard in a long time. Great music, amazing story, killer spoken word. Prepare to have your mind blown. Listen to the whole album in one go with good headphones for maximum effect. This is fantastic! Favorite track: Goldilocks Enigma."
PERMAFREE NOVELLA