Archive for September, 2013

Past and Future - Two-Way Street SignWell, you can buy a quick shot of my short fiction, that’s what. My story History and Her Story is now available to buy from AlfieDog Fiction here:

Here’s a summary of the tale:

History professor Colin Ackers and his former student Abigail expected they’d never meet again, but a chance encounter at an airport reawakens old feelings. This is a story told from the two distinct viewpoints of the two protagonists, as they are both forced to survey the wreckage of their lives after a failed relationship. It’s a story of what might have been, what nearly was, and what isn’t any more. – See more at:
Or you could just buy some lard from Tesco:

rodeo-cowboy-broncoI’m making like Steve McQueen this weekend, as my short story ‘What Happened when the Rodeo came to town’, has been accepted for publication by The Great Escape, and will appear in their next anthology. Publication is scheduled for Spring 2014 and would consist of an eBook and print run.

The Great Escape brings you a great selection of independent escapist entertainment. Horror, fantasy, sci-fi; stories which transport you to another time and place.

thgreatescapeFounding members Rich Jeffery, Mark Adams, Felek Werpachowski, Chrissey Harrison bring together a growing community of film makers, writers and artists producing a wide range of films, fiction and comics for you to enjoy.

Based primarily in the South West of the UK, our contributors are spread across the country and the rest of the world. Since launching in 2011 we have expanded from making short films to web series and we now have a number of print and ebook publications available to buy!

You can find out more about The Great Escape here:

Germ CoverMy short story, The Mystery of the Grunty Man, has now been published by The Germ Magazine Vol. 1, Issue 3 (Fall 2013) and is available to purchase from here:

Featuring stories, poems, and artwork by:  Joshua Bocher ~ Charmaine Chircop ~ Kate Boning Dickson ~ Colin Dodds ~ Doug Draime ~ Ira Joel Haber ~ Charles Haddox ~ Debra Hardy ~ Art Heifetz ~ Charles Henderson ~ AJ Kirby ~ Denny Marshall ~ Mark Mitchell ~ Heather Ober ~ Rhonda Parrish ~ L. Elizabeth Powers ~ Miranda Stone ~ Robert Carl Texel ~ Steven Wheat ~ Yuxing Xia

Well worth a read…

61DZYQEfZgL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-60,22_AA300_SH20_OU02_As George R.R. Martin is fond of saying throughout his Game of Thrones books, “Winter is coming.” The nights are drawing in, cold bites at our feet, we dig our winter coats out of the closet. So it seems as good a time as any to reward my readers with a freebie. Bed Peace, a novelette which recalls the famous John and Yoko bed-in at the Amsterdam Hilton (we’d all like to stay in bed this time of year) is – for this weekend only, completely and utterly free.

Here’s the link:

We’ve never seemed further away from world peace. This fragile dream has been shattered, buried underneath games controllers, reduced to a hastily thumbed text message, converted into an emoticon. Dreamers, hippies, those who desire change are forgotten, laughed at, or shunned…

From the award-winning author AJ Kirby comes this tragi-comic novelette which mourns the idealism of the 1960s. Written in the spirit of John Lennon, this story beds in and tries to translate the swinging sixties translate into our cynical modern world. It asks salient questions: What’s happened to the belief we can really change the world? Why has flower-power become little more than a cartoon? And can we really find our way back?

Rounding off my Books of the Month for September, I’m delighted to feature the gripping, and controversial Cartwheel, by Jennifer duBois. I’ve reviewed the novel for the New York Journal of Books here:

And here’s an excerpt from the review:

“. . . an astonishing, breathtaking, and harrowing read.”

It’s all about momentum with Cartwheel by Jennifer duBois.

The novel quickly hooks the reader into the narrative and then continues to hold our attention as we roll with it, as though on a downhill slope, heading inevitably, inexorably, toward its devastating conclusion. Cartwheel inspires a cartwheel of changing emotions in the reader as it introduces us to morally complex characters in terrifying situations that are often completely out of their control. It leaves our heads spinning.

Cartwheel tells the story of Lily Hayes, an American foreign exchange student in Buenos Aires. Lily is arrested by the Argentine police, accused of the murder of her fellow exchange student—and roommate—Katy. The narrative is prefaced with an admission: “Although the themes of this book were loosely inspired by the story of Amanda Knox, this is entirely a work of fiction.”

duBois Screenshot

My second Book of the Month is Julian Barnes startling and incredibly moving book, Levels of Life. You can read my full review of the text here, on the New York Journal of Books website:

And here’s a brief excerpt:

“Levels of Life is heartfelt and raw . . . angry . . . witty . . . always memorable.”

“You put together two people who have not been put together before; and sometimes the world is changed, sometimes not. They may crash and burn, or burn and crash. But sometimes, something new is made, and then the world is changed. Together, in that first exaltation, that first roaring sense of uplift, they are greater than their two separate selves. Together, they see further, and they see more clearly.”

Levels of Life is a poignant, extended metaphor of a “story,” by the “uxorious” Julian Barnes, winner of the 2011 Booker Prize for his novel The Sense of an Ending.

Set in three, distinct acts, which at first seem wholly separate—the first act is a historical piece regarding the “balloonatics,” “the new Argonauts,” who engaged in hot air ballooning in 19th century Europe; the second homes in on a (doomed) romance between one of the principal “balloonatics” and the actress Sarah Bernardt; and the third is a moving elegy to Barnes’ wife, the literary agent Pat Kavanagh, who died in 2008—but which together eventually come to form a “nice pattern” of a narrative.

Read more of my reviews for the New York Journal of Books here:

Screenshot Barnes Review


Spry Literary Magazine have accepted for publication – in Issue 3 – AJ Kirby’s London-riots inspired short story, ‘The Siege’. Spry is “a literary journal that features undiscovered and established writers’ concise, experimental, hybrid, modern, vintage or just plain vulnerable writing.” It is a place “for people who excel at taking risks, who thrive under pressure – for people whose words and rhythms are spry.”

To find out more about Spry, go here:

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