Monday, 23 March 2015

A Change of Mind & Other Stories

Today I'm helping long-time blogging friend Nick Wilford reveal the cover for his upcoming short story collection, A Change of Mind. I've known Nick pretty much since the beginning of my blogging and writing journey, so I'm couldn't be more happy for him.

Over to Nick.



Title: A Change of Mind and Other Stories
Author: Nick Wilford
Genre: Contemporary speculative fiction
Cover Design: Rebekah Romani
Release Date: May 25th 2015

Blurb:

A Change of Mind and Other Stories consists of a novella, four short stories and one flash fiction piece. This collection puts the extremes of human behaviour under the microscope with the help of lashings of dark humour, and includes four pieces previously published in Writer’s Muse magazine.

In A Change of Mind, Reuben is an office worker so meek and mild he puts up with daily bullying from his boorish male colleagues as if it’s just a normal part of his day. But when a stranger points him in the direction of a surgeon offering a revolutionary new procedure, he can’t pass up the chance to turn his life around.

But this isn’t your average surgeon. For a start, he operates alone in a small room above a mechanic’s. And he promises to alter his patients’ personality so they can be anything they want to be…

In Marissa, a man who is determined to find evidence of his girlfriend’s infidelity ends up wondering if he should have left well alone.

The Dog God finds a chink in the armour of a man with a megalomaniacal desire to take over the world.

In The Insomniac, a man who leads an obsessively regimented lifestyle on one hour’s sleep a night finds a disruption to his routine doesn’t work for him.

Hole In One sees a dedicated golfer achieving a lifelong ambition.

The Loner ends the collection on a note of hope as two family members try to rebuild their lives after they are torn apart by jealousy.

Bio:

Nick Wilford is a writer and stay-at-home dad. Once a journalist, he now makes use of those rare times when the house is quiet to explore the realms of fiction, with a little freelance editing and formatting thrown in. When not working, he can usually be found spending time with his family or cleaning something. Nick is also the editor of Overcoming Adversity: An Anthology for Andrew. You can find him hanging out on his blog or on Goodreads or Twitter.

Preorder Links: Amazon US, Amazon UK


Congratulations, Nick. I'm looking forward to curling up on the sofa with this collection of stories.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Untethered Realms Special: New Release & Special Offers

I'm always happy to share news from my Untethered Realms buddies. Today, there's a new release and two book offers to grab while they're still hot.

First, over to the wonderful Christine Rains and the launch of her latest book.


OF BLOOD AND SORROW
By Christine Rains

Blurb:

Erin Driscol works the perfect job consoling fellow demons by feeding off their grief at Putzkammer & Sons Funeral Home.

When fledgling vampire Nicolas Reese comes to Erin for help, she learns the truth behind the legends and hides him from his sire and the vampire hunters who seek him. But when the Putzkammers begin to die one by one, Erin is caught between her act of kindness and the need to save her adopted family. Only by facing her own personal demons can she stop the slaughter and still rescue Nicolas from his dark fate.

Add it to read on Goodreads.

About the author:

Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She's married to her best friend and fellow geek living in south-central Indiana. They have one son who is too smart for his parents' own good and loves to pretend he's Batman. Christine has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood, but make her a great Jeopardy player. When she's not reading or writing, she's going on adventures with her son or watching cheesy movies on Syfy Channel. She's a member of Untethered Realms and S.C.I.F.I. (South Central Indiana Fiction Interface). She has several short stories and novellas published. Of Blood and Sorrow series is her first urban fantasy novel.

Please visit her website and blog.

You can also find Christine on
Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Buy links: Amazon / B&N / Kobo / Smashwords


Isn't that a stunning cover? Of Blood And Sorrow promises to be a thrilling read. Congratulations, Christine.

If you hurry, you've still got time to take advantage of two special offers. Graeme Ing's Necromancer is on offer at just 99 cents or 99p on Kindle until March 15th. It really is a superb read, and 99 cents is a fantastic price.




Catherine Stine's YA fantasy, Ruby's Fire, is FREE until the end of today! Make sure you grab this eBook as soon as possible. I highly recommend it.




Are there any books or offers you'd like to share? 

Monday, 2 March 2015

Leonard Nimoy: Goodbye My Childhood Hero

This morning I'm listening to Jerry Goldsmith's score for Wrath of Khan, surrounded by various Spock figures and Star Trek memorabilia I've collected over the years. Such is my love for Star Trek.


Like millions of Star Trek fans across the world, I was saddened by the death of Leonard Nimoy on Friday. It seems strange to say I'm mourning for someone I never met, but I am. He was a talented actor, director, poet, and photographer. He was also a caring and compassionate individual, becoming an honourary grandfather to all those who followed him on Twitter. He lived an incredible life and he lived it to the fullest. Just a few days before his death he posted this last tweet:

A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP.

Wise words indeed. Our lives are inexorably moving forward, each second never to be repeated. But what shapes and sustains us are our memories, all those past moments adding together to create the person you are and the life you lead today. 

I realised over the weekend I'm also mourning for myself. Spock and Star Trek have been such a major part of my life. As a young child, maybe eight or nine years of age, Star Trek was the first television show I begged to watch. It was so different from anything I'd seen before. Bright colours, starships, aliens, and strange new worlds. Thankfully, my parents gave in to my begging.

While I was fascinated by Kirk and the rest of the crew, and the underlying message of each episode, Spock was my first crush. Not in a sexual way. I'd just never encountered anyone like him before. He was different, and I liked different. Amok Time, where Spock is overcome by the emotions Vulcans work so hard to hide, is probably the episode I remember the clearest from childhood.

It's no coincidence I've had a life-long love for science fiction, and I believe that is soley down to watching Star Trek. While you might argue my genetics influence my choices, it is true that what we are most passionate about as a child stays with us through our entire life. My love for Star Trek and sci-fi has never diminished. 

I have to admit, I didn't have the same feelings of sadness when DeForest Kelley and James Doohan passed away. I think the explanation for this lies in my age. I turned 40 in 2012 and suddenly became much more aware of my mortality. Losing my father in 2013 made this doubly so. So, losing one of my key childhood influences reminds me again that life does end. Nothing remains the same forever.

While I understand the grief his family and friends are now experiencing, Nimoy was fortunate to live a long and happy life. He died in the natural order of things – before his children and grandchildren. He also advocated the notion that what you give to others will be given back many times over; that giving is receiving. So, I want to echo his thoughts. Plant those seeds and make many, many amazing and happy memories. 

Live long and prosper, my friends.