Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Guest Post: Broken Wings by D. G. Torrens

My good friend Dawn Torrens tells me her novel Broken Wings is going to be released very soon, and I'd like to share her fabulous news with the rest of you.

Take it away, Dawn...

I have been writing BROKEN WINGS for a few months now and I am pleased to report it is coming along nicely! Albeit slowly, I have cmpleted the first draft and now on the second of my war/romance novel. Finding the time to write is very challenging at best and with a four year old in tow you can imagine time is very precious..
BROKEN WINGS is set in the beautiful setting of Cumbria specifically, Lake Windermere and Kendal town where my two main characters Joshua and Angelina first meet before he is posted on a five month tour to Afghanistan. This is an intense love story full of angst, passion and drama that will evoke all kinds of emotions. It is by no means predictable and will have you guessing right to the very end! My book cover has once again been designed by the talented cover designer Ares Juan. I am predicting the release of my novel to be during the spring 2013. So for those of you who are looking forward to the release of BROKEN WINGS please see an excerpt below which will give you an idea of what to expect. Enjoy…

They stood naked in the shimmering cool water; the warm September night was calm and still, with the moon shining beams of light onto the vast lake. The curves of their naked bodies were shadowing the water. Neither one said a word as they looked deep into each others saddened eyes, their united silence saying so much. Angelina did not want to let him go fearing she would never see him again.
Joshua smiled, “I will come back to you I promise” Angelina placed her head on his chest, tears falling down her reddened cheeks. “I could not bear it if I never saw you again, please don’t go,” she pleaded with all her heart. “I have no choice. You knew when we met that this would be a possibility Angelina. I will be back before you know it. This is my duty as a soldier, I have to go.”
She felt her heart closing in, the tightness was suffocating. All those young men who never made it home alive… She did not want her Joshua to be one of them; however, she also understood that he needed to go along with the rest of his regiment. This knowledge did not make it any easier to bear. She had a bad feeling about this posting in a way she never had with the others. Angelina just could not shake it off. Joshua was not able to disclose the whereabouts of his deployment, although he wanted to with all his being. He had an urge to share his inner fears with her, but he held off knowing this would make his leaving far harder for Angelina to deal with.
This was their last night together and they decided to spend it down by the lake, their very special place. This was where they spent their first date together eighteen months ago. That first date had sealed their rare and irrevocable feelings for one another that could not be denied. They have never looked back. When they were together it was as if the rest of the world didn’t exist and time stood still. Joshua fought his undeniable feelings with all that he had, not wanting to get involved with anyone knowing he was being posted soon. But the draw was too strong and the fight was over before it began. He was mesmerized by her. Angelina was deep and sensitive and was the suffer-in-silence type. He liked that about her. She was unlike anyone he had ever known, she understood him in a way no one else ever had before.
Angelina wanted to hold Joshua, never let him go and to keep him safe from harm. She held him so tight as if her own life depended on it. “I love you so much Joshua, please come back to me.” She cried uncontrollably now. He took off his ring that was passed down to him by his grandfather many years before and placed it on her finger. “I promise you when I return I will make you my wife.” With that Joshua kissed her gently on the lips. He hated leaving her; he knew this was as hard for her as it was for him.
“Joshua, when you’re gone time stands still until you return to me. I can’t move forward or backward. I can’t sleep because of worrying about you. There are so many soldiers returning back home in boxes. Every time I turn on the TV there is a news item about a young soldier not making it back alive the families left behind tormented by their grief.”
“Last week there were two soldiers from the West Midlands who were killed by a road side bomb in Afghanistan headlining the news. What if you get posted there again Joshua? I know the loss you suffered on your first tour of Afghanistan that could so easily have been you. You are my very reason for existing so you better come back to me. Do you hear me? ”
Joshua looked into Angelina’s beautiful almond eyes. He knew it would break her heart if she found out he was being posted there for a second tour, but there was nothing he could do or say. He wrapped his large arms around her and held Angelina tight. “I love you with all my heart. I promise I will be back for Valentines Day and then I will be back for good. I will not be extending, I promise you, it’s only six months. It will fly by. I promise I will write to you all the time.” Angelina could not control the flood of tears falling down her pale cheeks, she could hardly breathe fearing this could be the last time she ever saw him alive. Joshua ran his finger slowly over the small scar etched into her right eyebrow. He held her face in the palm of his large hands and kissed it, brushing the tears from her sodden cheeks. He felt her pain. He was feeling it too. No words could take their pain away; it was something they had to endure together until his return.


Sunday, 10 February 2013

Guest Post: Seb Kirby - How I Write

This week I asked Seb Kirby - author of Take No More and Double Bind - to share his thoughts on the writing process.  Take it away, Seb...

Well, first I think that's a very personal thing and that every author will have their own take on this. There's no right or wrong way. As W. Somerset Maugham said: 'There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no-one knows what they are.' 

Basically, I prefer the Stephen King approach as set out in his 'On Writing'. You know, the book he wrote after he was hit by a truck when he was out walking to clear his mind after a writing session. The truck that nearly killed him. You get the idea that he felt he had to put it all in that book, just in case. 

I take his approach to be something along the lines of: If you're not surprising yourself when you're writing your book, how can you hope to surprise your readers when they're reading it? So, I try to be excited at what's coming out as I write and let the novel plan itself. With this approach, you don't start with a detailed, worked-out plot or anything more than a part-glimpsed plan, you really do let the characters tell you what should happen next. 

Generally, I don't believe in heroes. I wouldn't want to trust one. I get more from ordinary, flawed, people in situations that take them out of their normal lives. Then things get interesting as you see how they struggle with what seems for them the impossible. And I want to resolve things in the end in their favour. My way, if you like, of righting some of the wrongs, albeit in a small way. 

There are two of Stephen King's aphorisms that I take seriously. The first: 'The road to hell is paved with adverbs.' So, where at all possible I don't use them. The second: 'Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.' I never use a dictionary or a thesaurus. 

Finally, I'd emphasise the importance of the 'polishing' stage in the writing process. Once the words have formed themselves out of the characters' wishes, once the story has been told, the real work begins. Writing and rewriting, working and reworking the text to give it as much shine and polish as you can muster. And there's then always the hope in discovering another of the goals suggested by Stephen King – that seldom achieved 'gem' where you contribute a striking and novel turn of language that lights up the whole show.

You can read more of Seb's musing on his blog:  http://noveltakenomore.blogspot.co.uk

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Guest post: C. R. Hiatt

Over the coming weeks I plan to add a few posts by fellow indie authors. To get the ball rolling I am proud to present an excerpt from Fireworks on the 4th by C. R. Hiatt.

Excerpt from Fireworks on the 4th

With the NVGs guiding us in the dark we crossed the desert by timing our moves with the guards alternating walks around the perimeter. Jake kept watch while I crawled through the fence then he followed and we jogged silently in the direction of the guard shack. A couple feet away, he signaled me to get flat on the ground. I complied.
Through the NVGs, I watched as one of the security guards stepped out of the shack and began to make his rounds. When he disappeared behind the building, Jake pulled the M9 from his hip and moved in silent, but stealth-like mode toward the shack. He sidled up alongside the building, staying just underneath the windows. Took two steps until he was square in the opened door, and raised the weapon.
Before the guard even got the chance to raise his head from his magazine…THWAP – Jake fired.
A dart protruded from the weapon and hit the guard center chest. Several seconds passed before the guard’s lanky frame slumped down. Jake quickly moved him out of view. At the same time, he signaled me to run toward the back of the building.
I took flight, and hid behind one of the four-wheeler’s. When I glanced back, Jake was no longer at the shack and disappeared from my sight.
The first security guard reappeared from the other side of the building, and made his way back toward the shack. He stopped in his tracks when he noticed his partner was not at his post and automatically reached for his weapon. Before he could, Jake unexpectedly rose up out of the ground where he was buried in the sand. The M9 was raised.
THWAP – a dart hit the guard in the neck.
Jake caught him before he slumped down, lifted him off the ground and returned him to the shack. He grabbed supplies from his side pocket, quickly bound the guards’ wrists with plasti-cuffs, and covered their mouths with duct tape.
The take down was so methodical and quick, I knew my father had been doing missions like this for a very long time. I couldn’t help but watch in awe. He signaled me to join him as he entered the garage.
“Now, we move fast. They’ll be out for a while, but no guarantees how long.”
We did a quick search of the garage, checking inside the white box truck. He signaled me to get behind him as he double-checked the office then we met up at the door to the basketball-sized room I referred to as the kill house.
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