Shadow Born is now available! — Martin’s Blog

Zarynn always knew he and his parents were different. In public they professed to worship the Dark King of Hell, like all of their nomadic clan, and obeyed the orders of His Druids. But in secret, they prayed to one of the Gods of Light. Zarynn’s world changed in his eighth summer, when a Druid […]

via Shadow Born is now available! — Martin’s Blog

Rush Hour Crush

Caitlin sat on the train reading her copy of the Metro at the start of her long journey. She was working in London and going back to Coventry to visit her family whom she missed dearly.

She loved her life and job in London, and worked very hard to make a success of it which meant that she hadn’t made many new friends or found that special someone in her life, but she told herself, and the well meaning relatives that asked her about it, that she was still only young and had plenty of time for that.

She was having a giggle over Rush Hour Crush. “Stunning redhead in the green dress. You looked so lovely as you dashed off your train at Oxford Circus. I wish I had asked for your number. I was the tall guy in the trilby hat. Drink?”

Her phone rang. Looking at it, she smiled.
“Hi Mum! Yes, I made the train and I am on my way. Should be arriving in about an hour. Meet at Starbucks?”
“Oh great, you got the fast train then! Lovely, can’t wait to see you darling! Hope you have a good journey. Knowing you, nose stuck in a book, so I’ll let you enjoy!”
“Actually, I was just reading Rush Hour crush. I wonder if anyone meets like that? I mean the chances that the paper will publish it, that even if they do the person will even see it and recognise it as themselves and what if they don’t even notice you or think you were a creepy stalker?”
“Oh you old romantic, you! I get what you mean, darling, but you have to admit, it’s kind of romantic! Probably just as safe as a blind date or Tinder or anything else.”
“I guess you are right Mum!”
“I had better go and get ready. See you in an hour at Starbucks!”
Caitlin put the phone away with a smile and finished reading her Metro. Once finished she got out her Kindle and got stuck into a thriller that had been advertised a lot lately.

The man opposite her said, “Excuse me, would you mind if I took your paper? I didn’t manage to get one this morning.”
“Of course not, I’ve finished and I’ve got my book anyway!”
He looked at her and thought, Oh my, she’s gorgeous. What a lovely smile. I would love to invite her for coffee, but after hearing her talk to her Mum, she might think I’m a stalker!

Caitlin read her book, not really able to concentrate. The man opposite her was really gorgeous. She hadn’t been attracted to someone for a long time, especially with not really knowing them.

She was just about to try and start a conversation on one of the articles in the paper when the train stopped. He gave her a big smile and said, “Well, here’s my stop! Have a lovely weekend!”
Caitlin met her Mum at Starbucks in Coventry station.
“Oh darling, you look so sad! Thought you seemed happy this morning! What happened?”
“Oh Mum, it’s so silly! I met this guy on the train and he was so gorgeous and had a lovely kind smile, and just as I plucked up the courage to start a conversation, he got off the train.”
“Oh no darling! Did you get his number or anything? You may be able to find him! You never know!”
“No Mum. We barely spoke. He might be a total creep for all I know!”
“Oh darling, what a shame! You know, if you are still thinking about him by the time you go back home, maybe you should try Rush Hour Crush!”
“Oh my days, Mum! I couldn’t-”
“Oh go on, live a little. What’s the worst that can happen? It doesn’t get published? Then you have lost nothing! It gets published and he doesn’t see it? Still lost nothing! He sees it, responds, you date and it doesn’t go well, at least in a few months or years you wouldn’t be saying ‘If only!'”

Caitlin had a lovely weekend catching up with friends and family in the Midlands before making her way back home on the train. When the train got to Watford Junction she hoped the man would get on. Unfortunately, he didn’t.

Tuesday’s Rush Hour Crush:
“To the beautiful girl whose Metro I took on Friday morning. I really regretted that I didn’t ask you for your number and instead you went for Starbucks with your Mum! Coffee with me this weekend?”
“To the gorgeous man who took my paper, I was just about to strike up a conversation with you when you got off the train at Watford Junction. Drink sometime?”

Tales from the Seaside by Claire Buss

I loved this. It is a book of short stories and some verse. This book entertains and at the same time makes you think. My favourite stories are Maud and the Runner, Calorie Deficit and Green Man Correctness. I liked They Fight Crime and felt that it would make a great beginning for a longer story.

Something that really made me think was the story about stay at home Mums. I think Claire is correct about how some people think that they have all the time in the world to do everything perfectly when actually it is a demanding “job” with no set hours etc!

Claire Buss is a great writer who you absolutely cannot stereotype. I love her books and am impatiently waiting for her upcoming Gaia Project after reading The Gaia Effect.

Blight on the landscape

Hillcrest Village, 2020

The village hall was packed tonight. Gatherings here were usually friendly, cheerful affairs, but tonight the village was divided with people glaring at each other and loudly disagreeing.

One of the local councillors stood up to speak.
“Just look at those beautiful hills! They draw people in from miles for hikes and sightseeing. This in turn brings much needed custom to our village shops and hotels. So many artists come here and paint them. It’s unthinkable that we would allow ugly wind turbines to blight this landscape! We should leave it in its natural state!”

A protestor stood up and said,
“But what about our planet? Our energy has to come from somewhere. Changing our view just a little bit is a small price to pay for clean, healthy air and cheap green power!”

The meeting got heated, but in the end, the decision was made that the village would not go ahead with the turbines.

Hillcrest Village, 2120

A century later the village hall was again full. The atmosphere was one of shared gloom. This year’s Harvest Festival had been the worst ever. Tourism was down. Drought had hit the small community hard. The beautiful, famous hills had changed from verdant to barren. No one wanted to hike there anymore. Artists were no longer staying in the village to paint them. Businesses were closing. Worse still, the healthy air was being polluted by the power station built a few miles away. Families whose ancestors had been there for generations were sadly talking of moving away. The villagers discussed how to make things better, but no one really had any solutions.

Hillcrest Village, 2220

The next century, the village hall was a sad place indeed. There was hardly anyone there anymore. It had become difficult to farm the land due to drought and pollution. Tourism had disappeared. Jobs were scarce. All the young people had left to look for a better future.  Rather than happy Harvest Festivals, there were Foodbank sessions being run. Still no one had any solutions.

A local councillor greeted the few villagers that had bothered to come to the village meeting.
“I have been reading through the village archives. I came across an article mentioning my ancestor from 200 years ago arguing against installing wind turbines on our hills. Just look at them, they are ugly and barren. A real blight on the landscape. Why are they that way, my friends, when once they were so lush and green? It is because of the pollution we have been pumping into the air! We know now that climate change was real. Please my friends, it may be too late for our village, but let’s put up some turbines and hope it can save another one!”


The Gaia Effect – Claire Buss

I really loved this book. Now is a great time to read it as I understand the next one is coming out soon. I follow this author on Twitter @grasshopper2407 so will be looking out for the release date.

This book describes the lives of a contained city after The Event which leaves the world contaminated. The Corporation rule this city. People are unable to have children and they are grown in a lab for the lucky ones.

I also loved the Rose Thief by the same author, which was very different from this book and is one of my most favourite books ever. So if you want to rush to Amazon to buy The Gaia Effect, you may want to grab The Rose Thief while you are there!