Life is a Pirate Ship Run by a Velociraptor @AllisonHawn #kindle #comedy wibble moo

This is a book for anyone whose life came with only three wheels

Life is a Pirate Ship Run by a Velociraptor, from Allison Hawn

Life is a Pirate Ship Run by a Velociraptor, from Allison Hawn

There is sometimes a point at which, when reading a book, you know that you’re home. In the case of reading Life is a Pirate Ship run by a Velociraptor this moment came for me when the author was describing her reaction to looking out of a window to see a “crazy cat lady” sitting on her car. A full-blown crazy cat lady; dressed in a spandex cat-suit, sitting on the car and licking her “paw”. What to do, what to do? The only thing logical of course – run out armed with a water-spray bottle. Anyone playing the part of a cat so proudly and completely would be utterly obliged to react to being sprayed with water in the same way as any real mouse-munching poop-burying furniture scratching midnight yowler. Job done. Simples.

The saying that when life gives you lemons you should slice them into your G&T isn’t appropriate here. Life hasn’t given this author lemons, far from it. Life has thrown lemons at her, squeezed lemons on to her head and chased her while brandishing lemon trees. Some people’s lives are lived on the straight and narrow, lived in a contented – if rather dull – space where up is opposite down and black is not white and the human species works, rests and plays in contented – if rather dull – ways. There is another space, a space less travelled, where the author and a few happy, happy souls live. A space concocted from the frayed ends of reality, from the odds and sods of existence, from what was left over on a Friday evening when the shop-floor workers at World Builders Incorporated knocked off and went home for the weekend. A life lived among spandex cat-ladies, among preternaturally sentient laboratory rats, among cartoon caricatures made incarnate by mad cousins of Frankenstein while paying human homage to Salvador Dali and Henry Moore.

Life is a Pirate Ship Run by a Velociraptor, from Allison Hawn

Life is a Pirate Ship Run by a Velociraptor, from Allison Hawn

This is a book of Mental First Aid for anyone with just such a life. The rather magnificent cover should, in fact, be replaced by the familiar, if somewhat portentously grave-marker like cross on a blood-red or gangrene-green background. Libraries should have copies of this book – near to the emergency exits and stencilled with the legend “In case of confusion or bewilderment, break glass”. Fire Services, Police Services, Paramedics and the R.N.L.I. should carry sterilised copies to administer to those in peril on the sea, most especially to those on peril on the sea of life, somewhere inland and nowhere near the sea. High Court Judges should hand down copies along with custodial sentences while giving the condemned Confucian gestures and kindly expressions of “oy, when you’re older already, then you’ll know, then you’ll know”.

The author’s style is both relaxed and playful; words roll about before your eyes like peas on a prison plate or discarded swabs on a speeding ambulance floor. Were this book to be murdered then an autopsy would find no fault with the editing or the formatting, the literary liver, spleen and coccyx etcetera all being in their proper places. There is, happily, quite a lot of this book. Should you keep it about you like a quarter of boiled sweets then you’ll still be cheerfully chomping on a humbug or a pineapple chunk even after dipping in and out of it at two or three dozen moments of need. My only caveat is this; do not read it while in the Silent room of your gentlemen’s club, or while in the waiting room of the Priory Clinic endeavouring to gain admittance to be treated for depression.

In short, I quite liked it.

Available all over the show:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

for example.

Or you could always twitter Allison or visit her blog here.

Life is a Circus Run by a Platypus @AllisonHawn #kindle #comedy and then some

Life is a Circus Run by a Platypus - from Allison Hawn

Life is a Circus Run by a Platypus – from Allison Hawn

My review thereof:

I will call him George and I will love him and hug him and squeeze him…

Empathy is a funny old thing. I currently live in a small English village. Not just any village, but a village in the middle of nowhere. A village where Ordnance Survey maps don’t match with what is shown on satellite images or online street view, where ground-level reality matches neither of either and where space and time have the same consistency as a lumpy custard. Cause & Effect is the name of the village pub and it’s closed for repairs, it always has been. It’s a village where consumer electronics inexplicably die young, where domestic dogs behave like cats and cats chase motor cars and where the human inhabitants put those of Stepford and Amityville to shame. In short; I know what this author means. Her edge-of-hysteria laughter is my edge-of-hysteria laughter.

The anecdotes herein are lifted directly from the author’s life experiences. An orang-utan on a sugar-high while being blown out of the narrow end of a black hole by the effects of the Big Un-Bang would likely give a similar account of his life. This author doesn’t have friends, she has a coterie of fellow escapees from Mr Darwin’s “Only Joking” Human Manufactory. She doesn’t have work colleagues, she has the casting rejects from the “social commentary” remake of Snow White: Dumpy; Grotty; Gropey; Psycho; Scratchalot; IsItEvenHuman and StupidDoesn’tCoverIt. By pleasant and welcome contrast though, the author’s relatives are just your normal run-of-the-mill folk who may have difficulty on the level but who can walk up a tree effortlessly using their long, curly toes and prehensile tails. Once up the tree most of them can peel bananas with their lips.

Of course, only your own bathroom mirror can tell you what her readership looks like. I’d guess that the average reader probably looks like some human Rorschach Test: creased heavily down the middle; desperate; confused; a Carmen Heated Roller and an antidepressant short of fully functional in polite society. Still, keep the shades on and no-one will ever know that one eye is higher than the other, bloodshot and roaming independently like something poking from the front of a deranged Dalek. This author doubtless takes her readership wherever she can get them, and you’ll do fine just as you are.

Life is a Circus Run by a Platypus - from Allison Hawn.

Life is a Circus Run by a Platypus – from Allison Hawn.

You will devour this book. You’ll devour it as proof that there are others out there with a left-handed life-thread, others for whom the working direction of revolving doors is also never consistent and others too who always, but always, somehow manage to book the only passenger seat on the entire Airbus A380 long-haul flight that faces directly onto three big, pulsating, tempting red buttons marked “Emergency Toilet-Tank Dump”, “Emergency Engine Boost Afterburners” and “Flight Crew Ejection Seats Activation” – Do Not Touch. You’ll devour this book because you too will know that sinking feeling that comes with realising that the world has no idea who you are, what you do or why you’re there – but they’re all coming at you with huge arms outstretched, telling you dat dey will call you George and they will love you and hug you and squeeze you and hug you and dey always wanted a pet just like you… That’s why you’ll devour this book.

The author’s writing style is, to use the current and only recently coined word, readable. Very readable indeed. The text flows as easily and as swiftly as does the lava in a “B-Movie”, as naturally and as sweetly as the autumnal grape-juice squeezed between the hairs on the toes of a one-legged Soviet viticulturist. The presentation is relaxed; this is a book for reading all at once or for dipping in and out of, entirely at your discretion. It should be read with discretion too, for I cannot advise reading it in public. The editing is as tight as a High Court Judge before lunch and the formatting more immaculate than most pregnancies in Bethlehem.

Take a mug of tea or coffee, dip your nostrils into it and inhale deeply. You may as well get the snorting of beverages over and done with before you start the book proper, since doing so will leave you thence with one hand free with which to manage your incontinence pads.

In short, I quite liked it. Five stars for “aha – you too eh?” sheer entertainment value.

Available all over the ruddy place.

Amazon UK

Amazon USA

for example.

Or you could always visit Allison on TWITTER or her BLOG instead.

AWOOGAH! AWOOGAH! … opening lines are so difficult to write! #scifi #adventure

The Cat Wore Electric Goggles, by Mr Ian Hutson

The Cat Wore Electric Goggles, by Mr Ian Hutson

AWOOGAH! AWOOGAH! Opening lines can be so difficult to write, with hours, days, weeks, months, even years expended searching for that perfect combination of gravitas, emotion and an intellectual call to arms. Well, I wasn’t born yesterday, and that is why I settled on ‘AWOOGAH! AWOOGAH!’ as the opening line of the collection The Cat Wore Electric Goggles.

What could be more apposite for a collection of classic science fiction in the old-fashioned vein? How else could I have set the reader off on their journey through space, time and serious stories wrapped up in laughs?

AWOOGAH! AWOOGAH! sets the tone for rocketships, for chaps doing brave things, for elderly ladies in fur bikinis dragging elderly men into caves, for Her Maj, the Britisher Queen, busking in alien railway stations and for robot dogs waxing lyrical in both Latin and Klingon.

This awfully English collection doesn’t just push the envelope, it rips it open and runs screaming into the distance. Insane Cold War timetravel ? Tick, VG. Medieval monks with brains the size of planets? Tick, VG. Edwardian hunting parties stranded on planets where evolution has taken a very different path to that of our own? Tick, not so VG in the circumstances.

I can’t guarantee that you’ll enjoy reading each and every story but boy, oh boy oh boy oh boy, did I ever have fun writing them.

AMAZON Kindle & Paperback
Apple iTunes thingy
SMASHWORDS – all eFormats under the Sun
BARNES & Nobelus

1. The Cat Wore Electric Goggles
2. One Saturday, Almost 2,000 Years A.D.
3. VTC = 1:1 +/- H times ATP
4. The Improvement Engine
5. One Small Step for Ma’am, One Giant Leap for Ma’amkind
6. The Unfortunate Fatal Incident at 7 AU
7. Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright
8. Shall I be Mother?
9. The Especial Relevance of Cowpats
10. You fools! You fools! You insensible fools!
11. The Truth, The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth
12. The Almost Omnipresent Omniscient Monks

Splendid. Tickettyboo. Chin-chin.

Dandelion (no Burdock) #Abstract #Art @DandelionJenny #christmas #present ideas

Maelstrom - from Dandylion Abstract Art

Maelstrom – from Dandylion Abstract Art

Connect the squelchy outer reaches of your mind and uber-groovy psychedelia with a range of designs from Dandelion Abstract Art – from my mate, Jenny.

Glade Unique encaustic works translated into practical products like iPhone cases, laptop covers, tote bags, canvas prints, posters and even mugs – you name it, and if it’s one of the twelve dozen things that Messrs RedBubble produce on an artist’s behalf, it’s available. The only thing you can’t easily get these designs on is your poodle.

Jen is an artist working in the nether reaches of the East Coast of England – but RedBubble are international, and they produce your goods and wares all over the globe, and ship to Timbuktu too, even if you are wearing a tutu. They also ship to much more sensible places, such as Birmingham and Moscow, Adelaide and the upper reaches of the Zambesi.

Why not check out Jen’s stuff at Redbubble by clicking here – and you can even follow her on Twitter too.

Orchid When not wearing welding goggles (and a modicum of other clothing, unless it’s warm and sunny) and producing fantabulous abstracts, Jen likes vacuuming and world peace. Jen is meagre with her bio details but I am authorised to tell you that after spending forty years in the Army she is pleased to be settling into civilian life along with her pet badger, two ex-Chippendales and a bathroom cabinet full of the most delightful medications.

Prices range from Zilch to Oh Gosh, depending on what takes your fancy.

Dandelion Abstract Art.

Global – but local too.



The Complete Works – Aaron David @AaronDavid97 #christmas #present #thriller #comedy

The Complete Works of Aaron David

The Complete Works of Aaron David

AVAILABLE NOW: The Complete Works of Mr Aaron David. #thriller #comedy #scifi #english

When doused with a bucket of cold water and poked with a poking stick, the author had this to say for himself:

Everything I’ve written in one tome. The Almost English Dictionaarony; four short stories and four Bogas Biographies. The Skiffies; four mind-melting sci-fi short stories. The Tale of the Ancient Marina; my first novel, very funny. Rhyming Stuff; my poems.

Then he passed out again. His police records are equally forthcoming.

Name: Aaron David. Age: The wrong side of forty. Location: Bolton, the north of England. Occupation: Tradesman and brilliant novelist. Charges: Not nearly enough.

Author Aaron David, hanging in the Lowvre next to the cover of his Complete Works.

Author Aaron David, hanging in the Lowvre next to the cover of his Complete Works.

… but we think that covers it nicely. Photographs of the author are far and few between but here’s one, next to the cover of his Complete Works hanging in the Lowvre.

Our professional book reviewerist, Doris McGusset, (pictured here below) said of his book ‘Where’s my money? I want my money. This is the second book that I’ve read for you and yet you still haven’t paid me. I had other offers you know, I could have been a Bus Conductresser but no, you promised me bright lights and money and where has it got me? Sprawled in the park with my face shoved into a paperback, that’s where it’s got me. When am I going to get paid?’

Doris McGusset, reviewerist.

Doris McGusset, reviewerist.

Slightly more professional reviewerists simply said things such as “Wow” and “Go buy” and in one case, “One awaits his next release with antici ……. ….. …….. ……….. ……. ….. …… ……..pation.”

Aaron David’s website

Mr David’s Twitter thingy

The Complete Works on an Amazon very near to you, wherever on this oblate spheroid you may be.

My recipe for a delightfully cooling and nutritious breakfast consomme for those of us on a reducing diet: take one shallow dish and place therein twelve parts of Hendricks gin to one part of Schweppes Indian Tonic Water, add lemon and/or cucumber to taste and serve. Administer until one either falls off one’s perch or someone wakes one to advise one that it is now after noon, or perhaps the following day. Nota bene: one’s one serving counts as a quarter of one’s two bottles a day, or twice the roughage one first thought of.

The Complete Works of Mr Aaron David

The Complete Works of Mr Aaron David

Nine out of ten cats said ‘Meeow’ in our survey.

#kindle and #paperback

The Cat Wore Electric Goggles – just for giggles #kindle #scifi

The Cat Wore Electric Goggles, by Mr Ian Hutson

The Cat Wore Electric Goggles, by Mr Ian Hutson

My new batch of “les business cards” have arrived, and dashed splendid they look too eh? Sort of grungy grotty and yet with a soupcon of designer chic – difficult to classify, but they’re flying off the front desk like hot-cakes. The Vicar took three, and I gave some chap collecting for the Poppy Appeal half a dozen, since I had nothing smaller than a fifty on me.

Follow your spirit, and upon this charge Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!

Follow your spirit, and upon this charge Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!

Difficult to classify is also a term wot might be applied to the latest release from the The Diesel-Electric Elephant Company (that’s us, btw). The Cat Wore Electric Goggles. There’s only one damned cat in it, and at that it’s a brief appearance.

Yes, it has rocket ships, but they’re old-fashioned rocket ships crewed by chaps who smoke pipes and do courageous things. Yes, it’s a bit of a giggle but then it also serves up lashing of serious points too (“lashings” is used here in the Enid Blyton sense of the word and in no way relates to being tied to things). Is it science fiction? Well yes and no, the science in it is improbable. Is it historical? Not in any way, since, although it is mostly set in some steam-powered electro-mechanical Victorian-esque nineteen-fifties-ish past, the history is wholly inaccurate.

One, inspecting the Guards.

One, inspecting the Guards.

Is it steampunk? No, not really, although there are some groovy orang-utans in there who made it into space only because of the efforts of some aliens who were rather fond of brass and of coal-fired technology. Is it “Empire”? No, although I do tend to set everything in some deliciously mythical England that never really was, and I do so as a defence mechanism against the behemoth that is commerical globalism and the glowering, dull omnipresence in our everyday lives of the more crass elements of parochial Hollywoodism. If you too are sick to the tits of every film, television and book offering featuring nothing but LPG explosion-effects, the flailing limbs of the same half-dozen actors, guns, guns, guns and endless, mindless violence then the settings of Hutson’s brain will prove a comfortable place for you. Is it blathering? Indubitably so.

So what is in it, exactly?

  • The Cat Wore Electric Goggles
  • One Saturday, Almost 2,000 Years A.D.
  • VTC = 1:1 +/- H times ATP
  • The Improvement Engine
  • One Small Step for Ma’am, One Giant Leap for Ma’amkind
  • The Unfortunate Fatal Incident at 7 AU
  • Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright
  • Shall I be Mother?
  • The Especial Relevance of Cowpats
  • You fools! You fools! You insensible fools!
  • The Truth, The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth
  • The Almost Omnipresent Omniscient Monks

The alien invasion of England; Margaret Rutherford as a cave-woman extraordinaire; some insane Cold War time-travel at terrifying temporal velocities; the real story of the creation of Victorian England and the Industrial Revolution; England’s very first Moon landing, televised by the BBC on a budget (250 quid); a tale of when Her Majesty when out to meet and greet some aliens freshly arrived in our solar system; alien evolution – a tad different to our own, with a stranded hunting party; ghosts on the Titanic, and an exploration of whether “Heaven” is a green and pleasant land; robots on strike at the Austin-Morris car factory; the accidental release of a terrifying virus – everyone catches Middle-Englanditis; an electric detective with a slight problem in re logic; a few medieval monks, zipping through the ages on their knees.

That’s what’s in it. This is where it may be found:

NGLND XPX by Mr Ian HutsonNGLND XPX by Mr Ian HutsonThe Cat Wore Electric Goggles by Mr Ian HutsonNGLND XPX by Mr Ian Hutson

So who’s the author? Odd chap, goes by the name of Hutson.

Ian Hutson

Ian Hutson

Born during tiffin in the sea-side town of Cleethorpes, England, at half-past nineteen-sixty. Whole family immediately moved to Hong Kong where Father worked for the Ministry of Defence, spying on Cold-War Red China by listening in to their radio transmissions. Hutson Minor spoke only Cantonese and some pidgin English and was a complete brat.

At the end of the sixties was to be found on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Still a brat. There finally learned to read and write under the strict disciplinarian regime of the Nicolson Institute and one Miss Crichton. Then spent a year living in Banham Zoo in Norfolk, swapping childhood imaginary friends for howler monkeys, penguins and wolves. Skipped school for the year, the entire year…

IanHutson3 Followed, for want of something better to do and for want of a brain, in Daddy’s footsteps and found himself working for the British Civil Service in areas much too foul to be named. Was eventually asked to leave by the Home Secretary. A few years of corporate life earned some more kind invitations to leave. Ran a few businesses, several limited companies, then went down the plug-hole with the global economy and found himself in County Court, bankrupt, with home, car and valuables auctioned off by H.M. Official Receivers. Now lives by candlelight in a hedgerow in rural Lincolnshire as a peacenik vegan hippie drop-out, darning old socks and living on fresh air and a sense of the ridiculous.

IanHutson Dog person not a cat person. Favourite colours include faded tangerine and cobalt blue. Fatally allergic to Penicillin and very nearly so to Jerusalem Artichokes (they caused, not to put too fine a point on it, near-terminal flatulence of a most distressing level). Loves coffee and loves curry and likes both hot and strong. Has tried his hardest all of his life to ride bicycles but simply looks like a deranged, overweight orang-utan on wheels. Favourite film Blade Runner. Uses the word “splendid” far too much. Blood-pressure is linked directly to the increasing use of desperately poor – and foreign – “English” grammar. Head is thus permanently on the verge of exploding. Explode good. Do grammatical. Write safe. Aaaaargghh!

Harrumph. Steps down off soap-box and wanders away, reloading blunderbuss.

Publicity Head-Shots of Mr Hutson.

Publicity Head-Shots of Mr Hutson.

CONDITIONS – new from Christoph Fischer: finally out! @CFFBOOKS #ASMSG

CONDITIONS by Christoph Fischer

CONDITIONS by Christoph Fischer

History thunders on. The world is as insane a place today as it ever was. Delicious, isn’t it?

Christoph Fischer was born in Germany as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he is still resident today. He completed a historical “Three Nations Trilogy” in 2013, comprising of “The Luck of the Weissensteiners”, “Sebastian” and “The Black Eagle Inn.” In May 2014 he published his first contemporary novel “Time To Let Go” in May. He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.

CONDITIONS by Christoph Fischer

CONDITIONS by Christop Fischer

Conditions”, by Christoph Fischer, is a compelling read. The protagonists are two brothers, one intellectually challenged, the other with personal issues. “Rainman” (Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise) comes to mind, but this is definitely not “Rainman”. Tony and Charles have lost their mother. Tony has had a tough life. Always missing out and having to make allowances for his brother, he doubts that Charles truly has a legitimate illness, and bitterly resents him for having taken up too much of their mother’s attention and resources.Charles has no sense of responsibility and his friends are a bunch of ‘freaks’. Again, this is not “Rainman”. It doesn’t try to be. “Conditions” stands on its own merits.

Author Christoph Fisher skillfully weaves a tale with a unique cast of characters that are realistic. They have human imperfections, “conditions”, which makes them likable and easy to relate to. In sum, the human condition, in its diversity, provides ample food for reflection after the reading is done. If you like reading stories that make you reflect on our emotional response to stressful life events, how we interact with one another as imperfect human beings, then grab a copy of this book. You won’t be disappointed.

Reviewed by Thomas Jerome Baker
Author of “How To Coach A Debate Team”

Christoph Fischer

Christoph is the one to the right of frame… ;-)


Christoph’s website

Christoph’s blog

Christoph on Twitter

As some of the characters in the book say:

“Each and every one of us has their own weirdness, it’s just that it’s more obvious with some people than others.”

“Madness is a completely undervalued quality and I don’t understand why people should hide it to conform to some boring version of themselves.”

The Dog With The Bakelite Nose – Old-fashioned fictions #WIP #adventure

#WIP The Dog With The Bakelite Nose by Ian Hutson

#WIP The Dog With The Bakelite Nose by Ian Hutson

Coming soon (depending upon your definition of “soon”).

Today, I shall be mostly back in the trenches of an old-fashioned futuristic WWI tickling the contents of my WIP – exploring the strange beast that is pack behaviour; war.

So far my Olivetti portable has taken me to Mars, to what is the “Far East” when viewed from England, around the mills and canals of the north and through several difficult-to-identify parallel dimensias and universii. Scientific inventions abound, a Mr God is somewhat (deservingly) lampooned and a lot of very familiar but mis-used, under-used and plainly abused technology is given fresh purpose. I love fresh purpose, it tastes so much less oily than tuna.

We have curses in the stories, we have the rise of a new society and some aliens that I hope are actually alien rather than being some human-analogue with human proclivities. The time-travel in this WIP is, I hope, a little more realistic than the flash-bang-wallop variety powered by new-kew-lar energy and used only for petty politicking.

There is, naturally, a dog (although he does not actually sport a bakelite nose), and he finishes off what The Cat that Wore Electric Goggles started in the way of preventing a somewhat disastrous alien invasion brought home by one of Her Majesty’s exploratory rocketships. There are also elephants, although not on this planet.

The collection finishes off (will finish off, when I finish finishing it) with a spot of post-apocalyptic reality in England – sort of an apocalypse with a near-wiping out of the species, nice weather and the last of the teabags.

Yonder trouble is, as always, that I don’t fit into a genre (unless you count “rubbish” as a genre all of its own). It’s not entirely #sciencefiction and it’s not very #steampunk and it’s not wholly serious – while being thoroughly serious in lots of ways. I have vowed that the next project will be held entirely within the confines of a strict (and saleable) genre. [Giggles demonically because he knows that won’t happen, and wanders off stage left…]


Quirky Claus – child-friendly #christmas insanity from @SebWrites #picturebook

Quirky Claus by Sebastian White

Quirky Claus by Sebastian White

My most ‘umble and abject apologies for mentioning the Christmas word so before we’ve so much as salted a pig for winter, but needs must when the reindeer drive, etcetera etcetera most sincerely yours and so forth. Having thus prostrated myself at the feet of the statue of Makemoneyus, the god of seasonal commercial enterprises, may I introduce you to a magnificent picture book for grubs, rugrats, kidlings, fruit-of-the-loins – children – that I tripped over recently? Thank you.

Quirky Claus by Mr Sebastian White.

Quirky Claus is a new alternative take on the traditional Christmas story. As the mischievous cousin of the rather better known Santa Claus, he resides with his sidekick and not always, the most loyal of friends – Timothy the Toucan or A.K.A Timothy, (surname) Toucan. Quirky Claus , through a series of unique misadventures, (and not without more than a little help from his mischievous friend Timothy Toucan) gets himself into one increasingly difficult predicament after another as he attempts to deliver an array of unusual, incredibly bizarre, but above all, ‘unexpected’ Christmas presents to the naughty children of the world! Who, let us be honest, really would have been far “far” wiser to have behaved that ‘tincey wincey’ bit better before the actual big day itself! *This unlike many other children’s self or commercially published books out there…in the “big wide world,” whilst this appears a simple concept at first, the story actually works on many different levels. Although, it may not be immediately apparent – the central character himself ‘Quirky Claus’ actually appears on “every” single page of the book, whether he is hiding beyond the rear of his front door – to his ramshackle house or surreptitiously peeking from behind a Christmas Tree! Giving children plenty of time to spend finding him.

Good old-fashioned tactile paperback: Amazon UK Amazon US

Sebastian’s website here. More information AND you may purchase directly from the author should you so wish, be careful what you wish for because he knows whether you’ve been naughty or nice, mayhap a personalised copy for the nanny to read to the future heir?

Sebastian on Twitter.

But what is the point of writing about a visual work, when I could instead be showing some of it to you?


Page11Indian CLOUDS

Even the most jaded among us has to admit, surely, that the notion of an upside-down, alternative, not quite competent Father Christmas has a certain appeal…

Capital D – new release #action @newage_author Ash Stone

Silka Fontein was a typical rich little girl until she disappeared 15 years ago, right after her high school graduation after party. What happened to her? No one knows where she went to or why she had left so suddenly. Now, after all these years she returns home, different and completely changed, with secrets so deadly that everyone’s lives are in danger!  

She reunites with Taber Blake, her childhood friend turned quintessential playboy.  As they fight their unexpected attraction for one another, a series of action packed events have them fighting for their lives.  It is then that Taber’s own lethal secrets are exposed in the process. Will their attraction be enough to survive the truth?

This mish-mash of action, adventure, comedy, romance, mystery, suspense and drama is spy thrilling, spine chilling read bound to keep you begging for more! Available in an Adult or PG rated version, you will have no reason not escape into their world and hearts.

When Ash Stone (pen name) was born she was cute, cuddly and blue! Fortunately by the time the journalists arrived to take photos her, she was no longer blue. She made headlines in the local papers for being the only Christmas baby to be born that day in Aliwal North (South Africa). That’s right! She is was born on Christmas Day 1974. Before you say  “Aw Shame”  and break out the tissues, please know that Ash is a Christmas Diva! She always gets her two presents or else!

She is the second eldest of four daughters to a mother who was an accountant. Her father was a high ranking police officer in the old Apartheid regime, meaning he sat behind a desk and drank tea all day. They moved around a lot whenever her father was promoted to a bigger desk with better tea. As a result Ash did not have many friends and found her escape in books.

Ash’s first writing experience was when she had to write an essay to Toyota South Africa, in order to be chosen for their Toyota Edulink Program. She wrote a very detailed and motivational essay about how she was going to be the Managing Director of Toyota one day. After they undoubtedly had a good chuckle, Ash was chosen as the the only girl to represent all the Afrikaans schools in her province. She went on to be chosen for the Toyota Junior Achievement Programme and became the Managing Director of the company they had set up. The company made a profit and naturally Ash was tickled pink! Ash was chosen to remain in the Toyota Edulink Program for a total of three years. Whilst in her final year at school she also joined another program and studied Journalism and Drama at the Westville University.

After graduating high school, Ash went to study Business and Marketing Management as inspired by her father who had left the police force long ago and started his own property investment firm. Being a typical rebel, rather than joining the corporate world afterwards, Ash became a vegetarian hippie instead and went into a gardening/ nursery business with her mom. The irony of a vegetarian plant lover is still lost on her to this day.

Even though Ash never became the Managing Director of Toyota South Africa, she had enjoyed success in every aspect of her life. She is an award winning Horticulturist and won another award for a display when she represented South Africa in the 2000 Amsterdam Hortifair.

Among her many occupations,  Ash was more notedly the Purchasing Manager for McDonald’s Asia, Pacific, Middle East and Africa region. These days she is not a high flying corporate Exec or a vegetarian hippie, but internal sales at a local Mining supplier during the day. At night, she runs her own blog tour company, is an Admin of the Author Association ASMSG, a Guild Reviewer, a book blogger and self confessed Facebook addict.

She lives in Alberton with her childhood-friend-turned-husband and their two sons where she enjoys breaking all the rules with her writing. The eternal rebel loves to connect with her fans (or “Stoneys!” as she calls them). So, go on you rebel you!

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    On her way to work, she noticed a very glamorous looking coffee place. How convenient, she thought as she entered and stood in line. In front of her there was a queue of about seven people. They all looked like young corporate types and portrayed the impatience and self-importance typical of their generation. Part of her was glad to be back in civilization. The last time she had been here, she had spent a night with her parents en route to the new job. There was no time for ‘meets and greets’ or any reunions back then.

    “You’re not stalking me, are you?” Behind her Tay managed to surprise her yet again, but it only took a breath for her to regain her composure.

    “Hardly, I work across the street, so that leaves the stalking title to you,” she replied slowly and calmly without looking at him.

    She could feel the enjoyment emanating from him as his warm, minty breath caressed her cheek. His fragrance turned her on. He was leaning into her making every follicle in her body respond. There was an electric chemistry she felt just by his presence. It delighted her and excited her like nothing before.

    “I’ve gotten my morning coffee here every day before work for the last ten years,” he responded way too pleased with himself.

    “Good thing we are not dogs, or we’d be marking our territories right now,” she quipped back with a smile on her face.

Amused by her response, he offered his solution.

    “Or we could start a new tradition and have coffee together every day before work.”

    “Next!!” A shout came from behind the counter. A young lady with way too much make up on stood there waiting for Silka’s order.

    “I’ll have a regular coffee, please,” Silka pointed to the menu.

    “And I shall have a Latte along with that,” Tay duly informed the clerk and threw a bill of an impressive denomination on the counter as he positioned himself next to Silka.

    After she gave them their coffees, he took Silka by the hand. “Please sit and have your coffee with me?” he implored her with a look of anticipation normally seen on a kid about to receive his birthday present.

    He wore a dark suit and blue collar shirt with a matching tie. His tidy hair, clean shaven face and that suit made him look like a million bucks. Bloody hell he was Godly.  He was by far the most striking man she had ever seen. His looks made her heart contract, let alone her uterus.

    “Five minutes!” She raised her eyebrows sternly, but then smiled. She followed him to a table in the far corner. Taber pulled out a chair for her. She took a seat and leaned back with her coffee in one hand.

    Sitting opposite her around the very small, square table he couldn’t help but stare at her. How had he not recognized her? How had he never noticed how stunningly beautiful she was? More importantly where had she been? His mind flooded with questions. What had happened to her in the last fifteen years? Who had happened to her most of all? She had a maturity about her which was way beyond her youthful looks.

    She sat looking at him, gently sipping her coffee, smiling slightly and slowly blinking. She had always been confident, but he had never thought of that confidence as being sexy. To him her confidence was arrogance when he was young. Since he had become an adult he realized how wrong he had been. The caliber of women he dated was far from confident, trusting or loyal. They were insecure, jealous, whiney, clingy little girls that loved him only as long as his credit cards were at their disposal.

    Which reminded him: “How did you get Amber so spot on? She was highly impressed with you.”

Silka gave a huge grin.

    “I had my fair share of gold diggers. Amber will be anything and everything you want her to be, until the day you marry her. That is when you will see her true colors.” She suddenly realized that this was nothing new to him, although he looked as if he had just discovered a turd in his coffee. He leaned back in his chair.

    “What have you been up to all these years?” he asked boldly.

    “Why don’t you tell me about your side first?” she requested looking as if she could melt a polar ice cap.

    “Fine. Graduated high school, obviously, fulfilled other obligations, spent a gap year traveling the world, finished university and then went to work for my dad. Spill it!” he shot a challenging look back at her as he turned the tables.

    “Love to, but I am running late for work,” she said glancing at her watch.  He paused for a second.

    “Very well,” he smiled smoothly. As they stood up, he followed her towards the door. “Same time tomorrow?” he asked.

    “Only if I get the next round. Thank you for the coffee.”

    “Not a problem,” he said as they stepped onto the pavement. For a moment they stood there staring at each other. She smiled suddenly, and turned to cross the road.

    “Bye, Tay.”

    “Bye, Silly,” he yelled back. Sure enough he stood there watching her glide into the building across the street.

    Climbing into the back of his chauffeur driven car, Taber wondered if she had taken offense at the mention of the name he used to pull out of the box regularly to rile her up.  It got her every time.

    Silka used to hate being called Silly. She hadn’t heard that name in ages. It used to make her angry, but hearing it out of his gorgeous mouth today made her smile. His mouth was all she could think of as she headed out the elevator, into the parking garage, and drove out to the place she really worked at, in the outskirts of town, in a car that was not really hers, no less.

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