As part of the 12 Days of Clink Street Christmas blog tour I’ve agreed to share an extract from Matthew Redford’s Who Killed The Mince Spy?; I’ve just posted a review of the book, so go an have a read of that if you want to know more.
In this extract again drawing on his own life experience Daniel talks about the power of feelings to shape your life:
Jediism isn’t just about training your mind it is also about following the beat of your heart.
The love in your heart is eternal and the part of you that is one with the Force or living life energy that exists within and all around you. To demonstrate the awesome power of the heart ponder this: When you die nobody remembers what you said or did but they will remember how you made them feel. That is why Obi-Wan tells Darth Vader that when he dies he will rise more powerful because he knows his loving energy will join the Force and be with Luke at all times guiding and inspiring his heart – an invisible loving presence infinitely more powerful than his human form.
If there is no love in your heart you will never be in tune with the Force. It is only when mind and heart are in harmony that you are a magnet for the light. In my own life I have repeatedly found that thoughts alone aren’t enough and it is only when my thoughts and deeds are heartfelt that good things happen, weaknesses are turned into strengths, setbacks into stepping stones.
If you know anything about Asperger’s you will know that emotional intelligence is not my strong point. I’m a logical person. I can understand and reprogram my thoughts. However, feelings are different. The heart is unpredictable by its very nature and can’t be controlled or even at times understand. You can’t fake feelings, you just feel them and sometimes you feel them for absolutely no reason. Many times in my life I have been at a loss to understand and explain my feelings and the tension and frustration of that triggers irrational meltdowns where I lash out physically.
Given the emphasis I have put here on the importance of the heart in Jediism you can see that the universe handed me my greatest challenge from the moment I was born. My dream is to found a new spiritual movement that hopes to awaken a generation of people’s hearts to the potential within and around them. But don’t psychologists tell us that people with Asperger’s struggle with expressing their feelings?
I truly believe that I have Asperger’s for a reason. If I hadn’t had Asperger’s I might have taken my feelings for granted or not paid enough attention to the theme of love inspiring or guiding others coming up time and time again in every religious and spiritual tradition I studied. My desire to try to understand this thing called love helped me discover the true meaning of life and how love connects us to the Force in a way that thoughts never can. Love, of course, is right up there as a central theme in every Star Wars movie with Han and Leia setting the gold standard.
Just as I found a way to read widely through audio tapes despite my dyslexia, I found a way to connect with and express my heart despite my Asperger’s. The way I found was Jediism. My first love was Star Wars and I expressed my love for the Star Wars universe by founding a spiritual movement that could truly help not just me but others follow their hearts and lead meaningful lives.
Of course, I’m saying all this in hindsight and at the time I wasn’t aware of what I was doing and didn’t even know I had Asperger’s, but I can clearly see now that through creating and founding Jediism I followed my heart. If I hadn’t had Asperger’s I sometimes wonder if I would have had the burning desire to pour my love into creating something that would enable me to express my heart. Of course, it’s impossible to say what I might have done with my life without Asperger’s, as I am who I am, but what I do know is that the heart must find a way to sing whether a person has autism or not. The way I found was through my obsession for a movie franchise. In short, founding Jediism was my act of love.
Another seemingly insurmountable obstacle for me to overcome in the early days of the church was the inevitable opposition and criticism. Early reaction was largely positive and curious but there were also voices telling me to abandon the Force. These voices never came from inside my head but they certainly did from friends, the media, religious groups, educators, comments posted online and so on. Here’s a snap shot.
“Who do you think you are?”
“Why can’t you just grow up?”
“It’s a movie Daniel. It’s fiction, not a way of life.”
After my road to Damascus moment on the beach when I just knew that the universe was calling out to me to found Jediism there were many harsh critics who told me I needed to put away my lightsaber and grow up. Indeed, giving up on my dream of Jediism becoming a global force of love and kindness was by far the easiest thing to do. I don’t enjoy being called ‘odd’ or ‘deluded’ because of my love for Star Wars and belief in the power of Force but perhaps again Asperger’s was my salvation as criticism doesn’t typically get to me. I’m naturally thick-skinned. For me criticism is just data that I can either use or discard. I realise now that is quite an unusual quality. I see how others doubt themselves when faced with criticism but any criticism I got just made me want to spread the word about Jediism even more.
During this time my family had by now accepted that unusual was always going to be the norm for me and Jediism was here to stay. My biggest ally was always my brother Barney who worked closely with me to found the church in 2007. Barney and I worked long hours setting up a basic website, answering emails, creating and distributing leaflets and information online and promoting Jediism in person as much as we could. Visits to the website went from the hundreds to the thousands rapidly. I advertised the church on My Space and it was fairly easy to spread the word there.
When handing out church leaflets in my local area the reactions ranged from delight and interest to shock and surprise to anger and disbelief, but more often than not our leaflets were always greeted with a smile. For me just a smile was response enough as I truly believe religion and spirituality should place a stronger emphasis on the importance of joy. Humour can be the greatest teacher sometimes and a life without laughter is a life not lived. That’s why I am always absolutely fine to have my photograph taken complete with lightsaber and cloak or even a Stormtrooper or two lurking in the background. These images make people smile! ……………..
As part of the Sun. Sea and Sex blog tour, Greta has kindly provided me with a few short extracts from her novel to whet your appetite, if contemporary women’s fiction is your thing.
For Zeeta this was an experience she would never forget, her home life was rigid, full of rules. Her brother came first in all things. There was no laughter in her life. Being part of a loving family that had fun, was wonderful.
What a wonderful afternoon. I got to know Ben well that day, he was not the dry stuck up boy I had taken him for. We laughed a lot and collected many baskets full of blackberries. We were packing up to go home when I twisted my ankle and fell in a huge puddle of muddy water. Ben laughed, with him getting told off for doing so. There was I, sitting in a puddle splashing mud at him. His mother joined in and soon we were all plastered in mud, laughing our heads off. Andrea’s mother was nothing like mine. My mother would have told me off for falling and I would have been severely admonished for getting muddy and then throwing mud at Ben, well I hate to think what she would have said! His mother joining in, well my mother would have never done that! It was a fun day. One I will always remember.
Zeeta was given no sex education, so hearing how her best friend Sheila got pregnant filled the gaps which the older girls had told them. Life is all about learning about life. For Zeeta it was a shame her friend had become pregnant, but she had warned her to run away should a man change shape. Sheila did not listen and paid the price.
Hearing how she got pregnant was the greatest shock of all. I knew she was interested in boys, but she did not seem to be that silly that she would allow them to go all the way. This was one of the things we talked about, in our girly chats. Something to be avoided in friendships with boys. Mind you neither of us had a sex education. I did not know what ‘all the way was’ and I did not know if Sheila did either. My parents had told me nothing. Some of the older girls at school had said things and I suppose we learnt from them. In my house my parents walked around naked, so I knew what a man looked like. I had told Sheila, in case she did not know. I remember my father showing me, one Sunday, how by stroking it, it changed in shape. I was told if I saw a man like that I was to run away. I told Sheila and she was fascinated and wanted to try that on one of her dates. I said best not, my father said run away, because if it became like that it would be almost too late for a girl. A man had needs. What this meant, I had no idea.
With Armaan, Zeeta realised she had feelings she could not explain. She wondered if they were love. Armaan going away hurt, but she got renewed feelings when he came back. She was happy that he had married, he was happy. Life for him changed as well, his wife was expecting his child. His father would be pleased. Zeeta hoped it would be a son. Their friendly chats increased her feelings for him, these were not to change throughout her life, she will always love him.
Armaan was back. I can’t explain my feelings in seeing him. I was overwhelmed by them. Yes I missed him, but what I was feeling was more than that. We continued with our easy friendship and he said he was delighted to be back. He was now married and his wife was expecting their first child. He was a different person now, I think the worry of not having a wife was bothering him, but now he was married, life had suddenly became enjoyable. He said he enjoyed my company and although he was 14 years older than me, I was not empty headed like the gigglers. We continued our friendship and I often felt he was preparing me for the life I would eventually lead. He said my blue eyes and personality would attract many man, but I would know who was right for me. He said beware of false promises, men will say they love, but often it is a way to easy sex, so beware of false promises.
And to round off my posts for the Clink Street Publishing Summer Blogival 2017, I present to you, an extract from Goldsmith Jones. Enjoy!
To round off my posts as part of the Clink Street Summer Blogival 2017, Allow me to present an extract. Thanks Anne Boileau for the extracts. And also thanks to Rachel Gilbey of Authoright for asking me to take part.
Dr Martin Luther wants marry. He is a priest, so this would be an act of rebellion against the Church, because priests are supposed to be celibate. If he were to propose to Katharina, a former nun, it would mean that both of them would be breaking their vows of chastity. In other words, it would, in the eyes of the church and the wider world, be seen as a union forged in Hell.
Afternoon all, having a good weekend?
I’m full of cold and have had to cancel all sorts of fun plans, however it does mean I’ve got time to write a blog post or two. Which brings me nicely to the subject of today’s ‘Author Spotlight’.
You may remember last month I reviewed An Almond for a Parrot, by Wray Delaney. This month, as part of the blog tour for this novel I would like to present to you and extract of the novel.
Published by: HQ, HarperCollins
Publication date: 27th July 2017
Blurb‘I would like to make myself the heroine of this story – an innocent victim led astray. But alas sir, I would be lying…’London, 1756: In Newgate prison, Tully Truegood awaits trial. Her fate hanging in the balance, she tells her life-story. It’s a tale that takes her from skivvy in the back streets of London, to conjuror’s assistant, to celebrated courtesan at her stepmother’s Fairy House, the notorious house of ill-repute where decadent excess is a mustTully was once the talk of the town. Now, with the best seats at Newgate already sold in anticipation of her execution, her only chance of survival is to get her story to the one person who can help her avoid the gallows.
She is Tully Truegood.
Orphan, whore, magician’s apprentice.
Today, I’m taking part in the blog tour for ‘Discoucia’, by Nicholas Lovelock. It’s a ‘Victorianish fairytale’. As part of the tour, organised by Rachel Gilbey of ‘Authoright’, I have an interview and extract of the book. First the extract.
For your reading pleasure, an extract from ‘Addicted To Death’ by Matthew Redford, today’s guest in the Author Spotlight.
Benedict and Darcy Blacktail, two eggs, have been brutally murdered, bludgeoned to death by an assailant with a large metal spoon. Detective Inspector Willie Wortel, carrot and the leading Food Sapiens detective, is talking things through with his Homo Sapiens colleague Sergeant Dorothy Knox.
Dorothy smiled at her boss knowing he meant no harm. Their career paths had collided just over five years earlier when the Food Related Crime Division was established. They forged an excellent working relationship, despite Wortel being a carrot and Dorothy being a fully formed human. Dorothy Knox was an experienced policewoman who was approaching the latter stages of her career when Chief Superintendent Archibald summoned her to his office one cold November afternoon. Thinking that she may find herself forced into an earlier than planned retirement, Dorothy was pleasantly surprised when he asked if she would be prepared to work alongside an up and coming young detective who had a tricky case of the crabs.
When a number of victims started to fall foul to infected crab meat the case soon became high profile as the public demanded answers as to how the contagion was going to be prevented. Wortel found Dorothy’s experience invaluable and together they unmasked Sammy the Shrimp, a small time psychopath hell bent on destroying the hard earned reputation of the crab. It was the week before Christmas when Wortel and Dorothy tracked down Sammy the Shrimp to a squalid flat on the high street above the local betting shop.
Sammy, seeing the two officers arrive with an arrest warrant, attempted to flee by pushing a small child to the floor, grabbing his scooter and using his long narrow muscular tail to pick up speed on the improvised getaway vehicle. Wortel and Dorothy gave chase but just when it seemed Sammy the Shrimp had managed to evade capture, his getaway scooter skidded on a patch of black ice sending him dangerously out of control of the child’s toy, jack-knifing the vehicle and flying through the air towards the shop window of ‘Bamboo-can-do’, the number one store for all bamboo related objet d’art. The unfortunate impaling of Sammy the Shrimp saw the end of the great crab meat infection, with most victims recovering following a dose of salts and the application of soothing cream.
Wortel was not comfortable being thrust into the spotlight, but the media latched onto the first food sapien detective and he soon found himself a somewhat unwilling celebrity. The successful resolution of the great crab infection saw the resources offered to the division soar, from diddly-squat to austere. However, being the new media darling was of no help to Wortel and Dorothy during their confrontation with their nemesis, MadCow McBeef. A confrontation that very nearly cost them their lives.
The ‘Pow-wow with MadCow’, as nicknamed by the press, was a titanic bloodbath of a struggle with multiple victims strewn across the food and homo sapien population. The eventual capture of MadCow McBeef on a farm grazing happily next to the bloodied body of his former owner, Old McDonald, made front page news, with the trial at the Old Bailey covered daily by the rolling television news channels. Despite Wortel’s best endeavours, the jury accepted MadCow McBeef’s insanity plea and he was sentenced to life detention at the Farmer Giles Mental Institution.
“Have you tried these new flavoured crisps, they’re seriously nice.”
The question bought Wortel back into the room from his thoughts. He looked across at Dorothy. “What flavour?”
“Ham and honey mustard with a pickle twist.”
“No, you’re okay thanks,” he said, somewhat suspicious of the flavour combination.
“You don’t know what you’re missing, they’re really moreish.”
Wortel hesitated, decided against trying the new flavoured crisps, and sat himself down at his desk. “No news about a murder weapon?”
“No boss, whoever has done this seems to have been pretty clean in their dealings and we’re assuming at this stage that the murder weapon was taken away from the scene.”
“Fine. Look Dorothy, finish up what you’re doing and then call it a night. I know this is a new murder case but we’ve nothing to get going on just yet and I need you firing on all cylinders tomorrow. When you get home give my best to Graham and the kids.”
“And are you making a move for home any time soon?”
“I will. I just want to go over the notes from the crime scene to make sure I have my paperwork up to date. And I’m sure the Super will want an update about this case as well as the Cookie trial before I leave.”
Another half an hour slipped by before Dorothy pulled on her jacket, picked up her handbag and wished Wortel goodnight. As she reached for the office door it flew open, and Chief Superintendent Archibald strode purposefully into the room, his false leg working overtime to keep up with his real one.
“Ah, glad I’ve caught you Wortel. I’m due to for a late night tee-off in under an hour so you’ll have to be brief, but I want an update on this murder. Eggs isn’t it? Hmm, messy business. And we also need to talk about the Cookie biscuit sentence. I’ve arranged a press conference for the morning. We need to make sure we’re both on the same page. After all, we know the press love their Willie.”
And here’s the blurb:
Addicted to Death: A Food Related Crime Investigation
Following the murder of Benedict and Darcy Blacktail, two eggs savagely beaten to death outside their home by an unknown, fedora wearing assailant brandishing a large metal spoon, Detective Inspector Willie Wortel, carrot and the leading food detective in the police force, is called in to investigate. When the only food sapiens minister in the Government, Professor Perry Partridge, is murdered at the Strawberry Strip Club, run by the young damson Victoria Plum, DI Wortel suspects that the two cases may somehow be linked. As the Head of the Food Related Crime Division, DI Wortel is ably assisted by his human colleague Sergeant Dorothy Knox. But as their investigation begins, four celebrity chefs are sent death threats. It’s a recipe for disaster as the incarcerated evil genius MadCow McBeef is seeking parole; someone appears to have crumbled Mr Bramley’s apples; and there is an anti-GM food protestor on the prowl. And why do Oranges and Lemons think they owe someone five farthings? DI Wortel and his team must find out who is seemingly addicted to death. It will take all efforts – human, fruit and vegetable – to figure this one out.
Purchase from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Addicted-Death-Related-Crime-Investigation-ebook/dp/B010545FEQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1490869221&sr=1-1&keywords=matthew+redford
About Matthew Redford
Born in 1980, Matthew Redford grew up with his parents and elder brother on a council
estate in Bermondsey, south-east London. He now lives in Longfield, Kent, takes masochistic pleasure in watching his favourite football team snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, is a keen chess player and is planning future food related crime novels. To counterbalance the quirkiness of his crime fiction Redford is an accountant. His unconventional debut crime thriller, Addicted to Death: A Food Related Crime Investigation was published by Clink Street Publishing last summer.
Website – http://www.matthewredford.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/matthew_redford
Today I’m going to share with you extracts from the latest novel by today’s featured writer, Lee Cockburn. Hopefully, if you enjoy crime fiction as I do, you’ll like what you read and try the book.
I like the cover, quite mysterious. And now for the obligatory blurb:
Porcelain: Flesh of Innocents
Detective Sergeant Taylor Nicks is back and in charge of tracking down a sadistic vigilante, with a penchant for torturing paedophiles, in this unsettling crime thriller by a real-life police sergeant.
High-powered businessmen are turning up tortured around the city of Edinburgh with one specific thing in common — a sinister double life involving pedophilia. Leaving his ‘victims’ in a disturbing state, the individual responsible calls the police and lays bare the evidence of their targets’ twisted misdemeanours to discover, along with a special memento of their own troubled past — a chilling calling card. Once again heading the investigation team is Detective Sergeant Taylor Nicks, along with her partner Detective Constable Marcus Black, who are tasked not only with tracking the perpetrator down but also dealing with the unusual scenario of having to arrest the victims for their own barbarous crimes. But with the wounded piling up the predator’s thirst for revenge intensifies and soon Nicks discovers that she is no longer chasing down a sinister attacker but a deadly serial killer.
Vivid, dark and deeply unsettling Porcelain: Flesh of Innocents is the perfect next read for serious crime and police thriller fans.
Purchase from Barnes & Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/porcelain-lee-cockburn/1125500067?ean=9781911525318
About Lee Cockburn
Lee Cockburn has worked for Police Scotland for sixteen years including as a police sergeant in Edinburgh for seven years and also as a public order officer. Before joining the force, she played for Scotland Women’s rugby team for fifteen years, earning over eighty caps for the Scottish ladies and British Lionesses teams. She also swam competitively for twelve years, successfully representing Edinburgh at the age of fifteen in the youth Olympics in Denmark in 1984. Lee lives in Edinburgh with her civil partner Emily and their two young sons Jamie and Harry. Her first book Devil’s Demise was published by Clink Street Publishing November 2014.
Follow Lee Cockburn on Twitter: https://twitter.com/lee_leecockburn
And finally, here are a couple of extracts from the book. I warn you, they deal with quite traumatic subjects, so read at your own discretion.
Nightmares continue to haunt Amy, unable to control her inner demons, she slips back into childhood as she drifts off to sleep and her defenses are weak.
The noise continued, Amy shook in terror, eyes now watering as she grabbed at Nathan to try and wake him up. She tugged and tugged at him, calling weakly to wake him, but she couldn’t. The noise was getting louder and louder, which meant whatever it was that was making it was getting closer to her, closing in on her. She wet the bed, the warm liquid seeping into the bed, crawling down her legs in its own treacherous route of degradation, at her soiling herself with fear. This wasn’t the time to worry about the punishment she would receive at the hands of her twisted parents, there was something more sinister in the room with her.
Scrabbly nails scraped against the ground, as it clawed its way towards her bed, she felt the covers tugging off of her, as it started to climb up the side of the bed. She lay there frozen unable to move or call, as she saw the grubby sheet being tugged and pulled away from her face. She was now staring straight ahead too frightened to close her eyes, waiting to see what was climbing up to meet her. Her heart raced and pounded as her tiny heart rattled through her visible rib cage. She stared, never daring to close her eyes, they even started to dry up as she saw it rising up into her line of sight.
Piercing blue eyes came peering over the edge of the bed, round and glassy on the grotesque porcelain face, white and circular, with bright red lips, its hands stiff and made of plastic, but she nearly choked as she watched it climbing up towards her, hands moving and gripping at her. Her mouth tried to scream, but all there was, was silence, and unbearable fear and she was frozen to the spot. The doll pulled itself up onto the bed and crawled closer to her and it tilted its head slowly to the side. The lips on the doll lifted and revealed sharp peg like metal teeth bared demon like as it moved towards her face, Amy twisted round to Nathan, this time she heard herself screaming out loud as she pulled him round. His eyes too were piercing blue and his face cold and doll like, white and cold, his mouth opened like that of a vampire, fangs sharp and terrifying.
Extract two –
The lead up to victim three, but unaware that they are being watched and it is they that could become the victim. Revenge does not always work out how it was planned.
They were so busy trying to secret themselves within the garden in order to get the upper hand, to allow them to break in, that they were totally unaware that they were being watched from the moment they had entered the garden. He had been out having a cigar and had watched their slight figure move stealthily over the grass, he had almost laughed out loud at the audacity of their nerve, before he moved off out of sight. He was a twisted individual with an over rated opinion of himself and he reckoned he could handle this little problem in his garden himself and was always reluctant to invite the police anywhere near to his house with his background and current recreational activity.
As they reached the back door and looked through the window, they tried to see if there was movement inside, silent and professional.
Suddenly their head rocked forward with brute force and then whipped back as it hit off the window in front, the punch had slammed forcefully onto the back of their head, and knocked them straight onto the floor. He reached down and grabbed their hair and dragged them forcefully backwards into the house, their feet barely touching the floor as his strength was enough to practically lift them up. The door was slammed behind them with such force, it sent terror spiraling through them and the roles were now completely reversed, which wasn‘t part of the plan.
The nights events that they’d planned were not panning out quite as they’d had wanted and regret now filled their mind at the stupidity of their spontaneous visit, real fear filling their mind for the first time since their reign of terror had begun, a terror that they believed was their right.
He stared down at what he thought was a pathetic individual and said loudly “what the fuck do you think you’re doing on my fucking property, you thieving little git, did you think I’d let you fucking get away with it, you sorry little freak, you‘re going to fucking regret it!”
He leant over and slammed another punch straight down onto their face and reached his hand down into their top, trying to establish what or who had tried to break into his property, as their gender was unidentifiable with what they were wearing and their stature.
“What the fuck are you, male or female, take that fucking scarf off your face, face before I fucking tear it off”.
His hands groped around and the sickness filled their stomach, the pins and needles in their face pierced violently into them, adrenaline filled every inch of their body, the very real emotions of the terror once endured, lay bare faced in front of them once again, only this time they weren’t a child. All these emotions and sensations, filled their body with an unbelievable will to survive, attack, and avenge the demons of their childhood.