30 June 2014

Room Nineteen Giveaway

One copy of Room Nineteen will be given away on the 15th July. Allowing for time differences around the world, make sure that you register before the 14th July. At the end of the draw, all registration information will be deleted. By clicking on the button below, you will be taken to a page where you can register.

28 June 2014

Room Nineteen - More Information

This is the whole cover for Room Nineteen - back and front.

After 7th July, Room Nineteen will be carried by a large number of online retailers as well as a couple of physical bookshops on the Central Coast, NSW, Australia. The information on my website will be updated as it comes to hand.

Those of you who follow my blog will know that I have already posted the first chapter (right-hand side of blog under Pages), and, if you have nothing against reading first chapters, you are more than welcome to read it. Personally, I like to be able to continue reading after chapter one, but that's me...

25 June 2014

Room Nineteen - Back Cover

I mentioned a few posts back that I would post an image of the back cover, and here it is. Annette has done a fantastic job with the design. It illustrates not only the main thread of the book - the corridors and rooms - but also a number of secondary ideas, all connected with time.

With the book due to be released on the 7th July, it has now begun its own life, and I can only hope that it will be a happy one. It does feels strange though, after months of work, having to accept that the book is now finished and unalterable.

AoE Publishing is taking pre-orders from and including tomorrow 26th June. However, if you would prefer, you can wait until after 7th July when the book will be made available via a number of online retailers.  

22 June 2014

Room Nineteen - Fragment One

She walks down the long corridor, keeping close to the wall on the left-hand side. The walls are a non­descript grey colour, and the corridor itself is narrow; she thinks of intestines winding around in a confined space; she also thinks of the Ghost Ride at the Fun Park where, beyond the entrance, there does not seem to be any kind of exit. Her eyes are fixed on the highly polished, dark timber flooring, and they rarely rise above the ever-changing patterns of shoes and trouser legs and the very occasional long skirt.
  She knows that there are many people all around her, ordinary, anonymous people, like those she might see at the train station or in the street, hurrying in different directions. Some of them are well-dressed: she can tell by the shoes. When she very occasionally lifts her eyes from the floor, she sees tailored suits and jogging outfits side by side, young people in Gothic black with facial piercings and hair thick with gel, and trim, well-trained people alongside others who are quite obviously overweight. Almost everyone looks slightly anxious; some appear dazed. No one is talking; she knows that it is forbidden. She looks around quickly: there are no children anywhere.

This is the beginning of Room Nineteen; if you want to read the rest of the first chapter (or Fragment), click on Room Nineteen under Pages on the right side of this blog. 

18 June 2014

Room Nineteen

This post is all about my book Room Nineteen which is due to be published on the 7th July. It is a psychological thriller with overtones of science fiction and is based on varying concepts of time. What is time? Is it something that we have invented to establish some kind of order in our lives, or is it something else entirely?

Room Nineteen follows three people caught in a maze of corridors and rooms. They connect with each other in different ways and in different time dimensions. None of them know how they ended up in the corridors and all of them are looking for a way out.

You can read about the book on my website, and I will be posting more information here over the next couple of weeks.

The wonderful cover design was created by Annette whose blogs I have featured here. The back cover is just as exciting, and I will include that in another post.

15 June 2014

Too Many Mothers by Roberta Taylor

Some years back, I read Roberta Taylor's autobiographical novel, Too Many Mothers and loved it. Painting a realistic picture of growing up in London's East End during the latter part of the twentieth century, the book is  an unbelievable collection of images thrown at the reader from all angles. The picture is often devastating and extremely sad; however, lurking at the edges, there are always rays of light and humour. This is not a book that can fit neatly into the accepted mould of beginning, middle and resolution, because Roberta Taylor's early life was anything but ordered and neat. Instead, the book piles images into untidy towers of varying heights where the reader can rummage at his/her will, perhaps laughing at the antics of one of Roberta's aunts or weeping over a situation from which there seems to be no escape. A wonderful book - I definitely recommend it to other readers.

Photo of Roberta Taylor from

11 June 2014


The Blog Introductions are now completed, and I hope that they have been as interesting for you as they have been for me. Hopefully, there will be a new series of Blog Introductions later in the year. In the meantime, if you want to revisit a blog or catch up with one you may have missed, here is the complete list with links.

08 June 2014

Stillwater Creek by Alison Booth

Stillwater Creek is well written, and it is obvious that Alison Booth is familiar with the area where the action takes place - the south coast of NSW, Australia. Although the focus is on the two main characters, Ilona and Zidra - who are Latvian refugees - there are many other characters and sub-plots, which help to make the novel an enjoyable and interesting experience. A number of issues are presented via the different characters and the events in which they are involved. The author does not attempt to give solutions to problems such as the assimilation of refugees and aborigines or even the abuse of children - issues which, in the 1950s, were possibly not as much in the forefront as they are today - but gives the reader something to think about after he/she has finished the novel. An interesting read made all the more satisfying by the knowledge that it is followed by a sequel, Indigo Sky.

04 June 2014

The Creative Pencil

My Tenth Blog Introduction (and the last introduction in this series), is The Creative Pencil by Annette Abolins. The Creative Pencil is a wonderful blog, showcasing Annette's illustrations, sketch books, drawings and digital art. There are also images from a recent art exhibition.

The blog provides many interesting posts on, among other things, the art of drawing. Annette looks at all stages in a drawing, from the blank page to the finished work. Feel free to put forward questions you may have; you are also welcome to instigate discussions on art in general and drawing in particular.

Annette was recently interviewed about her work, and you can access the interview from her blog or by clicking on the link below.

01 June 2014

Iris: A Memoir of Iris Murdoch by John Bayley

First of all:
the winner of the free book.
The winner is Fredrik J.  CONGRATULATIONS, Fredrik. Please contact me as soon as possible to let me know whether you want an e-Book copy or a proper book. I will also need your contact details.

There will be another giveaway later in the year, so keep your eyes open.

The book being reviewed this week is Iris: A Memoir of Iris Murdoch by John Bayley. I read the book many years ago, and I was disappointed that the book concentrated more on the person Iris had become and not on the person she had been.

On the front cover are the words: 'The greatest love story of our age; incomparable'. I have read a few of the editorial reviews, and the feeling seems to be very much the same: a wonderful tribute to Iris Murdoch. I love Iris Murdoch's writing, and, over the years, I have read many of her novels. She was a gifted person, intellectually surpassing many of her peers. Iris: A Memoir of Iris Murdoch interlaces all that was so positive about Iris Murdoch with the sadness and the degradation of the illness that finally ended her life. In fact, at times, I feel that, in the book, the greatness of Iris Murdoch becomes obliterated by long descriptions of her inability to think and/or communicate as she used to be able to think/communicate. The book is frightfully sad, and it left me wondering as to what its main purpose might have been. Perhaps it is a love story, but I feel that a true love story would have concentrated much more on Iris as she really was, not on the person she became because of a devastating illness.