Monday, 12 December 2016

Look at Book Beaver Cover Design


Look at Book Beaver Cover Design

I was looking for a fresh and dynamic cover for my adaptation science fiction story. I looked over many different cover design companies and emailed a few. One of them was Nik of Book Beaver. We had an online chat where I was invited to put forward the type of idea I was looking for. Something with a steampunk, retro, feel. An age of Victorian iron and steel with other things etc.  

All questions were answered and the financial package was great and quickly agreed upon. I got a few examples of what the finished product would look like. I have to say I was impressed from the word go. However, the biggest surprise was to come as the presentation book cover came to completion with all of the most intricate background detail. I found the artist’s impression absolutely mind blowing. It exceeded all of my expectations and I am so proud that the design really catches the eye.

I am due to launch my title in the UK in January. However, I’m allowed to sell in the USA now and was thrilled to see the books sales rise. There is definitely a lot of interest generated by the new cover design already.

I would highly recommend Book Beaver to any author or publication works who are looking for that eye-catching cover. 

Science Fiction Lovers Indulge This Thought.







Imagine, if you will, how it would have been to be a Victorian sailor from 1898. You are on board HMS Thunder Child and the ship is picking up strange semaphore messages from the shore stations. Invaders from Mars are striding about and destroying the entire fabric of your nation. Would you believe such outrages things? The entire ship would be alive with speculation and disbelief. These sailors were destined to see three and confront the colossal edifices in battle.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Imagine If You Owned This Derelict House.


Carole and I had been sitting at a cafe on a raised balcony walkway that overlooked the sea at Funchal, Madeira. The very sea one can spot beyond this derelict and abandoned house. We had been enjoying the coffee and chatting about how great this warm winter weather was. How idyllic it would be to live in such a place with this panoramic sea view. 

Such was the nature of our idol banter when we paid the waiter and walked up the lane to spot this very place. It was empty and in need of some TLC. However, the grounds and the building, as one can see, held nothing but grand promise. 

Carole and I fell in love with the house and dreamed on for a while. We fantasised about living in such a wonderful place with a gorgeous view. It was only a dream but we indulged ourselves for a few moments with the good old "What if..." thoughts.

No doubt someone would buy the grand place in the near future. It is, after all, a prime house in a prime location.

Our Cruise Ship Docked Behind HMS Scott in Funchal, Madeira - An Island of Portugal.

We made our first port stop of the cruise holiday in the port of Funchal, Madeira - an island west of the Spanish Canary Islands that belongs to Portugal. It is a wonderfully green island and I have to say it is one of the most favourite overseas places that I long to visit. It is vibrant and green and the town of Funchal is a bustling happy place that enjoys a fabulous climate. It was December 1st and the afternoon temperature was in the early eighties. It was a glorious little place. 

To make my morning start off with a happy feel good factor, our ship The Oceana moored right behind a British Royal Navy vessel called HMS Scott. I watched from the top aft deck of our cruise liner. I saw two officers and a navel hand hoist the naval ensign flag. It seemed to be a morning ceremony.   

It was great to see our lads flying the flag and we delighted in watching the flag being hoisted dead on 0800 hours. Great stuff and a good start to the wonderful day that was to come.

The early cloud cleared and the day turned bright blue. Carole and I know Funchal rather well now and we enjoyed the walk from the port into the town centre.

Winter in the Sun - Lisbon Portugal.



The last day of the holiday going ashore was in Lisbon, Portugal. I've been here before and love the place. It was December 6th and the day was glorious touching the eighties in the afternoon. City workers were sitting along the dock area basking in the sun. It was smashing as Carole and I walked about the city.

Afterwards, we sat on the top deck of our ship looking out at the city and watched the sun go down. There was more daylight for the time of year than we get in England. I suppose it is a little closer to the equator. I kept commenting on what a smashing day it was. I would love to spend winter in Portugal when I'm older. I would still like to go back to Britain in the summer, but I prefer the winter in Spain or Portugal. 😊







The Old Port Town of Cadiz in Spain



The first thing I noticed as the ship docked in the port of Cadiz, was the rain. 

"Oh, blast! It's raining," we said.

But we went ashore and walked the quaint narrow streets anyway. We found a coffee shop and killed some time watching the drizzle. It soon stopped and the sun came out as we began to explore the wonderful narrow lanes of the old city. It was a beautiful day and the shopping area was grand. Soon the wet morning had become bright and sunny.

It was a very oldy world place in many ways and was a great way to pass the time of day before setting off for Lisbon in Portugal. As the afternoon wore on the temperature climbed to the upper seventies. It was hard to believe this was winter December 5th.

Spain is a wonderful country where the pace of life seems a little less hectic then we Brits are used to. Perhaps this is a good thing. The Spanish people seem a lot more laid back as they go through the day. I think their weather is so much more agreeable than Britain's.



Wonderful Birds of Prey Gathering Cause Welcome and Instant Karma



Carole and I were getting very stressed out in the car. We were driving from the port of Southampton in England to our home in March Cambridgeshire in the Fenland. It is usually about a three-hour drive. However, it took almost an hour and a half just getting out of Southampton. Then on the M1 we hit another traffic jam. We turned off on the A461 in the vain hope of getting onto the A1 to Peterborough. Usually, not a bad idea at all. However, we hit another jam at the roundabout going from the A461 to the A1. Our three-hour journey had become a five-hour stress out. We had been on a wonderful two-week cruise to the Canary Islands and totally unwound. In five hours the whole thing had been turned around with this nightmare journey home.

I thought the last straw had come when I missed the small country road turn off to Ramsey – a small town close to our home of March. Carole told me I had driven straight passed the country lane leading to it.

By this time, I’m spitting razor blades and other colourful metaphors at God. You know what I mean. I’ve suddenly turned into John Cleese as Basil Fawlty.

“Why me?” I’m ranting. “I’ve got off of the ship and in no time, I’m totally stressed out.”

Carole is trying to calm me down. “Don’t worry there is a lane that you can turn around up ahead where those crows are flying about.”

“Yes,” I agreed, looking at the strange way the birds were circling about. “They are turning like birds of prey, but there are too many of them.”

“They don’t look like crows replied Carole. They turn and glide like raptors.”

All the stress was blown away in an instant as Carole swore in delight. She let rip with a colourful swear word that rhymed with clucking bell.

“They are red kites,” I said with delight. All the stress dropped away with excitement. My camera was in the back and I parked the car on the grass verge.

The next moment I was clicking away as Carole caught them on her iPad too.

“There are fifteen of them,” she said. “I never knew they gathered in large numbers.”


I laughed. “Some almighty all-knowing something allowed Karma to give us something back. I’m so pleased we missed that turning.”