Wednesday 31 October 2012

Book Junkies' Journal

Our author Kristen Stone is featured on the new Book Junkies' Journal. Read this fantastic article and learn more about Kristen HERE

Thursday 25 October 2012

Check Out This Interview

No, not on this blog. Blue Hour author Kristen Stone as been interviewed by Tricia Drammeh on her website Authors to Watch.
Read this insightful interview and find out what inspires Kristen to write.

Wednesday 24 October 2012

The Waiting is Over : Get Licence Reviewed to complete the experience

50 Years of James Bond.
Skyfall has been premièred. The film will be on release this weekend!
NOW is your chance to catch up with ALL the previous Bond films, reviewed by Bond fan Patrick Mulready.

Get your FREE copy at

and all other Amazon domains.

Be prepared to be Shaken And Stirred.

Saturday 20 October 2012

Spooky Tales for Halloween

With Halloween coming up treat yourself to something special to get you in the mood. At the Speical Price of 99c/77p from now until 31st October. 

Shadowchaser by Stephen Hulse.
Good against evil, angels against demons, with Martin Thorne the only one who can save the world. 
To get your copy now click
Limited offer 99c/77p

DayStalker by Kristen Stone
Meet Robert Gaunt, vampire extraordinaire, with a need to father a son, who gets strength from the sun and who uses his charm to win the friendship and confidence of strangers. Before he sinks his teeth into them.
To get your copy click
Limited offer 99c/77p

Add a new fright to Halloween night!!

Wednesday 17 October 2012

In Search of the Truth

Steven Mark Andrew Penhaligan has always been his own man; gone his own way, followed the career path he wanted not what his father wanted for him. At the age of thirty-five he is sure of his place in the world, known, trusted and secure. A journalist who has worked around the world and now investigates corruption. Then a chance meeting in a Jazz club and a phone call from a bereft woman throws his ordered world into disarray. Doubts arise about one of the drugs his father’s pharmaceutical company, The Penhaligan Foundation, produces and extreme measures are taken by someone to stop the journalist investigating.
   In this story Kristen Stone looks into the way an industry works. There are cover-ups. The pitfalls of working under a pen name are exposed as attempts are made to silence Mark Andrew, when those doing the silencing don’t realise he is actually Steven Penhaligan, the son and heir of Amos Penhaligan, chairman of the Foundation.
   And she explorers the depths of despair when someone is injured beyond their ability to function in a normal everyday way.  Old friendships are tested to near destruction. New friendships built.
    Will it all work out in the end? Find out when you read The Penhaligan File  FREE 17-18th October 2012

Tuesday 16 October 2012

Licence to Write

Ever heard of the DVD board game “Scene It”?  The James Bond edition wound up in my hands for Christmas, 2004.  On New Year’s Day, 2005 I hosted a family get together at my house, where we ate and drank and laughed and enjoyed the day, until I convinced everyone we should play this new “Scene It” game.  We were supposed to divide up into teams, but my family’s knowledge that I was a true James Bond aficionado meant that they were all going to gang up on me, a team of 12 against yours truly.  And I still won.  By a considerable margin.  After that, no one ever wanted to play me again.
    My fondness for the James Bond franchise goes back to a very early age.  I was not even ten years old when I watched the movie “Goldfinger” for the very first time, and I became hooked.  Every time a television network here in America would show the films, I was in front of the TV.  In 1977, I got to see a Bond movie in the theater for the first time with “The Spy Who Loved Me.”  And it was about that same time that I came into possession of paperback copy of the novel of the same name by Ian Fleming.  That added a whole new dimension to my understanding of Bond’s world: the book was nothing like the movie, and I had to go find the other novels and see if the same thing held true. I’ve since seen the theatrical release of every Bond movie after TSWLM, and collected Fleming’s Bond novels in nice, special edition hard covers.
    I got my first VCR while I was still in college, and shortly after I graduated, the Bond franchise celebrated its 30th anniversary by releasing its back catalogue of films on video.  Naturally, I collected all of them.  I then did the same thing when all the movies were released as “Special Edition” DVDs not even ten years later.  (EON Productions has certainly taken a fair amount of my money over the years.  This is why I’ve decided to put the “Ultimate Edition” James Bond collection on BluRay as a Christmas gift list item, so that someone can make a present of it for me.) 
    So what does one do with all this pent up, pedantic knowledge of a film franchise?  Well, if you’re a member of an online forum, and the subject of Bond comes up, you join in the discussion.  A question came up: “what was the best Bond movie ever made?”  Titles got thrown around like pennies being thrown in a fountain, so I interjected.  “That’s the wrong question to ask.”  You can probably guess the response – a nearly universal “Huh?  Why?”  I maintain it’s the wrong question to ask because now that we’ve had 22 EON production films, and one rival production in 1983, and now that we’re onto the sixth actor to play the role of James Bond, all of the films are simply too different in tone, content and performance to be fairly judged against one another.  Forget comparing apples and oranges, the question of which Bond movie is “the best” is like trying to pick a winner out of a basket of mixed fruit.  You have to judge each film on its own merits, and do it from the perspective of what contemporary audiences got out of it at the time it was released.
    That online conversation took place around April, 2011, and in hindsight, it was a bit of a case of famous last words.  The response to my position that all 23 films featuring the character James Bond had to be judged individually was met with amusement.  I was asked to prove it.  So I did.  Starting with “Dr. No,” I took each movie in order of its release, and wrote what amounted to an essay deconstructing its various parts and subjecting them to scrutiny.  And unlike a film critic, reviewing the latest Bond film only, and wanting to seem both objective and slightly imperious in their writing, I took on the challenge openly acknowledging my unabashed fan status. 
    I finished my review for “Quantum of Solace,” the most recent Bond film, sometime this past June.  All told, more than a year has elapsed since I’d thrown down my gauntlet.  Somewhere along the line, it occurred to me that if compiled into a manuscript, these essays might actually be a worthy idea for a book.  As far as I knew, no one had ever taken on a comprehensive evaluation of the Bond films.  That’s where Blue Hour Publishing enters the picture, offering to allow me to do just that. 
   I submitted the manuscript, and, like any writer hoping to see his first work published, waited anxiously for word.  The word came out on Friday, October 5, 2012, that it had been released.  It’s a very surreal feeling to go to Amazon, type in your own name in the search bar, and get a result.  But a book called “Licence: Reviewed” does come up as a search result, and it’s a bit like being a proud father for the first time.
   Not only did the release of “Licence: Reviewed” coincide nicely with the 50th anniversary of the original theatrical release of Dr. No, the impact of Bond on the silver screen is just about to happen again with the release of “Skyfall” this autumn.  I’ve been asked what expectations I have for this film.  Well, with the reboot of Bond effectively carried off over the last two movies, I’m expecting this one to get back to more of the traditional formula in that I believe we’ll get to see Moneypenny and Q this time around.  Having said that, I don’t think it will feel particularly like the traditional formula we got used to prior to “Casino Royale.”  Bond got rebooted, so I expect the dynamics of the relationship Bond has with both Moneypenny and Q will also get a re-tooling.  Beyond that, I genuinely have no idea where EON Productions will take us, and I have to admit, I rather like it that way.

For your copy click Licence:Reviewed

Monday 15 October 2012

Journey to the Edge of Extinction

Over the next week or so I am going to talk about each of our books in detail, starting with Edge of Extinction by Kristen Stone.
   In this book Ms Stone takes you gently by the hand and leads you into the heart of the Amazon rainforest, to a world no Western eye has seen. She creates a whole culture, unique in its isolated existence, suspended in time for there is no need for change, the people are happy and contented.
   The story is told through the eyes of the tribal leader, a man of mysterious origin and strange appearance. His hair is a sun-bleached, almost golden, colour. His skin has a deep bronze tan unlike the natives. He has hair on his face which none of the other men of the tribe have. And he has a prehensile tail. He MUST be a god, in their eyes. His name is Kianda Mala, the Monkey Man.
   As leader of the tribe it falls to Kianda to find out why the people in his village are suddenly falling ill and dying. His search takes him from the security of a world he understands to a strange world fall of monsters and strange machines.
   Some have said this story is naive, which is a testament to Ms Stone's skill as an author. Apart from the introduction, this story is told in first person from Kianda's point of view and it does not stray into the modern world even when Kianda himself finds himself there. His idea of how things should be done are founded on the way HE has been brought up. He doesn't understand why his people are considered expendable. Ms Stone doesn't try to extend the story beyond Kianda's understanding but through his eyes we are introduced to a culture quite different to that of the reader and feel for the problems being caused by unscrupulous industry.
   This novel by no means preaches at the reader about the right or wrong of what is happening in the world. It lets Kianda tell the story. But the story is so skilfully woven, the words so beautifully written, it lingers with the reader long after the book is finished.
   To find out whether Kianda manages to save his tribe get the book here. Edge of Extincton

Friday 12 October 2012

Kristen's Interview

Did you catch the interview with Kristen Stone on Facebook. If you didn't catch it live you can still go to Facebook and read the whole interview. Oo-er Missus, I hope I don't bump into her latest character! Find out all about Robert Gaunt in her chat with Shah.

Perfection is a Myth

Today I would like to welcome Electa Graham who has provided today's Guest Blog.

Perfection is a Myth By Electa Graham

I am a mother of 2, a farmer, a wife, a writer, a caretaker to one big goofy dog, 3 cats and about 5 or 6 thousand worms (give or take they never fill out the census form).  Those are just my main jobs. My husband is in the navy and when he is deployed I add father to that list. So how do I get everything done? Wow, I had you going for a second didn’t I? I don’t get everything done.
   I’m happy when my house is clean enough that if someone drops  by unannounced I don’t have to hide in my bathroom until they go away, because my house is too messy to let anyone in. I’m happy when my laundry is clean, being put away is just a bonus. I’m happy when I have time to pick all the veggies that are ready or I have time to keep the weeds down to a small meadow. I’m happy when I get more writing done in the morning then I expect to.
   There was a time when I tried to have everything perfect and get as much done as possible every day. It was too stressful and it felt like an exercise in daily failure. So instead of telling you how to get everything done on some mythical impossible list, I’m going to tell you how to get enough done that life doesn’t feel like you are drowning in a sea of to-dos.
   First rule don’t feel guilty about asking for help. My kids (age 7 and 11) have chores and not token take the garbage out once a week kind of chore. My kids are in charge of the dishes (washing, drying, loading and unloading the dishwasher, setting and clearing the table). They put away their clothes, keep their rooms clean (well mostly) feed out pets and take out the compost bin. My husband does his fair share around here too.
   Rule number two, do the critical stuff first. Everything that can wait…well can wait.
   Rule number three, I write every morning from 8 until 1030. If I get in more writing time that is a bonus, but that is my time. Writing could always be put off, which is why I have a set time for doing it.
Rule number four, is the most important of them all, time must be set aside for you and for family. Husband time is when the kids go to bed. Kid time is just after supper. Me time is an hour everyday where I do what I want. Might sound indulgent, but if I had a 9 to 5 job I’d get breaks there.
So for all those type A’s out there who are cringing at my willy-nilly approach to my day, I say phffft. I may not be perfect, but I am perfectly happy (most days, after my coffee).

Thursday 11 October 2012

Spotlight Interview with Kristen Stone

Our very own author Kristen Stone is being interviewed on Facebook tonight at 10pm. Follow this link and see what she has to say.

Tuesday 9 October 2012

Have Women Lost Their Dignity?

Now before I say anything else I want to say I'm NOT a prude, I think sex is wonderful and writing a character without giving him/her a bit of a sex life, even if only a hint, makes that character unreal, almost unnatural.
   Neither am I against having a tipple or two. On average four hours of my life is spent in the local every week. That's where I have got to know several of the people who live in the village.
And I don't have a dicky-fit if I hear someone use, or read, the word 'fuck.' I have even been known to use it myself and believe me, when I turn round and call someone a 'fucking wanker' they take notice.
   On the other hand I feel much of the efforts over the last forty years to make women equal to men have gone in the wrong direction.
   YES women should be paid the same as the man she is working next to if they are doing the same job. It is the job that should have a price, not the person doing it.
   YES women should be given the same career options as her male co-workers if that is what she wants.
   NO, she can't do that AND have a family. Bring up a family is a full time job if you wish to do it properly.
   But I am straying from the point I want to make here. All the above do not affect a woman's dignity.
The habit of binge drinking is nothing new. Fifty years ago young men would frequently attempt The Abbey Street Run, which involved visiting every pub in Abbey Street of the town where I have spent the last thirty odd years. The aim was to have a drink in every one. Usually only half a pint as there were something like fifteen pubs in Abbey Street (it is quite long). Role models would be those who could do the run and manage a pint in each one. Wives and girlfriends would wait at home and deal with the consequences. I have no idea if any deaths occurred through vomiting in a drunken stupor after this run, no doubt if any did the poor soul would have been heralded as a hero.
   Yet, these days not only young men but young women go on regular weekend binges. Hen weekends are as common as stag weekends, and not necessarily to wish a soon to be married person good luck. Any excuse will do. You find young women drinking until they can barely stand up.
Is this what Women's Lib was all about? Where is the dignity in puking your guts out at the side of a road, or being so drunk last night you can't remember who you shagged? If you got lucky, that is.
   And now I come the the latest phenomenon. Mummy Porn.
   Yes, I'm talking about THAT book. You know the one I mean. Personally I haven't read it, so maybe I shouldn't be the one to comment. But I did read the sample chapter and I did read some of the reviews. Talk about reverse psychology! I wish could get so many bad reviews and have people queuing up to buy my books! Amazon do this thing where if several people make a similar comment they highlight it. Over 2000 people said the book was rubbish and don't waste your money on it - and still it sold.
   This is heartbreaking for the thousands of good writers out there who are not getting a look in.
I'm not saying a book can't have sex in it. All my male characters are sexually active. In The Penhaligan File Mark Andrew has a girl-friend and is seduced by the wife of his best friend. But the act is no way demeaning.
   The premise of that book seems to be the lead female is somehow unable to avoid being seduced by the male lead. How old fashioned is that? How pre-liberation? Don't the women of today know how to stand up for themselves? The very idea that women are so susceptible to the charms of such people should surely tear at the heart of all independent women around the world.
   The fact that thousands of women are lapping it up shows another sad side to the way life if going.
At one time Porn was for men, because we all know men can't go more than a few minutes without thinking about sex. Poor things. Although I do not believe that statement for one minute. I think it was put about by someone with pockets to fill with jangling coin. Certainly the men I have known throughout my life have not displayed this characteristic. (What opportunities they missed!).  Or maybe they just hide it well!
   Once Lady Chatterley's Lover was accepted as a work of literature, sex became more common in books. Harold Robins of The Carpetbaggers springs to my mind although maybe I am showing my age here. Then there was The Tropic of Cancer and The Tropic of Capricorn, before moving on to what was basically soft porn in The Confessions series. Very interesting to a young teenager but soon becoming very boring as the reader realised the same story was being repeated over and over again.
The truth is books about sex have been around since The Karma Sutra.
   A good book has strong characters, not always perfect. Alex Churchill in The Blue Hour is very troubled, but the character is drawn so well that I want to know more about her, her back story, how did she get into the state we find her at the beginning of the story? And even Alex has a sex life - but that is left to the imagination of the reader.
   There are a plethora of Erotica books about these days. Again I haven't read any myself but I really wonder at the need for them. Are there a lot of frustrated writers out there who can only find sexual gratification by writing about it? And are there twice the number of frustrated women who need this stimulus to make their lives complete? If there are I feel very sorry for you all. Is this a sign of how the liberated woman will end up? I did read one book that claimed to be erotica. It started very well, the writing was very good and I thought we were in for some kind of female Raffles type adventure. But by the end of the second chapter it turned out to be one sex scene after another with very little in-between. And the things the woman who was narrating the story had to put up with - well, you wouldn't catch me being treated like that! No way.
   I'm not saying that authors can't have vivid sexually fantasies, but they should stay that, private fantasies. Even at sixty I can get quite carried away with what my characters might do. You wouldn't believe what Kianda Mala has got up to it in my mind but none of it reached Edge of Extinction. 
And what Tony and Christina did in Shattered Dreams, well I can't go into that what with it being a pupil/teacher relationship.
   The cry 'we should be allowed to write whatever we like' does not sway me. As writers we all have responsibility towards our readers. Yes, we are writing fantasy, every story is a fantasy. But the people who read about our made-up world take all sorts of subconscious messages from our pages. Every book has a message hidden somewhere within it. The best books don't make that obvious. I know people pick out things because of comments I have received about Edge of Extinction. I did not set out to write an important message about how we treat the people and planet, but that is what some people have picked up on.
   So what are we saying about women who are seduced by powerful, controlling men. That it is ok? That it is what everyone should be aiming for? Or do the readers just skip to the next sex scene and do whatever they do while reading it?
   I'm sure if it were known that men were writing such stories (I say that because there are probably lots of men out there using female pen names) there would be an outcry about the demeaning of women. As a woman myself I agree.

Monday 8 October 2012

When Life Gets In The Way

   I had great plans for writing this morning. Start of a new week, start of a strict new writing regime that would have me editing in the morning and writing my own stuff later in the day.
   What happened? Writing was thwarted by that evil thing housework. Yes, the shower needed cleaning and the carpets needed a quick vacuuming, the kitchen floor needed mopping and the only thing I have had to time to write is this!
   It's nearly time to walk the dog and pick up some pills from the doctor's so it's hardly worth  starting anything before lunch. BUT this afternoon WILL be different. I WILL do some real work.
   Oh, I am so looking forward to December when I will desert the dog and the man who pays the bills and have three whole weeks to myself somewhere where the sun shines and the sky is nearly always blue. With only myself to worry about I can eat when I want, sweep the cool floor tiles before I hop into bed without worrying about a vacuum cleaner waking the neighbours as I do my housework in the middle of the night. The only mess made is by me, so I can't complain or worry about having to clean up after anyone else.
   I know I shouldn't wish my life away, but roll on December!! 

Licence:Reviewed - Reviewed

Yes, folks, the first review of our Bond book has gone live on Read it here then follow the link on Patrick's page and get the book. If you thought Bond was all chases and explosions think again.

Friday 5 October 2012


Now available. Check out Patrick's page for Product description and links.

Wednesday 3 October 2012


Coming on Friday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the James Bond franchise - Patrick Mulready's License - Reviewed. Reviews of All the Bond films to date.
Don't miss the chance to get your copy.
Keep an eye out for more details in the coming days.

Tuesday 2 October 2012

Spark of Inspiration

    First of all I need to apologise. This blog - if there's anyone out there who hasn't set themselves on fire after reading through it - has been, up until now, as dull as ditchwater - and a lot less entertaining.
    But that changes now.
    Instead of simply attempting to write"Writing", instead we're simply going to write about any and everything we feel like as the mood strikes us. Ah, thought that might catch your attention; pull you away from the universal importance of contemplating your navel lint that our past blog entries have engendered. That's a thing of the past.
    Yes... that does mean I want you to stop playing with your navel lint, sit up and pay attention. Especially you...yes, YOU loitering at the back...
    Now pay attention. Have you read any good books on your Kindle recently? What do you mean, you haven't got a Kindle? WHY NOT? Are you living in the dark ages? I know I started by saying we're moving away from the Writing subject but THIS is a topic that has struck my current mood.
    "A book isn't a book unless it's paper."
    WHO SAID THAT? Go and stand in the corner and repeat the mantra 'A book is the story not the paper it's printed on.'
    Do you think the author has slogged over his/her keyboard to bring you exciting and impossible stories that will only reach a few people in a limited area? NO. The authors of today want to reach EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE.
    AND ebooks are environmentally friendly so it is your DUTY to read them if you care about the planet and the tress and the energy used to produce paper books.
    Do you readers out there think we authors still write our books by hand? Of course not. Some may scribble notes but publishers require manuscripts to be submitted neatly typed to specific formats. Everything is done electronically. No more need for typesetters to do everything back to front.
     So MOVE ON. You will find some really interesting stuff out there. Stuff you can read waiting for the bus, or in the doctor's waiting room. Stuff you can carry around in your pocket or handbag so that you NEVER have to wait to get home to read because that 1000 page book is too big and too heavy to carry.
    Oi, YOU at the back! Are you paying attention? Oh, sorry. Nose in your Kindle. That's all right then.