You’ll never walk alone – A review

How nice is this then? A splendid endorsement of my novel ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone” by ace-blogger, Sadje. I’m always touched when someone takes the time and effort to review my work. Thank you, Sadje!

Keep it alive

I have just finished reading this very fascinating book by Chris Hall.

This is a spoiler free review.

The book is set in 1980’s Liverpool, England. The story is fast moving and completely attention grabbing. I finished reading the book in a couple of days. And I feel compelled to share my views with you all.

I loved the pace of the story. The characters are well developed and the plot is very interesting. Lots of things are happening and the threads of the story are woven expertly to make a believable tale. There is a monkey and a cat who are more than just pets. The charming monkey is playing a vital role in the story.

The Chinese triad is in an undeclared war with a mysterious hypnotic man and his minions. There are mysterious objects with magical powers which both parties are desirous of acquiring.

Then there is…

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Gosh, Thank You!

The Silver Locket by Holly Atkins

Well I never! Having, for the last few days, had my nose buried in what has come to be known by me as my ‘fairly-soon-to-be-published’ latest novel, I go to my emails and pick up a message from Amazon Accounts Payable – A Royalty Payment Notification!

Clicking through I see a sudden spike in ebook sales (actual sales!) of my first novel, The Silver Locket (written under a pen name, because I was too shy at the time to use my actual name).

I’m not sure what shameless self-publicity I ventured to put out a month ago, because I’m not very good at this. I believe I did mention on Twitter that it was the seventh anniversary of its publication. Anyway…

I don’t know who you all are, but thank you for buying… and reading? I wonder if you enjoyed it? Hope so.

Okay, it won’t be a fortune, but it’s nice people have found it! And if you haven’t seen it, why not take a little peek? Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon, or maybe Monday, since it’s (mostly) a holiday.

The Silver Locket by Holly Atkins 
Free on Kindle Unlimited
ebook $3.44

 

The Day the Soldiers Came

the day the soldiers came by chris hall lunasonline

I smile as I watch my mother play with my little brother Tommy on the hearth-rug. My father sits in his chair, still but alert. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye I detect a movement in the yard.  I turn to look. Soldiers, four of them! By the way they are dressed, I know them instantly as ‘the enemy’. My father has followed my gaze as I gasp in fright and immediately he’s on his feet, sweeping up Tommy in the same movement and shoving him in my direction.

‘You know what to do Annie,’ he says quietly. He nods urgently at me and I grab Tommy’s hand and propel him through the kitchen. I look through the window, checking our route to the barn. It’s clear, so I open the door and we slide through and dash into the slatted wooden building. Behind us, I hear the soldiers hammering on the front door, shouting.

Although Tommy’s only little he knows what to do. Just as we’ve practiced so many times in recent months, I help him up the ladder to the hayloft. He doesn’t make a sound as we creep across the creaky boards and hide ourselves in the straw behind the loosely baled hay. We lie there, waiting. We haven’t practised what happens next. Then I hear a scream; I know it’s my mother, although the sound is like none I’ve ever heard her make. Her pain and terror flood my head. I grip Tommy tightly; he’s trembling and sobbing silently. The minutes tick by; I wonder what’s happening in the house. My father is shouting, but I can’t make out what he’s saying. The shouting stops abruptly and I hear the back door slam against the outside wall of the kitchen.

Heavy boots march towards the barn; I bite down hard on my knuckles. A cold fist contorts my stomach as I suddenly realise I forgot to drag the ladder up behind us. I hear the soldier’s heavy breathing down below. He’s pulling things over, searching. He approaches the ladder and in my mind’s eye I see him grab the ladder and place his boot on the first rung. Sweat runs down my back. Tommy is rigid in my arms.

There is a loud call from the house: ‘Move on!’ I hear the sound of the ladder clattering to the floor.  It settles and there is no sound apart from the blood pumping in my ears. Slowly I get up, my legs are shaking. I grab the rail at the edge of the loft and feel for the rope which we use as a swing when it’s too wet to play outside. Telling Tommy to stay where his is, I let myself down and run quickly towards the back door which is gaping off its hinges.

Inside the house furniture has been overturned and one curtain has been ripped from the window. My mother cowers in a corner. Her blouse is torn and there is blood on her skirt. Father’s face is bruised and bloody. He reaches for her, but she turns her face to the wall.

A Sextet of Shorts Cover pic

That was the first piece from ‘A Sextet of Shorts’, my little book of short fiction pieces.

‘Sextet’ is currently available to download on your Kindle for $0.99 / €0.99 / £0.99 and other currency equivalents  (+VAT) until midnight on 01.01.19.

And, since it’s the holidays, if you’d like a freebie, I will arrange to gift a download to the first 10 people who respond in the comments section below!