About Steve

An author since the age of 13 years, writing again dominates my activities. My "Imagineer-ing" blog is my primary site. Also: Beginner knitter since November 2010. Favourite knitting techniques: cable and lace. Beginner cross stitcher. Beginner jewellery maker. With the promotion of self publication and all the other work that has been going on here, Dad decided around 2am this morning (22/11/2013) that it was time to begin his next adventure. He was seen off earlier the previous evening by myself, my brother, my sister in law, and my sister, as well as his wife (our mum), and an enigmatic being known only as A Lorraine. After this time of story telling, laughing, crying, joking and mickey taking, we saw how tired both mum and dad were, and we decided to leave them under the (sometimes) gentle care of The Lorraine. When Dad found the timetable for his travels, he let Mum know gently, which woke her from her drowsing, then, with the same gentleness he showed in this universe, he boarded his favourite mode of transport, the Interdimensional Steam Train, and set off with a smile and a wave. For those of us closest, that smile was a reminder that his pain has ended, and the wave, an indicator that he will pop in to all those that knew him, from time to time. Usually at the most inconvenient and in opportune moments he can. While we are sad that he is no longer here, we are happy he now has no pain, and is experiencing more extraordinary things that his writers mind will be frantically weaving into a new story. Posted by Son Damien

Background to”G1: The Guardians” #6

Sub-Continental Nations Defence Union (SCNDU)

The negotiations which ultimately led to the establishment of SCNDU were extremely protracted, with the plenipotentiaries* involved being changed several times, especially by India and Pakistan, whose long history of enmity almost proved too great a stumbling block.  However, the invasion of Tajikistan two years into the process focussed minds on reaching a Treaty with minimal further delay.  In fact, the announcement that the Treaty of Lalitpur had been signed and ratified by all concerned nations shocked the world, who had been convinced that no agreement could ever be reached.

SCNDU comprises India and Pakistan (the ‘superpowers’), together with Bangladesh, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and several other small countries.  Each contributes a single Delegate to the Great Council, a  top ranking military officer to the Defence Committee, and a top ranking police officer to the Internal Security Committee.  In the event of an external threat, the Great Council consults with the Defence Committee until such time as military operations become unavoidable.  If such military action becomes necessary, the Internal Security Committee becomes an active adjunct to the Defence Committee.  Since creation, no such emergencies have occurred, which is seen as validation of SCNDU.

* Plenipotentiaries were used due to lack of genuinely secure communications.  The Delegates to the Great Council also hold plenipotentiary status.

Global Council of Nations (GCN)

The successor to the United Nations, which proved ever more ineffective in a rapidly changing world, particularly with the bias towards countries no longer of great significance politically or militarily.  The power of veto enjoyed by such powers led to a mass resignation of members, who established the GCN instead.  With no other option open to them, the veto holders terminated the United Nations and eventually applied for membership of the GCN.

The structure of the GCN is less convoluted and relies far less on administration than on action.  While the GCN will act as arbitrators in international disputes, they refuse to maintain military or paramilitary policing rights or duties.  They do, however, have extensive powers in dealing with criminal activities, including the power to either work with or supersede national police forces when dealing with international crimes and criminals.  The concept of extradition treaties between nations has been largely eliminated as the GCN has immediate global jurisdiction when a crime or criminal crosses national borders.  This role was a fortunate inclusion when Interpol was wrecked in the collapse of Europe some six years later.  The GCN Criminal Division consists of the Investigations Bureau and the Global Courts.  The Investigations Bureau maintains a network of offices worldwide, overt agents and covert operatives.  The Guardians maintain a close relationship with the Criminal Division, in a policy designed to minimise the risk of international difficulties, thanks to aides attached to the Ministry and the reputation of the Director.  Terrorism, drugs, and other major criminal endeavours have been severely damaged thanks to the Criminal Division.

Several international disputes which could have led to war have been successfully arbitrated by the GCN.  This success is thanks to the fact that the Arbitration Bureau is trusted by all nations.  The fact that no nation has more than a single voice in the General Council, and the GCN enjoys full financial and political autonomy has made it far more honest, with the historic excessive influence exercised by the superpowers eliminated.  Its headquartering in Switzerland has also eliminated distrust of American influence.  Committees are formed by a strictly secret ballot for membership, held within just two hours of the ballot announcement, which diminishes the risk of secret deals being made prior to voting.  Members found to be in contravention of any anti-corruption regulations are subject to exclusion from all but the obligations to the Criminal Division and to emergency relief operations.  They may reapply for membership after five years.

Global Sports Protection Federation (GSPF)

Replacing the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and numerous other international sports governing bodies, in the face of ever increasing allegations of corruption, and an increase in politically (and even partisan) motivated terror attacks on sports teams and individuals, the GSPF has proven a far more effective body.  Coordinating with the GCN’s Criminal Division has seen most terror attacks eliminated and corruption, especially involving global gambling consortia, has been almost completely crushed.  Athletes in all sports are now free to participate in their sports without fear.  That said, athletes found to be in violation of regulations governing drug use and other forms of cheating can expect to be treated extremely harshly.  The growth of enhancement technology (mostly implants created to help persons suffering disabilities) saw a brief flurry of ‘tech cheats’ but these were quickly identified and banned for life from all sports.  In addition to governing sports (including rules oversight), promotion of sports individually and collectively (such as the continuation of the Olympic Games),  and protecting athletes and sports, the GSPF also guarantees a fair income for all athletes, by subsidy where necessary.

“Evil Under The Circle (Being Part 2 of G1: The Guardians)”: New Release!

Yes, folks!  The 2nd Edition of Evil Under The Circle has been released, in ebook formats, with a great new cover by Chris Graham.  This Edition corrects some errors and introduces some minor changes, as well as the new cover.  The new cover brings the look into line with that of the other books, with the sole exception of The Sigil of Ahriman, which  won’t be altered as I honestly believe that the existing cover of that book simply can’t be improved on.  I’d like to give my public thanks to Chris for his excellent work with the cover.  The paperback will be updated as soon as possible, though there will be a delay as my wife and I are going away for a few days.

The revised edition of the ebook should be available through Smashwords and Amazon, and other online stores when they catch up.

You may also be interested to know that there is a new novel in the process of being written, taking Team G1 on another extraordinary adventure!  This new tale will hold some surprises and deepen a mystery that began at the end of A Darkness in Amazonia.  But, as you all know by now, I’m not in the habit of revealing things, so I’m going to tell you nothing more…

Articles and Guest Posts

This has to be fairly brief, to fit between episodes of narcolepsy and other difficulties.  Please, don’t take this to signify that I am back or even active!

I have, from time to time wondered whether there is a difference between an article appearing on a third party’s site and a guest post.  I guess now is not a good time for me to resolve such a knotty problem… you need an effectively operative brain for such things.  That aside, I have, from time to time, written whatever they are.  Unfortunately, there’s no hope of tracking them down unless prompted by those who hosted such writings. ramblings or whatever they should be classified as.  However, prior to the loss of ability to process even simple thought, I was kindly asked to write a Guest Post for the blog of thriller author Eric J Gates.  By some happy foresight, I actually wrote the piece in time to miss the current bout of pea-souper fog afflicting my alleged mind!  As a result, this piece will, at least for the time being, appear on the following list of Articles/Guest Posts:

Hopefully, this list will grow!  This post will drift down the blog page but, you will be able to locate it through the top menu/side menu, under Works by Steve K Smy–>Published Works—>Articles

That’s it for now…

Author Interview with Jade Kerrion on her newest release, Perfection Challenged

I’m delighted to present an author interview with Jade Kerrion who’s here to talk about how she got into writing and her latest novel, Perfection Challenged.

1. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I started writing at the age of thirteen when my school essays were returned to me with a bunch of “A”s scrawled over the top. Teenagers are impressionable. Being much more impressionable than most, and believing that my teachers knew what they were doing, I figured I was destined to be a writer. It’s only taken me tens of thousands of hours of work since then to be halfway decent at writing (and I’m still learning each day), but one has to start somewhere.

2. When did you start taking writing seriously?

In November 2010, my husband challenged me to stop writing for fun and to start writing as a career. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) 2010 was the trigger. I spent that month writing Perfection Unleashed, my debut novel.

3. How many books have you written?

I released Perfection Unleashed in June 2012. To date, I have published six books; I’ve just released Perfection Challenged, the conclusion of my seven-time award-winning Double Helix series. I have another novel, Eternal Night, a paranormal romance/fantasy set in the future (sounds odd, doesn’t it?), scheduled for release in 2013.

4. What was your journey to becoming an author like?

Rocky, as most journeys are. For a while, I explored traditional publishing, but then decided I was too much of a control freak to take to traditional publishing. I preferred having creative control over my writing, artistic control over my covers, and process control over my publishing schedules. In the end, self-publishing made the most sense for me. That said, I do have a foot in the door of traditional publishing. McSill Literary Agency represents Portuguese rights for my Double Helix series.

5. Is there anything specifically that helps you write better/inspires you?

I think I’m past the stage of needing inspiration; writing is more of a compulsion now. In general, I have a compulsive personality; people like me should never get exposed to alcohol, cigarettes, or recreational drugs – we’re easy prey. Years ago, computer gaming and writing used to go hand-in-hand for me. My characters from my computer games inspired my writing. Since then, however, my characters have taken on a life of their own and thus, I have been freed to happily obsess about them without needing the occasional computer gaming boost to sustain them.

6. What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

The hardest part is stopping. After multiple rounds of self-editing, several weeks of working with my editor, and several rounds of proofreading, I have to put the manuscript away and say “done.” I think it is entirely possible to edit forever, but at some point, you have to stop and send the book out into the world.

7. Do you have a specific writing style?

Third person past tense? To be honest, I’m not sure I know the response to this question. Some people say my style is much like one author or another (which would be an interesting feat, considering I’ve never read some of those authors.) Broadly, I’d say that my style tends to resemble serials or movies. I grew up writing fan fiction, and got accustomed to writing sections of chapters that almost inevitably ended on a cliffhanger just because that’s the way fan fiction is usually consumed on online fan forums. In addition, I write the movie I see in my head, and not surprisingly, people have commented that reading my books is like watching a movie.

8. Who is your favorite author?

Neil Gaiman is pure genius in his storytelling ability. I’m a huge fan of his Sandman series.

9. What are your favorite books and what genres do you prefer?

Science fiction and fantasy are my favorite genres to read and write. I’ve especially enjoyed the Belgariad and Mallorean series by David Eddings. To unwind, I settle down with a sweet and satisfying romance, preferably Nora Roberts. I also enjoy thrillers, especially some of Robert Ludlum’s novels.

10. What is some good advice/tips for young writers/aspiring unpublished authors?

Success in any new career takes time. Be patient. Invest in yourself – understand your strengths and weaknesses as a writer and be committed to continual learning and constant growth. It is said that it takes 10,000 hours of work to become an expert in a field. That’s approximately 5 years of full time 8-to-5 work, and you need to be prepared to make the investment of your time and resources for the long haul.

11. Advice for getting rid of writer’s block?

I think writer’s block is just an excuse. Writing is a discipline, like going to school or work each day, like exercising and eating healthy. It’s just something to have to do because it’s an expectation for achieving your career goals as a writer. Maybe that particular scene isn’t working out the way you want, well, work on another, but work on something. Thomas Edison said it best, “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.” Today, you may not have the 1%, but you sure can muster up the 99% because that is under your control.

12. A favorite quote of yours you’d like to share?

Neil Gaiman’s character, Death, from the Sandman series, utters my favorite quote, “It always ends. That’s what gives it value.” That quote reminds me that what makes any experience, even life as a whole, valuable, is the fact that it ends. Because it ends, every moment is that much more precious and beautiful. Savor it.

13. What would you be if you didn’t become an author?

Well, I’m already several things. In addition to author, wife, and mother, I work full time in an education company in the area of business and learning strategy. I enjoy my job very much and don’t have any intention of quitting. People often ask how I find time to do everything I do. My response is always the same, “You’ll always manage to find time for the things that matter. Oh, and I don’t sleep much.”

14. Can you share some info about your current work with us?

Danyael Sabre’s hard-won normal life shattered the day Zara Itani freed the genetically engineered perfect human being, Galahad, from his laboratory prison. Three years have since passed. Danyael has survived months of brutal torture and the grind of quiet despite without losing the core of compassion that makes him the most compelling and infuriating man Zara has ever known.

Danyael’s greatest challenge, nevertheless, lies ahead of him. In Perfection Challenged,Danyael is forced to confront his own mortality and Galahad’s hate. At the end of his road, will he remain true to his convictions or sacrifice all to protect the woman he loves from the man who hates him?

15. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Only that I’m thrilled you’ve enjoyed my novels. To every one of you, thank you for sharing this journey with me. Your enthusiasm, support, and love for my characters are the reasons I keep writing. I hope you keep hanging around. The best is yet to come.

“The best of the four books…the perfect ending to an amazing series.”

Perfection Challenged, the thrilling conclusion to the multiple award-winning, bestsellingDOUBLE HELIX series, is finally here. Grab your copy today.

If you’ve never picked up the DOUBLE HELIX series, keep reading for a special offer on the six-time award-winning novel, Perfection Unleashed.

perfection-challenged-600x800PERFECTION CHALLENGED

An alpha empath, Danyael Sabre has survived abominations and super soldiers, terrorists and assassins, but he cannot survive his failing body. He wants only to live out his final days in peace, but life and the woman he loves, the assassin Zara Itani, have other plans for him.

Galahad, the perfect human being created by Pioneer Labs, is branded an international threat, and Danyael is appointed his jury, judge, and executioner. Danyael alone believes that Galahad can be the salvation that the world needs, but is the empath blinded by the fact that Galahad shares his genes, and the hope that there is something of him in Galahad?

In a desperate race against time and his own dying body, Danyael struggles to find fragments of good in the perfect human being, and comes to the wrenching realization that his greatest battle will be a battle for the heart of the man who hates him.

E-books available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple iTunes / Barnes & Noble / Kobo /Smashwords

Paperbacks available at Amazon / Amazon UK

PERFECTION UNLEASHEDPerfection Unleashed

“Higher octane than Heroes. More heart than X-Men.”

Recipient of six literary awards, including First place in Science Fiction, Reader Views Literary Awards 2012 and Gold medal winner, Science Fiction, Readers Favorites 2013.

FOR A LIMITED TIME, E-BOOKS AVAILABLE FOR JUST $0.99 (Discounted from $2.99)

E-books available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple /Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords

Paperbacks available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

Connect with Jade Kerrion: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Thanks and Sorry

Inadequate Thanks…

It is genuinely impossible for me to express my thanks to all those who have given me their support during this period of illness.  Special thanks have to be sent to Chris (The Story Reading Ape), who has kept the blog ticking over excellently, despite the demands of his own blog and other online activities!

Sadly, there is no sign of an early recovery but I’ll take the liberty of remaining optimistic!  To give you some idea of the state of affairs, I started composing this post back on Friday of last week!  Focussing is a major problem, especially with narcoleptic episodes every time I start writing…

And Apologies…

If you experience a delay in receiving a response to using the blog’s general contact form, I can only apologise.  Equally, if you have emailed me directly, the same applies.  I’m afraid that I’m only online for very brief periods and do what I can, but that’s precious little.  Obviously, the number of unhandled emails rises every day, and it’s rapidly reaching a point where I can no longer promise to catch up with old emails.  If you are waiting for a reply, I can only suggest that you wait until my return is announced and then trying again – if it’s urgent.  Clearly, it will take a bit of time for me to deal with those things others can’t.  I wish I could give you some idea of how long you may have to wait, but I’m afraid I can’t.  It could be weeks.  I’m hoping that it’s not months, as it was the first time around…


Enjoy your reading and please, please support Chris
by visiting his encyclopaedic suite of book blogs!

An Interview With Jack Pellari, Member of G1 (Dept G)

This has to be regarded as the greatest privilege barring actually obtaining an interview with the Director of the Guardians himself.  Jack Pellari alone almost equals the phenomenal powers of that great man, but the likelihood of ever obtaining an interview with Siribahta Dhal equates with becoming genuinely immortal!

I tried to persuade Jack to meet me in the same hotel setting as when I interviewed Matt Carter but he refused, being acutely shy of public places.  Instead, by special permission, we’re in a small but comfortable sitting room of a cottage.  Due to the security methods employed, I have no idea where the cottage is located.  I’m not even sure of how long it took to arrive here!

Jack is nervous, wary.  I suspect that this will prove to be a difficult interview, despite all my special training…


*[EDITED FOR GENERAL DISSEMINATION – ALL CLASSIFIED MATERIAL REMOVED BY ORDER OF THE MINISTRY]*


Thanks for agreeing to this interview, Mr Pellari.

No thanks are needed.  I’m under orders.

I see.  I apologise if that makes you uncomfortable…  Can I begin by asking when and where you were born?

‘When’, I’ll keep to myself, but it was a long time ago.  ‘Where’?  In London, in a small cluster of homes surrounded by the expanding Docklands.  It was an ugly place to live, especially if you showed any hint of difference, or strangeness.  I only had to suffer it for two years, though, as we moved away as soon as my parents could manage it.

So your talents were revealed when you were very young?

Yes.  I’m what’s referred to as a ‘Brumby’, after the wild horses of Australia, meaning a wild talent.  Most Psychs learn to hide their powers but Brumbies can’t, with their powers best described as ‘volcanic’ – erupting unbidden and often at highly inappropriate times.  I have three brothers and two sisters who  are all Psychs, but I’m the only Brumby.  I ruined all their lives.

That’s a large family.  Where do you come in the order?

I was the youngest.  Things were really hard and my mother was badly malnourished while she was pregnant with me.  In fact, I spent two weeks being cared for by a nurse and my mother was in bedridden for nearly as long, after I was born.  They thought I was unlikely to survive.

If you were a ‘Brumby’, I suppose you had to move often?

Yes, almost every year.  The last time was to a house in the middle of nowhere, up in County Durham, Healdy House.  We had hopes of being able to finally settle down there.  My siblings would go to the local school but I was registered as being what’s called ‘special needs’ now, requiring home care and unable to learn.  I was about ten.  We were there for six years when there was another incident.  I’d wandered too close to the village, about seven miles from home.  A bunch of local youths knew me from rare glimpses.  They started throwing insults, and when they didn’t work, they got physical.  I left them rolling on the ground, blubbing and clutching their heads, and ran for home.

So another move was likely?

No.  My family decided to tough it out this time.  Four of my siblings had married and gotten homes of their own, and good jobs.  My father had been hurt in an accident and couldn’t get work, so finding the money for a move would be almost impossible.  The rest of us unmarried kids were supporting the family as best we could, and my mother had established a good seamstress business locally.  When this incident happened, though, there was real fear of what would happen, especially after the village policeman visited and warned of dark consequences – especially for me.

What happened?

Well, it seems that, even way back then, Siribahta had Psychs who were constantly scanning for psychic events.  They detected the spike when I lost control.  Two days later, Siribahta himself arrived at the house!  He offered to help.  He had an academy, far away in St Osyth, down in Essex.  He said that he could sort out things with the local policeman, mollify the families of the youths, and help me learn to control my powers.  Of course, it meant I’d have to go away with him and live in St Osyth Academy.  My parents, especially my mother, were arguing against it, my siblings were less defensive.  In the end, though,I begged to be allowed to go.  I couldn’t stand the harm I was causing them all!  After half a day of it, my parents finally gave in and consented.  Siribahta  went to the village and returned the next morning.  He’d sorted it all out, but we had to be away before noon.  It was a terrible wrench, and I saw my father cry for the first time in my life.  The excitement of the adventure, though, was growing inside me.  We left a few minutes before noon.

What was the Academy like?

St Osyth Priory It was a rambling old building, full of peculiar nooks and crannies.  If I’d been younger, I would have had a wonderful time exploring it!  It wasn’t far from the ancient Priory that St Osyth is apparently famous for.  And St Osyth is close to the coast, with the option of going to the seaside (at Seawick, Jaywick or Clacton-on-Sea) or to the broad reach of the River Colne, or even down to Flag Creek or Brightlingsea Creek.  There were regular unauthorised jaunts but I only went on supervised trips to populous places, fearing an incident.  St Osyth itself was a beautiful place back then, but I’ve heard that even there has suffered over the last sixty odd years, with blockhouses being built and even some of the historic buildings being bulldozed to make way for those vile places.  I understand that there’s a District Internment Facility at Jaywick, too.  And is it true that the pier at Clacton has collapsed into the sea?  [I nod and he looks very sad.]  I hate to think what has been done to St Osyth…

Anyway, the Academy had Psych ‘Coaches’, who trained us in handling our powers, from helping to bring out borderline latencies to teaching control to us Brumbies.  It was damned hard work, too!  I remember four of the students losing it and rebelling.  They caused total havoc and three of them ran off.  That is, two ran off and one just vanished- teleported away right in front of us!  The fourth was still hurling stuff with telekinesis and was about to do some serious damage to the Coach when Siribahta appeared, though none of us noticed his arrival until he was stood right in front of the kid.  In seconds, he’d calmed her down and she was sat sobbing on the floor, with Siribahta crouched beside her, soothing her gently.  She stayed to complete not only the General Course but  graduated with honours from the Advanced Course.  She was younger than me by at least two years, but she was well ahead of me in the Academy teachings.

What happened to the ones that ran away?

One just disappeared, never to be heard of again.  Another was shot down by police about twenty years later, when he was involved in a bank robbery.  The other one had to be dealt with by G5, some twelve years ago, when he *[TEXT REMOVED FOR SECURITY REASONS]*

How long were you at the Academy?

Oh, about nine years as a student, for both General and Advanced Courses.  I then remained there as an Assistant Coach, until I was appointed as one of Siribahta’s Aides.  With more contact with the Master, I learnt much, much more.  I had been fond of him, for his rescue of me and for his unshakeable gentility and calm.  Now, I came to think of him more as my grandfather.  I confessed as much to him and it’s become a kind of standing joke for me to call him ‘Grandfather’.

When did the Academy close?

Who says it has?  During the decades of internal strife in Britain, we had to go into hiding.  The old Academy was attacked and ransacked but we had already gone.  The Academy is still active today, but I’m not about to reveal where.  Just accept that we found a safe sanctuary.

So how did you come to be a member of the Guardians?  I would have thought that you would have made an excellent teacher.

I did, too. [A flash of deep grief crosses his visage.]  I was very close to accepting a position on the Academy faculty.  Word reached me that my eldest sister, Hannah, had been killed.  I assumed it was in a riot or something.  I was very wrong.  I had my bags packed and everything when I was summoned by Siribahta.  It was then that I discovered why he was in the habit of being absent for odd periods, without explanation.  By some fluke of circumstance, Hannah and her family had moved to a small hamlet in Scotland just as a local coven of Dark Witches raised an ancient entity.  The moment the thing appeared, it detected Hannah and commanded the coven to destroy her and her children!  Hannah fought, and even tried to call for help, but she had been isolated and she wasn’t strong enough alone.  Her husband, Douglas, also fought, with mundane weapons, and even killed three of the coven, but it wasn’t enough.  The police found what was left of the family in a burnt out ruin.  I lost it then.  I started hunting for any hint of evil.  Twice, I was nearly killed.  The fact that Siribahta and his people had reacted as quickly as possible to the rise of the thing that had ordered Hannah killed, and had sent it, and the dark coven, into oblivion meant nothing.  But the rage couldn’t last forever.  I suffered a complete breakdown.  Later, I heard that Siribahta and the finest Psych healers worked on me then, healing me of the grief, the rage, everything.

Well, anyway, when Siribahta was made Director of the Guardians, it was just natural that I go with him.  The madness was gone, but some debts can never be repaid.  Besides, I opted to be a soldier rather than a teacher.

Have you ever regretted that choice?

Regretted it?  Of course, but I wouldn’t change anything.

I understand that you underwent some very special training with an unusual teacher.  Can you tell us more?

 *[ALL DETAILS ON MISSIONS FOR OR OTHER ACTIVITIES WITHIN THE GUARDIANS ARE CLASSIFIED.  TEXT TERMINATED.]*

Background to “G1: The Guardians” #5

The Life of Siribahta Dhal, Director, Dept G

Director of Department ‘G’, aka “The Guardians”

Born: Nepal, 1736

Parents: Pradhan Dhal (father) and Sirima Dhal nee Thom (mother)

Fifth son and ninth child of twelve.

In early adulthood (1752), Siribahta Dhal began training as an archer. He became a warrior for the local warlord in 1761, remaining with him until his death in 1798. Refusing the role for himself, Siribahta left Nepal and made his way south, entering Calcutta in 1803. He became a sepoy (native soldier) in the British Army almost immediately. He married Nasira Jairana in June 1815 (on the very day that the Battle of Waterloo was fought). They were to have seven children. Tragically, he lost his wife and all his children during a cholera outbreak, while he was away with an army column, suppressing unrest in northern Punjab. Grief stricken, he didn’t renew his enlistment. Also, it had become necessary for him to leave Calcutta, as his extreme longevity would soon be noticed. Continue reading

Book Promo Day: 12th September, 2013

Note

I only had two submissions for this week, sadly.  While I said that a minimum three would be required, I have decided to go ahead this week because I am able to list three links which may be of some interest to you.

Smashwords has introduced a new feature, which allows all the books in a Series to be listed in one location.  The links for my own three series are:

  1. Thief
  2. The Captain Henri Duschelle Stories
  3. G1: The Guardians

Hopefully, this will be mutually beneficial!


Family Portrait Changes Vol. 1 by by Gillian Felix

Adriana Banovic’s 15th birthday sucked! She got fired after eight years of playing Shayanne Montgomery on the #1 soap in the country, found out that her family was on the verge of bankruptcy and worst of all, forced to return to Westwood Academy. Her only saving grace was a chance glance at dreamy mystery boy Haze Lyndon. Armed with only his picture and a determination to find him—even if it means turning Los Angeles over on its ass.

In this new adult novel you’ll meet Robin Banovic, Adriana’s father; financially challenged, dealing with the death of a family member and his brother’s disappearance. You’ll meet Savannah DaCosta aka Savi, mother/manager; Savi enjoys the life her rock star daughter Leighann has provided. When Leighann makes a choice to end her career, Savi sees it as a personal attack. You’ll meet college boy Haze Lyndon; New to Los Angeles, Haze soon realizes how quickly money changes hands in the City of Angels. Will he return to questionable ways to survive or go back to the safety of his family in Wisconsin?

More information:

Website


Darby Darby by William Pipes

Darby is an Appalachian novel. A story of danger, suspense, romance, and intrigue interwoven with the history and culture of the Appalachians..

William’s father, Clen Pipes, who was born in Darby, once told William a story about how, as a boy, he came upon a man standing in the middle of Elk Creek bleeding from a knife wound to his stomach. The man said, in the dialect of 1895, “Clen, I’m stobbed and I’m stobbed bad.”

William Pipes took that true story told to him by his father many years earlier, and wrote Darby, a story of danger, suspense, romance, and intrigue interwoven with the history and culture of Appalachia. Lovers of Appalachia will enjoy the two family saga taking place at a time in history when many of the modern conveniences of today were unknown. To those who are unfamiliar with Appalachia and the dialect of that era, and to some extent the dialect still spoken today, will come to also love, respect and understand the people of Appalachia.

Darby begins with the death of George Waldroup, the man who was standing in the middle of Elk Creek, and found by Floyd Caldwell, a neighbor. Floyd Caldwell tried to save George Waldroup, but Waldroup died. Waldroup’s family blamed Floyd Caldwell, and the family came to believe Floyd Caldwell killed him. This blame developed into a quarrel rivalling the one between the West Virginia-Kentucky Hatfield-McCoy of the late 1800s.

The feud involved not only the adults, but the children, especially, the two eight year old sons of each family. In 1904 a duel was held between George Waldroup’s brother, Virgil and Floyd Caldwell. A duel directly involving the two, now eighteen year old sons, Andrew Waldroup and William Caldwell.

As the story develops it progresses miraculously into a story of romance and intrigue involving the widow of George Waldroup, Myrtle, her daughter, Deborah, and the sons of Floyd Caldwell and George Waldroup.

Darby is steeped full of dramatic events, Appalachian dialogue, and inspired scenes. Darby will appeal to the romantic, the reader searching for drama, danger, and suspense, while the history and culture of Appalachia is made evident.

People who love the Appalachian people and the Appalachian regions, and those who enjoy a good, clean, touching, mystery novel will certainly enjoy reading Darby. Darby is a novel full of love and hate, sadness and joy. A novel short enough, at around two hundred pages, to be read in a couple of sittings, but even then difficult to put down.

More information:

Author’s website
Author’s blog


New Book Launch – Cover Reveal – Video Trailer

Yes, this is IT!  Today, I am very proud to launch my first self-published novel, A Darkness in Amazonia.  This is Part 4 of G1: The Guardians.  I owe a massive debt of gratitude to Chris Graham for his excellent artworks, Janice Spina for helping with the editing phase and to my son, Damien Smy, for his narration on the video trailer for the book.  I would also like to express my public thanks to Keith Plunkett at skoobebooks.co.uk for his unstinting helping the bringing to print this novel, in both paperback and hardback.  I should have included a proper acknowledgements page in the novel, of course, but I hope that this goes some way towards rectifying that oversight.  Please note that I haven’t included contact information for either Chris or Damien, at their behest!

Post divider

Released on 10th September, 2013, through various online sources. Available as ebook, paperback and hardback.

clip_image002

A Darkness in Amazonia

by

Steve K Smy

Being Part 4 of G1: The Guardians

In the depths of the Amazonian jungle, lost for millennia, its location hidden by the local peoples from every explorer, lies a city – a city that shouldn’t exist.

Discovered by an archaeologist, Professor Hiram Leibowitz, despite every attempt to conceal its existence, the first revelations prove that this is a perilous site that the archaeologist and his dig crew are not equipped to handle. Fortunately, Leibowitz knows who is the right person to investigate this great mystery. At a safe distance from the city, Leibowitz contacts his old friend – Siribahta Dhal, Director of the Guardians.

A sequence of events is set in motion as Siribahta sends in his elite team: G1. It takes very little time to discover that the city is one of the most dangerous relics of a lost Age ever found. Protected by the slaves of an unknown power, hiding truths that prove that not all Evil is alien in origin, the nameless city will test G1 to the utmost. This will not be a battle – it will be a war…

The first novel and fourth tale in the series.

Follow G1’s adventures in the three previous volumes: the novelettes Shade of Evil and Evil Under The Circle, and the novella The Sigil of Ahriman, all available as ebooks and paperbacks.

Purchase details:

ebook from:
Smashwords
Amazon stores worldwide
The ebook will become available from other online bookstores over time!

Paperback from:
skoobebooks.co.uk  (n.b. you may order the paperback edition but please be aware that the normal delivery time may be slightly extended during the first week or two from the launch date).

Hardback from:
skoobebooks.co.uk (n.b. you may order the hardback edition but please be aware that the normal delivery time may be slightly extended during the first week or two from the launch date).

More information:

Author’s website/blog

Video Trailer:

More Information about the background of the G1: The Guardians series can be found here.

===:0:===

Are You A Lucky Buyer?

If anybody chooses to purchase a copy of the hardback edition of this book, and they are the first to do so, then I will provide them with the whole set of four ebooks, in whatever format (ePub or Kindle) they desire, free of charge!  Any such order must, however, be made before the end of September 2013!

===:0:===

Comments:

If you have any comments, observations or questions about this book or the series, which you prefer to keep private, please contact me on the special, temporary email address!

“Immediate Action” by Andy McNab: A Book Review

Immediate ActionImmediate Action by Andy McNab
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a memoir that shows that even the author can find it difficult to find any redeeming features about themselves! This work by Andy McNab reveals, with brutal honesty, what an unpleasant, dishonest young person he was – the kind of youth we cross roads to avoid. More, he exhibits an egocentricity ruling his life for many years that many will find extremely unattractive. Indeed, apart from very rare hints of a better nature, it’s not until the last moments of the book that he suggests that he has changed.

All that may seem a strange way to start a review of a book many would buy because it features the SAS, but the book is autobiographical and therefore must be judged in that respect first! From a careless, thoroughly despicable thief, through a brush with the law that scared the life out of him, McNab enters the army convinced it will save him from almost inevitable imprisonment. Yet he continues to exhibit the self-centeredness that had made him totally disregard the feelings of others. He’s really only interested in McNab – and how following this course or that course can make life better for McNab. He appears to show some consideration when, eventually, he becomes a trainer of new recruits – but his motive remains his own welfare, caring only about how well the recruits turn out reflects upon him.

He shows determination, at times, to push himself to the ultimate degree, when doing so offers what he perceives to be a more relaxed existence. That’s what drives him to undergo the fearsomely tough selection process to join the SAS. He knows enough to not attempt to be a “stand out” type – just an average type able to fit in without ever rocking the boat. That said, he minimises the effort he expends, in all things – always trying to arrange matters so that somebody else has to do the work, like cooking meals or brewing tea. There are also times when he demonstrates far too much faith in himself, without justification.

Yes, there are some interesting insights into the SAS, but, to be honest, I was left with a lower opinion of McNab than I possessed before reading this book. If I could, I would lift out the SAS procedural parts and dump the rest, which is just an unpleasant read.

~ Steve

View all my reviews