Monday, 25 July 2016

Shade's Champion. Deal of the Day at ARe 27.07.16

FOR ONE DAY ONLY
27.07.16


FOR ONE DAY ONLY GET SHADE'S CHAMPION FOR THE
AMAZING
DISCOUNT PRICE
OF
$3.50

Shade's Champion is a moving, rollercoaster ride, telling the story of two very different and very broken boys, who find a friendship that leads them both toward the healing they desperately need. Of course, their path is not easy, it never is, but Shade's Champion follows them every step of the way, through trials and triumphs, hope and fear, joy and pain.



Shade has been kept in the dark for eight long years. Now he’s facing a world that terrifies him. A world that seems to hold no place for him.

When the authorities are unable to find a home for Shade, Penny, reluctantly accepts him into the secure school she manages, despite thinking it’s the wrong place for him. Penny fears for his safety among the other troubled children. In an attempt to forestall the disaster she predicts will happen she appoints one of them as his champion.

Dory, an engaging seventeen year old with mental health issues, is proud to be chosen as Shade’s champion and throws his heart and soul into the job. In doing so he is forced to face the thing he fears most – his own emotions.

An unexpected friendship begins to grow into something more, until a spiteful act tears them apart and leaves them broken.

When Dory falls ill, Shade is forced to face his demons and struggles to find the strength and courage he needs to fight for the right to love, and to be there for his champion when he needs him most.

Excerpt

Shade flinched and moaned. “No,” he whispered. “Please, no.”

“No, what?” Dory asked, bending closer to hear. The next thing he knew, Shade had grabbed him, pulled him down, and was kissing him in a way that stole his breath. He’d never been kissed like this. In fact, he’d never really been kissed at all. With a gasp, he let Shade put his arms around him and draw him down, burying one hand in his hair to massage his scalp. Dory whimpered and moaned as the sensations sent a jolt of electricity straight to his groin.

Suppressed sexual urges he’d kept under strict control surged through him, and he threw himself into the kiss with desperate hunger. When Shade’s hand slipped under his Tshirt and stroked the hot skin on his back he almost lost it. Almost. But something was off. Something wasn’t right. Shade was whimpering, but it wasn’t with desire, and the kiss tasted salty. Concern cut through his endorphin-drugged mind, and he raised his head to find Shade was crying. It hit him like a slap in the face, and he struggled out of Shade’s embrace.

“Stop,” he cried, trying to catch his breath. “Just stop.”

Panic hit him. This was wrong. He wasn’t supposed to do it, and he’d made Shade cry. Shade was going to tell, and they were going to take him away to the hospital again. This was just like when he was angry, probably even worse. He didn’t want to go to the hospital. He didn’t want to talk about this; it would be horribly embarrassing. Most of all he didn’t want to be drugged, for them to change his medication again. He was just starting to feel okay. Dammit, he was starting to feel. And now he’d screwed up again. And worst of all, he’d let Penny down. Some champion he’d turned out to be. It had lasted all of five minutes. Now they’d all be disappointed in him and that was the worst thing of all.

Before he knew it, he found himself backed into a corner, hugging his knees and rocking. Someone was touching him. Usually when he was having a panic attack he couldn’t bear being touched, but somehow this was different. This was… okay. Gradually, as he got himself under control, he became aware of a voice.

“It’s okay. It’s okay, I’m here. It’s okay.”

Surprised, he raised his head and found himself staring into Shade’s golden eyes. “We’re not allowed,” Dorien croaked, and Shade nodded.

“I’m sorry,” Shade said.

“W… why? Why did you…?”

“I thought…. I thought I was… back there.” Shade’s voice was low and kind of distant, as if he wasn’t used to using it and had to think about every word before he said it. Of course it wasn’t helping that he was slurring because of the medication. All in all, it was quite difficult for Dorien to understand him.

“What?”

“I… I thought….” Shade shook his head, crawled over to the bed, and sat with his back to it, hugging his knees.

“Thought what?” Intrigued now, Dorien forgot all about the panic attack. They were always no more than sudden storms in his usually sunny sky.

Shade shook his head.

“Is it somewhere bad?”

“Yes.” Shade looked scared now, and hunched like Dorien had moments before. Now it was Dorien’s turn to put a reassuring hand on Shade’s knee. Shade flinched.

“Don’t. I’m not going to hurt you.” Shade closed his eyes and shuddered.

“What’s wrong? What did I do?” Dorien snatched his hand back, worried he’d messed up again. “You’re okay. We can touch like that, to comfort people, you know. We can hug, too, just little ones. We’re just not allowed to touch, you know, inappropriately.”

Shade still looked scared, and panic slammed into Dorien again.

“You’re not going to tell, are you? You… you’d probably be okay, because you’re new, but…. Please, Shade. I’m not supposed to…. They’ll take me back to the hospital and I’ll have to…. Please. They’ll drug me again and I hate that. Please. Please don’t tell. I won’t do it again. I just… I can’t help it. It’s…. I’m… I’m supposed to… but you were…. And I, I did try.”

The gentle touch on his arm and soft words, “I’m sorry,” brought him suddenly back to reality. He sat back and his eyes met Shade’s. There was still a lot of fear there, but something else, too, something soft and kind and worried.

“I… I’m not supposed to let myself get carried away. I’m especially not supposed to let… well… those kinds of feelings get a hold of me. I have to learn to control myself. I don’t have any, see, control that is. I can’t control anything. That’s why I’m dangerous. That’s why I’m here.”

“Why…? Why am I here?”

“I’m not sure. I think it’s because you want to hurt yourself, and you have to be watched.”

“Oh. Yes.”

“Why do you want to hurt yourself? I’d never do that, no matter how bad it got, because it always gets better in the end, and mostly I like my life. At least most of it… mostly. Sometimes it’s hard, but it gets better, and one day I’m going to be able to live on my own. They don’t think I can, but I’ll prove them wrong. I will get control. I will.”

Shade smiled and nodded. “I believe you.”



Reviews

Ms. Headford said it’s not a romance but I have to disagree with her here. In a way that was the most beautiful love story I read this year. It is this pure love that helps her broken boys find the strength they carry inside on their winding road and makes them whole again.
                                                         Rian's Randomness



I normally place stories into 3 main categories; paranormal, science fiction and the rest go into a general fiction category.

That being said, I have had the honor and privilege of reading an advanced copy of Shade’s Champion and I can honestly say that it is the best piece of fiction I’ve ever read...

...If you only read 1 book a year, make sure it’s Shade’s Champion.
                                                                              Jim Dunaway




Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Help Desperately Needed for Mother of one of the Orlando Victims



For A Government who profess to care about what happened in Orlando, this seems pretty care-less to me

IT'S NOT WHAT YOU SAY THAT COUNTS IT'S WHAT YOU DO


Wednesday, 4 May 2016

IT'S HERE Release Day for Lab Rat by Nephy Hart




BLURB

At thirteen, Gabriel was subjected to experimentation designed to awaken latent psychic abilities.

 He’s been locked in a downward spiral of self-destruction ever since.

Then one night he meets Laurie, who is the antithesis of everything Gabriel’s become: cheerful, optimistic, and comfortable in his own skin. 

Laurie pursues Gabriel. But Gabriel no longer believes in love. With a dark past and a history of disastrous relationships, he’s promised himself ‘no more’. Laurie, however, won’t let go, no matter how many obstacles Gabriel places in his way.

When Gabriel starts hearing voices in his head, he realizes they belong to the scientists who experimented on him. Worse, they’re trying to track him down. 

With the past nipping at his heels, Gabriel and Laurie flee together. 

Can they outrun the enemy? Can they save Gabriel before either his life or his sanity are forfeit?

And is Gabriel as helpless as he, or Laurie, thinks he is?





Excerpt

I’m aware of people, lots of people, all around. I can hear them. They’re talking about me. I know they’re talking about me. I can’t move yet. I can’t open my eyes, but I can feel them touching me.
“Oh the poor boy. Is he alright?” … “Freak, probably on drugs.”… “Should we get help?”… “Maybe we should call an ambulance.”… “Maybe he’s going to die. Cool.”… “Did he have a fit or something? Wish I’d been here.”… “Can I help? Should I do something?”… “I’m going to be late for work, but I want to see if anything interesting happens.”… “I wonder what’s for tea tonight.” … “This is better than the telly.”
“Why? Why did he run away? I know he wasn’t coming back. I thought… after last night I thought we had something. I thought I was finally getting through to him. Why won’t he let me in? Why won’t he realise how beautiful he is, how much I love him? What have I done wrong? What did I do to scare him away? Why is he so scared? Why won’t he reach out to me? Why won’t he let me reach out to him?”
“Laurie?” Why did he say those things to me here? Why was he so open in front of all these people? Oh shit. No.
My eyes snap open and I sit bolt upright. There are maybe ten or fifteen people clustered around, some looking concerned, some interested, some hungry for more drama. I gaze at them. I can still hear them, but… but no one’s speaking.
“Did you say that?”
“What? Gabriel, are you okay?”
“Tell me. Did you speak?”
“Gabriel—”
“Did you speak?”
“No. No, I didn’t speak. I was too scared.”
“No,” I whisper and close my eyes, letting myself fall back to the ground. I don’t care about the stares. I don’t care about the people. I don’t even care about Laurie. All I care about is the stabbing pain in my head—a fizzing, popping, creeping pain—and all I can think is: Oh no… no… no. Not again.
“Gabriel. What is it? What’s wrong? Please Gabriel. Speak to me or I’m going to call an ambulance.”
“No.” I sit up again. “I can’t…. It’s not…. Just help me up. I’m alright, just….”
“I don’t know if that’s such a good idea, Gabriel. You look—”
“Did I ask your opinion? If you won’t help me, I’ll do it myself.” For the first time, I actually take some notice of my surroundings. I’m in the park. There’s a bench nearby. If I can crawl over to it, I can….
“You’re so fucking stubborn. Here.” I look up, blinking in the sunlight. With a sigh, I take his hand and let him haul me to my feet. The pain stabs me and I stagger. He puts his arm around my waist, and I rest my head against his shoulder. It feels good. “I’ll help you get home.”

“No.” That’s the last place I can go now. This is…. Now I know, and know for sure, I’m not safe. No one near me is safe. I glance down at the ground where I’d been lying. Nearby is a bush, a holly bush. There are other holly bushes in the park, but unlike any of them, this one has no leaves. Underneath the bush lies a robin. It’s dead.



Buy Links

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Amazon AU
Amazon DE
Wayward Ink Publishing
ARe

Make the most of these Release Period Sales

WIP: $4.99 until 06-MAY-2016
ARe: 30% off until 06-MAY-2016
Amazon/B&N/Apple/Google etc: 30% off until 07-MAY-2016
There will also be a Mother's Day Sale on WIP and ARe for 40% off from 06-09 MAY 2016.
Author Bio

Nephy Hart was born into a poor mining family in the South Wales Valleys. Until she was 16, the toilet was at the bottom of the garden and the bath hung on the wall. Her refrigerator was a stone slab in the pantry and there was a black lead fireplace in the kitchen. They look lovely in a museum but aren’t so much fun to clean.

Nephy has always been a storyteller. As a child, she’d make up stories for her nieces, nephews and cousin and they’d explore the imaginary worlds she created, in play.

Later in life, Nephy became the storyteller for a re enactment group who travelled widely, giving a taste of life in the Iron Age. As well as having an opportunity to run around hitting people with a sword, she had an opportunity to tell stories of all kinds, sometimes of her own making, to all kinds of people. The criticism was sometimes harsh, especially from the children, but the reward enormous.

It was here she began to appreciate the power of stories and the primal need to hear them. In ancient times, the wandering bard was the only source of news, and the storyteller the heart of the village, keeping the lore and the magic alive. Although much of the magic has been lost, the stories still provide a link to the part of us that still wants to believe that it’s still there, somewhere.


In present times, Nephy lives in a terraced house in the valleys with her son, dog, bearded dragon (called Smaug of course) and three cats. Her daughter has deserted her for the big city, but they’re still close. She’s never been happier since she was made redundant and is able to devote herself entirely to her twin loves of writing and art

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Let's Meet Gabriel



In preparation for the release of Lab Rat tomorrow let's meet the main character. Gabriel, and have a glimpse inside his head - if you dare. It's scary in there

LAB RAT

NEPHY HART

At thirteen, Gabriel was subjected to experimentation designed to awaken latent psychic abilities.

 He’s been locked in a downward spiral of self-destruction ever since.

Then one night he meets Laurie, who is the antithesis of everything Gabriel’s become: cheerful, optimistic, and comfortable in his own skin.

Laurie pursues Gabriel. But Gabriel no longer believes in love. With a dark past and a history of disastrous relationships, he’s promised himself ‘no more’. Laurie, however, won’t let go, no matter how many obstacles Gabriel places in his way.

When Gabriel starts hearing voices in his head, he realizes they belong to the scientists who experimented on him. Worse, they’re trying to track him down.

With the past nipping at his heels, Gabriel and Laurie flee together.

Can they outrun the enemy? Can they save Gabriel before either his life or his sanity are forfeit?

And is Gabriel as helpless as he, or Laurie, thinks he is?



1)       What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Myself. Ha, yeah right. That’s probably what everyone else thinks, though. I’d like to say it’s Laurie, and it probably is, but this whole love thing is new to me so I’m not sure I can say that anyone is the love of my life yet.


2)       What is your favourite journey?

From the bedroom to the kitchen to get a cold beer. Seriously, I’m not too keen on the outside world. It still hasn’t quite sunk in that I’m safe, so I still prefer to hide away at home where I feel secure.


3)       What is your most marked characteristic?

My optimism and sunny disposition. What? Okay, probably my sarcasm.


4)       When and where were you the happiest?

When I was a kid. Before everything turned to shit when I was 13.


5)       What is it that you most dislike?

People asking questions, and talking about myself. No, seriously. It makes me very uncomfortable. I guess it’s because I have to think about myself and the way I feel about things and that’s not something I like to do.

6)       What is your greatest fear?

Being taken back…there. I can’t say any more because I lost my mind over it all once and when I look back I feel…brittle and I don’t want to snap again. I think if you read the book the answer to this question will become very clear.

7)       What is your greatest extravagance?

Clothes and make up. And hair products. And Jack Daniels.

8)       Tell me something about Laurie

He puts up with me. That has to put him in line for a place on the next honours list. Honours list? That’s when the queen gives medals and stuff to the little people she doesn’t really care about. I think it’s something to do with her birthday. Load of shit really, but it gets you fancy sandwiches and tea with the queen, and I think Laurie would like that. Not that he’d admit it. He’s a bit posh really – and a bloody amazing artist.


9)       What is your greatest regret?

Ooh, this is a hard one. I’d have to say causing the death of two previous boyfriends has to rank high on that list.


10)    Which talent would you most like to have?

I love to draw and paint. Over the past couple of years I think it’s the only thing that kept me sane, and I’d kill to be as talented as Laurie.

11)    Where would you like to live?

In a castle. A huge gothic castle with red velvet everywhere, a torture chamber in the dungeon and a moat all the way around to keep people out. Although Laurie would probably build lots of bridges.

12)    What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Oh. I’ve been down there often enough. I don’t know. I guess the feeling of having nowhere left to run.


13)    What is the quality you most like in a man?

Perseverance. And a killer smile.


14)    What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Knowing when to keep her mouth shut.

15)    What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

What? Are you crazy? I deplore absolutely everything about myself. I’m poison inside and out. That’s what I keep telling Laurie. But does he listen? Yeah right, of course he does.

16)    What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Falseness

17)    What do you most value in your friends?

What friends? Oh alright; I know I’ve got friends. I’ve got more friends than I allow myself to acknowledge, but I just don’t let people get close. It makes me very uncomfortable and I don’t like people caring about me. What was the question. Oh yeah. Um. Honesty, I guess. I like that Carrie always tells it as it is, even though it’s uncomfortable.

18)    Who is your favourite hero of fiction?

Zombies. No, really. They keep moving forward even when they have nowhere to go and their brains are turning to mush. I identify.

19)    Who are your heroes in real life?

What’s real life? What counts as a hero? Okay, okay, umm… Laurie. Laurie’s my hero. He saved me, then saved me again, then…well he keeps on saving me. I suppose I should be careful not to get used to it.


20)    Which living person do you most admire?

Haven’t I just said that?
.

21)    What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

What are you counting as virtues? If we’re looking at the four cardinal virtues I’d have to say temperance. I overdo everything and why not?


22)    On what occasions do you lie?

Whenever it’s necessary. I have no problem with lying.


23)    Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

No. Go away. Leave me alone.

24)    If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Everything

25)    What are your favourite names?

Favourite names? What kind of question is that? Bleargh. Anastasia and Gaylord. No of course not, but it was a stupid question wasn’t it?

26)    If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?

Bloody pissed off

27)    What is your motto?

Fuck off.
.



Sunday, 1 May 2016

COMING SOON Lab Rat by Nephy Hard


COMING SOON TO A BOOKSTORE NEAR YOU 

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away Nephy Hart started writing. And then.....


On 4th May Wayward Ink Press brings to you the latest Nephy Hart production LAB RAT.

At thirteen, Gabriel was subjected to experimentation designed to awaken latent psychic abilities.

 He’s been locked in a downward spiral of self-destruction ever since. 

Then one night he meets Laurie, who is the antithesis of everything Gabriel’s become: cheerful, optimistic, and comfortable in his own skin. 

Laurie pursues Gabriel. But Gabriel no longer believes in love. With a dark past and a history of disastrous relationships, he’s promised himself ‘no more’. Laurie, however, won’t let go, no matter how many obstacles Gabriel places in his way.

When Gabriel starts hearing voices in his head, he realizes they belong to the scientists who experimented on him. Worse, they’re trying to track him down. 

With the past nipping at his heels, Gabriel and Laurie flee together. 

Can they outrun the enemy? Can they save Gabriel before either his life or his sanity are forfeit?

And is Gabriel as helpless as he, or Laurie, thinks he is?


“I’m sorry about that. I didn’t mean to hurt you, but I didn’t want you to flip again. Someone would’ve called the police and you might have got into trouble.” 

“Do you think I give a fuck about that?” I say angrily. I try to push his arm away. He steps in again and touches my face where I can feel the bruise emerging. 

“Does it hurt?” 

“No.” 

“Liar,” he says huskily, and leans forward to kiss the spot. I go stiff again, just as I did before, my heart pounding. The adrenaline that had made me high is pumping through me. I’d done the fight and now the flight kicks in. 

“Come on.” He takes me firmly by the hand and drags me around the corner into an alley next to the pub. He slams me into the wall and pins me there with his body. I panic and try to struggle, but my ribs hurt and I’m tired and… and… it’s not as if I want to. It’s not like I don’t want him to…. 

Laurie ignores my struggles and lowers his face to mine. I can’t help it. I let my head fall back until it hits the wall. My eyes close on their own, my lips part, and my body moves to mould itself to his. It must be shock from the fight, but suddenly I’m flooded with… with… something. No longer am I frozen, frightened, and unresponsive; I’m hungry… starved… desperate. Throwing my arms around Laurie’s neck, I pull him into me and kiss him violently, while grinding my body against his. He’s trembling, breathing hard, and I… I am. I. Am…. 

“No. Stop.” 

I cling to Laurie, but he firmly pushes me away. 

“Stop, Gabriel.” 

“But, but I thought… I thought you….” 

“I do. You have no idea how much I do, but this is all wrong. When I kiss you and you kiss me back, I want to be sure it’s because you want to kiss me and not because you’re desperate and shaken and shocked and just clinging to anyone. I don’t want you to do something tonight that you’ll regret tomorrow.” 

“But I… but I…” 

“No, Gabriel. It doesn’t feel right. You’re shocked and hurt and…. I’d be taking advantage of you, and I won’t do that. Come on, I’ll take you home.” 

If I was shocked before, it’s nothing to what I am now. I’m so confused. He’s been pursuing me for days. He’s the one who kissed me. He’s the one who pulled me into the alley and then… and then…. 
I should’ve known. If it seems like it’s too good to be true, then it usually is. It’s better this way. It’s better that he hurts me before I hurt him. I deserve it and he doesn’t. 

Fortunately, my house isn’t far. By the time we get there, my head’s pounding, my ribs are sore, and my cheek and eye are throbbing. I’m beginning to think I won’t make it home. My head spins. 

“I think it’d be better if you went in alone. I’ll see you at art class on Friday.” 

I hang my head and nod. He can’t wait to get away from me. Who’d blame him? I’m not pretty when I lose control. I expect he hates me now. There’s no way he’ll be coming to art class again, no matter what he says. Why would he? 

“Gabriel.” 

“What?” 

“Look at me, Gabriel.” 

“I can’t.” I turn to fit the key in the lock, but Laurie catches my arm and turns me around. 

“Look at me,” he repeats gently. 

I can’t. I can’t bear to see the expression in his eyes—the shame, the disgust, the regret. Laurie puts a finger under my chin and tilts my head up. He smiles as my eyes crawl up to meet his. He’s not frowning, and he doesn’t look disgusted. 

“Gabriel. Don’t do this.” 

“What?” 

“Don’t convince yourself the reason I wouldn’t kiss you and… take it further, was because I don’t like you, or you’re not worth it. The only reason I was able to control myself at all was because I care for you so much that when I kiss you I want to know you’re kissing me back because you want me, not some desperate comfort that could come from anyone. I’m not going to give up on you, Gabriel.” 




Wednesday, 27 April 2016

COVER REVEAL Lab Rat by Nephy Hart

I would like to introduce you to the amazing cover of my new release Lab Rat which will be released next Wednesday, May 4th


This was previously published by Romance First Publishing under the title of The Unfairness of Life, but it has been very much cleaned up and improved since then

BLURB

At thirteen, Gabriel was subjected to experimentation designed to awaken latent psychic abilities.

 He’s been locked in a downward spiral of self-destruction ever since.

Then one night he meets Laurie, who is the antithesis of everything Gabriel’s become: cheerful, optimistic, and comfortable in his own skin. 

Laurie pursues Gabriel. But Gabriel no longer believes in love. With a dark past and a history of disastrous relationships, he’s promised himself ‘no more’. Laurie, however, won’t let go, no matter how many obstacles Gabriel places in his way.

When Gabriel starts hearing voices in his head, he realizes they belong to the scientists who experimented on him. Worse, they’re trying to track him down. 

With the past nipping at his heels, Gabriel and Laurie flee together. 

Can they outrun the enemy? Can they save Gabriel before either his life or his sanity are forfeit?

And is Gabriel as helpless as he, or Laurie, thinks he is?


Excerpt

IT’S THE LIGHTS. I hate the lights—they’re so bright. I don’t like bright. I want to go back to my room. It’s not bright in my room. It’s dim and cool and safe. I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to talk. I don’t want to think. I don’t want to....

“Good morning, Gabriel. Are you going to be a good boy today? You weren’t yesterday, were you?”

“I want to go home.”

“All in good time. We have work to do today, and the sooner we get it done, the sooner you can go back to your room. One more day. Just one more day.”

“Can I go home then?”

“We’ll see. Relax now, Gabriel. You know it’s easier when you relax. I’m going to give you an injection and I want you to relax and let your mind open. Relax now, Gabriel. I’m going to start now. 

Remember to relax.”

The lights. I hate the lights.

It’s the screaming that wakes me every time. But this time I’m not alone. There’s someone here with me. My housemates never come near when I’m screaming; they know better. It scares them. It scares me.

I prise open my eyes and the shock stops the screams. It almost stops my heart. I try to push him away, but he holds on. He’s in my bed. He’s… dressed but I… I’m not. What the fuck happened last night? Was I that drunk?

“Get away from me.”

“When you stop shaking.”

“Fuck that. Get away from me.”

I manage to push him back and he stretches out like a cat, propping that head of glorious hair on one hand. He looks at me with his amazing eyes.

“What the fuck are you doing here?”

“That’s okay. I wasn’t expecting thanks. Not from you.”

“Thanks? What do I have to thank you for?”

“Well, I could have left you unconscious on your doorstep, but I thought you’d be more comfortable in bed.”

“I… what? I…. You undressed me?”

Laurie shrugs. “You threw up.”

I groan. I’m not worried about passing out or throwing up—that’s not unusual for me, especially after alcohol—but the thought someone saw it, saw me, and took off my clothes….

I’m horrified. No one sees my body. No one.

“Get the fuck out of here.”

“Just as well I wasn’t expecting thanks, isn’t it? Otherwise I might be feeling crushed right now.”

“I don’t give a shit. Get the hell out of my room.”

Laurie’s expression turns introspective. He reaches out and runs his finger over my arm. The touch sends shivers through me, and for a moment I freeze, staring at his hand. It’s been a long time since anyone has touched me, especially there.

Stunned, I raise my eyes and gaze into the deep blue orbs. “Is it because of that?” he says softly. “It’s alright. It doesn’t bother me.”

“I….” My heart pounds. I’m overwhelmed. I can’t cope with this. I shake my head. “Get out of my room. Get out. Get out!” I know I’m being unreasonable, but I can’t help it. I know I’m getting hysterical, but I can’t help that either.

Looking completely shocked, he does what I ask.



Pre Order Links

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Author Bio

Nephy Hart was born into a poor mining family in the South Wales Valleys. Until she was 16, the toilet was at the bottom of the garden and the bath hung on the wall. Her refrigerator was a stone slab in the pantry and there was a black lead fireplace in the kitchen. They look lovely in a museum but aren’t so much fun to clean.

Nephy has always been a storyteller. As a child, she’d make up stories for her nieces, nephews and cousin and they’d explore the imaginary worlds she created, in play.

Later in life, Nephy became the storyteller for a re enactment group who travelled widely, giving a taste of life in the Iron Age. As well as having an opportunity to run around hitting people with a sword, she had an opportunity to tell stories of all kinds, sometimes of her own making, to all kinds of people. The criticism was sometimes harsh, especially from the children, but the reward enormous.

It was here she began to appreciate the power of stories and the primal need to hear them. In ancient times, the wandering bard was the only source of news, and the storyteller the heart of the village, keeping the lore and the magic alive. Although much of the magic has been lost, the stories still provide a link to the part of us that still wants to believe that it’s still there, somewhere.


In present times, Nephy lives in a terraced house in the valleys with her son, dog, bearded dragon (called Smaug of course) and three cats. Her daughter has deserted her for the big city, but they’re still close. She’s never been happier since she was made redundant and is able to devote herself entirely to her twin loves of writing and art

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Draven's Gate


Leading up to the release of my new book 'Lab Rat' on the 4th May, I'm taking a look back at some of my older books. Last time we looked at The Face in the Window and Memories of Forgotten Love, two books I am wholeheartedly behind and proud of.

Draven's Gate is slightly different. I'm totally behind the story. I have complete faith in Draven and Keiron, but I HATE the cover. This was not my idea, none of my doing and I have always spoken up against it. Nevertheless, I'm stuck with it and therefore find myself in the unenviable position of having to apologize for he cover of my own book. There is is. Great book; crappy cover.

That being said, it's definitely worth getting past the cover and into he story. The working title was Fairies At The Bottom Of The Garden and that's pretty much what it's about. 

Keiron is a dyed-in-the-wool kind of guy. Old at 23. An accountant who should be wearing carpet slippers and possibly smoking a pipe. 

Then Draven appears naked on his doorstep and life will never be the same again. Having let Keiron see him three times, Draven, the fairy from the bottom of the garden is sent to him to be his slave for three months

“I’m…Draven,” he said, with an anxious little smile. “I’m yours.”

“Mine?” Keiron shivered when he spoke the word. It seemed to ring in his head, and he rubbed his temple absently. “What the hell are you talking about? What do you mean, mine?”

“I’m your slave,” Draven said matter-of-factly, although there was something in his eyes that seemed to flinch as he spoke.

Keiron took a deep breath, and released it slowly. “I don’t know who you are or what the hell you want from me, but I’m not into that stuff - whips and handcuffs and—” He trailed off. Draven looked stricken.

“You…you’re going to…whip me? Why? What have I done?”

Keiron’s mouth dropped open, at the real fear in Draven’s face and voice. “I…. Of course I’m not going to whip you. Isn’t that what I said?”

Draven frowned deeply, then smiled. “I could probably get a whip for you, if you wanted. As long as you’re not going to use it on me.” He frowned again. “I suppose I shouldn’t make that a condition. You have the right to whip me if you want to. Of course, I’d much prefer if you didn’t. I could make one out of plaited grass if you’d like. You don’t have the right kind of grass in your garden, but I bet I could find some close by. I wouldn’t run away, I promise.”

Keiron was stunned. Draven spoke so fast, he could barely follow what he was saying. “Wait. Stop. I…I’ve already told you - I don’t want a whip.”

“Oh. But you said…. Oh. What do you want?”

“Nothing. I don’t want anything. I want you to go away and leave me alone.”

Draven blinked at him. “I can’t,” he said, sadly. “I can’t leave you. I’m your slave now.”

Keiron raised his hands and took another step back. Draven advanced over the threshold and looked around curiously.

“Look, I’ve no idea what’s going on, who you are or what you want, but you are not my slave and you are not coming into my house.

Draven looked at him, his head tilted to the side. “But I am your slave, and I am inside your house.”

“I…. Well…. Leave, then.”

“Leave?” Draven looked astonished. “But I can’t leave.”

“Why not?”

“Because,” Draven said slowly, as if explaining something obvious to a child, or an idiot, “I’m your slave.”

Draven isn't a very good slave and Keiron begins to suspect the fairy King might have had other reasons that Draven allowing Keiron to see him, for sending him into the human world. As the High Lord put it - He said he hoped you could get me to listen to authority because he’s damned if he can.

Draven has a hard time in the human world. He got himself into trouble the very first morning

He found Draven in the kitchen. Draven’s face and hands were covered with jam, and he was completely naked. He hummed to himself as he tried to smear jam on a piece of bread with his fingers. It was such a funny sight that Keiron paused in the doorway, watching.

Draven scanned the kitchen, not seeing Keiron. He thrust his fingers into his mouth, spreading jam over even more of his face, then stamped his foot angrily, and put his hands on his hips, getting even stickier.

“Where is the water?”

“Try the tap.”

Draven jumped and spun around. Keiron laughed out loud. There was jam all over Draven’s face, jam in his hair, jam on his hands and now it was smeared down his hips too, not to mention all over the kitchen table. Even the handle of the fridge seemed decidedly jammy.

“It’s not my fault,” Draven said indignantly. “I could smell strawberries, but I didn’t know it was going to be like this, and I couldn’t find where you keep the water.”

“It’s in the tap.”

“Where’s the tap? I thought it would be somewhere in the cooking room. I didn’t want to make a mess in your pretty room, and anyone in their right minds should keep water in a cooking room.”

“I do. I told you, it’s in the tap.”

Draven stamped his foot and glared. “But I don’t know where the tap is.”

But it's not all fun and games. Keiron's boyfriend, Bren, isn't too happy with the naked man who strolls down the stairs when he visits Keiron and there is something of a confrontation

“Stop being such a party pooper. I’m not hurting it.”

“Him,”

“Whatever. So. Go on. Show me what you can do.”

Draven raised his head and his metallic eyes glittered. Keiron was momentarily scared, and even Bren seemed to take a mental step back. All the things Keiron had heard about fairies being malicious, dangerous, spiteful, without morals— It all came flooding into his head and he was worried.

Draven pointed towards Bren, who cringed away. Suddenly, there was a tinkling sound, like someone had shaken a handful of tiny bells over Bren’s head, and a shower of rose petals fell onto him.

Bren looked upwards, as they continued to fall.

“Bloody hell,” he said. Then…. “Ouch. They’ve got thorns.” He scrambled to his feet, brushing off the petals, and rubbing at his face, which was bleeding from a dozen tiny puncture wounds.

“Roses have thorns,” Draven said in a soft, singsong voice that sounded light but, Keiron thought with a sinking heart, definitely contained a note of menace.

Of course, Bren gets his revenge, and it nearly kills Draven. Then the very world they live in threatens to do the same. First there's the sherbet ice

“Um…I…I, um…colours…and…wavy things. In my head…music…not there but there inside and…everything…. Have to keep my eyes closed, Keiron. Everything’s melting. Bubbles in my head. Bubbles…colours and bubbles.”

“Jesus Christ. Draven are you…?”

Draven giggled and slid to the floor, hugging his knees and moaning. “It hurts, Keiron. It hurts but it’s so…funny.” Laughing helplessly and groaning at the same time, Draven looked up at Keiron with huge eyes, swirling with colour.

“Shit….”

“I don’t…I don’t think I like the…blue…bl…ue…blue drink anymore.”
No. I don’t think I like it very much right now either.”

Then there's the smog. When Keiron tried to show Draven the beauty of the sunrise from the top of a hill, it didn't go too well

Keiron threw himself to his knees next to the sofa and stroked Draven’s forehead. “I’m here. Are you feeling better now?”

Draven looked around. “It…it’s better here,” he said, with a sigh.

“What’s better here?”

“The…the poison.”

“What? What poison? Are you delirious?”

“I…told you, Keiron. That…that place.” Draven shuddered. “The air was poisoned.”

“What? The hill? You mean…? You were being serious? When you said all the poison from the city rose to the hill? You really meant actual poison? It poisoned you?”

“Yes.”

But when Draven is taken back to fairyland neither of them copes well and Keiron is called by a frantic queen to save her son who had drifted so far into melancholy he might never come back. Keiron must make a decision. What is most important to him - his beloved city, or his beloved Draven? It's a hard choice because, as you will see Keiron and the country don't mix well. Here, they are having a picnic by the river, which turns into something like a still from a live-action Snow White movie.


“Why do you want to control everything?”

“I don’t,” Keiron responded automatically and defensively.

“Yes, you do. You want to control everything, even other people, like Bren, and you take responsibility for the things they do.”

“I…I….” He floundered. Draven didn’t understand. How could he understand? He had no idea what it was like to live in his world. He had no idea how different it was to live in the city, among people. He had no concept of the games, the expectations the…hypocrisy, the unreasonableness. “Maybe I do, but it’s the way you have to be to survive back there in the city.”

“Is it? Then why do you live there?”

“Because…because it’s where my home is. Where I feel…comfortable.”

“Are you scared of this world, Keiron? They sky and the sun and the trees and the grass and the water?”

“No…no, not scared, just….”

“Are you scared of the animals—the spiders and the snakes and the birds and beasts?”

“I…maybe a little.”

“There are dangerous things in the city too; much more dangerous things. And everything there is dark and fake and poisoned. It’s all poisoned, Keiron, and it poisons you, too. It makes you stiff and scared and…different.”

“It’s my world, Draven,” Keiron said defensively. “It’s what I know, where I feel comfortable.”

“I know,” Draven said sadly. “Do you want to go back now?”

Keiron found he was stiff and sore. The squirrel claws had scratched his back, and he was pretty sure the mouse had peed in his pocket. He squirmed uncomfortably. “Yes, I do. Do you mind?”

Draven gazed at him with such a sad expression on his face that Keiron knew he did mind, but Draven nodded and carefully sent the animals back into the forest, before he stood up and brushed himself down. Carefully, he began to pack away the picnic things, making sure there were no small animals trapped inside, occasionally chasing off a bee or ant, and rescuing a vole from the salad box.

Keiron didn’t have it so easy. The rabbit wasn’t happy to be disturbed, and scratched him fiercely with its back claws before it hopped off into the undergrowth. The mouse bit his finger as he fished it out of his pocket. Sucking his finger he threw the rest of the things into the basket and flung the blanket over his shoulder.

“Don’t, Keiron, be careful. You might—” He took one look at Keiron’s face, then dropped his eyes and meekly took the blanket from him, carefully shaking it out before folding it and putting it on top of the basket.

“The bloody mouse bit me.”

“Here, let me take a look.” Draven took his finger and examined it. He drew Keiron down to the river and thrust his hand into the running water.

“That’s not going to do any good if the bloody thing infects my finger.”

“It wasn’t the mouse’s fault. You probably hurt it when you were getting it out of your pocket.”

“I did not…. Well, I didn’t try to hurt it. It shouldn’t have gone in there in the first place.”

With a sigh Draven nodded, as if he was too tired to argue. When he took Keiron’s finger out of the water, he kissed in gently, then walked away without another word, to pick up the basket. Keiron collected the cool box, automatically checking it for stray animals, and followed Draven to the car.

To find out what he decides you'll need to read the book