Thursday, 20 October 2016

The Boy in the Attic - Chapter Eight James, Give Me Strength

Ace slammed the door to his room, and locked it carefully. Even so, he was careful to check thoroughly before he permitted himself to walk with his usual confidence.
The room was filled with soft sounds, even before he turned on his music. Most of them were alarms of some kind. He worked his way through them, until he was sitting in front of his computer, with a cold can of Coke from his mini fridge, and a plate of snacks. One thing he could give his mother credit for was keeping his snack cupboard up here well-stocked. He was sure it was just another reason to prevent him from going downstairs. From his mother’s point-of-view, the only time Ace was safe was when he was safely inside his room. In this house, she was right.
Running his hand through his hair, Ace allowed his hands to roam over the familiar keyboard and the last of the alarms whispered into silence. Barely moments later, it started again. Ace smiled. That was exactly what he’d hoped for.
“Hey you, where have you been?”
Ace had never been so glad James was blind. He knew he looked a mess, and the last thing he wanted was for his friend to know how rattled he was. He swiped the back of his hand across his nose, wiping tears of self-pity from his cheek at the same time. Maybe this hadn’t been such a good idea after all.
“What’s wrong?”
“What makes you think something’s wrong?”
“Don’t bullshit me, Richmond, what’s happened?”
Ace sniffed. Who had he been kidding? He could never hide anything from James. “Just came back from the hospital.”
“The hospital? What the fuck happened? Are you okay?”
The concern in James’ voice warmed the cold place that had been growing inside Ace’s chest since he’d returned to his room after lunch to find that, in the short time it had taken him to recover from Logan’s assault and make the decision to lock the door of his room, Logan had run up the stairs and thrown a handful of marbles in through the door. Ace had always felt safe in his room and hadn’t been on guard when he stood on the marble and came crashing down on his bad shoulder.
Whether by good or bad fortune his mother had heard his yells and come running up the stairs. Ace would never know if her curses had all been because of his pain or because she’d seen the marbles. In any event, she’d bundled him up and drove him to the hospital for a professional assessment on his shoulder. He’d been in so much pain he hadn’t argued. After four hours at the hospital, more pain than he could ever remember, and a bagful of drugs he couldn’t wait to swallow, Ace was home with his arm in a sling and a warning to keep the shoulder moving or it would get stiff. His mother told him he should be thankful it was nothing more than a sprain. Ace couldn’t find much comfort in that.
“You know I hurt my shoulder at school with that stupid frieze?”
“I fell on it and it hurt so much my mother made me go get it checked. It’s fine. Just have to wear a sling for a couple of days, and if it doesn’t get better I might have to have physiotherapy. It’s nothing major, just me feeling sorry for myself.”
“How did you fall?”
There was something dangerous in James’ voice and Ace didn’t want to say another word, but the need to get everything off his chest was too great and in the end he told James about the marbles.
“I’m going to kill him. I don’t know when or how, but someday, somehow, I’m going to kill the bastard.”
Ace shivered. He knew James didn’t mean what he said, no matter how serious he sounded, but he also knew that James would find some way, short of murder, to pay Logan back.
“Please, James, don’t. For all his faults, Logan is my brother, and I don’t want to see him hurt. Besides, if you do anything I’ll get blamed. Just let it lie. Anyway, it won’t be long before I’m safe with you.”
James growled. “You should be safe there. It’s your home. Your mother is so fucking worried about danger everywhere, why can’t she see how dangerous it is in her own fucking house?”
“Stop swearing,” Ace said automatically. He’d never been completely comfortable with swearing, and James did it a lot.
“Oh for fuck sake, stop trying to divert the topic.”
“I wasn’t. I just don’t like too much swearing. You know that.”
Speaking with James always made Ace feel stronger and calmer. James’ unhesitating support and righteous anger on Ace’s behalf could be worrying sometime but it always made him feel better. He smiled at the screen, even though he knew James couldn’t see him.
“You’re my knight in shining armour,” he said.
“What?” James snapped, no doubt thinking it was another ploy to divert the topic. He’d be half right.
“You always come rushing in to my defence, no matter what, like a knight on a charger.”
“Oh for God’s sake, Richmond, you sound like a bloody….”
“A what?”
“A goddamn princess.”
Ace laughed out loud. “I’m a princess in a tower, and you’re my knight. Come rescue me, Sir Knight. Save me from the horrible people who keep me prisoner and want to murder me.”
I want to murder you right now.”
Ace smiled. He could tell that James was amused and that the amusement had, at least temporarily, killed his anger. To be truthful, he couldn’t give James answers to any of his questions. He’d asked them to himself often enough, and had come up with nothing. All he knew was that if he tried to make a fuss it made everything a whole lot worse and he was always the one who came off badly. Even when his parents did take his part against Logan or Nick the fallout was horrible.
“Don’t make me talk about all this shit, James,” Ace pleaded. “Talk about things that make me happy.”
“I don’t think I’m allowed to talk about those things on a computer,” James said, his voice suddenly husky. “My mother might read them.”
“That’s not what I was talking about and you know it.”
“I bet you’d love me to talk dirty to you, wouldn’t you?”
“Yeah right. Dream on.”

Friday, 14 October 2016

The Boy In the Attic Chapter 7 - Afternoon Sunshine

If you want to read the previous chapters please go here

Time passed slowly, as always, but that suited Ace fine. The faster time passed, the sooner his brothers would be home. They wouldn’t bother him, because he made sure to keep the door locked when they were in the house, but somehow just knowing they were nearby placed him on edge. At times like this, he wished he could go walk in a park or maybe on a beach. He’d never been near the sea, because his mother thought it was a dangerous environment. His mother thought a lot of places were dangerous. Ace sighed. Thank heaven for school. At least his parents had done one thing right in choosing the school. He felt almost normal when he was there.
A crash from outside jolted Ace out of a doze. He listened intently and heard Logan curse. Oh great! Surely, it couldn’t be four already. Straining his sensitive ears, Ace heard the door slam and Logan’s voice yelling for their mother. Ace slipped off the window seat and padded silently to the door, which he unlocked as quietly as he could. There were no pounding footsteps on the stairs, so Logan wasn’t coming up. It was fairly safe to creep down to the first floor where he could hear better.
Ace was in luck, Mrs Richmond met Logan in the hall.
“What on earth is all the commotion? Is everything alright? Is Ace hurt?”
“Ace? Why does he have to come into everything? This has nothing to do with Ace.”
“Then what does it have to do with, dear?”
There was a long pause, and Ace wished he could see what Logan was doing. It didn’t sound as if he was moving around.
“Out with it. You’re not in trouble are you? What have I told you about fighting?”
“I wasn’t fighting,” Logan snapped.
“Then what are you doing home from school so early?”
Ah, so it wasn’t four o’clock.
“Well what?”
“Well….” Logan heaved a sigh. “It wasn’t my fault.”
Uh oh.
“What have you done?”
“I told you, I haven’t done anything. Jamie Deacon, he’s captain of the football team, overheard me telling Jack about what happened at the freak school and he said I shouldn’t call Ace a freak and I told him to mind his own business.”
So much for “What does it have to do with Ace”, then.
“You said you hadn’t got into a fight.”
“I didn’t. We didn’t. One of the teacher overheard and I got sent to the headmaster for what I said about Ace. He sent me home “to think about it” and I have to talk to the school liaison about some pc shit tomorrow.”
“Don’t swear, Logan.”
Uh oh, his mother sounded mad. Time to make a strategic retreat. He really didn’t want to know what she had to say because it would be more of the same old and he would much rather not listen to himself being talked about as if he was…well, a freak. Did his mother really not see that the things she said about him weren’t all that much different to what Logan and Nick said. She didn’t actually use the world “freak” but she might as well have.
As Ace stepped back, his foot caught on something. Damn, he’d forgotten to check the stairs. He didn’t fall, but he did stumble and made a noise that was clearly heard from downstairs.
“Ace? is that you?”
Ace seriously considered sneaking back upstairs. He could probably make it before Logan could get to him and he had a fair chance of being quiet enough for them not to hear. However, they’d both heard him and he’d never get away with pretending it hadn’t been him. He was terrible at lying.
“I’m sorry to eavesdrop,” he said, carefully making his way down the stairs. “I was coming down to get something to eat.”
“Oh Ace dear, I’m so sorry. I forgot to get you lunch. I’m in the middle of baking. There’s a fete at the church on Saturday and I promised to provide some cakes. I have no idea why because I don’t even go to church.” She sighed. “Oh well, I suppose a quick sandwich will have to do.”
“I’ll make it.”
“Don’t be silly, you can’t make sandwiches, you’ll make a mess and you might hurt yourself.”
“We make sandwiches at school and I manage not to cut my fingers off or burn down the kitchen.”
“Yes, well, I’m sure you do, but that’s not a proper kitchen, is it?”
“No, of course not, it’s made of lego.”
There was a pause when Ace was pretty sure they were both staring at him with puzzled expressions, then Logan said, “You’re such a prick, Ace.”
“Logan. Your language. You’re lucky I need to make lunch for Ace, but I can assure you this conversation is not over. Go to your room and we’ll talk later, when your father gets home.”
“Can I have a sandwich?”
“You still have your packed lunch.”
“Yeah, but─”
“Go to your room, Logan. Don’t make this any worse than it has to be.”
“But it’s not fair. I didn’t do anything wrong. I can say what I like about Ace. He is freak. And I didn’t swear that much.”
“Swearing? You didn’t mention that little bit of information.”
“Sorry, Mum. It wasn’t bad swearing. Not really.”
“Room. Now.”
Ace drew back as Logan’s thunderous footsteps started up the stairs, but not far enough. Somehow, even though he flattened himself against the wall as much as he could, Logan managed to jab and elbow into his side, hard enough to make him double over. That jarred his shoulder and he had to grit his teeth to keep from crying out. He was not going to give his brother the satisfaction.
Mrs Richmond said nothing, she was already on her way back to the kitchen and probably wouldn’t have seen. Ace was glad. If she’d seen, she would have yelled at Logan and that would just have made things worse. With a sinking heard, Ace realized he’d left his door unlocked. He was now faced with a choice. Either he could go back up and lock the door, in which case he’d get told off by his mother for being so long, or he could go straight to the kitchen, get his lunch and take it back up as soon as he could, hoping Logan wouldn’t have gone into his room and done anything nasty while he was gone.
Ace shivered and headed back up the stairs.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

We are FAILING our Rainbow Youth

First, who am I? I'm a writer of LGBT books for young people. I'll make it clear to begin with that I use LGBT only as a convenient shorthand for ALL people of the Rainbow Community. I myself am on the ACE spectrum and am just squeezing under the edge of the Rainbow umbrella. I write characters who are gay, bi, trans, intersex, genderfluid, blind, mentally challenged, autistic and a whole spectrum of other wonderful things.


This post is not about abbreviations, umbrellas or where one fits under it. This post is about my concern for our young people and how I, and those like me can, and must, help them.

The statistics regarding suicide rates among Rainbow Youth are frankly frightening. 

LGBT youth are 4 times more likely, and questioning youth are 3 times more likely, to attempt suicide as their straight peers.
Nearly half of young transgender people have seriously thought about taking their lives, and one quarter report having made a suicide attempt. (source The Trevor Project)

So what can a writer do to help? Potentially a whole lot. Suicide rates are vastly increased in young people who are not supported by their families and have no positive role models. They struggle with finding acceptance, and a place for themselves in a world geared to an 'ideal' into which they don't fit.

Television programs, films, books, music etc are all aimed at straight, cis, men and women and contain very few characters from the Rainbow Community. This hardly engenders a supportive environment for young people questioning and exploring their place in the world.

I've received emails from young people in distress, with one theme, one message - thank you for writing characters who are just like me, I never thought I'd see it.

And so many STILL don't see it, because although it's out there it's not in bookstores or libraries, and even if it were they wouldn't know about it.

Yes, the LGBT genre as a whole is getting more recognition, although not a lot, but the majority of LGBT books are not inspirational to young people. Some are harrowing tales of struggle with no happy endings, while by far the largest number are romances aimed at adults, and although by no means all, most of them are erotica.

I'm not saying erotica doesn't have its place, of course it does, and I write adult books too - but under another name and in another place. I'm also not saying there is no sex at all in any of my young adult books. Young adults, after all, have sex. However, it's not blatant, it's not much and it's only when necessary to the plot. Don't read my books if you're looking for scorching hot sex scenes scattered through them. There are plenty of other books out there that do. Nephy Hart writes good ones ;)

It worries me that some of the tweets and emails I've recived tell me that reading my book has saved a life, at least for now. No teen should ever feel that way; EVER. To write to an author and say 'you saved me' is heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. To think something I wrote was capable of doing that is great, but the fact that someone was so desperate they actually wrote to an author and poured out their hearts because no one else was listening is awful and should never be necessary. That being said I'm always here for my readers and anyone else who needs a listening ear and a kind word.

I repeat LGBT books aimed at young adults should and MUST become mainstream. They MUST be in every library. They MUST be in major and minor bookstores around the country (and every country where it's legal). They MUST be in supermarkets and malls, schools and colleges. They MUST be on books lists and winning prizes. It would be nice if they were mine but that doesn't matter; what matters is that someone; anyone, is out there making a difference.

Major publishers and agents don't even look at LGBT books

So if you know of a good LGBT writer of young adult books shout about it, tweet about it, demand the media, the publishing world; in fact, the whole world sit up, take notice and DO something. If you don't know one, find one.

You might just save a life


Monday, 25 July 2016

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



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.


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.


“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.”


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


Wednesday, 4 May 2016

IT'S HERE Release Day for Lab Rat by 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?


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?”
“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

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Wayward Ink Publishing

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



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?


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?


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.