Picture This

Picture This: Episode 8

Episode 8 of my Picture This series comes to you during my small hiatus as I am away on holiday. However, I will reply to comments when I am back. I hope you enjoy this week’s episode.

Prompt:

My Interpretation:

They call us Summoners. We are here to keep up the illusion of ‘Earth’. Humans like routine, change is a big no no. We try to keep things plain sailing where possible.

I am in charge of the Sun. It must appear to rise and set. There are approximately three thousand of us Sun Summoners located throughout the world. We play our part to maintain the pretense. The humans can’t know the truth.


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Book Reviews

Book Review: The Christmas Mansion

The Christmas Mansion by Hollis Shiloh 3/5

Review:

A sweet, Christmas read that caters for the LGBTQ community. It is nice to read a short, contemporary romance that doesn’t rely on the ‘insta-love’ trope.

I did find the fantasy elements felt stilted and didn’t mesh into the rest of the narrative as well as they could. Everytime it was brought up that Gene was a ‘Magician’, it was like ‘oh yeah, I forgot that’, and it interrupted the flow a little.

Otherwise a cute, Christmas read.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review


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Picture This

Picture This: Episode 7

As you know, I like to keep my Picture This posts relevant. Last week, I kept with a Halloween theme, and seeing as it was Bonfire Night yesterday, this short story will reflect that.

Prompt:

My Interpretation:

My mum likes to think herself a match maker, but she really has no clue. Last week, she set me up on a blind date with the new guy that started in her office. He sounded great on paper, but he kept wiping his nose on his sleeve and hand like a four year old.

She wanted me to meet her neighbour’s son tonight, but I outright refused. Her days as Cupid are over.

‘Fair enough, if you want to be a spinster with ten cats.’ I set to retort, but she holds up a hand. “It’s your life.”

“Thank you.”

She fills the kettle, her back to me. “But I already told Sheila we’d go to her firework party tonight.” She waves packets of sparklers at me.

I roll my eyes.

“Come on, it’ll be fun. Don’t make me go alone.”

“Fine, but don’t leave me to make conversation with people I don’t know, and DO NOT try and set me up with anyone.”

She does a little victory jig and rushes up the stairs.

“I’ll finish the tea, shall I?”

“Do what you like. I’ve got to get ready.”

*****

Sheila’s party is a lot rowdier than I imagined for a bunch of fifty year olds. Is this what will happen to all of us in middle age? God, I hope not.

Mum is tipsy and waves at me from the kitchen, almost spilling her drink in the process. “My daughter is single if you are on the market?” she tells someone out of eyeshot. I can’t believe her, sometimes.

“Tori, come here and meet Sheila’s son, Aiden.’ And she has officially outdone herself.

I head into the kitchen, a rage boiling in my tummy. I turn the corner, expecting to see another mummy’s boy in need of a 2nd mother and not a girlfriend, but I physically stop dead in my tracks. Aiden is stunning. He leans against the counter and smiles as I enter. Did he see my mouth flop open? I bloody hope I don’t look like a drooling fool.

Mum hands me a glass of something bubbly. “Close your mouth, Sweetie. It is not very becoming.” She leaves the room, a smug air about her. ‘One nil to Mum,” she mutters with laugh.


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Book Reviews

3 in 1 Book Review

Coming Home by Geri Glenn 4/5

It’s a tried and tested narrative of a teen running away with her rebel boyfriend and them both returning years later to win back the love of her parents, but that’s not a negative. I like a little cliche when it is written well.

This is a short, Christmas read with a feel good ending. As they say, all’s well that ends well.

The snowglobe by Kristin Harmel 5/5

Poignant and moving tale of a Jewish boy meeting a Jewish girl on Christmas eve in Nazi occupied France and falling in love.

It is well written and takes us on a long journey in few pages. From Paris to Auschwitz concentration camp. I could have continued reading.

Marilyn’s Christmas Surprise by Alyssa Lindsey 3/5

This is a light hearted, Christmas read about love at first sight. There are stereotypical tropes, but I do expect that with Christmas romances. However, it is well written.

The only part I didn’t connect with is the kissing your sister’s boyfriend. Not acceptable in my book, even if it’s love at first sight. I no longer related to the characters afterward. We also didn’t learn what Amber thought of them getting together after she split with Brett.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

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updates

October Update

And just like that, October is done. I have had a productive month, even if I haven’t done a great deal of writing.

Writing

I finished the first draft of Zombies and Budgie Smugglers. I am not even going to look at it again until well into the New Year. Despite it being a novella, I found it the most taxing book I have written. Having a nearly 9 year old and a 17 month old made sure of that. Only joking, however, mum duties always come first.

I have started handwriting something new. I am not setting deadlines, so I can take my own sweet time. All I can say is… watch this space.

Blogging

My Picture This series has continued through October. We’re over the half way point, with more scheduled until November 27th.

October marks the last month of Author Toolbox Blog Hop until January 2020. If you missed that post on the benefits of writing by hand you can find it here.

Reading

This month I have read just 2 short books. You can find the links here:

Bug Out Guy by Gavin Griffiths

The Woman Who Lost Her Face by NBC News

What’s Next?

With a holiday fast approaching, and then the festive season zooming around the corner, I am not setting goals in stone. All I can hope is to read and write a little more.

Obviously, my blog series will continue. November 27th is the date of the final episode. I am rethinking series and posts for 2020, so for the time being, I shall be thinking about a few Christmassy posts to write in November and schedule ahead of time to make December easier.


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Picture This

Picture This: Episode 6

I’m sticking with the Halloween theme this week, seeing as the big night is tomorrow. I will say ‘Happy Halloween’ to you and wish you a fun, safe night.

Prompt:

My Interpretation:

We were turned young , so we stay young. It can be frustrating when I’m refused entry to a bar or club, knowing I’m thrice the age of the oldest doorman. It’s more than a frustration for Matthew; he can’t bear this life. He was just sixteen when we were turned. At least I was eighteen, not quite a child, nearly a woman. Living as an adult man trapped in a boy’s form has taken its toll on Matthew.

My brother’s sole mission in this life of longevity is learning how to end it. Thankfully, he has failed thus far, giving me time to find someway to make this life tolerable for him.

For the past six months, I have been travelling the world over to find her. It was hard because child vampires are not common, but if you know where to look and what to ask, nothing remains hidden. Samia is sixteen in looks, but similar to us in actual age, and she is keen to leave her little island and see the world as my travelling companion. Little does she know that she is to be my sister in law.


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Picture This

Picture This: Episode 5

I can’t believe we are already at the halfway point of this series. Thanks for sticking with me for this long, and I hope you are enjoying this series so far.

The Prompt:

My Interpretation:

“So, how are you?” Sabre asks, the look of concern creasing a line in her brow.

I shrug.

“The dreams are back, right? Otherwise, why would you call me to meet at two in the A.M.”

I stir my coffee with one of those wooden sticks, purposefully avoiding her stare. “They feel so real, like I am only half asleep, and it really feels like there is someone in my apartment… my room.”

Sabre places a hand on mine. “Dreams usually mean something different than what they seem. I think stressing over work isn’t helping. You need to let them know why you are always tired.”

“And let them think I’m on the verge of a breakdown? No way. I fought tooth and nail for that job.” I lean back from my coffee in frustration. “I actually called you because I knew you’d be up and I need distracting.”

Sabre gives an enthusiastic nod of the head. “You’re right. Let’s change the subject.” She clocks my phone on the table. “Did you get any good pics of the Christmas party? All mine are crap.”

I hand over my phone and wait patiently as she scrolls through the camera roll. Eventually, she pauses, clearly scrutinising one of the pictures. She is probably about to scolf me for taking an unflattering one of her.

“Did Freya crash at your place that night?” she asks.

“No, why?”

She zooms in on something and throws the phone across the table at me with a gasp. “Oh, my God!”

I pick up the phone and see a picture of myself sleeping in the bed. It feels as if a clamp has tightened on my chest. “How? Who could ..?”

Sabre taps the screen with shaking hands. “Zoom in on the mirror behind the bed.”

I do what she says with my heart in my throat. The reflection is of a man in a hooded coat holding my phone up in front of his face as he takes the picture. The same man I see in my so called dreams.”


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