Picture Prompt

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Here is another of my Instagram picture prompts for you to get creative with. I invite you to have a go at writing a sentence/paragraph/short story to accompany the picture. Remember to link your post back to me, so I can read your creations and spotlight them in the next picture prompt post.

You can find me on Instagram by following this link.

Picture Prompt:

K.J. CHAPMAN(3)

Not a soul had touched the water from the lake in almost a century. The last to plummet into the crystal clear depths suffered the consequences- a cruel, painful death. Only one elder remains who remembers that tragic day, and despite his age, his stories are still as vivid as ever.

The water of the lake is sacred. The stories passed down through the years insist that the lake was blessed by a High Priestess after a dream in which the Almighty Overseer instructed her to act upon his command. After the blessing, anyone who swam or drank from the lake withered like dried bark, screaming all the while until finally giving their last breath. It is believed that the one who survives the lake is the blessed Child of the Almighty Overseer. We shall never know the truth in this, for we are prohibited from going near the lake.

Although it is forbidden, it is a right of passage for a child turning the age of adulthood to jump the waterfall. It is not a large jump, but one shaking foot, or a meek run up would inevitably see them plunging into the water below. It hasn’t happened, yet.

Exhaling to calm my frantic heart beat, and clenching my fists tight, I run toward the waterfall. Harrow and the gang cheer and whoop as my feet thunder toward the jump. They have all made the jump in recent months; I am the youngest of the group and the last of us to prove myself courageous… or stupid.

“Go on, Baby,” Harrow calls, and his voice gees me on.

As my foot lands upon the last rock before the rushing fall of water, I launch myself into the air, keeping my eyes on the rocks on the other side.

Just as a howl of applause echoes around the forest, a gale of wind rips through the trees, extinguishing the camp fire. The impact of the wind is enough to knock the air out of my lungs, and as the force spirals me away from the rocks, I cry out for Harrow.

“Lenna!” he roars, as I tumble toward the water.

Oh, Almighty. This is how I die.

Hitting the water, I flail to the surface, awaiting the inevitable. Harrow and the others look over the edge, crying and screaming my name. How long does this thing take? With a lurch, I’m sucked down into a vortex of current without a shred of air in my lungs. Perhaps drowning is the lesser of two evils. The water feels like hands upon me, forcing me anyway it pleases, and with one forceful gush, I’m propelled from the lake and land heavily on the bank. Harrow is already running toward me after bravely scaling the rock face.

He stops in his tracks, eyes wide, and mouth open. “Your skin,” he gasps.

Every inch of my skin is covered in delicate, black symbols.

Dropping to his knees, Harrow lowers his head in a bow. “Child of the Almighty Overseer.”


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Picture Prompt

book-review12

Here is another of my Instagram picture prompts for you to get creative with. I invite you to have a go at writing a sentence/paragraph/short story to accompany the picture. Remember to link your post back to me, so I can read your creations and spotlight them in the next picture prompt post.

You can find me on Instagram by following this link.

Writer Spotlight: The talented Katie Masters tried her hand my last picture prompt. Find her enthralling story in the comments of the last post.

Picture Prompt:

K.J. CHAPMAN(2).png

The view from the cottage offers the first sighting of any ships and boats heading toward the coast. Everyday, for hours on end, I stand at the bottom of the garden, watching the horizon span out from the jut of rock that shields the cove. Alfred no longer scolds me for my time wasted in such a task, and where he’d once reprimand me for standing in the rain, hail, and gales atop the cliff, he now merely brings a a blanket without a word.

I await the Black Whisper. It has been fourteen months since she left under attack, leaving me here with Alfred. Fourteen months of me acting the lady with no family save an elderly manservant. I long to shun the corsets and petticoats for my britches and coat. I wish to not have to keep my gun and sword hidden in case of visitors.

Alfred fears she will never return, but that doesn’t stop him from watching and waiting in the night. I know she will return, for the captain would not abandon us…me.

“Supper is ready, Lass.” Alfred’s frail hand on my shoulder startles me. “As I am a soul, you’re wet through.”

“I shall be along, Alfred.”

“Tis misting today. You shan’t see a bloody thing unless it is upon our door. How shall I explain to the Cap’n, when he does return, that you caught your death upon the cliffs? He’d tie me to the rope and use me as the fecking anchor!”

Turning foot, I head into the cottage. “Your skinny arse as anchor, pah!” Wisecracks are what get us through the long days. Alfred’s rebuffs are so sharp and witty, yet he says nothing. “Alfred?” Still nothing.

The old man splutters, but no words surface. Instead, he points to the mist. Sails break through as if cutting at the air. The Black Whisper sails into the cove with a familiar, burly figure at the bow.

“The Cap’n has returned for the lass who waited,” Alfred guffaws.


 

 

10 Weeks, 10 Prompts, 10 Minutes #9 (Prompt Me Special)

The purpose of these writing exercises is to take a prompt a week for ten weeks and allow myself ten minutes to expand on it. All the prompts are taken from my writing prompt eBook: Prompt Me.

To check out my list of ten prompts, and maybe have a go yourself, follow this link.  Go with the flow, take the prompt literally, or just allow elements to inspire a totally different story. It is up to you. Link back to me, so I can have a read of your creations.

The Prompt:

“As soon as I admit that someone is my friend they end up dead. So, for all intents and purposes, I don’t like you.”

“No! You don’t get to push me away.”

“And you don’t get to die because of me.”

She throws me aside, but I grip her forearm, forcing her back to face me. “It won’t be because of you, it’ll be for you… always for you.”

I know that look. It’s the look she had her on her face when she kissed me all those months ago. She can try and push the memory from her mind, but it’s the only real thing I remember of the last year. It’s only there for a second before her eyes shadow over and she coughs away her emotion.

“Okay, I can accept that you don’t like me, but look me in the eyes and tell me that you don’t love me,” I say. She looks to her feet. “Tell me, Erin! Tell me and I will walk away. You’ll never have to see me again.” Still she is quiet. Stepping closer to her, I make her meet my eye. “If you say it, you better mean it, because I will walk away if that’s what you want.”

Her breathing is ragged and her chest heaves in air. “Do you love me?” she asks.

“Don’t reflect the question. Why the hell would I have followed you blindly into this madness if I didn’t love you? I’ve been shot, burnt, buried alive, and she asks me if I love her,” I say, a smile pulling at the edge of my mouth.

She scoffs now. “I thought you were just a bit of an idiot.”

“Yeah, that too.”

She steps away, hands me a gun, and marches on. “Well, if you’re coming, you better get your ass moving.”

“Hey! You can’t leave it like that. Tell me you don’t love me, Erin.”

“You said that if I say it, I better mean it.” She glances back over her shoulder and smiles.

It’s not the declaration of love I was hoping for, but it’ll do for now.

 


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

 

 

 

10 Weeks, 10 Prompts, 10 Minutes #7 (Prompt Me Special)

The purpose of these writing exercises is to take a prompt a week for ten weeks and allow myself ten minutes to expand on it. All the prompts are taken from my writing prompt eBook: Prompt Me.

To check out my list of ten prompts, and maybe have a go yourself, follow this link.  Go with the flow, take the prompt literally, or just allow elements to inspire a totally different story. It is up to you. Link back to me, so I can have a read of your creations.

The Prompt:

“When I said come bearing gifts it was code for weapons. I can’t believe you brought cheesecake.”

Manny simply stares at me. “Uh, sorry, Boss. I thought it was your birthday or something.”

“Why would I celebrate my birthday with you bunch of reprobates? Put it in the bin.”

He looks to the dessert like I’ve just asked him to kill his cat. “But it’s banoffee–”

“Put the fucking cheesecake in the fucking bin, or so help me God, I will put so many bullets in you that you’ll look like fucking cheese!” Slamming my gun on the table, the room recoils from my outburst. Manny drops the pudding into the bin, and I unclench my hands and brush my hair back out of my face.

Why do these useless assholes make life hard for themselves- for me. It’s not like I don’t pay them well. It’s just a pity that the people easiest to control, and have do your dirty work, are usually a sandwich sort of a picnic. If I wanted to be a babysitter, I’d not have killed that hooker and let her keep the baby.

“Please tell me you’ve got something for me,” I say to Gaz. Gaz is the self-appointed crew leader, and I suppose he is the brightest of a very dim bunch. He swings a black bin bag onto my desk and opens the top just a little. Wilkes’ severed head peers up at me, and I close the bag once more. “Good. What did you do with the rest of him?”

“Propped up in his office chair like you wanted.”

I slouch back into my chair. “And the note?”

“I personally hand delivered it an hour ago.”

That makes me feel good- really good. This is my city and anyone who thinks otherwise must be shown their place. “If Wilkes Jr wants Daddy’s head, then he signs over his shares to Gyroni Corp. If he doesn’t, then I underestimated the Daddy’s boy.”

Gaz takes the black bag from my desk. “Right. So, what’s with the weapons, Boss?”

“I’m glad you asked. There is a little situation I need handled. Do you think you’re up for it?” Gaz nods. “I want you to storm Harry May’s house.”

“The politician?” Gaz asks. The men shift awkwardly.

“The very same. He’s got a security team of seven ex-marines, coded doors, and a panic room.” I slap a piece of A4 on the desk in front of Gaz. “Here are the codes you’ll need to get into the house. Harry must stay alive, kill the wife, and abduct his sixteen year old daughter. I will pay one mill for this job.” The thought of all those zeroes seems to lighten the mood a little. “The girl remains untouched. I mean it- not a hair on her head or a dick in her panties! After all, we’re not animals.”

 


Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

 

 

September Reads Round Up

MONTHLY READS ROUNDUP

A round up of my September reads with links to the full reviews:

Thirst for the Hunt by A.C.Wentwood

14182339_1260611360656945_2041632876_nFull Review: Thirst for the Hunt

I gave this book 2/5. I think the author read Twilight before writing this book.Character decisions were unbelievable, but I did like the weird group dynamics of the lost boys, and in particular, the highly jealous, slightly insane lost girl.

The Last Orphans by N.W.Harris

14012220_1245851038799644_1955197727_nFull Review: The Last Orphans

I gave this book 5/5. Well written, perfectly paced, and action packed. A unique take on the infection outbreak storyline. I was fully submerged into Shane’s new reality and the dynamics of the whole gang.

 

Feyland by Anthea Sharp

14269639_1264856833565731_1283666633_nFull Review: Feyland

I gave this book 2.5/5. Vivid descriptions and detailing of Feyland, but an old concept with little character development. I would have liked to have had more conclusion. This prequel felt more like a long prologue.

 

Grey by Kade Cook

14341454_1270502796334468_2041794031_nFull Review: Grey

I gave this book 3/5. Detailed world building and a vast array of unique characters. The pacing felt a little off, and there were lots of info dumps, but a good fantasy story interwoven with the present day.

Burn the Dead: Quarantine by Steven Jenkins

14328879_1269538459764235_641140964_nFull Review: Burn the Dead: Quarantine

I gave this book 4/5. Some ‘oh my god’ moments within the first few chapters, and it was refreshing to be stunned by simple narrative twists and not just by the gore.

Hollowland by Amanda Hocking

14459917_1281062005278547_317153572_nFull Review: Hollowland

I gave this book 3.5/5. Interesting plot line with some well devloped characters. Some character choices didn’t add up, but overall an enjoyable read. Will definitely be reading the next book in the series.

 

Nano Contestant #1 by Leif Sterling

14348962_1275830002468414_512785584_nFull Review: Nano Contestant

I gave this book 4/5. Fans of the Hunger Games will like this book. Brilliant concept with motivated, rounded characters. Part of a large series. There isn’t a conclusion, more of a cliffhanger to lead onto the next installment, and that is what cost it that final 5th star for me.


Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

 

 

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Another One!

After I finished my ‘What’s Your Name?’ posts, I felt a little stuck for writing exercise inspiration. I am still doing my ’10 Weeks, 10 Prompts, 10 Minutes’ posts, but as the title says, it only lasts for 10 weeks and I am coming to the end of these posts. So, there was only one option, right? To buy another naming book and start another writing exercise using new names.

My new name book has such a different variety of names to my old book, so it was definitely worth the buy. The layout of this book is a little different to the old one too. There are separate girl and boy name sections and this gave me an idea for a unique spin to these writing exercises. Rather than pick the one name each week, I shall pick two (one from each section) and have to use them both in the one exercise. It’ll be fun to have the characters interact with each other.

The first exercise will be posted in two weeks, when my current writing exercise posts are finished. So, keep your eyes peeled for my ‘It Takes Two’ posts.


Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

GIF sourced from Giphy.com

10 Weeks, 10 Prompts, 10 Minutes #6 (Prompt Me Special)

The purpose of these writing exercises is to take a prompt a week for ten weeks and allow myself ten minutes to expand on it. All the prompts are taken from my writing prompt eBook: Prompt Me.

To check out my list of ten prompts, and maybe have a go yourself, follow this link.  Go with the flow, take the prompt literally, or just allow elements to inspire a totally different story. It is up to you. Link back to me, so I can have a read of your creations.

The Prompt:

“There are a number of things to remember: don’t make eye contact, do not accept any food or liquid, and if she scratches her ear she is planning to kill you.”

“Scratching ear- dead. Got it,” I reply, pacing from the length of the room. “I don’t see why I can’t take my gun? If she is going to be loaded up and surrounded by her men, then surely it makes sense that I’d have something… anything?”

“You cannot be seen as a threat,” Jackson says, injecting the tracker into my scalp. “Naivety may just keep you alive long enough to say what needs to be said. Your best bet is to act ignorant, okay? As far as she is concerned, you’re just some guy we’ve found to be our messenger. If Vicka knows you’re Frankie’s son, then she won’t give you time to kiss your ass goodbye.”

The confidence I once felt at having been chosen to face Vicka is quickly replaced by doubt. I wasn’t chosen because I was up for the job, a good fighter, a decent negotiator. I was chosen because I looked innocent enough to encourage Vicka to at least hear what I have to say before she guts me. That’s all The Sphere needs- Vicka to listen. After that, I’m expendable, legendary father or no.

“Have you rehearsed the script?” Jackson asks, hands firm on my shoulders, so I can’t look anywhere save his face. I nod, although, I think the script is awful; penned like a begging child rather than a request for help. Vicka won’t take to our begging. She may be many things, but from what I know of her, she doesn’t give out mercy or charity. It’s weird to think that we’re on the same side… kind of.

“If I recite that script, then I’m dead and The Sphere would have lost any potential help from Vicka. Have you read it? It sucks ass.” Jackson eyes me sternly. “Don’t look at me like that. You know it as well as I do, but you’re just too chicken shit to say anything to the Boss Man.”

Jackson looks taken aback. “The script is short and too the point. It gives you chance to say what needs to be said.”

“Before she kills me.”

“If you do this right, then you’ll be fine.”

I laugh in his face. “She will kill me if I’m begging on his behalf, Jackson. You don’t have to worry. Run and tell the Boss Man that I’ll deliver his little speech for the good of The Sphere, but you can also tell him that I HAVE NOT died for him. I have died for the innocent back home. I have died for my Dad.”

“You won’t die, Dex.”

“Like you care.”

 


Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

Review: Nano Contestant by Leif Sterling

book review(1)

Nano Contestant by Leif Sterling 4/5

14348962_1275830002468414_512785584_nNANO CONTESTANT SERIES: Episode 1 of 12 Serialized Episodes

In 2114, Pinnacle Corporation, the world’s largest tech company, hosts the Tech Games to showcase the world’s latest technology. The contestants must battle it out in 11 brutal games to ultimately win a $100 million prize!

These digital and hybrid athletes must use everything at their disposal in order to take that prize and all of its glory in the Tech Games.

Hacking, firewalls and electronic countermeasures are all being used by each contestant while running and fighting at top speed. It’s all on the line, because nothing is being left on the table!

EPISODE 1 – Whatever It Takes

How far would you go to save your family?

Roland has vowed to save his father’s life and get him set free – no matter what it takes. Entering the brutal Tech Games as a contestant gives Roland the perfect cover to get close to the Pinnacle Corporation and try to uncover evidence that would free his father.

But first, he must qualify by demonstrating a new, state of the art technology – implanted in his own body. With the Tech Games deadline closing fast, he must risk his own life with untested nanotech, or he will lose his chance to save his father’s life forever.

I downloaded this book for free from Amazon Kindle.

Review:

It’s 2114, and Roland needs information on Pinnacle, the world’s leading tech company who hold the answers for his father’s incarceration on death row. What better way to get close to the corporation than by entering the deadly Tech Games; a Pinnacle run tournament to showcase the latest technology with a prize of £100 million.

This book has no conclusion. It is part one of a much longer story, hence why I couldn’t give it 5*. It is a unique way of writing a story because you risk leaving readers dissatisfied with the ending, but I believe that Sterling pulled it off. I want to know what happens during Roland’s time in the Tech Games.

The small cast of characters was a refreshing change from a large array, and works well for this small installment. The character’s motivation is made known, and the reason for taking the risks are believable. I can’t wait to get to learn more on Roland and Skylar in particular.

Sterling does a great job of world building. The technology in 2114 is well thought through and a graphic description of a surgical operation is not for the faint hearted. I would call this book the Hunger Games on Speed!


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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10 Weeks, 10 Prompts, 10 Minutes #5 (Prompt Me Special)

The purpose of these writing exercises is to take a prompt a week for ten weeks and allow myself ten minutes to expand on it. All the prompts are taken from my writing prompt eBook: Prompt Me.

To check out my list of ten prompts, and maybe have a go yourself, follow this link.  Go with the flow, take the prompt literally, or just allow elements to inspire a totally different story. It is up to you. Link back to me, so I can have a read of your creations.

The Prompt:

In total, sixteen ships came to rescue us. That meant that only sixteen thousand humans had survived the death of earth.

They call themselves Control Officers, the ones who have been assigned to watch over the humans. Most of us are subdued; happy to be safely off of Earth, but a few are already experiencing some kind of cabin fever. A Control Officer beat a man to a bloody pulp after he got hold of a gun from somewhere and shot at a window. The bullet ricocheted back into the room, imbedding into an old woman’s thigh. The woman would have bled out there and then if not for my mother’s surgical knowledge.

Mum and I barely converse with anyone in our dorm. After we boarded, we were separated into groups of two hundred and forced to live with strangers. There are five groups, so I’m guessing there are five areas of this massive ship that are occupied just like ours. There were sixteen ships in total, so that’s sixteen thousand people who have escaped the death of Earth.

Mum and I have to share a bunk no bigger than a camp bed, and the sweaty, musky smell from too many bodies in a small space is becoming intolerable. I try not to sleep- it sounds silly, I know, but its easier to doze for an hour or so in the rec rooms.

Our rec rooms are fairly spacious. There are arcade games, exercise equipment, and lots of tables and chairs. We do everything in this room, including eat. Vac pac food is wheeled in on trolleys three times a day; you miss it, you don’t eat. The Control Officers say that it will take three months to get back to their planet. I have a little piece of paper in my pocket, and I tally off the days just for something to keep me sane.

I’m alone in the rec room, so I drag some of the tables and chairs aside to make a clear space. I’ll put them back when I’m done. Then, pressing the button on the control panel for some music, a tune I have not heard before plays softly over the speakers. It is a pretty song- pretty but sad. My chest aches for home, and those who did not make it upon the ships. Removing my shoes, I stretch a little and let my body feel the music. Dancing reminds me of my Gran. She was my number one fan, and was so excited when I got into the dance academy, but then the solar flares started and life as we knew it fell to pot.

Dancing helps me rid myself of claustrophobia. We’re not supposed to be in the rec rooms after lights out, but its the only time I can breathe. It’s not like I’m being a nuisance. I always leave it how I found it, and have the music on its lowest setting. I’m dancing, for god’s sake, not shooting at windows.

I slump to the floor, out of breath and sweating.

“Your body moves like liquid,” says a voice from the door way. I jump to my feet at the sight of a Control Officer. “I have never seen that dance before.” His accent is strong. The Control Officers speak amongst themselves in their own language, but have learnt how to speak many Earth languages.

“I’m sorry. I know I’m not supposed to be in here–”

He raises his hand to silence me. “I know you come up here. I like to watch you. What is that dance called?”

I blush crimson. “Well, it doesn’t really have a name. I supposed we call it improvisation. I just do what feels right.”

“So, that is not a dance with steps?” he asks. I shake my head and set to moving the table back into place. “Interesting. You looked sad when you were dancing. Dancing is supposed to be joyous, yes?”

“Dance is whatever you want it to be. I was thinking about home and my late Grandmother. I was… expressing my feelings through my dancing.”

“Your home is a dead planet.” His brow is furrowed, and he tilts is head in curiosity. “Earth is a shell. There is nothing to miss.” He has the same black and white attitude that is apparent in all the Control Officers. They have no time for sentiment it seems.

“Yes, but it is still my home. All my memories are there. I had friends and family there. I’m grateful to be here, but I miss Earth- I always will.”

His lips turn down for a moment. “You will like my home, Zan. It is much like your Earth, but our main stars are different, ours is bigger and red. Yes, you will like it, and you will make new memories.”

I smile. He’s trying to make me feel better. None of the Control Officers act like they have any personality, and it’s reassuring to know that they are similar to humans in some ways. “A red sun. Wow, that I have to see. Why did you rescue us?”

“Because you were in trouble. That is a strange question.” His face is an open book. They really did rescue us because it was the right thing to do.

“Usually, people have motives for doing something that does not benefit themselves, or at least, human people do.”

“That is… er, what is that word?…selfish. What is your name?” he asks.

“Lily, like a flower we had on Earth.”

“I am happy to meet you, Lily Flower, my name is Lowen.” He holds out his hand to me and shakes mine awkwardly. I giggle at the sudden formality, and the way he said my name. “Did I do it wrong?” he says, looking at his hand as if it is something foreign.

“No. It was fine,” I say, still giggling at him.

He lunges toward me, wrapping me in a stiff embrace. “I’ve seen other humans greet each other like this,” he says into my hair. “Is this correct?”

I burst into full blown laughter. “Something like that. We can work on it.”

 


Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

 

 

Review: Feyland: The First Adventure by Anthea Sharp

book review(1)

Feyland: The First Adventure (a prequel) by Anthea Sharp 2.5/5

14269639_1264856833565731_1283666633_nHigh-tech gaming and ancient magic collide when a computer game opens a gateway to the treacherous Realm of Faerie.

Jennet Carter never thought hacking into her dad’s new epic-fantasy sim-game would be so exciting… or dangerous. Behind the interface, dark forces lie in wait, leading her toward a battle that will test her to her limits and cost her more than she ever imagined.

I downloaded this novella for free from Amazon Kindle.

Review:

I have not read any of the books in the Feyland series, so I went into the prequel with absolutely no knowledge of the world or narrative. The concept is not an original one; virtual reality game gives user access into another realm, but the descriptions were vivid and brought Feyland to life.

Rather than acting like a prequel in its own right, the whole narrative felt more like a prologue for the Feyland series. There was very little conclusion, and was simply building up to the first book, rather than telling it’s own story completely and fully. There was zero explanation of the ‘game to another realm’ technology, or any meaningful interaction with the Feyland inhabitants. There was, however, backstory on both Jennet and her father.

The book read well, and the elements of reality, Feyland, and gaming were woven together confidently, but I shall not be looking to read the Feyland series.


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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