Archives for posts with tag: Family

Hi all:

As you know, I love to read and review books and other things (movies, plays…). Although I read and watch things in very different genres (and I have a penchant for the unclassifiable, I must admit, both in my work and in that of others), and I love horror, and don’t flinch at gore or hard scenes or topics, sometimes one just fancies something gentle, that will leave us with a smile on our face and our heart, and a sigh of contentment, rather than making our blood pressure go up and leave us thinking about how awful the world can be.

I’m lucky enough, through Net Galley, to catch glimpses of books before they go on sale to the general public, and that was the case with this book, that will be officially published on the 18th of June but is available for pre-order.

The readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarian Bivald

The readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

First, the blurb:

The readers of the Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

Sara is 28 and has never been outside Sweden – except in the (many) books she reads. When her elderly penfriend Amy invites her to come and visit her in Broken Wheel, Iowa, Sara decides it’s time. But when she arrives, there’s a twist waiting for her – Amy has died. Finding herself utterly alone in a dead woman’s house in the middle of nowhere was not the holiday Sara had in mind.

But Sara discovers she is not exactly alone. For here in this town so broken it’s almost beyond repair are all the people she’s come to know through Amy’s letters: poor George, fierce Grace, buttoned-up Caroline and Amy’s guarded nephew Tom.

Sara quickly realises that Broken Wheel is in desperate need of some adventure, a dose of self-help and perhaps a little romance, too. In short, this is a town in need of a bookshop.

Here, my review:

A dream of a book for all book lovers

Thanks to the publisher and to Net Galley for providing me with an advance copy of this book that was a bestseller in its original Swedish.

What a wonderful book! If like me, you love books, you find time spent reading always rewarding, and would love to live in a library or a bookshop, this is your book.

Sara, the protagonist, who has always found company, consolation, friendship and support in books, takes a leap of faith and when the bookshop where she works closes down, she accepts the invitation of her pen-pal and fellow book lover, Amy. She goes to spend two month with Amy in Broken Wheel, Iowa. Unfortunately, things don’t go according to plan, but when she is adopted by the whole village, she comes up with a scheme to repay them in kind, by sharing the magic and power of books.

The transformation of Sara and the town are what drives the narrative, and the assorted characters (some more recognisable than others) become humanised by their contact with Sara and her books. So much so that they can’t let her go and will do anything to keep her with them.

I enjoyed Amy’s epistles that help us imagine the missing character, the sad characters (like George and John), the riotous ones (Andy, Grace), wonderful Caroline, the love interest… Well, everybody.

This isn’t a book of mysteries and intrigues. There are no major surprises and the plot meanders along gently inviting us to share in the characters’ adventures, where nothing drastic or earth shattering happens, just life as usual.

I loved the bookshop, and Sara’s classification system, and I’d like to work there and move to Broken Wheel. Because a book about books can’t be wrong.

A delightful read.

Ah, let’s not forget the links:

Kindle: $8.97

http://www.amazon.com/Readers-Broken-Wheel-Recommend-ebook/dp/B00TQDWHJO/

Paperback: $ 13.05  http://www.amazon.com/Readers-Broken-Wheel-Recommend/dp/070118907X/

Hardback: $12. 92 http://www.amazon.com/The-Readers-Broken-Wheel-Recommend/dp/0701189061/

Through Amazon Prime I have access to movies, TV series, etc, directly streamed to the TV (if you have it connected to the internet, that is) or to the Kindle or wherever. And I found a movie from 2010 I hadn’t seen, by Rob Reiner, called Flipped that had a similar effect. A gentle movie, good for family viewers, set in the late 1950s. I haven’t read the original book, but now I’m quite curious about it. The critics didn’t seem to like it very much, although viewers were kinder. OK, it’s no Stand By Me, not many movies are, but it is a kind movie, for all the family, mostly about children, their families, and I particularly enjoyed watching John Mahoney (from Frasier fame) portrayal as the grandad, and thought Anthony Edwards played with considerable restraint a truly unsympathetic character.

Just in case you feel curious, here is the link to IMDB:

Flipped

Flipped

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0817177/

Two eighth-graders start to have feelings for each other despite being total opposites. Based on the novel “Flipped” by Wendelin Van Draanen.

Director:

Rob Reiner

Writers:

Rob Reiner (screenplay), Andrew Scheinman(screenplay),

Stars:

Madeline CarrollCallan McAuliffeRebecca De Mornay, Aidan Queen, Anthony Edwards, John Mahoney, Penelope Ann Miller

Thank you all for reading, thanks to Net Galley and the publishers for the advance copy of The readers of Broken Wheel Recommend, and if you’ve enjoyed it, like, share, comment and CLICK!

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Hi all:

We’ve left 2014 behind and most people tend to take stock of what happened the previous year and think about the future. Plenty of things happened to me last year (and I’m sure the same goes for all of you) but I wanted to look at my writing and books.

Escaping Psychiatry cover by Ernesto Valdés

Escaping Psychiatry cover by Ernesto Valdés

In January 2014 I published Escaping Psychiatry. This book is a compilation of three novellas (psychological thrillers) with the same protagonist, Mary, a psychiatrist and writer whose attempts at dedicating herself exclusively to writing are thwarted once and again by friends or circumstances that keep dragging her back (kicking and screaming) into psychiatry. The three novellas: Cannon FodderTeamwork, and Memory are quite different in subject and touch on abuse, racism, prejudice, police corruption, murder, serial killers, rape…

If you want to check in more detail you can always look inside or get a sample, here:

http://bit.ly/Z4MyhI

Or in paper:

http://bit.ly/1uNckVu

This book is also my first one to be available as an audiobook:

http://bit.ly/1yFL1PC

And if you fancy listening to a sample you can check this video in You Tube:

http://youtu.be/oZyVpOdgqtc

Family, Lust and Cameras

Family, Lust and Cameras

In May 2014 I published a story that I had written a while back, but I felt was very appropriate to the times of surveillance and privacy invasion we live in, Family, Lust and Cameras. It’s a dark story of obsession, mind control and abusive relationships. Can you imagine what would you feel if your life became The Rear Window and you knew somebody was watching you all the time? Well, you can read this novella and see.

http://bit.ly/1uNdLDz

I Love Your Cupcakes cover by Lourdes Vidal

I Love Your Cupcakes cover by Lourdes Vidal

In September 2014 I published I Love Your Cupcakes, a sweet romance, where the three protagonists (Dulce, Adelfa and Storm) end up taking part in a TV baking competition and discover that one can find love in the most unlikely places. An upbeat and fun book to read, I recommend it if you’re having a fed-up day.

http://bit.ly/Z4QU8l

And in paper:

http://bit.ly/102LkEv

Angelic Business 1

In November I took part in NaNoWriMo and won! I decided to write the third in a series of Young Adult/New Adult books I’ve been working on. For the time being the series is called Angelic Business and the books are: Pink Matters, Shapes of Greg and Pink, Demon or Angel?

Angelic Business 3Pink Demon or Pink

Angelic Business 1 (mask)

As you can see I don’t have a cover yet, and as it’s going to be a series I’ll have to give it some thought.

I’ve published the draft of the first book in Wattpad (I’ll remove it when I publish it) and at the moment I’m editing and translating them all, with the plan of publishing them fairly close to each other…

Here is the link to the first one in Wattpad:

http://www.wattpad.com/myworks/12042085-angelic-business-1-pink-matters

Ah, and I leave you the link to another story I also published in Wattpad that at the moment I’m not thinking of publishing anywhere else:

http://www.wattpad.com/myworks/17213556-we-are-family

In case you want to check on the rest of my work and links to other versions of my books, here is my website:

http://www.OlgaNM.com

Now that I’ve told you what I’ve been doing and what I’m going to be doing, it’s time to wish you a Happy Year 2015, ask you about your projects and wish you good luck with them . And as always:

Thanks for reading, and you know what to do, like, share, comment, and if you fancy, CLICK!

Hi all:

I hope you’ve been following my series sharing my meeting and interview with The Scary Guy. Today we get to the last part, where Scary talks about what he feels is his main message, about his personal experiences, his concept of family and how he’s come to be who he was meant to be.

Scary welcomes us to the last part of the interview

Scary welcomes us to the last part of the interview

I asked Scary about his core message: He told me he wants to show enough people how to make world peace in their life time. He is convinced that it can happen; the problem is how to show it to all individuals in the world in that particular moment. Part of the reason he believes this is a challenge is because people are essentially reactionary; they react to whatever is happening around them instantly.

He described that sharing his belief, message and teaching is like trying to swim up a waterfall (like the Niagara). He described himself as a “little speck of sand, screaming loudly”. With his tattoos he is screaming to tell people that it can be done and that it is very simple. Some people get it and “when they get it is as if they got a key. “With my teaching, they see that they can work on their own world peace. That is where their power lives” “Creation is not static, not inanimate. You have to keep working at it; you have to keep moving, breathing, changing creation. World peace is a process, not a matter of wood, or a gun, or a war. It’s the process of how to learn to create world peace.  People will say that we would achieve world peace “if we only stop fighting…or if we only make this or that happen, and we end up labelling it as racism or gay prejudice as the problem …” For Scary that is not the root problem, that is a manifestation, it is a symptom, a scar of an underlying problem. Neither racism, nor sexism, nor religious hatred are the problems and even if one of those problems were solved that would not result in world peace.

He noted that he would meet people who would be at pains to tell him straight away, I’m gay, or I belong to this or that religious group. And he wonders why they think that is so important. He knows they want to be accepted, the same as everybody, but he will tell them: “You tell me because you want to be accepted. I love you because you’re you.” It is not a matter of loving somebody for some specific reason, but rather as a whole person.

Both the film and the book also discuss Scary’s concept of creating your own family. He told me that like all of his teachings they come from personal experiences. He told me that his biological father was an afraid and angry man who lived through the period of World War II and was a child of that time. Scary’s father believed that children should be heard and not seen.

Scary needed acceptance from his father and wanted his father to tell him that he loved him as a son but his father did not have the training to do that. Scary’s father’s father had left the family when Scary’s father was 13 (in the 1930s or 40s). He never spoke about this. He had been taught that men had to shut up and be tough. Following this pattern, Scary’s father did not interact with his children. When he divorced, when Scary was 18, he left the house and the family and created a new family in Florida. He married a woman with six children, already grown-up and he was a father to his wife’s children but never again had any interaction with his three biological sons. Scary’s youngest brother tracked their father down and sent him a Christmas present but he returned it.

Scary sees looking back that his father never approved of anything he did and he felt as if he was always walking on eggshells, trying to prevent his father from getting angry, whilst at the same time feeling shameful and guilty. Scary told me he calls these kinds of experiences that everybody has to a certain extent “life” although a therapist might call it “baggage”. One day he looked at himself in the mirror and he realised it was not his problem, it was his father’s. He decided he wanted to find a father that would give him the recognition and guidance his own father had never given him and he chose a guy Honest John. The full story of this is in Scary’s book. Honest John was a tough old guy that Scary saw as a great role model for him. He showed him it was possible to be tough, still be a man and still be loving at the same time.

Scary told me everybody has the ability to choose any family figure, it could be a father or a mother, somebody one feels an emotional connection to. He told me this was a very important message he gives kids through his training, especially kids from difficult backgrounds, where their parents would have had what he described as “bad training”. They might have been addicted to drugs, or be abusive, or have other difficulties. He tells them they have nothing to lose by choosing somebody new and once they try they’ll see if the can do it or not, but they will never be in a worse position than they already are.

He says, “Don’t live in your victimhood.” He told me that he gets many letters on that subject; thousands of letters, and he has at least 20 people or more in Germany who see him as their father, both women and men. We noted that people usually say: “You choose your friends but you cannot choose your family” but Scary feels that is not necessarily so. Why not create your own family? Who wrote the rules? The rules can be re-written. “YOU CREATE YOU.” He believes that you create your own emotional being and you must be responsible for your own life.

St Mary's Church in Hay after the renovation

St Mary’s Church in Hay after the renovation

Scary told me that he has discussed this concept with religious leaders who oppose his thinking because they say God (whoever their God might be) is the only one who can create people. Scary believes human-beings are God-like and they have free-will to create themselves.

Scary told me that equally, many religious people also applaud what he is teaching, and believe he is God’s work. He has been called a “Prophet of Peace” among many other such names and one person insists he is the “Second Coming of Jesus of Nazareth”. He told me that like all comments he gets, he does not pass judgement on what they choose to believe, he thanks the person and lets them live with their beliefs as it is not harmful to anybody and helps them to live their lives with a sense of purpose.

Although we could probably had carried on talking for hours, it was a Thursday, market day and I had to go to work and needed time to digest all the information. So we left it there for the time being.

I leave you links to the previous posts:

http://wp.me/p2OC9i-1iN

http://wp.me/p2OC9i-1iZ

Scary's books in Hay-on-Wye, Addyman Books.

Scary’s books in Hay-on-Wye, Addyman Books.

And here the links to get to know more about Scary and follow his work. You might be lucky and he might be coming to a place near you soon!

Scary’s Website:

www.thescaryguy.com

Join Scary on his Facebook Fan Page

(https://www.facebook.com/thescaryguyfanpage)

Scary’s Biography: 7 Days & 7 Nights

(http://thescaryguy.com/product/7-days-and-7-nights/)

Thanks Scary and Cathryn for your kindness and for visiting my blog, thanks to all of you for reading, and you know you can like, share, comment and CLICK!

 

Hi all:

As you’ll remember, I’ve been talking for a while about the new novella I was planning on publishing, ‘Family, lust and cameras’. I published a post with a sample of the beginning of the novel and I even shared the image I wanted to use for the cover, asking for suggestions and people seemed to be quite keen and had great ideas.

Well, after so much talking, it is finally here! It has a fair bit of the psychological thriller too, but there is voyeurism, obsession, technology…

I leave you the final cover, the description, some comments from advance readers, and just in case you fancy reading a bit to get a better idea, the link to the sample post.

Family, lust and cameras by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Lourdes Vidal. Designer

Family, lust and cameras by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Lourdes Vidal. Designer

(The cover, by my friend and designer, Lourdes Vidal, is her first. I think she’s done an excellent job (although I took the picture!). And just in case you’re curious, she has a website with all the other things she does: www.lourdesvidaldisseny.jimdo.com)

Family, lust and cameras.

Do you enjoy watching? Do you think it doesn’t harm anybody?

What would happen if your life became The rear window? Pat thought she’d left her past behind and started a new life. But one doesn’t get rid of voyeurism, obsessions and family quite that easily. Sometimes one has to adopt drastic measures to survive the harassment of a man, particularly a man like Herman. And this time Pat is determined to win, whatever the price.

In this world where technology dominates our lives, we’re never alone and privacy doesn’t exist, this novella more than a work of fiction is a warning about the dangers that haunt us in our own homes. How far would you be prepared to go to get revenge from somebody intent on controlling your life?

Author and psychiatrist Olga Núñez Miret brings us another story where the character’s motives and the inner-workings of their brains will keep you guessing. Brief, tense and with no flourishes, the story will keep you reading non-stop till the end. If you’re fans of ‘Psycho’, ‘Peeping Tom’ and ‘Single White Female’ and are fascinated and repelled in equal degree by ‘Big Brother’ this adult story will get you hooked.

Some readers where very kind to read it and provide me their opinion in advance of the publishing:

Christoph Fischer

“Family, Lust and Cameras” by Olga Núñez Miret is a fantastic psychological thriller about the boundary breaking interest that her step brother Herman displays for our protagonist, Pat.

For some readers the issue of sexual desire between step siblings might be edgy but for me it is handled just right and it adds more than just a minor element of sensationalism to an already strong and fascinating plot.

It has been a while since a book has had such an immediate impact and almost hypnotic spell on me. Pat is brilliantly drawn as a strong and outspoken character but so is her step brother. The dialogue between the two of them is sharp, honest and explosive and compelling to read.

Pat has escaped Herman once before but now that he has found her she agrees to meet him to negotiate. She likes her new life, lover and job and has a lot to lose.

There is a little more to the story as it unfolds, which adds further to the reading pleasure. The author has a background in psychology and easily breaks her characters down with analytic ease and excellent empathy, making this an intellectual feast as well as a wild entertaining ride.

Magnificent and Olga Núñez Miret best so far. Highly recommended.

Natasha Johnstone

Before you read this book, know that this author is a psychologist, so messing with your mind is easy for her.  This is a story where “big brother” is literally Pat’s half brother. Obsessed and deprived he watches her every move and listens to her every conversation. He sets an elaborate scheme to get her to move in with him and participate in his love of voyeurism. This tale is disturbing as the female character plays his game and does the complete opposite of what you’d expect from her.  There are twists and turns at every corner. I compare this novella to a car accident. You don’t want to see it, but yet you can’t look away. It is gripping, unique and very well written. Five stars for corrupting my innocent little mind is not enough for this book.

Family Dysfunction Indeed! (Yelle Hughes)

You have a woman, who has a stepbrother that she grew up with when their parents died in an accident. Herman, the stepbrother had some serious issues. He took his relationship with his stepsister to an entirely, whole new level. He was manipulative, perverse and quite handy with technology, which made him equally scary.

Pat, the confused sister, didn’t know what to do. She felt sorry for the only family she had left and unfortunately indulged her demented brother. As I was reading, I felt an array of emotions and practically yelled at Pat to stop being so damn gullible. But, once I read the entire story, I felt how trapped she felt in this crazy relationship.

I don’t want to give out any spoilers but, I will say the ending was perfecto!

If you are looking to read a thriller that is hard to imagine what will come next, this is an excellent read.

Ms. Nunez did a great job of describing these character’s personalities, the scenes and begs the reader to ask the question, “What would I do?”

A Wonderfully Creepy Tale (John Dolan)

Pat McKenzie has a serious problem, in the shape of her stepbrother, Herman …

The author spins a wonderfully creepy tale of voyeurism and sexual obsession. You find yourself frequently in the heads of the main characters, and that is not a healthy place to be, as sexual mind-games are played out and normalcy recedes ever further into the distance. Expect your skin to crawl during certain passages.

Ms Nunez Miret’s narrative is tightly controlled, building to a Hitchcockian climax. You will never quite be able to think of your webcam the same way again. Sick, sick, sick individuals – I loved it.

And here the link to the previous post:

https://olganm.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/work-in-progress-family-lust-and-cameras-what-if-rear-window-took-place-inside-your-own-house/

Links:

Amazon:

http://bit.ly/1jBZZZt

Kobo:

http://bit.ly/1nBzTOo

Barnes and Noble:

http://bit.ly/1nZZ76Y

Thanks so much for reading, special thanks to the advance readers for their comments and if you’ve found it interesting, remember to like, share, comment and of course CLICK!

 

Hi all:

As you will remember (maybe) a few weeks ago I published a sample of my new novella that I hope to publish in the next few weeks, Family, lust and cameras. It is now nearly ready (I must re-read it, add some links and make sure everything is OK), and I’m looking for a cover.

To be precise, as I was going for a walk in Barcelona, I came across a building (a hotel) in Carrer Comtal, that I found very intriguing and suggestive and took a few pictures. The computer I was travelling with didn’t have much in the way of programs for manipulating images, but I managed to turn it into a black and white picture. And here it is:

Possible cover for 'Family, lust and cameras'

Possible cover for ‘Family, lust and cameras’

I shared the picture with a fellow author, blogger and good friend, Teagan Geneviene (thanks Teagan), and she suggested I could add colour to a pair of the eyes/cameras or even superimpose a real eye onto one of them. As I said I didn’t have much to play with there but I have recently downloaded Photoshop to my computer, although I haven’t had time to try and use. It seems and excellent suggestion, although I guess it would be a matter or trying and seeing (I’ll try and find time to play with Photoshop and see) although I also quite like it as it is.

I was wondering if you would have any ideas or suggestions about the color of the font for the title and my name, position, and type of font. I haven’ t done much research and would be grateful for suggestion.

I leave you a link to the previous post so you can get some idea about the story. In short is pretty dark, about obsession, voyeurism and revenge.

https://olganm.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/work-in-progress-family-lust-and-cameras-what-if-rear-window-took-place-inside-your-own-house/

Thanks for reading, and you know the usual, if you’ve enjoyed it or found it intriguing, like, share and leave suggestion! 

Hi all:

I mentioned recently I was working on a variety of books. I’m working on my Young Adult Series (I’ve finished the draft of novel 2 but want to review and write novel 3 and translate before publishing), I have a romantic book nudging me to be written, but I’ve decided the next one should be Family, lust and cameras a novella about surveillance, voyeurism and psychological mind-games I wrote a while back. I’ve finished the translation and I’m editing at the moment and a friend is creating a cover for me. I hope it should be ready for publication within the next couple of months or so.

I’ve shared a small sample before but I thought I’d leave you something a bit more substantial. See what you think.

Flying cameras. Image courtesy of Victor Habbick / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Flying cameras. Image courtesy of Victor Habbick / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The parcel was planted on my desk, brown and seemingly innocent. It had my name on it, my job denomination (Sub-Editor) and the office’s address. I picked it up, weighted it, shook it…It was too big to be a CD. My heart started beating very fast, and my hands trembled. What I’d been fearing, had happened. Herman had finally got hold of me.

I jumped when I felt a hand on my shoulder.

“Sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you. It’s just…which one of these do you prefer?”

Matt, one of the graphic designers, had been working on the cover of the anthology we were getting ready.

“I…Which one do you prefer?”

“I’ve made them both. I don’t know.”

He looked at me. He was a short, funny looking guy, all head and eyes.

“Is that a CD?”

I was still holding the parcel in my right hand.

“No, it’s a DVD.”

“Anything nice?”

“I think it’s a family video I’ve been waiting for. Do you know if any of the viewing cabins are free?”

“I don’t think there’s anybody there at all this morning. Which one…?”

“Oh…the designs…I like them both. Ask Alan. Or choose yourself. We can always use the other design when we publish another anthology.”

“OK. I hope you enjoy the movie.”

“I’m sure I will…”

He left and I added to myself “not”. I walked fast to one of the viewing cabins, the one on the further and more retired corner. I didn’t want to get interrupted or seen. I had to be completely sure. Once there, I opened the parcel. There was no note of any kind. Only a DVD. I switched the TV on and the DVD player. I watched the disc being swallowed by the machine. And after a few blank seconds, Herman appeared on screen. He looked thinner and paler than last time I had seen him, if that was possible. His hair was long, greasy, and he’d acquired some grey hairs. He looked tired but smiled, toothpaste-ad style.

“Hi, Pat. It’s been a long time since we last saw each other, hasn’t it? Over three years now. Of course, you’re the one seeing me though, I can’t see you. Not yet, anyhow. Or do you think I can?…It wasn’t in very good taste what you did to me. Pack your things and go when we were having such good fun. And send me an e-mail. So impersonal! ‘Don’t try to contact me. Leave me alone or…’ I’ve been wondering ‘or what?’ all these years. That’s not fair. I’ve been bored stiff all this time. Watching our last video. Do you remember it? Here is a selection.”

The screen went blank for a minute and the next images were of a couple, naked in a narrow bed, having sex. Herman, the male in the tape, seemed to be performing for the camera, trying to make the action as visible as possible. Only when approaching the climax did he seem to lose the control and forget about the performance. The woman was hardly visible until the end, when Herman just laid down next to her, caressing her abdomen and kissing her nipples. Herman seemed to suddenly remember the camera and grabbing her face made her sit.

‘Smile at the camera.’

I looked at the blank screen. My image looking at myself from the gulf of three years made me blush and feel humiliated. But it hadn’t finished yet. Herman walked in front of the camera and sat down.

“I hope you enjoyed it. I did. You didn’t give me much of a chance to ask you, actually. But, I’ve been thinking of better angles for the camera. It would be more interesting if you were on top next time. I’ll phone you this morning. Just to discuss the details. Bye. I’m happy I’ve found you finally.”

I went back to my desk and sat down. I put the DVD on the top drawer, the one I could lock. The white phone looked harmless and pure. I could not think or do anything. I contemplated the possibility of leaving the office and going home. Maybe I should have emigrated. But I felt drained of all energy. I just waited for the phone to ring. And it did.

“Hi Pat. It’s Cal here. Are you busy tonight?”

“Tonight?…I don’t know. I’m waiting for a phone-call. I can’t tell you yet. What were you thinking of?”

“Intimate dinner, movie, sex…The usual.”

“I’ll give you a call when I know what I’m doing.”

“Are you all right? You sound a bit…strange.”

“I just feel a bit tired. I’ll be all right, Cal.”

“OK. Don’t forget to phone. You know I have many admirers cueing…”

“I’ll phone you later.”

“Pat…It was only a joke.”

“I know, darling, I know. Sorry, I’m just not myself today. Speak to you later. Thanks for phoning.”

Cal…he was such a sweet guy. How could I explain Herman to him? How could anybody explain Herman to anybody else? If he would just disappear…

The phone rang again. I let it ring a few times, until Tina, the girl in the contiguous office came in. Always fashionable clothes, impeccable make-up, carefully arranged hair…Heart of model.

“Oh, I thought you weren’t in. I was going to answer it…By the way, somebody phoned earlier. Herman…somebody or other. He said he’s your stepbrother. I didn’t know you had any family.”

“We haven’t talked to each other for a long time. I’ll tell you the story some other day.”

I picked up the phone and watched Tina leave.

“Hello. Pat McKenzie here.”

“Hi Pat. Herman Stenson here.”

I didn’t say anything. There wasn’t anything to say.

“How are you? Surprised?”

“Nothing you do surprises me, Herman.”

“You probably thought you had got away with it by now.”

“I didn’t think, I hoped and prayed. What do you want?”

“OK, forget about niceties, hey? It’s only me, it’s all in the family, I understand. What do you think I want?”

I didn’t answer. I wanted to put the phone down on him, but I knew that wouldn’t make any difference. I’d grown up with the bastard.

“I want you to come and see me, Pat. I’m living here too. I moved once I found your address. I’ll tell you where I live.”

“I don’t want to know.”

“I have a very nice place here.”

“Leave me alone.”

“Oh, come on, Pat, be fair now. Have I gone to all this bother to find you for nothing? You must come and see me. I must show you my new video system, cameras…I can tape anything now.”

“I don’t want to…”

“All right, I’m not going to carry on playing Mr. Nice Guy. If that’s the way you want it that’s the way it’ll be. You will come to see me or I’ll send a copy of our tape to your boss and to your lovely Carl Tom…whatever.”

“Cal Tomlinson. What makes you think I’m bothered about that?”

“The sub-editor of a serious intellectual magazine, on educational matters, star of a porn movie. I’m not sure it quite goes with the job.”

“It isn’t a porn movie.”

“I know what it is, and you do too, but do you think anybody else knows? Nobody would understand that. And I’m sure Carl wouldn’t either.”

“Cal.”

“I couldn’t care less what his name is. Unless he wants to star in the movie…although…no, let’s keep it as it was.”

“WHY DON’T YOU SIMPLY FIND SOMEBODY ELSE TO…” I suddenly dropped my voice because I realised that probably Tina and half of the office where hearing me by now. “…fuck?”

“It’s a little bit more than that, love. Come to see me and we’ll talk about it.”

I wrote down his address automatically and put the phone down.

Tina entered my office as soon as I finished the call.

“Are you all right? I heard you shouting.”

“I just…Family matters.”

“Tell me about it.”

“My step-brother, Herman. My dad died when I was very young, only five and my mother re-married a man whose wife was in a psychiatric hospital for life, she was so crazy. He had a son, Herman. A couple of years older than me. Always a bit weird, never socialised much or had any friends…Weirdo. He spent all his time watching the TV, with video-cameras taping everything and the rest of the time with his computer. When he left High-School, where he never did too well, apart from computer-sciences, he got a job designing web-pages and other programmes for big companies. Our parents died in a train-accident just as I was finishing High School. I got a job and went to college but I still lived in the same house with him. He became practically a recluse, doing his job from home, shopping via Internet or the TV, and having no life outside. He grew very controlling and extremely bizarre and I couldn’t take it. I left.”

“Oh.”

“Yes. I didn’t keep contact, but he’s found me again.”

“Oh…He sounds really strange. I hope he doesn’t create any trouble for you.”

“I won’t let him.”

“I’ll leave you to your work.”

“See you for lunch.”

“Sure…”

That was an extremely sanitised version of reality. If Tina thought he was strange she should have known some of the more exciting details. Like the fact that when he was twelve he managed to taped our parents having sex and he kept on playing the video over and over again. He invited me to a session too. My mother and his father kept encouraging him to do things outside, even tried buying him a car, but he sold it and bought more equipment. When our parents died I never noticed any difference in him. Not a demonstration of feeling, nothing…He just moved to our parents bedroom, with all his TVs, monitors, computers…I spent a couple of months with my aunt Rena and when I went back to the house he had painted and redecorated the whole place.

“We need to look forward.” He said.

We had the money from our parents’ life insurance policies, and Herman was making a lot of money with his work, but I still took a job in a nearby shop. We used the same joint account and he never had any comments to make about my expenses. But he still spent all of his time at home and never went out. He paid a cleaning lady to look after the house but he was the only one allowed to enter his room.

Alan popped his face in my office.

“Hey, dreamer, we must go to the meeting about the projects for the new magazine. Come with me.”

I followed him aimlessly, happy to have an excuse to switch off Herman. But Alan had to ask. He is a terrible gossip.

“Then, whom were you shouting at on the phone? I hope it wasn’t one of our clients.”

“My stepbrother. Herman.”

“Your stepbrother? Where did he come from? You never mentioned him.”

“I wanted to forget he existed.”

“I see…But, is he…attractive?”

Alan was always trying to find the man of his life. I smiled at the prospect.

“No Alan. He’s nobody’s type.”

We spent the rest of the day in a marathon meeting. We couldn’t leave to go for lunch and we had sandwiches brought in from the café nearby. I was tired but I felt sorry when the meeting ended. Because that meant that I’d have to decide what I was going to do. I found a note from Tina on my desk.

“Your stepbrother phoned a couple of times. He said he’d be waiting for you. He’ll cook dinner.”

I picked up the phone to dial Herman’s number, but I didn’t. I knew it wouldn’t work. I’d have to face him sooner or later, although if I waited too long he might just manage to destroy my life. I phoned Cal instead.

“Hi.”

“Hi Pat! When are you coming?”

“Sorry Cal, I don’t think I can. I should have phoned you earlier but I’ve been trapped in a meeting. Listen, I must go to see someone.”

“Who?”

“You don’t know him.”

“Him?”

Oh Cal, for Christ’s sake, don’t start.

“Herman, my stepbrother.”

“Your stepbrother? I didn’t know…”

“I don’t get on at all well with him. I thought I’d never see him again but he’s found me and I must go and see him.”

“Why?”

“I must.”

“Can’t you just come over after?”

“I’ll try, but don’t wait for me. He can talk nonstop sometimes.”

“Do try to come. I love you.”

Cal could be very sweet sometimes, but I wasn’t in the mood.

“I’ll speak to you later.”

I put the phone down. If he asked me once again if I loved him…Poor Cal, he’d had a very unhappy childhood, he’d been physically and sexually abused by his father, and he was very insecure and needy. I loved him my own way, but he was too intense for me sometimes.

As I was leaving, with the DVD in my handbag, the phone rang. I picked it up and without listening I said:

“Yes Cal, I love you.”

“Do you? That’s sweet. What are you doing still there? I’ve been waiting for hours. You don’t want me to get impatient.”

“I couldn’t care less, Herman. But, I’m on my way.”

His house was on a residential area, expensive, exclusive, and very quiet. I rang the bell of the large Frank Lloyd Wright style house. Pretty.

Herman opened the door and moved to one side to let me in. He was wearing a track suit and he looked worse than in his tape, although his hair was clean and shiny. Once he locked the door, he gave me a hug and tried to kiss me on the lips. I moved my head back. He tried two or three times and finally gave up.

“All right, all right. All in its due time.”

“It will never be its due time.”

“Don’t be nasty. Just come over, have a seat.”

The house was really nice, but I didn’t care.

“What do you think?” He asked after he’d sat down on a white sofa in the living room. He made a gesture for me to sit but I didn’t. He came over to my side and pushed me onto the sofa opposite his and separated from it by a glass table.

“About what?”

“The house…me…”

“It’s big, expensive, nice…I’m sure somebody else got it for you. You don’t have any taste.”

“You aren’t doing yourself any favours by saying that. Don’t forget I like you.”

I looked at him and then at the floor. I wanted to strangle him.

“Like me? Then leave me alone.”

“I like myself more than I like you. And I want you…”

“You only want my body. Why don’t you find somebody else? I’m not that good at sex. Why don’t you try with a professional, or…anybody else? Why me?”

“How long did we spend going through that last time? An eternity. You know the answer. It’s not sex what I’m interested in. It’s…”

“Voyeurism. Pure and simple. Watch. You want to watch. Watch everything somebody else does. All. But not only somebody else. You want to watch yourself doing things.”

“Yes. What’s so strange about that? Don’t actors do the same?”

“Actors have a life! You don’t! They are performing! They have normal lives outside of their career. You don’t have a life. Come on, Herman. You told me that the only real pleasure you experience is through watching. Although that’s a lie. I was with you, don’t you remember? I know…”

“Of course I experience physical pleasure when I ejaculate. I’m human. But…” I coughed slightly and he looked at me, dead serious, before continuing. “But it’s nothing compared to how I feel when I see myself in film and I see my performance, and I see your face, and your expression when you watch and…”

“Cut it. I don’t want to listen to that. I’m too old for all those pre-adolescent fantasies. I don’t know why you can’t grow up and behave like an adult. You and your masturbatory fantasies. It’s disgusting.”

I saw him pale and shake. He was trembling like a leaf and he stood up and left the room. I heard him being sick in the toilet. I went to the kitchen, well equipped and spacious, and prepared some coffee.

When he came back to the room I had left a cup of coffee in front of his seat. Herman looked at me and sipped the coffee slowly. His voice changed and he became the sad little boy I remembered, always picked on by the older boys.

“Why do you…? My God, Pat…Sometimes you talk as if you didn’t understand anything. As if you hadn’t enjoyed it too. Pat…why are you like this? You know what I need. I really can’t live without it. I tried when you disappeared and I realised you wouldn’t come back. It didn’t work. I didn’t want to watch myself making love to other women. I couldn’t make love to other women. Fuck. Whatever. I can’t…Is it so hard to help me a little? You know you can do whatever with my money, I don’t care. You don’t need to work. You can…”

“Stay all day home so you can watch me. I know the story. I’ve heard it before. I’m not a bird in a cage, Herman. I’m a woman.”

“You’re a bitch.”

“Whatever…Why don’t you get treatment, Herman? You are not well.”

“I’m fine. I might have alternative sexual interests, but that doesn’t make me mad.”

“You never go out of the house Herman. You don’t enjoy anything unless you see it on a screen. That isn’t alternative, that’s abnormal.”

“I don’t care what you call it. I’m happy that way. Let’s stop talking about me, Pat. I know you aren’t interested in knowing what I’ve been doing, so tell me what you’ve been up to.”

“I  thought you knew everything. Don’t you?”

“Yes. The only thing I want to know is why you left me that way. You went out in the morning to work and never came back. I got worried. I phoned Sue, from your office, and she told me you’d handed your resignation in and you hadn’t been to work that day. I thought…I don’t know what I thought. When I…Better, look at this.”

Lens aperture Image courtesy of suphakit73 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Lens aperture Image courtesy of suphakit73 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Thanks for reading and if you’ve enjoyed it (or been intrigued by it), please like, comment, and share. Oh, and I leave you a link to a preview of my new YA novel, so you can also CLICK!

https://www.createspace.com/Preview/1145728

 

 

Hoy os traigo la reseña de ‘Entrando’ (‘Entering’ de momento solo disponible en inglés, aunque, quién sabe?) de Martie Preller. Como recordaréis Martie/Mary estuvo de invitada la semana pasada y me pareció apropiado traeros la reseña esta semana para teneros al día.

entering small

Otro triunfo de la imaginación en la Serie de la dimensión de las historias

Perros que hablan, puertas que se abren a otra dimensión, un cerdito rojo gruñón, un móvil que anda… ¿En qué otro lugar podríais encontraros tal fantástica combinación de personajes más que en una de las historias de Martie Preller/Mary Meddlemore?

Mary Meddlemore, uno de los personajes de Martie Preller, decidió que ahora le tocaba a ella escribir las historias. Como ella pertenece a la dimensión de las historias a Martie no le quedó más remedio que asentir.

En ‘Entrando’ (Entering), Amy, la protagonista, una chica que está pasando por un momento difícil en casa, mientras está intentando refugiarse en su imaginación, sin darse cuenta abre la puerta a otra dimensión, donde nada es lo que parece. Ella cree que se sabe todas las historias y que se conoce bien, pero sus aventuras visitando cuentos de hada conocidos le enseñan una valiosa lección. Al final de la historia Amy ha aprendido mucho sobre el mundo, y aún más importante, sobre sí misma.

Como el resto de las novelas de la serie, Entrando es un triunfo de la imaginación y de la narración de historias. ¡Atreveos a entrar en la dimensión de las historias! ¡Disfrutaréis la visita y puede que la experiencia os cambie tanto como a Amy!

¡Se lo recomiendo de todo corazón a niños de 0 a 150 años (y más)!

Gracias por leer. Espero que os haya gustado la reseña, y si es así no os olvidéis de darle al me gusta, comentad, compartid, y haced CLIC!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FBO2BM0/

Ah, y por si queries practicar vuestro inglés, su lenguaje es muy asequible!

Y el enlace a mi artículo sobre Martie, por si os lo perdísteis.

https://olganm.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/autora-invitada-martie-prellermary-meddlemore/

Holidays in the Sun

Holidays in the Sun (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear friends:

I’m going to be on holiday visiting friends and family and having a bit of time out (might manage some writing and reading hopefully) but not regular connection so I’m giving you a couple of weeks of break. I’m sure you’ll be pleased. If you get really, really, desperately bored I’m sure you can catch up on old posts, or have a look at the blogs I follow. They’re full of wonderful stuff!

Just in case I also leave you the link to my webpage that I’ve just refurbished (more or less) in case you really miss me:

http://www.OlgaNM.com

I’ll be back in late September bringing you more guests (dead and alive) and more random thoughts, reviews and…whatever.

Thanks for reading, be good, enjoy yourselves and hope to see you all when I’m back!

Love!

Olga

Hi all:

You’ll remember I posted the beginning of a YA novella that I was getting ready for publication, ‘Twin Evils?’ a couple of weeks ago. Well, it’s finally available in Amazon, and to welcome it and introduce it to everybody I thought I’d leave you the description, another taster, and the book cover. And of course, the link….

I hope you enjoy it and you go and check it out!

Twin Evils?

Once upon a time there was a pair of twins, a girl and boy. Ruth was blonde, blue eyes, very fair and really good. Max was dark haired, grey eyes, broody and bad. Their next door neighbour and pal, Hilda, tried to be friends with both but it was not an easy task. They didn’t like each other and she found herself in the middle trying to keep the peace. Max found his sister impossibly perfect and tiresome, and Ruth could not stand her brother’s bad boy attitude and his horrible behaviour. She was scared of him. Ruth was too perfect and child-like for the real world and Hilda suspected something was wrong but didn’t know what. Was she the angel everybody took her for? Was she ill? Why didn’t she behave her own age?  When both twins started talking about fate and said that “something” would happen she worried. What could she do? Unfortunately they were right and “something” happened.

‘Twin Evils?’ is a Young Adult novella (approx. 40 pages) that begins like a fairy tale, talks about friendship against all odds, tragedy, romance, and has a touch of the paranormal. Fast paced and entertaining with intriguing, mysterious and ultimately lovable characters it will make you feel good but leave you wondering. If you have plenty of imagination and love a compact and fulfilling read, try it out!

And now, if you remember the previous extract, the two families were preparing a party…

At the party Max was wearing black denim trousers and a black T-shirt. He didn’t listen to his mother about wearing something ‘nicer’. With the final details of the cake, Hilda and her family got to the party quite late, when all was well on the way. Max was in the hall, and seemed to be anxiously waiting for Hilda.

“Hi Hilda. It’s ludicrous. You must see Ruth’s dress. It’s so…disgusting…I can’t even talk.”

“That’s something that doesn’t happen to you very often. Happy Birthday Max.” Hilda kissed him on the cheek, but he grabbed her by the arms, hugged her, and planted a kiss on her lips.

“Nice” He said with a smile.

“If it weren’t your birthday I’d slap you. My parents have your present, but I guess you’ll open them later. Where is your sister?”

“Inside, licking the teachers’ bums.”

Hilda pinched his bottom, and when he laughed, she slapped him on his behind too.

“More, more…I love it…Be kinky with me, will you, Hilda?”

Hilda couldn’t avoid blushing, and to cover it up she turned around.

“Shut up, you pervert. I am going to kiss your sister. See you later.”

Ruth was being petted and admired by all the adults. Her dress was somewhat infantile for her age. The pink ribbons and the white lace made her look younger, and her long hair done in locks was excessive. For once Hilda agreed with Max. It was too sweet and syrupy for her own taste. Ruth wasn’t very developed as yet, but she was far too old for that. Most of the other girls in the party were wearing short dresses or tight trousers, but Ruth…Hilda looked at her own flowery dress. Simple, normal…She intruded to kiss Ruth and tell her about the presents. Ruth replied that she’d be out soon. Hilda left her to her admirers and went outside.

“So, what’s your opinion?”

Max was next to her again.

“I agree with you completely. I think your sister is far too old for that kind of dress.”

“You see? I am not always wrong.”

“You’re seldom right, though.”

“I’ll get you a drink. Seldom right. I like it.”

Max returned shortly with a soda.

“No punch?”

“You don’t want to drink that punch.”

“But your father is a real expert at mixing it.”

“Not today. I’ve tried it. It’s too sweet for me, and I know you don’t like drinks that sweet. He used peach instead of lemon. Bad choice.” Max said.

“I don’t like peach. OK, I’ll trust you on this one.”

Max bowed and went back to his corner, to “observe”.

Steph and Patrick were the appointed cooks of the barbecue, some people began to dance, the cake was brought in and the candles blown, mainly by Ruth while Max stayed behind, the twins opened their presents…There were more gifts for Ruth than for Max. Ruth got jewellery, clothes, perfumes…Max got some records, books, computer games…Hilda gave Ruth a pair of earrings she liked and Max an Ouija board. He was thrilled by it.

Ruth gave one of her lovely speeches to thank everybody for their kindness, her family and Hilda’s in particular for making it ‘such a special birthday’. When she finished, Max stood up and said:

“I am not as good with speeches as my most adorable twin sister, but I decided to share something with you. I hope you like it.”

He climbed up on a chair, turned his back on the guests, and pulled his T-shirt up. Most people were simply amazed by it, but Ruth fainted and both sets of parents got very distressed. Hilda heard the comments of a couple of students in their same course:

“What’s all the fuss about? It’s a fantastic tattoo. What’s all the fuss about?”

“Maybe they hate tattoos. It might be against their religion. Or it’s some family thing…I don’t care.”

Patrick and Steph took Ruth inside and laid her on the sofa. She recovered shortly after and asked Hilda, who was looking after her:

“Why did he do that? Why did he choose that drawing? It’s a threat, isn’t it?”

“He did it all for effect. He felt nobody was paying him enough attention. I didn’t realise what he wanted to do with it. He’d showed it to me when he came back from camping and he said that he’d show it to your parents, but not when. I should have imagined…”

“You couldn’t have known. He’s too devious.”

As the night went on, the behaviour among the young people became more and more bizarre. Hilda couldn’t understand what was happening. They became very loud, some began fighting, many were sick…Even Ruth seemed not herself, dancing madly and then becoming sick all over her dress. It wasn’t normal. Something was going on. Hilda looked at Max. What had he done? He was smiling, like the cat that’d eaten the cream, and he was looking at the punch…She had to confirm her suspicions. She went to get a glass of punch. Max pushed her before she could drink it and spilt it all on the floor.

“Sorry.”

Hilda held his arm tight and looked him in the eyes.

“What did you put in the punch, Max? I’m not daft, you know?”

“No…” He opened his mouth to deny it, avoiding her gaze, but she took his chin and made him look at her. He gave up. “OK…only some whisky, vodka, and a few pills.”

“What type of pills?”

“Amphetamines, Es…Nothing too dangerous. They’ll all be fine tomorrow. It’s funny to see the adorable Ruth sick like a parrot. Lovely.”

“You’re nasty, Max. Very nasty.”

Hilda rushed to her parents and explained the situation. With the help of the other adults still at the party, they got rid of the drink and took the worst of the girls and boys home. None of them seemed to require medical attention. Hilda left the house without a word for Max. She was mad at him. He had endangered everybody. OK, he might have been angry because Ruth had dominated the party, but…How could he be so nasty and mindless? And, did she want to be friendly with somebody like him?

Twin Evils cover11

Link:

http://viewbook.at/B00BDRA9DM

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed it and check the novella out. And please, spread the word!

And on Friday, guest author Eduardo Perellón!

Nice to meet you. My name is Adelina and I am Jesús’s mother. Yes, he’s been talking to you about himself. A bit narcissistic, I know, but what do you expect? In a family like ours, you need to promote yourself. We’ve always been under the public eye for one reason or another. First my husband political career (no, not Jesús’s father, that’s another story), then Stephie, my daughter, a child prodigy, then my own political career when my husband Senén died…there was no escaping it, really. And despite my son’s looks (I know he’s told you quite a few times he’s ugly. Really ugly. Well, he’s not exaggerating at all. He’s scarily ugly, but, he’s my son anyway) he was still part of the family.

Yes, I am…that Adelina, the one who was in the government for years…and then…Sure, I was a pretty girl and everybody underestimated me and thought that I had no brains or talents other than looking good and increasing the kudos of any guys I was with. But boy, were they mistaken or what? I showed them to take me seriously. OK, you know the story. I won’t bore it with it. You’ve probably even read my authorised biography. Or even the unauthorised one. Lots of lies. Or watched the movie…

So what am I here for? Good question! It’s the same I asked Jesús. And he told me: ‘They’ll want to know what you think about me and you can tell them…you know…things.’ Sure… ‘things’. I know what he wants me to tell you. He’s always had this fascination with his father, his biological father, and regularly asks me who he was. I understand it must have been difficult when he was very young and realised that he was not like the other children in the village and he did not have a dad to play with him and go to pick him up and burn the sausages at the barbecue and all that. But later on, when I got married…Senén was quite happy to play the part. He wasn’t good for much, but he was a kind father. And he’s never wanted for anything…OK, he’s wanted his father, but I’m sure that wouldn’t have helped him much…Anyway, as I told him, having a mother like me and a sister like Stephie should be enough for anybody.

Why don’t I tell him? Because…No, no, you won’t catch me like that. I’m a politician, don’t forget. I’m a master at giving evasive answers and going with the reply that will score best in the media. The important thing is that Jesús is a great man, without any assistance from that father of him that he’s so interested in. How much credit I can take for it is a different matter. I’ve always been very busy but I’d say that overall we’ve got on well and I’ve left him follow his own path without interfering with his natural gifts. I’ve been very lucky with my children. It was definitely luck and not design, but who is complaining?

If you want to know more, read ‘The Man Who Wasn’t There’. I don’t know why but everybody seems to think it’s very funny. I didn’t think our life was funny at the time, but I guess, it’s a matter of opinion.

Follow this link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009TWRT22

And if you want to watch a fantastic book trailer (don’t click on the links though! The one above is the business!) check this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=qvUitFG2D20

Thanks!

Adelina

 

*********************************************************************I (Olga this time) have a special announcement. This Friday, the 16th, author Gem Thomas will be the guest in my blog and will talk about his writing and his exciting new project, direct from Alaka!

Can’t wait!

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