I imagine that most boys play at being a pirate Tying a bandana around their forehead As I walk the same footpath today My thoughts sway back to when I played the same game Searching for the treasure I believed to be beneath the pavilion I confess to digging there, hoping to find a sapphire That I would make into a necklace for my sister These days, I volunteer as a drama teacher Hoping to stir young minds, helping them believe in the possibilities they imagine… ©AnitaDawes
SHADES OF DELIVERANCE MEETS THE WALTONS…
Simple’s life is a painful nightmare.
He is one huge bear of a man, but with the heart and mind of an innocent child. He suffers terrible abuse from his vicious and uncaring backwoods family.
Together with his half-sister Leanne, they are hunted like wild animals and suffer the terror of nearly being burned alive as they try to escape.
Will they ever discover the joy of freedom?
Excerpt from Simple…
Walking towards Gran, I could feel the blood draining from my body, trying to find some place to hide. It felt as if it had all gathered in my feet, making each step I took the hardest thing I had ever done.
Gran got up from her rocker and I watched it continue to move, as if she had left some part of herself sitting in it. She walked inside the cabin and waited for me. She had never done more than cuff me across the back of the head, but I figured I had to be in for more than that this time. I was trying to think of the worst she could do.
It was cool inside the cabin. Gran was sitting at the big wooden table grandpa had made. She might as well have been the town judge, sitting behind the high bench. She didn’t move or look at me as I sat opposite, waiting for judgement. I knew better than speak first. I couldn’t have, even if I wanted to, my mouth had dried up. Gran finally spoke, her voice hard, as if she had eaten gravel. ‘You’ve done a bad thing, Leanne. Taken our trust and pissed it in the wind. Jimmy says he should be the one to punish you, says you had no right taking Simple anywhere near the Spiers. Reckon I should turn you over to him, save my words for someone who can hear them.’
I said, ‘I can hear real good,’ with more grit in my voice than I intended.
Gran fixed me with one of those looks that made me wish I could turn to stone. ‘Seems to me, young lady, if your ears still work, then your brain’s gone soft like Simple’s. Fancy interfering in business that aint yours. You know right enough, he needs telling more times than the sun wakes us and then some. You want him took off for takin’ town young’uns?’
‘Course not, Gran.’ My voice came out as a whisper.
‘Simple was hurt real bad. I couldn’t just leave him…’
This is a story about some very tough and mean people somewhere in the backwoods and mountains of America. It is told from the perspective of a young girl whose mission in life is to protect her big, but simple-minded brother from harm. The story is compelling, frightening and sometimes brutal in the manner of the film Deliverance, but it is also a heart-warming story of loyalty, love and deep affection. It was not what I was expecting, but I’m glad I read it. It has an unforgettable quality about it and the characters are complex but convincing. It really is a great story and unputdownable.
Scratch the year 2049 from your calendar
The discount has been discounted
There are no longer any on-line purchases
Finish reading your book now
Your granite walls are no longer safe
Your single mindedness has sunk the ship
The heat, the oil, has seared the world as we know it
We will not see 2050 in the same light
Nor see with the same eyes
Or feel with the same heart
To carry on.
It’s life, but not as we know it…
“I swore that I would never go home,
but in the end, I had no choice.
I had to confront what happened.
And them too.
It was going be icky. And totally scary.”
Carol Prentice left Wheatley Fields to attend university in Manchester and not once did she return in four years. Her beloved father visited her whenever he could, but then he passed away and it was up to her to sort his affairs.
She could have done this from a distance, but a woman can run to the far corners of the earth, but, in the end, she can never escape herself.
She had to come home: There was no other choice.
Taking a job at a bookshop for the duration, she befriends Steve – an older man who looks like a wizard and who knows everything in the world.
Carol quickly encounters the demons that forced her to leave in the first place – including Toby, the raffish local villain, with whom she shares the most horrifying of secrets and whose very existence means evil and mayhem for everyone around. Especially the lovable Steve.
Carol finds herself in the middle of a war between the two men:
A war which can only have one victor.
Soon, she wishes she had never come home.
But by then it was too late.
Much too late.
“We received a copy of this book through Rosie’s Book Review Team”
The main character, Carol Prentice, made quite an impression right from the start with her dark clothes, hair and Doc Marten boots. She had come back to her family’s hometown after the death of her father, determined to sort her life out, and this involves a plan and a secret.
What does make someone choose one path over another and the hardest one at that?
A totally unpredictable and powerful story of what starts out as Carol’s revenge, but ends up being for someone else too. She came back home, knowing she would run into all kinds of bad memories, so what she intended to do had to be very important.
Some of the words Carol used confused me, but I am probably too old to understand the parlance of the young these days, but it did manage to help create a harsh rawness to the drama.
The other character I really liked was Steve, the bookshop owner. Steve is a thoroughly likeable older man and the perfect foil for Carol, giving the story another dimension. I did think it might have been better if Steve was younger, but maybe it worked better because he wasn’t, for there was enough going on without romance in the mix.
This is a gritty, well-planned story of revenge, every detail brings you slowly to the necessary showdown, but you won’t be ready for it. I know I wasn’t!
I didn’t want to enjoy this book quite so much, what with its nasty threads and even nastier people, but despite it all, there is redemption at the end and that for me, was well worth the read…
About the Author
Mark Barry is a multi-genre writer and novelist. His work includes the minor cult hit Ultra Violence about football hooligans at a small Midlands football club and Carla, a quirky, dark, acclaimed romance with shades of Wuthering Heights.
He is the co-designer of the innovative Brilliant Books project aimed at engaging the many, many reluctant readers amongst young people.
He has one son, Matt, on the brink of University, with whom he shares a passion for Notts County Football Club. Fast food, comics, music, reading, his friends on the Independent scene, and horse racing keep him interested and he detests the English Premier League, selfish, narcissistic people and bullies of all kinds.
He is based in Nottingham and Southwell, UK, the scene of most of his fiction.
I had heard about the hurricane, or what was left of it. The reports said it would only affect the north of England and Ireland, so I wasn’t expecting any drama.
Apart from frequently checking the trees outside my window, just in case you understand, I continued working. A couple of hundred emails later, the light seemed to change. The paper in my printer had changed colour, and my arms had adopted a healthy tan. Something weird was happening after all.
The wind was starting to pick up, huge gusts trying to rip the leaves from the trees. The window in front of me starting to creak and groan under the building pressure.
I determined to edit more of my WIP, keeping half an eye on the weather, just in case the experts had it wrong. An hour later, I had to switch on the light as the orange gloom was pervading every corner of my office. Outside, the sky looked awful, the colour of a bad bruise. It certainly felt as though hell was about to be let loose!
Work abandonned, I went outside to find myself in a vacuum, the air heavy and expectant. Then someone shouted, ‘Look at the Sun!’
Above my head in the bruised sky, was a small ball of fire totally unlike any Sun I had ever seen. My first thought was that it couldn’t be right, maybe it was a satellite or a meteorite, burning up as it approached Earth. I mean, when could you ever look straight at the Sun and not damage your eyes?
The sky stayed bruised for some time, but the wind didn’t get any worse, gradually losing strength as normality slowly returned. The day had been eerie, weird and a little scary, as we wondered what was happening. People in the North had a far worse day and must have been terrified and our thoughts go out to those who have suffered…