Points of Reference – Out Now!

PoR

And the summer sun is here, the nights are lighter and the days are longer. A lot of positive things are happening; my wife has lost six stone in weight! My son is in his third year of his engineering apprenticeship and has recently designed and made a chess set out of metal. My daughter is about to take exams again after her second year at college, all positive stuff. And I’ve bought a new telescope, a Newtonian reflector with tripod. I love gazing up at the night sky when it’s clear, I will get more enjoyment out of it now that I can get up close and personal with my new optical equipment. The moon fascinates me, I like the contrast of a half moon; looking at the valleys and hills picked out by sunlight and enhanced by the shadows. Jupiter and Saturn will also be targets for me, clusters and galaxies too, they’re all up there. I just need to point my telescope in the right direction.

My new book ‘Points of Reference’ has a lot to do with direction and the choices made every day. What if I’d looked out and seen a huge meteor? What if I’d not looked? Would I believe another person’s account of the event? Would they believe me if I saw it and they didn’t? Many comets are discovered by amateur astronomers, could I discover one or would it be me that stayed in that particular night? Only to find that the next day that a friend had had a comet named after him. That would be annoying!

What if someone could design and make a device to jump time, space and parallel universes, however crude or primitive? What if it worked? Then what would happen if the wrong people tried to get hold of it?

I like the idea of time machines, imagine if we had the opportunity to return to our childhood and change one thing. What would that one thing be? How would it affect our future? Would we be any happier with an alternative life? That one change thing could alter our entire existence.

And would it be worth it…

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Red Mass – my new novel

Humanity was in danger from two sources, one visible with a telescope, the other as yet unknown…

The one in the telescope was an asteroid from deep space, a left over chunk of debris from a cataclysmic, world destroying event in an alien star system. It was hurtling towards its destruction at unimaginable speed. It was heading towards the Earth.

The other was a result of man’s greed and disregard for life that would bring the whole earth to its knees. Man had been dumping waste matter in the sea for centuries, it was only recently that the nations of the world had cut back drastically on waste and encouraged ever greater efforts to recycle as much as possible; even so, some would go to greater lengths to dispose of something they didn’t want others to know about…

What had been thrown into the sea? Nobody knew and the ones who had been guilty of the action were now dead. The rest of the world didn’t have a clue that there was a problem in the oceans, until it was already too late.

Until all kinds of creatures that had been relegated to myth and legend began appearing on the world’s beaches.

What about the asteroid that everyone had forgotten about when the water supply began to go awry? What difference would it make anyway? Would it be the harbinger of death, or the herald of a new life? Only time would tell.

How many would survive? How many would perish? Either way; when and if mankind came through the storm ahead, life would never be the same again…

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Easter update

Hello again everyone, I had a great time on holiday with my wife the week starting Easter bank holiday in Norfolk, for the first time we decided to let the kids stay at home and fend for themselves while we got away for a few days. Our kids are eighteen and seventeen years old so we knew there wouldn’t be any real crisis leaving them on their own; and they had some friends come around so they weren’t too lonely. And we had a good time too, so it’s all good.

As is usual when we ever go away, or even shopping in another town, one of our major passions is looking round charity shops, my wife seeks out clothing, footwear and bag bargains. There are a lot of items reasonably priced and usually of good quality, many items fall under the heading of ‘bric-a-brac’ too (where does that phrase come from?) but we usually leave them well alone.

Whenever we enter a shop and my wife has busied herself with the clothes racks, I head for the back of the shop where the books are usually waiting for me. I don’t take every book I see, I peruse each shelf and read practically every title to see if anything strikes a chord in my mental list of what I’m looking for.

Well, this week, among a few other titles that I’ve made my own were two worthy of note. The first one even surprised me as I opened the first page to read a few lines; I was instantly drawn in to the story and bought it without a moment’s hesitation.

The book is called ‘Button Jugs’ by Joan Margaret Fleming and was published in 1947. It’s a quaint story of a young girl and her adventures when she is left a country cottage in the will of an obscure relative. I will say no more, you will have to source a copy for yourself and have a very enjoyable read. I do believe Mrs Fleming wrote other titles and maybe if I come across them in my charity shop safaris I will buy more. I believe, thanks to further investigation that Mrs Fleming died in 1980, I am happier to have read her story, knowing I may be the first one to read this particular story for some time, her exploits live on…

She may not have found world wide fame, but she has made another reader content that he bothered to open the first page in the first place.

Joan Margaret Fleming… I thank you.

The second book is a little gem; I did once borrow this book from my local library on the recommendation of Mr Lyons, so I was more than pleased to find this one in my charity shop wanderings.

It’s called ‘Eats, Shoots and Leaves’ by Lynne Truss; and of course it is about punctuation, or rather, trying to eradicate bad punctuation. It is a great read for all those would-be authors who aren’t sure… about anything regarding the humble comma, full stops. Or semi-colons; even ellipsis… (See what I did there eh?)

It is a serious look at the problems we all face with our wonderful English language and it does make you sit (or lie down in a darkened room) and think, but in a light- hearted way; I would recommend getting a copy to anyone.
And of course, on holiday I was able to indulge in another passion of mine; right next to our caravan park was the wonderful remains of Burgh Castle, it’s really an ancient Roman Cavalry fort, but it makes no difference what it’s called. I could walk around it all day wondering about the men who put each stone I touch in its place 1700 years ago. Some of the walls have collapsed over the years, there are information boards that mention the fact that the site was also used as a Saxon burial ground, there could have been a monastery on the site, and even a Norman ‘motte and bailey’ castle. The place is steeped in history; I wonder if anyone has been brave enough to sleep on the site in recent years…

Well, I read ‘button jugs’ on holiday, I still have to read Lynne Truss’s offering again, and a few other books besides, oh, and I’m still writing other stories too. Never a dull moment!

Bye for now!

Dave

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Announcing: re-publication of Roman Gold trilogy

I’m excited to announce a trilogy – in one volume.

I was attempting to publish with another publisher but I’ve been put off by loads of comments that were derogatory to the firm in question and my confidence in them has taken a battering. So I withdrew my work from them. Then I said to myself, “Gotta see Dave about this”. I said to him “will you publish it?”; he said “yes”. And the rest I hope will be history.

This was actually my first attempt at writing anything; I got side tracked because I was too eager to publish. If I had waited a while I would have known about Dave Lyons and Raven Crest Books and he would have put me on the right track from the off.

Being a history buff I am always interested when the media announce new discoveries; I am fascinated when treasure hoards are found and I got to wondering; what happened to the people that left their wealth behind? That was the drive behind this book; it began as a story on its own and then I wrote the prequel. That seemed to leave an untidy gap, so I wrote the sequel too! And that seemed to complete the story and round off the loose ends.

I hope.

Stories have a nasty habit of creeping up on the unsuspecting writer and developing a life of their own. Sentences and even whole paragraphs can read very well and the author is usually well satisfied with the effort. Then he or she will make the stupid mistake of re- reading what they have written. Not a good idea. The phrases and words have a nasty habit of moving around when no-one is looking – at least, that’s what it looks like when the paragraph is read again. I’m sure you authors out there know what I mean…

I’m one of those people that would love to discover something in the backyard; something as simple as an ancient coin would do, I’m not fussy. Then the thought processes would start: who left this, where did they live, what family did they have, what loves or hates did they know, how did they die? All these thoughts would flood out and maybe result in another book!

I have the same trouble sometimes, when walking around town or visiting historical places of interest; who laid that brick or stone in that particular place in the wall? Were they having a bad day or were they happy with there lot in life? I’m even more fascinated to see ancient artefacts like tiles that have hand prints on them; things that didn’t mean a lot at the time but now get my imagination going. I suppose it’s similar to seeing paw prints in set concrete today. We cannot escape the fact that we are surrounded by history; our great nation has over two thousand years of the stuff.

Another thing that I find amazing is family history; I have traced my family back a fair way and each generation back I go, I discover more individuals that are responsible for my genetic make up. It’s interesting to think that there are other people that share a large portion of the same inherent genes.

The weird thing is; I didn’t have the slightest interest in history at school. Some of our teachers were as ancient as the subject they were teaching! I think I can trace my interest to my mother; she lived through the Second World War and used to delight in telling me about Hitler, Churchill, ‘Monty’ and Rommel. She vividly described the aircraft flying ‘all over the place’ on June 6th 1944, the pit heads in Derbyshire being bombed and the ‘good owd Spitfires’ chasing the raiders away.

Local legends can be interesting too; my mother grew up in Loscoe, Derbyshire and told me about ‘dead man’s gulch’. It was a stream really, but that doesn’t detract from the story. A drunken miner, on his way home from the pub fell over into the stream and drowned in four inches of water; he was unconscious and his nose and mouth were submerged… I don’t know if the story is true, maybe it was slightly different and the man survived, I hope so. Such is local legend.

Now back to my book. It was a trilogy but I have decided to put them all in one volume so the story flows better. It was taking too much time and money with the “other publisher”, so I’ve cut my losses, cancelled the contract with them and put it in the same stable as the rest of my books; I’m sure it will flourish better in its new home surrounded by its friends.

It’s the story of a couple who are haunted by the ghost of a long dead Roman soldier; they discover the ruins of his villa on their land and through his guidance and undertaking excavations, they discover a hoard. The story then goes back to Roman times and tells how the hoard came to be buried during the uncertain times of the late Roman Empire. In the third part the story goes back to the present time and more is discovered, all the questions are answered and the ghosts are finally laid to rest. Let me reiterate that it was my first attempt at writing; I will be pleased to see it finally in print.

I never imagined I would be an author and I’m not saying I’m a great one, I simply enjoy it. To my knowledge, I’m the only one in my family to launch out and write. I may never get rich through sales or famous through book signings; it doesn’t really matter. If I’ve given someone, perhaps on the other side of the world, a time of enjoyment through reading my stories, well, what more could I ask for?

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Time travel – well what would you do?

“If only I knew then what I know now” how many times have I said that over the years? What difference would it really make if, as many of my friends have said of late, someone could invent a time machine and go back to the days of our (misspent) youth? What would we do different? Would we work harder at school to get better grades? Or slob about and ridicule the ‘swots’ who know all the answers, like we did the first time around (I wonder where the swots are now). Then there’s the relationships that could have made our hearts flutter, if only we had said the right thing to the pretty girl who asked what we thought of her.

Then there’s world history. What could be changed? What should be changed? What would have happened if one of the numerous assassination attempts against Adolf Hitler had been successful? Would the war have ended earlier or would it have been prolonged if one of the younger fanatical officers had taken over the reins? Maybe if Hitler had not taken over the command of the armed forces and left things in the hands of his Generals, they could have won the war for him. What if he had died in action in World War One? What would have happened if the bullet that had Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand’s name on it had missed? What if someone could go back and change world history?

In my latest book ‘Kathleen’ a man is thrust back to 1940 and faces this dilemma. Should he help the Allies and tell them of every operation that the Axis forces mount? There would have been fewer fatalities caused by war and therefore a larger world population. And maybe the post war years would have been even more austere.

Then, of course, when the hero returns to his own time, the world would, more than likely, have changed. His life would have changed because his parent’s lives would have changed. They may have conceived him at an earlier or later date; or maybe not at all!. Could his personality and fortunes be changed by letting a single action of the war be redirected?

Every day of our past could be subjected to the ‘what- ifs’ and ‘maybe’s’ of conjecture. With the analysis of hindsight, everything could be better. We all have regrets and disappointments that we’d rather leave in the past; that we would want to change given the chance. It could also be worse; we may not have had all the joys and pleasant memories.

In that case, would it be worth the risk?

I like to think not – in that we would not be the people we are now. Through our choices, we have made our lives what they are today. The parallel universes we have rejected will remain unknown. If we had said yes instead of no, or no instead of yes, in the numerous situations we’ve faced, our lives could be totally unrecognisable today.

So, although our lives are shaped by the choices we make every day, it is our decisions that have done the damage; or enriched our existence. Some people are privileged to be world-changers; just look at the Olympic medallists, the positive image they have portrayed that has inspired maybe thousands of youngsters, will have a far reaching legacy.

Even those that have died in the war years, although their passing was unavoidable, have become inspirational to me and other like-minded people. Heroically giving their lives and winning freedom for those of us who weren’t even born, goes beyond admiration and respect. ‘What-ifs’ and ‘maybe’s’ didn’t come into their thinking. They just did it. If they hadn’t done their duty, then our world would have been vastly different.

To all those who, like me, wonder from time to time about the choices we have made; your choices have made you the person you are today. We can’t take yesterday back but we do have today. And tomorrow is spread out before us like a blank canvas to make of it what we will.

Kathleen is now available on Amazon Kindle:

 cover image

 

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New book on its way!

Hello to all you wonderful people who wander on to my web page! Well, the year is going on at a fair old pace, I’ve just had my fiftieth birthday, my first barbecue and my first good thunder storm of the year and it was a corker! Loads of lightning forking out of a really dark sky and giving a marvellous display, watched from our front door. My wife was ok with it until it got too close and too fierce. We even had a Tornado in Lincolnshire!

 My son has just left school and is looking forward to going to college in autumn, something that I never did, so I wish him well. Both my kids have done something else that I’ve never done, they’ve both been abroad. The farthest place I’ve managed is the Isle of Wight! My Son went toBarcelona, Spain on a school trip and my Daughter went to Normandy, France on a school trip.

 I’ve never been abroad, but I’ve been on the broads! That’s good enough for me, there’s nothing like a slow cruise down a river to help you relax, watching the watery world go by. And Norfolk is a lovely part of our country; I’d recommend it to any one.

 I like barbecues too, especially the ones with a few close friends and a drink or two, it’s not really important what everyone eats or drinks; it’s the company you keep that makes the occasion. Our barbecues tend to go on a bit but it’s interesting to note that no-one ever runs out of things to say. We have a laugh or two; someone might talk about an incident or rumour that is doing the rounds. One of us may do something daft that gives the rest of the assembled company a light hearted moment. Someone may have a problem that they need to share and feel at ease to do so; the collective wisdom can be astounding at times. My son and daughter have some friends round on these occasions and they also keep us entertained. The main outcome is that everyone has a good time and we feel refreshed by the experience, so that must be a good thing.

 What I’m trying to say is, if you are invited to a soiree of any sort, don’t put it off until another time, it might be just the pick-me-up you need.

 Reaching the grand old age of fifty didn’t hurt a bit! I still seem to have the mind of a ten year old sometimes. My wife dreads going into shops with me, she doesn’t know what opportunity will present itself for me to embarrass her!

 I am releasing a new book shortly, called ‘Kathleen’. A man is thrust back in time and comes face to face with 1940’s Britain. He meets a woman who will have a profound effect on him when he finally returns back to his own time. Which takes a while, and he has some experiences that he shouldn’t have because they took place before he was born.

 Thanks to all who have read my books so far, I sincerely hope you have enjoyed them.

 Best regards. Dave

 

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I love being an author…

I have decided I love being an author, it is one of the rare ways that your thoughts and ideas come alive. It’s thrilling to think that someone on the other side of the planet may be getting enjoyment through reading something that I have put together and committed to a publishing media.

It can also be a release from the daily grind of life. Saying that though, I don’t have the worlds hardest job; I’m a postman. But sometimes I’ve been through some hard experiences and you find out who your real friends are when trouble comes galloping over the horizon. The popular country singer Johnny Cash once said in a song ‘don’t take everybody for a friend.’ I’ve learned that the hard way! It isn’t easy when people don’t want to know you anymore and they haven’t got the guts to say why.

But enough of that! What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger (where have I heard that lately?). Life is for living, the nights are drawing out and the first signs of Spring are upon us – and it’s nearly barbecue season!

I’m waiting for the first thunderstorm of the year. I love the raw power of the lightning as it forks out of the sky, followed of course by the volume of sound that greets our ears seconds later as the speed of sound catches up with the speed of light and we hear the noise that we call thunder. I used to scurry under my mum’s chair when I was a lad, in fear – thankfully I grew up to appreciate it!

I hope readers enjoy my second book ‘Forerunners’ – another science fiction work and the prequel to ‘Migration’. Look out for more books coming soon.

To all those who want to write but haven’t yet started, I’d say go for it! It doesn’t have to all be done in one day, take your time, ponder the storyline, add background, re-read what you’ve already written to inspire you to write more and above all, enjoy!

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Welcome to my web page

Hello and welcome to my web page!

This is the start of a long and happy relationship with eBooks and my first attempt at science fiction. As the title ‘Migration’ implies, the human race is invited to leave earth, which is in meltdown ecologically and mankind is desperately looking for a way out. With animal species dying off and food becoming harder to cultivate and grow, natural disasters becoming more and more commonplace, any solution is at least considered after a huge epidemic is released from the northern hemisphere permafrost as the global temperature rises.

Then salvation comes from the most unlikely place, the cosmos! A signal is received that says mankind is not alone! Humanity is saved! The signal reveals plans to build ships to take us to the stars! We can migrate and start again! But at what price?

 The story was inspired by the stories that abound of man versus alien. Mankind always seem to get it together just in time to avert disaster; but there may be one time when we realise that all of mankind’s efforts won’t do us any good!

 I hope you like this story, I enjoyed writing it, if you don’t like it, tell me, if you do like it, tell your friends!

 Many thanks,  

David York

 

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