Guest Post.

I always find it a pleasure to carry a guest post on ‘A Little more Fiction’.

Today’s post is from the author Patrick Bailey; he primarily writes on the subjects of mental health, addiction & living in recovery. By bringing these subjects to the fore Patrick hopes to help break the general stigma associated with them.

http://patrickbaileys.com    Twitter: https://twitter.com/Pat_Bailey80

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My Journey from a Battered Synthetic Cannabinoid Addict to a Freelance Writer

 It wasn’t until I l learned about John Huffman that I realized that the substance I was once addicted to was made for medical research purposes. He was one of the first people to create a synthetic cannabinoid or synthetic marijuana.

This particular synthetic cannabinoid was initially named JWH-018, patterned after Huffman’s initials. It was a chemical compound, created in 1993 to study the effects of marijuana on lab animals. As is common practice, the formula was included in several research publications.

For a decade-and-a-half, nothing was done with these synthetic cannabinoids.

Then, in 2008, JWH-018, one of the hundreds of compounds created by Huffman and his colleagues, was found in a street drug.

It was sprayed on plant material and sold as Spice. The manufacturers may have found the formula in those publications.

How I Got to Know an Enemy

My journey to addiction began before then when I was a 16-year-old growing up in the streets of New Orleans. My childhood was not marred by anything bad until a friend got a hold of some pot and we started hitting it. Only later did I get hooked on Spice. I blamed it on a lack of opportunities, peer pressure, and broken relationships.

Synthetic cannabinoids—which go by other street names such as K2, Moon Rocks, Potpourri and Spice—possess the same properties as marijuana and bind to the cannabinoid receptors of the body, thus achieving the same psychoactive and analgesic effect. Spice possesses euphoric and hallucinogenic properties similar to natural marijuana but can be 100 times as strong.

More and more of my acquaintances used either spice or a variant because of its cheap price. Most of them used it for short term effects such as relaxation and altered perception.

Beyond these desired effects, Spice side effects include feelings of paranoia and delusions, even psychosis, from long term use. Many users claim to feel “braindead” after using the drug, and some users have suffered brain damage or even brain death. Spice and other synthetic cannabinoids may also exacerbate pre-existing mental illnesses or harm the heart, lungs, and liver.

Recovery and Finding a Newfound Love

Medical detoxification was the first step towards my recovery. Then I was admitted as an in-patient because of the severity of my drug use, which lasted for almost 15 years. But it was the aftercare process that saved me. The treatment center’s support group helped establish a strong support system.

Addiction is a lifelong ailment. It never goes away completely. Stopping using drugs is only the beginning. You need an understanding of how and why you began using drugs, counseling and peer support, and new coping skills. It also helps if you have a new passion to replace your drug use.

Through the course of my treatment process, I learned to write about my emotions and my boiling-up resentments as therapy. I started to love writing. It occupied the spare time during which I used to drift into drug use. I discovered joy in putting words together in a new order. I could do it anywhere in paper notebooks or on electronic devices.

Looking back, it is hard to understand how much time I wasted on a false, useless, and momentary happiness. Spice, the substance that I thought was my only friend, grew darker and turned my life into a living nightmare.

I’m not proud of my years of Spice addiction, but my journey to sobriety taught me the value of life.

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Like Cheap Rhinestones.

It has been a while since I posted a short story on this blog. So, enjoy this rather oblique take on a dysfunctional relationship. 

Please, let me know your thoughts on this tale.

Thank you, Paul,

fabian-perez-painting-man-with-hat

Every now and then, when Tony was not paying attention, the chip on the rim of the whisky tumbler caught his lip. He could have asked for another glass, but Tony knew well enough this was probably the best glass in the bar and, if he was careful, he could turn the tumbler around, make sure the damaged part of the rim was on the far side.

Yet, in a strange way, Tony liked the way the glass occasionally snagged his skin. The sharp pain was an indication he was still alive, that he could still feel something.

Although it was, he knew, a contradiction. Because the reason he was drinking was too dull his senses, to kill the pain, to stop him feeling anything.

Holding the glass up, turning and twisting it so the dull yellow lights above the bar shone on the rim, Tony studied the worn, rough edge. If he held it just at the right angle he could see the brightness of the broken glass; it sparkled like a cheap rhinestone.

Tony tapped the glass on the counter top to attract the bar girls attention.

He stabbed a scrawny nicotine stained finger towards the amber residue lingering in the base. The girl poured a two finger measure of cheap, harsh whisky into the glass. She never looked Tony in the eyes, she never spoke a word, just poured the drink and walked away to tend to the other customers.

It was the way she was with him.

She hated him, loathed him. Tony knew it. If it was not for the fact she needed this job she would have leapt across the bar and stabbed him through the heart. Most probably have kept on driving the knife into him until she collapsed out of sheer exhaustion.

Tony knew that too.

Which is, at least partly, (the first partly), why he was here.

Which was why they were both here.

Tony because he wanted to talk to her, to make her listen to him, to make her understand.

She was here because it was the last place in town which would employ her.

Every other bar had ‘let her go’ after Tony’s persistent presence agitated the other customers to such a degree the owners would not put up with any more complaints.

But here, at the Casablanca bar, Tony was welcome. It was Tony’s brother’s bar and there was no way he would ever be refused, or not served a drink. It was the rule, the rule which she, Connie must abide by if she wanted to work and Connie wanted to work, she needed to work.

She had a child to feed, rent on an apartment and bills to pay. Connie needed the job, needed the wages, but she did not need to speak to Tony. No. No one could force her to talk to him.

So, day after day, night after night the charade was played out. Tony sat at the end of the bar smoking and drinking. Connie poured the whisky and walked away. Neither said a word.

There was a time, not so long ago, when Tony would speak to her, over and over and over. But he was met with a blank stare, a muteness of indifference.

Eventually, his words dried up.

Tony told himself, convinced himself, he was a patient man and patient men always got what they wanted in the end.

Which is why, (the other the ‘partly’), he was here. He was waiting, knowing, or at least hoping she would eventually give in. Submit to defeat and speak to him, let him have his say, to explain, to tell his side of the story.

But she was stubborn, like a mule. Just as he was.

Obstinate to the core.

Tony tapped the glass on the counter top to attract Connie’s attention again. To emphasise his order, Tony stabbed his scrawny nicotine stained finger towards his chipped tumbler once more.

Dutifully, Connie poured two fingers of whisky into the glass and walked to the far end of the bar.

Tony watched her through the blue-grey smoke spiralling from the tip of his Marlboro, she was a fine young girl, pretty and lithe. She took after her mother in so many ways, those long legs and pert breasts.

But it was her temper and her stubborn tenacity. She got those traits from him.

Taking a sip of whisky the chip on the tumbler’s rim snagged Tony’s lip. He could feel a small nick cut into his skin and taste the blood. The pain was that indication again; he was still alive, he could still feel.

Was that a good thing?

Tony licked his wound; a taste of iron, malt whisky and cigarette smoke.

A taste of time and passing.

Of life withering away.

His life.

Tony spent far too many hours in these dingy bars, drank too many glasses of rancid whisky waiting for Connie to look into his eyes, to acknowledge his existence, to speak a single word.

Five years.

It was a large part of anyone’s life.

Picking up the glass Tony downed the rest of the whisky and walked out of the bar. He did not look at Connie, he did not look back.

Turning his collar up and thrusting his hands into the pockets of his overcoat he strode along the street, an icy chill wind biting into the skin on his face. He breathed in deeply, savouring the sharp frostiness of the winter’s air.

For the first time in a long time, Tony saw more than the anxious depression of his mind.

Today, he saw the snow glinting as the evening sun caught its surface. He noticed how it sparkled like cheap rhinestones sprinkled across the ground or around the edge of a worn whisky tumbler.

PHOTO - CHICAGO - SNOW STORM - MEN WALKING - LASALLE RESTAURANT BACKGROUND - 1958

© Paul White 2019

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If you enjoyed reading this short story why not read some more of my work? 

‘Within the Invisible Pentacle’ is a collection of short works I know you will just love.

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Today is your lucky day…

Here, at A Little more Fiction, we like to bring you great books, wonderful stories and good news.

Well, today is your lucky day!

This post is about the literary magazine called Electric Press, or to give it its full title, Electric PressMay2019pub (2019_01_08 20_58_35 UTC)Electric Press – Literary Insights.

Why is this good news?

Simply because inside Electric Press, you will find some excellent books, short stories, features and articles about all things bookish, they even have a book giveaway along with lots more.

BUT…

That’s not all!

If you follow Electric Press by email, you will be sent passwords between editions of the magazine allowing you to access exclusive content.

Click HERE to find out more. 


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Heart of the Valkyrie

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Life in the outer systems of the known galaxy is hard. The crew of the Valkyrie do what they can, salvaging, making cargo runs, and sometimes smuggling, just to earn a day’s wage of gold bars. Not under the rule of the Quanios Empire, the outer systems are considered a lawless wilderness to those who consider themselves “civilized”, but to Nathan and his crew, life away from the Empire is freedom. Despite all that, the crew would have it no other way.

Yet, fate seems to have something else in store for the Valkyrie and her crew, when what should be a simple smuggling run ends up becoming much more complicated. Saddled with a thirteen-year-old meant for a quick delivery, things quickly spiral out of control, and they Valkyrie find themselves on the run from the Empire. The girl, Sybille, is something special, and has secrets even from herself that must be solved for the crew to reclaim the freedom they once knew.

This new science-fiction novel will be available June 22, 2019, but you can reserve your copy today and enjoy a 25% discount off the retail price of $3.99. Pre-order now for only $2.99! This offer is good until the end of the day on June 15. 2019, so don’t delay! Lock in this awesome price and secure your copy of the new novel from Tom Fallwell.

Pre-Order now: https://books2read.com/hotv

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In a future among the stars, the origins of mankind have all but faded into the past. Nathan and his crew aboard the Valkyrie, an extraordinary but ancient ship, enjoy the freedom of the outer systems, away from the despotic rule of the Quanios Empire. But when they suddenly find themselves saddled with an equally extraordinary teenage girl, Sybille, who is now being sought by the Empire, things take a very unexpected turn. They are thrown into a desperate race to locate the lost planet of mankind’s origin.

To stop the Empire, they must solve the mystery of Sybille’s past and locate Earth first, or it could mean the end of freedom for the known galaxy.

 

Pre-Order: https://books2read.com/hotv

Information: http://tomfallwell.com/books/heart-of-the-valkyrie/


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Early in life, Tom Fallwell discovered a love for fantasy and science-fiction, delighting in the wonderful escape into realms undreamed of. Weaned on the greats like J.R.R. Tolkien, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert E. Howard, Roger Zelazny, Robert A. Heinlein, and Michael Moorcock, just to name a few, Tom’s imagination was forever inspired by those marvelous tales.

One day, he discovered a simple book of rules called ‘Chainmail’, by Gary Gygax, and found a new love: the love of creating adventures and stories of his own. ‘Chainmail’ evolved into ‘Dungeons & Dragons’, and Tom played consistently with friends as both a player and a dungeon master (DM) for decades. Such activities helped him develop his ability to create worlds and stories for others to enjoy.

Now retired from his long career as a software developer, Tom writes all the adventures and characters that constantly fill his mind and shares them with the world.

Author Links

Web Site: http://tomfallwell.com  Facebook: https://goo.gl/6KjdHz

Twitter: https://goo.gl/mhdzrZ  Goodreads: http://goo.gl/hYZOso

Amazon: http://Author.to/Tom

A YouTube channel for Book Lovers & Writers

 

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Surprised?

Yes, you read that right. There is now a YouTube Video channel dedicated to book lovers and writers.

It is called the Electric Press channel, which is part of Electric Eclectic books.

Now, for those of you who do not know about Electric Eclectic books, I’ll give you a brief outline…

Electric Eclectic books (EE) are written by several of the best indie authors from around the globe, such as Michael J Elliott, Karen J Mossman, CA Keith, PJ Roscoe, Karina Kantas, Ann Harrison Barnes and many more, including yours truly.

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Each EE book is a novelette, a short-ish book designed as an introduction to an EE author, so when you read one, you get a feel for the author’s style and narration.

Electric Eclectic has a large range of genres, which stretch from children’s books to crime stories, through to romance and psychological drama. There really is something for everyone in the Electric Eclectic library.

Once you find an Electric Eclectic author (or two) you enjoy, we are sure you will want to seek out their other books to read.

You can visit the Electric Eclectic website here.


However, now there is the Electric Press YouTube channel.

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This channel will help you choose which books you select.

Electric Press has many book trailers to give you taste of ‘what’s inside’, but that is not all… oh, no.

Electric Press has authors reading excerpts from their stories. There are articles about Electric Eclectic, we talk ghosts and chat about horror, words, the supernatural, fantasy, stories and much more.

Watch Electric Press now

Take your time, check out all the playlists, watch the trailers, listen to our authors, decide which books you are going to read first.

New content is being added to Electric Press YouTube frequently, so keep coming back and finding out what’s new.

Better still, subscribe to Electric Press and be notified when new books, video’s and articles are posted by our authors.

Please, let your friends know about Electric Press YouTube so they too can find their next favourite read and new authors to follow.

UPDATE>>>

The Electric Press YouTube channel is now on the Electric Eclectic android app.
Download to read some amazing stories, find great books and watch the Electric Press Video channel.
It’s ALL FREE, so what are you waiting for? Download the app now from Google Play. http://bit.ly/FreeEEapp

If you are a writer you too could become an Electric Eclectic author and have your own playlist on the Electric Press channel, Interested? Email us. EEbookbranding@mail.com

But hurry, there are limited places available.

EEgrunge

 

 

Get undercover with Jane

It gives me great pleasure in highlighting this book, Undercover, written by my friend, Jane Risdon. Hopefully, this brief article will entice you to grab a copy.

Undercover Crime Shorts by Jane Risdon

Under one cover for the first time, a collection of crime shorts from Jane Risdon with more twists and turns than Spaghetti Junction – a must for those who enjoy gripping yarns.

Undercover: Crime Shorts features new short stories written with strong female protagonists at its heart, and includes Sweet Sable – a redheaded nightclub singer with sex appeal and a sting in her tail, and The Look – a hit woman with an agenda for revenge and a talent for hire.

There is an extract from the first novel in the series, Ms Birdsong Investigates Murder in Ampney Parva: Operation Matryoshka – where former MI5 intelligence officer, Lavinia Birdsong, is asked to look for a missing woman and finds herself embroiled in murder, the Russian Mafia, and Ukrainian gun-runners.

My readers say:

Roger A Price: a former detective and crime author says: Crime Shorts is a wonderfully satisfying anthology of seven short stories which transcend above the crime fiction genre providing a ripping yarn irrespective of the reader’s crime fiction preference. Jane Risdon has cleverly stitched together a mix of tales to suit all fans of the genre.

Gloria Clulow: reader says: As with all Jane’s stories I find them intriguing and unpredictable, leaving me wanting more; I don’t want them to end.

Professor Margot Kinberg: Associate professor and author of the Joel Williams crime novels says: Undercover, what a gripping story, so well written. You’ve packed so much ‘punch’ into it, loved it. I really felt the rising tension and suspicion! You’ve captured the suspense of it beautifully and it is such a great set-up with good characters.

Charlie Plunkett: reader says:
Fast-paced, well written, page-turner that had me so engrossed my train journey flew by. The author clearly has done a lot of research, these short stories all felt very authentic and each had me gripped and on the edge of my seat wondering how they would play out. It’s been a long time since I read anything quite so intriguing and twisty. It certainly got my heart beating faster and I’d highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a great murder, mystery.
Jane Risdon – my pleasure lovely, praise where it’s due, you have written a fabulous selection of short stories and I will definitely look out for Ms Birdsong.

You can go undercover with Jane by following your preferred link.

https://books2read.com/b/4jD0wo

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/under-cover-crime-shorts-jane-risdon/1130007355

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07RFRVL4P

http://www.lulu.com/…/under…/paperback/product-24082039.html


Jane possible author photo

Jane Risdon’s career began in the international music business where she managed recording artists, songwriters, record producers, and where she has been instrumental in placing music on to soundtracks of many TV series and Movies, working alongside her musician husband.

After years of promoting talented young artists, Jane decided it was time to do what she’s always wanted to do: write. She began writing in earnest some ten years ago, starting with flash fiction and short stories – mostly crime/thrillers – and her writing was soon included in various anthologies – to date 15 different publications, some award-winning. She has written for numerous online newsletters and magazines and is a regular blogger.

She has also written a best-selling novel with author and lifelong friend, best-selling, award-winning author, Christina Jones, set in the UK music scene of the late 1960s. Only One Woman is published by Accent Press with whom Jane signed in 2014.

With over 100 short stories needing a home, Jane has recently published Undercover: Crime Shorts with Plaisted Publishing House, which went into the UK Amazon ratings at #18 and into the USA Amazon ratings at #333 upon publication.

She is writing the sequel to Only One Woman and is completing a series of novels about a former MI5 intelligence officer; ‘Ms Birdsong Investigates.’ These crime/thrillers are set in the Vale of the White Horse, Oxfordshire, and Jane digs into her early career with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at the height of the Cold War for her inspiration and knowledge of Britain’s Security Services.

Jane’s interests include photography, history, and science and she and her husband enjoy walking and visiting places of interest – something they never had time to enjoy when ‘babysitting’ singers and musicians whilst travelling all over the world.

For Jane’s Books: most digital platforms incl. Amazon worldwide, and in paperback

Only One Woman:

53 5* reviews from guys and gals. Available in most countries too.
Paperback and eBook on most digital platforms
Paperback Waterstones and good indie stores.
https://www.facebook.com/RenzandStella
https://amzn.to/2VX7yWw
https://amzn.to/2HemX1f

ISBN: 9781783757312
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Only-One-Woman-Christ…/…/1783757310

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Only-One-Woman-Christ…/…/B075D88JB

https://accentpressbooks.com/collections/jane-risdon

Jane’s Social Media:

https://www.facebook.com/JaneRisdon2

https://janerisdon.wordpress.com

https://www.amazon.co.uk/l/B00I3GJ2Y8

https://twitter.com/Jane_Risdon

https://www.instagram.com/janerisdonwriter/


Still hungry for your crime fix?

Then try these hard hitters for size. Tales of Crime & Violence are not a series, they are a collection of three short (& not so short) storybooks whose tales focus on the human elements of being involved, or caught-up, in criminal activities.

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UK http://amzn.to/2zZFWFN        USA  https://goo.gl/Q0DXRq

Also available from other online stores, including Barne & Noble, iTunes, Google Play, Kobo etc.

A free book… for free

I am supposing you are reading this blog for one of two reasons, if not both.

Reason one is you are looking to read a short story… if so there are plenty here, mine and some guest posts, just scroll on down and read away.

Reason two is, you are looking for a good book to read.

If that is so, you have hit it lucky.

Because today I am presenting an anthology called Mayfly Recitals, which is the third such book in the Electric Eclectic collection.Mayfly recitals

For those of you not yet familiar with Electric Eclectic, allow me to elucidate.

Electric Eclectic is a book brand which lets authors write a short-ish story, a novelette, as an introductory work. This allows you to sample the works of ‘new-to-you’ authors and possibly try out a new genre, or both, at the low-low cost of just 1.00 (Pound/Dollar/Euro).

The idea is, you can read several authors works for the price of a large coffee and find the one(s) you like most.

Of course, the authors hope you like their Electric Eclectic books so much you will then buy their other books. Which I am sure you will if you fall in love with that authors’ writing style and storytelling.

Which brings me back to the anthology I am speaking of, the Mayfly Recitals. This book is a collection of ten excellent tales, written by eight of the Electric Eclectic authors and what is more, it can be yours for absolutely nothing.

That is, 10 short stories by established indie authors for FREE, zilch, nada, 自由, nothing, gratis, פרייַ, besplatno, Безплатно, vapaa, bezmaksas, wolny, fri, സ്വതന്ത്ര, khulula, maimaim-poana, liber.

Yep, whatever language you use, Mayfly Recitals, book three of the Electric Eclectic collection, can be yours for free.

Mayfly recitals

 

Simply Email us at Electric Eclectic; EEbookbranding@mail.com (Write ‘Mayfly’ in the subject bar & tell us which format you prefer, Mobi, ePub, or PDF.) We will then email you a copy of Mayfly Recitals as soon as we can.

That’s it. Simple.

No catches. No bull.

No cost. No fee.

No strings. No commitments.

Just a genuinely free book… for free.


If you would like to find out more about Electric Eclectic books, our authors, browse our genres or download the free app, then feel free to visit our website; http://bit.ly/visitEEbooks

EEgrunge