Do No Harm: Savage Art by @danielle1girard
Phil Steele was at the Llandeilo Lit Fest earlier this year and I got my signed copy of his amazing book:
Nerves of Steele reveals the remarkable story of the successful Welsh rugby international, Phil Steele. An uplifting story about the strength of the human spirit overcoming mental anguish and personal tragedy.
In it he recalls his life from early childhood, family tragedies, depression, anxiety and his path through his professional sports career, teaching and commentating on TV.
Very down to earth in style he describes his life in simple terms with humour, self-deprication and honesty. Many anecdotes probably will mean more to people who lived in Wales longer than me and who follow Rugby more intensely than I do.
That said, the main inspiration is that someone like Steele breaks down the barriers of mental health by ‘coming out’ in public as one of its sufferers. Having a man perceived to be made of steel admit his worst thoughts, how he suffered from Catholic guilt is exactly what the public needs to change perception and reach full acceptance.
In real life Steele was exactly as the book brings him across. He answered questions tirelessly, was happy to speakt o people in public and in private, advice them on problems with mental health and answered all questions thoguhtfully and honestly.
An excellent book.
Known to thousands of rugby fans as a knowledgeable, passionate and witty broadcaster, and as an entertaining and popular after-dinner speaker, Phil Steele’s confident demeanour and humorous disposition mask a life-long battle against depression and anxiety heightened by heartbreak and tragedy in his personal life. Nerves of Steele is a remarkable story and reveals the real Phil Steele, a man known only by his very closest friends and family.The Cardiff-born ‘Ely Boy’, who dreamed of playing for Wales, suffered his first bout of debilitating clinical depression when he saw his promising rugby career with Newport RFC wrecked by injury at only 23, just as his eye-catching performances had earned him a call up to the Wales B squad.The curse of mental illness and its malevolent twin, chronic anxiety, hung over Phil for years, who describes his suffering as ‘like living under a cloak of constant unease’ and at times even sapped his will to go on living. His vulnerability was repeatedly tested by losing both patents whilst still in his twenties, his younger sister to alcoholism and his beloved wife Liz who died from a brain tumour aged 48, only a month after being diagnosed. Nerves of Steele is, however, an uplifting story of how, despite all the mental anguish and personal tragedy, Phil’s determination, strength of character and infectious personality has enabled him to conquer his condition and live a full and rewarding personal and professional life. With mental illness believed to affect one in every four people, Nerves of Steele will resonate with those that have experienced it themselves as well as their loved ones who’ve also been affected by it – and offer them all real hope for the future.
After having enjoyed Hugh’s first book GLIMPSES I had to get the new book “More Glimpses” and I’m glad to report that I really enjoyed it.
It’s another great varied selection of original ideas, thoughtful scenarios, odd characters and some wonderfully weird and scary stories.
This selection seemed to be a little darker than the last one and it included more fantasy and horror leanings with even some ideas on time travel. The title is very apt as we get very short glimpses into all types of lives and scenarios: From
decisions at the door or in TV shows that can be life altering, to romance on the battlefield; from birth to death – Roberts writes with humour, originality, compassion and heart-felt deeper understanding of human nature.
There are 32 stories, so difficult to sum up any further. All I can say is they will be worth your time, make you smile, frown and entertain. Roberts is a writer to put on your radar.
Do you believe in fairies at the bottom of the garden? Would you dare steal items from a blind person or send your neighbours on a time-travelling trip full of menace and danger to stop the possibility of a bug wiping out humanity? Would you respond to calls for help from behind a door that is not all it seems, or ignore the warnings not to walk on a beautiful, deserted beach?
Two and a half years after the publication of Glimpses, I’m delighted to announce that my second collection of short stories, More Glimpses, is now available on Amazon.
Containing 32 short stories and pieces of flash fiction, many of which have never been published before, More Glimpses takes the reader on a ride full of twists, turns and unexpected endings.
Click here to buy your copy.
Set in war-torn France in 1918, a soldier reflects on his life while he waits for the sound of the whistle, a sound that not only may signal the oncoming end of his life but reveal a secret the world can never ever find out.
2. Upside-Down and Inside-Out
Prudence Pebblebottom doesn’t believe her mother has agoraphobia and ends up giving her a heart attack when forcing her to go outside. As the only beneficiary of her mother’s will, Prudence is in for a nasty surprise when her world is literally turned upside-down.
3. Baby Talk
A conversation a seven-month-old baby overhears its mother having with a shop assistant has it screaming the place down. However, there are worthy reasons for the baby wanting to make a quick escape from the store.
4. The Bag Lady
Genre: Science Fiction
On a time travelling mission to the year 1999, three elderly ladies from the year 1961 find themselves in grave danger when pursued by another time traveller. Can they escape and get back to 1961 with the item the other time traveller so desperately wants to get off them?
5. The Tunnel
Filled with hazards and situations that can kill, a life-changing prize awaits all who enter the tunnel, with whoever gets to the prize first having the greater chance of coming out alive. However, be quick to find it as the prize doesn’t wait around for long.
6. Tiny People
All over the world, mobile phones have been catching fire. Max Cumberland thinks he has the answer as to why it’s happening. Convincing the mobile phone manufacturers, however, is going to be hard work.
7. Murder in Evershot
Set in the sleepy, English village of Evershot, John, Toby, Austin, and Hugh find themselves in grave danger when several murders take place. Can they find a well-known detective, who lives in the village, and ask for her help in solving the murders before the murderer finds them?
8. Floral Hall
Boarded up and unused for many years, Floral Hall was once a place full of music, love, and laughter. Tim, a young boy out for a walk with his mother and grandmother, thinks he can hear music and laughter coming from the old building. Is Floral Hall about to reveal its secrets?
9. The Right Choice
Genre: Science Fiction
With the choice of facing the killer bees or the old ruins for a one-million-pounds prize, two gameshow contestants have only twenty seconds to make the right choice. Will they make the right one?
10. Knock, Knock
A prankster plays ‘knock, knock’ on the front door of a house. Inside, a ‘home-alone’ young girl, Angela, and her younger sister are terrified when the prankster threatens to kill them. When Angela finally gets the courage to open the door, she discovers it’s not only whoever was knocking at the door that has disappeared.
11. Fast Forward
Genre: Science Fiction
Fascinated by the hidden feature on his new smartwatch, Brad gets the chance to time travel. As he travels forward, he doesn’t like all that he witnesses and decides that it is time to travel back to the present. However, he’s forgotten one vital piece of information. Can he get back safely before it’s too late?
12. The Jump
Jane has murder on her mind and gives her husband, who suffers from vertigo, a parachute jump for his 50th birthday. Jumping out of the plane first, she gets a shock when landing on her island paradise where she thinks her lover is waiting for her. What awaits Jane is a nightmare beyond imagination.
13. Big Brother
Genre: Science Fiction
Have you ever wondered why files and photographs suddenly go missing from your computer, tablet or phone? Big Brother has the answer.
At a car boot sale, two teenagers do the unthinkable and steal items off the stall belonging to a blind man. What follows will not only change their lives but will haunt them forever.
15. Harvest Festival
Genre: Science Fiction
Harvest festival – a time of celebration and thanks for what has been provided to get us all through the upcoming long, hard winter. It should never be the time of nightmares, should it?
16. The Hole
Why do the same two dogs visit the garden of Elizabeth Jones every day and sniff at the same area? Wanting to know the answer, Elizabeth digs a hole at the spot where the dogs sniff. Will she find anything?
17. Easter Bunny Cake
For centuries, the Easter Bunny has been trying to find a way to punish naughty humans. Is simply not leaving them a chocolate egg the only answer?
18. Double Eighteen
Quentin has a brand-new girlfriend, Maureen, and he’s determined to win them a romantic weekend for two in Paris, at the local pub’s darts competition. On the evening of the match, something terrible happens, giving many of the regulars a shock.
19. The Man In The Television
Unaware of what is in the room with them, a family watching a popular Saturday evening television show have no idea what is really happening in front of them. Have you seen the man in the television?
20. Dream Catcher
How often are we told to follow our dreams? And what happens if we actually catch one? Does it give our dream a better chance of coming true? One man, who actually caught a dream, reveals all.
If something wanted to kill off most of humanity, what would be the most unlikely weapon it could use? And are you one of the humans it wants to kill?
22. When The Tide Turns
On a day out, three young men discover a beautiful, deserted beach. However, despite a warning from an old man not to venture onto the sand, they take no notice, resulting in horrifying consequences for all of them.
Having just got married, it’s the night of the honeymoon for Sylvia and Marty. Marty is eager to get things started, but Sylvia has something else on her mind.
24. The Truth About Waiting Rooms
Like or loath them, waiting rooms are everywhere, and we all find ourselves in them at some stages of our lives. Next time you find yourself in one, take a closer look at what’s around you. You may be surprised at what you’ll find.
25. The Chair
Agatha Burnell’s favourite lumpy chair has been her saviour. But what secrets does it hold?
26. Royal Shopping
A light-hearted look at what happens when the Queen goes shopping, finds a bargain, and doesn’t seem to have the right change in her purse. Will anyone come to her aid?
There you are, not looking your best, and your ex-partner walks past with their new partner. How would you feel? Would you have revenge on your mind, or would you just laugh about it?
28. The Door
If somebody was calling for help from the other side of an old, scruffy looking door, would you go to their aid, or would you simply walk away?
29. The Wedding Bouquet
As a bride gets ready to throw her wedding bouquet to the eagerly waiting hands of her wedding guests, she asks the photographer to film the event. Will true love find the person who catches her wedding bouquet?
30. Fairies At The Bottom Of The Garden
Do fairies really exist? Roger Young, a cheating, lying, husband and father, is in for a colourful shock when he visits the greenhouse at the bottom of his garden.
31. Walking Into The Future
John Anderson has a dream of being able to walk into the future and finding out what awaits him. After completing the short journey, it’s the journey back to his present that exposes a shocking truth.
32. Where To Now?
On the dying planet of Orion, the frightening events of what happened to all its inhabitants are revealed. Can what happened be stopped, before it spreads to other worlds?
Click here to buy Glimpses.
Introducing Dan Alatorre – another big name in our DO NO HARM medical thriller box set collaboration
Bestselling author and humorist Dan Alatorre has done it again!
In this hilarious and heartwarming short story, two parents encourage their little girl to grow up, and immediately wonder about the repercussions of their decision. They juggle potty training, theme park visits – and the thought of life without her one day.
You will see yourself in this story 100 times over. Be prepared to laugh – and cry – sometimes on the same page!
The Short Years is a series of beautiful vignettes folded into a weekend trip and a look into the future. (Contains selected passages from the book The Long Cutie)
“I never thought a story involving potty training could be so funny” – Wain T, Tampa FL
This short book, which revolves largely around how the author and his wife potty trained their daughter, is hilarious. Savvy is the author’s firstborn…
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“I rarely dive into science fiction but I saw the author’s quirky tweets and checked out his biography and had a hunch this might be good.
But I must say I am still surprised how much I enjoyed this book. While I’m not an Avenger’s fan, I did watch a lot of the old classics and love Star Trek and Star Wars.
Robins puts a lot of in-jokes and humour into his writing, which makes it likeable even for lesser fans of the genre. The plot revolves around two species of Aliens taking an interest in Earth, which itself is going through a lot of power struggles, a dictator and a resistance group. Again, I was pleasantly surprised at the author’s originality in creating a world only 30 odd years from today, with clear references to current nations and yet not falling into cliquee or predictability.
The characters are a bunch of heroes and anti-heroes, often foul-mouthed and outspoken. The novel is funny, imaginative and has a lot of dramatic tension to make for some compelling reading. I devoured it almost in one sitting and prayed I’d be able to finish it and find out how it would end before I had to do something else.
This was very enjoyable and something I’m sure many people will have great fun reading.
Check it out.”
Get the book on Amazon:
The Akakies, a peaceful, technologically advanced alien species known as “the galaxy’s pranksters,” are under attack by the Xortaags, a vicious military race bent on conquering the universe. The Xortaags are deadly, but Tarq, the Akakies’ chief strategist and legendary shadow master, has a plan.
Meanwhile on Earth, Jim, a wise-cracking, movie-quoting, OCD-suffering fighter pilot, is about to propose to his girlfriend Liz when his childhood friend Kurt shows up at his house, injured and covered in blood. Kurt is a freedom fighter/super- assassin hunted by a brutal military dictatorship’s security forces. Soon after, Jim, Liz and Kurt’s lives are set to crash with a galactic war that threatens the very existence of the human race.
Can our heroes save humanity from the wrath of an overwhelming enemy?
The Crimson Deathbringer seamlessly blends breathtaking action sequences with mischievous humor. If you are a science fiction/space opera fan, this book, with its memorable characters, formidable antagonist and Game of Thrones style shocking moments, is written especially for you.
Thanks Teagan for featuring our medical thriller box set on your exquisite blog. Huge hugs ❤
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
It’s Get Caught Reading Month, and look what you’ve caught me reading!
I’m honored to promote a new collection of medical thrillers. You may have seen it making the rounds.
This boxed set includes a novel from one of the first followers of this blog — Christoph Fischer. You couldn’t meet a more generous person than Christoph. He is also my “birthday sibling.” So how could I resist jumping on this bandwagon?
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IN SEARCH OF A REVOLUTION is my last excursion in the world of historical fiction and it won’t be my last
In 1918 young Zacharias Nielsen boards a ship in Copenhagen to join the Red Guards in the Finnish Civil War. Encouraged by an idolised teacher with communist leanings, he follows the call for help from his Nordic Comrades, despite his privileged background.
His best friend, Ansgar, has opposing political ideals to Zacharias but, for his own personal reasons, finds himself soon stuck in the Scandinavian North with Zacharias and Raisa, a Finnish nurse who helps them in their new life.
Through the years that follow the brotherly war the trio see the political landscape in Finland and Europe change as Communists and Fascists try to make their mark and attempt to change the world order.
Our heroes must find their own personal and ideological place in these turbulent times as friendship, honour, idealism and love triangles bring out some personal truths.
The book spans almost thirty years of history and the various Finnish conflicts: Civil War, Winter War, Continuation War and the Lapland War. Watch the political and personal self discovery of characters in search of their own revolution.
Amazon Vine Voice Review:
“Christoph Fischer is a skilled and accomplished story teller. He maintains a cracking pace. He has clearly researched his subject matter well. It is admirable how Fischer gets to grips with a complex set of political intrigues but yet keeps it simple and never descends into turgidity.
My interest was driven by the Finnish Civil War of circa 1917. I was impressed the novel also covers the Winter War, the Continuation War and touches on the interests of Denmark and Estonia viz a vis Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany.
The political intrigues and the characters different ideological viewpoints are well-handled.
I am not a great fan of “love interest” situations and the character Raisa almost fell into the danger of being somewhat two-dimensional, slightly redeemed as the book went on.
The relationship between main protagonists Zacharias and Ansgar is portrayed beautifully. Ansgar’s tale is a particular horror story all the more for it being one true of Nazi occupied Denmark and its collaborators.
The depiction of the ideologist Holgar Beck is also poignant.
Excellent read, cracking pace.
Occasionally, some of your visitors may see an advertisement
May 4, 2019
About the book
On her return from a cruise ship gig Bebe Bollinger learns that fellow Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler has decided to enter a European Song comptition for the UK. While Bebe jealously watches the pre-publicity trail for ‘Eurovision’ in Malmö, a string of ‘odd accidents’ endangers several participants of the competition. This stirs her desire for playing detective again but also a curiosity to check out the suitability of Eurovision for her own career.
Follow Bebe’s continued search for fame and a comeback before it’s too late, step into the weird world that is Eurovision fandom and see how Bebe gets on with her naughty daughter and deals with those evil TV presenters.
One of the early reviews for the book
This is the second in the Bebe Bollinger series by Christoph Fischer. The is sleuth is once again the charming, talented and a bit snarky Bebe Bollinger, an early 60s chanteuse with a remarkable career behind her but fighting to be back in the spotlight.
It is quite a change up from the first book, the author having chosen the setting to be Eurovision, the longest-running annual international TV song competition, held in a different country each year. I have to admit I didn’t even know Eurovision existed until I started to read this book, but I learned a lot.
Bebe is colorful, intelligent and one of my favorite characters. When her friend Bonnie Tyler (think Holding Out for a Hero and Angel of the Morning) is chosen to represent the UK at Eurovision, Bebe jealously watches the pre-publicity trail for Eurovision in Malmö and discovers a string of odd accidents happening to several participants in the competition. This triggers her detective antennae and she decides to attend the event. Going there also allows her to assess the suitability of a Eurovision appearance for her own career.
The author does an incredible job describing Eurovision, with its countries’ representatives, both new and seasoned, the outrageous costumes, lighting, and most of all the crowds and the carnival atmosphere. I know he’s been to one or two!
We again meet Beth, now a former police detective with a drinking problem who does legwork for Bebe when she is otherwise occupied, and Bebe’s grasping and selfish daughter Helen, who shows up at the festival and promises to ruin Bebe’s renewed and growing reputation. Bebe somehow gets herself into the middle of the action, singing a version of one of Bonnie’s songs on stage with another vocalist and being asked to judge the competition, as well as be a presenter on the day of the event. While her status grows, contestants continue to fall until it becomes clear that what Bebe suspected all along: these are no accidents.
Bebe deals patiently and with aplomb with nasty TV reporters and career climbing presenters, but ultimately begins to think she may be the next target. I honestly did not know who dunnit or why until the very end.
For fans of Bebe Bollinger, mysteries with a colorful and detailed setting, followers of Eurovision, or women of a certain age (like me), this is the book for you! I anxiously await the next book to find out what happens with Bebe’s career.
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Over-Dead-Body-Eurovision-Bollinger-ebook/dp/B07CGNL2HJ/
A small selection of other books by Christoph Fischer.
Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/Christoph-Fischer/e/B00CLO9VMQ
and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christoph-Fischer/e/B00CLO9VMQ
Read more reviews and follow Christoph on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6590171.Christoph_Fischer
About Christoph Fischer
Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he now lives in a small town in West Wales. He and his partner have three Labradoodles to complete their family.
Christoph worked for the British Film Institute, in Libraries, Museums and for an airline. ‘
The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ was published in November 2012; ‘Sebastian’ in May 2013 and ‘The Black Eagle Inn’ in October 2013 – which completes his ‘Three Nations Trilogy’. “Time to Let Go”, his first contemporary work was published in May 2014, and “Conditions”, another contemporary novel, in October 2014. The sequel “Conditioned” was published in October 2015. His medical thriller “The Healer” was released in January 2015 and his second thriller “The Gamblers” in June 2015. He published two more historical novels “In Search of a Revolution” in March 2015 and “Ludwika” in December 2015.
He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.
Connect to Christoph