NEW RELEASE – SWEETEST NOTHINGS. Available Now. Digital & Print

It’s here!  I’m thrilled to share my new book, SWEETEST NOTHINGS, now available in digital and print.

Step into a world of curiosities and strange tales in this collection of prose and poetry. A world of light and dark, of swift encounters and devious deeds; of steampunk spies and love in a world of superheroes; of campfire tales and the sweetest of nothings.

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Inside you’ll find eight short stories and over fifty new poems including…

ALBION – A steampunk tale about the British Empire’s last great agent, whose life is turned upside down when a family secret is discovered.

TREAT – A dark horror tale about a girl, a murderer and a very unique service…

DROUGHT – A swift encounter with a different kind of vampire…

THE PARLIAMENT OF EMILY – Originally written for fund-raising anthology, a fantasy tale about the power of parallel lives…

SUPERSEDING TREVOR – A romance set in a world where capes, cowls and superpowers are as common as can be…

Please enjoy this excerpt from the opening of ALBION…

*

She dreamed.

Or perhaps, in this unknown place, she remembered.

The uncertainty was not troublesome. Sounds were muted, as if heard underwater. She felt womb-encased, warm and safe, but knew it would not last. She thought of birth.

She recalled it as one does a night time reverie, fleeting and ephemeral. It was blinding, lancing oblivion’s black iris, tasting of salt and copper, smelling of scorched metal and umbilical, anodyne musk. Her newborn lungs expelled plasma-laced saline and stung at oxygen’s first assault, vocal chords stretching fervently with a scream that would remain nested in memory like a hungry, prowling beast.

Gears ground somewhere, engines whirring and tabulating, ratchets working with fine precision. It was the sound of London and half the world, a white noise that few noticed. In her half-lucid state she recalled pistons and steam, a sense of floating.

No. Not that. Flying.

 

*

 

The market children were playing Albion.

The girls fought over who was to portray their heroine and the boys debated who was to be her latest dastardly villain, or eager companion.

Her name was everywhere: adorning the paste-spread bills on the city’s soot-caked walls, calling for her true identity; on the pages of its best and worst news rags; on the lips of dock workers, street peddlers, aristocrats and doxies, from the heart of the city to its farthest outskirts; in the eager, fertile minds of the children who re-enacted the adventures found in their penny dreadfuls. Albion: the greatest daughter the Empire had ever known.

Abigail O’Hare watched them dart and duel before her as they weaved their way through the bustling marketplace in Earl Square. A young girl in a pair of cheap goggles, the lower half of her face covered in her best approximation of Albion’s alleged attire, a red velvet scarf tugged snug over her mouth, and the two subordinate boys, chasing her with sticks. She grinned; even if they were to examine her closely, they would never recognise her, never know they were so close to the object of their delight. Even if she were to tell them, they were not likely to believe.

She perused the avenues of collapsible lean-tos with their haphazard canopies, stalls laden with jewelry, clothing and trinkets in every conceivable colour and shape. She savoured the sounds of barking vendors and the smells of world cuisines stewing and sizzling, then drifted into Archie’s Eyes.

She strode into the covered shop to the clink of her boot spurs. It was a trove, partitioned into sections with ornately decorated Chinese shades, each one filled with rotor-spinning displays of fine spectacles, microscopes, telescopes and sturdy but stylish goggles custom-made for a dozen trades. She examined a pair of ornate theatre binoculars until his avuncular tones came from beyond the nearest partition.

“It took three days to carve and set the lenses, young lady, and three more to hand-gild the shell, yet I don’t fathom there’s time enough left this century to craft a pair befitting a lass of your calibre.” She followed his voice to find Archie Munroe, faultlessly dressed in a crisp white shirt and braces, hunched over a cluttered work table with his concertinaed-metal eyeglasses perched on his aging, bird-like nose. “Though I must say, at the risk of appearing un-gentlemanly, the spurs have got to go.”

“These were given to me by Lincoln Vaughan himself,” she said with mock indignation. “It’s rare for him to give anybody a gift other than a bullet between the eyes.”

He took her hands in his and kissed them with a noble flourish. “A face like yours could charm a skyboat off the deck without a single drop of water in its heart.”

She fished into the satchel slung at her hip and pulled out a pair of brass goggles with a fine leather strap. One of the black lenses was scuffed, the other completely cracked into spiderwebs. He took them with the look of a parent whose child had returned from a day’s play with a skinned knee and bleeding nose.

“Oh, what have you done to these?” Archie pondered, picking at the lenses with a pair of fine silver pliers.

“Not I,” she said. “A redskin’s tomahawk.”

He looked wistfully at his creation, now nothing but broken remnants. Then, with perceptible indifference, he tossed the goggles over his shoulder and pulled a replacement pair from a drawer in his scratched, scorched desk. She held them up to examine them in a thin shaft of light streaming through a hole in the roof slats.

“So how long shall you grace Britannia with your presence?”

“Frontiersville now reaches the far shores of the Americas,” she told him, securing the goggles in her bag, “and the last resistance in the Crimea is gone. I serve Victoria until she says otherwise. I read the new edition, by the by, as soon as I stepped off the boat this morning.”

Archie rocked back in his seat with a creak of wood and bones, raising a wizened white eyebrow. “And?”

“Fantastic as ever,” she smiled. “You always make her far more fearless and wonderful than I ever could. And I shall have the diaries for the next edition to you as soon as they have been appropriately censored by her majesty’s agents.”

“Alas, we are lucky it is not the Empire’s secrets that sell the tales, my dear, merely her spirit of adventure. No amount of my florid prose can ever truly capture the nation’s heart if you weren’t allowing it to beat.” Archie slid open a drawer and handed her a pristine copy on the crispest paper, the print without a single smudge. “First copy off the press. I know it thrills you.”

The artwork on the cover displayed the sloping rooftop of Big Ben and the midnight sky beyond, London a mere scrawl of streets and lamps far below. Silhouetted against the full moon was Albion, poised nimbly in defiance of gravity, a sabre in one gauntleted hand, a sleek pistol in the other, the weapon and her masked face angled towards the approaching enemy, a Russian skyboat bristling with lightning cannons.

As she flicked the pages she saw, in her peripheral vision, Archie straighten in his seat, and she sensed him hold his breath. She stole a cursory glance over her shoulder, long enough to identify the two new arrivals as Belmont’s men. Matching red bow ties and moustaches; the fool made them groom themselves to a uniform standard to impose an air of menace. Abigail found the look laughable, but Belmont was not one to hire clowns.

“Miss O’Hare,” the first one said icily. “A word in your most delicate ear.”

*

Get your copy of SWEETEST NOTHINGS for immediate download now, or in good old fashioned print.  I’ve had so much fun putting this one together, exploring different genres and crafting new poetry.  I do hope you enjoy it…

SWEETEST NOTHINGS – Available February 1st

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I’m thrilled to announce that my new book SWEETEST NOTHINGS will be available in print and digital from February 1st 2016.

Step into a world of curiosities and strange tales in this collection of prose and poetry. A world of light and dark, of swift encounters and devious deeds; of steampunk spies and love in a world of superheroes; of campfire tales and the sweetest of nothings. This volume contains new short stories and poetry from Cameron Lincoln in a variety of genres, including steampunk, horror and romance.

There’s something in this for everyone – adventure, passion, creeping dread and thundering hearts.  I can’t wait to share this one with you.  Keep your eyes peeled for more more news, and perhaps a tease in the coming days…

2015 – A Year Of Things

Hello from the Ridge’s Edge.  It’s unseasonably mild here, and Christmas barely feels like its a foursome of days away.

Did you tell the year it could whiz by so swiftly?  I sure didn’t.

But then, years never do what you tell them…

2015-09-04 07.59.00

I’m sitting here looking at the landscape in my wake.  The real landscape (must pick up those socks), and the personal one (must wash those spiritual undies).  It’s been a year where many things happened, and many things didn’t – and that’s as straightforwardly obviously and as complicatedly obtuse as you make it.

What have I done?

I did my first ever book signing, way back in March, which feels strangely like a lifetime ago.  It’s an experience I’ll never forget, and will be part of again in March 2016.  I’m sure it will be equally as wonderful.  Go get your tickets and see for yourself.

In build up to that, I released an expanded print version of my poetry collection Mine: Body & Soul, and my holiday romance novel Holiday Heat, in an updated, re-edited format that I was finally happy with.

I traveled to new countries and cities.  I explored Singapore and Amsterdam and relaxed in Bali.  I met people from the other side of the world, and I made people smile.  I like doing that exceedingly.

I wrote some poetry, and musings, and blogs, and pithy little aphorisms and tweets, which I enjoyed doing immensely.  Follow me on Twitter or Instagram for most of those, and keep your eyes peeled around these parts for the rest.

What haven’t I done?

Well, relating to the last point about keeping your eyes peeled – I’ve neglected this blog, when I swore I wouldn’t, so there hasn’t been much to keep ’em peeled for.  I wrote pieces I enjoyed, but wrote them with no regularity, and so the landscape of this blog feels uneven, even a little barren.

I’ve written some things, but I’ve been bad at writing.  I’ve lost a lot of focus and a lot of time.  I haven’t been in the best creative headspace, and the personal headspace got a little murky at times too.  I let the flame dwindle too much for my liking.

I haven’t finished projects I wanted to finish.  The Mayfly, a novel that has been gestating for years now, has been started, halted, scrapped and repeated ad nauseum.  I wanted it finished in time for the next signing, and it will not be finished for it.  I don’t know when it will.  A second project which I started and reeled off twenty thousands words on, currently sits gathering dust.

What will I do?

All of the things above are my doing – I shan’t use the word ‘fault’.  They happened, or rather didn’t, and I won’t waste time on regret.  I’ll own the failures alongside the successes, and vow to have fewer of the former and way more of the latter going forward.  I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished, professionally and personally, and less proud of what I haven’t, but I’m not punishing myself.

I’ll be much the same at five past midnight on New Year’s Day than I was with five minutes of New Year’s Eve left to go – albeit ten minutes more drunk.  There won’t be a new me.  There’ll be the same man who writes things, packed with the same foibles, flaws, quirks, confidences and hopes.

I’ll just encourage him to write a little more.  To write for himself a little more.  To absorb more words, more art, more new experiences.  To write better, and regularly.  To finish things.  To worry less about what people think.  And to not worry so much if he doesn’t.

So, this year didn’t do everything I told it, but it was only following my example.

I’m going to set a better one next year.

There may be another post before year end, or they may not be.  Here, just in case, I’d like to thank everyone who was a part of my 2015, whether in person or online.  Those who shared, supported, encouraged, titillated, commented, teased, taunted and laughed with me.  Those who bought a book or spread the word about my words.  Those who made me smile when I needed it the most.  You’re really rather marvelous.

Have a wonderful festive season and a safe and happy new year.

FRAMED – A Protect Your Breasts Anthology Raising Money For Cancer

 

I am a #PYB Wordy Warrior and I’m thrilled to share this with you today. I’m proud to have an exclusive piece featured in this book, and you can check it out in exchange for a donation to Cancer Research. Read on for more info…

Framed is a book put together by Protect Your Breasts in order to raise money for Cancer Research, but rather than put the book on sale, it’s being given as a thank you gift for donations made through their Just Giving page

28 authors

Framed is a collection of twenty eight stories, one thousand words in length, each written by one of twenty eight writers, collectively known as the #PYB Wordy Warriors.

Beautiful girl travelling through the magical portal - fantasy tale

All the tales in this anthology are inspired by this picture. Every story is different, every writer’s way with words unique, but they stand united for the cause. Fear, love, pain and freedom; you’ll find it all in this book, on a heart-breaking and uplifting journey through beautiful prose.

The team of Wordy Warriors and the team at #PYB want to say a huge thank you for all your support and we hope you enjoy this collection.

 

You can get the full list of #PYB Wordy Warriors and more details about this project here

 

How can you get your hands on this book and support this cause? In three easy steps

  • Make a donation through this Just Giving Page
  • Register the name you made the donation under and your email address through this form
  • Enjoy the words, support the cause and follow #PYB

 

 

Protect Your Breasts is a non-profit campaign ran by Lisa Fulham and V to raise awareness for the importance of self examination for the signs of Breast Cancer.

You can follow and support #PYB in the following places

Twitter

Facebook

Blog

 

So please go and make your donation and leave your email address, and receive 28 wonderful short stories.

Together let’s make C stand for Clear, not Cancer

 

RELEASE DAY – JUST JACK BY @KLShandwick – #MustRead

I’m thrilled to share the release info for K.L Shandwick’s new book, Just Jack.  Check out the synopsis and excerpts below, and find her various social network presences at the bottom.  K.L is a wonderful writer – you’re not going to want to miss this one!
 Being Lily Parnell’s best friend was effortless for Jack. Growing up together, Jack loved Lily and was fiercely protective of her and for most of his life all he wanted was to make her happy. When she was happy he was happy, except Lily lived a world away from him now and Jack missed her dreadfully. As far as Jack was concerned there had never been a time in their lives where they hadn’t shared everything. In recent years Lily’s ambitions took her overseas and even with an ocean between them, Jack still managed to support his best friend. One day things changed everything between them and their relationship began to shift. Lily was carving her own life and after observing a scene involving her, it made Jack take a close look at his own. Feeling confused, Jack decided to take a difficult decision never realising the potential fallout from doing something he felt was the right thing at the time. With his life laid bare Jack and as a simple, uncomplicated guy he thought he had things finally figured out. Women loved Jack and they came and went in his life apart from Lily. She was always there, until one day she wasn’t. Jack felt betrayed and abandoned by the one person who he thought he could rely on no matter what. During his journey from that moment on Jack faced more separation and loss than he could ever have imagined how would it shape him both as a man and can he forgive her?
Rick cracked the door open and padded through it hacking a cough and reaching for the mini-bar. “Mornin’ Lothario.” He croaked in my direction without making eye contact, reading the labels.
Chuckling loudly, there was just no way I was going to live down that after party Mark was talking about, but when I took in the sight of him I couldn’t help but throw a come-back at him.
Did your mother send you that get up, or are the pyjamas supposed to turn the women in your room off enough to leave?”
Rick looked down and smirked at the wine coloured paisley patterned silk pyjama bottoms he was wearing.
Waving his hand at the chair for me to sit down he pulled a glass and poured himself a miniature of gin and a small bottle of tonic water into it. “Long story.”
“Can’t wait.” My hurried comment was followed up with a wide grin as I settled back in the chair with one leg crossed over the other, my ankle resting on my knee.
“Allergy. I’ve got a rash from the starch on the hotel sheets the other night.”
As soon as he said that I knew he was going to regret it and I could see from the startled look on his face he’d been caught off guard and didn’t mean to be so open about it. He knew he’d walked right into something that I’d use against him, even if I was managing to keep my face straight.
“A rash?” I couldn’t keep the humour out of my voice, and there was even the hint of a breakthrough giggle in those two words.
Rick stared pointedly at me as if to say, “Laugh and tear you a new one,” but my sense of humour just overrode any potential fall-out consequences he may have been planning.
“That’s a bit like saying I got pregnant from the sheets, Rick. Don’t you think you’re more likely to have caught something from one of the women in your bed than the sheets? Or don’t you want to believe that just in case you get pussy-fright?
Rick threw the lid of the gin bottle at me and it bounced off my forehead but by that time I was chuckling loudly. “Laugh all you want, I’m allergic to starch. So they got me these from the hotel store because I needed something to make sure I was protected in bed. It was fucking murder trying to play with the itch in my pants the night before last.”
“Most guys wear condoms for protection, Rick not theatrical pyjamas.”
Rick was being deadly serious but the more he spoke the more uncontrollable my laughing became until he stood up and pulled them down to show me the red welts on his legs, his dick at eye level with me. Just as he did this, the door opened and the two girls he had in his bed came through the door.
Turning my head to look at them, I was still stifling a grin. Rick was true to form and had two classic groupies for his sleepover, skinny girls with big tits, no bras, dyed blonde hair with black roots dressed in the usual rock-chick attire of leather mini-skirts, fishnet stockings and tight dark brown and cream t-shirts with the ‘Cobham Street’ motif on them.
“Sorry ladies, I was just about to part-take would either of you like to join me?”
My quip was out before I’d even thought about it. Hell, I was probably going to be sacked after this, but I grinned widely and Rick smacked me around the head, making me cry out— partly in surprise, partly out of pain.
“You’re such a smart ass Jack Cunningham.” Pivoting the top half if his body in their direction he gestured at me with his hand, his pyjamas still at his ankles. “I was just showing him my rash.”
Laughing raucously I stared helplessly at Rick taking in his pathetic form with the patterned material draped around his feet and his dick dangling in front of him. As soon as I knew he felt the need to explain what was happening all of my professionalism suddenly deserted me and I was struggling to catch my breath, let alone stop laughing. The skinnier one of the girls gave a loud snort, then her resolve was gone and she joined in laughing, but I think she was laughing because mine was so infectious more than anything else.
Rick continued protesting his innocence when suddenly the second girl who had been standing staring deadpan erupted in the oddest hee-haw laugh I’ve ever heard in my life. The look on Rick’s face was a picture as he gawped in disbelief with his jaw open taking in all of us laughing hysterically at his expense. I was sure he was going react badly, but even at that I just couldn’t get it together at all.
Rick bent down and pulled his pyjamas up, which I found even funnier for no particular reason and this set off a fresh bout of laughter. Striding over to open the door, Rick waved a finger in the direction of the two women and Jed made short work of evacuating them from the scene. All I could do was watch helplessly because I couldn’t get my laughing fit under control, and I was sure I was going to be next to be thrown out, but probably via the roof terrace.
Closing the door again, Rick bent forward, his hands on his knees and he suddenly cracked up with laughter. “Jack fucking Cunningham, I should bury my size eleven up your ass for what just happened there, and I don’t understand why I can’t…I fucking love you, dude. You have no idea what a breath of fresh air you are in a world full of ‘yes men’. How the fuck have you been?”
KLShandwick just Jack 2015©
GET JUST JACK HERE:  
AMAZON UK          AMAZON US
K. L. Shandwick lives on the outskirts of London. She started writing after a challenge by a friend when she commented on a book she read. The result of this was “The Everything Trilogy.” Her background has been mainly in the health and social care sector in the U.K. She is still currently a freelance or self- employed professional in this field. Her books tend to focus on the relationships of the main characters. Writing is a form of escapism for her and she is just as excited to find out where her characters take her as she is when she reads another author’s work.
Get in touch with her:
 

Author & Poet

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