Monday, 28 April 2014

DEAD DROP now available from Smashwords in epub, pdf and txt formats


EDIT (15/04/14): Updated versions of both manuscripts are now live on Smashwords. Update will follow on Amazon shortly.

For those of you who want to read DEAD DROP but don't own a Kindle or compatible e-reader, the book is now available from Smashwords in a variety of formats including pdf (compatible with any computer with Adobe Reader downloaded, which should be virtually all of them), epub (standard ebook format) and txt (plain text compatible with almost everything). Due to Smashwords-specific formatting demands, the book looks a little different from the Amazon edition but the text is exactly the same. All revisions described in the previous blog post are naturally included in the Smashwords edition.

Also worth noting is that, because non-US readers buy direct from the American site rather than a foreign affiliate, the price works out slightly cheaper as Amazon sets a minimum price for foreign editions of ebooks which generally work out slightly pricier when the American version is set below a certain threshold.


If you enjoy it, please consider sharing the link or writing a quick review. To find the cheaper Standard Edition, scroll down the page to the 'Also By This Author' section.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

DEAD DROP revisions now live on Amazon


As mentioned on my Twitter last week, I've been working on a couple of revisions to the DEAD DROP ebook, both Standard and Special editions, which went live on Amazon on Good Friday.

The changes are almost entirely cosmetic, the most notable being a change to more standard ebook text formatting (removing the empty lines between paragraphs, adding indentations) based on feedback I've received. An extra blurb has been added to the 'About The Author' page, plus links to this blog, Facebook and the aforementioned Twitter, while a few spelling mistakes have also been corrected and a handful of adjustments made to the prose/dialogue to keep them flowing smoothly or distinguish the characters' voices a little more. In all likelihood, nothing anyone will notice.

If you've already bought the book (thank you!), you should be able to download it again to receive the latest version. Anyone buying new (welcome!) should get it automatically. Because the new formatting is a little more complex than the previous version, get in touch if anything is out of place. I've tested it extensively so, fingers crossed, there shouldn't be any problems, but it'd be very useful to hear should anything unusual be spotted in the wild, so to speak.

Thanks kindly, and please consider leaving a review if you enjoy the book as much as I hope you do!

Friday, 18 April 2014

DEAD DROP now available to buy on the Amazon Marketplace


Back in the halcyon days of 2012, an online serial called DEAD DROP was exclusively published on this blog. After a ridiculously long delay, I'm delighted to announce that the novel is now available as a Kindle ebook through the Amazon Marketplace.

As you can tell, the blog has undergone a bit of a redesign in honour of this momentous occasion. While all the old posts remain present and correct - the archive has merely shifted to the bottom of the front page - the vast majority of stories from here on out will be dedicated to keep you updated on all things DEAD DROP.

For now, pay a visit to the redesigned DEAD DROP homepage (www.dead-drop.co.uk) for more information and extracts from the novel. For quick links to buy DEAD DROP from your country's Amazon Marketplace, click any of the links below to get some action:

United Kingdom (£0.99)   United States ($1.35)   Canada (CDN$1.45)   Germany (€1.25)  France (€1.25)   Spain (€1.25)   Italy (€1.25)   Australia ($1.40)   Japan (¥155)   India ( 80)

Many thanks for your support and enjoy the novel!

Dead Drop Extract #1: Interrogation At Saint Nazaire


[DEAD DROP is available to buy now as a Kindle ebook on the Amazon Marketplace (UK/US/Ca/Fr/De/Au). The following is a free extract from the novel's 1st chapter.]


'I will give you this much credit,' the Nazi commandant said, 'Your fellows put up a good fight. Two of our pumping stations destroyed, along with significant damage to the machinery for opening the dock gates. Yet this is but a minor annoyance. These things can be rebuilt or repaired in time. The dock gate we believe was your main target is still intact, even if we have not yet had time to remove the destroyer you attempted to ram it with.'

He paced the small room. It seemed as though he was still trying to come to terms with the situation as he described it to his two prisoners, who were tied to chairs by the back wall. Two armed guards surveyed the scene from next to the room's only door. The commandant's shadow circled him as he walked beneath the naked lightbulb hanging from the ceiling.

Dead Drop Extract #2: International Relations


[DEAD DROP is available to buy now as a Kindle ebook on the Amazon Marketplace (UK/US/Ca/Fr/De/Au). The following is a free extract from the novel's 5th chapter.]

'Tell me what you know about the crash on Mount Lambapahar.'

The Russian spoke slowly, clearly enjoying his position of strength. He brandished his Soviet machine gun in the direction of the smartly dressed Chinaman, Liu, and his muscular lieutenant, Wei.

'I don't know what you are talking about,' Liu said.

He pointed at the man who had followed the Russian into the basement laboratory and was now splashing the walls and floor with liquid from a red cannister. 'What does he think he is doing?'

'We are sending a message to your superiors,' the Russian said, 'And your new allies. What is on top of that mountain will be the prize of the Soviet Union.'

Dead Drop Extract #3: A Motorbike, A Mountain, A Machine Gun


[DEAD DROP is available to buy now as a Kindle ebook on the Amazon Marketplace (UK/US/Ca/Fr/De/Au). The following is a free extract from the novel's 11th chapter.]

With the wind tugging at his hair, Armstrong felt an electric thrill as he increased his speed on the straightening road, but the treacherous surface beneath his tyres reminded him to drive with his head, rather than on adrenaline. The bike was slightly heavier than he was used to, but its winter tyres were designed for traction on slippery surfaces.

The convoy came into view up ahead. It consisted of three vehicles: a military jeep at the front and back, protecting a prison van in between.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

The Book Of Mormon mini-review


The Book Of Mormon, Trey Parker and Matt Stone's broadway behemoth, arrives in London under the stormcloud of controvery which follows the South Park creators wherever they go. The show's depiction of a poverty-striken Ugandan village being saved by two white missionaries has drawn the wrath of its left-leaning attendees, while conservative voices have risen in characteristic fury to denounce the mocking of white religious righteousness.
  

Friday, 30 November 2012

Review: Sightseers

Sightseers movie Ben Wheatley Steve Oram Alice Lowe

FILM REVIEW 
   
Review Scoring Chart - 10: Masterpiece; 9: Outstanding; 8: Very Good; 7: Good; 6: Above Average; 5: Average; 4: Below Average; 3: Bad; 2: Awful; 1: Reprehensible; 0: Non-Functional.

SIGHTSEERS
Dir: Ben Wheatley
Stars: Alice Lowe, Steve Oram, Eileen Davies, Richard Glover
Running Time: 88 mins
  
In a year where Great Britain has been celebrated by its Queen's jubilee, a successful Olympics and the fiftieth anniversary of its greatest cinematic icon, there's something gleefully appropriate about the year's final show of national identity tearing the pomposity and circumstance down into the mud. Brits often cite self-deprecation as a shared characteristic, and Sightseers is a movie which delights in pettiness rather than pagentry, a nation of grumblers as frustrated by manners, history and the countryside as they are in love with them.

In America, social rebellion has been given a glamourous veneer by such movies as Natural Born Killers or Bonnie And Clyde, perpetuating a myth of the heroic outlaw originating in the tales of the Old West. Britain has its romantic ideals too, but places as much value in subverting as championing them: in a year where Judi Dench's recital of Alfred Lord Tennyson's 'Ulysses' provided a moment of unashamedly thrilling patriotism, Ben Wheatley's use of Blake's 'Jersualem' over a man beating a fellow rambler to death following an argument about dog excrement becomes all the more perfect.
 

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Call Of Duty: Black Ops II launch event report (via Hit-Reset)

Call Of Duty Black Ops 2 game launch event players Xbox 360 PS3 Playstation Wii U

Last night, I attended the London launch party for Call Of Duty: Black Ops II. You can read my full report over at Hit-Reset, which includes impressions of the game's multiplayer modes in addition to INSIDER GOSSIP on why rapper Professor Green is a distinctly ungallant loser, the career change Olympic gymnast Louis Smith would consider if offered £50k a year by Chris Kamara, and what craziness adorned the loo walls. All that and more in this week's Hello Magazine!

Sorry, I meant at the link below. Easy mistake to make.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Retrospective: Ran (1985)

Akira Kurosawa Ran poster retrospective

[An earlier version of this article was originally published on Flixist]

Ahead of an announcement tomorrow on this blog's future, I thought now would be a good time to pay tribute to a masterpiece of world cinema, a movie both intensely personal to its director and grander in scope than any before or since. For me, as a teenager sitting down to watch it on a cheap television in a boarding school common room reeking of various substances I didn't want to think about, it opened my eyes and mind to the majestic heights cinema could achieve under the limitless artistry of an old man looking through his camera at a world so much darker than he remembered it from his youth.

That man was Akira Kurosawa. His movie, his magnum opus, is Ran.