Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Streaking for Mother New Cover

I've changed the cover from the original because I felt it maybe gave people the impression it is all about Rugby or there is a lot of sex in it.

I was inspired after watching the Fisher King with Jeff Bridges, Robin Williams.  A story about a DJ that motivated a crazy caller to spray bullets into an upscale restaurant killing yuppies. The DJ loses it, fraught with gilt at his reckless comment. He eventually meets one of the victims who survived the shooting, but has become unhinged and living on the street after his wife was shot and killed. He tries to help him and in doing so learns to overcome his own demons.

Streaking for Mother is about a famous sportsman that courses a streaker to be hospitalised reinforcing his bad boy tag and calls for him to sort out his anger issues. He agrees to help the streaker recover with physiotherapy and duck out of the way of the press that are constantly hounding him. He goes to live above a pawn brokers - the streaker and three others own - two sexy females and a strange black fella.

These people are carrying some serious issues and make a living from the pawn shop and guerrilla marketeering, coming up with some crazy stunts to advertise products. There is an agenda and he soon learns there are no coincidences and finds out his recently deceased mother is behind everything that has been happening to him - he also learns why? She needs him to help them in the house because they are not strong enough to take the news she has died.

That's as far as I can go without spoiling the rest of which has a surprise ending.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Female Focus Magazine

 Female Focus Magazine
Read online - not just for females...

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Expats Spain

My new book Expats Spain

This is the go-to book if you are thinking about moving to Spain covering those questions which will crop up and often, yet suspiciously, remain unanswered.

Some people buy a villa or apartment and retire on the coast whilst others live on the outskirts of some quint pueblo and fill their memoirs with funny stories of quirky locals and strange animals they have raised. And then there is the other side...
Mark Shearman moved to Spain in 2002 with his partner and four year old daughter. His observations are from a successful building contractor, owner of an estate agency and journalist.
He has included some amusing anecdotes and articles, which all promise one thing - the truth. Reading Flip Flop Flamenco Mark's novel about a shaming debt collector will also give you a flavour of what it is like to live as an expat on the Costa Blanca.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Spanish Cultural Test

Spanish cultural test was released in October 2015 for those foreigners wishing to become Spanish nationals and hold a Spanish passport.

Over a hundred thousand foreigners from around the world annually go through the arduous processes of applying for Spanish citizenship. The deadline in October for the last day's free service caused a rush-on.
Applicants must prove good citizenship and a sufficient degree of integration into Spanish society, for example, being able to speak Spanish and taking part in social activities, which I presume they refer to fiestas and public demonstrations. Also what must be included are two positive endorsements from Spanish citizens, and a good conduct statement from the police - a small part of the paperwork and process.
Most foreigners should have held a residence permit for ten uninterrupted years before they can apply for Spanish nationality. There are exceptions...

The cultural test is part of the integration qualification process, it seems being able to speak the language and knock up a kick-ass Paella on a Sunday is not enough.
In the past controversy has risen after complaints that these tests were not being conducted fairly and there was no set standard. Judges where compiling their own questions some of them had a high level of difficulty and some were trick questions, like knowing the name of the national anthem and its lyrics. The anthem 'The Marcha Real' - the Royal March has no official lyrics.

The Cervantes Institute has released a new exam, which aims to test applicant's knowledge across the board about Spain and the Spanish way of life putting an end to these non-standardized tests. The cost is €85.
Some of the questions range from politics, famous actors, and sports questions. Is garlic the best ingredient with albondigas (meatballs)? Just kidding - here are some real questions:

    What river connects Barcelona and Madrid?
    El Tajo - El Ebro - Ninguno - El Ave

         In what year began the second republic?
         1492 – 1977 - 1936 - 1931

    Which of these is the name of the famous fiesta in Cádiz and the Canary Islands?
    El Carnaval - La Semana Santa - Los Sanfermines

Source of the questions from:

Some other questions that should be in the test:

What is the best time to move your dining table and chairs using the push method?

  • 10:30pm

  • 11:30pm

  • Any time after 12:00 midnight

When should you use your indicators?

  • When manoeuvring into a different position.

  • When double parking outside the lottery shop.

  • What's an indicator?

What type of situation is best to shoulder shrug?

  • When not having fun

  • Sounds serious and not fun

  • Shoulder shrug with bewilderment at the question

How many Spanish people were drunk in the first half of 2015

  • None

  • Some were poco baracho

  • A few were pocito baracho

Who are the best lovers in the world

  • The Italians

  • The French

  • Yourself and other Spanish passport holders

If you would like to test yourself just for fun there are several practise websites:

Friday, October 30, 2015

Author Book Presentation - Mark Shearman

 Gif animation, videos, whiteboard videos:

Sunday, October 18, 2015

White Board Presentations


If you would like a whiteboard presentation creating send me details and i will give you a quote. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Expats Spain

Release date - October 20th

No bulls were harmed in the making of this book or any other animals, punctuation may have been strained, grammar rules broken, that is not the author's fault, but the school he was sent to. A great place to learn how to fight or talk your way out of a fight, watch the teachers spend the majority of their time organising strikes for more pay and better students. Consequently, there wasn't much to do apart from throwing snow balls at buses and date opinionated school girls - who wanted so much more...
I found music and a sense of fashion, unfortunately no one else agreed, hence the constant invitations to rendezvous after school at the gates, confusing, as we didn't have any school gates. Some students found if you wore Margaret Thatcher badges it upset the militant teachers and some actually broke down and cried when the Tories won the elections. School days seem to brighten, the teachers in the last year of school started teaching, just before most of us braced for the road ahead, which had UB40 singing about 1 in 10 being unemployed. My last school report from head of house simply read: 'I found mark to be admirable - nuff said!!!'

Questions that go unanswered - Anecdotes about living in Spain - All based on real events.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Is Tough Enough?

July saw the finals of the women's world cup football with the UK coming in a respectable third as they played off against our favourite rivals Germany and the Americans, who still feel the need to call the game soccer, won over Japan - kudos. Certain things that stood out again, not only the level of skill proving every bit entertaining as their male counter parts, yet again proving just how tough these female athletes are some journalists comparing them to the men. Close up camera shots of multi-million Euro players like, Renaldo being palmed on the chest and dropping to the floor like a bad actor missing his cue and then making an embarrassing meal of it. Subjecting paying punters to a few minutes of rolling around on the ground holding his face and screaming for his mama. 

Whereas American rugby seven's players Georgia Page broke her nose, jumped up and made a crucial try-saving tackle, her face smeared in claret with a come-on-let's-get-the-game on attitude - that's rugby tough.

You will see some male players take a hit and wince in pain and bypass the Oscar performance and chin through. Watching the women’s' world cup last month you saw a lot more chinning through than grass hugging and the aggression level was on a par with the blokes.

Living with the female of the species for over thirty years, admittedly spread over three or four, they all had one thing in common. They never seemed to get jungle flu. The kind that drops you into a stupefying, thumb-sucking, mummies boy grasping your last will and testament while flicking through the medical books on rare fatal diseases. They simply had colds and soldier on hardly showing symptoms and seem to recover fast – often saying: "If men had to go through the excruciating pain of childbirth the human race would have become extinct long ago," or as they say in the Midlands men are just mardie.

So why is it that woman seem to be tougher than men at least mentally?

Tests have been conducted, well to be honest - hold it - I could fill this space with brain scan info and impress you with research into this and that, but there isn't anything conclusive because pain in my opinion is down to the individual person those who have had a lot of it know what to expect.

Losing the love of your life is painful it's a longer emotional pain and again down to the individual.
When I was younger, and without really knowing, I had something inside me that automatically blocked out emotional pain; often being accused I could have watched my family being butchered on a Sunday and be at work Monday morning embarrassed at everyone giving their condolences. I used to treat my relationships like it. I was there I loved them, if they disappointed me I would leave.

Bottling everything up works well in groups of men who admire your resolve whilst moving in formation through a jungle armed and programmed. Fighting so certain western powers can sustain its oil thirst. It's a short lived grenade waiting to explode and one day it will happen sat in a car looking out to a grey sea whilst singing along to Coldplay's Yellow, holding a recommissioned service revolver you bought from some short, thick-eyebrow geezer in Nottingham. You are faced with unhelpful self-talk, "come on, you're this far - have you got the minerals - end the pain."

Something happens, you drop the bottle of Jack Daniels, Coldplay's song stops and you actually start feeling sorry for yourself remembering what the old man said when you used to cry as a boy and hate his cold reaction. You then miss the old bastard and burst out crying. You can't believe you're actually crying because being macho you've always said the last time you cried was when the midwife smacked your backside, so you accompany it with laughter - it's too late, you are crying like a fat girl on hearing the doctor say “no more chocolate young lady” and you can't stop.

You let it go, years and years' worth - you shout, "okay I'm a woman with emotions I don’t care, it feels so good oh-my-god it feels good." It's liberating. The pain doesn't stop there you realise what a complete ass you have been the past ten years and think, if I was a women what would I do now? To which you realise a woman would say - fuck it, now you have defragged your brain, move on. Unwrap the chocolate bar, find a bottle of white wine, worry about your thighs tomorrow and stop crying you lightweight!

We can talk about men being physically stronger, that has nothing to do with pain thresholds because we are all different and whilst having a high pain threshold can get you through a lot of after time pub fights it doesn't serve you well when your body is crying out for you to see the doctor because something is seriously wrong.

My old man used to say: 'It's all in the mind' - when he would tweezer out a splinter in my six year old finger, suggesting I was moaning like a spoiled rich girl who and had her shoe allowance stopped - take the pain, put yourself in a happy place and eventually I got it.

The next week when he was pulling out another splinter he'd said you didn’t bat an eyelid son where did you go? I said I was buying high heel shoes that seem to disturb the old steeplejack now who was wincing like a chocolate starved girl.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Bull Tormenting - Twelve Deaths this year from Bull Running in Spain

Bull Tormenting

My latest rant has been bubbling inside for years. I covered the subject in my novel Flip Flop Flamenco. Each summer, something kicks off and it sparks my hatred for such things happening in my adopted country.

If you want to see blood-thirsty pack animals: tormenting, toying, and torturing its victim then get yourselves to the many towns in Spain when the hot sun has them baying for blood.

The first time and last, I attended one of these despicable fiestas was in a small village, Jalon valley - a decade ago. They, as usual, erected steel bars to protect the doors and windows of local businesses and provide a safe place for the village idiots to stick their limbs out of.

The bull, which they usually have some kind of cute name for, was released and straight away darts were thrown at it - panicking the animal. Someone rushed by and prodded it with a sharp stick drawing blood to the cheers of his drunken peers. When the bull moved too close to the steel protection railings, cowards reached out and pummel the bull with bats and lengths of four by twos, more darts pierced through its skin.

The scared bull looked around for help, but nobody was coming and nobody looked on in sympathy, there was no empathy and compassion here. The laughter from women got louder, mothers, who you would think had at least a sliver of humility, spat on the panting, watery eyed mammal. A youth sprinted in front smacking its face with a rolled up newspaper barely making it to the safety of the railings on the other side of the street as a bottle smashed in front of the bull - after deflecting off its bloody rump.

This went on for hours until it finally and inevitably happened. A slowcoach chanced his luck, jogged near the bull. The desperate bated animal swung its horns catching the ass-clown. Tossed him in the air got a few swipes in and gave him a hoofing. Now he was no longer cute and fun bull, he was evil bull. You think he was being punished before, what comes next is despicable and makes you ashamed to be there and part of the same race as these heathen.

I've seen some bad things in my life and been toughened by experience. Watching drunk cretins risking their lives in the name of fun makes you sick and angry. Not all Spanish are like this and as I look around at certain Spanish people, deemed the more educated, you could see shame creep across their faces, not daring to protest for fear of reprisal, rationalising with self-talk - this is tradition we have been doing this for centuries.

The father and sons pulling off the heads of chickens competition had been done for centuries, but that has stopped - hasn't it?

The latest incident in the town of Coria in the Province of Cáceres. A 43-year-old man, during the
San Juan bullfighting festival, unfortunately died after being gored through the protective railings by the tormented bull, whose cute name was 'Guapetón', which translates as "super handsome". It soon changed to evil bull who must die and was shot to death by a local man wielding a shotgun - using fire arms illegally, witnessed by two local policemen and others who cheered with lusty, blood thirsty delight.

Welcome to Spain the sun is always shinning - at least for some species.

Monday, August 24, 2015

ShearArt Book Covers

A book cover will spark a readers initial curiosity stopping them in their tracks to read the title.

A professional book cover will garner 25% more interest in a book than one thrown together with a few stock photos. Using stock photos can confuse the reading as there will be another book with the same images. The reader will give it a pass thinking they have read it. An author, especially a self-publisher author, who has control over their book, should regularly change the cover. This does not need to be expensive. ShearArt Book Cover design has hundreds of premade book covers and offers an affordable design service under $50. They also include exclusive rights to their illustrations.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The new Spanish gag laws are starting to gain revenue

The new gag laws are starting to gain revenue as people are fined for photographing the Police.
A woman posted a photograph on facebook of a police car parked in a disable person parking place and was tracked down and fined €800.

How do you stop people filming cops beating up the innocent and the not so innocent? Do what Spain have done with their latest gag laws. Anyone taking a picture of a cop or videoing them will be fined up to €30,000. Their justification, they say you are putting the lives of the police and their families in danger from reprisals by revealing their identity.

When you see them laying into your friend or family member, even when guilty of — DWF — Drunken-While-Foreign. It's instinctive to press record, if only to note the crimes against humanity these cops are committing. The Spanish police usually have their faces covered up when they are about to kick off. So if they do approach you wearing turtle-necks pulled up over their noses, it ain’t no fashion statement, drop to the floor, do a hedgehog and wait for the smiling, lusty-violence - hidden by their paramilitary masks - to abate.

Is this get out of jail free card going to course onlookers to take action as the camera was starting to make the police realise they can't be judge and executioner and think twice before they react as fast as a petulant child on hearing it's bedtime.

Does this mean that the press are not allowed to record disturbances where the police are called in to control – yes because any gathering of people in protest is against the law unless organised with permission. Which means the press will be controlled, only those that show favour to the government will be allowed passes. If this doesn’t work, because some rouge journalist showed a cop sticking in his size twelves, then eventually cameramen will be wearing special police uniforms with their own unique insignia, complete with jack-boots and flamboyant style of saluting.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Save the cat moment

You see it in many films and once you know what it is you recognise it all the time. Politicians, especially in America, referred to as the 'howdy factor', playing sports and allowing the public to see this display of human behaviour, which they can relate to. These staged moments help people to step into their shoes and identify with them. Equally Politician's sighting their service record in a way it highlights their personal sacrifice for others.

In Blake Snyder's book: 'Save the Cat', a must read for any inspiring screenwriter and fiction novelist. Suggest a moment where our hero does something that will make the audience like them portraying him/her as nice, so the audience will root for them. You can also give your evil, despicable villain a save the cat moment so as to create depth of character, after all they can't be all bad. Another way of making your evil character likeable is have him subordinate of someone more evil than him - this is save the cat by proxy.

It, of course, doesn't have to be someone really saving a cat.

Do we, inadvertently, use this in our lives to motivate people to like us? I think so. We just have to be subtle or it will be noticed. Teen movies showing some desperate boy paying a friend to steal his new date's hand bag and then gives chase. Pull some impossible gravity-defying marshal arts moves making the last kick up the thieves backside humiliating and letting him go with the words, "let that be a lesson - go straight punk."

This works in several ways, she buys into it totally impressed and the date is a success, she is hanging onto his arm as he walked her home. Or she sees straight through it and kicks off throwing a hissy-fit saying you sad bastard calms down and laughs at you for trying to impress her and making an effort.

But was this a save the cat moment or a desperate attempt at being seen as someone he is not. His ability to take an assertive action that would "save the cat." Or in this instance the handbag and personal belongings of a potential love interest.

The reality, as times are changing, the not so helpless female passes him running after his friend drop kicks him first with a hay-maker kick, a superman punch and a spinning back fist. Sprays him with pepper spray she bought off of Ebay, kicks him in the gonads with the conviction of a seasoned female football player realises her date was in on it, pulls his jacket over his arms launches an extended index knuckle punch and kicks him in the boys too - that’s call a save the cat fail.

My mother was an expert on using a combination of flattery and save the cat moments with my teen friends, stood in my kitchen to make them feel at home. She would complement them on the way they were dressed, their aftershave or hair cut that kind of thing and always followed up by trying to embarrass me. One of her favourites, hiding in the hallway and shouting in a convincing voice: "I'm having a bath do you want me to save you the water?" Amused it sparked thoughts of, wish my mother was a laugh like this.
"It's a shame you haven’t passed your driving test yet," she would say. "You could have taken my car I've just filled it up with petrol."
What a blatant lie, she wouldn’t let God drive her baby. She was making sure if I ever said anything negative about her. I would look like a person with sour grapes. So you could say she was using the save the cat moment to control me and my friends thoughts of her through possible action.

Anyway I have to go it's my turn to muck out the Donkeys at the sanctuary, serve the homeless soup from my kitchen, drop off some gifts at the children's home I have collected from different charitable businesses. And I noticed the elderly lady's pet, both who live next door, is stuck up a tree again. I must risk my life and literally - save the cat – honest!

Spoils of the Moon

Friday, August 14, 2015

Spoils of the Moon - Amazon Five Star Review

Spoils of the Moon is a delightful new book by Mark Shearman. Well-written in straightforward prose, the book focuses on Jordi and Greg, two Londoners who embark on a journey to find the truth about their past, unearthing information that suggests their absent father was part of a gang in the early seventies who stole some moon rocks from South Australia museum and also they may have family living in the outback who could fill in the blanks.

On the journey they are tracked down and captured by an American who has a personal connection to the stolen moon rocks and is also looking for their whereabouts. The journey delves into the complicated relationship that is causing much friction between Jordi and Greg and eventually acts as therapy as they had issues with their recently deceased mother. The road trip starts in Vietnam and then the outback fraught with obstacles and funny situations and some crazy off-the-wall characters.

This heartfelt story is full of hope that even after decades of secrets, and dysfunction, estranged families can come together and work through their problems. There are so many things to like about this book. The characters come to life and tell a poignant story in a humorous, but not overly sentimental way. Great dialogue drives much of the storytelling and the story moves at a fast pace.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Women being men - this has been a long time coming....

The first time I witness the competing for the masculine role was working in an office in London.

When I worked as a Steeplejack in Nottingham swearing was part of the way we communicated.
We had our own argot, specialised idiom, not so much a secrete language certain words meaning a particular thing and a little more sophisticated than just another word for breasts.
Whenever a female, no matter what age or who she was, entered the room we would instinctively stop swearing and sexual innuendo was off the table. The same as if we were at home with our mothers or wives.

Years later I left the industry for the world of construction, specifically construction management working my way up from site manager to construction manager and various supervisory roles in between, finding myself often working with females in an office. The first week I felt strange and uncomfortable in a coed situation not because I had to watch my Ps and Qs and the random release of gas or the fact that a woman, who wouldn't look out of place on the front page of some glossy magazine, was talking to me about concrete slump factors. It was the level of sexual innuendo, objectification, buttock slapping, crotch scratching and foul language all coming from the females it was a shock and they didn't ask about your personal status if they fancied you they went after you full on. What was you going to do file a sexual harassment case? You was barely holding on to you masculinity as you watched the death of our inner-caveman.

Working with other blokes in an office one may comment you are getting a bit fat - lard ass, whilst he scratched his own gut hanging over his belt content in his self-denial, but when a women comments you would be really shagable if you lost that gut ruins the after work pint you usually have with the lads, especially when the said man-jawed female is stood there in the group probing you, soon you start saying I'll have a diet coke is ice fattening?
You find yourself walking past females in the office sucking in your gut behind the new suit you couldn't afford conscious of every female in the office, judging you objectifying and thinking shame on you for letting yourself go only a six pack will do and let's not get onto the subject of the male organ if he isn't packing some girth why bother.

Regardless, if you can breathe through your ears and go fifty shades on her. Sex is like a cage fight where she is making the rules, which are written in invisible ink ready to be rewritten because females reserve the right to change their mind. How unfair is it that women have the audacity to demanding a real man when they themselves have fake tits, fake lashes, fake lips, fake hair, and fake nails.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Best things in life are free

Often I will cook things for myself and enough for my daughter, which I would put on a covered plate for later, sometimes she would come home at the same time, hot, bothered, and starving. She would chow down, clean her plate, and leave the table without a word.  My missus waits for her to come home asks her what she wants and gets grief - I don’t know - she screams. The missus ends up faffing about and now the sprogs got an attitude - this way doesn't work turning the home into a café complete with menu choices. When I was a youth you ate what your father was having or what you was given and sometimes 'ifits' - if it's there you will eat it.

I hardly speak to the teenager until she engages me first and I never try to talk to her in the mornings. If I really need something from her or to convey important information, I email her or text. I don’t know what it is with teenagers. I can't remember being that moody and none communicative and then, now and again, she would be normal - she actually spoke to me the other day, but instead of grabbing the opportunity I wasted it with an uningratiating response.

Songs and films have a way of making us feel older, even more so when your daughter hears you singing a song and stares at you flabbergasted, "how do you know the words to that song? It only came out at the weekend."
I shrugged my shoulders as if to say - I'm hip get used to it. Avoiding explaining that was a song from the eighties and again in the nineties. My home town here on the Costa Blanca - La Nucia - will play host to a unique concert on the 18th of September at 21.30 pm in the Municipal Pavilion Camilo Cano. A blast from the past - featuring The Waterboys and The Animals - a concert I will definitely be attending.

They say you're as old as you feel and I'm not going there with the old joke about younger partners - too late. As I sip my café con leche on a honeysuckle and pine-scented terrace, it strikes me how tranquil this place is. The panoramic view a sun-splashed jumble of pine trees and red pan-tiled villas racking back down towards the Mediterranean Sea, where there are languorous stretches of white sandy coastline.

Yet, my self-talk is full of moans about my age and the sweltering heat; looking at the road, three sexagenarians jog past and up the hill with bulking back packs. Why do older people's feet always look massive in white training shoes? - anyway - shame on me for not getting out there and enjoying the many things the Costa Blanca has to offer, the best of which are totally free.

The village alone is a beautiful place to explore on foot, especially around the old town with its whitewashed houses, saintly wall shrines and balconies hung with geraniums, and unfortunately, the odd pair of Y fronts. There is always an undercurrent of weird or at least strange to be found.

The last time I went walkabout in the village, I came across a street where a large group of people had blocked the road off at each end to stop traffic. They had set out tables with tablecloths, wheeled out a couple of barbeques and a double fridge stacked with wine and beer. The central table was decorated with flowers, which had a huge five tiered cake perched precariously on it and there were hundreds of fireworks exploding on the floor shrouding the tableau in smoke. One fella, who had whipped off his jacket and shirt, stood there on the pavement in a white vest burning the hairs off a dead pig with a blow torch - ready for the spit. This was a wedding reception - why bother hiring a pretentious hotel banqueting suit when you can block off your own street with a couple of wheelie-bins and police-don’t-cross tape you've purloined from your new brother-in-law the cop.  

Friday, June 5, 2015

Spoils of the Moon


Spoils of the Moon 

1967, St Ann's Nottingham, a typical late Victorian, working class, neighbourhood in acute decline, alarming poverty, a slum. Three hundred of Nottingham's dirtiest acres.

This is the time and place Brendan and Pauline's son was born, emigration the only option. They were called Ten pound pommes.
The journey on the ship, SS Canberra, was as frightening and exhilarating as the first year shacked up in the Nissan hut at the hostel, Adelaide, Southern Australia.
Years before, Brendan's parents and sister, Beanie, had moved there after buying a farm in the outback.

Brendan and Pauline settled into a new home in the satellite town of Elizabeth. Brendan only had one question on signing at the labour exchange: does the section about National Service apply to him? -- he was soon to find out.

Pauline suffered bouts of homesickness, fuelled by Brendan's prolonged absences of long working hours. A new mother, she soon became depressed. It wasn't long before Brendan was called up for National Service.

The year is 1969, a global celebration of the moon landings. President Nixon, in commemoration bestowed a hundred and thirty-five gifts of lunar rocks to friendly foreign governments. In 1970, Adelaide museum was proud to display a plaque containing two lunar rocks.

Nobody thought they would be worth stealing, until Brendan, Beanie's boyfriend, Troy, and his mate, Brian, on finishing basic training did just that, with the military precision they had recently learned.

Brendan hides the rocks and is forced to ask his sister, Beanie, to collect them. They end up in the police cells after a drunken brawl, hours after the hoist. The judge orders no custodial sentences because he was told, unbeknown to these men, that effective immediately they will be impressed into overseas service.

Brendan is killed saving some villagers in Vietnam. Troy and Brian disappear - things happen when you steal lunar rocks from the government and embarrass them. The Americans want them back.

The news of her husband's death sends Pauline into a mental institute, leaving Beanie with her son. Beanie recently gave birth also to a son. She takes both of the boys back to the UK.

This is the story of those two boys, Jordi and Greg - now men.

The family business model, started by their mum, Beanie, was to buy handmade crafts from Asia, repair what gets damaged in shipping, and then sell them from their market stall in Camden, London.

Beanie died, leaving them clues to the past and circumstances that cause both men to go to Asia to buy more products for their business before the programmed road works cut their access off and potentially ruins their product-hungry business.

It's not long before one of them is hanging upside down naked in a small Vietnamese village near the Cambodian border, tortured by a man with an American accent. He wants the lunar rocks.

The American, who has been on their trail since London, chose the wrong village and was chased off in a hale of bullets. Ordered by an old villager, one of the men Brendan saved in the war. A translator shows them a picture of two baby boys. She also hands over Brendan's identification documents with the same surname as them and various other personal belongings, along with the story of how he saved some of the villagers.

The clock is ticking now and they are on a collision course with others, tracking down their true family roots and the whereabouts of the lunar rocks - now valued in millions.

In Australia, they encounter Brian and Troy, and are helped by Brian's daughter who is tough, beautiful, and vulnerable to Jordi's charms. But who is whose son? Only Pauline has the answer back at the family farm in the outback -- their final destination. They are not the only ones who turned up looking for answers. The end gives us some shocking surprises and personal growth.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Streaking For Mother

Streaking For Mother is now available on KDP Select

Book Illustration

I have just completed the illustration work for an award winning author Kathleen Boucher and have started the next in the series - the books about empowering tweens, teens, and young adults with positive advice. I read each chapter and then came up with a concept to reflect the core theme. These are modern digital illustrations using a tablet after first sketching and scanning. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Editing - Proofreading - Writing Services

Editing - Proofread - Basic Copy Edit - Line Edit / Heavy Copy Edit - Developmental or Substantive Edit - Writing Services

Holly M. Kothe
The Espresso Editor 


I work with any genre. I have experience with novels, short fiction, non-fiction, scripts, academic writing, articles, and plays. Here is a breakdown of the different levels of editing. I can perform a single service or a combination.
Proofread: The lightest form of editing, typically completed on the proof of the finished product. I read the manuscript and note errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and word usage. This is the final stage of editing to ensure the manuscript is as polished as possible before publication or submission to an agency.
Basic Copy Edit: I thoroughly scour your manuscript for errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and syntax. I will attend to issues like subject/verb agreement and word usage (that vs. which / horde vs. hoard), clarity, flow, and style consistency (e.g., comma usage throughout). Awkward wording will be noted, and I will also flag style choices that authors may not be aware of, but are important in making your manuscript consistent with publishing standards (titles in italics vs. quotes, capitalization of titles and brand names, numerals vs. spelling out numbers, headings, Latin abbreviations, quotations, dialogue format, etc.). Minimum rewriting is suggested.
Line Edit / Heavy Copy Edit: Encompasses the same tasks as copy editing, but also consists of rewriting/recasting lines that need help. The focus will be on technical grammar and punctuation, as well as a more in-depth edit noting wordiness, repetition, awkward phrasing, convoluted sentence structure, ambiguous descriptions, and overuse of passive voice. Inconsistent plot details or facts will be flagged; are character names spelled correctly throughout? Is your secondary character blond in one chapter, but brunet in another? Line editing deals more with clarity, flow, and style, along with basic copy editing. The two are closely related.
Developmental or Substantive Edit: This is the most in-depth form of editing, and looks at the “big picture”–the overall content, structure, and style of your manuscript. I provide not only a critique of content issues, but guidance and suggestions of how to go about improving the manuscript. This type of assessment deals specifically with the art of storytelling.
Rather than focusing on the technical aspects of the written language, I offer creative suggestions to improve upon the story in any and all areas such as plot, character development, dialogue, description, exposition, point of view, timeline, style, and narrative voice. With this type of edit, I edit in-line and provide numerous margin comments for each chapter, as well as an overall report. How can the voice of a character be made to sound more authentic? How could a scene be made funnier, or more dramatic? How can the author develop a story in the most appealing way and create the biggest impact on the reader? Substantive editing addresses all of these things. A good editor takes into account the genre and style of each unique work, and avoids imposing her own voice on the story.
The Order of Editing
Typically, a developmental edit would be performed in one pass, with rewrites then made by the author, followed by a copy edit, and a final proof read.


I am an experienced writer of both fiction and non-fiction. My writing services include, but are not limited to, articles, blog posts, fiction, ghostwriting, author bios, advertisements, social media promotions, reviews, story blurbs, and synopses.
Writing Samples
A Little Literary (a Lotta Coffee) – My writer’s blog includes writing guidance and reviews, as well as links to publications I have contributed to including Writer’s Digest, Blood Lotus Journal, Blue Cygnus International Magazine, Dark Gothic Resurrected, Writer’s Beat Quarterly, Trembles Magazine, Lost City Review, and The Write Room Literary Journal.
A Positive Outlook – Print newspaper article
Sweet Violent Femmes - Available on Amazon and in bookstores
Sex and Horror–The Classic Pair - Erzabet’s Enchantments Book Blog

Sunday, March 8, 2015

My Original Art For Sale

My original art is now for sale on EBAY including Nudes and Book Cover Artwork Low prices and auctions - posted anywhere in the world.