Friday, 28 November 2014

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse: November Meeting 2014

Friday 28 November 2014

This month I’ve read three seasonal short stories and nine novels, some seasonal as well and unfortunately one book that I had to give up on having read only a third of it.  I’m usually much better at choosing my books and reading through the blurbs but this one slipped through the net and obviously wasn't for me. 

My actual pick for this month is a psychological thriller by a British born author who now spends most of her time living in Cyprus with her husband.  I have read several of this author’s books and enjoyed all of them.  

This book is the second of of her ‘Dark Minds’ series, both stand-alone novels.

Behind a Twisted Smile
Dark Minds Series
Faith Mortimer
Approx. 208 pages

Product Description from Amazon:
Behind a Twisted Smile (A Dark Minds Mystery Suspense Thriller)

What do you do when an ex-lover won’t take “no” for an answer? Moya thinks Martyn will eventually take the hint – but the rejected lover has no such intention.

Three weeks later, Moya meets her older sister Evie at a picnic, and learns that she has recently met the man of her dreams. Only problem is – He’s Moya’s spurned ex.

Almost at once, Moya finds herself in a long and terrifying ordeal; she has to deal with an adversary who loves playing sinister mind games.

As the months slip away, the mental battles with Martyn move insidiously towards physical conflict. A conflict where only one person will step away…. Alive!…

Moya decides she doesn't want to take her relationship with Martyn any further; it’s only been a few dates so she doesn’t think any harm will be done to either of them, it’s just not working for her but Martyn doesn't take rejection lightly.   

Martyn is able to charm Moya’s family and friends to the point where they don't believe her misgivings about him and his manipulative ways.   When Moya tries to warn people against him she is the one who is ostracised from her friends and family.

Moya begins another relationship, one that is totally different and more loving than the previous one but her boyfriend has to work away a lot; she can't talk to him while he is working in the States and she is in the UK so she tries to manage the situation herself.  The police won’t believe her when she goes to them.  

This book will stay in your mind, it is not graphic in detail but there is enough detail to make it even worse in your mind and more realistic as you are subtly and cleverly led by the author through the twists and turns of a sociopath on the loose.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

An Evening Jaunt

Wednesday 19 November 2014 – Tuesday 25 November 2014
As a little reminder, here are the rules:

1)      Use the photo(s) and prompt to write a 500-word story; all elements
of the prompt must be a feature in the brief story you create. We aren’t
counting, but for the fairness of the readers please, no 1000+ word

2)      The Photo(s) must be visible in your blog post and where 1 photo/5
words is the theme, the 5 words MUST be clearly referenced in your
story. Variations on a word are allowed within reason (for example:
adding s, ed, ing to the word to be grammatically correct); but creating
a new, unrelated, word is not. (To see an example of a “1 photo/5 word” story see Faith, Hope, Love, and Pink by one of our hosts, Debb Stanton.)

3)      Photos are the property of the hostess for the week, unless otherwise
mentioned. Please Do Not share photos and/or prompt words as your own.

4)      In order to honor the community-purpose of the blog hop, we ask that
you please reference the blog hop in your post so your blog audience and
the blog hop community may all be connected.

5) Link your story through the blue froggy at bottom by the following
Tuesday (direct link to story, not your whole blog, please).

And now to the good stuff, the prompts for this week: 


Louisa looked out of the bedroom window, the light was fading, the street lights were warming up with an orange glow before they fluoresced in to a brighter, whiter light.  Pulling on her jeans she struggled a bit as she fought the zip, the denim material was tight after its wash but would soon meld to her figure as she moved around.

Wandering down the stairs she entered the kitchen assembled some sandwiches with cooked chicken, sliced tomatoes, sprinkling the red fruit with a smidgen of rock salt.  Wrapping the food in cling film, then in a plastic container she added a bar of Galaxy chocolate (for comfort you understand) and a packet of crisps.

She called Billy, urging him to hurry up down the stairs because they were leaving in five minutes.  Filling the thermos flask up with hot coffee she completed their evening hamper.
Billy, almost eleven years old, bounded down the stairs, his feet were growing faster than his body which had already managed a growing spurt in the last few weeks.  

Wrapped up warmly against the autumnal weather they walked briskly towards the park.  The large wrought iron gates led to the side of the canal and the walkway beside it with the reflection of the lights from the lamp posts catching in water.  

The boughs and branches of the trees bent towards the water, the fallen leaves on the tow path crackled underneath their feet.

The festive music wafted over to them, getting louder as they approached the main area.  Billy gripped his mother’s hand and then let go suddenly as soon as he spied a few of his school mates.   Louisa smiled to herself, he was growing up really fast, too old now to hold her hand like a small child, there were no more kisses goodbye in public either these days although she did manage to elicit a goodnight kiss from him before he scurried into his bedroom and jumped under his duvet cover.

Louisa noticed somebody frantically waving to get her attention.  She smiled and waved back at Charlie, as Billy bounded up to his dad full of excitement with his cheeks glowing healthily in the night air.  The magician’s tent was behind his dad who gave him the entrance fee and along with his mates Billy disappeared inside to enjoy the show for an hour or so. 

Charlie took the hamper from Louisa, held her hand and guided her round the side of the tent to another part of the fair.  Waiting patiently for them was a pony and trap with a driver sitting up top swathed in a black cloak and hat with a fancy whip in his hand.  

Charlie handed his wife up into the carriage, arranged the rugs around her knees and then joined her on the plush cushioned seats.  They set off for a romantic ride around the park, the bells on the pony’s harness jingling merrily away as Louisa snuggled into her husband’s warm embrace.

Word count: 499