Comfortably Numb ~ My story for @RBwood’s #WordCountPodcast

You can also hear me read this story on: Episode #59 of R.B. Wood’s THE WORD COUNT PODCAST.

The prompt asked that we use 3 words in the story:


NOTE: This story is excerpted and rewritten from a longer one, which I wrote earlier this year. It is partly inspired by a friend going through a difficult life change, and of course, by Pink Floyd.

~ eden

* * * *

I’ve let go of so much. The kids are gone, moved away to University. They don’t need me anymore. My husband, Mike, still works. Someone has to pay the bills. He doesn’t need me either, but he puts up with me. I suppose it’s better than being alone, but my guess is it’s only marginally better for him. We navigate around each other without saying much. It’s not comfortable, but somehow we put up with each other. Complacency settles in after nearly thirty years of marriage, and with it, a dull ache fills my days.

It wasn’t always this way, but I remember exactly when everything changed. Six months ago, I picked up the Sunday New York Times like I did every week and read another study about climate change. I was a concerned citizen most of the time, but that day I thought: Why the hell should I care anymore? I’ll be long gone when the earth blows up. Even my grandchildren’s children won’t be around.

In that same paper, another article praised the benefits of alcohol and how previous studies had been overly cautious. In fact, scientists now encouraged drinking for middle-aged adults. Three to four glasses a day—beer, wine, liquor—it didn’t matter. Good for the heart and an excellent way to relieve stress. Next thing you know, they’ll be touting cigarettes as the new health fad!

I threw the newspaper across the room.

Garbage! All of it, garbage! I couldn’t believe anything anymore.

Something in me must have snapped because nothing was the same after that.

I was not the same.

*   *   *   *

Hunger wakes me up, but I don’t get out of bed immediately. After drifting in and out of sleep for what seems like hours, I make my way downstairs. It’s already close to noon.

Dishes and a frying pan balance precariously atop the counter next to an empty sink—Mike’s bacon and eggs from last night’s dinner, his cereal from this morning.

The kitchen is in need of a thorough cleaning. Why my husband does not load the dishwasher is beyond me. The appliance does not exist for him. It’s the same with the laundry. He must think clean underwear and shirts just magically appear in his closet. I resent picking up after him, but he’s right about one thing—it’s me who has changed, not him.

I have not wanted to do anything in months. Even the thought of a few household chores hollows me. My brain feels pickled. Most days, I walk around sweaty and lethargic.

The light on the home phone blinks red. It’s been blinking for weeks now. I know the messages are for me, but I don’t want to listen to them. I wish people would stop worrying about me. I don’t dare turn on my computer. The thought of unanswered e-mails in my inbox makes my stomach lurch.

Something burbles to life and I spin in its direction. My feet shuffle in a robotic motion to find the source. The buzz continues, and I register it’s coming from my purse. I snatch the bag off the dining room table and empty its contents on the floor. My cell phone vibrates on the ceramic tile like a small, frightened animal. I grab it in a panic.

“Hello, hello.”

“When did you get up?” says the voice on the other end of the line. Mike’s words jolt me to attention.

“Right after you left for work.” I’m on the defensive already.

“Are you sure?”

“Of course I’m sure, why?”

A pause. “I called earlier, that’s why.”

“Well … I must have been in the washroom, didn’t hear the phone.” I wonder if my friendly housewife voice fools him. “Did you want something?”

“Yes,” he barks. “Iron a few shirts for me. I need them for meetings this week.”

Please would be nice, I think to myself.

Mike’s words pinch, but I keep my thoughts to myself and somehow manage a cheerful, “Yeah, sure.” That’s how we talk to each other—no nuanced arguments, no fine points to be made.

I hang up and rage nudges up my stomach. It lodges in my chest like indigestion.

“How dare he talk to me that way?” I mutter to myself. Now I have to clean the house and iron. I loathe ironing.

*   *   *   *

It’s Mike’s night out with the boys, and I manage to throw together a dinner of lasagna (from frozen of course) along with a salad (out a bag). He doesn’t seem to care. His mind is on watching the game and drinking with his friends anyway.

Now that he’s gone, I plod to the kitchen and crack an entire tray of ice cubes into the sink. I scoop up a handful, drop them into a tall glass of white wine, and gulp until the cold freezes my brain.

I’ve become an impressive drunk in that way where no one suspects I’m drinking.

My doctor prescribed antidepressants for me. They must be working, as I’m more productive now. I’m cooking again, and the house is clean. I even managed to respond to a few phone messages, and the other day, I fired up my computer. When I saw more than 300 emails in my inbox, I shut it down. Responding to emails would have to wait.

Playing around with what my doctor recommended has been tricky, but it’s one of the few things I do to empower myself. Instead of one pill with food, I take half a pill with a shot of Scotch. Yeah, the alcohol is a no-no, but … I seem to be okay so far.

I even had sex with my husband last night. Afterward, he flopped off me like a giant walrus, a fat limb-less torso. The only thing missing were the tusks. I didn’t enjoy it, but he must have. He seems nicer to me today than he’s been in a while.

As for me, I don’t feel much anymore. Numbness replaces the dull ache. It’s comforting really, much like a warm, cozy blanket.

Thank you for reading.

Feel free to leave a comment or question. Feedback, whether good or bad is always welcome.




Filed under Short Stories & Poetry

Author @BRChitwood releases CLOUD DANCER #timetravel

Author Billy Ray Chitwood has done it again.

As a writer of multiple genres, including mystery, suspense, and romance, Billy Ray is reaching for something new and exciting with his latest, Cloud Dancer. In a recent blog, he confided it is his wife’s belief that he has Cherokee in his blood.

For this reason, Billy Ray ventured into the writing of Cloud Dancera love story set in modern times and in 1838. It also explores the pain and suffering of the Cherokee along the historic ‘Trail of Tears.”

It’s currently available, so be sure to get your copy!

* * * *

cloud dancer

Buy the e-book from Amazon

Paperback: Amazon US

A freeway accident in his modern world changes the life of Blake Fielding as he is transported back in time to the infamous ‘Trail of Tears”. Back in today’s world, he finds murder, mystery, and the woman of his dreams. This is a book that takes the reader to the pinnacle of love, crosses genres, and reveals the soul-rending fate of a people who suffered the inequities of history.

*   *   *   *

Connect to Billy Ray


Filed under Author Promotions

Music Monday moves with Bookends

Two more August Mondays with Simon and Garfunkel, and today I feature the “Bookends Theme” (Reprise) from their much acclaimed album, Bookends.

I had the opportunity to spend this past weekend with an old friend, and it was a fabulous time. Thank you, Allison, for being an amazing woman.

“Bookends” is the continuation of “Old Friends” and is similarly reflective in style.

Time it was
And what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence
A time of confidences

Long ago it must be
I have a photograph
Preserve your memories
They’re all that’s left you.

I hope you get a chance to spend time with old friends soon,




Filed under Musical Mondays

Music Monday moves with The Sound of Silence

It’s mid-August already! I’m continuing with Simon and Garfunkel for the month.

Paul Simon wrote “The Sound of Silence” when he was only 21 years old. In an interview, he was asked, “How is a 21 year old person thinking about the words in that song?” His reply was, “I have no idea.”

For me, the lyrics are sheer poetry.

In a world where it’s increasingly difficult to “hear” silence, I hope this song puts you in touch with some quiet time, if only for a moment.

Have a wonderful week,




Filed under Musical Mondays

Author @Maria_Savva interviews Eden Baylee on @Goodreads

London-based author, Maria Savva and I have been friends for some time, and we support each other’s writing endeavours whenever possible. She was kind enough to interview me  on her Goodreads blog again. I’m happy to be a repeat guest!

I’m also offering a giveaway of one of my KindleWorld Lei Crime books to a commenter, so do come by and say hi! Readers outside the USA cannot buy the books, so it’s an opportunity to get a FREE COPY since I can send it as a gift worldwide.

Maria will choose the winner August 12th!

You can read Maria’s interview of me by hitting the graphic below.

3 lei crime books

Don’t forget to connect to Maria. She’s a cool lady to know!

maria savva

Website | Twitter @Maria_Savva | Facebook

Maria’s books on Amazon UK ~ Amazon US

* * * *



Filed under Eden's Guest Blogs & Interviews, Lei Crime Kindle Worlds

Music Monday moves with Homeward Bound

Have you ever felt lost?

Like you were in the wrong place at the wrong time?

At different points in my life, and to varying degrees, these feelings have nagged at me.

This song always comes to mind during these uncomfortable times, probably because it’s the first tune I learned to play on guitar, and the lyrics are forever imprinted in my brain.

“Homeward Bound” makes me realize there is no place like home, so long as you are happy to be there.

Hope you are in your happy place, and have a splendid week.




Filed under Musical Mondays

Poet Fiona McVie interviews Eden Baylee (@insprationforum)

Poet Fiona McVie is a true friend to authors.

On her blog, she has interviewed over 3000 authors and she’s still going strong!

I had the pleasure of answering her questions recently, and one of them really stumped me. It took me a day to think about it before I gave my response.

How would you answer this?

What do you want written on your head stone and why?

To find my answer and to read the entire interview, hit the graphic below.

book love

Get in touch with Fiona. She’s a generous woman who loves to share the work of authors.

* * * *

Connect to Fiona McVie

fiona mcvie

Blog | Facebook | Twitter @InsprationForum





Filed under Eden's Guest Blogs & Interviews

ACTS BEYOND REDEMPTION ~ A new release from S. Burke (@pursoot)

I’m very happy to bring attention to a new book called Acts Beyond Redemption written by S. Burke, the first of a three-book series entitled ‘Unintended Consequences.’

This is author S. Burke’s (Soooz) debut novel in the Crime/Espionage genre. You may recall I featured Soooz on my blog in an interview a few years back. At the time, I highlighted her excellent book, Empty Chairs, written under her pen name, Stacey Danson.

Soooz is an amazing writer, and I’m happy to feature her latest book. Learn more about Acts Beyond Redemption and pick up your copy!

* * * *

acts beyond redemption

Buy Links: Amazon ~ US | UK | Canada

Blurb for: Acts Beyond Redemption

In Book 1 of the ‘Unintended Consequences’ series Acts Beyond Redemption takes you on a twisted, deadly ,journey.
Mike Matheson is head of a Special Task Force set up by the F.B.I to track down and apprehend the serial killers responsible for 18 brutal murders.

He and his team are exhausted, frustrated, and ready to burn out after almost five years and no leads.
Nothing in their experience has prepared them for this. Nothing in their imaginations could conceive of the truth hidden in plain sight.
Someone is deflecting their weary eyes away from a truth too incomprehensible to be permitted to exist.
Revealing it and those that set it in motion would bring the most powerful country on earth to its knees. The corridors of power shake.

Who will be buried in the shattered remains of a country where freedom and honor are treasured above all things?

Just how far will those elected to protect and defend go, to keep the American dream alive.

* * * *

Connect to S. Burke

soooz burkeWebsite | Twitter @pursoot | Facebook

Soooz Says…Stuff blog

Amazon Author Page US | Amazon Author Page UK

Firstly may I say “Thank you” for taking an interest in my work. My author name is S Burke. My friends call me Suzanne or Soooz.

My non-Fiction books “Empty Chairs” and “Faint Echoes of Laughter” were written under my pen name of Stacey Danson. They are now available on my Suzanne Burke author page.

I’m lucky enough to reside in the beautiful harbor-side city of, Sydney…Australia.

I am spontaneous and highly combustible; I love being with my family and close friends, I laugh loud … and often.



Filed under Author Promotions

Music Monday moves with The Boxer

Last week, I featured Simon and Garfunkel and realized how much I love their music. I’ll continue with them for the month of August.

I’ve always enjoyed the melody of this song and listening closely to the lyrics made me appreciate it even more.

“The Boxer” is written from two points of view. It starts with a first person lament on the struggles of loneliness and poverty in New York City before it switches to third person for the final verse. In that verse, it speaks about a boxer who perseveres.

On June 3, 2016 in California, news of the passing of Muhammad Ali broke during Simon’s concert. Simon paused singing partway through “The Boxer” to make the sad announcement to the audience. He then finished the song with these poignant lyrics.

In the clearing stands a boxer,
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of ev’ry glove that laid him down
And cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame,
“I am leaving, I am leaving.”
But the fighter still remains

It’s a melancholy song, but I find it ends on an uplifting note.

Wishing you a bright week ahead,




Filed under Musical Mondays

The Relevance of Sex in Literature – An update for author S. Burke (@pursoot)

In 2011, I wrote an article as part of a series hosted by author S. Burke (Soooz).

The Relevance of Sex in Literature in 2011 was a month-long series, which featured many guest authors.

It’s now five years later, and along with some of the original authors from that series, I was invited back to give an update on the subject. I can’t believe so much time has passed!

Hit the graphic below to hop over to Soooz’s blog and find out if I think anything has changed.

relevance sex 2016

Also, connect to Soooz at all her virtual homes. I’ll be featuring her newest book, Acts Beyond Redemption, on my blog next week.

soooz burkeWebsite | Twitter @pursoot | Facebook



Filed under Craft of Writing, Eden's Guest Blogs & Interviews

Music Monday moves with Simon and Garfunkel

I’ve visited NYC for years, mainly to see family. After my grandma passed away in December, the city became a sadder place for me.

It was inevitable, but even though I had prepared for it, I could not know how I would feel until I returned to NYC for the first time since my grandma’s funeral.

It was a different kind of trip but a special one in many ways.

I flew in with my husband, and as usual, we visited old haunts, listened to live music, and met with friends and family. And as usual, there was not enough time to see everyone we had hoped to see.

What was different, however, was our return home. We hitched a ride back with my uncle and aunts. They were coming to spend time with the Canadian side of the family, namely my mom and my other aunt and cousins.

As the moon sat high in the sky, we packed up the car and set off at 4 AM for the nine-hour trip to Toronto. With little to no traffic, we took pleasure in the foggy terrain as we drove out of NYC and watched the sun rise. During the drive, we played the music of three artists: Simon and Garfunkel; Jim Croce; and The Doors.

“The Only Living Boy in New York” is one of the songs that will now forever remind me of that road trip.

Enjoy and I hope you have a great week.




Filed under Musical Mondays

95 Days ~ My story for @RBwood’s Sizzlin’ Summer #WordCountPodcast

You can also hear me read this story on: Episode #58 of R.B. Wood’s THE WORD COUNT PODCAST.

The prompt asked that we use the phrase:

“I was enjoying the summer holiday when…” 

I was in NYC when I wrote the majority of this story, sitting in Bryant Park with the sun in my face. I love the city, and no matter how long I stay, it’s not long enough.

The story is somewhat of a lament for how quickly time passes, especially in the city that never sleeps.

* * * *

I was enjoying the summer holiday when he showed up.

Well, he showed up would not be totally accurate.

He may have been a she, and neither really showed up in the traditional sense. I never saw a face or heard a voice. Like I said—it wasn’t a traditional relationship, and I knew that from the start. That was the allure, I suppose, but now that it’s over, the hard work begins.

I’m rambling, and I’m sorry if this comes off nonsensical. Some days, I feel like what happened was all in my imagination. Maybe I created the whole thing. It’s hard to know anymore. I only know I’m left wanting, though richer for the experience.

Let me take a step back to the beginning of summer when this all started. It was the oddest of meetings, and my heart was open, as it normally is. I’ve always considered that to be a strength, not a weakness. Despite growing more cautious over the years, I was never one to shy away from a mystery.

I’m a sucker for words. That’s why I chose to become a writer. My life is an open book in many ways, but I was stuck. Call it writer’s block or lack of inspiration. Call it a muse on vacation. Whatever it was, I was haunted that I might never write again.

I use words to expose who I am and to entice potential readers to connect to me. Though I’m aware I make myself a target for some odd people, I’ve never had any problems. With the amount of time I spend online, it’s inevitable to run into my share of … shall we say … eccentric people. The thing is, they don’t scare me. I’m good at weaning out the cons from the authentic.

And yet, I didn’t see this one coming.

I received the first poem on June 20th. I remember it well because it was a balmy evening—the beginning of summer. I was sitting at an outdoor café when a young boy approached me.

“Are you Julia?” he said.

I did not know him, thought it was too late for a boy of his age to be out on his own. “Yes, I am, and who are you?” I looked into his bright, blue eyes and immediately felt an odd familiarity. Was he the son of a friend?

“I have a something for you,” he said, handing me an envelope before he turned to walk away.

I searched for an adult near him and saw none. “Wait!” I said, staring at the non-descript paper in my hand. “Who is this from? Who are you?”

Too late.

He weaved his small body between tables of the crowded café and disappeared into the night. I got up to look for him, astonished that I lost sight of him so quickly. I asked patrons nearby at the edge of the restaurant where he went, but no one could give me a definitive answer.

That first poem read:

Summer is officially begun

So this will be my number one

I spread love and hope and grace

No matter the time or place

Do not seek to find the answers

In life we are but mere dancers

We jump, we twirl, we bow

The time to live is now


And so it began …


Poems showed up mysteriously for me daily after that. The language was never aggressive. The writer wasn’t the best poet but he wasn’t the worst. I say he, but it could’ve been a she. I just don’t know. At times, the poems rhymed, but most of them did not. Many of them were just a few lines. The only thing they had in common was each one was numbered.

Strangers delivered many of the envelopes, and none of these so-called couriers ever disclosed information about the sender. I found some poems left for me at my place of work. Only one was found at my house. It scared me, even though I suspect this person had been tracking my whereabouts from the start.

When I found the letter in my home mailbox, my mind immediately conjured up the negative, but I rationalized if he or she wanted to harm me, they would have done so by now.

The next day, as I sat in the park desperately trying to kick start my manuscript, a stranger delivered an envelope to me. I had grown accustomed to this crazy, strange occurrence. I simply accepted the envelope and said, “Thank you.”

It was a peaceful afternoon, and aside from a few kids running in the distance, the park was quiet. A cool breeze replaced the humidity in the air. I tore open the envelope to read poem number ninety-five.

As a new season begins

An old one must end

Ninety-five days

From Solstice to Equinox

Summer is closing

And so must I

May my last words

Be the start of your next ones

A slow smile of realization crossed my face. I picked up my pen and stared at the blank lines on my notepad, determined to break through.

Thank you for reading.

Feel free to leave a comment or question. Feedback, whether good or bad is always welcome.




Filed under Short Stories & Poetry

Author @DarciaHelle asks me ONE QUESTION #interview

A short time ago, suspense novelist Darcia Helle, asked me to answer one question about my books. She always comes up with the most interesting interview concepts, so I was happy to comply.

Hop over and read my response to her question in:

Author Eden Baylee Talks About Kindle Worlds and Her Lei Crime Series

Be sure to connect with Darcia too. She’s a terrific writer and an extremely supportive woman.

* * * *

Connect with Darcia

WebsiteBlog | Facebook

Twitter @darciahelle | Amazon author page

Darcia Helle lives in a fictional world with a husband who is sometimes real. Their house is ruled by spoiled dogs and cats and the occasional dust bunny.

Suspense, random blood spatter and mismatched socks consume Darcia’s days. She writes because the characters trespassing through her mind leave her no alternative. Only then are the voices free to haunt someone else’s mind.

Join Darcia in her fictional world:

The characters await you.


Filed under Eden's Guest Blogs & Interviews, Lei Crime Kindle Worlds

Music Monday moves with John Lennon

I’m still in NYC and the other night, I watched a biography about David Geffen. He is a business magnate, producer, and film studio executive. It was his record company that produced Double Fantasy, John Lennon’s last album.

I have read that Double Fantasy was not well received initially, that it was a step back by an artist who had already retired. Of course, fate intervened.

The record released November 17, 1980, less than a month before John Lennon was killed.

NYC will always connect me with John Lennon, and among the noise and turbulence of the past week, both here and in the rest of the world, I’m slowing it down, as I imagine Lennon would have when he wrote this song.

Enjoy and have a peaceful week,




Filed under Musical Mondays

Eden’s Exchange talks to Mark Barry (@greenwizard62)

Mark Barry wears many hats. I know him as the author of novels, Carla, Once Upon a Time in the City of Criminals, and other books. He’s the head of  his publishing company, Green Wizard, and now, he’s also the writer by the name of … Luke Rock.

Like my name, Luke Rock is a pseudonym, and here is what he says about it:

“The reason for the pseudonym is easy. Kevin And The Atomic Bomb is like nothing I have written before”.

I’ve featured one of Mark’s books on my blog before, and I’m pleased to interview him to highlight his latest book.

* * * *

Welcome to Eden’s Exchange, Mark. Great to have you here finally! Tell readers how your best friend would describe you in 20 words or less.

Loyal, honest, intelligent, funny and a bit bonkers.

That’s even less than 20 words.🙂 Are you a full time writer or do you have a day job?

I was a full time writer until imminent starvation propelled me into helping run Empleo, a popular local voluntary and social enterprise, alongside my friend and colleague Phil Pidluznyj. We are based in Nottingham (UK) and help others with employability, reading projects and creative writing and anything else we can think of.

Ha! We’d all be rich if we didn’t have to eat, right? What is your biggest extravagance?

Gambling on horses and going to football matches all over the UK, following a team called Notts County.

Gambling on horses? I made a bet on a horse once—a sure thing (I was told). I lost five bucks and that was the end of gambling for me! If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Lose weight: An eternal struggle.

🙂 What profession other than your own would you like to try?


Hmm … I’ve never had that answer before. What is one thing you want to do before you die?

Visit all the racetracks in the world, particularly Melbourne Park, Longchamp, Happy Valley, Baden Baden, Santa Anita, Del Mar and (your own) Woodbine.

Wow, you’re serious about horses, aren’t you?  Any favorite curse words? Especially, say, when you lose a bet on a horse?

I have to be careful with the F word. I use it way too much.

Hehe! Do you have a motto you live by?

Win or lose, have a booze.

That’s a new one! What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?

Helping my nineteen year old son grow up to become a decent person.

Sweet. What makes you REALLY laugh?

A British TV programme called The IT Crowd. Cracks me up every time #Messyjoes.

Screen shot 2016-07-13 at 5.41.51 PMI love British comedies. As for your writing, I previously featured your book Once Upon a Time in the City of Criminals, and I’m thrilled to learn you have another one under your name, Luke Rock.  Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Real life and real people. I won’t read a book unless it is theoretically possible to meet and shake hands with the characters in the street today.


What motivates you to write?

The prospect of making a living at it.

That never hurts, does it? What is the best advice you’ve received as a writer?

Don’t write long books.

Ahh, that would explain your brevity here. Name a few of your favorite authors and books and why you like them.

Martin Amis, Scarlett Thomas, Jim Thompson, Sebastian Faulks, Charles Bukowski, Rimbaud, Liz Jensen, Cormac McCarthy, Sylvia Plath, Tom McCarthy, Alan Moore. Great, clever, ingenious writers. Beautiful sentencesmiths – that is important to me, far more than the story itself.

How do you market yourself?


I’m not sure I agree with you. You get around *wink.* How much research do you do for your books?

Virtually none. It’s all in my head.

You must have a lot of information stored in there. What are your favorite and least favorite parts of being a writer?

I like the white space aspects of writing. Exploring the blank page in front of me at the beginning of a piece. The first pages of a novel are exciting, aren’t they!?  Actually, the blank page, meeting other lovely writers like yourself and the quest to construct the perfect sentence, are the only things I like about being a writer. The rest is an utter pain in the arse. Writers must be bonkers to even attempt the caper.

It’s always great connecting with other writers, but I agree that being an author is not an easy way to earn a living. What part of writing a novel do you enjoy the most? 

The start and the climax. The middle is the actual work. Not a marketing man at all – like pulling teeth. My own.

I hear you, marketing is tough. Is it important for you to know the ending of a book before you write it?

Yes. Absolutely essential. Otherwise, what is the point exactly?

I understand. For me, it’s the journey, but sometimes it’s a long, hard one. Do you outline, plot and structure, or do you just sit down and write?

No. I’m a pantser, in that lovely YA-influenced olden times phrase.

Me too! What is your best advice for new authors?

If you need a kitchen critique group, advice from a 101 blog, a book club, a phalanx of beta readers and slabs of reassurance about your work and abilities, you simply aren’t ready to publish your work, simple as. Sorry if that’s offensive.

Not at all. I think every writer is different. Some may need more support initially to get started. Tell us a bit about your relaunched book, Kevin And The Atomic Bomb. I know it’s a YA/NA novel under your pen name of Luke Rock. Why should people read it?

It’s a black comedy full of different characters and it is based squarely in the ten days following the British people’s disastrous decision to leave the European Union. There is a love story at its core, there are jokes, there is polemic, a really nasty villain of the type many of us have worked with in the past and best of all, there is an atomic bomb in a garage in the suburbs.

Wow, that’s timely! How long did it take for you to write it?

I wrote it in 2012. It took six months and then I have completely rewritten in it in the last ten days, the hardest work I’ve done for a while.

Screen shot 2016-07-13 at 5.41.28 PMWhat inspired you to rewrite the book?

I published it under my own name and a different title in May 2012. The market reacted favourably to other books of mine, notably Carla (my most critically acclaimed book), but this one got a bit lost. I depubbed after three weeks. Then, when the British public decided to commit economic suicide en masse, I saw an opportunity to republish it, completely rebranded, titled, authornamed and covered.

Incidentally, it is quite political, but you can skip those bits and still enjoy it, assuming you don’t hate me for it, in which case bollocks.

Bollocks indeed! Let’s take a look at the book.

Kevin and the Atomic e-cover

Buy link: Amazon US | UK | Canada

Blurb for: Kevin And The Atomic Bomb

What would YOU do if you were the most powerful single human being alive?

Kevin Taylor’s got problems.

His maintenance grant is being cut, the leader of his protest group has designs on Rachel (his far-too-pretty-for-him girlfriend), DC are retconning their universe again and the local bullies make a habit of standing on his specs.

To top it all, his beloved mum is sick and her long term busybody “companion” is constantly in his face.

And all he really wants to do is play Doom.

Despatched to London along with his streetwise best friend, Ricky, his orders are to pick up two secret packages donated by a pan-national group of hardcore Euro-revolutionaries. A massive demonstration is planned and the group need these to raise the stakes.

When Verna -a mysterious and alluring Polish freedom fighter – donates a mysterious third package that no-one expects nor knows anything about, Kevin Taylor quickly comes to realise that his problems are only just beginning.

And his life as he knows it, and the life of everyone around him, is about to change forever.

Other information: The story takes place over ten days in the immediate aftermath of the British public’s decision to leave the European Union and in the context of the consequently collapsing economy.

How are you marketing the book?

Twitter and on FB. I use giveaways a lot.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from writing your book?

Books are of their time. There is a time and a place. In the first instance, when I set up my business, everyone bought Carla, one of my personal favourite novels. It sold well at one point, but is almost forgotten now. This one (Kevin) struggled in its original guise, but early signs are much more promising.

What is the best way for someone to support your book, aside from buying it?

When I publish the paperback, I’ll send it to you free if you review it!! You know, Eden, of all people, how important reviews are to small press and Indie authors. We can’t get reviewed in newspapers and it’s critical that we get the word of mouth. I sell quite a few books every quarter but I don’t get reviewed as often as some of my peers. I’m not sure why this happens. I would like that to change but hey, I’ll join the queue for the answer to that question.

Reviews are always tough to get. I’m happy to buy your book and read it. Let’s finish with a fun lightning round.

Aside from people/pets, what is the ONE item you would save if your house was on fire? My ammunition crate full of vintage superhero comics, a photograph of a girlfriend, and this laptop.

Favorite place you’ve traveled to or would like to travel to? California – would love to meet my sidekick, your friend and mine, top fiction author Brenda Perlin, and I’m also a big fan of Lorraine Devon Wilke who has promised me muffins galore by the shore if I ever make it over again.

I’d travel over with my great friend Georgia Rose, romance author, noted horsewoman and paddock expert and we’d go to Santa Anita and pay for the trip using our combined horse selecting skills. I’ve just written a short story about Billy Idol on Highway One for Brenda’s new punk anthology and I had a great time researching it – would love to mountain bike up the Pacific Crest Trail too.

Name a food you can eat everyday.  KFC. Buckets of it. Unfortunately, it no longer loves me and we’ve been divorced for six weeks now.

Salty or sweet? As most ladies know, there’s nothing like something salty on birthdays and at Christmas.

Coffee or tea or something else? Tea – every time. Built an Empire!

Favorite style of music? Late sixties psychedelia. Beatles. Byrds. Jefferson Airplane. Janis. Floyd. Favourite band: Black Sabbath.

Your most guilty pleasure. Sleeping in when I should be up and about.

Favorite season. Autumn – that’s the original label for Fall to you North Americans, Eden!

Name something you cannot go a day without. Reading. More of a passion to me than writing.

Thanks so much for  your answers, Mark. I wish you success, no matter what name you write under! 

Readers, please find Mark at all his virtual homes below.

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Connect to Mark Barry aka Luke Rock

Mark Barry Author

Blog | Twitter @GreenWizard62

Amazon Page US | Amazon Page UK

Green Wizard Publishing

Mark Barry is a multi-genre writer and novelist. His work includes the minor cult hit Ultra Violence about football hooligans at a small Midlands football club and Carla, a quirky, dark, acclaimed romance with shades of Wuthering Heights.

He is the co-designer of the innovative Brilliant Books project aimed at engaging the many, many reluctant readers amongst young people. He has one son, Matt, on the  brink of University, with whom he shares a passion for Notts County Football Club.

Fast food, comics, music, reading, his friends on the Independent scene, and horse racing keep him interested and he detests selfish, narcissistic people and bullies of all kinds.

He is based in Nottingham and Southwell in the UK, the scene of most of his fiction.


Filed under Author & Artist Interviews

Music Monday moves with Falguni

I’m in New York City this week connecting with family and friends.

This is a tune played during the end of some of my yoga classes — it’s calming and haunting at the same time, and the message is a good one given the turbulence of the past week.

“Subah” by Falguni is from the album called At Ease.

Lie down, close your eyes, and enjoy.

Here’s wishing everyone a good, safe week.




Filed under Musical Mondays

Author @TobyWNeal interviews @AuthorGilbert @ScotttheWriter and me for #LeiCrimeKW – Comment to WIN!

Fifteen authors have recently launched another round of books for Toby Neal’s LEI CRIME SERIES on Kindle Worlds. You can read more about the authors in interviews Toby is conducting on her blog.

Today, authors Julie C. Gilbert, Scott Bury, and I are in the hot seat! Come by, comment, and you’ll have multiple chances to win our books.

Hit the graphic below and you’re there. Good luck and look forward to chatting with you!

3 lei crime books

Happy Sunday!

eden **


Filed under Eden's Guest Blogs & Interviews, Lei Crime Kindle Worlds

Eden’s Exchange talks to @AuthorAmyMetz

It’s a pleasure for me to introduce author, Amy Metz. She and I have crossed paths on several writing sites, and I wanted to learn more about her.

Amy is a lovely woman, so do connect to her and find out more about her books.

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Amy, welcome to Eden’s Exchange. Thrilled to have you here. How would your best friend describe you in 20 words or less?

I went straight to the source. He said, “A caring and sensitive mother and friend; always available to support others and is passionate about her beliefs and principles.”

How sweet.  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would be a billionaire. Seriously, I would be an extrovert instead of introvert.

A billionaire extrovert wouldn’t be bad.😉 What profession other than your own would you like to try?

I’d love to be a travel photographer.

Do you have a motto you live by?

For my personal life: The golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

For my writing life:You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, but there will always be someone who hates peaches.

I love that, and peaches are one of my favorite fruits. What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?

My children. I have two grown sons so I guess they’re actually not children anymore, but they will always be my babies and the best things I ever did.

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You sound like an amazing mom, Amy. Let’s learn more about your writing life. How do you market yourself?

I think blog features like this one are effective in getting the word out about a book (thank you!), so I try to do as many as will have me. I also take advantage of any of the free services on the Internet, such as virtual bookshelves, author pages on various sites, or free or reduced book alert services. I have a list on my blog of marketing steps that I use:

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I look forward to connecting with you on your site too. What part of writing a novel do you enjoy the most? The least?

Favorite: I love getting lost in a story and feeling like I’m in the scene.
Least favorite: editing. Specifically, the 100,000th round of editing.

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I know the feeling well, Amy. Tell us about your typical writer’s day.

A typical day starts by answering emails and posting to Facebook and Twitter. Then I pull up whatever it is I’m working on and reread the section I wrote last. Next, I write or edit or rewrite, depending on the need. Somewhere along the way, I’ll need to check something online. I will probably see new emails and read them, and then something in an email will probably lead me to Facebook where I’ll be for I-don’t-know-how-long. Something on FB will probably lead me to another site like Twitter or Pinterest, where I’ll probably get lost again. I’ll eventually wonder what it was I came online to do, and I’ll finally go check out what I came online to do in the first place. Then I’ll go back to writing. Somewhere along the line, I’ll need to check something online. I will probably see new emails and read them, and then something in an email will lead me to Facebook to like or comment . . . you get the picture. That and a short break for lunch is pretty much my day.

Haha, my head was spinning reading your answer! Do you have advice for new authors?

Stay away from Facebook while you’re working.

I agree Facebook can be a huge energy sucker. What are some of your “must-have” tools for writing?  

I don’t need much. My laptop. Electricity. The Internet for and research or checking facts. That’s about it.

Tell us the name and genre of your latest book.

Rogues & Rascals in Goose Pimple Junction is a cozy mystery.


Buy link: Amazon 

Blurb for: Rogues & Rascals in Goose Pimple Junction

Like any good Southern belle, Caledonia Culpepper was raised by her mama to be gracious, charming, witty, and above all, a devoted mother and loving wife, so she’s baffled when her marriage falls apart.

Wynona Baxter is a master of disguise but is often a ditzy airhead. A hit woman wannabe, when she’s hired for her first job in Goose Pimple Junction and things don’t go as planned, she’s forced to resort to Plan B. She’ll also need Plan C and D.

Crooked lawyers, restless husbands, a teenaged hoodlum – it seems there are rogues and rascals everywhere you look in Goose Pimple Junction.

When Caledonia and Wynona’s paths cross, they prove there isn’t a rogue or a rascal who can keep a good woman down. Mama always said there would be days like this . . .

Amy, why should people read the book?

I think if someone wants to get lost in a mystery that will make them laugh and make them want to move to a quirky small town where the community is fun, loving, and close-knit, they should read my books!

Sounds like a great reason to read it! How did you celebrate when you finished writing Rogues & Rascals in Goose Pimple Junction?

I don’t think I celebrated when I finished writing the book, because as soon as I’m sure I’m finished, the editing process starts, which means the book isn’t really finished. I consider the book finished on launch day. On launch day, I went out to dinner at my favorite restaurant with my two sons, daughter-in-law, and my friend Tom.

I feel the same way. It’s only finished for me when it’s available for sale. What has the reception been to the book?

It has received great reviews so far, with twelve 5-star reviews and one 4-star review. But sales have been very slow, which is depressing.

I hope it ramps up soon, Amy. What is the best way for someone to support your book, aside from buying it?

Tell your friends. Tell them to tell their friends. Post a comment about it on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest. And post a review online on as many sites as you can.

What is next for you after this book?

I’m writing the fifth book in the series. Wynona and Caledonia will be back!

That’s excellent news! Let’s finish with a fun lightning round.

Aside from people/pets, what is the ONE item you would save if your house was on fire? My computer. It pretty much has my life on it.

Salty or sweet? Sweet. A day without something sweet isn’t a day.

Coffee or tea or something else? Tea. Preferably sweet tea—hot or cold. With a lemon!

Cat/dog/other pet? Dog. I love dogs, but I hate the fur that sheds all over everything and everywhere.

Your most guilty pleasure. Donuts. I love them. There’s a store near my house that sells Boston Cream Pie donuts. Oh. My. Gosh.

Favorite season. Fall. I love the colors, the crisp air, and the temps below 80. And I love Halloween.

Name something you cannot go a day without. My iPhone. Not necessarily for the phone feature, but for the email, notes, text message, photo, camera, Google and Google Maps, Audible, Kindle, calculator, clock, and Solitaire apps!

Thank you so much for hosting me!

You are most welcome, Amy. Readers, please find her at all her virtual homes below.

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Connect to Amy


Website | Blog | Twitter @AuthorAmyMetz

Amazon Author Page | LinkedIn

Facebook | Goodreads | Google +

Amy Metz is the author of the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series. She is a former first grade teacher and the mother of two sons. When not actively engaged in writing, enjoying her family, or surfing Facebook or Pinterest, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in one hand and a glass of sweet tea in the other. Amy lives in Louisville, Kentucky.



Filed under Author & Artist Interviews

15 #NEW Books join the #LeiCrimeKW family on @KindleWorlds

Along with 14 other spectacular authors, I’m proud to release my third book for the Lei Crime Series for Kindle World.

Charade at Sea follows A Snake in Paradise and SEAL of a Monk.

15 new KW books

Starting today, you can learn more about all the new books and its authors as we cozy up to Toby Neal who started the terrific series. She will host interviews with us over the next two weeks, and there will be prizes!

I’ll have the pleasure of being on Toby’s blog mid July and will announce it here on my blog. And of course I’ll have giveaways too! 

Speaking of prizes, you still have several days to enter the Rafflecopter on Book Rhythm’s page.  Don’t miss your chance to enter.

GRAND PRIZE:  Kindle Oasis and power adapter, Fintie Kindle Smart Case, Full set of LCKW books, Kindle headphones, Lei Crime Box Set, $75 Amazon Gift Card

FB partypack

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Charade at Sea is currently available, so grab your copy! Find out more from the summary below.


Buy from Amazon US

Charade at Sea

A luxury cruise is ideal for a budding romance … or is it?

Lainey Lee and ex-Navy SEAL, Max Scott, shared an incredible experience when they met in Kauai. A romantic cruise around the Hawaiian Islands seems perfect for discovering if they can become more than just friends.

But mystery abounds.

Lainey meets a fifty-something newlywed on her honeymoon. The chatty woman speaks highly of her husband and his secret missions abroad. Lainey is intrigued but her intuition tells her something is not right.

Even while her feelings for Max grow, Lainey can’t help wondering about the charade being played at sea.



Filed under Important Announcements, Lei Crime Kindle Worlds

Join a Facebook Party to celebrate #New #LeiCrimeKW books #Prizes

I’m celebrating the release of Charade at Sea – my third book in the Lei Crime Series for Kindle World.

Charade at Sea follows A Snake in Paradise and SEAL of a Monk. They are stand-alone books although I’d recommend you read them in order. It’s the best way to understand the symbolism woven throughout.

3 lei crime books

Charade at Sea will be live on Amazon US shortly, however, there’s no time like the present to have a party!

FB party page

Join me with other Lei Crime Kindle World authors, including Toby Neal who started the terrific Lei Crime series.

When? June 27, 6 PM – 8 PM EST.

I’m giving away books and a $20 Amazon gift card.

Come by for your chance to win!

FB partypack

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Charade at Sea is a romance/mystery that tackles the important issue of stolen valor.

Find out more from the summary below.

Hope to see you at the Facebook partyJust drop by, say hi to authors, and have fun! Easy to win free books and great prizes!


Charade at Sea

A luxury cruise is ideal for a budding romance … or is it?

Lainey Lee and ex-Navy SEAL, Max Scott, shared an incredible experience when they met in Kauai. A romantic cruise around the Hawaiian Islands seems perfect for discovering if they can become more than just friends.

But mystery abounds.

Lainey meets a fifty-something newlywed on her honeymoon. The chatty woman speaks highly of her husband and his secret missions abroad. Lainey is intrigued but her intuition tells her something is not right.

Even while her feelings for Max grow, Lainey can’t help wondering about the charade being played at sea.



Filed under Important Announcements, Lei Crime Kindle Worlds