"The poetry of Katie Lewington has just only recently come to my attention, and her simple, observational, and honest poems pulled me right in. Her new chapbook "Here Comes the Sun" is filled with those things that I look for in poetry and writing in general, descriptions of people and places, travels, food, etc. The ordinary things that sensitive folks (and poets especially) find so endearing. I can't wait to read more of Lewington's work!" Nicholas Trandahl, author of Pulling Words.
Experience the thrill of summer, and travel with Katie Lewington through Europe, without needing to move from your seat. It was a summer of reinvention and discovery: from leaving home, to travelling Europe. In 2016 football, politics, and airports dominated the life of Katie Lewington. Thankfully you won't find any poems on Brexit in Katie Lewington's poetry collection Here comes the Sun. You will find one on the Euro's, and the unexpected delights found in Airport baggage queues. Some of the poems in Here comes the Sun make good use of brevity, while others, such as Wi-Fi, are written in a prose style of writing. Here comes the Sun uses simple language in the poems that were written whilst travelling in the summer of '16. The events in the poems mirror the places of their origins, such as in the Red Light District of Amsterdam, the market forecourt of Brugge, and the Brighton Pier.
There is contemplation among the hilarity as the seasons change, summer turns to winter, and the nights become colder, so grab a drink, and your shades, and read HERE COMES THE SUN: TRAVEL POETRY WRITTEN BY KATIE LEWINGTON.
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When the Deringer pistol that shot Abraham Lincoln is stolen and ends up in the hands of a Russian military general, covert agent Blake Deco is tasked by the FBI to head to the Balkans to recover the historical weapon. Meanwhile, the United States media is abuzz with news of the mysterious disappearance of Hollywood movie star, Goldie St. Helen.
After Blake’s return from overseas, he receives a tip from a Mexican friend that a drug lord, obsessed with the beautiful actress, is holding her captive in Tijuana. With the help of a reluctant army friend, Blake mounts a daring rescue. What he doesn’t expect is to have feelings for Goldie—or that a killer is hunting them.
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The tall buildings around Washington, D.C.’s 10th Street overshadowed the historic Ford’s Theatre. Though the building had undergone refurbishment both inside and out, it still seemed slightly out of place in modern America. However, that didn’t stop the throngs of tourists visiting the building that June morning as wispy clouds threaded through the cerulean sky.
It was a crowded weekend day when Abraham Lincoln, in his overcoat, and two Union soldiers, their faces covered with bandanas, stepped out of the van. They meandered past the theater’s five historic doorways toward the modern glass entrance. Everyone assumed they were part of a promotion taking place at the museum. It was not uncommon to see park rangers and tour guides dressed in period costumes.
The man behind the Lincoln mask was Rick Walker—at least, that was the name he was currently going by. Highly educated, the thirty-six-year-old professional thief had a penchant for the fast life. If the assignment was a success today, he’d promised his girlfriend a nice holiday.
Two female park rangers stepped forward when Rick and his companions reached the front of the line.
“You have to get in line, sir. Also, you need to get tickets. Kindly remove the mask and bandanas before entering,” one of the park rangers said.
“I do apologize, madam, but I’m in a bit of a hurry,” Rick said. “I don’t think I need a ticket, nor do I have to get in line given who I am.”
“That’s the only way you’re going to get in,” the park ranger said.
“Well, if you insist, madam, and once again, please accept my apologies.” Rick bowed and tipped his hat, then extended a hand to the park ranger, who instinctively took it.
Rick grabbed her wrist tightly and locked it to his own with a steel cuff.
“What are you doing?” the park ranger yelled, trying to jerk her hand away.
“Getting acquainted,” Rick said.
The park ranger reached for the walkie-talkie strapped to her belt, but Rick snatched it away from her. Frantically, she turned to the other park ranger. “Get security!”
One of the two Union soldiers dropped his prop rifle and grabbed the other park ranger’s hand, then cuffed her wrist to his own. He pulled out a real gun tucked under his waistband and aimed it at her.
Rick unbuttoned the jacket of his three-piece suit and brandished the bomb strapped to his chest.
“Bomb! Bomb!” a young teenager in the line shrieked.
Pandemonium broke out as the screams of panic amplified. People ran in every direction. Those who moved slowly were slammed aside, or knocked over.
Rick pulled the ranger cuffed to him aside. “We’re going downstairs, and we’re going to take the Deringer. Obey your president,” he said in a hollow voice.
“Yes, sir,” the park ranger said as beads of sweat formed on her forehead.
They descended by elevator and emptied into an interactive museum. The wealth of history in the dimly lit space featured original artifacts in glass showcases, furniture, statues, murals, and narrative devices. The visitors already in the museum scattered wildly at the sight of a man in a Lincoln mask displaying a bomb strapped to his chest, a park ranger cuffed to his wrist.
“Show’s over, folks,” Rick yelled. “Go!”
The park ranger guided her captors to a section in the museum where the Deringer floated in an oblong glass case capped at both ends with wood. A mural behind it depicted John Wilkes Booth firing a single shot at Abraham Lincoln as he sat in the theater box.
The Union soldier not cuffed to a park ranger took out a glasscutter from his coat pocket and began to cut a circle in the glass. When it popped free, he inserted his hand inside and yanked out the Deringer.
“We’re going to take you with us. Don’t give me trouble. If you behave, you’ll be back home in time for dinner with the family,” Rick said, dragging the park ranger closer to him. “Understand?”
The park ranger nodded once, nervously.
“Excellent,” Rick said.
They exited through the theater’s main door and stepped out into the empty street. The crowd had dispersed. Some had regrouped tensely a few hundred meters away at both ends. “Cheer up—it’s going to be a fun day,” Rick said, walking toward the van.
The park ranger with Rick raised her voice. “Please, please, let us go. I don’t want to die.”
“Well, behave and everything will be fine.” He opened the side, forced her in and jumped in after her. He shut the door after the accomplice had climbed in with the second park ranger.
The van began to move off.
“Hallelujah!” Rick yelled in excitement behind the mask as he sat at the back of the van. He removed the cuff from his wrist and secured the park ranger onto a railing.
“We’ll be arriving in five,” the driver said after a few blocks. “You know what to do.”
“I sure do,” Rick said as he removed the bomb strapped to his chest. Still wearing the mask, he looked at the hostages. “Don’t worry about the bomb, it’s fake.”
He unhooked a tote bag from the wall and began removing the contents. Facing away from the hostages, he removed the Lincoln mask and slipped into casual attire. He hid his face by putting on a red baseball cap and a pair of dark shades then stuffed the costume into the bag and swung it over his shoulder.
Rick looked again at the park rangers. “Look on the bright side—now you get to tell visitors a different story at the museum.”
The Union soldier in the back with him handed over the Deringer, which Rick slipped into the bag.
The driver slowed down and stopped behind a parked car.
“All good outside?” Rick asked.
“Yeah…all good. I parked a few cars behind us,” the driver replied, looking at the side mirror.
“Okay. Nice doing business with you guys.” Rick pulled open a trapdoor in the center of the floorboard, slid out, and slithered under the parked car in front of the van.
The van pulled away from the curb and sped down the street. After a minute, Rick rolled onto the road, got up, and walked toward the park at Judiciary Square on the Red Line and descended into the Metro.
A day later, Rick sat at a café with his eyes glued to the screen of a laptop, drinking a hot latte with his back against the wall. He scanned the faces of everyone who entered. Though he wasn’t expecting trouble, he remained vigilant.
“Is it in yet?” the tall blonde sitting across from him asked.
He scratched the roughness of his stubble as he continued to stare at the screen. “Not yet.”
Moments later, the figures on his account changed. A new deposit had been registered: ten million dollars.
Rick lifted his eyes. “Darling.”
“Remember, we’re in a public place, so don’t scream.”
She leaned forward. “It’s in?”
Rick wriggled his eyebrows. “Pack your bags. We’re going on a holiday, as I promised.”
Gentlemen Prefer a Pulse is Mike Steeden's first published collection of poetry and features over a hundred poems that are sometimes humorous, serious, satirical, surreal, thought provoking and brilliant! Mike says his inspiration is drawn from his self-proclaimed love of the fairer sex, his passion for 'people watching' (a trait born of his time as a private investigator), social justice and compassion. The net result is that his poems are in essence a cocktail of all these things...oh yes, the important thing! Mike always endeavours to ensure that within his body of work the gals always win out in the end!
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A poem from the book:
THE MAN IN THE BRETON SHIRT
All her life she had wanted legs. Proper legs with feet, ankles, calves, knees and thighs. Yet circumstance had afforded her nought but wheels, small wheels at that. Little wrought iron ones. Wheels that required constant care. Oiling and such like.
Notwithstanding her shortcomings, she got out and about best she could. That is, until the day the local authorities had something of a retro brainwave. They cobblestoned the market square. She lived in a house on market square. So now she prayed for tarmac, as well as feet, ankles, calves, knees and thighs.
Then one day, quite out of the blue the sailor arrived in town. Breton shirt, beer belly. He drank vast quantities of rum, farted constantly, belched with pride, with gusto.
They met in a smoke laden bar, she in a wheelchair (Her wizened auntie had taken her out for some fresh air. Why she chose to go to a bar no one ever knew). The sailor was singing a ribald sea shanty at the time to the accompaniment of an accordion. He amused her. She caught his eye. The accordionist noticed too. A deafening silence ensued. A galaxy of drunkards turned about face embarrassing her more than a little.
A harlot, hanging on to the sailor’s arm for dear life flinched at his rancid breath, yet still held fast. Such is the fate of a girl short of gilders (Perversely, she cast a jealous eye at the girl with no proper legs with feet, ankles, calves, knees and thighs). Regardless his ‘Popeye on spinach’ forearm thrashed the harlot to Kingdom come.
In an instant, the sailor sobered up. Whereas he should have stumbled he straightened himself, walked over to the girl, planted the mother of all kisses upon her virgin lips, clicked his fingers, bellowed skyward at the heavens, and miraculously the girl had legs with feet, ankles, calves, knees and thighs.
With great care and eyes shut tight the girl ran her hands over her new limbs. They felt ever so fine.
When she opened them again she found herself on a yacht on the wide-open sea in the company of a handsome young man in a Breton shirt. From his place at the helm he winked and blew her a kiss.
All was well in her world.
Albinus, the son of a revered Roman veteran Silus, has always longed to be a farmer, not a soldier, and live his days ploughing and reaping the harvests, with his bride-to-be, Licina. But Silus’ has darker ambitions, for Albinus to follow in his footsteps in the army.
But, as the conflicts between father and son come to a head, a growing threat comes down from the vengeful Germanic tribes to the north. Just as Albinus and Licina are about to marry, their settlement is raided by barbarians and Silus and his veteran comrades are brutally killed, while Licina is kidnapped by the raiders and taken to their king as a gift.
Believing her to be alive, Albinus sets out on a quest to find Licina, finally fulfilling his father’s wishes as training as a soldier, even as he is spurred to avenge his father’s death. As the barbarian hordes gather and plan major rebellion against the Romans, Albinus finds a new fighting spirit within him and grows in stature among the legionaries.
Licina meanwhile has a fight of her own, to escape from slavery and find Albinus. Time is running out, as the northern tribes head for Rome, decimating everything in their path…
With historically accurate details and including characters from legend, Adam Lofthouse’s novel recounts the brutal battles between the Romans and the Germanic tribes, while also telling the heart-wrenching coming-of-age narrative of one young soldier within the Roman camp.
Adam Lofthouse has for many years held a passion for the ancient world. As a teenager he picked up Gates of Rome by Conn Iggulden, and has been obsessed with all things Rome ever since. After ten years of immersing himself in stories of the Roman world, he decided to have a go at writing one for himself. The Centurion’s Son is Adam’s first novel. He lives in Kent, with his wife and three sons.
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Mike Steeden writes his poetry always with ‘a touch’ of something or other. Often that ‘touch’ is a surreal one, occasionally one of the lunacy of being, and with this tome he had added a hint of ‘magic’. He lives in England’s almost forgotten edge in terms of tourism, namely the south-eastern corner of the beautiful County of Kent, in the place nicknamed since the Battle of Britain in WW2, ‘Hellfire Corner’. He is passionate about the rights of the underprivileged; loathes to see abuse of the innocents home and abroad. His poetry reflects such passion.
Mike is a self-confessed ‘people watcher,’ hence his coffee quaffing hobby sat outside any fine café watching the day go by. His most favoured cafés are generally those across the Channel in France where he spends a good deal of time. Also, he is partial to a drop of fine red wine and smelly ripe French cheeses!
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One of the poems within the book;
ECHOES FEND FOR THEMSELVES AFTER MIDNIGHT
Interlaced tongues sweetest tortures, and for you a crown of hawthorn
Come mornings lame duck situation, at first light a passion stillborn
Your carriage awaits full of treasures, a catalogue of what was before
Love letters returned back to sender, your key on the hook by the door
You split with a satchel of shared dreams, and a trunk full of burning desire
In your wake left a parcel of memories, and finger band of barbed wire
Those bared paintings of you in the grand hall, the place where all sinners got wed
Now hang on the walls of a bedroom, where all our spare tears once were shed
Words aimed below the belt and pulled punches, a ripped bodice, a craving that devours
Then the affirmation of stained sheets, hungover from the afterglow hours
You travelled back to the place where you came from, climbed dizzy heights just to be
Once more with your come-hither lover, and the times you say were carefree
In the white room where virgin bride’s makeup, paradise only a scissor cut away
Yet for you just a bouquet of snowflakes, that would melt lest you forgot to pray
Remember when I gave you the emerald, you said just, ‘thank you, see you around’
Then you laid claim to my heart, to my hunger, left me for dead instead of spellbound
Echoes fend for themselves after midnight, come back to deafen at the first light of day
You leave behind the one you tormented, to stand by him who you would betray