Books, Life, Self-publishing, Uncategorized

My review of Seal Mother; A Selkie Tale in Verse by Rose English

Seal Mother: A Selkie Tale in Verse by [English, Rose ]
*****Five Stars*****

I devoured this short story, so skilfully written by an author who I have the utmost respect for. She doesn’t write for the masses, she doesn’t stray into writing what is popular or in fashion. Rose English writes from the heart about things that capture her vivid imagination and she weaves a story so beautiful that it feels as though she has placed her hands around your heart and is squeezing gently.
Seal Mother is a tragic tale of love, betrayal, loss and heart-breaking decisions.
It’s a children book, but don’t let that stop you from reading it as an adult. Let Rose’s poetical verse sweep you into a maelstrom of emotions as you forget your existence for a while and ride the waves with Seal Mother and her emotional journey.

Books, Life, Self-publishing, Uncategorized

Children of the Streets Series


Over two years ago I was doing research for a book series that I was working on at the time. One of my main characters was going to Afghanistan as a foreign correspondent and although I didn’t want to focus in any depth on what was happening there I did want to get a flavour of what life would be like for a foreign correspondent.

I bought and read Christina Lamb’s book “Small Wars Permitting: Despatches from Foreign Lands.” I didn’t only read about Afghanistan but she also revealed about her time in Brazil. I read about children who lived on the streets, hundreds of thousands of them, and they were treated like vermin. People stepped over these bundles which held human life as though they were unimportant. What the were, though was an embarrassment to the authorities and a major inconvenience to local businesses. My blood ran cold when I learned that their solution to this problem of homelessness amongst children was to cull their numbers, to kill them.

Out of the horror I felt, came a nugget of an idea about twin babies born in Brazil and orphaned. One would be adopted into a life of luxury and the other would face the brutality of the streets until they were reunited twelve years later. The story of these children fought for precedence in my head as they demanded that their story should be told. I told it. ‘A boy from the Streets’ was released in April 2017. In that time I have sold over 500 copies of the book which isn’t too shabby for an Indie Author who doesn’t spend much time or money on advertising.

A Boy from the Streets has had much praise and I am proud of all the four and five-star reviews it has received, it also won an Indie book award from ‘Chill with a Book’ and the beautiful cover which was designed by JC Clarke from The Graphics Shed also won a cover of the week prize. I’ve made people cry, ‘feel the feels’ and I’ve been told that people couldn’t put it down, reading into the night. Hearing that kind of feedback has been phenomenal, every author’s dream. But the book has also got itself a few haters, or me as a storyteller, which I’m pleased to say is in the minority at the moment which is something that you have to accept when you put your work out to be judged by the public.

What came out of this feedback though was that people wanted to know more about some of the other characters, in particular, Martinez. What made him bad? My brain came alive once more with possibilities and the series was born. What started as a standalone book has now become a series of five books and I am about to release book two on Thursday 17th May which is called ‘Sins of the Father’ and follows the story of Carlos. All of these books can be read as standalone but for a richer experience, I suggest you start from the beginning. The characters are whispering in my ear continuously as they want their five minutes of fame. 🙂

If you haven’t read ‘A Boy from the Streets’ yet here is a little excerpt to tempt you. Jose is the twin who was adopted and when he is twelve he returns to Brasil where he learns that he was adopted and has a twin, Jose runs away to see if he can find his brother.

(Please note the spelling of Brasil has been used deliberately for authenticity)


Aimlessly I walked, caught up in my thoughts and unaware of my surroundings. My wandering had turned me around so many corners that I couldn’t have found my way back to the hotel, even if I wanted to go. With this dawning awareness came fear. I had no sense of direction; back in England I was never allowed out alone. A pang of homesickness seized me while I contemplated the home I’d never see again.

I pushed on; the streets were becoming more crowded. People jostled each other, and I shied away from their contact. Perhaps it was my imagination, but the crowd seemed more menacing, less civilised. I shivered despite the blistering heat. My steps slowed as I placed one cautious foot in front of the other. There was no other choice but to go on now. The streets were twisty and winding, like a rabbit warren or something out of the Shire from The Hobbit. I thought of Bilbo Baggins’ reluctant adventures then remembered he’d had friends with him, and a ring that made him invisible. My task didn’t involve reclaiming Dwarf gold from a fire-breathing dragon, but it was equally daunting. Until this moment, I hadn’t considered that my twin—should I even find him—might not be welcoming. Hardened from street life, would he resent me for the luxurious life I had lived? Or would he teach me everything I needed to know in order for me to survive in his life?

A commotion in front of me caused my mind’s meanderings to cease. A tall, lanky boy stood before me holding a broken bottle, the edges jagged and lethally sharp.

After taking two steps back, I hit a barrier—of the human kind. Hoping to be saved, I spun around and found myself looking into a pair of glacial eyes, the lightest shade of blue–almost opaque. A vile smell emanated from the pair of boys who’d boxed me in. Both wore shorts and t-shirts, more like rags, barely held together by any material.

“Give us your money, rich boy.” He waved the bottle in front of me, the sharp edges slashing the air. He hawked up and spat a huge glob of green phlegm down beside my feet.

“I– I– I have no money…” I started in English but switched to Portuguese when I saw their confusion. Looking him square in the eyes, I wasn’t being brave; indeed, I feared I would shame myself with tears, or worse.

If you want to read on, A Boy from the Streets is available on Amazon


I’ll leave you with a tiny teaser from ‘Sins of the Father.’









Books, Life, Self-publishing, Uncategorized

The inspiration behind ‘A Boy from the Streets’


A boy from the streets will be the first novel that I have published but not the first book I have written. It was while I was researching for one of my other books which hasn’t been published yet that I came up with the inspiration and the basic outline for the story.

While reading ‘Small Wars Permitting: Despatches from Foreign Lands’ by Foreign Correspondent Christina Lamb I came across something I hadn’t heard about before and it shocked me. This is taken from Christina’s book:

“There was one aspect of life in Rio I knew I would never get used to. Every morning when I arrived at my office downtown, there would be bundles in the doorways. After a while I discovered they had names and faces. These were children, some of the thousands – some say millions – of street kids who roam Brazil’s cities. Sometimes they would be sniffing glue from shoemakers’ tins or out of coke bottles for a high to dampen their hunger. Most Cariocas just step over them as if they were insects. Some areas like Ipanema had even erected iron railings round the parks to stop the children going in.
The first year I lived in Rio, Amnesty International ran a series of advertisements: ‘Brazil has found a new way of taking its children off the streets – killing them.'”

The book goes on to talk about 500 killings in one month alone, many of whom were children.

“Death squads pick up and kill the street kids who so upset the tourists and the businesses dependent on tourism. Many of the squads are run by policemen who have no shame about their methods of cleaning up the streets.”

After the initial revulsion and the coldness that pervaded my body at the thought of what these poor children endured and disgust at humankind, the beginnings of a story formed. I picked up my pen and the words flowed. This has now been polished by me and my editor and a new beginning was added later on as the story changed shape in my head. A Boy from the Streets was born. I am now coming to the end of the journey with this book as I aim to publish it early April.

Check it out:

Two babies abandoned at birth—one grows up in a life of privilege, the other in poverty.

On the 12th of September, 1981, twin boys are born in a Brasilian hospital and left to their fate as orphans. Jose is adopted by a couple who takes him to England, but the other isn’t so lucky. Pedro ends up on the streets of Rio, left to fend for himself in a harsh and unforgiving world.

Love and betrayal.

Twelve years later Jose’s family returns to Brasil, where he learns the truth about his adoption and his twin. Thinking his adoptive parents no longer want him, he runs away to find his brother. What follows will shake Jose to the core and shape the rest of his life—if he can survive.


Jose isn’t the only one whose life will change. Pedro is offered an opportunity beyond any of his wildest dreams, but to keep it will mean the betrayal of someone he loves. This proves to be a far greater challenge than he anticipated when the orphan finds himself suddenly surrounded by family who, unfortunately, don’t all have good intentions.

Hopes and dreams.

A Boy from the Streets will tug at your heart-strings and have you rooting for the little guy as you follow the twists and turns this multi-continental tale takes.

A small snippet from the beginning of A Boy from the Streets:

“Fernando, we must take them both, we cannot separate twins.”

“Christina, you’re too soft, we can’t bring up two children. You’re not strong enough to cope with the needs of twins. Your constitution is weak. It would be unfair to all of us.”

“I know my health is delicate, Fernando, and I will always regret that I can’t carry your baby to term inside me, but I know I can love and care for these twins. We can afford to hire help…” She trailed off when she saw the determined jut of his chin, the expression that brooked no further argument. Christina decided to try one last tug at his conscience anyway. “If we leave one behind, he might end up on the streets, an urchin living in squalor and fighting to survive… if he even makes it past babyhood.”

“Christina, your abundance of love does you credit, but I have no doubts the other boy will be adopted also. The only thing left to do now is to choose which one you would like?”

Christina’s heart sank as she looked at the two bundles in front of her. He was asking her to choose one, like picking out a pair of shoes from the rows on display in a shop. One stirred and let out a howl, disturbing his twin. It was almost as though he were alert to the inherent danger in this situation and was warning his brother.

Print & Kindle Copies available NOW