It’s The Story, Stupid.

71065879_563519071057181_2364126479924592640_nI often feel ashamed and inadequate when great writers talk about their worship of books. I’ll be frank – I don’t much care for libraries or bookish type environments. What I love is the story as an abstract concept in itself. I’d have loved to have been a cave-woman, getting myself settled down at the log fire to listen to a storyteller. I didn’t have too many books in the house as a kid. We had TV and more importantly – radio. Nothing could tear me away from a radio play, serial or short story. So, I was made for the e-book and the audio book world. So what is everything on this earth about? It’s the story, stupid. The economy is merely a chapter.

The audio version of my novel “Power” is out now. The narrator is the talented and lovely Rebecca McKernan. She’s a joy and fun to work with. Nothing I can write here can improve on her own account of herself.

That’s it from me folks. Of course if you want to grab an audio book or any other format, here are the links.


How To Get #Audible Discount on #Audiobooks Using Free E-Books

Long before there were books there were stories. Long before there were morose writers scribbling in lonely attics there were wonderful outgoing storytellers, drawing in a crowd and creating their illusions.

The popularity of audio books shows us the enduring power of that tradition. And now – I’ve had the chance to join in. Seduction of Combat has been transformed into an audio book by the fabulous actress, presenter and narrator Rebecca McKernan.  She’s a one off gorgeous lady – a kind of Mary Poppins in fishnet stockings, a Mona Lisa with a mojito cocktail. She gets through fourteen accents across Europe and the USA – including a guy who has two, depending on where he is.

NOW HEAR THIS. To celebrate the launch,  the e-book, Seduction of Combat is going free from 23rd to 27th April. So, ladies and gentlemen, roll up and get a free e-book which will entitle you to a discount on your audio book. Make sure you don’t miss out. Let London cop, Anna Leyton take you on a sexy ride of love and combat across London, Paris, the Mediterranean, Monterey California and New York City.

Remember, this little tip works on any book with an audio edition on Audible. Level of discount may vary. Go on – enjoy yourself. You deserve it.


101 Tips On How To Be A Bouncer.

Today I am handing over the blog to my comrade Oscar Sparrow. These days he describes himself as an ex poet and truck driver. He appears here in his role as an audio narrator for Gallo-Romano Media.


You don’t end up like this by winning fights. I should have read the book!

In my youth (well, perhaps my thirties and forties), I did the poetry reading round. Anyone who has ever done this, will know just how tough it can be. Surely, sitting in a quiet recording studio should be far easier. No drunks, no chanting football fans or passing poet haters. Just me….and that is the problem. Once you’ve read a poem to a crowd (or four acrid smelling people who thought it was ferret club night), the thing is done. You can’t go back to tweak the bleak or lengthen the longing in the tone. It’s done my dear and where’s my beer? (See – once a poet always a poet).

A narrator’s work is never done. The errors will haunt you for ever. For all that it is a wonderful job. A couple of weeks ago I completed a rather unusual project. 101 Tips On How To Be A Bouncer is a unique book. The tag line is “Techniques To Handle Situations Without Violence”. The author, Darren Lee, is an experienced “Crowd Controller” who has also spent many years as a lawyer. The book does exactly what it says on the tin. The only thing is that the tin contains far more than you would think. In fact it is a book about psychology at the cutting edge of real dangerous life. From my own experience of many years as a London street cop, I can tell it was written by a guy who absolutely knows the score. It’s premise is how to be a bouncer and avoid conflict or violence. The essential thing is the management of potentially aggressive ego. At the same time, the “crowd controller” must be in charge and act with INTENTION. This is a balancing act, in front of a dangerous audience who massively outnumber the “controller”.  Never underestimate the courage needed to turn up for work,  knowing that any failure of your personal skills or physical confidence could leave you seriously injured. 

I finished this book with a great admiration for all those guys who do this job. Few folk could not learn something from it. Anyone in security, event organizing, policing roles or the entertainment industry could gain insight from this book. As I read it, I realised that as a parent, this was a book I wish I could have put in the way of my clubbing kids. Youngsters don’t want to be mothered by old hens – after all – what do they know? A book by a “bouncer” has street cred and knowledge. It would help anyone to recognise situations and be able to assess risk. If you are with a group which is beginning to lose the plot – the “crowd controllers” will know the signs and be aware. Knowledge is power and I certainly would have  put it in my kids’ sober hands as a quiet piece of homework. If the only thing they learned was that there are guys out there who’ve got their number and have seen it all before – that’s a major plus believe me. In the ocean of beers, shots and fun, a few will drown. Knowing the score could keep you afloat.

It was an unusual book to narrate. I found my tone in my London roots as a police patrol car driver. Darren is quite right. The “old school” bouncer is as dead as the old rough justice cop. It’s still a tough world out there and always will be. Cheers boys and girls – and have a good night eh!


Thanks Oscar.  I’ve read this book myself. I was dismayed to learn that the last doorman asking for my I.D. was probably just doing a canned flattery routine. Oooh – he was sexy and I still love him for it anyway!

Here is a clip of Oscar explaining how to handle an old Doris like me… 

Emma Thinx: Love on the bounce requires a man with balls.

My Coffee Time Treat

There’s no treat I like better than a real man. A short while ago I sat down with my coffee and the audio track of  Stephen Woodfin’s short story “The Promiscuity Defense”. It was like being a girl again when my mother told us all to SHUT UP when the morning short story came on the radio. And what a treat it was!

Stories happen somewhere. People have accents and attitudes in their voices. These days there are writers who are writing about their real lives in real places. It is truly a joy to me. When I first read a story by Bert Carson about helicopter action in Vietnam I knew that this was a real new wave of literature. After years of life and making a living in the jingle jangle world, writers are now telling you what it was like out there, down there, in there and in their heads. Stephen Woodfin is an attorney. His is the inside story.

“The Promiscuity Defense” is an account of an allegation of sexual misconduct. I will not say more than that because you are going to read it for yourselves. The audio is spoken by the author. The voice is calm – unsurprised by human foibles. The accent (for a Franco-Brit) nails the story to Texas USA. The style conveys a certain world weariness of the law professional who has seen it all before and is letting you see his cynicism and doubts. This is the beauty of the audio – you know what the guy is saying. Somewhere in an office with a pile of legal files, there is a cigarette burning in an ashtray and a cold black coffee on a window ledge. At one point the lawyer makes an aside about “Ex alcoholic judges”. In that one little phrase you see a hidden world. The slurry of untruth and legal manipulation seep into the pure stream of justice. You get this in the writing and you get it in the audio. It’s so God damn real.

I am yet to read the whole collection, but I’m on the case. If you want a great coffee time story, here are the links:

Amazon USA

Amazon UK 

Emma thinx: Listen to your imagination.

Christmas, Kindlemas, Body Mass

Well, the old boy did it. Oscar’s book of poetry has gone live on Amazon Kindle. It’s called ‘I threw a stone’ and he kindly asked me to write the foreword.  Not only is it an e-book, it also includes an audio album with all the poems read by Oscar. I find all this uploads/downloads stuff a bit bemusing but I managed to get the audio onto my Kindle. All this new interconnected media gives writers the chance to produce some unique kinds of work. Oscar’s book has a music intro as well. I believe that the e-book is not a competitor with the tree book. The e-book is actually a wide exciting medium in itself and can provide far more. The book trailer is here if you want to take a peek.

Apparently, this Christmas will in fact be Kindlemas. This is the year when the e-reader will be the must have item in Santa’s sack. I think  the old dead tree books will still have a place. I have shelves of them to show folks how learned I am. While books proclaim what you like folk to think you have read, the e-reader hides what you actually like to read. You can sit on the commuter train to a posh job in the City with your Kindle reading “Confessions of a Harem Handyman” and no one knows. 

I have parked up the bus for the holidays now. Soon I will be going home to France for a holiday season of ruthless dieting, cold baths and exercise. On the other hand I might get out the foie gras, un bon Bordeaux and catch up on some reading. I wonder if we Brits will be turned away at the border by the Sarko police? His eyebrows really do look like circumflex (little roof top) accents, the presence of which in French denotes that a consonant used to be present in a word.   With Britain missing from Europe the look on Sarko’s face takes body language to new heights.

Emma thinx:  Europic – a new serious vision problem.