The Magic of an Ancient City

Excerpt from the forthcoming Java Gold Series Book Three

He parked near the Central Station in the falling dusk, just when the lights came on. The falling darkness slowly transformed the old part of Amsterdam into a magical maze of narrow streets; an enchanted place where floodlighted church towers and illuminated windows and the forms of centuries-old buildings were softly reflected by the dark water of tree-lined canals. All sounds were hushed in this timeless city center, and they walked amid the low hum of human voices and the far-off buzz of traffic in the main streets.

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When they passed over one of the hump-backed bridges, the chimes in a nearby church tower played a light, enchanting air before its solemn bell struck the hour.
On the corner of a narrow street and a small square at the foot of a tall 17th century church, was a typical Amsterdam bar; old and brown and with sand on the floor; bypassed by the tourists and still frequented by the locals. The aged barman and a couple of customers greeted them friendly as they sat down at a window table that gave them a good view of the darkening square. He ordered a beer for himself and a white wine for her and when the drinks came, they raised their glasses and said “Proost”. And while taking a sip, he looked at his companion.

It might have been a trick of the dying daylight and the muted lights in the bar that somehow revealed the extraordinary beauty of her face and her body to him. Suddenly he felt tongue-tied. All subjects that came to his mind seemed too trivial and unimportant to talk about and an awkward silence fell.
Sensing his embarrassment, she gave him a quick glance and as she put a small, warm hand on his arm she whispered, “I did some modelling once, so I know I look good but remember: I’ve got my nasty sides too; after all, I am just a human being.”
He looked into her luminous brown eyes and he saw understanding and warmth but he still was unable to speak freely.
“How did you know this bar”, she asked, trying to find a subject he could talk about and she listened patiently when he told her about his student days at the nearby university and his love for the old city center.
“I’m pretty sure my grandfather has been standing in this bar half a century ago, having a beer after work”, he said. “Amsterdam was so much smaller in those days; he used to walk home from the docks to his apartment, never bothering with a bicycle.”
“You loved him, didn’t you?”
“Yeah; he was more of a father to me than my step-dad ever was”, he said and fell silent again, afraid of talking too much about himself and not knowing how to make small talk with her.

***

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The Odyssey’s New Cover

“The Java Gold” Book One re-published

The cover of a book is extremely important. It has to be an “eye-catcher”, an interest arouser, that guides the reader’s hand to the shelf to take the book down…
Daniela Colleo has managed to do this as she re-vamped the cover of “The Odyssey”

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Thank you Daniela for your time and inspiration!
Want to see more of Daniela’s work?
Go to http://www.StunningBookCovers.com

A Proud Author!

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Our Boxset was launched on November 1 and the reception has been heart warming! The editorial reviews are wonderful and very flattering. And they are matched by the customer reviews now coming in!
I am particularly proud of this reader comment:

Amazing how eight authors from different parts of the world and different perspectives could give the readers a recount of the impact of that horrendous day when Pearl Harbour was attacked.
The stories that appealed to me were:

“A Rude Awakening” by Robert Kingsley. I’ve read “The Java Gold” which I thoroughly enjoyed, and looking forward to reading more of his books. His style of writing creates a feeling of actually being there. A real page turner, fascinated by the plot, and wanting to know more.

“I am an American” by Robyn Hobousch. I was fascinated by the plot, and would be interested in reading more about the treatment of American Japanese.

“Allies After All” by Dianne Ascroft. Very well written and easy to read. Also fascinated by the plot and waiting to know the outcome of the relationship between the American and Irish acquaintances.

“The List” by Vanessa Couchman. Good plot and also well written. Easy to read and would be interested in reading more of her writings.

The above noted were my favourites, but I must say that they were all enjoyable reads which made this a good anthology experience.

 

The thrill of competition

Who of you, fellow authors, has ever entered a novel in a writers competition?

If you have done so, you must have had the same experiences: the strain of waiting for a  reaction, the thrill of reaching the semi-finals… and the nerve-testing wait for the finals.
I am proud to say The Java Gold Book One – “The odyssey” made it into the semi-finals of the Adventure Writers Competition, an annual contest organized by the Clive Cussler Foundation.

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From a large number of submissions, it was chosen as one of the top 10 and was in the race for the top three but did not reach it, after several rounds of tie-breaking votes.
Still I am proud that my first submission to such a contest has reached such a high ranking and motivates me to continue with the series