12 Days of Book Nerdiness Day 4! Giveaways, competitions, fantastic books!

Get your choice of stories from M.B. Feeney. Get a sneak peek here.
An anthology of short
stories by M. B. Feeney
The world is filled
with people destined to help and to serve. Doctors, nurses, police, and
firefighters—each and every day, these special people work to help others in
times of need. Often, this means putting their own lives at risk in order to do
their jobs. They give of themselves to benefit society, and they do it without
any expectation of thanks.
And then there is the
military…
These are the men and
women who don’t head home to their families and safe homes to relax at the end
of a shift. They are on the front lines, far from home and often fighting
someone else’s battles because it is the right thing to do. Military families
struggle to cope with the constant worry and the long periods of separation,
staying strong to support those who serve in everything they do, and often are
left to pick up the pieces when the highest price is paid.
Servicemen and women
are heroes in the purest sense of the word. Even when the world’s gone mad and
their hearts are breaking, one thing remains unchanged.
 
 
Excerpt:
Billy Skinner
19 August 2012
London

20123639

Pte Jonno Cooper

Operation HERRICK

BFPO 7721234567

Hey Shit Face,
Jonno, my man! Got a wicked tan yet? Or
is it one of those ‘White Van Man’ tans: face and below the t-shirt sleeves
only? I’m not ashamed to brag; I am golden brown, and it’s driving the ladies
wild! Wild, I tell you! I think I may be getting pretty lucky this summer.
Don’t you just wish you were me? Well, more than usual.
In some ways, I wish we could switch
places. Being a soldier was all I ever wanted to do, and my own body betrayed
me. We were supposed to do the Army thing together, but my bloody asthma soon
put a stop to that. That doesn’t mean I’m not proud of you, ‘cause I am, more
than I’ve ever been proud of anyone. Well, let’s face it; no-one’s ever given
me reason to be. I guess that’s one of the reasons I wanted to sign up. I
wanted people to be proud of me for once.
Crap! Hels warned me that writing this
letter would be like going to see a shrink. She told me that now you aren’t
around to take the piss, it makes it easier to write the words. I swear, if you
take the piss when you get back, I will rearrange your face for you. It’s not
that I’m ashamed to be writing what I just did, I would just rather you didn’t
use it as ammo against me when we’re out on the lash, mate.
Speaking of being out on the town, a
bunch of us, including Stace, were in Leicester Square for Jim’s birthday. The
lads decided that he needed to go on a ‘pull a pig’ night to see how many
mingers he could cop off with. He managed to pull some right howlers, but then
he met Emily. He sat with her all night ignoring the rest of us. They’ve been
inseparable for the last three weeks. I must admit, I felt like an utter shit
after joining in with the lads. I met her yesterday, and she’s alright. I don’t
know how she puts up with him, but to each their own, I guess.
I assume Stacey told you about Suzi’s
birthday being a total wash out. I felt sorry for her; she’d been planning it
for ages. Why she wanted a garden party is beyond me, but it was her day, I
guess. Shame the heavens opened the night before and carried on for three days
straight. We ended up down the pub. I’ve never seen that girl so drunk in my
life. Stacey had to sit up with her all night in case she threw up in her
sleep. She’s a good ‘un, your missus. I promise she’s doing okay, mate.
We were all worried about her at first
but your letters are really helping her and she’s been spending a lot of time
with Suzi, too. As much as the girl bugs me—no, not ‘cause we shagged that one
time—she’s been a good friend for Stace.
It’s too quiet without you, you
loudmouth toerag. I’m still struggling to get used to not calling you when I
see something funny, or you not being with us on a night out. I’m so used to
having you backing me and my mouth up, that I’m getting myself into a bit of
trouble. You need get your arse home so you can start talking me out of shit
again because I refuse to think before I speak. It’s just not my style.

Hurry back. We need to go drinking.

Love you, mate, Billy.

 

Links:

 
 
Disheartened
about not being able to find “Mr. Right” on the London dating scene, best
friends Jodie Lynch and Louise Hewson create a blog to not only document their disastrous
dates with the numerous “Mr. Wrongs” and “Mr. Okay-for-nows” but also to help
those going through the same experiences and to see where they’re going wrong.
How will they deal with everything the dating scene has to throw at them —
planned or otherwise?
 
 
Excerpt:
 
Conversation Two:
Me: *looks at his
sticker* “Hi, John.”
John: *mumbles* “Hi.”
M: “So, tell me about
yourself . . .”
J: “Um . . . I’m
thirty, I work in the city . . .” *takes nervous sip from his bottle of poncy
beer*
M: “That’s . . . er .
. . nice.” *gulp* “So, you live local?”
J: “Not too far. Me
and mum co-own a house about ten minutes away.” *alarm bells*
M: “Oh . . . that’s
great.”
J: “Er . . . so, what
do you do for a living?”
M: “I’m a legal
secretary.” *tumbleweeds*
At this point I’d
given up the will to live and knocked back almost a whole large glass of wine.
We sat in silence until the bell rang again.
Links:
There’s something
about that one person we date in our teens but never become intimate with. Why
does a sexless relationship render us unable to stop carrying that person, the
what if, with us into our adult life?
For Heidi Johnson,
Shane Hughes is her “one that got away.” Through the years, he has stayed in
the back of her mind while she became an adult, a mother, and her own person.
Meanwhile, Shane has lived a life of regret that he let Heidi go for the wrong
reasons: fear and a misguided sense of not wanting to hurt either of them.
When they reconnect
online, the memories they’ve tried to suppress over the years return,
reigniting the feelings never explored ‘back in the day.’ Will a school reunion
in their home town of London, surrounded by old school friends, help the pair
address the questions the years apart left unanswered? Or will they still be
left with wanting more?
 
 
Excerpt:
 
I scrambled to get my
thoughts straight, wishing I’d thought this meeting through better.
“Sorry.” I apologised
again, bringing a small smile to her face. “I thought I had what I wanted to
say clear in my mind, but the moment you walked in, it all went to shit.”
“Don’t worry about it.
This is your rodeo, take your time.” I glanced at my phone. There was still a
decent amount of time to catch my train.
“Thanks.” I took
another deep breath to steady my nerves. “I know we spoke last night, after. .
.” I trailed off, not sure how to phrase my words.
“We had a rampant fuck
in a dark alley?” Heidi supplied, making me laugh.
“If you want to put it
that way, fine by me.” My face began to ache from my grin, but I didn’t care. I
was finally at ease and knew what I wanted to say and how to say it. “I wanted
you to know that I didn’t turn up just looking to get in your knickers last
night. I know I’ve flirted, some of it got pretty hardcore, but I never
expected anything.”
“Look, Shane. Yeah,
the flirting online got pretty intense, but if I hadn’t wanted it to continue,
you know me well enough to know I’d have put a stop to it. I did go to the
reunion with a purpose. I wanted to remind you exactly what you’d let go. It
makes me sound big-headed and full of myself, but it made me feel good. Like
you, I never even considered for one moment that we’d end up in that alley, but
we did.” She paused to take a sip of her coffee.
I watched her
intently, blown away by her frankness. This woman never ceased to amaze me, or
make me regret my rash decision fifteen years prior.
“As I said last night,
it shouldn’t have happened, but I won’t regret it. It made us both feel
fantastic, and if need be, has given us some closure.”
Did I want closure?
I’d told her last night that I left wanted to know how it would feel to make
love to her and I hadn’t lied. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I must have
thought that us having sex would, as Heidi mentioned, give us a closure on our
unresolved history, but it hadn’t.
“It hasn’t for me.” I
had promised myself to be open and honest with her before we parted ways once
again. She maintained eye contact even though her skin was flushed with a blush
that spread from her throat to her cheeks.
“Me either.”
Links:
Ava Jones has settled
for a life that she’s not sure she wants anymore, but won’t admit it. Her best
friend, Erica Davidson talks her into taking a break on the Isle of Wight. Her
days on the island are spent thinking things through, and arguing with Morgan
whom she hates on principal.
Is it so wrong for her
to want a life that follows the script of a honest to God romance film?
 
Excerpt:
 
We tried for a couple
of years to have children, but it never happened. After many serious
discussions, we decided to give up on the idea altogether. That was when we
bought our first fur baby: a beautiful Collie cross called Rhea. She was our
little girl, and we both doted on her. We assuaged our guilt over our mutual
neglect by caring for Rhea, devoting our attention to another living being
rather than to each other. The puppies, Remus and Romulus, soon joined her, and
our “family” was complete.
For as long as I’d
known him, Marcus had played Sunday League football, which was followed by an
afternoon with his teammates at the very pub I was now approaching. Coupled
with training one evening a week, his evenings out gave me more than enough
time to spend with Erica or at home with the dogs.
“Have you thought any
more about that holiday I mentioned?” Erica asked while we claimed our usual
table. Our customary bottle of red wine was already ready and waiting for us.
“I have . . .” My
words drifted away when I thought back to her idea of a girlie getaway on the
Isle of Wight. Just as its name suggested, the top-class Lakeside Hotel with
attached spa was located right next to a beautiful lake. Bliss.
“And? Why the
hesitation?” Erica pushed like she always did, her blue eyes flashing once more
as she looked into my brown ones.
The idea of a real
getaway caused the blonde hairs on the back of my neck stand on end, but I
tried to rein my excitement in. “I don’t know. It sounds amazing, and Lord
knows I could do with some time away.”
“Do it, then.”
I knew I had enough
holiday time available at work. Screw it.
“Let’s do it.”
Links:
About M.B. Fenney
 
M. B. Feeney is an army brat who finally settled down
in Birmingham, UK with her other half, two kids and a dog. Currently at
university studying for her BA (Hons) in primary teaching, she procrastinates
on her assignments by listening to music of all genres and trying to get ‘just
one more paragraph’ written on whichever WIP is open. She is also a serious
doodler and chocoholic. Writing has been her one true love ever since she could
spell, and publishing is the final culmination of her hard work and ambition.
Her publishing career began with two novellas, and she
currently has multiple projects under way whilst Honour, a compilation of her
own military based shorts, was released in November 2013. Always having
something on the go can often lead to block which eventually gets dissolved by
good music and an even better book. 

Her main reason
for writing is to not only give her readers enjoyment, but also to create a
story and characters that stay with readers long after the book is finished,
and possibly make someone stop and think “what if…”
 
 
 

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