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Hackwriters The International
Writers Magazine

FEB 2023

Welcome to this edition of Hackwriters. 24 years on-line, 7910+ articles - reviews - stories - travel - share any feature you like and pass them on.

Shaking off winter is hard to do

Sam North

Although we have safely gotten through January and started all our different New Years worldwide, it seems as if 2022 is still with us as gun violence continues in the USA and the terrifying war against Ukraine reaches one year already. Covid is on the wane (but not entirely gone). In just six weeks 80% of China has been exposed to it as they celebrated the New Year late and celebrated freedom after almost three years of lockdowns. We shall never know the true death toll there but it's best to add a zero to any number the Chinese government finally come up with.

Only when March arrives with the rain and wind and occasional burst of sunshine that we can finally put the previous year to bed and start to inhabit 2023. We can then see what the shape of the year will be even if it looks like a repeat of 2016 as Trump starts his campaign for the presidency. Don’t despair yet - with luck he will fail yet again.

One very sad indicator of change is South Africa going over to the dark side and abandoning neutrality to go all in with Russia and China.  This is a terrible miscalculation, and they will get totally screwed.  Russia will ship in the evil Wagner group to wreak havoc and China will lend them so much money they will default in a year and China will end up owning everything.  Added to this tragedy is the fact that business is collapsing everywhere due to electric power rationing as South Africans have to live without power for up to eight hours every day. Tourism is in steep decline and if they think they will replace European tourists with Russians good luck to them. Their neighbour Zimbabwe is experiencing an inflation rate of 244% and run by an evil cabal that has crushed all opposition that is sustained by money from China. Hard to remember that this was once a prosperous nation thirty years ago. Pray that this is the year that evil doesn't triumph in Russia or China and elsewhere.

We’re away for three weeks as we’re in London on family matters. Lots of medical appointments for me too.  My poor sister is having cataract procedures on both eyes so will be blind for a while. (Just as well so she can’t see I’ll only be serving her vegan meals).  Meanwhile London is mostly paralysed by strikes by almost everyone and pubs and restaurants are closing weekly due to inaccessibility.  Theatres can’t survive and all the endless prohibitions and costs on using a car discourage the out of towners.  If you are thinking of coming for the Coronation of the King, the strikes will be at their maximum in early May. Better to watch it on TV or why not pop over to Megan and Harry’s, the house will be empty as they’ll be over here trying to gatecrash the party in Windsor.

Whether rabbits or cats float your boat this new year – stay positive and pray Putin loses. (If he doesn’t, he’ll be coming for you anytime soon.)  Even more worrying is the New York Times hinting that the head of Wagner Group, Prigozhin, may be ready to stage a coup against Putin in Moscow and go nuclear against the west.

Meanwhile stay secure online as Indiana Lee writes this month.

This month’s editorial written to the soundtrack of ‘Babylon’ – definitely the best thing about the movie and nominated for an Oscar.

© Sam North - Editor - February 2023
author of 'The Cure for Sceptics'

The Book of Ashes
New from Sam Hawksmoor
ISBN: 979-8-837434-952
Hammer & Tong August 2022 - print and kindle

'an immensely satisfying story' -
Walli Leff on Goodreads.

I miss you so much... even when you’re right here
An extract from the Book of Ashes

Book of Ashes The Book of Ashes -
Some secrets are meant to be kept forever

The Case:
Delaney and Asha run their own investigation company now. Hired to find a writer who stiffed a client of $10,000 - things go bad pretty fast.

"This was supposed to be a simple track and trace job. Find the writer, bank the money. Now it's a horror show."

'We Feel Your Pain'
by Sam Hawksmoor
ISBN-13: 979-8699087693
Published by Hammer & Tong
Print or Kindle from Amazon

Pain Cover We Feel Your Pain – So you don’t have to.

The Case:
Delaney (42) and Asha (22) run the Office of Berg City Oversight. Their role is to expose the scams, keep the city safe from unscrupulous people.  When something looks too good to be true – it’s a scam, right?  But what if the scam works?  What kind of scam is that?
Mission Longshot MISSION LONGSHOT:
how far will you go to save one life?

Gerry is convinced aliens are going to attack on Millennium Eve - Y2K night. Everyone else is preparing for the end of civilisation. When it happens only Gerry notices aliens land. He and his spacenut pals Jolene and Kali race to be the first to greet them...

'Climate change, lost alien civilisations, adventures in deep space. Great fun with endearing characters'. Kitty Thomas

The Sam North Novels - still available to order Amazon or Lulu

*Keeping Hackwriters archived is supported by sales of our books - so do buy, print or kindle, we aren't picky.
Magenta - A chilling story of kidnapping, burning and strangeness set in the wilds of Lincolnshire

** The Heaviness, & The Repercussions of Tomas D - 'best time travel WW2 story in a long while'

By Sam Hawksmoor & Sam North
There's no safe place to hide from a lethal pandemic

Print & Kindle - Q&A interview with the authors here
A city gripped by fear. People are petrified of being thrown into quarantine. Best friends Kira and Liz once parted are scared they will never see each other again. Teen lovers, Chris and Rachel, prepare to escape to the islands.
a taster here The Last Ferry

Review from the First Edition:
'Beautiful, plausible, and sickeningly addictive, Another Place to Die: Endtime will terrify you, thrill you, and make you petrified of anyone who comes near you...'
Roxy West - Amazon.co.uk

Another Place To Die

Girl with Cat (Blue) Girl with Cat (Blue) - Shortlisted for the Rubery International Book Award

'a funny, bloody, colorful narrative that never fails to surprise the reader. Girl with Cat (Blue) provides great entertainment'.

'This book was amazing! I was hooked from the first few pages and couldn't put the book down.'
Judge, 26th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. - Honorable Mention

J&K 4Ever - A post-apocalypse love story
Sixty years after the end of everything the city of Bluette survives, controlled by a malignant sect.  A place where men rule, girls receive no education and are matched at 16 to the highest bidder.  No one is ever permitted to leave the city and outside is a murderous wasteland of despair. Orphans Kruge and Jeyna have been devoted to each other through all the years of terror in this harsh regime and sworn never to be parted.  But the beautiful Jeyna has been betrayed by the Warden. Kruge has been swiftly banished to the Scraps, under the control of the Keeper. Jeyna is heartbroken; she will not accept her fate and escapes to find Kruge. 
 'A genuine romance in a bleak but plausible and terrifying setting'.
Marikka MARIKKA- exclusively on Amazon Print and kindle 2

Based on a tragic real life event, Marikka flees from an arson attack on her home to the sea, where she meets Starfish boy – a runaway working for Jackson, a scarred man hiding a sinister secret from the world. Meanwhile her real father searches for her with the aide of Anya, ‘the girl who can read objects’. More about the writing of this book

Long after my tears dried, my heart stayed with Marikka, Starfish Boy and the strange girl who reads objects.’ CT
You will smile, you will gasp with shock, and you will struggle to read the words through your tears. Gemma Williams - Amazon.co.uk
Spy/Romance thriller set during the Blitz in WW2 - Kindle download

The Repercussions of Tomas D
A Hero? Or Englands Greatest Traitor? USA Paperback here

'Disturbing and very poignant YA love story that presents a chilling alternate future for an England that lost the war.' Marcel d'Agneau
'A brilliant imagining of living in the Blitz, well researched.' Amazon UK
'This is Man in the High Castle for teens and scarily plausible '

*download the Kindle version or buy the paperback from Hammer & Tong
The Heaviness of Genie Magee 'The Heaviness' for any reader who likes to think about such things as betrayal, revenge, relationships and the laws of gravity. An original Genie Magee story

Genie & Renée have just 36 hours to save Rian or he dies

'Without a doubt, one of the best YA Sci Fi series out there.' Evie Seo - Bookish
Kindle & print

Thanks to readers who have been buying this title.
* Also published as Rüya by Marti Yayincilik - The Turkish publishers of TOZ & Golge

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