Book Reviews and Pizza and Chips

My blog this week is in two parts. The first is to open a discussion on how authors can get reviews, and the second my usual short story.

I’ll be honest; I run the blog and my Facebook author page predominantly as a means of publicity for my two published books;
‘Changes’ (Amazon ref 1848972997) and ‘ABC Destiny’ (Amazon ref 1784556963) both published under my pen name Voinks.

Very few readers appreciate how important reviews are to authors; they are literally our life blood, but getting them is like trying to extract from the proverbial stone so I came up with a brilliant idea (at least I think so! 😀 )

Calling all entrepreneurs.
How about setting up a system (similar to loyalty cards in supermarkets) whereby anyone joining the scheme gets brownie points and rewards for leaving a review on the books they read?
I’m an author, fantasy is my middle name but today’s dream is tomorrow’s reality.
Are you listening Richard Branson, J K Rowling, Alan Sugar, Arianna Huffington, Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates?   I can but dream.

Without further ado, here’s my latest story for your enjoyment.

Pizza and chips

pizza-and chips 18.7.16

This story was inspired by someone reading a book about ‘Death by potatoes.’

Friday night, regular as clockwork, fish and chips. Sunday had to be roast dinner when he returned from the pub, although he magnanimously allowed me to vary it between beef and lamb.

He had always been quite chunky but now he was developing a beer gut and getting seriously overweight. I tried to show him all the diets and health warning advice but as always he knew best.

‘What do you think I am, a rabbit?’ was the response when I tried to introduce salads. ‘Where’s me chips?’

He hadn’t always been like this. When I first met him he had a 6-pack to die for, drank the occasional glass of wine and indulged himself with a cigar at Christmas or on special occasions.

That all changed when I moved in with him; initially as his housekeeper but later sharing his bed.  I admit I loved my food but I kept my cravings under control, ensuring I followed a sensible regime with the occasional treats.

By the time he had become clinically obese his true dark side had emerged. Up until then he had been charming and considerate but all that changed. He started trying to put me down, making disparaging remarks about my backside and calling my boobs udders.

It was even worse when the company I worked for went bankrupt, and I had no income of my own. Unlike most men he insisted on coming shopping with me, so every time I tried to put vegetables or fruit in the trolley they were hastily replaced with chips, burgers and pizzas.

Then he lost his job. A few too many extended lunch hours down the pub, too many sick days after a binge session the night before and things went from bad to worse. Although I tried to find a job it was difficult with him under my feet all day, every day. He made no effort to trawl the situations vacant, assuring me something would come up while he demanded either food or sex.

It was only when an old friend called and gently pointed out that I had ‘filled out a bit’ that I took a good, long look in the mirror and burst into tears. Luckily he was down the pub and she was a good listener as I poured out all my frustrations from the last two years.

Not only did she offer me a shoulder to cry on, but even gave me a job working at her family restaurant. Apart from having money again I loved the opportunity of chatting with real people after months of listening to slob talk.

Unfortunately it didn’t go down well with the Lord and Master. As I started losing weight and dressing more smartly he accused me of being a trollop and only wanting to go out to flirt with men.

Life was unbearable for a while as he drank more, washed less and became even more possessive. He took to calling at the restaurant at odd times and causing a scene, nearly costing me my job.

‘Why don’t you just leave him?’ Maria asked when she noticed me trying to cover up yet another black eye.

‘I haven’t got enough for the deposit for my own place, and I couldn’t face being homeless,’ I told her, ready to burst into tears.

‘We need someone to wash up and help clean the place,’ was her unexpected reply. ‘Do you think you can persuade him?’

It took some doing but eventually I convinced him and he started work. For a week he even turned up sober and made a reasonable attempt at making sure there was enough clean cutlery and tableware to meet demand.

I knew it would be too good to last. He went on a bender, beat the shit out of me, and I had to phone Maria to tell her I couldn’t come in to work. She called round to see me and after noting my injuries told me she wanted him to come in to do one last cleaning job, then they would give him his cards.

‘You might want to pop up to the restaurant after we close tonight,’ she said. ‘Don’t worry; my brothers will be there so he won’t be able to hurt you anymore.’

It seemed an odd thing to say but I pulled myself together and just after midnight knocked on the back door of the restaurant. ‘Perfect timing,’ Maria smiled as she opened the door and led me towards the rear kitchen. ‘I must admit he’s made a good job of cleaning out the deep fat fryer, although he did need a little encouragement from the family first.

‘The boys are just helping him into the pizza oven, so another five minutes and we’ll be all set to leave it to burn until Monday. We thought you might like his credit cards and wallet. There was a fair bit of cash in it, and although we suspect most of it was purloined from the till we can’t prove anything so you’d better take it as next of kin.

‘I hope you’ll be well enough to work next week, but if not, don’t worry. You’re a good worker and they’ll always be a job for you at ‘Casa Nostra,’ even if we can’t say the same for that waste of space you were living with. See you next week.’

Feel free to leave a review. Thanks for listening. 




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