Aprx Review of Parallel Triangle

Reviewed By Chelsea Perry

Official Apex Reviews Rating: 5 stars

Bestowed with the gift of “The Sight,” young Englishwoman Elizabeth is subsequently charged with completing a crucial task by the leaders of Earthzad, an advanced civilization in a dimension hidden from the people of Earth; however, she soon finds herself falling head over heels for Orion, her handsome taskmaster, which has the potential to complicate her mission...meanwhile, Orion is motivated solely by his overpowering affection for Jocasta, the beautiful, intelligent ruler of his home region on Earthzad; unbeknownst to Orion, even though Jacosta feels just as strongly for him, she harbors a deep secret that prevents her from returning his affections...caught up in a monumental struggle for the peace and stability of the galaxy, Elizabeth, Orion, and Jacosta ultimately find themselves trapped not only within the throes of battle – but also of unrequited passion...

Parallel Triangle is nothing if not imaginative. In gripping fashion, author Sandy Hyatt-James has crafted a winding tale of action, drama, and suspense, featuring vivid, unique characters and cleverly intersecting plotlines. More than just a tale of brooding romantic tension, Parallel Triangle invites readers to travel to the nether regions of their imagination, incorporating impressive elements of fantasy and Sci-Fi while simultaneously exploring the visceral depths of emotional turmoil. Equally riveting and eye-opening, Hyatt-James’ debut offering is the strong introduction of a promising new literary voice. A thoroughly entertaining read.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Relief - and That Unforgettable Embarrasing Moment

I've been whittling away to myself all week about a glitch in my new novel. The writers among us will know how annoying it is when we've put something in the plot that stiches ourselves up well and truly. I though I might have to delete loads of text and re-write, until I had a 'eureka' moment this morning. Oh how sweet is to know now what I'm going to do! My new novel, by the way, is a Futuristic Romance.

Now, for something entirely different. (This is a Mish-Mash blog after all), I thought I'd talk about one of my most embarrassing moments. It was when I was a social worker and had to visit Peterborough court for Care proceedings.
I got to the court harried and hot, because I couldn't find the place, and threw my stuff down in the Advocate's lounge.
My case had been delayed, as luck would have it, so I sat down to relax. Next to me was a smallish man, with greying hair. Thinking he was a solicitor on another case, I struck up a conversation about how I'd never been to Peterborough before and that I'd heard the judge on my case wasn't very good, because he never read the papers. In a disgruntled tone I said he couldn't possibly give an informed opinion as to the rights or wrongs, without doing something as basic as that. The man seemed pleasant but strangely, non-committal. Thinking that he was bored with the conversation, I ended it but not befofe calling the judge a total plonker.
An hour later, we were called into the courtroom, asked to stand to greet the judge and - who should walk in but the man the little grey-haired man. He was the judge.

If anybody else has some embarrassing moments to share, I'd love to read them.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Haitian Nightmare

So cholera has broken out in Haiti. Why, because ten months after the deadly earthquake, people are still living in squalid refugee camps in the Arbonite Valley, forced to drink, wash and irrigate crops from one river.
I'm not going to run on about rich countries turning a blind eye to this, knowing full well that Cholera, a water-based bacterial infection, is a swift, vicious killer. I'm not even going to write that corruption being at the core of the country's leadership is why Haitians, even before the earthquake, lived like rats. However, I am going to write that, as a race of people, we have markedly poor judgement, when seeing fit to give a footballer a six figure salary per week, while people in a far off land are living in a makeshift hell. What are we thinking of: that we can do that when dehydrated children are rolling their eyes into the backs of their heads and dying from the pain of this horrible disease!
Why, I wonder, does humanity value some so highly, while being ready to neglect those who need - only basic resources. Some might argue that we did our bit. Rich countries went into Haiti after the quake and threw a few million into helping put things right, that's true. However, if we put our honest hats on, we know this action was superficial - implemented only to satisfy others that we wanted to help. If not that, then I ask: why did we pack up and light out, knowing the most essential element necessary for human survival, clean water, was in jeopardy because of overcrowding.
Arguing that such action was an oversight on our part won't do either. Aid and health workers, must have warned that a cholera outbreak would happen. Indeed, anybody with a brain could predict that a few thousand people, clogged into one place with nowhere to place their waste, was as threatening as an activated incendiary device.
Now trucks are driving through the camps' miserable thoroughfares, intermittently throwing water at the crowd and watching them fight for it. Pitiful for the people it is, but it's lamentable to the power of ten for those who could have prevented this par-boiled damage limitation.
Ironically, in the same week, we gave a disgusting amount of money to one man, who just happens to be good at kicking a ball into a net.
Cholera in Haiti needn't have happened - we know that. We could have built more camps, and ensured that these had proper waste disposal facilities. Then refugees could have lived to a manageable level. As for the cost, to those countries who cared only about their money being poured into the place, I say that foresight and good planning costs very little.
As a member of the human race, I'm ashamed that this has happened, and I hope those in power take a look at themselves as well. Right now, they should, at the very least, be balking with embarrassment at their, continuously turned on, fountain of power and plenty, while imagining the unimaginable suffering elsewhere.
As always, I'd love to have the opinions of other people.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Mother With a Mental Health Problem

This was always a big problem for the child protection social worker. In the main, children love their parents, no matter how badly they may have been treated by them. In the case of Susie (aged 8) and her mother Elaine, it was a matter of how the mother's behaviour was causing trauma for her daughter.

Susie was a loved, well cared for child, of that there was no doubt. She also had a father still in the family home - another rarity. The problem was that Elaine was diagnosed with a paranoid personality disorder. Over the previous three years, there had been several referrals from her school, in connection with the way her bizarre behaviour was upsetting Susie. On one occasion, it was recorded that Elaine burst into the school and literally pulled Suzie out from the classroom, because she was convinced that one of the other pupils was picking on her daughter. The school said this wasn't true at all and that Suzie was only endorsing her mother's story that it was, just to please her.

When I got the case, I visited the home several times. There was no doubting that Elaine was an anxious person. She still maintined that Suzie was being bullied with a story that was so convincing, I was sure it was true. Then it began to dawn on me that in Elaine's mind, the story WAS true. She saw the world as a hostile place and that everybody in it simply couldn't be trusted not to cause emotional pain to her and her daughter.

Significantly, I spoke to Suzie's father on his own a couple of times. He confirmed my hypothesis by saying that Elaine always had a tendency to 'over-exaggerate'. Like Suzie's school, he was also sure the story about the bullying was untrue.

I discussed Elaine with her mental health worker. He said that Elaine's condition was borderline. That is, it wasn't enough to be a danger to herself and to others, but it was enough to give him concern. He agreed with me that, in Elaine's world, everybody was under suspicion. She'd also had a couple of delusional episodes, he told me, one of which saw her ringing the police because she was convinced there were giant lizards in her bath. Such episodes, he added, were short-lived and certainly, there wasn't enough evidence to Section her. Further, she was taking her prescribed medication.

I had to take the case to a Child Protection Conference after another episode at school, where Elaine actually got hold of a pupils arm in the playground and warned him not to harass Suzie any longer. The boy's parents complained to the school and insisted something be done about her.

For the conference, I wrote a report containing a chronology of all the incidents of Elaine's worrying behaviour. In the its summary, I tried to be sympathetic to Elaine. There was no doubt, I wrote that she loved Suzie and that Suzie loved her. Records related that she had never physically abused Suzie or had made any threats to do so. I ended by saying that Suzie's name shouldn't be added to the Child Protection Register, because her mother's abuse of her, which came under the category of emotional, was not something that she could help. I recommended that the mental health services step up their work with Elaine, and that social services should remain involved until the situation had improved.

In the event, my line manager said my report hadn't been hard-hitting enough. We disagreed - she attended the conference and said that, in her opinion, Elaine was a danger to Suzie. The conference went on for four hours and finally decided that Suzie's name should be added to the register.

This, I believe made matters worse. All it did was raise Elaine's anxiety levels, which of course, spilled over onto Suzie, who became just as defensive and as suspicious as her mother about the whole world.

If anybody wants to comment about this case, I'd be pleased to hear from them.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Coffee Time Romance Review for Parallel Triangle

I was pleasantly surprised to have received this review from Coffee Time Romance. My publisher: Penumbra said they submitted it for review in July. Since we hadn't heard anything, we assumed they'd passed in it. It was well worth the wait! Click on the Link to read more:


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sally's Choice

Sally, aged twenty-six, lived with Kevin and their son Stevie, aged seven.
I got a referral from Stevie's school, expressing concern about the child being exposed to frequent bouts of domestic violence between his parent.
From questioning Sally, it was clear she was a loving mother, who cared about her son. However, I became disturbed when she admitted that, even though she hated being hit by Kevin, it somehow made her think that he must really love her. Later, she told me she loved her father, but he used to hit her and her sister, whenever he got drunk.
Because the violence between Sally and Kevin had persisted for so long, Stevie's name had to be added to the Child Protection Register, under the category of Neglect. (Stevie was traumatised by the violence). The Child Protection Plan stipulated that, if Sally and Kevin got into any more violent altercations, Steve would have to be taken into care.
I quetioned Kevin on his own a few times and discovered that he too loved his son. As part of the Child Protection Plan, he agreed to have couple counselling at Relate. However, upon questioning him deeper, I discovered he'd had a fraught relationship with his mother. She was distant with him most of the time. He recalled being pushed away by her, whenever he needed comfort. However, she had a succession of boyfriends, whom she brought into Kevin's life.
Thus, I think Kevin was deeply insecure. As is the case with many insecure people, he had an overwhelming need to be in control. Most of the arguments between him and Sally were because he perceived she was looking at other men. A fact which Sally said wasn't true.
Because of Kevin's own deep trauma, I tried to get a clinical psychologist for him, but because of budget constraints, this never happened.
One morning, I received a phonecall from Stevie, telling me that his mum was being hit again and that there was blood all over the floor. I, and three policemen rushed round and discovered Sally so badly beaten, she had to be hospitalised. Kevin had vanished. Sally later told me Kevin hit her because a man had come to the door selling something, and Kevin thought she was making eyes at him.
Stevie had to go into temporary foster care. To get him back, Sally knew she had to agree to stop seeing Kevin. However, she made the choice to live with Kevin and let Stevie stay in care. "I just can't live without him, (Kevin)" were the last words she said to me.

This was the first case of mine which made me think about how people can act out trauma from their childhoods with another person. Kevin, acted out his anger about his mother with Sally, and Sally, embroiled in the role of being her father's victim, had a psyche skewed enough to believe that every time Kevin hit her, he was somehow validating how much she meant to him.

If anybody has anything to say about this case, I'd love to hear from them.