Commuter Books

Commuter Books

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

The Secret Service and the Occult

The intelligence services and the occult have been, according to some sources, strange bedfellows'. The possible theory behind this strange alliance could be some form of arcane psychological or cultural profiling.The link between the intelligence service and the occult can be traced to the time of Elizabeth 1st  (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603) as she built a spy network of ‘watchers’ one of them was Jon Dee (13 July 1527 – 1609) he had extensive knowledge of mathematics, astrology, and numerology.

 In 1555, Jon Dee was charged for treason under the rule of Queen Mary for occult activities he was caught casting a horoscope, which at that time was punishable by death.When Elizabeth succeeded to the throne in 1558, Dee became her astrological and scientific advisor, even choosing her coronation date. From the 1550s to the 1570s, he served as an advisor to England's voyages of discovery, providing technical aid in navigation and ideological backing to create a "British Empire".  Dee was regarded as the original 007, as the origin of the glyph 007, the 00 meant ‘For Your Eyes Only’ and the 7 was the lorgnette (type of reading glasses with a handle at one side). In numerology the seven represents intuition and inner-knowing, inner-wisdom, psychic abilities, and the esoteric.  Jon Dee also began a more energetic turn towards the supernatural as a means to acquire knowledge, in 1580; he composed a secret language known as the Enochian alphabet, as a way of communicating with angels, or recently found that he may have found a way of accessing a portal to other dimensional entities. The recent case of the occult and intelligence service was with Ian Fleming who wrote the first James Bond book Casino Royale in 1952 and in total penned 12 Bond novels. (The number 12 the symbolism of this number is suffering and anxiety of mind, also indicated as "the Sacrifice" or "the Victim" and generally foreshadows one being sacrificed for the plans or intrigues of others.)
In  1939, Rear Admiral John Godfrey, Director of Naval Intelligence of the Royal Navy, recruited Ian Fleming for the role  of personal assistant, eventually transferring to the Naval Intelligence Division. Fleming also had a strong interest in  astrology, divination and numerology. One of his pivotal influences was Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, who developed a bridge between occultism and psychology. While student in Austria, Fleming once translated a lecture by Carl Jung about Paracelsus (1494-1541),who was a Swiss German physician, chemist, botanist, alchemist, astrologer and general occultist.
 Fleming was also involved with some curious projects during WWII, for example in 1941 Operation Mistletoe, designated  as top secret  and part of the occult warfare division. According to sources, a  ritual in Ashdown Forest , East Sussex, involved 40 Canadian soldiers who rigged up some electrical device that  may have been a transmitter? A few other soldiers dressed in ad hoc magical robes, and used a burning dummy in Nazi uniform . Ian Fleming, Aleister Crowley, and Winston Churchill were in attendance. Primarily a propaganda exercise, however some claim that some of the rituals were intense and used ‘spells’ as in a psychic attack. Aleister Crowley, was an infamous character who had a large occult following during the turn of the 20th century. With his varied connections and knowledge of the occult, Crowley was later employed by the SIS (Secret Intelligence Service) in the 1930’s to spy on German occultists with political links to the emerging National Socialist (‘Nazi’) Party and Marxists revolutionaries.
 Other sources claim that Crowley also advised Winston Churchill on using the V sign  to deflect the psychic influence of the swastika. The V sign represents Aphosis or Typhon the slayer of Osiris, who according to ancient Egyptian myths was the ruler of the underworld.  Winston Churchill also had occult connections; in 1908, he was ordained as a druid. Another plot was to encourage Rudolph Hess , the Deputy Leader of the Nazi Party, to fly to Britain to negotiate a peace deal, He was hoodwinked into believing that a Scottish blue-blood, the Duke of Hamilton, was willing to negotiate peace on behalf of some members of the aristocracy. Hess had met the Duke of Hamilton at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Fleming was part of the team that compiled an astrological chart giving favourable dates and times for the Deputy Führer who was reputed to have an interest in the occult.They implemented the ploy  by sending coded messages to Hess, fake astrological forecast showing the heavens would look kindly on a May 10 flight. The 'reading' for that day, six planets would be aligned in the zodiac sign of Taurus and conjoined to the full moon. Hess flew out on May 10th, thinking he would be greeted by the Duke of Hamilton and the Duke of Kent, and then whisked to London for a private audience with King George VI. Instead, a Home Guard unit in a field near the town of Eaglesham, Scotland, captured him.
As deep-seated occult connections surfaced into the Bond novels, Philip Gardner’s book outlines the hidden symbolism, the arch villain Sir Hugo Drax, in Moonraker Drax is a derivative of Draco or Dragon. Le Chiffre (cipher or code) Casino Royale, Vesper Lind (Birth of Night), in Casino Royale she is the personal assistant to the Head of section S M16. Tiffany Case (Manifestation- fallen from God) Diamonds are Forever an alchemical link, Ernst Stavros Blofeld (Earnest strong).
A book by Philip Gardner titled The Bond Code: The Dark World of Ian Fleming and James Bond was published in 2008, is the remarkable tale of how Ian Fleming and his associations with the world of the occult, further details

Monday, 18 May 2020

Crime : Death Investor: New Release
Death Investor is a crime mystery focusing on two detectives-Rebecca Reid and Mark Kidman–who are tracking the killer of Peter Maher, a software developer who was slain after sharing his new technology idea...more


Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Books on Urban Exploration

Urban Exploration or known by the portmanteau of Urbex is one of the most popular but hidden genres of alternative culture. The subjects are oblique and are blasted across social media platforms, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest and especially the number of YouTube channels , blogs and websites as some of the photographers and film-makers create some magnificent imagery of abandoned buildings, tunnels. Even new structures are explored as for example, when skyscrapers are in the stages of being built, you will always have a daring group of individuals who will sneak in and record their exploits.It also invites the question ‘what is the inspiration?’ It could be the sort of eerie fascination that could be related to paranormal investigation? .Some of the derelict buildings such as abandoned churches, hospitals and weird looking industrial structures have an enigmatic effect.Another aspect given here by a photographer “It is an exhilarating experience when exploring abandoned buildings, and at the same time, very sobering. As a photographer seeing nature reclaiming the land is always very powerful. Modern civilisation has been built by beating nature down, by building towering cities and concrete jungles”.

When did it start?

The origins of UE began around 1977 in the San Francisco region by a counter culture group known as ‘The Suicide Club’. One of their activities was to explore abandoned industrial buildings, derelict hospitals and sewers. Urban exploration began to peak in the 1990s, especially when high quality digital cameras became less expensive and more portable, moreover since the 2010’s smartphone
camera lenses improved exponentially, even some  medium range phones have Zeiss standard lenses. Due to vandalism by some explorers, decided to set standards by have a DO NOT list,
a code of conduct was applied discouraging others not to break down doors or dismantle artifacts
as other urban explorers, would suggest ‘Be more creative’ when accessing a site.

What are the Risks? 

Part of the thrill is the potential danger as shown on the video clips as some explorers have been shot at and imprisoned for trespassing on disused military bases outlined in this report from the Manchester Evening News: 16 December 2018. A British man accused of breaking into a Swedish naval base will appear in court in Sweden later this month. The 33-year-old was arrested alongside a Belgian national on an island 25 miles south of Stockholm. Both defendants are being held on charges of 'unauthorised access to protected infrastructure'. It has been alleged that the pair were caught snooping around Muskö Naval Base, one of the world's largest underground naval bunkers, at around 1am on December 2, 2018. These two guys were shot at by the military police.
In general, old buildings are prone to collapsing, rotten floorboards, staircases, loose asbestos especially in cellars, discarded needles from drug addicts, and rats.  One tragic example in 2018
Rebecca Bunting, a 30-year-old Philadelphia based urbexer known also known as, the ‘Queen of the Bandos’ was drowned  when a flash flood from Pennyback Creek while exploring a storm drain near Roosevelt Boulevard , Philadelphia .  I knew one guy who entered a tunnel and was bitten by two rats; he had to go to A&E for injections. I heard of one example , when a group of New York based urbexers  had  to run  out of one building as they encountered a bunch of what they described as ‘gangsters’, the urbexers sensed something odd, but did not hang around to find out. A stray dog attacked one Manchester film-maker when he filmed the sandstone tunnels near the Castlefield district of Manchester, UK.

Books on Urban Exploration

Monday, 11 May 2020

Publishing Your Book

For  some time, you have an idea to write a book. Your outline has been nested in the back of your mind for ages; it could be fiction, or non-fiction. Then one day you are motivated by article that runs a profile of successful self-published authors. You decide at this point begin writing your notes or if non-fiction compile articles related to your interest. You may love to write for recognition and wish to share your work to the rest of the world or financial gain. Do I submit my work to an agent? In brief, this can be a painful process. Unless you are already published (and stating the obvious, in that case why do you want an agent?) and/or a so-called celebrity, most agents are not going to be greatly interested in your submission. They receive thousands of unsolicited MS each year. If you are determined to go down this road, create your opening chapter to grab their attention, you may have a unique story that is a potential commodity.

Authors go down  the vanity press route only as a last resort. Under the vanity umbrella dwelled the small presses and self-publishing, costly ventures where mass distribution, marketing and PR were nominal or non-existent while the average author sold far less than 100 books-total. However, you can choose the Amazon KDP, which also has the option for converting your book into a Kindle and recently print on demand paperbacks. The advantages of using Amazon KD programme are
Some of the more obvious benefits to publishing your book free online are

• Flexible royalty control and less out of pocket
• You receive an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) with most online self-publishing companies.
• Have your book printed or aggregated only when a customer makes a purchase.
• You receive technical support from other authors who are succeeding using the same tools offered to you.

Content Awareness

 Regarding fiction, most writers tend to follow trends that inspire them, but realise there are others who have a similar ideas for their manuscript .How can I make my book stand out? would be the first line of enquiry. As for the obvious example, JK Rowling’s success with the Harry Potter series spawned a number of similar stories of wizardry. One author self-published a similar novel using  a young girl as the main protégé  as similar to Harry Potter, and the E.L  James:  50 Shades of Grey or Gray pending which side of the Atlantic you are on, also generated similar ideas. The Twilight Saga also generated similar themed works especially in the YA market, even though I have used these three examples that were popular in the previous decade, other examples of derivatives may be found on popular cult TV series on Netflix, or other similar channels.If you want to make your book stand out, one strategy would be to research the similar books to your manuscript, by analysing the book intro, and if other titles that may be similar to yours are highlighted on book review sites for example Goodreads, Book Riot, Kirkus, compile salient points from the reviews as this could provide an indicator, if you need to review elements and rework parts of  your story so be it, as you may have another perspective of making it unique. 
This is the biggest part next to the production of the content of the book, is the marketing of the book. After the book is processed, the following step would be to get your book to everyone who is a potential prospect interested in what you have to say. Finding your target audience is putting yourself right in front of your potential buyers. This is where the author sees the money rolling in. There is nothing wrong whatsoever with paying to get your book promoted. Nevertheless, there are various resources available at the author's disposal that would aid with the marketing of the book.

Basic Tips

A brilliant cover which attracts attention
A title/subtitle which appeals to emotions
A description which in four lines makes the reader want to click the ‘more…
’ to read the rest of it.
Keywords/tags which people actually search for.
The right price - You can find more details about this at this web article How to Price Your Book for Maximum Results During a Promotion - Written Word Media

It will be bonus if you have a blog or website as you will be able to promote your
book(s).There are techniques in using the HTML code on your website to optimise traffic I would suggest visiting this site 

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

SteamPunk Recommended Reading
Image by FrankPfeiffer/
A common notion is that H. G. Wells and Jules Verne were the originators of steampunk.
 Not exactly true, but their works did  provide the elements of the steampunk fashion genre, which  began sometime in the early 2000’s ( correct me if Iam wrong).Wells, Verne, Shelly and others are important sources of inspiration for steampunk, but they are not steampunk 
authors themselves. 

There are books that go back as far as 1979.I have included a brief list, but will add more soon,  click here 

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Reading During Lockdown

Photo by Rahul Shah from Pexels

Since March 2020 one of the worst events in recent times, has been the Coronavirus pandemic, not only creating death, misery and a potential danger to the global economic system. The measures either enforced or instructed all by respective governments whose mantra ‘Stay Safe’ enabling a policy in making sure you don’t put yourself and others at risk of infection by introducing a ‘lockdown’. Everyone in all countries had to restrict their schedules, work, travel etc. There has been a positive by –product of this catastrophe. People across the world have been creative as having to remain indoors for weeks on end as this has been outlined in the media that some people have actually written and published books. According to a number of news articles, thriller writer Peter May had a manuscript at the bottom of his drawer for 15 years. The story, visualised a global pandemic that sent  London into lockdown, he claims to be the first fictional novelist to publish a fictional response to the coronavirus crisis, moreover other authors of similar dystopic works are beginning to dust off and
edit their previous works for publication. According to Amazon, dystopian themes have climbed the E-book charts. BBC website news have outlined that  libraries across England have noticed a surge of subscriptions in online borrowing of e-books, e-magazines and audiobooks. Libraries Connected  said that 120,000 people joined libraries in the three weeks after lockdown began, and highlighted that there has been an increase by 600% on last year.
According to the Reading Agency , the most popular genres have been Crime and Classics, moreover Books about fictional epidemics including The Plague by Albert Camus and The Viral Storm by Nathan D. Wolfe (up 1393.2%) are seeing huge sales. There is also the non-fiction category of self-improvement especially coping with the mental health crisis of what some describe as ‘enforced isolation’, and by absorbing positive steps in an attempt to avert negative thoughts and behaviours.

According to the Independent listed an example of top five books are:

Just Sit: A Meditation Guidebook for People Who Know They Should But Don't, Sukey, and Elizabeth Novogratz, The premise outlines that, whether you have thought about practising meditation or never given it much thought, perhaps this is the opportunity.

This Too Shall Pass: Stories of Change, Crisis and Hopeful Beginnings: By Julia Samuel
The key element is, in a moment where there is a lot of apocalyptic talk, it can be helpful to look back on past challenges and times of crisis and remember they didn’t last forever.

A Swear Word Coloring Book for Adults, Honey Badger Coloring
A cathartic way of combining the therapeutic elements of the somewhat recent innocent trend
in colouring books for adults, by having a F…You  element to make it less twee.

The Little Book of Mindfulness: 10 minutes a day to less stress, more peace, Patrizia Collard
promises to bring a moment of calm with simple thought exercises that only take 5 or 10 minutes of your day, and could even be shortened to a minute or two if necessary.

Notes on a Nervous Planet, Matt Haig
As with the media in all forms has, pending on your outlook and nature can be detrimental as
Matt Haig published this guide for coping with an unrelenting news-cycle and recognising its effects on our mental health – something it feels like we could do with now more than ever.

Forbes Magazine, has a list of recommended titles to read during the lockdown, curiously enough
the subjects relate in parallel for example.

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz
Author: Erik Larson: This historical book tells the story of Britain during the time of Winston Churchill and the Blitz. The cinematic structure will make you feel as though you are reading fiction, though the story is real.

Acting With Power: Why We Are More Powerful Than We Believe
Author: Deborah Gruenfeld : Gruenfeld explains everything you need to know in order to execute power correctly. She looks at who has power, what it looks like, and the role it plays in daily life.

Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity
Author: Jamie Metzl : Discusses the future of genetic engineering and how it will change our wars, love, death, and more, and even if we have the power to do something- should we?

The Genius Life: Heal Your Mind, Strengthen Your Body, and Become Extraordinary
Author: Max Lugavere : The Genius Life discusses the human body and how we can make our brains perform better, and how to improve by integrating  healthy choices in all aspects of our daily routines: eating, exercising.

Why Read?

"It takes me to another, better place and allows me to escape the current situation for a while." said one avid reader in her 60’s

"It has been something I have gotten into, wanting to read on for excitement. It passes the time and I'm learning new things."
Female, 20

Friday, 12 April 2019

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

Once known only by an elite who were unwilling to share their knowledge of the power, 'the secret' of obtaining anything you desire is now revealed by prominent physicists, authors and philosophers as being based in the universal Law of Attraction. And the good news is that anyone can access its power to bring themselves health, wealth and happiness.
The law of attraction states that whatever you experience in life is a direct result of your thoughts. It really is that simple. If you think about being fat, you will get fatter. If you think about thin people, you will become thin yourself. If you think about your bills, you will get more bills, but if you think about cheques instead, your mailbox will overflow with them.