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If 1984 had an alien Big Sister who took on the patriarchy with a bunch of social misfits.

Days after the Harvey Weinstein scandal breaks a mysterious force takes control of the previously unremarkable town of Anker. It uses strict rules to ensure everyone leads a healthy, safe life. The healthy aspect is enforced by unpleasant side-effects to harmful habits like smoking. Everyone's safety is ensured by administering brutal punishments to anyone in the town who has committed any type of abuse or violence. The message is simple: when the sun rises all serious crimes will be instantly punished.

The town is shocked by the number of people, especially men, who are forced to leave their home town to avoid punishment. The remaining members of the community know they will never be robbed or attacked in the town, but the mysterious force wants to take things even further. Whilst these intentions appears to be honourable, if inflexible, it seems to have very little understanding of basic human nature. This is where Lucy comes in...

Introverted supermarket cashier Lucy is annoyingly pretty and it's caused her no-end of trouble. Her life gets hopelessly complicated when the mysterious force puts her in charge of the town of Anker. She has to come to terms with the shocking events of her own past to do the right thing for her shocked community in front of the world's media. It doesn't help that she only has a team of social misfits to help her.

However, the strange dynamics of her team, her unwanted fame and the sheer weirdness of her situation may turn out to be the least of her worries. The town's new rules threaten the powers that run the country and the mysterious force's influence only runs to the town's border.

When the sun rises everything changes. But what will really happen when an unstoppable, if eccentric, force for good meets the unmovable object of male-dominated government and capitalism?

Shocking, compelling and laced with observational humour, this thriller takes an uncompromising look at the clash between existing male dominance and the rising demand for sexual equality in a safe society where everyone has to follow the same rules.

Millions of people have read Russ King's work via online psychology tests, articles in social networks, magazines, newspapers and two business novels We All Fall Down and Working from Home. Mixing Business with Pleasure? Russ started his writing career over 20 years ago by writing fun science articles for magazines after completing a psychology-based PhD at Cambridge University. He has been working in social networks and social media since the days of MySpace and has helped create and run a number of social networks for specific groups of people such as nurses and the armed forces.  Most recently he co-founded providing fabulous tools to create fun quizzes to use for lead generation. Famous Riddle clients include Disney, Marvel, the BBC and a fair few pop stars, sports teams and publishers. He is in the process of renovating an old house in Wiltshire and is always working on Dad jokes to embarrass his two children. His natural habitat is a cafe or bar where he will be people watching (some people might describe this as just being nosy) and planning characters for his next project.

Lucy took pride in her work as a supermarket cashier at Tysons. Some of her friends scoffed at her lowly work status but she was fantastic with her customers. Whilst she was wary of the flirty lads, she listened to the lonely pensioners, had endless patience for customers who lacked basic social skills, cooed over babies and chatted with toddlers. She was also effortlessly discrete. If anyone bought something embarrassing such as condoms; pile cream, or even a Cliff Richard calendar, she would scan something bulky first and then shoot the offending item behind it, allowing the customer to pack it out of sight as quickly as possible.

Of course it was nearly always the women who had to buy embarrassing items. Some men bought condoms and it was not unusual for them to try to hold eye contact with her during the transaction. A creepy, silent invitation. Some of the more house-trained men would buy sanitary products for their wives, but she hated those who tried to flirt with her while she processed tampons, baby food and the multitude of other items that signified a married man with a young family.

Whilst men of all types were attracted to Lucy due to her classic 'girl-next-door' looks - her long blonde hair that clashed pleasantly with her big blue eyes, a dainty little nose that wrinkled when she laughed, and plump, kissable lips - their feelings were not reciprocated. The only flirting she reacted to at all was from the big lummox James. He was currently sticking his tongue out at the checkout supervisor who was foolishly trying to direct him to an empty nearby till with the aid of a large pointy, cardboard sign. It was an ill-fated attempt at customer control. James always came to Lucy's till no matter how long he had to wait. No amount of cajoling was going to sway him.

Lucy took a deep breath as she prepared herself for the James effect. He was already smiling at her as he moved forward. His round chubby cheeks made him look younger than his 24 years. However, his clothing and his round waistline made him look older. He was always immaculately presented in a crisply ironed thin sweater, smart trousers and shiny black shoes. Lucy knew that if she worked from home like he did she wouldn't be wearing anything that needed regular contact with an iron.

"So when exactly are you going to agree to marry me?" He demanded with a deadpan expression, getting straight to the point today.

Lucy kept her face expressionless as she whizzed a bumper pack of cheesy crisps over the till scanner.

"Is it because of the extra few pounds I'm carrying?" James continued. "That's going to be a thing of the past. Look!"

He passed her a discounted fitness DVD that featured a super-smiley celebrity wearing spray-on yoga pants. Lucy barely looked at it, she just scanned it.

"I'll be bikini beach ready by the end of the month!" He claimed. "Although that obviously puts me in much more danger of being kidnapped."

"What?" Lucy was tricked into responding to his chatter at last.

"Think about it. It's much harder to kidnap a fat person."

Lucy rolled her eyes but still displayed her cute smile. "You do realise you won't lose weight by eating crisps and gawping at babes in Lycra?"

"Ah come on!" James protested. "The rest of my shop is healthy. I just need a few treats to reward myself. Anyway, you didn't answer my question."

Lucy laughed. "My answer is no. Again. That will be £21.87 please." Read more...

Video didn't kill the radio star

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

The great news is that When the Sun Rises has now reached 21% funded. A massive thanks to everyone who has pledged or helped to spread the word. I've had so many interesting conversations with people who idenitify with the issues raised in the book. I can't wait for the book to be published and in the shops ready to be read and passed onto other people!

Being someone who specialises in the written…

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