Project X by Nephylim – Blog tour guest post, excerpt, and #giveaway

Title: Project X
Author: Nephylim
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Project X 600wx375h


Morgan Bentley is a bastard. Always was and always will be.

At least that’s what Matthew Hopkins thinks. Unfortunately, Morgan is also a brilliant law student, and easily eclipses Matthew, academically and socially.

Matthew insists he hates Morgan. According to Matthew’s best friend, Cory, perhaps he doth protest a bit too much.

Cory has received the chance of a lifetime in the form of an internship with ITM—Information Technology and Medicine—the prestigious research company where Morgan’s father is the CEO. Too inquisitive for his own good, the naturally curious Cory stumbles on a deadly secret inside of ITM. What he has learned will tip the balance of everything, but for good or bad?

Just what is the mysterious Project X?

What is Morgan’s involvement?

Matthew has to sort fact from fiction, friend from foe, as his world is turned upside down and inside out, and nothing can be the way it was.

Read Dawn’s review of Project X here!

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Guest post – How Laws Are Made by Nephylim

New laws are made by Parliament and are termed ‘primary legislation’ because this is the first place to look when you want to know what the law on any particular matter is. I say ‘the first place’ because you can’t rely on what’s written in an act to tell you what a court is going to say on your case.

This is because there are a number of ways of making ‘secondary laws’, such as common law and legal interpretation. None of the other methods actually make new law, but are just interpretations of primary legislation. That’s not to say they don’t change, or at least bend the law and need to be studied carefully together with the Acts of Parliament (called statute) to work out what the law actually says.

So, how is an Act of Parliament made? Usually this is a process that happens over time, although they are sometimes rushed through if there are really serious matters to be dealt with. I have to say that these ‘fast track’ laws are often really bad. They’re not well thought out and they often have effects they never intended.

The first step is to identify an issue that needs to be dealt with by a law. Sometimes these come from specific events, for example the gun laws that were passed after the Hungerford massacre in 1987 Sometimes they come from political manifestos (the statement of intent put out by political parties before elections)

Once the issue has been identified a proposal is made. These can come from all kinds of sources, for example a political party, public enquiries, lobbyists and campaign groups. No matter where it comes from, it will need the backing of a government minister, who will champion the cause as the law follows its path through parliament.

Before laws are drafted they are set out in a ‘green paper’, which is an initial outline of an idea. A ‘white paper’ might also be drawn up, which is a firmer statement of intent. The proposer/minister, then sends the proposal to experts, interest groups and people likely to be affected by the plans who are asked to make comments. Sometimes panels or commissions are set up to consider the plan. These commissions can take weeks or even months to carry out their enquiries and report.

Once the consultation stage is over, a final draft of the ‘white paper’ is drawn up and is then put forward to the next stage which is a cabinet committee. Basically, the government minister(s) who back the proposal seek to persuade their colleagues to support it before it goes to the committee which is made up of ministers from all political parties, and chaired by a senior member of the cabinet.

If the cabinet committee approves the plan, it’s then put to the Legislation Committee along with other plans and the Legislation Committee choses which ones they want to put forward. The plan is then drawn up into a ‘bill’ by highly specialised lawyers.

All the bills the government intends to put forward are announced in the Queen’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament, after the summer recess.

The bill then goes to either the House of Lords or the House of Commons and goes through a series of steps

  • First Reading – when it’s simply read out.
  • Second Reading – in the House of Commons, the MP’s discuss and debate the bill, and vote at the end. In the House of Lords they don’t vote.
  • Committee Stage – the bill is carefully considered in great detail by a committee of MP’s, or the Lords. Any changes have to be formally proposed and voted on.
  • Report stage – The approved bill is sent back to the House where further changes can be suggested.
  • Third Reading – A further debate and final amendments can be introduced.
  • Approval by the opposite chamber – if the bill started in the House of Lords it goes to the House of Commons. If it started in the House of Commons it goes to the House of Lords. It then goes through the same stages all over again. Both houses have to agree on the final bill.
  • Finally, the bill goes to the Queen for the Royal Assent. Once that’s given the bill becomes an Act and is law.


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Project X Excerpt

We both jumped when the door opened, and the pile of papers I was flicking through reacted to the jerk of my hand by flying off the desk and scattering all over the floor. With a sigh, I bent down and started gathering them together as fast as I could. When I looked up, Morgan was standing in the doorway, watching me with an expression of disappointment on his face. Like I cared.

“Food’s on its way.”

He stooped and took the papers out of my hand, shuffling them into the right order. For a moment, our eyes met, and the look in them startled me. It was the most open expression I’d ever seen on his face, almost as if he was reaching out. For an instant, I almost…. But….

I got to my feet abruptly. “So, where are these notes? Let’s get to work so I can leave.”

Project X

For a moment, Morgan remained where he was, his eyes on the papers in his hand. Then he stood, and his face was set in the same sardonic, infuriating expression. He turned to the desk and handed me a pile of papers. I sat down in a chair by the open fire and flicked through them. After a few pages, I was hooked.

“Where did you find this stuff? It’s awesome.”

“I have my sources.” Morgan sounded bored. I glanced up. He was lounging against the fireplace, watching Cory drool over his computer. “Feel free to power it up if you want to. Anything I don’t want you to see is password protected. Just don’t give me any viruses.”

I snorted. “As if. Cory’s a bloody genius with IT.”

“So I hear.”

Cory looked up, surprised. “You do?”

“My father was excited by your application.” He smiled ironically. “Well… as close to excited as my father ever is about anything.”

“He was?”

“I think I just said so. I’m not in the habit of lying to make people feel good.”

“Fucking right.”

Morgan turned his eyes on me. They glowed in the firelight, chips of emerald in a face as pale and flawless as the marble bust on the stand behind him. For a moment, it looked as if he was going to say something, but he changed his mind. “Let me know when you’re finished, and maybe we can have a civilized discussion.”

The retort was on the tip of my tongue, but I never made it. Instead, I went back to reading the notes. They were mostly typed, but in places there were annotations in the margins in a small neat hand that was so ‘Morgan’ it almost made me laugh. My own writing was somewhat chaotic. It’s as if the jumbled confusion of my mind demanded to be set down so desperately my hand couldn’t keep up. Morgan’s was everything mine wasn’t—neat, legible and coherent—just like Morgan really, except his writing didn’t reveal what an utter bastard he was.

About the author

Nephylim was born into a poor mining family in the South Wales Valleys. Until she was 16, the toilet was at the bottom of the garden and the bath hung on the wall. Her refrigerator was a stone slab in the pantry and there was a black lead fireplace in the kitchen. They look lovely in a museum but aren’t so much fun to clean.

Nephylim has always been a storyteller. As a child, she’d make up stories for her nieces, nephews and cousin and they’d explore the imaginary worlds she created, in play.

Later in life, Nephylim became the storyteller for a re enactment group who travelled widely, giving a taste of life in the Iron Age. As well as having an opportunity to run around hitting people with a sword, she had an opportunity to tell stories of all kinds, sometimes of her own making, to all kinds of people. The criticism was sometimes harsh, especially from the children, but the reward enormous.

It was here she began to appreciate the power of stories and the primal need to hear them. In ancient times, the wandering bard was the only source of news, and the storyteller the heart of the village, keeping the lore and the magic alive. Although much of the magic has been lost, the stories still provide a link to the part of us that still wants to believe that it’s still there, somewhere.

In present times, Nephylim lives in a terraced house in the valleys with her son and her two cats. Her daughter has deserted her for the big city, but they’re still close. The part of her that needs to earn money is a lawyer, but the deepest, and most important part of her is a storyteller and artist, and always will be.

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