Friday, October 3, 2014

Project X by Nephylim: Excerpt, Review, & More!

Project X
Project X
by Nephylim

Genres: Contemporary, New Adult,
M/M Romance, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

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.
“The big deal, Matthew...” Morgan spoke slowly, his face set and his eyes flashing, “... is that your ‘friend’ betrayed my trust. He hacked into my computer, looked at files I’ve shown to no one else—no one—and threw my hospitality back in my face. What he does with the information is irrelevant.” 
“I-I’m sorry Morgan. I swear I didn’t mean to do it. I just... I didn’t think.” 
“I suggest you learn to think before you start working at ITM. Because if you even consider doing something like this when you’re there, you’re going to be in more trouble than you can begin to imagine.” 
“Are you threatening my friend?” Without even realizing it I was on my feet, facing him down, my own anger rising to meet his. 
“It’s not a threat, Matthew,” he said quietly. “It’s a warning, and one he’d better heed. These people are not to be messed with.” 
“‘These people’ are you own father. Are you telling me he’s a crook? Doing some dodgy dealings he doesn’t want the world to find out about?” 
Morgan went even paler, if that was possible. “Hacking into the computer of a multinational company that deals with contracts from the government is not a smart thing to do, Matthew. I’d have thought even you would have realized that. And it has nothing to do with what they have to hide, or why.” 
“Oh for fuck sake, get over yourself. Get down off your high horse, why don’t you, and try mixing with real people once in a while?” 
“Real people?” Morgan closed his eyes and shook his head. When he opened them again, they had a dangerous glint. “You don’t get it, do you? Why is it that your friend has been playing a very dangerous game, hacking into computers, betraying the trust placed in him—by the company, by me—and yet somehow I’m the bad guy here? 
“This isn’t a game. It isn’t downloading free music from the Internet, or copying CD’s, or engaging in a little plagiarism in an essay. This is serious stuff, and if he’s caught, there will be serious consequences. You don’t mess with these people. They are not nice.” 
“If your father’s anything like you, I can believe it.” 
Morgan winced as if I’d slapped him, and it gave me cruel satisfaction. He went still for a minute, then he murmured, so quietly I barely heard. 
“My father is nothing like me.” He turned his back and walked to the window. “I think you’d better go. Take the notes and work on them yourself. We can combine notes on Thursday. I’ll meet you in the library.” 
I stared at him for a while, but he didn’t turn around. Grabbing Cory by the shoulder, I steered him out of the room, out of the house and out of the situation. God, I hated Morgan Bentley.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Normally I start my reviews with a brief character summary, but the book description does a really good job of laying that groundwork. I'm going to skip the intro and move right on to my review because I've got a lot to say... (surprise!!)

PROJECT X is a complex story with a detailed plot that's full of twists and turns. Almost the entire first half of the book is dedicated to laying the groundwork for the story line, character introduction and scene building. At this point the, plot is primarily focused on the main characters; Matthew, Morgan and (to a lesser extent) Cory.  It's paced pretty slowly, there are several typical college scenes, and plenty of dialog, so readers really get to know the characters well. A few hints are dropped about Project X, and the potential impact it might have later in the story, but for the most part the first half has the feel of a well written yet typical New Adult/Coming of Age romance.

Dear Readers, hang in with me here, and trust that you want to keep going!

Just about the time I started to scratch my head and wonder what exactly this book was about again, I began the second half. Suddenly the pace picks up dramatically! The foundation that was laid previously becomes invaluable, because here is where Nephylim takes readers on a roller-coaster ride of drama, action, adventure and romance. PROJECT X becomes a thrilling, nail biting, kept-me-on-the-edge-of-my-seat-and-up-all-night-reading experience!

I would highly recommend this to readers who love sci-fi, romance, mystery, drama, thrillers, action, and complex and well written characters. I'm not usually someone who reads books more than once, but there is so much subtle detail here that I'm looking forward to returning to the beginning and re-reading it soon. This one makes my top ten books of 2014!
Structure of the Court System
by Nephylim
There are two distinct and separate ‘arms’ to the Court System in England and Wales – Criminal Law and Civil Law. 
Criminal Law 
The heading of every Criminal Case will be R –V− (Accused’s Name). The R stands for Regina, or Queen. All criminal acts are considered to be a breach of the Queen’s peace and therefore the actions are taken on behalf of the Queen, by the Crown Prosecution Service. The victim of the crime has no part in the proceedings, other than as a witness for the prosecution. 
All Criminal Cases begin in the Magistrates Court. Magistrates are ordinary people with no legal qualifications. They sit as a ‘bench’ of three, and are supported by a legally qualified clerk who advises them about all matters of law. 
The Magistrates Court is meant to be an opportunity for people to be judged by their peers ie people just like them. In reality it is said that magistrates are usually middle class, middle aged and middle minded. A recent push to get more young people into the judiciary is in its early days. 
Magistrates Courts deal with what are called ‘summary offences’ that is less serious offences, such as most motoring offences, less serious criminal damage, and being drunk and disorderly. Recently the powers of the Magistrates Court have been extended to more serious offences. 
Magistrates Courts have upper limits on the sentences they can hand down – 6 months imprisonment (or twelve months total if there is more than one offence), £5,000 fine, and community service. They can impose a mixture of sentences, eg a fine and community service. 
Crown Court 
If the crime is too serious for the Magistrates Court, it is sent up to the Crown Court. Some offences are always sent to the Crown Court, such as murder and rape. Other offences, such as burglary and drugs offences are called ‘either way offences’ and can be tried in either court, depending on the seriousness of the particular case. 
As well as the more serious offences, the Crown Court hears appeals from the Magistrates Court, and cases which have been heard in the Magistrates Court but are sent to the Crown Court for sentence, usually because the magistrates feel there should be a harsher sentence than they are able to give. 
Usually, Crown Court cases are heard by a jury and a Crown Court Judge. It is the jury’s job to decide if the person is guilty or innocent, and the judge’s job to decide the sentence. 
There is a different process for offenders under the age of 18 but that is beyond the scope of this post. 
Appeals from the Magistrates Court are to the Crown Court. 
Appeals from the Crown Court can only happen if the offender can show there was a significant error in the way the case was heard (eg an important procedure wasn’t followed), or important evidence comes to light after the case was heard (eg a witness comes forward). 
An application will be made to the Criminal Appeals Office within 28 days of conviction (or sentence if that’s all being appealed). A judge will then decide if there should be an appeal or not. If the judge decides there should be an appeal then the case is heard by the Court of Appeal. Usually this is done without anyone present, or ‘on the papers. 
If that appeal fails thee application can be passed to a ‘full court’ of 2 or 3 judges. 
If that appeal fails a request can be made for the case to be referred to the Criminal Cases Review Commission who may allow the case to be re heard by the Court of Appeal.

Civil Law
Unlike the Criminal Courts there is often a choice of whether to start your case in the Magistrates Court or the County Court. In Civil Law, the Queen takes no part and the case is between two parties, usually called the Claimant/Applicant and Defendant/Respondent. 
Magistrates Court
Magistrates Courts usually deal with things such as debt and housing matters.
In the family proceedings court, the magistrates have to undergo special training to deal with family matters because they are so sensitive, and very different to criminal proceedings. 
The composition of the Civil Magistrates Court is the same as the Criminal Magistrates Court. 
County Court
There are lots of different kinds of County Court, such as the Family Court, Patents Court, Admiralty Court, Chancery Court, each dealing with a different type of law. 
Hearings are presided over by County Court Judges. If the case is too serious or difficult for a County Court Judge, it is passed on to a Circuit Judge. While County Court Judges usually sit in the same court, Circuit Judges travel between all the courts in the ‘circuit’. 
High Court
The High Court hears the most serious civil cases. Usually high money or high profile cases, for example slander and libel. 
There are three divisions – the Queen’s Bench Division, The Chancery Division and the Family Division. 
The High Court has supervisory capacity over the lower courts, and hears appeals from them all. 
Court of Appeal
The Civil Appeals Office is responsible for regulating the appeals procedure and deciding if cases should go to the Court of Appeal. The procedure is similar to the Criminal Court of Appeal, except the cases are often heard in person rather than on paper. 
House of Lords
In very rare cases, and only with the consent of the Court of Appeal or the Lords themselves, appeals from the Court of Appeal can find their final destination in the House of Lords. 
The House of Lords is the second chamber of the UK Parliament. Unlike the House of Commons, where Members of Parliament and voted into office, The Lords is open to anyone who hold the title of Lord. Some of the titles are hereditary ie automatically passed from parent to child, but they are becoming rare, and most are conferred.
The House of Lords never hears cases in person. 
If the House of Lords turn down your appeal, there is no higher authority to appeal to.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our wander along the paths of the UK legal system. If you find your interests piqued you can find out more about UK laws and their history in other posts in the blog tour.
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.
Project X by Nephylim


  1. Terrific giveaway and post! Thank you!!

  2. Thanks for the awesome post and giveaway!!! I'm really looking forward to reading this book.