Love Books Group Tour / Excerpt : The Bride’s Trail (Trail Series #1) – AA Abbott

– ‘The Magic Of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

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Today I’m on the ‘The Bride’s Trail (Trail Series #1)’ blogtour, organised by Love Books Group Tour.
To promote AA Abbott her book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Copy of Helen_Author_38English thriller writer AA Abbott’s real name is Helen Blenkinsop, but like JK Rowling, she wanted to . She loves city life, having lived and worked in London, Birmingham and Bristol. Her crime thrillers, set in Birmingham and London, sizzle with suspense, twists and the evils of office politics.
Helen’s books are available in a dyslexia-friendly large print as well as standard paperback and Kindle editions.
Her Trail Series follows the fortunes of glamorous blonde Kat White, a party girl who finds her purpose making vodka, shrewd businessman Marty Bridges, and manipulative East End crime lord Shaun Halloran.

Synopsis :

Abbott_BridesTrail_EbookThis great story, packed with twists and turns, begins in London’s smart Fitzrovia and ends in secret tunnels below central Birmingham.

Ross has a swanky penthouse and a high-flying job in the City. When he meets Kat, a glamorous blonde croupier, he starts to plan a future. Now she’s disappeared, he’s devastated.
Casino boss Shaun realises it’s not just Kat who’s vanished – £20,000 is missing too. He wants his money back and he’s after Kat’s blood.
Young graduate Amy has discovered Kat’s stolen her ID for a sham marriage. She can’t stand Ross, but only he will help her find Kat and clear her name.

High stakes, twists, action and suspense keep the pages turning in A.A. Abbott’s crime thriller, the first in the Trail Series.

Excerpt :

Ross finished his breakfast quickly and returned to his iPad. The train had just left Birmingham International station when he nudged her.
“What?” Amy had started to doze off. She had a sleep deficit to make good.
Ross was looking pleased with himself again. “I’ve just been playing online poker. I won back the cost of our train fares and hotel.”
“How?”
“It’s all about maths,” Ross explained, adding cuttingly, “Kat would understand.”
“Well done,” Amy said grudgingly. “Remind me never to play poker against anyone, especially not an actuary, and most of all, not you.”
Birmingham New Street was the next stop, a warren of white tunnels, silvery escalators and sliding doors. “For crying out loud,” Ross grumbled as they stood on the escalator.
“What’s the problem?” Amy was puzzled.
“Nobody’s moving.” Although in London, there would have been two lines of people, those on the left racing past the stationary passengers on the right, here everyone stood still.
“It’s not the Tube, Ross,” Amy said, suppressing a grin.
Still impatient, Ross insisted they took a taxi from the station.
“Are you sure?” the driver asked when Ross barked the name of their hotel. “It isn’t far.”
“Just drive there,” Ross said, in his usual imperious manner.
The driver looked sympathetically at Amy, and shrugged. Three minutes later, he delivered them to the Malmaison hotel, a few hundred metres away from the station.

Copyright © 2015 A.A. Abbott

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Love Books Group Tour / Excerpt : Hunter’s Revenge (Edinburgh Crime Mysteries #2) – Val Penny

– ‘The Magic Of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

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Today I’m on the ‘Hunter’s Revenge (Edinburgh Crime Mysteries #2)’ blogtour, organised by Love Books Group Tour.
To promote Val Penny her book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

author pic 2Val Penny is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and two cats. She has a Law degree from Edinburgh University and her MSc from Napier University. She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However she has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballerina or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories and novels. Her crime novels, ‘Hunter’s Chase’ and ‘Hunter’s Revenge’ are set in Edinburgh, Scotland, published by Crooked Cat Books. The third book in the series, ‘Hunter’s Force’, follows shortly.

Synopsis :

Hunter's Revenge CoverHunter by name – Hunter by nature: DI Hunter Wilson will not rest until his friend’s death is avenged.
DI Hunter Wilson is called to the scene of a murder. He is shocked to find the victim is his friend and colleague, George Reinbold. Who would want to harm the quiet, old man? Why was a book worth £23,000 delivered to him that morning? Why is the security in George’s home so intense? Hunter must investigate his friend’s past as well as the present to identify the killer and identify George’s killer. Hunter also finds a new supply of cocaine from Peru flooding HMP Edinburgh and the city. The courier leads Hunter to the criminal gang but Hunter requires the help of his nemesis, the former Chief Constable, Sir Peter Myerscough and local gangster Ian Thomson to make his case. Hunter’s perseverance and patience are put to the test time after time in this taught crime thriller.

Excerpt :

Prologue
East Germany, January 1968

The last thing Georg did on his eighteenth birthday was kill a man.
He really hadn’t meant to kill the Stasi officer in front of him, but it was him or Georg – and Georg did not want to die. It was the first time he’d seen a corpse. The streets were slick with ice. The man lost his balance and cracked his head on the pavement. Georg stared down at the body: there was blood and brains all over the pavement. He looked into the officer’s eyes. They stared blindly to heaven, but Georg knew there wasn’t a Stasi officer on earth who was going there. He looked away from death and towards his friends in horror, but when they saw what had happened, they scattered. Georg picked up the officer’s gun and began to run.
More Stasi officers appeared as the boys fled.
Georg was out of breath when he got home.
“What’s the rush, son?” his father asked.
“Shit, Dad! It’s bad.”
“You’re drunk! No language in this house, boy,” said his grandmother.
“Dad, the boys and me were leaving the bar to come home and we saw a Stasi officer”
“So?”
“We were laughing and having fun.”
“And?”
“For a laugh I knocked his hat off.”
“Idiot! You know Stasi have no sense of humour. Ever. So what next?”
“He pulled his gun and told us to stand silently against the wall.”
“And you apologised and complied, I hope.”
“I panicked and punched him. He slipped on the ice and fell over. He hit his head on the ground, and when I checked him, he wasn’t breathing. He was dead. I just took his gun and ran.”
The silence in the room was deafening.
“You did what? You fucking idiot! Did you really punch a Stasi officer? Are you mad? You know we don’t even have to openly engage in resistance to draw the attention of the Stasi and incur its retribution. Just failing to conform with mainstream society can be enough. Shit! I sired a fool.” Georg’s father’s red face reflected his rage.
“And now you are here,” his grandmother added. “You ran home, leading them straight to us. We will all die now. Thank you.”
“What is all the noise?” Georg’s mother came through from the kitchen, drying her hands on her apron. His twin sister Ingrid and younger brother Wilhelm followed her. They looked bewildered. Their father rarely raised his voice, especially not to Georg.
As his father explained the issues, Georg’s mother burst into tears.
“They will kill him,” she whispered.

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Rachel’s Random Resources / Excerpt : One Last Prayer for the Rays – Wes Markin

– ‘The Magic Of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

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Today I’m on the ‘One Last Prayer for the Rays’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote Wes Markin his book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

One Last Author PhotoWes Markin is a hyperactive English teacher, who loves writing crime fiction with a twist of the macabre.
Having released One Last Prayer for the Rays he is now working on the second instalment of DCI Michael Yorke’s wild ride, The Repenting Serpent. He is also the author of Defined, a prequel to his DCI Yorke novels, which takes the reader back to his blood-soaked university days.
Born in 1978, Wes grew up in Manchester, UK. After graduating from Leeds University, he spent fifteen years as a teacher of English, and has taught in Thailand, Malaysia and China. Now as a teacher, writer, husband and father, he is currently living in Harrogate, UK.

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Synopsis :

51308379_10161368231100223_7599694877923737600_nDCI Michael Yorke faces his most harrowing case yet.

When 12-year-old Paul disappears from school, Yorke’s only clue is a pool of animal blood. Fearing the worst, he turns toward the most obvious suspect, recently released local murderer, Thomas Ray.
But as the snow in Salisbury worsens, Ray’s mutilated body is discovered, and Yorke is left with no choice but to journey into the sinister heart of a demented family that has plagued the community for generations. Can he save the boy? Or will the evil he discovers changes him forever?

One Last Prayer for the Rays introducing DCI Michael Yorke.

Excerpt :

Context: This is the opening from the DCI Michael Yorke quick read, ‘defined.’ This exciting and terrifying story takes us back to Michael’s university days and will define the tough and relentless police officer who stars in One Last Prayer for the Rays.

November, 1993

FRANK WATCHED HER from the edge of the room.
In the far corner, Brad, tonight’s makeshift DJ hunched over his decks, fiddling and scratching as if panning for gold. And when the gold came, he lifted his head and then his arms as the room pulsated and throbbed.
No one noticed Frank watching.
No one.
Including Joanna.
She, along with the rest of them, was too busy gyrating and weaving shapes in the air, seeking out gentler moments in a harsh stream of dance music. He smirked. All of these eighteen-year-olds believing that they could find hidden meaning in sounds, tanked on drugs and alcohol.
So fucking pretentious.
And there’s Joanna again, bumping against one boy, then another, flirting and teasing. Offering herself?
He checked his watch– the drug usually kicked in around now.
He smirked again. Second time in two weeks. These parties provided such fantastic opportunities.

****

Like a dying star, the music was away in the distance now. These university students were all like dying stars too, he thought. They’d been gorging on life for so long, ignoring the fact that soon, merely years from now, it would be over. He longed for these stars to explode, for reality and responsibility to burn into their hedonistic lives.
But now was for now, Frank thought, running his hands down the bedroom door which, only minutes before, Joanna had entered – or rather slumped through – in order to collapse onto the bed. He imagined her weighted down on the sheets by the Rohypnol. Just like Michelle last week. And just like Phillip the month before.
He eased open the door and immediately noticed, with some delight, that it was dim. How romantic, he thought, sneering and closing the door behind him.

****

Now the harsh music was a distant patter, like inconsequential rain on a bedroom window or the toothless wind rattling the slats on a roof. He was completely alone as he hovered over his chosen one. His angel. Joanna.
She peered up at him with glazed eyes. Minutes, if not seconds, remained before she slipped away. He’d have to be quick – he preferred his chosen ones awake.
Her feet were exposed so his touch began there. He stroked around her toes, moved into a rhythmic brushing up and down her legs, before gently touching the inside of her thigh. He’d noticed before how short her skirt was, but after her sudden collapse onto the bed, it had lifted itself even higher and he felt increasingly enthused.
She moaned. It surprised him. He grinned.
Yes, her eyes were rolling as the drug took her further towards oblivion, but could she be accepting him? Maybe there was more to this one? Maybe for once, in a genuinely long time, he was being welcomed? Her eyes began to close.
‘No,’ he said, ‘No, no …’
He took her chin between his thumb and forefinger and forcefully turned her to look at him. ‘No.’
Her eyelids slowly lifted, drool emerged from the corner of her mouth, and she moaned again.
His hand fumbled around his belt; with his other hand, he tore her blouse open. He paused, gently brushed away a tear from the corner of her eye, and said, ‘Nothing to worry about.’ Then, he began to mount the bed―
He reeled back, gagging and retching on the sudden metallic taste in his mouth.
My back. Something in my back.
He searched around between his shoulder blades with one hand but he could find nothing. He attempted to breathe but his entire body suddenly felt constricted and no air seemed to be going in.
He staggered backwards and managed to turn. ‘You?’ He said, ‘What …?’
His eyes fell to the knife in the outstretched hand. Its bloody tip pointed at his stomach. His eyes darted back up to his attacker’s face.
‘No …’
But the knife was already five or six inches into his stomach before he’d finished his plea. He tried to wriggle free but the blade was slammed in again and again. Then, he was on his back, on the bed, writhing and gasping for the air his body would no longer accept. He turned to look at Joanna and said, ‘Help me.’
But Joanna was already fast asleep.

For the complete FREE and EXCLUSIVE DCI Michael Yorke quick read visit facebook.com/wesmarkinauthor and sign up!
‘One Last Prayer for the Rays’ is NOW available from Amazon for the discount price of 99p/99c.

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Rachel’s Random Resources / Q&As : Dark and Fluffy Volume II – Janet Stock

– ‘The Magic Of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Dark & Fluffy II

Today I’m on the ‘Dark and Fluffy Volume II’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read my Qs and Janet Stock her As first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Dark and Fluffy Author PhotoI am married with one teenage son and have always been a keen reader and writer since being young. I was born in Lancashire but have lived in Lincoln for over 30 years.
Several years ago I decided to take my writing seriously. I completed an OU course in creative writing and a Writers Bureau course. Initially I concentrated on short story writing, and when I turned fifty this year, I self-published my first book, Dark and Fluffy.
I love writing short stories, but my main goal is to have a novel published. Ten years ago, I started the first book of a trilogy of novels called The Little Servant (The Wait’s Son). I am still working on this, but now I have a serious intent to get this finished this year.
My favourite genre is medieval fiction, Bernard Cornwell is my favourite author. I also like to read Edward Rutherford, Stephen King, and Dean Coontz.

Social Media Links :
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Synopsis :

Paperback coverFollowing on from Dark & Fluffy, this collection is a further nine short fiction pieces. The title Dark & Fluffy II, reflects the general styles of the stories/prose in the book. Some are a bit darker, and may be a bit uncomfortable to read, Death by Testing and The Broken Arrangement fall into this category. Others are happier, feel good pieces like The Disney Club. Whatever your preference, I’m sure you’ll find something that will grab your attention.

Q&As :

Q: How did you become an author? Was it always a childhood dream or …?
A: It has always been my dream to become an author. As I child I was always reading, I loved getting lost in stories. I also did a lot of writing. I won a school prize at aged 10 for a story I wrote on the theme of The Flower Market, following a school trip to Amsterdam. My class was shown a picture of several animals ‘visiting’ the market and were asked to write a story that included these animals. I was the only one to tell the story from the animal’s viewpoint, rather than just describing what the animals saw. From my point of view, I became an author last year after self-publishing Dark & Fluffy. I finally had a chat with myself after turning 50 and decided that it was now or never!

Q: Which authors did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
A: The first books I really loved to read were Enid Blyton books, The Magic Faraway Tree was my favourite. Then I discovered A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula le Guin and this book really helped me to escape from a difficult time I was having at home. Another firm favourite is Tove Jansson, and the Moomin stories, which is a passion I’ve recently re-ignited due to the recent launching of special editions of these books. Into my teenage years I discovered Stephen King and he remains a firm favourite. The first book of his that I read was Pet Semetary. I was very sceptical, and intrigued, about how someone could write a whole, scary, based on a dead cat…! I was hooked after reading that book. I was always interested in medieval history, so this was sated by Bernard Cornwell and Edward Rutherford. I think David Walliams is the modern day Roald Dahl.

Q: Why the short stories/prose and not a full length novel?
A: I am currently working on a trilogy of books set in the 12th century, and I am aiming to finish book 1 this year. When I started to write my book in earnest, earlier this year, I re-discovered a collection of short stories that I had written on my PC. Once I had re-discovered them, it was literally like they were sat on my shoulder nagging me to let them see the light of day. I found they distracted from me working on my novel, so I decided to publish them and then that would clear my mind to concentrate on my novel.

Q: Where did you come up with the ideas for these short stories/prose?
A: I always have a large list of ideas for short stories, or a list of titles that I then fit stories around. Every month on my blog, I do a 500 word flash fiction piece. Myself or a follower, pick a title then I either do a bit of research on the literal meanings of the words to give me ideas, or I tend to just wait a while, mull it over when I have a minute to myself and something normally pops into my head. I never seem to be short of ideas. If anything, I have so many ideas, that the biggest problem is finding the time to write everything that I want to write.

Q: What do you enjoy about writing?
A: I love the idea that I can create something. Something that hopefully I can share with others who may get some enjoyment out of it. It is a cathartic process for me, ideas build up inside me and it’s a kind of release once the story is written. I’m also quite a solitary person, I do like my own company, so writing satisfies that element of my personality.

Q: What are your future plans as an author? Another book in the same ‘genre’ or …?
A: My main focus this year is to complete book 1 of my 12th century trilogy this year. I have been writing this book on and off for 10 years, and self-publishing Dark & Fluffy has given me the confidence to pursue this. I hope to publish this book the traditional way, i.e. with an agent and a publishing house. This is my ultimate dream.
I will also be self-publishing Alternative Histories later this year, a book that takes pivotal moments in history and looks at what-if scenarios. I have already showcased this idea in Dark & Fluffy II, in the story Queens of England. This is a story based around the idea of what could have happened if Queen Elizabeth I had not executed Mary Queen of Scots.
Looking further into the future, I will be self-publishing a novella called The Rue Stone. I have already self-published this as a short story, in the first Dark & Fluffy, and I have had lots of feedback all with a common thread; people felt a bit short changed after finishing the story and they would like to read more. I’ve taken this feedback, which I agree with, on board, and will now work on this to extend it into a longer format.
After that, then it will be back to books 2 and 3 of my trilogy, The Little Servant.
Interwoven with completing these books is an idea I have for a novella called A Tale of Two. This will be a story of two people, a man and a woman, who have an affair. The story will be told in two distinct parts, one from his point of view and one from hers.

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Rachel’s Random Resources / Excerpt : The Migraine Relief Plan – Stephanie Weaver

– ‘The Magic Of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

The Migraine Relief Plan

Today I’m on the ‘The Migraine Relief Plan’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote Stephanie Weaver her book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

The Migraine - VerticalBlueDoorStephanie Weaver, MPH, CWHC, is an author, blogger, and certified wellness and health coach. Her recipes have been featured in Cosmopolitan, Bon Appetit, Cooking Light, Parade, and more. She lives in San Diego, CA.

Social Media Links :
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Synopsis :

The Migraine Relief Plan 9781572842090The Migraine Relief Plan: An 8-Week Transition to Better Eating, Fewer Headaches, and Optimal Health

In The Migraine Relief Plan, certified health and wellness coach Stephanie Weaver outlines a new, step-by-step lifestyle approach to reducing migraine frequency and severity.
Using the latest research, her own migraine diagnosis, and extensive testing, Weaver has designed an accessible plan to help those living with migraine, headaches, or Meniere’s disease. Over the course of eight weeks, the plan gradually transitions readers into a healthier lifestyle, including key behaviors such as regular sleep, trigger-free eating, gentle exercise, and relaxation techniques. The book also collects resources—shopping lists, meal plans, symptom tracking charts, and kitchen-tested recipes for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner—to provide readers with the tools they need to be successful.
The Migraine Relief Plan encourages readers to eat within the guidelines while still helping them follow personal dietary choices, like vegan or Paleo, and navigate challenges, such as parties, work, and travel. A must-have resource for anyone who lives with head pain, this book will inspire you to rethink your attitude toward health and wellness.

Excerpt :

Why I Wrote This Book

Hi, I’m Stephanie. In early 2014, I found myself in a neurologist’s office after three scary bouts of vertigo. I had no idea that migraine attacks could cause vertigo. At the time, what I knew about migraine I had learned from coworkers: headaches so bad that people miss work for three days while they lie miserable in a dark room. Now I know that migraine attacks are far more complex, with symptoms and triggers unique to each person.
Over the course of a few weeks that winter, I saw two different doctors to address my vertigo. Each gave me a different diet-related handout and a different prescription medication. I received a diagnosis of migraine with Meniere’s variant from the second doctor. I gladly took their medication and their advice, as I desperately wanted the room to stop spinning.
Once I started feeling a little better, I wanted to learn more. Looking over the two diet handouts (one low-sodium, one low-tyramine), I had no idea that so many foods could cause or contribute to migraine attacks. Since I write a food blog, have a degree in nutrition education, and am a health coach, exploring how diet could help me was a priority. What I thought was a relatively simple task—combining two guides into a single sheet—set me on a path that was part detective story and part medical education.
Like any good researcher I began online, ordering just about every migraine book available in print and in the Kindle store. As I delved deeper into Meniere’s disease and migraine research, I ended up at the local university’s medical library. After reading dozens of books and hundreds of medical studies and research papers, I developed an eating plan that worked for me and gained some understanding of why it was helping—and I started feeling better.
I became determined to create a plan to help others. I was lucky that my body responded so quickly, that my symptoms weren’t more severe, and that I had such great resources available to me, in addition to a unique skill set that allowed me to pull it all together. Most people don’t have the time or the resources to do this—especially when they are in pain. I wanted to share my findings with other people so they could start feeling better, too.
That’s why I wrote this book: to make it all available to you. All the research, all the trial and error. I spent months creating recipes and testing out this Plan with other migraine sufferers so you don’t have to do all that work. I’ve broken all the information down into tiny little bite-sized nuggets spread out over a few months, so that you can successfully incorporate it into your life without too much work or additional stress. Think of me as your personal wellness coach! I walk beside you each week, encouraging you to gradually make small changes that will make a big difference in your overall health.
I’m a strong believer in taking the lead on your own health, and utilizing excellent physicians and other healthcare providers as trusted allies and resources. I do my best to think of long-term health challenges as health opportunities. This book gathers together so many facets of my life and experience: utilizing my background in public health and nutrition, more than two decades of educational technical writing, 30 years of recipe renovation, six years of food blogging, and my doggedness to figure out this migraine problem. I hope you’ll find a lot here to put into practice, and that doing so will help you feel significantly better, empowered about taking charge of your own health.

Reprinted with permission from The Migraine Relief Plan by Stephanie Weaver, MPH, CWHC, Agate Surrey, 2017

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Rachel’s Random Resources / Guest Post : An Impossible Thing Called Love – Belinda Missen

– ‘The Magic Of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

An Impossible Thing Called Love

Today I’m on the ‘An Impossible Thing Called Love’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote these books I have a guest post written by its author, Belinda Missen, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

An Impossible profileBelinda Missen is an award-winning and best-selling author, screenwriter, and freelance writer from Geelong, Australia. She lives with her car-obsessed, but wonderful husband, two loopy cats, and more books than she cares to count.
In late 2017, Belinda signed a six-book contract with HQDigitalUK (HarperCollins). A Recipe for Disaster was released in August 2018. An Impossible Thing Called Love appeared by magic in November 2018.

Social Media Links :
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Synopsis :

An Impossible Thing Called Love CoverDon’t miss the new delightfully uplifting book from the author of A Recipe for Disaster!

A second chance at love…

When globe-trotting Emmy first fell for first-aider William on a freezing New Year’s Eve, she really believed that their love would go the distance.
But when she returns to Australia, her letters start to go unanswered and her emails bounce back unread, Emmy decides it’s time to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and start afresh in London.
So she’s shocked when William walks in on her very first day at her new job! Even worse, he’s hotter than ever. But why did he disappear for so long? What has he been hiding? And could this really be their second chance at falling in love…?

Perfect for fans of Carole Mathews, Mhairi McFarlane and Carrie Hope Fletcher.

Guest Post :

Top Ten London

London makes up the bulk of William and Emmy’s world in An Impossible Thing Called Love. With this in mind, I thought I’d share with you my favourite spots in London. This year, I was lucky enough to visit for the third time, and it still holds the same charm as it did the first time. If you get a chance, I’d love you to pay these places a visit.
And if you have some suggestions for me to try, feel free to add your comments – I’m always looking for more London experiences to have!

Food & Drink
Dishoom
With multiple outlets now spread across London and the UK, Dishoom quickly became one of my favourite places for Indian food. Inspired by the Irani cafes that populate Bombay, my husband and I found we were popping into the Shoreditch restaurant almost daily to work through their menu. Their restaurants are cosy and atmospheric, and the service is always second to none.
Favourite dishes include their Pau Bhaji, Memsahib’s Mess, and their rosewater lassi is so moreish! We’ve tried recreating a lot of their dishes at home, and it’s just not quite the same – though it never is, is it?
Stop by if you want a lovely filling meal in the middle of the day, or a cruisy boozy dinner.
Fuckoffee
The name says it all. A little coffee shop in Bermondsey that’s altogether cheeky but sustainable. Pop on in if only for their bright décor and customer loyalty card. Then, pop in again when they win you over with their style.
Blue Garden
A recent find, Blue Garden is located in the Strand, a few doors up from Waterstone’s. I first visited Blue Garden on whim in December 2018, on my way to watch The Phantom of the Opera with a friend. We were served the most incredible Lebanese food, and waddled out a few hours later full of halloumi, kofta, hummus, and salad. I can’t wait to get back there!
Woolpack
Not far from Fuckoffee, Woolpack is where you want to go for an afternoon tipple, or a pie and mash. Head on upstairs to check out the beautiful mural on the ceiling, or out into the beer garden for a sneaky beer in a relaxed atmosphere.
Camden Lock Market
This is the ultimate foodie adventure in London. Make sure you haven’t had breakfast the day you plan on going. There’s everything from coffee and cake, baklava and Turkish delight, vegan hotdogs and donuts, churros, Thai street food, halloumi fries, and the Cheese Wheel. You’ll be there for hours, and you’ll probably need to be rolled home.
Be sure to get your photo with the Amy Winehouse statue.

Culture
Imperial War Museum
Make sure you have a large chunk of day to spend here as you delve into British wartime history. From WW1 onwards, the Imperial War Museum records British military efforts throughout history. The Holocaust Exhibition is particularly moving.
Piccadilly Circus
Those screens! I don’t think I need to say anymore, do I? It’s one of those iconic places, where Regent Street, Shaftsbury, and Piccadilly all meet. It’s beautiful, it’s bright, and there’s a great Lego store nearby.
Trafalgar Square
This is one of my favourite spots in London. It was the very first thing I saw on my very first day there, ever. I hopped off the Tube at Embankment, wandered up Villiers Street to The Strand, and walked on down to see Nelson’s Column, the lions, the fountains, and the National Gallery. It was one of those true pinch me moments, and it’s still the first place I head when I visit now.
Tower Bridge
An icon of Britain, the Tower Bridge is my husband’s pick for favourite place. Scale the heights and walk across the glass floor as you peer down into the tops of tourist buses below. And, when you’re done checking out the views, head on down to the engine rooms to learn about how the bascules rise and fall. If you’re lucky enough to catch the bascules rising at all, it’s something that literally stops traffic.
Sky Garden
With unparalleled views of the London skyline, it’s easy enough to get up to the Sky Garden. Located on Fenchurch Street, it’s free entry, and there’s a bar or two upstairs. So, if coffee isn’t your thing, you can enjoy a glass of fizz as you look out across to The Shard, St Pauls, or St Mary Axe.

There you have it – some of my favourite London places to visit. If you’re looking for my top London bookstores, head on over to Short Book and Scribes for my guest post over there!

Feel free to add your favourite spots in the comments below.

The Magic Of Wor(l)ds

Rachel’s Random Resources / Guest Post : Consuming Fire – Catherine Fearns

– ‘The Magic Of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Consuming Fire

Today I’m on the ‘Consuming Fire’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote these books I have a guest post written by its author, Catherine Fearns, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

CF - 4 (1)Catherine Fearns is from Liverpool, UK. In previous incarnations she was a financial analyst, a cocktail pianist and a breastfeeding counsellor, but nowadays she likes to write. Her first novel, Reprobation, was published by Crooked Cat Books in October 2018 and quickly became an Amazon bestseller in several categories. The follow-up, Consuming Fire, is currently on pre-order and will be available in early 2019.
Catherine writes for music website Pure Grain Audio, and her music journalism has also appeared in Broken Amp and Noisey. Her short fiction and non-fiction pieces have been published in Here Comes Everyone, Toasted Cheese, Offshoots & Metal Music Studies. She holds a degree in History from Oxford University, a Masters from the London School of Economics, and is a member of the Crime Writers’ Association.
When Catherine is not writing, she plays guitar in a heavy metal band, mainly to annoy her four children.

Social Media Links :
Twitter

Synopsis :

ConsumingFirecoverWhat Has Been Seen Cannot Be Unseen…
Liverpool is in the grip of an intense heatwave, and strange things are happening.
A woman dies in an apparent case of Spontaneous Human Combustion; a truck explodes on the dock road; the charred corpses of pets litter the city; forest fires ravage the pinewoods…and there are birds everywhere, silent flocks drawing in ominously.
Detective Inspector Darren Swift thinks there are connections, and his investigation delves into the worlds of football, nightclubs and organised crime. But is he imagining things?
Dr. Helen Hope doesn’t think so. And she believes the key lies in a mysterious seventeenth-century occult book which has gone missing from Liverpool Library.
In the blistering sequel to Reprobation, DI Swift is forced to confront some inconvenient ghosts from his past, as a terrifying shadow lies over his city’s reality….

Guest Post :

Consuming Fire and the ‘found text’ technique

O Lord Adramelech, who shalt become greater than Satan
I desire the vengeance of the Eternal Fire
With this flame I open the Furnaces of Hell
Holy water cannot quench this fire

The main narrative of Consuming Fire is interspersed with excerpts from a seventeenth century version of the Ars Adramelechum, a grimoire used by the Sepharvites of ancient Samaria to conjure the fire demon Adramelech. It’s extravagant, bombastic, and terrifying. And it doesn’t exist. I just made it up. Why?
It came to me as a very natural way to tell the story, rather than a conscious literary conceit. The excerpts are placed strategically in order to reveal to the reader elements of the investigation. Sometimes the reader knows more than the detectives. The regular changes in writing style keep the reader on his/her toes, keep the story fresh, and situate events in the context of a long historical scale. And because the grimoire might be a hoax, it keeps the reader grounded in reality and the real-world practicalities of the murder case.
There’s nothing new about this technique. Whether you call it ‘book within a book’, ‘fictionalised book’, or ‘found text’, writers have been inventing mysterious manuscripts and letters within their books for centuries; it’s a common trope of the gothic novel. Although less frequently used in crime fiction.
Shortly before I began writing Consuming Fire, I had been reading the works of cosmic horror writer HP Lovecraft, so I’m sure that I was influenced by the Necronomicon. Even if you don’t know what it is, you have probably heard the word Necronomicon, so much has it been adopted into literary, movie and gaming culture. The Necronomicon was an evil book written by the ‘Mad Arab Abdul al-Hazred’, who supposedly died after being torn apart by an invisible being. Lovecraft referred to it in multiple stories, and although he was being tongue-in-cheek, many people believed it was a real book, and some have even written their own versions.
There are countless other examples of ‘found texts’ in literature, from One Hundred Years Of Solitude to Don Quixote. A book that heavily influenced me is Possession by AS Byatt, which I read and studied over twenty years ago but remains fresh in my mind. Possession is a dual-time-period literary mystery filled with invented nineteenth century letters, poems and diaries, which in themselves provide a profound study of the nature of authenticity.
So what about authenticity? Because let’s face it, writing a found text is enormous fun, but it’s an exercise in self-indulgence for an author. Which can be annoying for the reader. So I tried my best to sound as authentic as possible. How did I do it?
My book begins with the preface to the Ars Adramelechum, written in 1879 by the theologian William Lovett. In order to arrive at the correct style, I read countless letters from the same time period. I read the complete letters of Wordsworth, Blake, Shelley and Keats, noting down words, sentences, turns of phrase. And I drafted and redrafted. Once I got into character I found it surprisingly easy to capture Lovett’s tone.
The other excerpts in Consuming Fire are all from the grimoire itself, which is supposed to be a seventeenth century translation of an ancient text. For this, I read a lot of real grimoires and spell books. I also read occult works by Aleister Crowley, whose Book Of The Law is a significant influence on the Ars Adramelechum. A lot of the stuff I read was so absurd as to be nonsense. But I also re-read The Bible, parts of which are profoundly beautiful. The last thing I intended was to write a Bible parody, but I wanted to capture its sense of scale and majesty of tone, and I hope I did. It was enormous fun to do, and it doesn’t really matter if some passages sound ridiculous, because they are supposed to, and the reader is supposed to revel in that with me. When Dr. Helen Hope reads passages of the grimoire, she tells Detective Inspector Swift “It’s a terrible book. This William Lovett was quite a pompous fellow and his writing is a melange of pastiche and melodrama. I do wonder if he made it up himself entirely.” This is an in-joke between author and reader. Or is it? Perhaps there are more layers to this ‘book within a book within a book’…

Let this be a mortal warning to all that shall attempt the reading of these words herein. For it is an undeniable truth that what has been seen cannot be unseen. The page that is turned cannot be unturned.
Ars Adramelechum 13:5

The Magic Of Wor(l)ds