#BlogTour #RandRBookTours @RRBookTours1 @Shanannigans81 / #GuestPost : A Kind of Family #AKindofFamily – Bonnie Meekums @bonniemeekums @btwnthelinespub

– ‘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 ‘A Kind of Family’ blogtour, organised by R&R Book Tours.
To promote this book I have some ‘basic’ information and a guest post.

About the Author :

SONY DSCBorn and brought up in working-class London, Bonnie crossed classes when she went to university in the 1970s, eventually gaining a PhD in arts therapies in the 1990s. In the 1980s she crossed the invisible borders from South to North in England, first living in West Yorkshire and settling eventually in an old mill town near Manchester. A mother, step-mother and grandmother, she also travels annually to New Zealand to be with part of her far-flung family.
Bonnie is well known across the globe within the small professional world of Dance Movement Therapy (DMT). She is sole author of two books on arts therapies, one of which (Dance Movement Therapy, London: Sage, 2002) is on many training course essential reading lists and has sold more than 2,000 copies. She has also published numerous research articles and has been invited to teach in New Zealand, the USA, India, China and many European countries.
Whilst still being active in DMT practice, teaching and supervision, these days Bonnie’s writing focusses on novels and short stories. She also writes a blog about becoming an older woman who rambles (a play on words), to be found at https://mamabonnie.wordpress.com/. Her short creative nonfiction The Story Hunter about how her father influenced her love of stories was featured by the online writing collective Dear Damsels on February 10th 2019. Her debut novel A Kind of Family is published by Between the Lines Publishing in January 2020.

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Synopsis :

Book CoverTitle: A Kind of Family
Publication Date: January 7th, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Willow River Press

Forty-something Northern UK psychotherapist and university lecturer Rachel longs for a close family when, a year after their parents die her brother decides to cut off all contact. Out of the blue she meets Fran, a petite, attractive and outgoing community artist who disturbs and excites her. Shortly after this Aggie appears, looking like a relic from the 1960s and with a strong working-class London accent. She takes a strong interest in Rachel’s relationship with Fran. But who is she, and why is Rachel the only one that can see and hear her?
When Fran’s mother dies, the two women discover a family secret that impacts on their decision to try for a baby. But there is more shock and heartache to come, a visit to New Zealand for Fran and a tough decision for Rachel to make before she finally finds her own kind of family. This is a story that challenges traditional ideas about what constitutes family. It is also about overcoming grief, and healing the past; about love, loss, and ultimately hope. You won’t want to put it down.

Goodreads

Amazon

Guest Post :

Life doesn’t have neat edges

In March 2011, my husband and I drove across the Pennine hills from west to east, turning right for the long journey south. At Dartford, as we climbed over the bridge I looked to my right, towards where I once lived as a child on the south-eastern river banks of London, wishing for just a moment that I could fold back the years, to see my mother young again.
After that visit, I wrote a short story, crafting recent experience into fiction, about an old woman whose body no longer did her bidding. After reading it aloud, my writing tutor Ian Clayton said, with a softness I will never forget:
‘That’s your mam, isn’t it?’
That short story was later woven into my debut novel, A Kind of Family. I remember not having to do much reworking on that section, unlike others. I sat in front of my screen in tears, reliving that day and my sense of loss for the woman she had once been. Grief was layered like one of her sponge cakes, the jam in the middle being relief that we had managed to coax her out, for a short trip in our car. She sat beside me, no longer big enough for an adult sized seat belt, terrified to be out and yet loving it more with every second. I stopped at a garage when she declared she was thirsty, and bought her a child’s ‘fruit shoot’, because that was the only thing she would be able to hold. Three months later, she was dead.
All novelists make use of their own experience, inserting themselves into memory and imagined scenarios, creating a patchwork that holds up a mirror to human experience, yet is not autobiography. Still, I would argue that one of our tasks is not to overdo the jam in the sponge. Life doesn’t always work out as we hope. If it did, we would not be able to recognise those times when we feel blessed, or very lucky, or just plain deliriously happy.
One of the things that helps me enter into the embodiment of emotion, is the work I do when I am not writing. I am a Dance Movement Psychotherapist – a psychotherapist who works with metaphors like ‘sinking into the abyss’, ‘growing apart’, ‘wanting to hold onto what has been’, or ‘treading on eggshells’. All these figures of speech, as Lave and Wenger in their seminal work Metaphors We Live By highlighted, have reference to the body – and what interests me, is their capacity to suggest forms of movement. When those movements become a dance improvisation, the possibility arises that new ways of being can be explored, without having to sit right in the middle of a paralysing whirlwind of emotion. Metaphor also seems to be understood by others (did you intuitively understand my reference to a whirlwind there?), without the need for lengthy explanation. Add to this, the fact that all Dance Movement Psychotherapists must have their own therapy, and you end up with a writer whose capacity for self-analysis on an embodied level is honed.
Of course, I am not claiming my skill is any more developed than most other writers, but perhaps it has been an easier transition for me, from bland description (which I most certainly have done my fair share of), to close encounters with my characters.
One other interesting thing about writing is, writers often (especially in their first few novels, until they have worked it all out of their systems) make use of their own unconscious preoccupations. One of mine, I realise, concerns abandonment, and when I look at my early years, that is no surprise. My parents were good enough; I just happened to be hospitalized and in isolation at a crucial time in my childhood. A recent article by Arabel Charlaff, in issue no. 84 of Mslexia Magazine, suggests that writers can learn a lot from psychotherapy theory in order to produce more rounded and interesting characters. Unsurprisingly, she suggests writers ask themselves what early experience led a character to be the way they are. What I am proposing is, that when the writer also understands herself, she can spot when she is using the technique effectively, and when she is overlaying her own story onto another character when it simply doesn’t fit, or when the only story she tells is the broken record of her own sad song.
I could go on. There are so many instances where my own, or my family’s story has impacted on my urge to write about particular topics, but I will end with a positive one. Twenty-seven years ago, I married a man. At the time we got together, we each had two children. We did not live together before the wedding, because we agreed this had to work; the kids had been through enough. And so, we blindly stepped into the territory of step-family life, holding onto each other for fear of falling and failing. Another child came along two and a half years later. Now, we have seven grandchildren, none of whom will experience any difference in my love for them, though some are genetically related, and others not. For all of them, I am Nana. Together, my husband and I created our own ‘kind of family’. My journey inspired me to write about non-traditional families, from which came the title of the book. I chose not to write about a step family. Instead, there is a same sex couple at the heart of my novel. My hope is, readers will find something of themselves sewn into the pages, will be moved by the characters they get to know, and will feel at the end that all is exactly as it should be. Because life doesn’t have neat edges, but what we create as we stumble along can be far more beautiful.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours

#PublicationDayPush #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : 133 Hours – Zach Abrams @Authorway @NextChapterPub

– ‘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 ‘133 Hours’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a guest post written by the author, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

ppC1b-agHaving the background of a successful career in commerce and finance, Zach Abrams has spent many years writing reports, letters and presentations and it’s only fairly recently he started writing novels. “It’s a more honourable type of fiction,” he declares.
Writer of the Alex Warren Murder Mystery series, set in Scotland, Zach has also written the psychological thriller ‘Ring Fenced’ and the financial thriller ‘Source’, as well as collaborating with Elly Grant on a book of short stories.
Zach is currently producing a non-fiction series to help small businesses – using the collective title ‘Mind Your Own Business’. The first, ‘So, You Think You Want to be a Landlord’ is already available.

Social Media Links:
Website
Facebook
Twitter

Synopsis :

bE5uXDZAArriving at work to find she’s lost more than five-and-a-half days (133 hours), Briony Chaplin, has no recollection of where she’d been or what had happened to her. She is distraught. Has she been ill, or had a breakdown, or could she have been drugged and abducted?
Doubting her own sanity, Briony is fearful of what she’ll find. Yet she’s driven to discover the truth. When she trawls her memories, she’s terrified by visions, believing she may have been abused and raped.
Assisted by her friends Alesha and Jenny, and supported by a retired detective, she’s determined to learn where she’s been and why.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Guest Post :

The eBook version of my new novel is due to be launched on 20 January 2020. ‘133 Hours,’ is a claustrophobic, psychological thriller. It tells the story of Briony, a twenty-five-year-old girl, after she realises she has a gap in her memory. When she arrives at work, one Thursday morning, she’s questioned about where she’s been. She hasn’t been seen, or heard of, since the previous Friday evening. Briony is shocked. She has no answer. Initially, she has no recollection whatsoever of where she has been or of anything that’s happened to her. When she concentrates hard, in an effort to remember, she has images, sinister pictures in her head. The visions are of her lying naked in a room with hands touching her, lots of hands, and worse. She’s traumatised by the fear of what she may have been subjected to. But is it memories or is it her imagination giving vent to her fears? She doesn’t know. Considering the alternatives, Briony wonders if she may have been ill, whether she has mental health problems, or if, maybe, she’d been drugged and abducted. Defying the terrors of what she may uncover, Briony is desperate to find the truth. The police take her report seriously. They start an investigation, while, assisted by her friends, Briony makes her own enquiries.
I awoke one morning, with the concept of a character coming to realise that she’d been missing for several days, where she had no recollection and no one she knew had seen her, or heard from her. Initially, I tried to dismiss the idea, but it persisted. Immediately, I knew it would form the premise for a book, but I didn’t know whether I was ready to go through the torment of writing another thriller. I have already written, and had published, seven books (the four books of my Alex Warren murder-mystery series, my two standalone novels, ‘Ring Fenced’ and ‘Source’, and my non-fiction property management guide book). I knew only too well that it would mean several weeks of torture for my family and me, while I obsessively researched and wrote my first draft. For a few days, I tried to resist, but with no deliberate intent, ideas for the story and plot development plagued me. Being an author, my wife (Elly Grant) understood my trauma. Seeing me agonise over what to do, she encouraged me to work on it and, without too much more encouragement, I succumbed.
I carried out research, looking at venues and speaking with police officers and support workers and I started writing. I live, month about, between Glasgow and the South of France. I started writing and I carried out local research while in Glasgow, but the first draft was completed while I was in France. I then arranged for the manuscript to be checked over for continuity.
Unlike any of the previous novels I’d written, ‘133 Hours’ is told in the first person, present tense. It was a further challenge to have the story related from the viewpoint of a female young adult, when I’m a not so young male. It was an interesting challenge and I received a lot of help from my wife and friends. I hope my readers like it.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksTours / #GuestPost : Waves Break (on Unknown Shores) – Barry Litherland @BWLitherland

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

Waves Break

Today I’m on the ‘Waves Break (on Unknown Shores)’ blogtour, organised by Love Books Tour.
To promote this book I have a guest post written by its author, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Holiday May Grimsby, D and G etc (121)Barry Litherland is an author living and working in the far north of Scotland, not far from John O’Groats. He writes in a variety of genres but has achieved greatest success with his recent crime and paranormal crime thrillers, Waves Break on Unknown Shores, The Hand of Ronan Hawke and Turbulence. He is an avid reader and loves classical novels, modern literary fiction and self-published books. When he’s not writing or reading, he likes photography, at an amateur level, cycling, and walking the mountains and coastlines of the Northern Highlands. Some of his photographs are shared on his website bleaknorth.net.
After a successful and rewarding career in primary education, he now considers writing his new vocation, and writes a new book each year. He has two new novels awaiting proofreading prior to publication and – a new venture – two Middle Grade children’s novels (for 8-12 year olds.)
He is married to Susie, has three children, a grandson, Harry, and two springer spaniels, Ziggy and Daisy.

Synopsis :

Waves-Break-on-Unknown-Shores-original5Past events cast shadows you can’t outrun. Wayne and Phil knew that better than anyone, after Stevie died, way back when they were children. A pebble dropped in a pool. Ripples spreading outwards. Who knew where they would end?

Amazon

Guest Post :

Dear Reader.
Is there an author alive who doesn’t want readers? I know I do. I want their approval and appreciation far than I want the money generated by sales. I want to know that someone spent enjoyable hours in the company of my characters, engrossed in my stories, and engaged by my themes. I want people to be entertained by my writing style and choice of words.
These things are in my mind whenever I start to write.
I cannot expect my readers to engage with Phil Tyler or Wayne or Tina (in Waves Break) unless they believe in them. Nor can I expect readers to have much concern about what happens to them in the course of the narrative unless they care about them. The success of a character like Wayne, who is initially a far from appealing individual, is that within a short time the sympathies of the reader are engaged. He was a particularly interesting character to write about precisely because of this developmental arc. The same, I think, is true of the detective, Slattery, who emerges by the end of the novel in a way the reader could not have anticipated.
The same feeling of reality is important in my storylines. I want my readers to feel satisfied that the story I tell has an internal consistency and plausibility which leaves them with no doubt that these events are real. It is particularly important to me that the ending ties together every loose end, and that it provides a satisfying conclusion. There is nothing worse, I think, than finding, after hours of reading, that an ending lacks conviction, and leaves the reader disappointed.
Whilst Waves Break is clearly a crime thriller, I don’t want it to fit too neatly into a genre. Because of the first-person present narrative, it moves very quickly. This should not mean it lacks depth, reality or complex characterisation. I would love my readers, on finishing the book, to pause for a moment of reflection, emotionally impacted, before moving on with their day.
A recurring theme of my novels is the intractability of past events. In Waves Break on Unknown Shores, a series of events in childhood lead to a tragedy which has a lifelong effect on those involved. Even in adulthood, past events are shackled to their ankles, like the chains on Marley’s ghost. Wayne, in particular, is haunted by the past, and the book traces the arc of his life, and how he comes to terms with the past.
I want my readers to leave the final page satisfied that reading the work has been a moving, engaging and worthwhile experience.
I hope they do.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#MiniBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : The Bus Ride : A Zany Busnapping Adventure – Joanie Chevalier @JoanieChevalier

– ‘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 Bus Ride : A Zany Busnapping Adventure’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a guest post written by the author, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

-EWfsuVwJoanie Chevalier is a multi-genre Indie Author; Founder & Editor of RAC Online Magazine: Promoting and Encouraging the Reader/Author Connection; and Founder of Our Indie Author Room FB Group, a place where writers in all stages of their career go to learn, inspire, and teach.
Joanie loves the outdoors and nature, reading and supporting fellow indie authors. Her writing is a blend of everything she likes to read: suspense, horror, crime, psychological, non-fiction, and a good short story. She thinks her two Chihuahuas look adorable in sweaters.

Social Media Links:
Amazon Author Page
Twitter
GoodReads
RAC Website

Synopsis :

T9paANnQWhen Devon discovers his car stolen, he must find transportation to get to his destination before the deadline to get what’s rightfully his: the urn containing one-fifth of his deceased momma. He hops on Bus No. 255 and changes the course of the route. As the passengers’ personalities and needs emerge, they go from being strangers to a bonded family within hours as they fight for each other, and themselves… in more ways than one. Funny and sentimental, this story will grab your heart as you cheer everyone on Bus Route No. 255, maybe even the busnapper.
Meet the passengers on Bus No. 255, an unlikely group of people who have no choice but to try to get along and survive when their bus gets busnapped. Meet Devon, who has a deadline he must meet, or risk losing what’s his; Doug, a dreamer of a better life, but first must face a sad truth; Frankie, a life full of loneliness, but unexpectedly becomes a hero; Gloria, a woman who finds validation in the most unexpected place; Autumn, a girl who desires a family, and a sense of belonging; Dave, a man seeking justice and equality, learns to love himself as he is; and the Garcia family, whose family ties brings them to the brink of danger. Follow these passengers as they each fulfill their destinies, together.

Purchase Link

Guest Post :

The Bus Ride: A Zany Busnapping Adventure is a character-led novella.
“I feel if an author creates rich characters, the story will propel itself.”
– Joanie Chevalier, Author.

“The character range is by far the most impressive feature of the story, and time is dedicated to each of the individuals on the bus to give their little vignette of life and see how their issues are resolved, exacerbated (or indeed both) by the events of the busnapping.”
5-Star Review by K.C. Finn, Readers’ Favorite

Devon, the busnapper, decides to give each passenger a nickname: “We won’t be using our real names here. I want each of you to come up here and I’ll choose a nickname for ya. Cuz if I have to call on you, I don’t want to say ‘Hey, you.’ That’s not personal, and kinda rude. I like one-on-one personal stuff.”
Here, I’d like to introduce you to MuffinTopMomma aka Gloria, a woman who is at a crossroads in her life. Her husband recently died, and her son is off at college. After her best friend tells her she should get out there and date again, and after realizing she does lead a lonely life, she decides to board Bus No. 255 for a contemplative ride to figure everything out. As we get into the story, however, we find out there’s something else in store for Gloria, as well as the rest of the passengers. As the story progresses, we learn more about MuffinTopMomma, and find she is loyal to the people she cares about, and once she meets someone, they are part of her family.

Excerpt:
“I’m going in. Nobody messes with OUR REALBUSDRIVER,” MuffinTopMomma screamed as she pulled a stun gun from her cleavage, “or the hired help.” She ran into the pool area, holding up one side of her ankle-length leopard-spotted skirt. She let out a guttural sound as she zapped the first two men she approached.
“ARRRGGGGG!” They fell like bricks to the ground. One man backed up while holding his arms out in front of him.
“No, no, no noooooooo…” he stuttered before MuffinTopMomma zapped him too. He fell into the hydrangea bush.
Sitting at her favorite penny machine at the casino five hours straight three times a week didn’t give MuffinTopMomma much exercise. She gasped and held her chest as she stopped zapping for a second to thank SpiderBoy, who had grabbed another man’s ankle and pulled him into the pool.
“Thanks, little buddy!” she called out as she trotted past him and the sputtering man. After blowing out a few breaths, she zeroed in on a few guys ducking behind a hedge. “Yeah, you better run…SUCKERS!”

After everything is said and done, Gloria ends up marrying a wonderful man she meets at Thursday Night Bingo. They have an Elvis wedding in Reno, something they both still giggle about.

“…A woman named Gloria is almost like a Zen existence for everyone on board…”
5-Star Review by Lit Amri, Readers’ Favorite

Giveaway :

Win a Signed copy of The Bus Ride: A Zany Busnapping Adventure (Open INT)
*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#PublicationDayPush #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : The Cornish Secret of Summer’s Promise – Laura Briggs @PaperDollWrites

– ‘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 Cornish Secret of Summer’s Promise’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a guest post written by the author, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

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Laura Briggs is the author of several feel-good romance reads, including the Top 100 Amazon UK seller ‘A Wedding in Cornwall’. She has a fondness for vintage style dresses (especially ones with polka dots), and reads everything from Jane Austen to modern day mysteries. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, caring for her pets, gardening, and seeing the occasional movie or play.

Social Media Links :
Twitter
Facebook page

Synopsis :

DbuRDwpgAs spring slips away from the hotel Penmarrow, excitement builds for an exclusive auction hosted at the hotel, featuring priceless possessions from a Hollywood actress turned lady of the manor, including her famous diamonds. Celebrities and collectors form a crowd that is keeping Maisie and the rest of staff busy, even as Maisie faces a crossroads for her manuscript.
But when the diamonds are stolen and Sidney is accused by the authorities, Maisie’s dilemma as a writer is pushed aside out of fear that his future in Port Hewer is in jeopardy. Desperation to prove that someone else is behind the theft will lead Maisie to uncover a very different secret outside of jewel thieves and village rumors … one that could change her life and her future forever.
Can Maisie deal with the latest secrets exposed — including those that paint Sidney’s past in a questionable light? And as summer’s dawn alters her idyllic life in Cornwall, will Maisie’s feelings for Sidney change as well?

Purchase Link

Guest Post :

What Readers Are Saying About A Little Hotel in Cornwall

Thank you so much to Stefanie for letting me drop by and tell her readers about my latest romance read, The Cornish Secret of Summer’s Promise. It is the fourth installment in my series about aspiring author Maisie’s experiences working as a chambermaid at a Cornish seaside hotel. It’s tremendous fun to dream up adventures for Maisie in this colorful setting, where wealthy and eccentric guests abound and special events range from a summertime ball to an elaborate All-Hallows’ Eve birthday party and even a holiday ice sculpting competition at Christmas. For those of you who might be curious about the series—and perhaps wondering whether it might be your cup of tea—I wanted to do a guest post on a few of the reasons that readers say they count books from ‘A Little Hotel in Cornwall’ among their favorites.
It offers a bit of escapism:
This is always lovely to hear, since it was one of my goals in creating the series to transport readers to a world where romance, humor, adventure, and the occasional dash of mystery combine for the ultimate, feel-good escapist read. The works of Lucy Maud Montgomery were a major influence for the idyllic setting and larger-than-life events, while the idea for a grand historic building like the Penmarrow came in part from British television shows like Downton Abbey. I wanted readers to get utterly swept away when they opened its pages, so hearing that many of them ‘struggled to put it down’ and ‘can’t wait for the next installment’ is incredible. And whenever readers say they love the saga feel of the storyline, the ‘will-they-won’t-they’ romantic tension between Maisie and Sidney, the colorful cast at the hotel, or the suspense of secrets yet-to-be-revealed, I know that I’ve been lucky enough to achieve a big part of what I set out to do.
The heroine is following her dream:
A lot of readers seem to appreciate the fact that Maisie is passionate and serious in her goal of becoming a novelist. Her quest to find a mentor to help in her writing endeavors is what lands her on Cornish shores to begin with. The reason she stays is quite different—and of a rather more romantic nature—but even so, she doesn’t lose sight of her quest to become a professional writer, despite numerous setbacks and detours. This facet of her character sets her apart from the heroines I’ve written about in the past (even if Julianne was a pretty top notch event planner in my other Cornish romance series ‘A Wedding in Cornwall’). I’m happy to see readers embracing this side of Maisie’s personality, and even speculating on when (or if ) she will finally get to meet the elusive and brilliant novelist she hoped would give her unpublished novel its best shot at success.
The romance isn’t rushed:
Even though sparks fly and emotions run deep, Maisie’s relationship with the charming local groundskeeper Sidney Daniels is taking its time getting to happy-ever-after. Friendship, flirtation, and the hint of something more are ever present in their scenes together, but various obstacles keep them from acknowledging the obvious. To my surprise, readers seem happy with the suspense and even find it refreshing, apparently! But for those who are perhaps a bit impatient for something more, there is a big romantic moment in this newest installment (and a scene that should hopefully leave fans of the series swooning a little!).
The side characters are colorful:
Especially Riley the hotel’s flirtatious porter, whose antics frequently land him in hot water, to the delight of more than one reader. The rest of the staff is equally quirky, from uptight desk clerk Brigette to shy chambermaid Molly, grumpy Norm the gardener, and even the enigmatic manager Mr. Trelawney. But it’s not just the staff that makes the hotel Penmarrow a unique experience. The guests add their own special touch, and among fan favorites seem to have been the eccentric earl and his birthday party entourage in book two of the series, A Spirited Girl On Cornish Shores—characters that were, in fact, a deliberate nod to the traditional Agatha Christie style cast.
So if any or all of that sounds right up your street so to speak, I hope you’ll be sure to give the books in ‘A Little Hotel in Cornwall’ a try. The first four installments are currently available to buy, with Book Five on pre-order via Amazon.

Giveaway :

3 Winners to win a ‘surprise’ three-dimensional pop-up card & receive a digital copy of Book One, A Little Hotel in Cornwall. (Open INT)
Each winner will receive a ‘surprise’ three-dimensional pop-up card handcrafted by an Etsy artist and bearing a clue about the next book in Laura Briggs’ Cornish romance series. The winners will also receive a digital copy of Book One, A Little Hotel in Cornwall.

7FfayKFQ*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RandRBookTours @RRBookTours1 @Shanannigans81 / #GuestPost : The Weighing of the Heart – Paul Tudor Owen @PaulTOwen @ObliteratiPress

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

Tour Banner(1)

Today I’m on the ‘The Weighing of the Heart’ blogtour, organised by R&R Book Tours.
To promote this book I have some ‘basic’ information and a guest post.

About the Author :

Author Pic(1)Paul Tudor Owen was born in Manchester in 1978, and was educated at the University of Sheffield, the University of Pittsburgh, and the London School of Economics.
He began his career as a local newspaper reporter in north-west London, and currently works at the Guardian, where he spent three years as deputy head of US news at the paper’s New York office.
His debut novel, The Weighing of the Heart, was shortlisted for the People’s Book Prize 2019 and longlisted for Not the Booker Prize 2019.

Author Links:
Paul Tudor Owen
Twitter
Instagram

Synopsis :

WOTHCoverfrontTitle: The Weighing of the Heart
Publication Date: March 22, 2019 (Obliterati Press)
Genre: Literary Fiction

Following a sudden break-up, Englishman in New York Nick Braeburn takes a room with the elderly Peacock sisters in their lavish Upper East Side apartment, and finds himself increasingly drawn to the priceless piece of Egyptian art on their study wall – and to Lydia, the beautiful Portuguese artist who lives across the roof garden.
But as Nick draws Lydia into a crime he hopes will bring them together, they both begin to unravel, and each find that the other is not quite who they seem.
Paul Tudor Owen’s intriguing debut novel brilliantly evokes the New York of Paul Auster and Joseph O’Neill.

Goodreads

Amazon
B&N

Guest Post :

Paul Tudor Owen, whose debut novel The Weighing of the Heart is published by Obliterati Press, explains why he chose to set his book in New York City.

Like many people, I fell for New York before I’d ever set foot there.
Growing up 3,000 miles across the Atlantic in Manchester, for me New York was the city of impossible possibility described in The Great Gatsby, of underage drinking and comically hard-boiled teenage slang of The Catcher in the Rye, the place packed full of artists and writers and musicians in James Baldwin’s Another Country. It was the grimy, crime-plagued and thrilling grid of traffic depicted in Taxi Driver and Mean Streets, horns honking, neon swimming in the night.
It was the “voices leaking from a sad cafe” in Simon and Garfunkel’s Bleecker Street, and “music on Clinton Street all through the evening” in Leonard Cohen’s Famous Blue Raincoat. It was the home of Public Enemy and Edward Hopper. “Anything can happen now that we’ve slid over this bridge,” Fitzgerald wrote.
Every artist, musician, filmmaker or writer I loved from America – and many from much further afield – seemed to have either cut their teeth there or depicted it in their work. David Bowie and John Lennon lived there. It inspired PJ Harvey’s best album. Dylan Thomas died there. Jack Kerouac set off from there in On the Road.
But to me as a teenager, New York was as remote and out of reach as the moon. It was almost a fictional place – a set for some of the greatest works of art and literature of the 20th Century, many of which I was studying at the University of Sheffield.
The third year of my American Studies degree was spent abroad, at the University of Pittsburgh, and in January 2000 I visited New York for the first time.
Even the journey there gave me a sense of moving into a fictional world – my friends Tony and Heidi and I boarded the Greyhound in Pittsburgh just as Paul Simon’s characters do at the start of America. Heidi tapped me on the shoulder to wake me up early the next morning as the coach thundered along the overpass somewhere near Newark and the skyline of Manhattan came into view. I remember the Twin Towers, and the crush of buildings below, beside and around them compressed between the rivers. It seemed simultaneously instantly familiar and strangely unreal.
We stepped off the bus at the unlovely Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown. It was cold and grey and the streets were filthy. But we were walking the same sidewalks as the characters in Paul Auster’s New York Trilogy and Don DeLillo’s Underworld; we were stepping straight into a song by Blondie or a scene from a Woody Allen film.
Not everyone in the streets around us was going to become the next Don DeLillo or Debbie Harry – of course not. But it felt to me like if the next Don DeLillo or Debbie Harry existed, they were probably here somewhere, toiling away in obscurity. I wanted to be part of it.
Over the next few years, after returning to the UK, I would try to visit New York as often as I could, and that feeling never wore off. The skyscrapers that are New York’s most potent emblem symbolised the city’s sense of infinite possibility for me – the layers of lives stacked one on top of another; the lateral thinking of just deciding to build straight up; the yearning I felt seeing the skyline from the airport or the rivers or the bridges. I hoovered up books and articles about the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, the Flatiron and the Twin Towers – especially after the horrifying destruction of the latter had made New York the focal point of a terrible geopolitical realignment in 2001.
Eventually, four years ago, just as I was beginning to come to terms with the fact that I would never live there, my girlfriend and I both managed to get jobs there, and in March that year I arrived at JFK airport with three enormous suitcases, and within a week or so had found an apartment on St Marks Place – where Jeff Buckley recorded Live at Sin-é, where William S Borroughs, Leon Trotsky and WH Auden all once lived (not together), where Andy Warhol and the Velvet Underground ran their legendary night Exploding Plastic Inevitable and Billie Holiday and Miles Davis played at the Five Spot jazz club.
By that time, I had finished the first draft of my novel The Weighing of the Heart, my attempt to set down some of what I felt about New York in writing as I told the story of Nick, a young artist who steals a priceless painting from the wall of his landlords’ home on the Upper East Side. Nick moved to New York long before I did – how he feels about the city is how I imagined I would feel if I ever managed to live there. Life ended up imitating art.
But some things I got wrong. I discovered, embarrassingly behind time, that the city’s cultural centre of gravity had clearly moved from Manhattan across the river to Brooklyn – and had to rewrite scenes and references in the book as I redrafted the manuscript over the next three years. I found that the dome of the Chrysler Building – where I’d claimed there was a restaurant in the book – was actually the unlikely home to a number of dental surgeries, one of which I enthusiastically signed up to as soon as I could, getting six fillings for my trouble along with a spectacular panoramic view as I sat in the chair.
In the book, Nick, British like me, finds himself gradually beginning to feel like an American, but I never did – although I can see some of my friends are on their way along that path. And I found that being forced to reinvent yourself, something Nick embraces unreservedly from page one of The Weighing of the Heart, has downsides as well as upsides.
On the other hand there were one or two moments in the book that I’d invented from whole cloth that ended up playing out in real life – for example the startling sight of a goods train barrelling through our local subway station late one night.
And when Nick describes how “out past the flat roof almost all the skyscrapers had disappeared into mist, just the odd coloured light blinking groggily here and there”, and “feels exultantly what the New Yorkers of a hundred years ago must have felt, two hundred, three hundred, that this island and this city was theirs to create from scratch,” that was how I felt, looking out at “the ragged buildings in front of the park, windows sparkling, plate glass reflecting the last fragments of the sunset, the sheets of offices hanging high above the rushing streets … The enormous country was spread out behind us and New York was leading it like the prow of a ship.”
And there was an echo of my own first sight of New York, arriving on the Greyhound with Tony and Heidi in 2000, in the chapter when Nick describes his plane touching down for the first time at JFK: “the vast wall of skyscrapers like a gateway in the harbour, the Twin Towers its two gigantic gateposts.” It had become my second home.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours

#MiniBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : Single in Buenos Aires (The Polo Diaries Book 1) – Roxana Valea @roxana_valea

– ‘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 ‘Single in Buenos Aires (The Polo Diaries Book 1)’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a guest post written by the author, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

RRoxana Valea was born in Romania and lived in Italy, Switzerland, England and Argentina before settling in Spain. She has a BA in journalism and an MBA degree. She spent more than twenty years in the business world as an entrepreneur, manager and management consultant working for top companies like Apple, eBay, and Sony. She is also a Reiki Master and shamanic energy medicine practitioner.
As an author, Roxana writes books inspired by real events. Her memoir Through Dust and Dreams is a faithful account of a trip she took at the age of twenty-eight across Africa by car in the company of two strangers she met over the internet. Her following book, Personal Power: Mindfulness Techniques for the Corporate World is a nonfiction book filled with personal anecdotes from her consulting years. The Polo Diaries series is inspired by her experiences as a female polo player–traveling to Argentina, falling in love, and surviving the highs and lows of this dangerous sport.
Roxana lives with her husband in Mallorca, Spain, where she writes, coaches, and does energy therapies, but her first passion remains writing.

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Synopsis :

9781645332190_p0_v1_s550x406Roxy plays polo… but dreams of love.
Forty-one-year-old polo player Roxy arrives in Argentina with a to-do list that includes healing from a polo injury and falling in love with a handsome Argentine. From polo boots to tango shoes, the adrenaline of riding horses to glamorous after-game parties, Roxy learns to navigate this unfamiliar landscape with the help of new friends who teach her to take life as it comes. But will she find true love? Over three months in Buenos Aires, nothing goes according to plan, and yet, all the items on her list mysteriously get ticked off in the end. Just not the way she had imagined.
Fans of the Bridget Jones series will love the blend of humor, travel, and romantic comedy at the heart of Single in Buenos Aires, all topped off with the unforgettable flavor of life in one of the most sensual and passionate cities in the world.

Purchase Links:
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Guest Post :

Dreams and Reality

Dreams come to us from a land of beauty and purity. They come at night, quick glimpses of another world. Or they come during the day, silent reminders of how our life could be. We carry them covered in golden sheets hidden in the depth of our heart and we only allow ourselves some moments of silent wondering ‘How would my life be if this dream came true?’
And the dream remains just this. A dream. Locked away in our hearts. Covered in precious golden sheets. Cherished. Protected. Banned from any contact with our day to day life, from any bash with reality.
And this is what kills it. Or rather what stops it to live. Because only the day we muster enough courage to break this dream, to smash it against the floor, to break it like we break a saving box when we finally want to use the savings, only then it can truly live. Only when we smear it with the dust of reality we can bring it down to us, into our lives.
At first it will seem like a loss. The dream has lost its attraction, its impossible but ‘ah so nice’ quality. It’s here with us, in our life, it’s real, it’s less than perfect. It’s sometimes not exactly as we imagined it. It may seem disappointing sometimes. But it’s alive, it’s real. It has arrived. It has descended from the perpetual ‘One day’ and it has come into here and now. Into today.
I sometimes feel this with my books. When the book was just a dream, it seemed so perfect. The words, the paragraphs, the covers and images were glowing in a mist of perfection. Locked away in my heart, a perfect book lived in prison. But once I let it out of there, I found out that the reality of it is somewhat less than the perfect image I kept of it. I find a million things I could have done better. I proofread it at least ten times. I change a comma and a period and I wonder once again what else I can do to improve it. But then I remember about dreams and reality and I take a deep breath and I smile. I let it be just as it is, the best version it can be, a dream covered in the dust of reality. I’ve learned to let it be.
So here’s a challenge: let your dreams break into the waves of reality. Welcome them and live them with all the dust and dirt they’re covered with once they make the jump and land in reality. Let go of the polished golden image you carry in your heart. Live them as they come, with all the raw and unexpected beauty.
And be grateful for the gift they bring you. Because when you have the courage to make a dream happen, to smash it into the floor of reality, it breaks into a million coloured pieces, each one more shiny than what you could ever have imagined. And they go on to light your life and those of the people around you in ways infinitely more beautiful than the golden sheets you kept the dream wrapped into, in the prison of your heart.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds