#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : Hunter’s Blood – Val Penny @valeriepenny @crookedcatbooks @darkstrokedark

– ‘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 Blood’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
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 :

sGCoOwzwVal 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’ Hunter’s Revenge, Hunter’s Force and Hunter’s Blood are set in Edinburgh, Scotland, published by Crooked Cat Books. The fifth book in the series, Hunter’s Secret, follows shortly.

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Synopsis :

wJvOxXCgDI Hunter Wilson never has just one problem to solve.
Three elderly women he knows have died in mysterious circumstances. Hunter appears to be the only link.
A little girl goes missing on a cold winter’s night. When his team discovers cocaine hidden at the farm where she was living, the search becomes even more urgent.
Why did the women die? And what did the child witness?
Hunter must find the answers to these questions to ensure his family and his city are safe.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Guest Post :

Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog today. I am so excited that my fourth crime novel, Hunter’s Blood was published by darkstroke this month. New Year, New Decade, New Month, New Book – exciting times! It made me think about how I got to this point and my writing journey as a whole.
I firmly believe that to be a good writer you must first develop a love of reading and stories and telling stories. I remember when my younger sister and I were little girls our Mum used to make time to sit and read stories to us, particularly on a Sunday afternoon. These were not like bed-time stories. On a Sunday we would get to sit in the ‘good’ living room and she would read us books including ‘Great Expectations’ by Charles Dickens, ‘King Solomon’s Mines’ by H. Rider Haggard, ’Swallows Amazons by Arthur Ransome and ‘Emma’ by Jane Austin.
We loved listening to the stories but after we were in bed, having heard another story, my sister often could not get to sleep right away, so I would make up my own stories to tell her until she fell asleep. The first book I ever wrote was one of these stories, an adventure entitled ‘The Douglas Family’. I was about 9. I always planned to write a sequel, maybe one day I will.
It is often said that when we are teenagers we rebel and when we grow older we become ourselves again. It was certainly true of me! I always read voraciously but my writing, for many years, was confined to studies, work and journals. However, when I was older, I discovered blogging and it was when I was diagnosed with breast cancer that my way of coping during my treatment was to revert to type. I read all I could about the disease and began to blog about my journey at www.survivingbreastcancernow.com.
However, I have also always enjoyed good food and loved to travel. It is said I would go to the opening of a paper bag! So, I decided to start another blog to encompass these interests. Whenever I go anywhere, or go out to eat, I will share the experience here at www.hotelandrestaurantreviews.com  – to date it has not resulted in free meals, but I live in hope!
It was also during the time that I was recovering from cancer that I began my book review site. For almost a year I was too ill, first from the disease and then from the cure, to do very much. However, I could read: and I did, even more than I ever had. It seemed sensible to extend my blogging to include reviews of the books I was reading, so my third blog, www.bookreviewstoday.info was born.
I always enjoy reading books by writers that are new to me, as well as those with whose work I am familiar. I just like to read. I have always found that reading can take you to all kinds of places to meet different people. Perhaps it is my love of travel, this time through the medium of the written word. This was a great way for me to escape, especially from myself, when I was ill.
My own debut crime novel series, ‘The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries’ is published by darkstroke. The series is set in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. I did consider creating an imaginary town for my protagonist, DI Hunter Wilson. However, I know the city of Edinburgh well as I lived there for many years and it has everything a writer could need. It is a diverse city with all different kinds of buildings and people. It is small enough that characters can move around it quickly and large enough for it to be credible that anything I want to happen there, could happen.
Edinburgh is also a beautiful city with a castle, a palace and a cathedral, wealthy homes, horrible slums, fine restaurants, fast food outlets and idiosyncratic pubs. It is home to an Olympic size pool, the National Rugby Team and two famous football teams. It also hosts the Edinburgh International Festivals every August. What more could I or my characters want?
Now I can celebrate the publication of the fourth book in the series, Hunter’s Blood. While some members of the team visit a farm outside of Edinburgh in this novel, the story is very much Edinburgh based. I hope readers will enjoy this next adventure with DI Hunter Wilson and his team.

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Giveaway :

Win a .mobi or PDF of Hunter’s Blood by Val Penny (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

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : A Reason to Grieve – Mick Williams

– ‘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 Reason to Grieve’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
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 :

9gRaHQ3QMick Williams moved from Stoke-On-Trent, England to Kentucky, USA. Then, after almost a decade, he moved back.
In between reading, writing and listening to good music he still watches proper football and, for his sins, follows his local team Port Vale. He does also still cheer for the Indianapolis Colts.
He was adopted by two cats, Crash and Thud, and resides with his patient wife in Staffordshire.

Social Media Links:
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Synopsis :

Jl9SLKggTom and Emma drift through life, both burdened with a heavy sense of grief. Both have suffered devastating loss and have closed themselves off to the possibility of happiness. Then, at a funeral, their eyes meet and they feel something neither expected.
Supported by their quirky friends and a ‘right to the point’ pensioner, will they overcome their fears and find the solution to the pain within each other, or will they give up and go their separate ways?
In turns funny and sad, A Reason to Grieve is a romantic tale about two people fighting their feelings, about love and loss. And about funerals.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Guest Post :

Congratulations!
If you’re reading this, then you made it through the crazy Christmas period and the risky, possibly hazy aftermath of New Year’s Eve/Day.
You know what’s next, don’t you?
That’s right; gym workouts, detox programs and diet plans.
Why do we do it? What makes the turning of a calendar page the catalyst for us to get fitter/healthier/slimmer? Why do we wait until the beginning of a new year (or in this case, the beginning of a new decade!) to do something that, in all honesty, we should be doing all year long anyway?
At least, if we had that mindset.
Allegedly, Julius Caesar began the tradition of New Year’s resolutions to honour a mythical Roman god…and look what happened to him. I’m guessing his resolution didn’t involve a grisly time with a bunch of sharp knives!
Maybe the start of a new year presents a clean slate. A chance to do away with all the bad habits from the previous year and start afresh with a brighter attitude and a host of good intentions. We want to be better than we were, and now is as good a time as any to make that start. And, perhaps, it gives us hope. Just a glimmer in my case, but still. Here we are, freshly sober (or not!), knowing full well what we did wrong last year, with the belief that we can move forward with the turn of this mental page and become that better person we’ve always wanted to be.
So, here we go…a hasty £20 spent on a gym membership (just on a month by month basis, mind, let’s not get ahead of ourselves), followed by a battle on each visit to actually get on a treadmill because every man and his dog had the same idea. Luckily, three weeks into the year, every man (and probably his dog, too) has given up on getting sweaty and breathless and has reverted back to a swift half in the pub after work, followed by a cosy night in front of the TV. Now, the entire gym is yours. Knock yourself out. But Eastenders is on, and Dave says there’s a new sticky toffee apple stout on at the Knock Your Neck Inn. So…no.
Those sickly-looking green smoothies don’t make it to February either and that cooler drawer at the bottom of the fridge that once contained salad is now full of produce that’s grown more legs than an octopus. And it’s covered with that icky black ink substance they make. What the heck is that??
Nope, none of that for me. I like the person I am. Sure, I could be better in a million ways, but in trying to ‘fix’ me, I know I’d miss out on so many other things that make this life worth living. You may feel the same.
So, in no particular order, my resolutions…
Write more books.
Read more books.
Buy more books (anyone who says you have too many belongs in that cupboard under the stairs).
And that’s it. Because I love that stuff.

Mick Williams

P.S. Of course, if your resolutions are similar to mine, then visit www.mickwilliamsauthor.com and begin your book buying experience there 😊 .

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#MiniBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : The Cure – Patricia Anne Bowen @WoodsgalWrites

– ‘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 Cure’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
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 :

9gRaHQ3QPatricia Bowen writes novels, novellas and short stories, mostly about women with complicated lives. She’s been a copywriter, business owner, coach, marketing manager, and held corporate jobs in international business. She pens gardening articles for her local newspaper, and grants to support her local library. Her recent writing has appeared in the Table for Two anthology, The Sun magazine, and earned honourable mention in several contests. The Cure is her first full published work of fiction.

Social Media Links:
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Facebook

Synopsis :

Jl9SLKggTWO PEOPLE HARBORING SECRETS…
A stranger from the future comes to Paige’s cabin in rural Georgia with a treatment for her early onset Alzheimer’s disease. He bargains with the skeptical patient to give her The Cure if she’ll conduct a longitudinal study for him, proving his drug’s efficacy to a future world full of clients that need it. Faced with her dire diagnosis, he might be her only hope. She grapples with the side effects of his offer and learns to suppress her own dangerous truth: trust no one.
Seldom lucky in love, Paige finds herself competing with her best friend for his attention, knowing there can be no good end for their stolen moments of passion. Can she stay under the radar of the medical and legal communities to carry out his requests? And how will their complicated pasts bring them together physically, emotionally and professionally in a successful, if unethical, partnership?
Many lives will be changed, but at what cost… and to whom?

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Guest Post :

A Hopeful Tale Unfolds

The Cure is my debut novel about a woman in rural Georgia, Paige Bergeron, who’s just been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. She’s visited by a stranger, a doctor, Peter Lee, who’s come from forty-some years in the future with a cure for what ails her. They develop a co-dependent relationship based on their own very different backgrounds and needs, and things quickly become complicated.
Both characters have secrets. Both have insecurities. Peter has the upper hand with his knowledge of the future of medicine. He’s convincing, more worldly, manipulative, and the agenda for his visit is much fuller than he lets on to Paige. Paige is situationally vulnerable, and that temporarily masks the tough reserve she’s built up throughout her adulthood. Once convinced The Cure is real, and will benefit her, she’s all in to help Peter in exchange by conducting an under-the-radar longitudinal study for him. His team wants decades of history on the efficacy of their new breakthrough drug to bring it to a worldwide market that’s clamoring for it, that wants it right now. There’s no global appetite to wait for testing in real time.
Writing about the future in a way that is not “science-fictiony”, mixing current day life with future possibilities in believable ways, is challenging. But every minute detail needn’t be fully ironed out to make the story’s elements plausible. When you step back and think about it, we take a great many things in our current daily lives on pure faith, or at least accept them, without intense questioning, things from the mysteries of religion to the size of our national debt, and lots in between.
We try to influence our own futures (and sometimes those of others) by educating, saving, investing, exercising, and our plans are often blown away by circumstances like changing technologies, market fluctuations, health emergencies and more. Imagine yourself for a moment, right here, in this day and age, being given a diagnosis of incurable dementia. What would you think? Feel? Do? Then, if someone came along from wherever or whenever with a cure for you, how long would it take to convince yourself it could work? What kind of bargain would you be willing to make with your benefactor?
Fear and hope can make us do things we couldn’t imagine of ourselves. I want to hope the elements of this story, The Cure, can someday be fulfilled, that a cure, not just treatment but a real cure, for dementia can be found and brought to market without delay. It will be done by courageous people who believed the impossible could be made to happen.
The Cure is the first installment in a trilogy. The second, Legacy of The Cure, takes place in 2035-38, twenty years after The Cure, and is planned for publication in the Spring of 2020. The third, Fulfillment of the Cure, is based in 2060 and is planned for publication later in 2020 or very early 2021. Characters will come and go, grow, age, die, and the cure for Alzheimer’s binds them all together with one hopeful thread or another.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

 

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : Agricola’s Bane – Nancy Jardine @nansjar @OcelotPress

– ‘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 ‘Agricola’s Bane’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
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 :

aYGe5EowNancy Jardine writes historical fiction; time-travel historical adventure; contemporary mystery thrillers; and romantic comedy. She lives in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, where life is never quiet or boring since she regularly child minds her young grandchildren who happen to be her next-door neighbours. Her garden is often creatively managed by them, though she does all the work! Her husband is a fantastic purveyor of coffee and tea…excellent food and wine! (Restorative, of course)
A member of the Historical Novel Society; Scottish Association of Writers; Federation of Writers Scotland; Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Independent Alliance of Authors, her work has achieved finalist status in UK competitions.

Social Media Links:
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Synopsis :

znUFTaxwA.D. 84 Northern Roman Britain
Nith of Tarras helps Enya of Garrigill in the search for her kin, missing after the disastrous battle at Beinn na Ciche fought between the Caledonian warriors and the mighty Ancient Roman legions. Enya soon has a heartrending choice to make. Should she tread Vacomagi territory that’s swarming with Roman auxiliaries to find her brother? Or, should she head south in search of her cousin who has probably been enslaved by the Romans?
The Commander of the Britannic Legions and Governor of Britannia – General Gnaeus Iulius Agricola – is determined to claim more barbarian territory for the Roman Empire, indeed plans to invade the whole island, but finds not all decisions are his to make. It increasingly seems that the goddess, Fortuna, does not favour him.
The adventures of the Garrigill clan continue…

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Guest Post :

Are you listening to me?

“By Annonaria’s bountiful breasts and Fortuna’s stinking virtues! What had he done to incur the disfavour of the dual-role goddess?”
Agricola’s frustrated thoughts from Chapter 11, Agricola’s Bane.

There’s plenty of evidence, written and in epigraphic form, to demonstrate that the Ancient Romans were very religious and highly superstitious. Having a pantheon of gods and goddesses to draw favour from sounds quite exhausting to me, but it seems to have been the norm when General Gnaeus Iulius Agricola was invading northern Caledonia (Scotland) in A.D. 84. It’s tempting to think that his legions were full of soldiers who actually came from Rome, but that isn’t the case. Many of the legionary and auxiliary soldiers originated from Roman provinces across the Roman Empire, including some from southern Britain, and those soldiers worshipped their own private deities, just as avidly as any men from Rome itself.
In Agricola’s Bane, the theme of worship is a continuous thread. Regardless of their origin – whether my characters are Roman soldiers, or my Garrigill clan and their Caledonian friends – it’s likely to have been the norm for religious observance to permeate virtually every action these people took, all day long.
Ancient Roman religious observance took the form of requesting favour from a deity in advance of an act, rather than paying penance after a misdeed. Paying personal service, or offering up a physical offering, was commonplace. It was an advance contract with a deity something in the nature of ‘I will give you this, or do this for you…if you will do this for me.’ There were rituals to follow, correct procedures when praying to ensure practical and successful outcomes for all daily events. Roman households selected their own lares (guardian deities) and this concept seems to have been adopted by some Roman soldiers on campaign, since examples of personal guardian lares have been found in southern Caledonia.
Less is known about how the Celtic tribes of Caledonia (Scotland) worshipped. Religious figures belonging to local Late Iron Age populations, with or without human characteristics, have rarely been discovered in Scotland. Some experts believe that in day-to-day life the local Iron Age Celts equated their deities with aspects of the landscape, without the need for non-natural imagery. Trees, stream water, natural springs, groves…appear to have had significance and in some of these sacred places votive offerings were made (jewellery, weapons, etc) with no intention of retrieving the objects at a later opportunity. It’s likely that prayers were routinely said at such sites, even without an offering. Whether, or not, contractual prayers were made by the Celts in a similar way to the Romans isn’t really known, but there’s evidence for worship of many different Celtic deities across Europe. Some ancient Scottish place names may be based on god names. For example, the River Dee in Aberdeenshire is possibly named for the ‘river goddess’. In Scottish Gaelic it is Uisge De, meaning something like water of the pagan divinity.
Each individual soldier’s deities were their own business but the legions, and units within legions, had a collective god/goddess who presided over the welfare of the legion/group in general. Specific worship rites took place, especially in more hazardous times, as in before a huge battle. The standards of the legion would be paraded around the camp, or fort, when purification and protection was sought.
Roman occupied territory was dominated in a civic sense but the locals weren’t forced to accept Roman deities. However, over time it seems that some Celtic deities were conflated with similar Roman ones across Britannia to become dual goddesses with double barrelled names – Sulis-Minerva; Caelis-Brigantia.
The quote at the top indicates that Rome had many of its own dual named goddesses as in Fortuna Annonaria who brought the luck of the harvest. In Agricola’s Bane, my character Agricola is responsible for feeding probably upwards of 20,000 of his soldiers. That needed regular supplies brought to the north via the military supply chains, with supplementary provisions snatched from the local area.
While campaigning in northern Caledonia, during November and December, my Agricola in Agricola’s Bane was getting neither of those. Fortuna certainly wasn’t favouring him!

Giveaway :

Win x1 signed paperback of Agricola’s Bane to one UK winner; x1 kindle copy worldwide
*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 : 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. –

Tour Banner

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