#MiniBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #PromoPost : A Stranger’s Revenge – K. J. McGillick @KJMcGillickAuth

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

Today I’m on the ‘A Stranger’s Revenge’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a some ‘basic’ information for you.

About the Author :

Trust Me Author PhotoKathleen McGillick is an attorney by education and writes mainly suspense and thriller novels.
She earned a B.S.N. from the University of Miami, and an M.S. from Adelphi University, after which she practiced nursing for seventeen years. In 1994, while working as a Registered Nurse, she earned a Juris Doctorate from the John Marshall School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia. Her solo law practice in which she specialized in Family Law for twenty-seven years, centered on meeting the needs of women and children.
While practicing law, she turned to novel writing and has self-published ten novels that have recurring themes of legal intrigue and stolen art. As an avid international traveler, she incorporates many of the places she has traveled into the settings of her books. For the last fifteen years, she has immersed herself in the study of art history and the intrigue of crimes related to fakes and forgeries which she weaves into her character-driven complex plots.
Born and raised in New York, she now resides in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. Kathleen is a grandmother of two teenage grandchildren and a mother to four fur babies.

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Synopsis :

When art law attorney Abigail Clarke is mistaken for the murdered twin sister she never knew existed, will she be able to outwit a man determined to kill every member of her treacherous family.
Thirty years ago, during a thunderstorm, on an isolated street in South Boston, an unidentified two-year-old girl was discovered, abandoned, shot, barely clinging to life. After a thorough investigation, the case was eventually designated to the cold case files until Abigail Clarke, now an astraphobic art law attorney, is mistaken for the murdered twin sister she never knew existed.
What the FBI Art Crime Division cannot determine is if Abigail is an innocent bystander or a co-conspirator in her sister’s art fraud crimes.
Compelled to uncover all her family’s secrets, nothing prepares Abigail for the disastrous meeting with her murderous brother and crime boss father. Her life is irreversibly changed the more she becomes mired in her family’s treachery. She soon finds herself drawn into a game of cat and mouse by the vengeful killer who methodically plans to execute every member of her family, holding each one of them ultimately responsible for the murder of his own family thirty years ago.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #ZooloosBookTours @zooloo2008 / #QandAs : Birth Rite #BirthRite – Anthony Steven @GaryTwigg1

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

Birth Rite Book Tour Poster

Today I’m on the ‘Birth Rite’ blogtour, organized by Zooloo’s Book Tours.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Anthony Steven Author PhotoI mainly write horror and paranormal thrillers although I am probably the most squeamish of people when it comes to watching horror movies and normally watch the scary parts through my fingers. Why I write in this genre of fiction is therefore quite ironic, but I’ve always been attracted to horror and thrillers in all their forms, whether on print or large and small screen. I have early memories of secretly watching Appointment With Fear with my older brother on an old black-and- white portable TV on Monday night’s when we should have been asleep. The image of Christopher Lee crashing through French windows in the first Hammer Horror Dracula movie, with blood on his fangs chills me to this day!
Predictably, I am a huge fan of Stephen King, but also love writers such as Dean Koontz, Joe Hill, CJ Tudor and James Herbert. When I was a kid, I was fascinated and enthralled by Robert E Howard’s sword-and-sorcery tales of Conan The Barbarian and several other creations, and then by Michael Moorcock’s Eternal Champion series. These stories really fuelled my imagination and made me want to write my own stuff. When my older brother introduced me to Stephen King, I was soon lost in even darker worlds and I haven’t wanted to come out of them ever since. My books are, therefore, quite disturbing, gory at times, but I try to also litter them with characters who, while flawed, display the finer human qualities such as bravery, loyalty, and above all love of other people above themselves. I hope that you think that I have succeeded in this.
In my normal life I work for a charity that supports blind and partially-sighted people and I am also a qualified psychotherapist. This is all after spending twenty-five years in the private sector, where I wasn’t just unfulfilled, but also monumentally bored. Working with people directly to help them solve their own problems was definitely a better fit for me.
I live in Cheshire with my wonderfully patient wife and our small dog, Bailey, who loves nothing better than cuddles, food, and waiting until I’m relaxed of an evening before she demands some attention.

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Synopsis :

Birth Rite Book CoverNine-year-old David Ryan is in mortal danger. He has a deadly secret that is unknown even to himself. But there is someone that does know: a relentless killer born of hatred, who draws upon dark powers to destroy God’s chosen ones.
As David grows into a troubled teenager, he has to confront the truth about himself to have any hope of stopping the malignant spread of evil that is engulfing his small town. He must accept his birth-rite, or the whole world will burn.

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Q&A :

Hi
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I live in Cheshire, England and work for a charity that supports people with sight loss. I live with my wife, Mary, and Bailey, a small dog with a massive personality. I also have many grandchildren and even a great granchild, although I don’t consider myself to be particularly old! Like a lot of writers, I have been writing on and off since I was a child, and have lots of short stories in my virtual trunk. I’ve now written three full-length novels, but only seriously thought about publishing them in the last couple of years, which I now have. I also have my own author website and send monthly newsletters to my email subscribers.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I loved the Narnia books by CS Lewis and remember devouring them as a child. I loved lots of other fantasy books as I got older, such as Lord of The Rings, The Sword of Shannarra and the works of Robert E. Howard, which included Conan The Barbarian. As an older teen I outgrew sword and sorcery fiction to a large extent and graduated to horror. My favourite writers to date are Stephen King, Robert McCammon, Joe Hill and CJ Tudor.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Predictably, Stephen King.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
From my own books I’d invite psychic Nick Ballard to see if he could read my mind. My favourite fictional character apart from this is The Gunslinger, the hero of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, although I’m not quite sure that he would be the perfect guest for an afternoon spot of tea and snacks.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Not really. Apart from writing the first draft as quickly as possible and then editing at a more leisurely pace. I always let my wife read the finished article first, as she’s my Ideal Reader.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
In the past, people in my life had read my stuff and then looked at me in a different light, I think, as normally I’m the most placid and easy-going person, or so I like to think. It’s funny about ideas. I’ve got a series about a psychic and a policewoman who solve murders in London, and I don’t really know where that came from. My horror novel, Birthrite, is largely derivative of my childhood, so I absolutely know where that came from. Shorter stories seem to come from random ideas and images that develop into stories. For example, I often see people standing on motorway footbridges, looking at the traffic as it passes beneath them. From this, I came up with a short story called The Bridge People.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I have a basic structure of a story, but that can often change as I write, so in that way I suppose I’m a bit of a pantser.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
I think that as novice writers we can develop some bad habits without realising. When I loved all things Robert E. Howard, I probably wrote as a third-rate version of him and the same with Stephen King. I engaged with an organisation called Jericho Writers who helped me to find my own voice and iron out some of those bad habits.

What are your futureplans as an author?
I’m currently writing book three in my psychic/policewoman trilogy, and I’m also compiling an anthology of my short stories, which are all of the horror or thriller genres.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?

At the other end of the platform, a tall, dark figure waited. It began to move forward, and David saw a pale glitter of steel in the uncertain glow of the streetlights. Thoughts of his father were swept away. The Bogeyman had come for him; The Bad Man, The Monster. It punished children who strayed or misbehaved; took sweets from strangers or wet the bed, and now it was here at last. The old stories were all true. He was unable to move or even dislodge the scream that was building in his throat. He was going to die, and God couldn’t save him.

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Anthony Steven.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!

#MiniBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : Eloping With The Laird – Jeanine Englert @JeanineWrites @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks

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

Today I’m on the ‘Eloping With The Laird’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Jeanine Englert’s love affair with mysteries and romance began with Nancy Drew, Murder She Wrote, and her Grandmother’s bookshelves full of romance novels. She is a VIVIAN® and Golden Heart® Finalist as well as a Silver Falchion, Maggie, and Daphne du Maurier Award Winner in historical romance and mystery. Her Scottish Highland historical and historical romantic suspense novels revolve around characters seeking self-acceptance and redemption. When she isn’t wrangling with her characters on the page, she can be found trying to convince her husband to watch her latest Masterpiece or BBC show obsession. She loves to talk about books, writing, her beloved rescue pups, as well as mysteries and romance with other readers. 

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Synopsis :

A man she can trust …
With her life … and her heart?
Ordered by her father to choose a husband by the end of the Highland Games—or he will select one for her—widow Moira Fraser hastily elopes with Rory McKenna, Laird of Blackmore. But they soon discover neither is free of the past. Rory has a price on his head and needs an heir as soon as possible, and Moira’s horrible first marriage has left her afraid of letting her new husband get close …

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Q&A :

Hi

First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’ve wanted to be a published author since I was 8 years old. I wrote poetry and short stories, but it wasn’t until 2013 when I joined Romance Writers of America that I became serious about trying to become a published author. In 2019, I published my first book, a Victorian romantic suspense, Lovely Digits with Soul Mate Publishing. Then, in May of 2021, I published my first historical romance, The Highlander’s Secret Son, with Harlequin/Mills & Boon.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I have always loved to read, and my parents used to take me to the library to get the max number of books I could for the summer reading program. My favorites when I was young were Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew. I still love to read mysteries, like the Lady Darby series by Anna Lee Huber, and of course romance. My favorite romance authors are Julie Garwood, Jude Deveraux, and Mary Jo Putney.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I would love to talk at length with Jayne Anne Krentz. Not only do I love her Amanda Quick books, but I’ve loved every writing session I’ve heard her speak at and learned something new every time.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I am currently obsessed with Adam Dalgleish from the Dalgleish tv series based on the P. D. James’ novels. I would love to chat over tea with him. A poet and a detective? What an amazing combination.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I use music to plot many of my scenes, and I write best early in the morning (like 4-5am early) with just my lamp on, several cups of black coffee, and my eldest pup sleeping beside me.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
The ideas I get are often triggered by a meshing of something in my current environment with something that’s been spooling up in my imagination without me even knowing it. And I never know when it will finally push itself to the forefront of my mind. None of my characters are related directly to the people in my life, but some of them do share traits. 😊

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I have tried so hard to be more of a plotter, but I’m not. I am a full blown pantser. Even when I attempt to plot, the characters often drive me in a different direction as the book goes on.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
1) Finish the book; don’t keep editing the first few chapters over and over again.
2) Just because an agent or publisher says yes to you doesn’t mean you have to say yes to them. Pick the agent and publisher that are right for you.
3) Stay in your own lane. Do not worry about what other authors are doing or you will lose your purpose and your joy.
4) Listen to your books as you edit.
5) Edit from the end of the book to the beginning.

What are your futureplans as an author?
To be open to whatever opportunities come my way with my writing! Also, there are two more books in the Falling for a Stewart Series coming out with Harlequin Historical. Book 2, The Lost Laird from Her Past, is coming out in July 2022.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Of course!
Set up: In this scene from chapter 2, our hero Rory McKenna responds to widow Moira Fraser’s statement that he is her first choice for a husband. Since, it is well known throughout the Highlands that he is ill and expected to succumb to the dreaded curse that has claimed his ancestors, he is surprised by her response and inquires as to her intentions.

First?
Rory McKenna had never been anyone’s first choice for anything, let alone a woman’s first choice for a husband. ‘I’m sorry, did you say I was your first choice?’
‘Aye,’ she answered. ‘My brother Ewan has apprised me of some of the other…options for a husband, but I believe you and I would suit one another, quite well actually.’
‘How could you possibly know that when we’ve never met before?’
She hesitated and a slight flush rose in her cheeks. ‘Because you are dying, my laird.’
What did one say to that?
‘And here I believed you might be intrigued by my title, estate or good looks,’ he teased, rubbing the back of his neck. ‘I must say I have never met anyone quite like you, Mrs Fraser.’
Her blush deepened and her shoulders rolled in, reminding him of a raven tucking in its wings. ‘You must think me a horrible person. Now that I’ve said it aloud, I realise how awful it sounds. I don’t wish for you to die, my laird. I’m not that kind of person. Truly.’
He studied her for a moment. Though she didn’t seem that kind of person, one could never tell, could they?
‘Your logic intrigues me,’ he stated. ‘Why do you wish to marry a dying man? How could that possibly benefit you?’ He angled his body closer to her, hoping she would open up once more. He didn’t quite know if he should believe her or not. She had just absorbed a hard fall. Her logic could be impaired.
‘My laird, I have no fantasy of love. Mostly I wish to have a simple, peaceful life and future of my own choosing, but as a woman that is not an option. If I must select a husband, then knowing it will not be for long…would be strangely comforting.’ She shifted on the timber as she stared out in the distance, her features flat and pale.
Something deep inside him shifted, and his body tightened; his initial shadowy thoughts about her reservations to remarry came into sharper focus. What had happened to her? He wished to reach out and touch her, comfort her, protect her, but he ran his open palms down his trews instead. He didn’t trust himself. He had little to offer her and from the looks of it she deserved everything.

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Jeanine Englert.

Giveaway :

Warm up with a Scottish Highland Giveaway! (Open to UK / US)
Cozy up with a beautiful cashmere scarf made in Scotland, some book swag, and a Scottish Blessings bracelet while you read my latest Highlander romance, Eloping with the Laird! I hope you enjoy this first book in the Falling for a Stewart series! Happy reading!

*Terms and Conditions – UK & US 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.

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #PromoPost : At Death’s Door (The Shires Mysteries 2) – Anna Legat @LegatWriter @AccentPress

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

Today I’m on the ‘At Death’s Door’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a some ‘basic’ information for you.

About the Author :

Anna Legat is a Wiltshire-based author, best known for her DI Gillian Marsh murder mystery series. Murder isn’t the only thing on her mind. She dabbles in a wide variety of genres, ranging from dark humorous comedy, through magic realism to dystopian. A globe-trotter and Jack-of-all-trades, Anna has been an attorney, legal adviser, a silver-service waitress, a school teacher and a librarian. She has lived in far-flung places all over the world where she delighted in people-watching and collecting precious life experiences for her stories. Anna writes, reads, lives and breathes books and can no longer tell the difference between fact and fiction.
Subscribe to Anna’s News, Rumours and Scandalous Revelations at https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/j6b7k1.

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Synopsis :

BOOK TWO IN THE SHIRES MYSTERIES – A GRIPPING NEW COSY CRIME MYSTERY.
When Maggie Kaye and Sam Dee join the Bishops Well archaeological dig, they are as surprised as everyone else to unearth a body that was buried there less than fifty years ago. It can’t possibly be the remains of an ancient Celt.
Maggie, with her usual flair – and psychic intuition – is convinced that there is more to this discovery than meets the eye. And some Bishops residents seem to know a lot more about the case than they are willing to let on.
But nobody is as shocked as Maggie when a face from the past – a face she thought she’d never see again – appears in the village, and long-hidden secrets begin to surface.
With danger at her door, and Sam by her side, can Maggie uncover the truth before it’s too late?
A TWISTY NEW WHODUNNIT, FOR FANS OF BETTY ROWLANDS, FAITH MARTIN AND JOY ELLIS.

Purchase Links:
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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #ZooloosBookTours @ZooloosBT / #Excerpt : Ashes of Innocence (The Wilson Files, Book 1) #AshesOfInnocence #TheWilsonFiles – Phil Price @PhilPrice19 @SpellBoundBks

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

Today I’m on the ‘Ashes of Innocence’ blogtour, organized by Zooloo’s Book Tours.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Phil Price was born in Sutton Coldfield in 1974. He lived in various places in the UK until his family settled in Rednal, a suburb on the outskirts of Birmingham in 1979. Growing up with an older brother and sister, he always flirted with reading, his home always littered with books. Then in 1997, Phil embarked on a travel expedition that took him from Greece to Thailand, via East and Southern Africa. Sitting in dusty bus stations in Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi with Wilbur Smith and James Herbert accompanying him, his imagination was sparked into life. Since those far-off days, he has never been without a book to read.
Phil started toying with the idea of writing a book in 2009. After writing a few short stories, he caught a whiff of an idea in his head. It started to evolve in 2010 until he had enough to begin his writing journey. Marriage and two children came along, with the story being moved to the back burner for periods of time. However, during those periods of writing inactivity, the story continued to manifest until it just needed one thing. To be written down.
The story was littered with places that had influenced Phil’s life. From the Lickey Hills in Birmingham to the Amatola Mountains in South Africa, with other many other locations, in-between and far beyond.
The book was finished sometime in 2014, left on his computer until a chance conversation with an author friend made Phil take the bold step to publish his story, Unknown.
From there, Phil’s love for the first book spurred him on, creating The Forsaken Series. A vampire/paranormal/horror trilogy, set in our world, and others too. His love of horror and all things supernatural, inspired by authors such as King, Herbert and others, helped create the epic series.
After writing a science fiction novel, titled Zoo, Phil released his first psychological thriller, Ashes of Innocence, a story that he’d kept bubbling away for many years.
Aside from his writing, Phil lives on the edge of a small town in Worcestershire, UK. A wife and two sons keep Phil happily occupied as he steers his way through life, playing the husband, dad and world creator in equal measure

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Synopsis :

He was fighting for his country in a far-off land, hoping to make his home a safer place for his family.
Twelve years ago John Wilson returned from conflict prepared to put the past behind him and settle down.
He never thought he would survive the horrors of war only to find a bigger threat stalking the streets at home.
A vicious incident involving two young boys blows John’s world apart robbing him of what he loves most.
Now, just as John finally seems to be getting his life back on track, shadowy figures from his past emerge and threaten to take the one thing left worth fighting for.
Just how much can one man take ?

Amazon UK
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Excerpt :

A few minutes before, the three figures came to the same stretch of road. “I want Mummy,” Lottie stated matter-of-factly.
“Don’t worry,” Sean soothed, his vision swimming as he pulled her towards a steel flyover that spanned a dual-carriageway next to a disused rail yard. “We’re taking you to her now.”
“But she’s in the shop,” the little girl replied insistently. “I want Mummy.”
“Sean,” Luke said. “What are we doing?”
“Shut it,” the older brother hissed. “You said she was the evil doll. She looks just like her.” She’ll probably slit our throats if we let her.”
“I’m not a doll,” Lottie countered. “I have lots of dollies at home.”
“It’s okay,” Sean replied, taking another swig of vodka to dull the rising panic he now felt. “We have some dollies over there,” the teenager pointing towards the rail yard. The brothers were unsteady on their feet, as they had consumed the second joint a few minutes before the girl had come walking out of the coffee shop with a throng of customers. Both brothers had seen the likeness to the doll from the horror movie, their addled minds twisting reality before they led her away.
“Sean. We’re gonna get in trouble for this. If people find out we’ve taken her, the police will be after us and you’ve already been in trouble with them.”
“Shut it. I know what I’m doing. No one knows we’ve got her.” They came down the other side of the flyover as traffic still trundled past on the nearby motorway. A footpath led off in either direction, hugging the dual-carriageway that was devoid of traffic. “We need to get off the road. Someone will spot us any minute.”
“I want my Mummy!” Lottie shrieked, trying to pull away from Sean’s grip.
“Shut the fuck up!” he shouted, his piercing grey eyes glaring at her. Lottie flinched before the tears began. She wailed in his grip as a car appeared a few hundred yards away, its headlights fighting against the dreary afternoon. “In there,” Sean barked, pointing towards a gap in the steel fencing that led to the disused rail yard. The brothers ducked through the hole, dragging the protesting four-year-old with them.
“Make her quiet, Sean,” Luke hissed. “She’s driving me mad.” He placed his hand over her mouth to quieten her. Lottie responding by biting the boy’s little finger until she broke the skin. “FUCK!” he screamed, yanking his hand away. “Little bastard,” he hollered, inspecting the damaged finger. He kicked out at the little girl, catching her on the thigh, making Lottie cry out in pain.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #ZooloosBookTours @ZooloosBT / #Excerpt : 3 Days in Vienna #ThreeDaysInVienna – John Steinberg @SteinbergStory

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

Today I’m on the ‘3 Days in Vienna’ blogtour, organized by Zooloo’s Book Tours.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Born and raised in North London in 1952, John still lives in the city with his wife and three children. Privately educated, John left school after ‘A’ levels and completed a business diploma in what is now the University of Westminster, before entering banking.
He started training as an accountant but did not complete the course, choosing a position in his family’s furniture manufacturing business instead. John started his own mergers and acquisitions business in 1987, which he ran for almost 20 years before quitting to become a full time writer in 2007.
John has co-written and produced comedies for the stage and has created a series of books for children. “Previously, I had only been interested in comedy and finally started to write down the things I said or thought of. That led me to co-write and produce a play, In the Balance, and then W for Banker – which appeared at the New End Theatre, Hampstead. It was then I decided to quit the world of business in favour of writing full-time, and move toward more serious subjects. My first novel has taken two years to write and is the first in a series of books I am calling the ‘Steinberg Stories’.”

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Synopsis :

Elizabeth McCreary’s mother Lillian Frankl was a child of the Kindertransport – but she refuses to speak of the past. Determined to learn more, Elizabeth flies to Vienna on the start of a life-changing journey.
At home in London, her lawyer husband Anthony is facing disgrace. Vast sums have been siphoned off from his firm’s client account to support the far right British Independent Party of which his father, William, is Treasurer. William’s close links with the Crediton Trust in Devon, a pharmaceutical company of prestige and power, are helping to make his political ambitions a reality. However, behind the big-business façade of Crediton lies a dark past rooted in Nazi Germany, of theft and the sinister use to which its drugs were put during World War Two.
For the McCrearys, one astounding revelation follows another. Nothing can ever be the same – and all roads lead inexorably back to Vienna.

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Excerpt :

The true extent of the dangerous views held by Elizabeth’s Father in Law are explored

Over in the pretty rural setting of Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds, a meeting of
the British Independence Party was about to commence.
A robust man in his early sixties got to his feet, called for silence and began to address the select group, which consisted in the main of thirty or so like-minded politicians and captains of industry.
‘Good morning, gentlemen. I’m sure some of you need to get to London for the afternoon’s vote in the Commons so I’ll keep it brief. Though if it were up to me I’d lock them all up and throw away the key! Cutting the age of consent for homosexuals – whatever next?’ he bellowed.
The comment brought subdued mutterings of approval.
‘As your treasurer,’ William McCreary continued, ‘I can confirm that, as of last night, contributions pledged have passed the three million pound mark. That is correct, isn’t it, Rupert?’ He addressed the obese financier with a black eye-patch who sat to his right. The relationship with Meredith’s Bank went back over forty years.
Of course, he was aware of the controversy surrounding the bank’s dealings with so-called German war criminals, fugitives living in South America, but that had proved no more than a temporary blot on their reputation and they were soon able to resume their rightful position amongst the City’s elite institutions. More importantly, Meredith’s remained resolutely supportive of the BIP’s cause and shared its nationalistic aspirations.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub @maryanneyarde / #PromoPost : Raid of the Wolves (Ormstunga Saga, Book 2) #RaidOfTheWolves – Donovan Cook @DonovanCook20 #HistoricalFiction

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

Today I’m on the ‘Raid of the Wolves’ blog tour organized by The Coffee Pot Book Club.
To promote this book I have some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Even as a young child, Donovan loved reading stories about Vikings and other medieval warriors fighting to defend their homeland or raiding in distant lands. He would often be found running around outside with nothing other than a wooden sword and his imagination.
Now older, he spends his time writing about them. His novels come from his fascination with the Viking world and Norse Mythology and he hopes that you will enjoy exploring this world as much as he did writing about it.
Born in South Africa but raised in England, Donovan currently lives in Moscow, Russia with his wife and their French Bulldog, where he works as an English tutor. When he is not teaching or writing, he can be found reading, watching rugby, or working on DIY projects. Being born in South Africa, he is a massive Springboks fan and never misses a match.

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Synopsis :

Book Title: Raid of the Wolves
Series: (Ormstunga Saga, Book 2)
Author: Donovan Cook
Publication Date: 15th November 2021
Publisher: Independently Published
Page Length: 362 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

The only thing that kept him going were the voices of his ancestors, screaming for blood…
Ulf and his shield brothers are sent on a raid against an old enemy — Francia, a mighty kingdom to the south, now ravaged by civil war. During the perilous sea voyage, Ulf can only focus on one thing. He demands closure: to find the man who slaughtered his family — Griml.
A hidden enemy stalks Ulf and his warriors through Francia, striking mercilessly when they least expect it. Soon the hunters become the hunted. The Norse warriors must make the ultimate choice between defying the king or angering the gods. Both could end in fury.
But there is another threat lurking in the shadows. One that Ulf could never anticipate.
Ulf is not the only one who wants vengeance.

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub @maryanneyarde / #Excerpt : The Heart of a Hussar (The Winged Warrior Series, Book 1) #TheHeartOfAHussar #PolishWingedHussars – Griffin Brady @griffbrady1588 #HistoricalFiction

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

The Heart of a Hussar Tour Banner

Today I’m on the ‘The Heart of a Hussar’ blogtour, organized by The Coffee Pot Book Club.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

GB Head shot (1)Griffin Brady is a historical fiction author with a keen interest in the Polish Winged Hussars of the 16th and 17th centuries. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. The Heart of a Hussar took third place in the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ 2018 Colorado Gold Contest and was a finalist in the Northern Colorado Writers’ 2017 Top of the Mountain Award.
The proud mother three grown sons, she lives in Colorado with her husband. She is also an award-winning, Amazon bestselling romance author who writes under the pen name G.K. Brady.

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Synopsis :

Book Title: The Heart of a Hussar
Series: (The Winged Warrior Series, Book 1)
Author: Griffin Brady
Publication Date: 12th September 2020
Publisher: Trefoil Publishing
Page Length: 434 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

Heart of a Hussar eBook Cover LargeHe’s determined to protect his country. But can he defend himself against the ultimate betrayal?
Muscovy, 1610. Jacek Dąbrowski yearns to be recognized for his valor. Hoping his recent promotion to lieutenant will help secure the lands he desires, the twenty-two-year-old Polish cavalry officer earns instead the enmity of his captain. And his out-of-character rescue of two innocents from slaughter sets in motion a chain of grave consequences.
Discovering the young woman and her brother are not Russian enemies and have no kin, Dąbrowski escorts them back to the castle in his homeland. But as the rivalry with his superior grows and the blossoming beauty sparks a fire in his heart, the brave horseman may find his dreams of glory lying in tatters.
Can the courageous warrior survive hidden schemes that could destroy all he holds dear?
The Heart of a Hussar is the stirring first book in The Winged Warrior Series historical fiction duology. If you like driven heroes, gut-wrenching twists, and vivid scenes of combat, then you’ll love Griffin Brady’s well-researched tale.
⬧ Bronze Medal Winner of the 2021 Independent Publishers Book Awards for Best Adult Fiction E-Book!
⬧ Finalist for the 2021 National Indie Excellence Awards in Historical Fiction!
This book includes adult content and is intended for mature audiences.

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Excerpt :

Chapter 14

Jacek stood just outside Eryk’s solar and announced himself. Low voices interspersed with pacing bootsteps drifted through the partly open door.
“Come,” Eryk ordered. Jacek stepped beside Mateusz and stood at attention.
Eryk swatted a sheaf of papers against the edge of his desk. “Jacek, Mateusz has been advising me of rumors my cousin Antonin is building up his forces.”
Jacek tracked Eryk as he resumed pacing.
“I still do not believe he could have had anything to do with the ambush, but in spite of our inquiries, we’ve learned absolutely nothing. I thought perhaps to pay him a visit at his fortress and satisfy myself.”
“Of course, my lord. When do we leave?” Mateusz asked.
“Two weeks, but you are not going, Mateusz. As captain of the guard, you will remain here. Jacek will be my second on this foray.”
In Jacek’s peripheral vision, Mateusz eyed him with a frown. Jacek kept his eyes straight ahead, trained on the lord.
Eryk’s shoulders drooped. “I would have left sooner but for my wife’s health. She is recovering from a bout of illness, and I expect her to be fully restored when we leave for my cousin’s stronghold. I need to make it seem like a friendly visit, a family visit.” Eryk chuckled mirthlessly. “I shall call on a man I neither like nor trust.”
When the meeting ended, Jacek left the solar briskly, putting distance between himself and Mateusz. His effort did not get him far.
“Dąbrowski!” Mateusz barked.
Jacek bit back his irritation and turned to face his superior.
“Captain?”
They stood outside the great hall, poised at the top of the forestairs in a chill wind.
Mateusz’s face was mere inches from Jacek’s. “I know what you’re doing, Dąbrowski.”
Jacek looked down at him. “Sir?”
“You’ve set that brat of yours to spy on me while you ingratiate yourself with Lord Eryk. You’re trying to steal my position.” Mateusz pulled his gloves on.
Heat rose in Jacek’s cheeks. “Begging your pardon, Captain, but I have given Filip no orders to ‘spy’ on you. If the boy is being a nuisance, I will deal with him.”
Mateusz’s mouth twisted in a snarl. “See that you do, Dąbrowski. See that you keep him away from me. And another thing. Stay away from my wife!” Mateusz was so close he sprayed Jacek’s chin and mouth.
Calmy, Jacek removed a linen square and scrubbed it over his face. The captain’s bloodshot eyes smoldered, and a vision of a deformed, split nose bleeding between them flashed through Jacek’s mind.
In a low voice, Jacek replied, “I think, Captain, it would serve you better if you told your wife to leave me alone.”
Jacek turned on his heel, but before he took a step, a hand clamped on his shoulder. He let the captain spin him around, calculating all the while. One well-placed jab. One well-placed jab and a knee to the groin. Grab the back of his head and ram his face into the knee, hear the gratifying crunch. Watch the blood pour.
Jacek clenched his fists. Mateusz stared at him for several heartbeats. Two of Mateusz’s underlings called to him from the bottom of the forestairs, and Mateusz started to laugh. He smacked Jacek’s cheek and pointed a blocky finger at him.
“Don’t flatter yourself, Dąbrowski.” He gave Jacek a rough shove, turned, and leapt down the stairs, still laughing.
Just then, Filip careened into the courtyard, his head down as he trod the rutted path to the forestairs. Mateusz took four steps out of his way and barreled over Filip, sending him sprawling on his backside in the dirt. Mateusz roared with laughter, spurring his two men-at-arms to join in.
“Why don’t you watch where you’re going, you little rat? Now stand up and apologize.”
A hand gripped Jacek’s arm as he readied to descend the stairs, and Henryk’s even voice sounded in his ear. “Don’t give him the satisfaction.”
Feliks paced into the courtyard and pulled Filip up by the scruff, talking to him in a low voice Jacek couldn’t make out. Filip looked up at Mateusz with blazing eyes and mumbled something. Mateusz wheeled toward Jacek and erupted in another round of laughter before turning his attention back to Filip.
“Apology accepted,” he hollered. Mateusz started to walk away but stopped and pivoted. “And tell that sister of yours I’ll pay her a visit soon.”
Jacek jerked his arm from Henryk’s grasp. Feliks caught his eye and shook his head, then grasped Filip’s shoulders and spun him toward the stables.
“Jacek. Time for the midday meal. Come, before the food is gone,” Henryk said. Jacek blew out a breath and trailed his friend, his hands still fisted.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : A Nose for Mischief (Riverbend K-9s Book 1) – K.T. Lee @KTLeeWrites

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

AS9CSB5A

Today I’m on the ‘A Nose for Mischief’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

HOcyxHHQK.T. Lee is a writer, mom, and engineer who grew up on a steady diet of books from a wide variety of genres. She’s the author of multiple books, including those in the Riverbend K-9 Series and The Calculated Series.
Find out more and get the latest updates (and a free prequel novella!) at her website or follow K.T. on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Synopsis :

LUiLytrAWhen materials engineer Zoey Butler lands her dream job at Future State Energy, she believes her research in renewable energy will make headlines. Unfortunately for her, she’s right. Zoey is working on her latest experiment when FBI Special Agent Alexis Thompson and her K-9 partner, Waffle, raid Future State and arrest the head of the development for fraud. Zoey helps the FBI find answers in the aftermath, but she soon finds herself jobless and unemployable. Desperate and out of options, she reaches out to Alexis, the one person who knows Zoey was duped like everyone else.
Liam Graham is an FBI special agent and instructor at Riverbend K-9 Academy. When Alexis brings in a new recruit with an unusual background, Liam pairs her up with Tasha, a dog in need of a handler to stay in their competitive program. Zoey is thrilled to put her past behind her and give the mischievous rescue dog her own second chance. However, shortly after she arrives, the FBI realizes the Future State case is far from closed. And Zoey may be the key to solving it.
Zoey offers to go back to Future State to help the FBI end things once and for all. Only this time, she’ll have Liam and Tasha for backup. But, the problems at Future State are more explosive than any of them suspect.

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Q&A :

Hi

First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Of course! Thank you for having me! 🙂

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I am an engineer by day and a writer by night (or whenever I can fit it in). I’ve been an avid bookworm for many years and slowly began to find myself thinking about what I might do differently if I wrote the story when I was reading books. Then, one night, I just started writing – and I haven’t stopped yet!

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As I type this, I’m sitting next to my bookshelf of old favorites – Sherlock Holmes, Michael Crichton, Jane Austen, C.S. Lewis, Mark Twain. I’ve always read a mix of literature and my tastes have evolved to a mix of genres, traditionally published and indie authors, fiction and non-fiction. Mary Roach, Kate Danley, Julia Quinn, Russell Munroe, and Bill Bryson to name a few. How much space do I have to answer this question…?

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
This is a great question! I’d love to sit down with Mary Roach or Bill Bryson to talk about how they do research – they both have this way of conducting deep learning about a non-fiction topic and making it read like page-turning fiction.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
From my books – Alexis Thompson – she’s a tough-as-nails FBI agent who also cares a great deal about her team. To me, Alexis is your best friend who has your back but isn’t afraid to kick you in the butt when you need it.
From someone else’s – Elizabeth Bennet. I mean, how do you not love her?

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I write whenever and wherever I can get the words on the page! I do love a glass of wine when I’m drafting as a special treat because writing into the blank unknown is always the hardest part of writing for me. And coffee for the momentum when I am editing a book from start to finish.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
LOL! I never write a bad character based on someone I know. I don’t need that kind of stress in my life. I will occasionally pull a character trait I’ve seen somewhere and use that as a jumping-off point to create an entirely different character, but I make sure the character doesn’t come close to anyone I know. Particularly since there is a bit of romance in my books – that would feel way too weird for me!

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Both! Because my books are so character-driven, I have an idea of where the story is going but sometimes when I put the characters together in a scene, that idea doesn’t make sense anymore. For the story to work, I have had to learn to go with the flow. Probably a good lesson to learn for this planning addict.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
I think it would be to pace yourself. You don’t have to do everything all at once, you just have to keep improving. My mantra is “progress, not perfection.” And it’s a good one for this recovering perfectionist. 🙂

What are your future plans as an author?
As long as people are reading, I’ll keep writing! There is a lot more to come in the Riverbend K-9 Series, starting with Zoey’s sister, Elise, in An Ear for Trouble. She’s going to flex her skills in wildlife biology to find a criminal at the conservation center in Riverbend.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
After an FBI raid implodes her research career at Future State Energy, Zoey Butler starts a new life at the Riverbend K-9 Academy with the only people who realize she was a victim, and not a perpetrator of the crimes that led to the raid. However, as Zoey settles into Riverbend, it becomes apparent that the trouble at her old company is far from over. And she may be the key to stopping it before it becomes explosive.

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, K.T. Lee.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!

#BlogTour #HarlequinTradePublishingBlogTour @htp_books / #Excerpt : The Ex-Husband #TheExHusband – Karen Hamilton @KJHAuthor @HarlequinBooks

– ‘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 Ex-Husband’ blogtour, organized by Harlequin Trade Publishing Blog Tour.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Karen Hamilton author photoKaren Hamilton spent her childhood in Angola, Zimbabwe, Belgium and Italy and worked as a flight attendant for many years. She has now put down roots in the UK to raise her three children with her husband and she also writes full time. Her books include The Perfect Girlfriend, The Last Wife, and The Ex-Husband, out January 2022.

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Synopsis :

Title: The Ex-Husband
Author:
Karen Hamilton
ISBN:
9781525811609
Publication Date:
January 18, 2022
Publisher:
Graydon House

y404It’s an offer she can’t refuse…and can’t escape.
True: Charlotte has an unsavory past. She married the wrong man, got caught up in his con artist games, took what wasn’t hers. She got out, though: divorced Sam, started fresh.
False: She left him before things went too far. Nothing bad happened.
True: Sam is missing, and before he disappeared, he left cryptic messages about someone threatening him—someone who has been threatening Charlotte, too.
True: She’s on the straight and narrow, has accepted a job as a personal assistant for an engagement party on board a private luxury cruise ship, the Cleobella.
False: No one on board knows about her past, and she’s far away from anyone who means her harm.
As the Cleobella sails through its glittering destinations—the Bahamas, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago—increasingly sinister events haunt the guests, and the turquoise waves and sun-drenched beaches give way to something darker. Someone knows what Charlotte did. Is it the blushing bride? The seemingly placid mother-in-law? Or the mysterious heiress?
Someone knows, and someone wants revenge—before the ship reaches its final port.

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Excerpt :

THEN
Eighteen Months Ago
Barbados
A TIP-OFF. THAT COULD BE THE ONLY EXPLANATION.
Dreaded realization filtered through the rows of passen¬gers and crew in the cruise terminal via mutters about delays intermingled with curiosity and general resignation at the inevitable holdup. Sickening dread roiled deep in my gut. Surreptitiously, I glanced back at the queue snaking behind me. Still no sign of Sam. Where was he?
The person in front of me took a step forward, pushing his backpack with a foot. Reluctantly, I followed.
Sam had only darted back to the ship to pick up his watch, carelessly left beside the basin in his cabin. It should have taken him fifteen minutes—twenty max. He had insisted that I save our place in the line to save time. Our flight to freedom was less than four hours away.
I messaged him.
Where the hell are you? Hurry up! I am nearly at the front of the line.
Well, not quite, but it was true enough.
No reply.
Indecision kept me rooted to the spot. Sam would be an¬noyed if I lost our place. It would break one of our rules about blending in. Then again, neither of us was thinking straight. Our nerves were frayed. We were both tense after a wakeful night dissecting what had gone wrong, each of us blaming the other. But he left me with no choice. We always disem¬barked together. We had each other’s backs. Rule number one.
I tried to calm my fears. The upheaval wasn’t necessarily anything to do with us. I was too quick to jump to worst-case scenarios, usually after my conscience had given me a good poke. Sam and I excelled at slipping beneath the radar, despite his popularity.
In the corner of the vast, high-ceilinged building, portable air-conditioning units blasted out woefully inadequate cool air. My heart pounded so hard it almost hurt. Sweat slid down my spine. I stepped out of line and walked back in the direc¬tion of the ship. James, head of the ship’s security team, was standing by the exit. Relief. He would know where Sam was.
Strangely, James didn’t acknowledge or return my greet¬ing. His manner was uncharacteristically off. No, he said. I couldn’t go back on board.
“But Sam should have been back by now,” I said. “He only went for something he’d forgotten.”
James shrugged.
“Just wait for him in line. He’ll show up. There’s nowhere else for him to go. This is the only exit.”
“What’s going on?” I said, trying to cajole James into thaw¬ing his attitude.
I opted for a friendly, neutral tone. And why not? We were colleagues, after all. Friends, companions. Equals, really.
“There are searches, from time to time.”
“Not that I’ve ever seen,” I said. “I hope it doesn’t hold us up. What is it? Drugs? Weapons?”
I smiled, safe in the knowledge that I was carrying neither.
“Get back in the line,” said James. “Wait for Sam there.”
I had no choice. As I turned, I saw Sam up ahead. He must have joined a different line. His bag was already being searched. How the hell had we missed each other? Why hadn’t he called me? Why did he go through without me?
There was nothing I could do but rejoin the queue and watch. I couldn’t read the expression of the person searching his bag, but the body language appeared at ease. Jolly, even. Everything felt off, badly wrong. Fragments of our heated conversation last night started piecing together. Just wait until I get hold of Sam, I thought. I would kill him for breaking our rules and putting me through all this extra stress.
I watched as Sam exited into the outside world. I could imagine the sun brushing his face as he inhaled the warmth of the Caribbean air. I distracted myself by dissecting the type of people they were pulling over. Lone travelers. Fresh, bub¬bling red rage at Sam rose. I called him. Straight to voice mail.
I was now among the stragglers, recognizing some of the faces. God, this was torture. I fought the urge to push to the front, explain about Sam and ask to be whisked through so that I could catch up with him, find out what the hell he was playing at. Breathe, breathe, breathe, I repeated over and over in my mind. I can do this. It’s all about playing the game.
A calmness descended over me as I was beckoned forward. One step after another, a neutral expression on my face. I could see the sun through the glass doors. No sign of Sam in the crowds beyond. I focused on the large brandy or whiskey I was going to order on the flight. I thought about the type of movie I would watch, a comedy or something light and easy to absorb. Or maybe I wouldn’t bother with any distractions at all. I could use the time to think.
Half a yard, then another. The man in front was pulled over to my right, with a brusque wave. A harmless-looking elderly couple was also summoned. Not me. Not yet. I was so nearly there. Please, God. I know I’ve made mistakes. I know I’ve made bad choices, but just let me keep walking and I will make amends.
“Miss?”
Shit.
“Yes?”
“Can you come over this way, please, and place your bags on the table?”
I smiled. “Yes, of course.”
Everything turned numb, as though this was happening to someone else. Invincibility was Sam’s superpower, not mine.
Victimless. That is what Sam and I had always said about the people we befriended. Relax, I told myself. They won’t find anything. I’d triple-checked, hadn’t I?
My bag felt unusually heavy as I lifted it up. It was still cov¬ered in hotel, airline and cruise stickers. Funny, the incon¬sequential things I focused on. Sam often told me to scrape them off. “Bland and anonymous is always best. The smallest of details can offer up rich clues to the wrong people.” He would know.
“Open your bags, please.”
“Sure.”
My mouth was dry. I rotated the combination on my lock: one, eight, eight, my birth date and month, a small act of rebel¬lion when it came to Sam’s insistence never to do the obvious. It clicked open. Yet I couldn’t bring myself to lift the lid, to display my personal belongings ready for public inspection. It was humiliating.
The officer lost patience and did it for me. Time slowed as he unzipped the bag. Nestling on top of my favorite red blouse was something that, although familiar, didn’t belong to me.
Blind panic.
“That’s not mine.” I reached to grab it, to remove the em¬erald necklace from its nest among my possessions. Someone had put it there.
“Stand back, please.”
I felt the fresh horror rise inside me as two other customs officers walked over and peered at the necklace.
“I said it’s not mine. Someone has been in my bag.”
Stony faces, bland expressions, dismissive words.
I tried again.
“You need to go through the CCTV, check who entered our cabin. Someone planted this.”
I looked from face to face.
Still nothing.
I should’ve kept quiet. They’d already decided that I was guilty. A thief. Someone without rights.
Anger replaced fear as my privacy was violated. My swimwear, toiletries, underwear, shoes, travel guides, my Spanish-language course books, my costume jewelry, my every-bloody-thing was removed and examined by careless rubber-gloved hands.
A glimmer of hope ignited when their search concluded. All they had found was something that was such an obvious plant. The necklace rested on the side of the counter, taunting me. Not for the first time either. Magpie-like, the moment I had first spotted the emerald-and-diamond choker with a teardrop pendant, I longed to own it. Green was most defi¬nitely the color of envy.
“Come with us, please.”
I was shown to an interview room. I could hear a baby crying outside. Alone, without my belongings, I had time to piece things together. Grim reality, like a blast of icy water. I had been sacrificed, thrown under the bus. Sam knew. He’d been tipped off. Instead of saving the two of us, he’d chosen to save himself. “For better, for worse” clearly no longer applied. It was a final act of cruelty. A brutal end, regardless of how rocky our marriage had been. All that mattered was himself.
Time spooled and distorted. I sat, trying to appear non¬chalant, yet as outraged as an innocent could be, robbed of her freedom. I felt watched. The heat stifled me. I wanted to plunge into a cold pool, swim below the surface, some¬how wash away the dirty feelings that threatened to swal¬low me whole.
Anger took over as I sat there. I wasn’t taking the rap—no way. As two police officers walked into the room, I was pre¬pared to embrace my inner canary. Whatever it took. But it became clear I wouldn’t need to sing that day.
I was free to go. It had all been a terrible mistake. Huge apologies. Strange, but true. My belongings—even the neck¬lace—were returned.
Outside, despite the heat of the midday sun, I wanted to run. I had got away with it. I was free. Except… I wasn’t.
I didn’t like the person I had become—hadn’t for a long time. Something needed to change. Sam’s customary reassur¬ances that “all would be well” had been my elixir. It smoothed away fears and doubts, the ones my conscience tried in vain to shove to the forefront of my mind during the darkest hours. The sudden and horrible unraveling of our gilded situation was the result of arrogance. His and mine.
But for now, I had to put myself first. I walked toward the shade and sat on a bench beneath a palm tree. I had less than two hours to catch my flight, but I could still make it. I sent Sam a message.
Call me. ASAP.
Nothing.
I hailed a cab to take me from the cruise terminal to the airport, deciding to make one detour to a friend’s house en route. I wanted to hide my pot of gold somewhere safe.
As we drew into the airport, fear took hold again. What if I was making a mistake? In a daze, I checked in. The airline staff wouldn’t tell me if Sam had checked in too. I called him again even though I knew, deep down, that there wouldn’t be an answer. As I placed my bag down to go through the X-ray machine, I heard my phone beep. I had to wait more painful minutes while my bag passed through the checks be¬fore I could snatch up my phone and read it. Sam!
One word.
Sorry.
What the hell was he doing?
Sam’s empty plane seat taunted me all the way to Lon¬don as I planned the things I was going to say and do when I next saw him. Because I would see him again. He wasn’t the only piece of unfinished business, because there was some¬one else I needed to track down too. The real owner of the necklace and the catalyst behind our downfall and the death of our marriage.

Excerpted from The Ex-Husband by Karen Hamilton, Copyright © 2022 by Karen Hamilton. Published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds