#CoverReveal #RandRBookTours @RRBookTours1 : Walnut Street: Phantom Rider – Sherrill Joseph @MysteryAuthor7 #MG #Mystery #MGReads

– ‘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 super pleased to be on the

organized by R&R Book Tours.

But first some information.

About the Author :

Sherrill Joseph will be forever inspired by her beautiful students in the San Diego public schools where she taught for thirty-five years before retiring and becoming a published author.
The author has peopled and themed her mysteries with characters after her own responsible, role-model students, of various abilities, disabilities, races, cultures, and interests. She believes that children need to find themselves and those unlike themselves in books for developing accepting, anti-racist world citizens.
Sherrill is a native San Diegan where she lives in a 1928 Spanish-style house in a historic neighborhood with her adorable bichon frisé-poodle mix, Jimmy Lambchop, who blogs.
Her books are recipients of two Gold Awards from Mom’s Choice Book Awards, a Gold Award from Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards, three awards from Story Monsters Approved, and numerous other children’s book awards. She is a member of SCBWI, the Authors Guild, and Blackbird Writers. Watch for many more adventures with the Botanic Hill Detectives!

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Synopsis :

Title: Walnut Street: Phantom Rider (A Botanic Hill Detectives Mystery)
Genre: MG Mystery / Middle Grade (For fans of Nancy Drew type mysteries)

Objects of value have been disappearing from the Mayfield family’s rural California horse ranch. The Botanic Hill Detectives—Moki Kalani, Rani Kumar, and twins Lanny and Lexi Wyatt—are hired to come for a week to investigate.
Legend has it somewhere on the Mayfields’ forty-acre property is a long-lost gold mine. It was supposedly staked by thirteen-year-old Ben Mayfield’s five-time great-grandfather, “Papa” Mayfield, in 1875.
Adding to the excitement, a nervous Ben reveals a frightening secret to the detectives. At the ranch, he alone has seen a threatening black-clad figure on horseback whom he calls the Phantom Rider. Who is this mysterious person? Is he responsible for the thefts? Where is the lost gold mine? And what’s going on in the nearby, snake-infested ghost town of Rainbow Flats? The four intrepid detectives aim to find out.

After this great teaser I hope you are still excited for the

blog-cover reveal

because this is happening

right now!

Did this all pique your interest in reading the book? It will be released November 9th, 2021.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#VirtualBookTour #RABTBookTours @RABTBookTours / #Excerpt : Ceremony (Murders of Substance Book 1) #Ceremony – Paul Austin Ardoin @paulardoin #PaulAustinArdoin #Mystery

– ‘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 ‘Ceremony’ blogtour, organized by RABT Book Tours.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Paul Austin Ardoin is the Amazon bestselling author of The Fenway Stevenson Mysteries. Book 1, THE RELUCTANT CORONER, is his debut novel. He has published short fiction and humorous essays in the anthologies Bottomfish and Sweet Fancy Moses, and non-fiction works about computer security in California Computer News and European Communications.
Paul is a California native who put his creative writing degree to use by authoring marketing materials for computer security companies for the better part of two decades. When he’s not writing novels or trying to save the world through better computer security, Paul plays keyboards in a dance rock band. He lives in the Sacramento area with his wife, two teenagers, and a menagerie of animals.
Join Paul’s mailing list for news about new books.

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Synopsis :

Dr. Kep Woodhead is a brilliant, irascible forensic toxicologist with a dark past.
Bernadette Becker is a disgraced federal investigator with one last chance.
They’re both assigned to a strange poisoning case: a graduate student has been found dead in a 15th-century chapel, overdosed on a controversial hallucinogen.
The list of suspects is long: the priest, the professor, the piscary president, the protestor, the protégé, and at least one wants to silence Becker.
Do Becker and Woodhead have a prayer of discovering the truth before the killer strikes again?

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Excerpt :

He ducked through the doorway, pushed his glasses up, then raised his nose and sniffed.
“Dr. Woodhead, it’s a pleasure to meet you.” Bernadette stuck out her hand in greeting.
He closed his eyes and held up an index finger. Bernadette lowered her hand. Detective Dunn looked over her shoulder at Bernadette, who gave a slight shrug.
Bernadette could almost hear the seconds tick by in her head.
Finally, Dr. Woodhead opened his eyes and pointed to the table on the altar holding a brass censer, a sphere resting on a stand with notches in the top half and an ornate cross on the lid. “Did the CSI team say how long ago that incense was burned?”
The detective followed his gaze. “No. Not since the body was found, anyway. I don’t think.” She hesitated, then spoke quickly. “And I’m Detective Kerrigan Dunn, Milwaukee Police.” She didn’t offer her hand.
“Most of the incense had already been burned, judging from the smell. Benzoin was used.” Woodhead sniffed again, ignoring Dunn. “I’m getting other styrax scents as well; perhaps a touch of frankincense. Is incense used in the services? Are there even services held here?”
Kerrigan Dunn nodded. “The Anglicans have their service Sunday morning, of course.” Detective Dunn took out her notebook and consulted it. “We’ve got a group of Seventh-Day Adventists Saturday, a small Presbyterian group Sunday evening. Tuesday, of course, it’s the Agios Delphi people.”
“I didn’t have time to research them much,” Bernadette said. “It’s an odd name for a church. Delphi was the name of the oracle from Oedipus Rex. Is it Greek Orthodox?”
The detective scoffed. “It’s no kind of orthodox. More like a pyramid scheme dressed in religious clothing.”
“It’s not a mainstream denomination,” Bernadette said.
“If I recall correctly, our victim was a member.” Dr. Woodhead opened his folder. “Yes, here it is: ‘Mr. Thompson was a member of a local church called Agios Delphi.’” He turned a page. “Agios Delphi of Greater Milwaukee. Kymer Thompson was an elder.” Woodhead glanced up at the detective. “Twenty-five and an elder. That’s humorous.” He did not smile.
Bernadette chewed her bottom lip. Woodhead had a point: he was young to have such an elevated position in the church. “Detective, the Agios Delphi group meets here on Tuesday, correct? But last night was Monday.”
“Right,” Dunn affirmed.
“So why was Mr. Thompson inside the chapel yesterday?”
“Perhaps he was trying to, I don’t know, cleanse the bad juju from the chapel for tonight’s service. Maybe that’s one of the things the elders have to do for the, uh, church.” Dunn landed on the last word harder than necessary.
“Detective Dunn,” Dr. Woodhead said absently, reading the report from the folder, “are you able to maintain impartiality, or will your opinion of the victim’s religion color your investigation?”
Dunn formed her hands into a steeple. “I haven’t said anything that isn’t relevant to the investigation, Dr. Woodhead. This organization is known to use methods to separate their congregation from their money. I have a thick folder back at the District 5 station full of fraud allegations. Widens the net we need to cast for suspects.”
Woodhead raised his head, a smile touching the corners of his mouth—the smile looked friendly, but his eyes flashed behind his glasses. “You haven’t answered my question. Will your dislike of Agios Delphi affect your ability to investigate this crime?”
“I believe I’m more familiar with Agios Delphi than you are.” Dunn crossed her arms. “And like I said, I haven’t said anything irrelevant.”
“CSAB was called,” Bernadette broke in, “because your M.E. strongly suspects that ibogaine caused Mr. Thompson’s death. That requires investigation—ibogaine is a class 1 controlled substance. We need to work together.” But she couldn’t catch Woodhead’s eye when she said it.
Dunn pressed her lips together and was silent.
Woodhead looked up at the vaulted ceiling. “So Agios Delphi uses this space for their services on Tuesday nights?”
“Yes.”
“How did Mr. Thompson get in here?”
“According to the docent, he was one of the two people from the Delphi group who had a key. He was an elder in the organization, and he lived in university-owned housing, so he was close.”
“Who’s the other member with a key?” Woodhead asked.
“Vivian Roundhouse.”
Bernadette remembered the name from her file. “Ms. Roundhouse is the Agios Delphi priest.”
Woodhead flipped back a page. “Ah. Yes.” He turned to face the back wall, stepping closer until his nose was only an inch or two from the stones. Pushing his glasses up again, he took a long whiff and kept sniffing.
After the third sniff, the muscles around Woodhead’s eyes tightened.
Uh oh. That wasn’t a good sign.
He opened his eyes and looked at Detective Dunn.
“Is something wrong?” the detective said.
And then Bernadette caught the faintest whiff of it—perfume. And not the same scent the docent wore.
“You—” Woodhead began.
Then Bernadette caught his eye. She set her mouth in a line. He had already upset Detective Dunn by questioning her ability to stay neutral. They needed Dunn on their side—and if he insulted her again, she might not be cooperative. “I tried to reach you several times, Dr. Woodhead.”
“Yes, I know.”
That wasn’t a response she’d expected. “I’d hoped you would give me some direction on clearing the crime scene for you so this kind of thing wouldn’t happen.”
Woodhead looked at Bernadette impassively. “It wouldn’t have helped. You wouldn’t have been able to prepare it to my satisfaction.”
Oof. Martin’s letter was prescient.
“Does someone want to tell me what’s going on?” Dunn asked.
Woodhead turned to face her. “You’re contaminating the crime scene.”
Dunn narrowed her eyes. “Excuse me? I haven’t touched anything.”
“It’s not—”
Bernadette steeled herself and interrupted. “Dr. Woodhead, as I’m sure you saw on TV, has a gift for identifying subtle scents. It’s what makes his expertise in poisoning cases such as this so invaluable. But”—she gave Woodhead a questioning look, then spoke haltingly—“perfumes, strong deodorant soaps—those can mask the scents he’s trying to find at the crime scenes.”
“Oh,” Detective Dunn said.
“Theme Music.” Woodhead muttered. “Obviously.”
“What?” Bernadette said. “Did you say Theme Music?”
Dunn glanced at Bernadette. “He’s right. The name of my perfume—Theme Music.”
“That’s correct,” Woodhead said tersely. “Would you step outside?”
“Outside the crime scene?”
“Yes.” Woodhead lifted a hand, palm in, fingers down, and made a shooing motion.
Bernadette winced.
Dunn scoffed. “Sure. Wouldn’t want to disturb the famous TV star with my overpowering stench.” She walked out, not quite stomping, into the snowy day, but left the front door open.
“We haven’t been properly introduced, Dr. Woodhead,” Bernadette said, keeping her hands down. “I’m your new case analyst. Bernadette Becker.”
“Salmon will mask scents too,” Woodhead said.
Bernadette cocked her head.
“What?”
“Salmon. You must have had some earlier.”
“Not since last night, and I showered and brushed my teeth twice since then. Surely I don’t—”
“You smell like urine.”
Bernadette took a step back.
“The trimethylamine oxide in the salmon breaks down into ammonia. Very similar scent profile to urea. It’s extremely distracting.”
Bernadette shook her head and followed the detective out the front door.
“He’s a real charmer,” Dunn said under her breath.
Bernadette grunted. “Yeah. We’re getting along like a house on fire.”

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #ZooloosBookTours @zooloo2008 / #Excerpt : Wilson Indeed #WilsonIndeed – Steve Walsh #SteveWalsh #RedLiteraryAgent

– ‘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 ‘Wilson Indeed’ 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 :

For twenty years Steve Walsh honed his skills in prose as an advertising copywriter; the ‘ideas’ man in a Manchester based marketing agency that carried his name.
In the late 1990’s he stumbled into the world of the dotcom entrepreneur and his claim to fame is as the creator of the hotel booking service, laterooms.com and the first car insurance comparison site, easycover.com. So, the birth of Meerkats, a Welsh opera singer and being confused.com might be considered as down to him, for which he apologises.
He now uses his vivid imagination and gentle Mancunian wit to write visionary fantasy novels with bold concepts. Wilson indeed, the first book in his trilogy The WiFi of Dreams takes the reader on a richly imagined, fact meets fiction adventure story to which we can relate and feel we can touch. A whimsical interrogation of the inexplicable and fundamental tenets of our lives – the role and meaning of dreams, the nature of the hereafter, hard and soft science, a love story – what more can you want?
Butterfly Assassins, the second book in the trilogy, will be published in Summer 2021.
In a recent survey, 85% of people said yes to the question: “Do you believe there are things out there that science can’t explain?”
If you’re one of those 85%, you’ll love The WiFi of Dreams series.
Born and bred in the north west of England, Steve Walsh has three children and likes to fly fish in his spare time.

Synopsis :

In The Market Square, the fantastical setting for all his dream activities, Wilson Armitage is able to take night classes on any subject and absorb a wealth of knowledge from just a few hours of sleep. As though logging into a wifi of dreams to download information. As his childhood passes, both wary of and reticent to acknowledge his extraordinary ability, Wilson attempts to lead a normal life and stay beneath the radar of family and friends.
At the age of seventeen however, his cover is blown by Daisy Meadowcroft. During a chance encounter in The Market Square, they agree to meet the next day and are propelled from a dream world into the reality of a coffee shop in the centre of Manchester. Enthralled by their shared gift, they strike up a close friendship and encourage each other to seek a rational, scientific explanation for their unique talents.

“If you believe there really are things out there that science can’t explain, you’ll enjoy this book.”
Mark Sampson, 11 Magazine.

Amazon UK
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Excerpt :

Wilson took the knife, pulled out the snub nosed pliers, checked the spring mechanism and scrambled back under the car. The call for assistance came thirty seconds later
“Officer! Can you get under here. I need your help.”
After a moment for deliberation and unable to escape public scrutiny, the policeman reluctantly did as requested. Wilson had secured the damaged blood vessel and was holding it tight in the jaws of the pliers.
There wasn’t much room for three bodies and six elbows in the claustrophobic underbelly of the car, but the policeman manoeuvred himself into position nevertheless. The crumpled state of the poor girl made him wince and Wilson sensed his self doubt.
“Come on. She’s only a kid and she’s depending on us. You signed up for the police, the responsibility, so this is where you do your job. Just hold this, exactly like this, with constant pressure, and don’t let go. If you do what I say, I think you’ll save her life.”
There was a stare down in the aura of half light as they carefully completed the handover.
“Keep a firm grip and don’t lose concentration, even when they prop up the car.”
“I won’t man, I won’t.”
As the urge for fight or flight receded, PC Edwards, sensed something other worldly about Wilson. This pimply youth who’d bee n able to stride through chaos with all the surety of a paramedic. There was a transmission in the steely intensity of the lad’s eyes that hinted at a secret under restraint. As though the black orb within each iris was a gateway to something incomprehensibly deep. An obtuse thought accompanied the policeman’s perceptions.
“You’re not really at Manchester Medical School are you?”
“No, not that particular one,” said Wilson, “but I have been to a sort of medical school. Managed to pick up enough, to know quite a lot.”
“So who are you?”
Wilson thought about the question for a moment. He returned the policeman’s gaze with a kind of half smile.
“To be honest, I’ve no idea. But I’m working on it!”
Wilson then rolled out from under the car, leaving PC Edwards to do the award winning work of saving a young girl’s life.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub @maryanneyarde / #GuestPost : Clement: The Green Ship (Clement, Book 2) – Craig R. Hipkins @CraigHipkins #Medieval #YA #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 ‘Clement: The Green Ship’ blogtour, organized by The Coffee Pot Book Club.
To promote this book I have a guest post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Craig R. Hipkins grew up in Hubbardston Massachusetts. He is the author of medieval and gothic fiction. His novel, Adalbert is the sequel to Astrolabe written by his late twin brother Jay S. Hipkins (1968-2018)
He is an avid long-distance runner and enjoys astronomy in his spare time.

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Synopsis :

Book Title: Clement: The Green Ship
Series: Clement, Book 2
Author: Craig R. Hipkins
Publication Date: June 02, 2021
Publisher: Hipkins Twins
Page Length: 313
Genre: Historical Fiction / Young Adult 12+

Normandy. The year 1161. King Henry ll sends the 14-year-old Clement, Count of la Haye on a secret mission. The young count and his friends travel in the wake of the mysterious mariner known as Sir Humphrey Rochford. Their destination? The legendary land of Vinland, known only from the Norse sagas. The journey is full of adventure and intrigue. Clement battles with a tyrannical Irish king and then finds his vessel attacked by a massive monster from the deep. The Green Ship sails to the sparse and barren land of Greenland where more trouble awaits.

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Universal Link Amazon
This novel is available to read on #KindleUnlimited

Guest Post :

Vinland: A Land of Mystery

Sometime around the year 1000, Leif Erikson set sail from Greenland to find new lands to the west. He first encountered a barren land described as, rocky and of little use. He called this land Helluland. He then returned to the sea and within a few days found another land which the sagas tell us was flat and forested with many beaches of white sand. Leif called this land, Markland. Setting sail once again, Leif sailed south and encountered a land where the days and nights were more equal in length than they were in Greenland. His men built houses and explored the countryside. It was here where they found grapes and vines. He called this land, Vinland.
The exact location of Vinland has been the subject of controversy for centuries. In recent times it has been suggested that the Norse settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland was the site of Vinland. The problem with this theory is that grapes do not grow wild in this region. It is possible that Leif found berries that he called grapes. Another theory is that the climate at the time of the Norse sagas was warmer than it is today and grapes might have grown wild in Newfoundland at this time. However, a few hundred miles to the south of Newfoundland are the cranberry bogs of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. It is tempting to believe that Leif and his party of sturdy Vikings sailed to this more temperate climate and mistook cranberries for grapes. This was a popular theory in the 19th century and it is the one that I find most fascinating. In my 12th century novel, Clement seeks this remote land and a treasure that might be related to the mysterious order of the Knights Templar.
In the 12th century, the location of Vinland would have been just as much of an enigma as it is in our own day. Like the Lost Colony of Roanoke, or the Princes in the Tower, the location of Vinland might always be relegated to the realm of mystery.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : Carrying Clover – Lorey Durston @DurstonLorey

– ‘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 ‘Carrying Clover’ 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 :

Lorey Durston is an author of thriller and suspense novels.
CARRYING CLOVER is her debut novel.
She is currently working on her next suspense novel to be released late 2021.

Social Media Links:
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Synopsis :

51BcoHijFOLNewly single Camille Robins luck is about to change as she embarks on a new chapter of her life, moving to the city near her best friend, Lizzie.
A chance meeting at Lou’s B&B, Camille meets George, a handsome man who sweeps her off her feet.
Can Lizzie forgive Camille for stealing her previous boyfriend, or will she seek revenge?
Camille can’t believe her luck! George can’t believe how perfect she is….
Was it a fate romance, or part of an evil plan?
A fresh new twist on a psychological thriller, fast-paced, clever, and thought provoking that will make you question who is the lucky one.
Luck, love, deceit, and heartbreak will keep you turning the page. And a breathtaking twist you won’t see coming, will stay with you long after you have finished reading.

Purchase Link:
Amazon UK
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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! 🙂
Firstly thank-you for choosing and taking the time to review our book and ask us these questions. We have co-written this book, (Gemma) Lorey and (Sarah) Durston. Unfortunately, Gemma is unavailable for these questions, so I (Sarah) will be answering on behalf of both of us.

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
Gemma and I (Sarah) are best friends who literally live at the bottom of the bottom of each other’s gardens. I am a single mother to 3 children, and Gemma is married to Adam and has 2 sons Max and Zak. Devastatingly last year Gemma and Adam lost their eldest son Max at the age of 12. After an awful time for Gemma and the Covid lock down in place we decided to complete a tick on our bucket list and help Gemma get through a tough time by writing our first ever book. We never imagined becoming authors or publishing the book but thought ‘fuck it why not life is too short.’

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I absolutely loved as a teenager – Forever by Judy Bloom. It reignited my passion for reading and was a great light-hearted insight to love and sex which any giggly girl would love as a curious 14-year-old. It’s the only book I’ve read more than once too.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I think we would both say Chris Carter, so curious as to how that man’s mind ticks and how he comes up with such gruesome plots, as we love them!!

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
It would be Paddington bear – I know what he likes to eat, and I can make marmalade sandwiches!!

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Gemma will probably kill me, but she does this weird tutting/huffing noise when she is concentrating, her husband Adam always takes the mickey out of her for doing it. I however don’t have any.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
For Carrying Clover, we were walking along a canal and saw this quirky cottage and it just clicked – this would be a perfect setting in a book, and we went from there and after brainstorming it just all fell into place.
Yes, some people should be worried, especially if any of the victims in our books portray them. I never thought I was even capable of some of the ideas that have entered my head and Gemma’s ideas are just pure evil.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
We are primarily plotters but as the book develops, we can sometimes go with the flow if it leads us in a better direction.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Just do it, life is too short – what’s the worst that can happen?
Join some groups on Facebook a lot of authors/writing groups are full of helpful people who can help you with the process.
Don’t be prey to vanity publisher’s if you go down the route of finding a publisher.
Don’t fear self-publishing.
Do your research.
Enjoy it.

What are your future plans as an author?
We are currently working on our second novel. We are extremely excited about this one, I mean really really excited. When I read back chapters I get tingles throughout my body and gasp every time. We have learnt so much in our journey and have applied this to our next book.

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

… The red harvest moon shines through the large warehouse window, casting a glow on the oversized brass clock as it ticks over to 20:45 p.m.
A vase of white lilies sits in the middle of the island, pollen dropping onto the clean white polished surface.
Silence.
An empty litre bottle of vodka lay on the wooden floor, next to it two empty boxes, a box of sleeping tablets and box of antidepressants. Many blister packs scattered around randomly.
Lizzie lies on the cold floor, the teddy cradling into her neck …

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Lorey Durston (Sarah).

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 #TheCoffeePotBookClub @maryanneyarde / #GuestPost : Steampunk Cleopatra #SteampunkCleopatra – Thaddeus Thomas @thaddeusbooks #HistoricalFantasy

– ‘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 ‘Steampunk Cleopatra’ blogtour, organized by The Coffee Pot Book Club.
To promote this book I have a guest post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Thaddeus Thomas lives on the Mississippi River with his wife and three cats. Steampunk Cleopatra is his first novel, but he has a short story collection available at his website. There he also runs a book club where readers can receive indie book reviews and recommendation. His second book—Detective, 26 AD—releases July 9th and follows Doubting Thomas as he is conscripted to be an investigator for Pontius Pilate.

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Synopsis :

Book Title: Steampunk Cleopatra
Author: Thaddeus Thomas
Publication Date: 21st May 2021
Publisher: Independently Published
Page Length: 419 Pages
Genre: Historical Fantasy

Amani, a companion of Cleopatra, seeks to rediscover Egypt’s suppressed science and history. She is the beloved of her princess become queen, but that may not be enough to overcome the system they’ve inherited. If she fails, her country and Cleopatra, both, could fall. History meets fantasy, and together, they create something new. Experience an intelligent thriller about star-crossed lovers and an ancient science that might have been.

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Available on KindleUnlimited.

Guest Post :

Much of what we think we know about Cleopatra, is Roman propaganda. She was a brilliant woman whose work on medicine was collected in the Library of Alexandria. She spoke many languages and was the first Ptolemaic Pharaoh to speak Egyptian. She engaged directly with the rituals of the people in ways her predecessors never did.
At the same time, the Ptolemaic dynasty was a colonizing force. The first Ptolemy was a Macedonian Greek, one of Alexander’s generals. They built Alexandria as a Greek oasis from which they could control the wealth of Egypt, and as Rome ascended to power, they saw the precariousness of their position. For years, the Roman civil wars worked in their favor, distracting attention, and dividing the Senate. Every Roman in a position of power wanted to control Egypt, but none of them wanted any other Roman to have her.
The opposition to first Caesar and then Mark Anthony responded by painting a picture of Cleopatra as a seducer who beguiled Caesar. In reality, he was a fifty-year-old man with a long history of sexual conquests. She was twenty-one and quite possibly still a virgin. The Roman opposition claimed her power was in her beauty and sexuality, but the few images we have of her tell another story. She had no great beauty to depend upon, and the writers who spoke honestly found her power in her wit, charm, and intellect.
I have chosen to tell a story that tells what little we know of Cleopatra’s early years while examining one of the world’s most compelling mysteries. What wonders did we lose in the destruction of the Library of Alexandria?
This destruction, itself, falls into myth with the story of the library burning in the fire caused by Caesar during the Alexandrian civil war. In truth, the library continued on to be devastated by Christian Rome in an attempt to crush pagan thought and then again many years later by Islamic forces for the same reasons.
To understand what we lost, the answer should be hinted at in what we know, and in the first century C.E., Hero of Alexandria invented the world’s first steam engine. One of the early masters of the Library, Euclid, is known as the founder of geometry, and his work was the central teaching text on the subject into the twentieth century. At various times, Alexandria had moving sidewalks, vending machines, and automatons that moved under their own power. This is not fantasy, this is history.
The scientific discoveries made in the library in its first few hundred years are astounding, and I questioned why that was. Did the explosions of knowledge come out of nowhere, born purely out of the genius of this colonizing force or did the Ptolemies do what colonizers always do: exploit; suppress; and supplant? Maybe what we really lost was the history and science stolen from Egypt.
Steampunk is usually relegated to the Victorian era because that is the historic birth of steam power, but so many of the foundational principles upon which all that technology was built come to us through Alexandria, Egypt. This is historical fiction about a history we may have been denied, and that is what makes it fantasy. The victorious write history. This is an unwritten history, fantasized within the cracks of our knowledge, not set in opposition to what we know but in concert with it.
We see much of this in the book, but her relationship with the people is symbolized in her love for her childhood companion, the book’s main character, Amani.
The story is told through the eyes of Philostratos, tutor to Amani and Cleopatra, but the story is Amani’s. She is a Black Egyptian of Nubian descent and wins her place as Cleopatra’s companion through personality and intellect. The book is Philostratos’s attempt to grapple with his role in her history.
In that sense, it is very much a book for this time. The flow of history has shaken many of us and challenged our core beliefs. Maybe we are not who we thought we were, and perhaps, clinging to that old mythology is not the way to move forward. Perhaps, there is a better way.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #ZooloosBookTours @zooloo2008 / #Excerpt : Tales from the Coffee Pot #TalesfromTheCoffeePot – Jim Ody @Jim_Ody_Author @QuestionPress #QMPHorror #QuestionMarkPress

– ‘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 ‘Tales from the Coffee Pot’ 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 :

Jim writes dark psychological/thrillers, Horror and YA books that have endings you won’t see coming, and favours stories packed with wit. He has written over a dozen novels and many more short-stories spanning many genres.
Jim has a very strange sense of humour and is often considered a little odd. When not writing he will be found playing the drums, watching football and eating chocolate. He lives with his long-suffering wife, three beautiful children and two indignant cats in Swindon, Wiltshire UK.

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Synopsis :

For the first time, the best of Jim Ody’s published short-stories are together in one anthology, including four previously unreleased.
Twelve twisted tales that touch on psychological/thriller, horror and YA, including:
A detective sent to a travelling circus to find a missing boy; A guy with a mysterious trunk must meet a stranger at a motel to survive; A doll turns up and becomes a little girl’s best friend. Then things turn strange; A surprise birthday party is memorable, if only the birthday boy survives; and a group of orphans find the world is about to end…

1 The Reveal
2 A Moth in The Jar
3 The I-Scream Van
4 Teaching Tom
5 Boat Trip
6 The Trunk
7 The Day
8 A Doll Named Sasha
9 Surprise Party
10 The Orphans
11 Hide & Seek
12 Virgin Women From Outta Space

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Excerpt :

My reverie was brought to an abrupt end by my secretary Mona, a rather apt name if ever there was one, who said sharply, “Quit daydreaming, Caper! She’s not worth it.”
Through the imaginary pale blue smoke that ceased to float up toward the damp, stained ceiling, I saw her scowling at me. Mona could be very pretty if she didn’t scowl so much. However, scowling to Mona is like Batman and crime –always battling but neither is far from the other.
“As you did not witness the fair maiden in question, any such comment should be disregarded by the jury, as it’s inadmissible in this court,” I replied, and indignantly stuck the cigar in my mouth for another fake puff. I make no apologies for these actions which I consider medium-cool without the health risks.
Mona sighed, and this was a sign that she was about to lecture me so I made a mental note to shut my ears and hide in my mind’s own version of Narnia until the wicked ordeal was over. “How many times in the last month has this happened, huh? Three or four times. And that’s in the last month! Every time an attractive woman has the misfortune to look at your sorry mug, you get all… all… weird, and then what happens?”
I was not going to answer her. I would not be pulled into her web of lies. I stopped short of putting my fingers in my ears and repeating, “Lalalalala!” Mona doesn’t favour my brand of humour.
“You’ll never see her again! Not even a fleeting glance. That thing in your trousers is not a lucky charm, sunshine!” I thought that was a matter of opinion.
“Is there a point to this or are you just testing your vocal cords?” I mumbled, my mask of Clint Eastwood cool slipping ever so slightly.
She shook her head, and although I looked away, I knew there was some eye-rolling going on there. “And it’s that sort of remark that keeps them away, Caper!”

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #ZooloosBookTours @zooloo2008 / #Excerpt : Life Ruins #LifeRuins – Danuta Kot @DanutaJR @simonschusterUK #SimonAndSchuster

– ‘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 ‘Life Ruins’ 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 :

Danuta Kot (who also writes as Danuta Reah and as Carla Banks) grew up with stories. Her Irish mother and her Polish father kept their own cultures alive with traditional tales they shared with their children. For many years, she worked with young people in Yorkshire who were growing up in the aftermath of sudden industrial decline. She uses this background in her books to explore some of the issues that confront modern, urban society: poverty, alienation and social breakdown, using the contexts of the modern crime novel. She now works as a senior education consultant, work that involves travel to establish education and training in other parts of the world. She is a regular academic speaker at conferences and literary festivals and has appeared on radio and television.

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Synopsis :

In a small northern town, girls are disappearing.
You won’t see it in the papers and the police aren’t taking any notice, but the clues are there if you know where to look.
Becca sees that something is wrong, but she’s been labelled ‘difficult’ thanks to her troubled past. So when a girl is so savagely beaten she can’t be identified, and Becca claims she knows who she is, no one will believe her.
With the police refusing to listen, Becca digs for evidence that will prove what she is saying. But her search for justice will put herself and those closest to her in danger – and once she finds the truth, will anyone even listen?

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Excerpt :

Jared sees something in the tunnel that has a profound effect on his life

The light of his torch wavered and danced and he tried to get his balance.
In front of him, the ladder led upwards into darkness. Was he going up there? Or was the risk too great? He gripped it, and it held steady.
No excuses left.
He eased himself upright, holding onto the rungs. He could feel the relief as the muscles in his back straightened. He shone the torch upwards, but all he could see was an opening and dimly above it, the red clay of bare soil.
Slowly, moving as cautiously as he could, he put a foot on the first rung, part of him expecting it to snap under his weight and plunge him…. He brought his mind back to the present and focused on what he was doing as he pulled himself up – no slips, no sudden jerks to break the fragile wood – then onto the next one, and the next. He shone the torch at the opening again.
He could see more detail now. The opening was partly blocked to one side – a roof fall? And there was something touching the top of the ladder like a piece of cloth of some kind. Something left by a climber? Why? He tested it with a gentle tug.
And the ladder shifted. He gripped it with both hands, trying to keep his hold on the torch as well. He felt the precursor of the collapse as soil scattered onto his head and shoulders. Moving by instinct he freed his feet from the rungs and slid down the ladder, rubble from the roof cascading with him. His feet hit the ground sending a shaft of agony through him. He had to move fast, to get out of there before the roof came down on his head, but his arm, his legs, felt numb. The torch dropped from his suddenly nerveless fingers and he slumped to his knees in total blackness as the rush of stone and soil cascaded down.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #ZooloosBookTours @zooloo2008 / #QandAs : Small Forgotten Moments #SmallForgottenMoments – Annalisa Crawford @AnnalisaCrawf @VineLeavesPress

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

Small Forgotten Moments Book Tour

Today I’m on the ‘Small Forgotten Moments’ 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 :

Annalisa Crawford - Author PicAnnalisa Crawford lives in Cornwall, UK, with a good supply of moorland and beaches to keep her inspired. She lives with her husband, two sons, and canine writing partner, Artoo. She is the author of four short story collections, and two novels.

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Synopsis :

512EXAFVc8S._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Is Zenna a muse, a sleep-deprived apparition, or something much more sinister?
Suffering long-term amnesia, artist Jo Mckye is ready to start a fresh, new project after the success of her debut exhibition. But the fictional subject of the collection, Zenna, won’t let go so easily. Infiltrating Jo’s dreams—and increasingly, her waking hours—Zenna is fast becoming a dangerous obsession.
Jo is confident the answers lie at her childhood home, an idyllic Cornish village on the south-east coast; she just doesn’t know why. Only when she walks into the sea and almost drowns does the past start to unravel.
Haunting and melodic, fans of Daphne du Maurier and Daisy Johnson will adore this.

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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’m a bit of a cliche in that I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I’d sit for hours on my bed as a kid scribbling stories and frequenting stationery shops much more eagerly than toy shops. I wrote my first (absolutely terrible) novel when I was fourteen. It’s possible I still have a copy, but I’m definitely not going to look for it.
When I was sixteen or so I started writing short stories with a view to getting them published. I sent them to Just Seventeen and Jackie (UK), and my dad bought me a subscription to a writing magazine. That changed everything because I realised there were literary journals out there I’d never heard of (Granta, Ambit, New Fiction, Story Cellar) which meant I didn’t have to write to a specific ‘teen’ formula. My first short story was published when I was twenty. I’d like to say ‘and the rest is history…’ but there were many years of rejection, with just enough acceptances to keep me going.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I was quite a traditional reader when I was a child, I don’t remember having access to a lot of books. Early favourites include Heidi, the Famous Five and Mallory Towers series, and The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart. All of those I read many times. I’m a serial reader.
These days, I like Jane Austen, Margaret Atwood, some Chuck Palahniuk, and I recently loved The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. I tend to browse book shop shelves to find authors I’ve not heard of before – and I always choose books if they have an interesting title.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I’ve recently read a few novels by different authors which I couldn’t get into or didn’t understand. For example, Milkman by Anna Burns is on the side waiting to be donated. I knew it was going to be a challenging read and thought I was up to the task. I’d like to ask the author how she began writing something so unique, what kept her going, did anyone tell her she was too far out of the box, and how did she remain focused?
My novel-in-progress is quite challenging, so I think I’d be looking for reassurance.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Well, tea is a great choice, because I’m a little bit addicted and my characters are always putting on the kettle! I think Jo’s mum from my latest book is the character most in need of a cuppa and a chat. There’s so much going on in her head, so many conflicting emotions, I think she needs to pour it all out and have a big hug.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Not really. The closest I have to a habit is writing my first drafts with my trusty fountain pen – ideas always flow better when it’s in my hand.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Haha, no, my friends and family are kept well away from my writing, on the whole. I suppose, I take their spirit and incorporate that into some of my characters, but only the good parts. My villainous characters are very much made up.
I scour newspaper articles for ideas – especially those tiny little snippets on page 9 which are almost an afterthought just to fill column space. I also just let myself daydream and see what my subconscious can conjure up. I’m a great fan of the question ‘what if?’.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’m definitely a pantser and I’m growing to dislike it. Small Forgotten Moments, for example, began as a very different story. It had the same premise of a painting which haunted its creator, and Jo has always been the main character, but I took the story on a weird journey that just wasn’t working. If I’d thought about it for longer, I may have saved myself a lot of re-writing.
Having said that, I learn a lot about the characters when I let myself roam, and a lot of the time two or three separate ideas will merge to become one novel. It means I’m quite a slow writer, though – I can’t whip out several books a year.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
• Don’t fear rejection. It’s a great way for learning what works and what doesn’t, and for learning how not to take it personally. Because rejection really isn’t personal – it could just be an editor having a bad day, a similiar story already accepted, or not enough room in their schedule. If you believe in the story you’re telling, someone else will too.
• Learn the rules of writing. Then decide which ones you want to follow.
• Learn the rules of approaching editors and publishers, and always stick to them.
• Read everything! Honestly. Read outside your genre, the established greats within your genre, the classics as well as new books. If you’re stuck where to start, find a list of the 100 greatest books which come out every so often and work your way through. They won’t always be great, but your opinion will help to form some ideas of your own.

What are your futureplans as an author?
I’m half-way through my next novel – the challenging one I mentioned earlier – and I have the idea for another after that. I’m doing tentative research for that one. I have a character but not the story yet.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
This is from early on in the novel when Jo is at the opening of her exhibtion and thinking about the origins of her character Zenna, who features in much of her work:

Opposite me, Zenna in the Sea, the unanticipated centerpiece, is lit with soft spotlights so when people walk in, they’re drawn in her direction.
At first, she wasn’t in the sea at all. Without it, she was a woman gazing with glassy eyes into the real world—our world—detached and apathetic, as though studying us. Her head and shoulders filled the picture, there was little room for any background, any context. Yet, something was missing.
I left her on the easel and slept almost twenty-four hours, a black, dreamless sleep. When I woke, I was inspired. I grabbed all my blues and drew long, meandering strokes, a mélange of cobalt and cerulean and ultramarine. I swept watered-down acrylic across her pallid cheeks and chiseled eyes so she appeared submerged, and with a flick of my brush her hair floated under the water. Drowning but not; gazing into the room with fortitude and composure. Defying her own mortality.

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

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 : The Spellworker – Victoria Lamb @VictoriaLamb1

– ‘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 ‘The Spellworker’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a some ‘basic’ information for you.

About the Author :

Historical and YA paranormal author of the RNA award-winning novel WITCHSTRUCK, Victoria Lamb is addicted to the supernatural, and on dark nights has been known to sneak out and howl at the moon. She also writes thrillers as Jane Holland, and other fiction as Betty Walker, Elizabeth Moss and Beth Good, among others. Victoria’s most recent novel is THE SPELLWORKER, first in a fab new YA epic fantasy series called THE BOOK OF TONGUES.

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Synopsis :

Princess Fiamma is the girl with the serpent tattoos, born to guard the Book of Tongues, a magical text nobody living knows how to read.
Raised in royal privilege, it’s a shock when the Citadel comes under attack and Fiamma is forced to flee in disguise with the Book of Tongues. Her only companion is Hurth, a handsome but surly soldier who doesn’t bother to hide his contempt for a ‘spoilt princess’.
A time when reading is forbidden, and books are dangerous
Fiamma may be spoilt but she knows her duty. She must not allow the Book to fall into the evil hands of the Spellworker, whose powerful magic can kill with a single word.
A perilous journey through occupied territories
Together, she and Hurth must search for a mysterious place where the Book has always been taken in times of danger. But worse than Hurth’s disdain and the hardships of the journey are her own deepest fears about the Book, which has started whispering to her in the night, teaching her how to read it …
Is the Book turning her into a Spellworker too?
As she faces her destiny, and learns the true meaning of the serpent tattoos she bears, Fiamma has to decide how far she’ll go to protect the Book’s secrets.
A compelling tale of Good versus Evil in a world where what you see is definitely not what you get.

Purchase Links:
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The Magic of Wor(l)ds