#BlogTour @GKSihat / #Excerpt : Some Sailors Never Die #SomeSailorsNeverDie – EA Comiskey @eacomiskey

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

Tour Schedule

Today I’m on the ‘Some Sailors Never Die’ blogtour, organised by Gurpreet Sihat.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

E.A. Comiskey is an award-winning fiction writer and nationally syndicated blogger. Her work is broadly described as “speculative fiction” and is often a wild mix of humor, mythology, fantasy, horror, and romance.
She lives in a much-loved, rickety old house in rural Michigan with her husband, children, and a veritable zoo of creatures. If there’s a festival in the area, you can bet she’s there, most likely drawing on the pavement with chalk. After all, when you live in Michigan, you go outside whenever you get the chance.

Some Sailors Never Die Press Release

Synopsis :

Some Sailors Never Die Ebook Cover Full SizeTake cruise
See weirdos
Fight evil
Almost a year ago, Richard and Stanley escaped a nest of supernatural creatures posing as nurses at their retirement home. Together with Richard’s granddaughter Burke, they’ve crisscrossed the country on a mission to protect humanity from the things that go bump in the night, but Stanley’s had some mishaps along the way that have left him weak and weary. Burke suggests that a cruise might be just what the doctor ordered, and the two men go along with her plan.
But evil never takes a vacation.
From the moment they board, Richard suspects something is amiss, but Stanley is too tired to care, and Burke doesn’t believe him. When passengers start dying mysteriously, he’s forced to take matters into his own hands, but can he escape the eyes of an over-attentive activities director, a waiter who takes his job far too seriously, and a wealthy widow who’s determined to win him over long enough to find the monster and destroy it before it kills again?

Amazon

Excerpt :

The tall, skinny, stick of a man wrapped up his speech. “When you’re all done with that, you must visit the dessert bar. It’s a taste of heaven. The champagne strawberries in creme anglaise are to die for.”
He flounced away and Ike arrived out of nowhere—an impressive feat for a guy that took up as much space as two average men. “Are we having fun? Getting to know one another?”
“Not yet,” the lady in purple said, leering at Richard. “I sure am looking forward to introductions, though.”
“Simply fantastic,” Ike said, eyes on Stanley. “Do give me a wave if there is anything at all I can do for you.”
“We should introduce ourselves.” The kid with the girl stuck to his arm had a voice like Beaver Cleaver—kind of looked like him, too, with his fish-belly white skin and floppy brown hair. “I’m Terry Cadwallader. This is my bright, beautiful, talented, smoking hot bride, Val.”
The girl next to him rolled her eyes and swatted at him. “Oh, stop.” She turned her pretty smile on the group and flipped her glossy dark hair over her shoulder. “It’s very nice to meet you all. We’re from Portland. This is our honeymoon. Where is everyone else from?” She fidgeted in her seat like a restless child with twinkling eyes and bright spots of color in her cheeks.
As if the person in charge of the seating chart were performing an exercise in opposites, the old lady on the girl’s left had short-cropped white hair, wrinkly, pale white skin, pale blue eyes and wore a cream-colored dress. The seating effect gave one the impression that all life and color slowly drained from one woman into the other. “We live in southern Arizona. My name is Annie, Annie Santos.” She jabbed a thumb in the direction of her companion—a large man the approximate shape and color of a russet potato, freshly dug from the earth. “He’s Ed. We run a bed and breakfast and, I have to tell you, I couldn’t be happier to have someone washing my linens and fetching my drinks for a change.”
Ed Santos sat with his arms folded across his broad chest like two iron bands wrapped around an old whiskey barrel. “Speaking of drinks, they bringin’ them soon?”
Annie patted his arm and answered in the sweet, high voice one would use to coax a puppy to come get his treat, “There’s water on the table, dear, and we just had drinks in the bar.” She forced a giggle, fake as a three-dollar bill.
He harrumphed in her direction.
What a grump, Richard thought.
As if summoned by the man’s question, Luka returned, balancing a tray full of glasses and passed drinks out around the table. When he’d finished, he presented a basket of breadsticks with the flourish of a circus magician pulling a rabbit from his hat. “A treat to hold you over, yes?” He confirmed that everyone had what they needed and left again.
“I suppose that makes it my turn,” the old lady in purple said. “I’m Julia Domina. I do love a good cruise, among other things.” She stared into the depths of Richard’s soul. “And I’m very passionate about the things I enjoy. Do tell us all about you, sir.” One bejeweled hand reached for her martini glass.
Richard swallowed the lump in his throat. “I’m Dick,” he said. What? Wait! No! He hated being called Dick! “Richard. My name is Richard. Please call me Richard. I don’t like Dick.”
She arched an eyebrow in his direction. “Duly noted.”
“I’m a grandpa. Her grandpa.” He jerked a thumb in Burke’s direction. “My wife died a long time ago.” He wondered why he was still talking, despite his fierce desire to stop. Thank God, the kid rescued him.
“My name is Burke. It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance, all of you. My grandfather and I and our dear friend, Stanley, all work together. We’ve had a wild few months, so we thought a bit of R and R was exactly what the doctor ordered.”
“You all work together? That’s fantastic!” Terry leaned in toward Burke. His wife mirrored him, keeping them in the same close proximity to one another. “What kind of work do you do?”
“We help people who’ve gotten in over their heads,” Burke said.
At the same moment, Stanley said, “We solve problems.”
And Richard told him, “We’re exterminators.”
Ed Santos laughed and burped. “So, you’re hitmen for hire?” He used his teeth to pull a pineapple chunk off a plastic sword that had been stuck in his drink.
Burke winked at him. “Darn it. You figured us out.”

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BooksOnTour @bookouture / #Review : Who’s Next? (Detective Lockhart and Green Book 2) – Chris Merritt @DrCJMerritt

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free.
I’m grateful of receiving a free copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review of this book. –

Chris Merritt WhosNext BoT

About the Author :

CURRENT PHOTOHello! I’m a British author whose crime thrillers combine psychology, suspense, and characters you care about.
All my novels are set in London, where I live. My first trilogy starred Zac Boateng and Kat Jones, two detectives motivated by family, who tackle organised crime and police corruption. LAST WITNESS, the second Boateng and Jones book, reached #13 in the UK Kindle chart in 2019.
My second series features detective Dan Lockhart – an ex-soldier with a missing wife – and psychologist Dr Lexi Green, an American living in London. These novels are darker, more psychological serial-killer cases, with romantic relationships as a central theme.
I began writing fiction in 2014, after previous careers as a diplomat, based in Iraq and Jerusalem, and later as a psychologist working with victims and perpetrators of crime. I specialised in treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which sparked my interest in telling stories about how people cope when faced with extreme adversity.
Now, I spend most of my time writing novels and drinking coffee while *thinking* about writing novels. When I’m not writing, I love climbing and playing basketball.
You can find out more about my work at www.cjmerritt.co.uk or follow me on Twitter @DrCJMerritt.

Synopsis :

Whos-Next-KindleStumbling to the ground, he claws at the earth around him, trying to stabilise himself, but his attacker is on him in seconds. As he stares at the lights of the bustling streets on the other side of the park gates, he doesn’t even have time to yell for help before everything goes black.
When the body of wealthy businessman Charles Stott is found dead on Wimbledon Common, covered in bruises just feet away from his luxury home, Detective Dan Lockhart is called to investigate the shocking scene. Examining the sickeningly disfigured body before him, Lockhart knows he’s dealing with a brutal killer and, as he bends down to take a closer look, he notices something on the victim’s neck: a small, crudely drawn symbol in black ink. It seems the murderer has marked his victim, but why? Dan needs to get inside the perpetrator’s mind, so he contacts psychologist Dr Lexi Green.
As the ensuing media circus puts pressure on Dan and Lexi’s investigation, another victim is found and the headlines are quick to report a serial killer is on the loose. The body of a successful lawyer has been discovered in a park with the same purple bruising and hand-drawn symbol on his neck. Dan fears that more victims will follow.
As the case intensifies, Dan uncovers a new lead on his missing wife, Jess, who disappeared eleven years ago. Determined to follow it up, he must choose between tracking down a serial murderer and finding Jess. Can he make the impossible decision before the killer strikes once more?
Fans of Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Cara Hunter will love this thrilling new series from Chris Merritt. From an explosive start to a heart-stopping finale, you will not want to put this book down!

Amazon

Review :

After reading ‘knock knock’ the first book in the series I was eagerly waiting for the next book, but would it be as good?
I’m always a bit apprehensive, because I don’t like being let down if a first book was already great.
I definitely didn’t need to be afraid as this was again a well written thriller which I thoroughly enjoyed reading.
I love Lexi and Dan who are both strong and interesting main characters and even all the other ones are build up great, especially the killer.
The case was very engrossing and the whole plot was filled with twists and surprises.
And then there’s the way how the book ends on a cliffhanger!
I can’t wait for the next book, so please, Chris Merritt, tell me you’re writing already?!

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #PromoPost : Freedom of the Creed – N J Coleridge @npichol

– ‘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 ‘Freedom of the Creed’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a some ‘basic’ information for you.

About the Author :

N.J Coleridge finds time to write when he is not performing his official duties as his daughter’s “royal servant.”
He has always had a passion for the frontier and the old-west. Freedom of the Creed is his first novel.
For more adventures featuring Saoirse be sure to read the novella “A Prayer for the Dying”.

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Synopsis :

rcSenQDwThe Woe-Be-Gone boys, a vicious gang of outlaws rushes south through the American frontier, leaving desolation in their wake.
On their trail is Saoirse Creed, a bounty hunter with a debt to pay. Her only chance to pay that debt rides with the gang, but what depths will she sink to achieve her goal.
Now, as she tracks them down to a town on the precipice of despair, Saoirse must overcome the final hurdle in order to capture her man and return to a life that she thought was all but lost.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US 

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksGroup / #Excerpt : Siren Song #SirenSong – Rebecca McKinney @BexMcKinney

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

Siren Song - Twitter (1)

Today I’m on the ‘Siren Song’ blogtour, organised by Love Books Tour.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

IMG_4259 (4)Writer, counsellor, community development practitioner. I’ve always believed that the best stories show the truth of what it means to be a human being. The common thread that runs through all of my work is the individual’s struggle to make peace with a contentious life. I write mainly novels and short stories for adult audiences.
I was born in Boulder, Colorado in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, but have lived in or near Edinburgh, Scotland for most of my adult life. I live in Midlothian with my family, in a messy house with three cats, several hundred books and too many musical instruments.

Website
Twitter

Synopsis :

Siren Song Front Cover (1)A man who glimpses other people’s inner worlds, and a woman who can foresee death. Can they trace a missing girl before the worst happens?
Harrison Jones is a university lecturer with a secret: he moonlights as a psychic detective. Amy Bell is a paramedic who has the uncanny knack of knowing things are going to happen before they do. From their first accidental meeting on an Edinburgh bridge, both of their lives are destined to change.
Harrison invites Amy to help him investigate the disappearance of a beautiful young singer. The search will lead them into the murky world of human trafficking, from Edinburgh to the streets of Athens, and into the darkest corners of the human mind…

Amazon

Excerpt :

Louis Isaac and Karl Sigmundsson were ensconced at the window table to the right of the bar, locked into another round of one ongoing debate or another. They were part of a group of academics Harrison sometimes drank with: Louis a politics researcher from New York and Karl a sociologist from Iceland. Their minds were so preoccupied by theory that their company didn’t trouble him. The less personal stuff the better, as far as he was concerned.
They didn’t know about his gift, of course. Very few people in his university circle did.
Harrison Jones moved in two worlds and liked to keep them separate.
He bought himself a pint of Belhaven Best, sidled between the damp bodies that filled the narrow room, and eased onto the bench beside Karl.
‘I’m glad to see you escaped from the circle of hell that is marking,’ Karl said.
‘A temporary furlough only. I’ve ten or fifteen left to get through tomorrow.’
They murmured their commiserations and returned to their argument. Harrison’s mind wandered, from semi-literate undergraduate ramblings to missing people. One missing person in particular. It had been thirty years now. Thirty years of nothing but speculation and heartbreak.
‘What do you think, Harri?’
He forced himself back to the present. The bar was filled with a sociable racket, voices raised in debate, the fiddle and whistle just audible beyond it.
He shook his head. ‘Sorry, what?’
‘I was just saying,’ Karl repeated, ‘that what we are witnessing in the Scottish independence movement is materially different from the rise of populism in England and Trump’s America. It is the rebirth of a progressive civic identity that is not based on exclusionary ideology … ’
‘You can’t call any form of nationalism progressive,’ Louis countered. ‘A rhetoric that places the concept of nation at the heart of the discourse is by definition exclusionary.’
‘Perhaps, in that case, we must label the Scottish independence movement as something other than nationalism.’
Louis spread his hands wide. ‘What should we call it, then? Let’s ask the only Scot at the table. Harrison, wade in here anytime, buddy.
What do you say?’
The only Scot at the table had heard enough academic jargon for one day. ‘Fuck Trump and fuck the Tories, that’s what I say.’

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

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#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : Miss Smith Commits the Perfect Crime? – Guy Rolands

– ‘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 ‘Miss Smith Commits the Perfect Crime?’ blogtour, organised 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 :

7NPAzFaUGuy Caplin worked in television broadcasting for over 40 years and is one of the few people to have achieved success in both the technical and artistic branches of the medium. He has worked with many celebrities including, the Beatles, Ella Fitzgerald, Bob Hope and Maria Callas.
He moved to ITV’s Yorkshire Television in 1969 as a Producer and Director of Sport, Outside Broadcasts and special events. Among the many programmes he devised was the quiz programme “Winner Takes All” fronted by Jimmy Tarbuck and Geoffrey Wheeler, which under his tenure was regularly amongst the Top Ten TV programmes and twice reached the coveted Number One Spot.
When the final series of the hit American programme Dallas ran into technical problems in Hollywood in 1989, Guy left YTV and joined a UK broadcast engineering company to try to come up with a solution. The solution proposed resulted in the creation of the DEFT process, which although too late to be used on Dallas, was used initially on the Simpsons and subsequently on Friends, Frasier, Superman and many others America series. DEFT was awarded an Emmy for outstanding technical achievement.
Back in the UK Guy owned and ran a company creating video productions for both broadcast and industry, was a freelance trainer at the BBC and a visiting tutor at the National School of Film and Television
For the past thirteen years Guy has also been regular lecturer for P&O cruises and Cunard and has effectively travelled twice around the world.
Now, having closed his video company, he spends his time writing under the name of Guy Rolands and has now completed four novels in the Sam Smith Adventure series. Having worked all over the world and encountered hundreds of remarkable characters, his experiences provide colour and intrigue to his work.

Facebook Author Page

synopsis :

puhtqhHYRecovering from a brutal attack where she was savagely raped, university student Sam Smith attempts to rebuild her life and overcome the ongoing effects of her ordeal. Her ultimate goal is to bring her assailant to justice, but before she can do so her life and loves take a series of intriguing turns as she continues her sometimes unconventional education.
Eventually she is able to identify her attacker and decides to exact retribution in her own particular style, but during her preparations Sam becomes aware that her every move is being tracked by a mysterious organisation. To avoid detection by the police and also her hidden watchers, Sam Smith attempts to commit the perfect crime. However in the aftermath of her vigilante action events change rapidly to bring about a most unexpected outcome.

Miss Smith Commits the Perfect Crime? is the first book in the Sam Smith Adventure Series and can be read as a standalone.

Trailer

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

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?
Throughout my adult life, I have written in as part of my work as a TV producer and director. Unfortunately, it was pretty uninspiring stuff: ‘And our next contestant comes from the town of … ‘ I got hooked on writing fiction through an odd quirk of fate. I had just given up the day job in April of last year when I broke my foot and was virtually immobile for a couple of months. My eldest daughter (the author Jules Wake) said to me, ‘If you’ve nothing better to do Dad, why not write a book?’ Once I started, I realized this was something most enjoyable and satisfying. As my Beta readers were most encouraging with the results of my labour, it became a full-time passion.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As a child, I loved adventure stories, starting with the Biggles’ books of Captain WE Johns when I was very small. As an adult, I could not put The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo down. Stig Larsson’s Millennium trilogy ranks as my all-time favourite set of books. His plot, his characters and the way he draws the reader in, are unparalleled in my view. While my preference is mainly for adventure and mystery, I enjoy reading humorous fiction. Sadly few authors can pull it off consistently. I keep going back to PG Wodehouse as the adventures of Jeeves and Wooster never fail to raise my spirits.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I would have to opt for Jeffrey Archer. As an author, he never fails to satisfy. Every one of his works I have thoroughly enjoyed. Despite the large number of books he has written, his characters are always compelling, and his plots are novel and intriguing. I would love to know how he manages, despite his considerable output, to remain so fresh and successful.

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 would like to invite the character, Nick Armitage, Sam Smith’s boyfriend at the start of my book, and ask him what he hell he thought he was playing at. When I originally conceived him, he was a nice guy: he was to be the rock on which my heroine would depend in her hour of need. People who don’t write fiction themselves will find this hard to believe, but this character had a mind of his own and drove the plot in a totally different direction. He let poor Sam down when she was extremely fragile and ultimately met a rather unpleasant end. Since he was driving the plot, you could say he brought his misfortune upon himself. Odd, isn’t it?

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
The ritual starts the night before. Just before I go to sleep, I go over in my mind what I have written that day, thinking about the characters and the plot. Invariably, I wake up the following morning with the next chapter buzzing in my head. I try to start writing at around 7.30 every morning in my lounge, sitting in my comfortable armchair using a small laptop. My wife likes to sleep in, and usually, I can get around two hours of writing done without interruptions. I suppose it’s being British that drives me to the teapot for inspiration. When I get up each morning, I make a pot of (Yorkshire) tea and always have a big mug beside my armchair, sipping it slowly to make the creative juices flow.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
I have to have a central, but very simple plot issue to drive the story on. In Miss Smith Commits the Perfect Crime, my heroine wants retribution – nothing more, nothing less. Hitchcock called this having a McGuffin. No matter how how complex or convoluted the plot, everything must revolve around the McGuffin.
While I like to base my characters on people that I have encountered, you would be hard put to identify specific individuals. For example, my heroine Sam Smith was based on one of the hundreds of professional show dancers I worked with over the years. She was barely twenty, had a flawless complexion, naturally golden hair, a figure to die for and a naive sexual allure. The men on the crew couldn’t do enough for her. Even our gay choreographer was drooling all over the young woman. For her lover, Ari Levi, I pictured one of the models’ unsavoury looking boyfriend. They were such an unlikely looking pair that the crew dubbed them ‘Beauty and the Beast’: a title that found its way into the book.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I guess I am a pantser. I establish my Mcguffin and then set about finding my key characters. If I have them clear in my mind, then the main figures drive the story towards its goal. That makes it sound as though I sit back and just let it happen. If only it were that simple. Once I have a chapter completed, I take a step back, and ask myself does it work? If I have any doubt whatsoever, I cut the offending section. I am quite ruthless, and I am happy to rewrite as many times as it takes until the story flows on in a manner that satisfies me.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Try and set yourself a goal: a number of words to write every day. This will be tough if you are holding down a full-time job, but be realistic. Set yourself a target that’s achievable: 500 words a day of carefully crafted material is far better than 2000 words of rushed work that doesn’t satisfy you. I suggest all aspiring writers stick to the rules of the old radio show, Just a Minute: No hesitation, deviation or repetition.

What are your future plans as an author?
Having established my heroine, Sam Smith, I am working to create a series of books featuring her adventures. Watch this space.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
I have selected a passage which is a key moment in the plot, where Sam and her boyfriend Nick think they are about to consummate their relationship. Please don’t think from this extract, that this book is a graphic ‘bodice ripper’. The passage is a turning point in the heroine’s motivation and charts a milestone in her coming of age.

In the car, as Nick drove back to the flat, Sam was happier than she had ever been in her life. They entered the hallway, and she still felt as if she was floating on air. Nick went to put the light on in the lounge, but she put her hand over his whispering, ‘Can we leave it off.’
He brought his hand away from the switch and with his arm round her shoulders they moved through the darkened room to stand in front of the picture window, looking out on the twinkling lights of the city. Sam snuggled up to Nick, and their lips met in a long and passionate kiss. Her heart was pounding as he undid the zip of her dress, which slowly slid to the floor, leaving her wearing only the new undergarment that Fran had found at the last minute. It was the tiniest thong imaginable, just a minute wisp of lace. Nick obviously found the sight of her near-naked body irresistible, and his kissing became more intense. Sam felt his hand slide over her skin to remove the delicate lace garment.
That was when things went catastrophically wrong.

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

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 #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksGroup / #Excerpt : Hidden #Hidden – Annabel Chown @annabelchown1 #AnnabelChown

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

Twitter - Hidden - Coming Soon (2)

Today I’m on the ‘Hidden’ blogtour, organised by Love Books Tour.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

recentportrait

Annabel Chown was born in London and read Architecture at Cambridge University. She worked as an architect for leading London practices and taught architectural design at Kingston University, then at thirty-one she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She started making notes while going through treatment and discovered a passion for writing.
‘Hidden’, her memoir about having cancer while young and single, emerged from this. Her writing about breast cancer has been published in ‘The Daily Telegraph’ and ‘Red’ magazine. Annabel is also a yoga teacher. She loves cities, particularly London, and food.
You can read more, including blog posts, at annabelchown.com.

Synopsis :

Hidden_crop

Annabel lies awake in the early hours after a night partying. She’s not worrying about how to get rid of an unsuitable man in her bed, but what to do about the hard lump she’s found on her left breast. An absorbing story of what happens when life swerves in unimaginable directions. At the age of thirty-one – a successful architect and a single Londoner – Annabel is diagnosed with breast cancer. Overnight, her quest for love turns into a fight for life, and more. Plunged into a world of treatment, which she keeps hidden from all but those closest to her, she learns a new way of living in London, a city whose moods and seasons reflect her own. ‘Hidden’ is a memoir of great courage and determination, told with wry humour and an architect’s eye. The story of how Annabel rebuilds her future will bring hope to anyone who has been forced to radically change direction in life.

Amazon

Excerpt :

I turn out the light, quickly take off my clothes and get into bed. I’m shivering. I wrap the duvet tightly around me, trying to swaddle myself with its warmth. But I can’t stop shaking. Closing my eyes, I will myself to forget what my fingers have read. It’s all I can see. I picture it growing bigger, staining my whole body.
I think about all the things I could lose. What if I never have the chance to fall in love again?
I curl myself into a ball and try to sleep, but my mind’s racing. Usually when I can’t sleep I put on the light and read but tonight I want to distance myself from my body and this room. This room, with its high corniced ceilings, white walls, wood floor and old fireplace has always been my sanctuary. Suddenly it’s oppressive, frightening.
When daylight starts to spill around the edge of the window, I’m still awake. I’ve only been in bed around four hours but it’s been the longest night. I listen to the murmurings of the outside world as it slowly comes to life again. The birds are singing, newspapers thud onto doorsteps, and a crying child is comforted by his father.
I spend most of the day in bed. Running on the treadmill at the gym, trying to make my body leaner and healthier, knowing there’s this thing lurking under my skin seems wrong. I’m supposed to be meeting my sister, Tanya, and a friend this evening for a movie and dinner. I think about cancelling, but in the end decide it might be better to be around people than alone with my mind. And I haven’t seen my sister for a couple of weeks which, for us, is a long time.
I leave the flat at six. It’s still light and on my way to Camden Town I walk past the Victorian redbrick terraces of South Hampstead, the roundabout at Swiss Cottage and through Primrose Hill. This is my patch of London. As children, my sister, two years younger, and I had piano lessons on the first floor of one of the redbrick houses I pass. As a teenager I spent long days revising in the curved concrete-finned library building that edges the roundabout, and weekends wandering up and down Camden High street looking for red-tab Levis, Bob Dylan albums and silver hoop earrings. My earliest memories are of afternoons in Primrose Hill with my mother, lying on the grey rug I think she still has. This evening the outside world looks the same as it always has. Except it no longer feels quite so solid.
Everyone else in the cinema laughs their way through The Royal Tenenbaums where a father who walked out on his family years earlier tries to be reunited with them by pretending he’s dying of stomach cancer. I shudder every time the word cancer’s mentioned, a sick sensation rising in the back of my throat.
Tanya’s booked dinner at a Caribbean restaurant called The Mango Room. She came with her husband, Axel, a few weeks ago.
‘You’ve got to try the strawberry daiquiri. Axel loved it.’
It is all delicious but I can only pick at my snapper in mango and coconut sauce. I look around the crowded restaurant, all the tables jammed with people eating and drinking and laughing and wish I’d stayed home.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

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#BlogTour @aria_fiction / #QandAs : A Perfect Paris Christmas #APerfectParisChristmas – Mandy Baggot @mandybaggot

– ‘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 Perfect Paris Christmas’ blogtour, organised by Aria Fiction.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Mandy BaggotMandy Baggot is an international bestselling and award-winning romance writer. The winner of the Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK’s Festival of Romance, her romantic comedy novel, One Wish in Manhattan, was also shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Romantic Comedy Novel of the Year award in 2016. Mandy’s books have so far been translated into German, Italian, Czech and Hungarian. Mandy loves the Greek island of Corfu, white wine, country music and handbags. Also a singer, she has taken part in ITV1’s Who Dares Sings and The X-Factor. Mandy is a member of the Society of Authors and lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband and two daughters.

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Synopsis :

Book coverUnited in grief. Pushed apart by tragedy.
Keeley Andrews knows more than anyone that you only live once. So when she receives an invitation to spend two weeks in Paris, all expenses paid, she jumps at the chance.
Ethan Bouchard has had the worst eighteen months of his life. He’s ready to give up on everything, including his hotel chain. So when he meets Keeley, it simply isn’t the right time.
As Keeley and Ethan continue to bump into each other on the romantic Parisian streets, they can’t help but wonder whether this is fate telling them to let go of the past and leap into the future…

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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 always written stories, since I was little, so writing has always been a big part of my life. When I had my first child back in 2005 I was overwhelmed by how my life had changed and I really needed some ‘me’ time back between the nurturing and nappy-changing. I wrote my first book, Excess All Areas, on maternity leave from my job as a Probate paralegal. That was the beginning of my author journey! And, to date, I have now written for five different publishers. It’s been quite a ride!

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
Like most kids born in the 70’s (sshh!) I adored Enid Blyton. From The Famous Five to The Magic Faraway Tree, I lapped them up. I also had a really soft spot for the Nancy Drew novels! Now, as an adult, I love all things romance (I can’t help it!) but I also love a thriller/suspense or a book that makes you think about life. I don’t read a lot of non-fiction unless I’m really interested in the subject matter.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
/

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 would love to invite my character, Freya from Excess All Areas to tea. Except Freya would much rather have takeaway food than cakes and sandwiches. I would like some of her badass strength and no-holds-barred attitude to life. She’s the me I want to be when I grow up!

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
There is one strict rule for a Mandy Baggot novel. There has to be a character called Milo in it. This fun started out when I was struggling to come up with random names for characters that were mentioned once or weren’t really integral to the story. I started to call them all Milo. Then it became a ‘thing’ and now readers look for Milo like Where’s Wally. In my book, Summer by the Lake, Milo actually gets a proper role working at Robyn’s roadhouse.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Ha! Well, I would never put a real person in a book – that’s not fair and also I don’t want to be sued. But, I do very much take notice of everything that goes on around me. So many random, out-of-the-blue things seem to crop up in my life, I am blessed with all the material I could need for books and so much more.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I am a total pantser. I would find plotting the whole book really boring. I love not knowing exactly what’s going to happen in the book. Of course, I have a small idea, but it’s only when I put my fingers to the keyboard that the magic happens. Sometimes I worry that perhaps one day it won’t just come to me as I go along but – fingers crossed – it hasn’t happened yet and this routine seems to work!

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
The best tip I can give is don’t try to be anyone else in your writing. It’s your unique voice that makes you special. By all means read widely, draw inspiration, but always be you.

What are your future plans as an author?
I have just signed for two more books with Aria Fiction. There will be one coming out in April 2021 for the summer and another following in the autumn for Christmas! I never really think beyond the next two books. I get to the end of a year and am grateful to still be able to do this amazing job!

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Hmm, well, I hope you fall for the hot hero and the gorgeous setting of Paris at Christmas time in A Perfect Paris Christmas but… you might just fall for the cute animals too! Get ready to p…p…p…pick up a penguin!

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

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!

 

 

#BookReleaseBlitz #RandRBookTours @RRBookTours1 @Shanannigans81 / #PromoPost : Minute Zero #MinuteZero – Chris Jayne @BlushingBooks #PostApocalypse #NewBooks

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

MinuteZero

Today I’m on the ‘Minute Zero’ blogtour, organised by R&R Book Tours.
To promote this book I have some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

chris-jayne-author-headshot_origChris Jayne is author of the apocalyptic EMP series “Stronghold.”
Jayne is also the penname of a USA Today bestselling romance and thriller author who is has started asking “what if?” What if the lights go off? What if the food supply chain just… stops? The world could become an unfriendly place in a hurry.
Three years ago, Chris began exploring the “prepper” lifestyle, and hopes that if TEOTWAWKI would actually happen, she would be in a position to protect her family and loved ones.
She now spends her days splitting her time between her romance writing and her apocalyptic and dystopian fiction novels. Because what’s more fun than imagining the end of the world from the comfort of your couch? And if the end of the world has a few sexy Navy Seals in it? All the better!
She loves writing stories exploring how ordinary people cope with extraordinary circumstances, especially situations where the normal comforts, conveniences, and rules are stripped away.

Website
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Synopsis :

Title: Minute Zero (Stronghold #1)
Publication Date: September 11th, 2020 (Today 🎉)
Publisher: Inferis Press

Book CoverWhen the world ends in a heartbeat, suddenly old secrets don’t matter anymore. But new ones still do, and protecting the ones you love is the only thing that still remains.
Two sisters, one a trendy caterer on the run from a vicious killer, the other a country midwife.
Because of a simple mistake, Lori Dovner must flee from the vicious mafioso Raoul Saldata, and her life goes from routine day to terrifying journey in a single moment. On the road with her two children, her only goal is to get to her sister’s Montana farm alive. But both Lori and Louise have been hiding a devastating secret for years.
Two brothers, one a Navy Seal on leave, the other a good man who wants to do right by his family.
Captain Deacon Hale is taking two weeks to help his brother Roger and his wife Louise on their remote Montana farm. He loved Lori once, but has finally put her behind him. Roger Hale just wants to give his pregnant wife and two young children a good life. He has no idea about the betrayals that have been hidden from him.
Dangerous identity.
Angela Jones is an FBI agent with a terrible debt that she knows she will someday have to pay. And when Raoul Saldata calls in that marker she has no choice but to comply.
Evil incarnate.
Raoul Saldata as a child in Albania, would pretend he was a dhampir, the offspring resulting from the mating between a human female and a vampire. A myth of course, but the evil Saldata practices is anything but. And when he finds Lori Dovner, he intends to do a lot more than just kill her.

“Minute Zero” Stronghold: Book One is an apocalyptic EMP thriller (with a touch of romance) about an ordinary family struggling to stay safe and find each other in the face of insurmountable odds, an abysmal loss of life and the dawn of a new, post-apocalyptic dark age.

GoodReads

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

BookRelease Blitz Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours

#BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours / #Excerpt : Fearless – Allen Stroud @AllenJStroud @FlameTreePress

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

FINAL Fearless BT Poster

Today I’m on the ‘Fearless’ blogtour, organised by Random Things Tours.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Allen Stroud Author PicAllen Stroud is a lecturer at Coventry University, where he teaches BA (Hons) Media and Communications. Stroud completed a Ph. D. at the University of Winchester entitled An Investigation and Application of Writing Structures and World Development Techniques in Science Fiction and Fantasy. This thesis covered his work on computer games, Elite Dangerous (2014) and Chaos Reborn (2016). For Elite: Dangerous, Stroud wrote six guidebooks that inform the game’s fictional narrative and also served to help other writers with their novelisations set in the game world.
He was a founding host of Lave Radio, an Elite: Dangerous fan podcast that started in February 2013 and runs the annual convention Lavecon. His novel set in the Elite: Dangerous game world, called Elite: Lave Revolution was successfully funded on Kickstarter and published in late 2014, with a second edition published in 2015. Stroud then supported Spidermind Games in developing the Elite Dangerous Roleplaying Game. Stroud worked on Chaos Reborn with Snapshot Games and is working on Phoenix Point, due for release in 2019.
Stroud was the 2017 and 2018 chair of Fantasycon, the annual convention of the British Fantasy Society, which hosts the British Fantasy Awards. In June 2019, he became Chair of the British Science Fiction Association, taking over from Donna Bond. Stroud continues to write academic papers, reviews, articles and fiction in science fiction, fantasy and horror. He lives in a messy house with two cats and his partner, Karen.

Synopsis :

Fearless CoverAD 2118. Humanity has colonised the Moon, Mars, Ceres and Europa. Captain Ellisa Shann commands Khidr, a search and rescue ship with a crew of twenty-five, tasked to assist the vast commercial freighters that supply the different solar system colonies.
Shann has no legs and has taken to life in zero-g partly as a result. She is a talented tactician who has a tendency to take too much on her own shoulders. Now, while on a regular six-month patrol through the solar system, Khidr picks up a distress call from the freighter Hercules…

Amazon

Excerpt :

PROLOGUE
1969

Here follows a restricted memoir extract from an unnamed mission controller of the Apollo 10 mission during its journey around the Moon. This document remains classified, despite the maximum information embargo (one hundred years) being exceeded. Any inquiry I have made about the reason for this has been stonewalled. Even now, I am only able to forward you this partial transcription. The redacted elements have been restored with a little guesswork.
All efforts to attribute the writing lead nowhere. None of the registered controllers on duty that day published stories of their experiences, and this document contradicts the official accounts of the astronauts and NASA at the time. The only thing that makes me consider that there’s some sort of truth to it is that it remains restricted and the identity of the author is still classified. If there was nothing to this, why would the authorities continue to keep it back? Why not publish and call it out as lies?

* * *

The transmission occurred one hundred and two hours, twelve minutes into the mission. At this point, Apollo 10 was out of communication range on the far side of the Moon.
According to the debrief information, Commander Tom Stafford and lunar module pilot Gene Cernan were in the lunar module, callsign ‘Snoopy’, while command module pilot John Young was in the main spacecraft, ‘Charlie Brown’. At that point, the two spacecraft were separated in a simulation of lunar liftoff. Each craft had its own transmitter.
Dialogue between the astronauts involved their operational tasks and a discussion about food. The communications were over a radio link between the two transmitters. On the recording, which was subsequently published, all three men complain of hearing a strange musical sound in the background of their radio comms. This matter was also raised when Apollo 10 returned to Earth and the team was debriefed.
A detailed spectrum analysis of the recorded conversation does reveal the sound as being present. However, it appears to be much quieter than the astronauts claimed in their interviews. After forty-eight hours, Stafford, Cernan and Young were all told that the noise was due to feedback between the two transmitters. Astronaut Young had, in fact, guessed that this was the cause and the explanation confirmed his theory. However, the three were reminded that the information remained classified and they should not discuss it when they were allowed to leave the base.
After they were gone, radio specialists continued to work on the recording. It had already been established that the frequency range for the signal did not match what would be expected for radio transmitter interference. Some speculative allowance was made for the lack of atmosphere and the effect of this on the ‘waves’, but simulations still did not match what had been recorded.
After this, further simulations were attempted, looking at the possibility of the transmitters being misaligned before the mission left Earth. However, this answer was also discounted as the signal only occurred during a short period while the spacecraft were on the dark side.
Six days later, copies of the recordings were requisitioned by several different military departments, and NASA’s analysis team was instructed to abandon any further work on the matter. The ‘interference’ explanation was confirmed as being the official answer on the matter, and the case file closed. I can’t help but think that—

* * *

The classified extract ends here. The transcript of the Apollo 10 conversation was released thirty-nine years later in 2008, but the audio recording did not resurface until 2016, when it was published as part of a retrospective documentary. Subsequent interviews with other surviving Apollo mission astronauts revealed there were other incidents of similar noises being heard at different times during lunar missions. However, journalists collating these incidents were dismissed as pedalling alien conspiracy theories. There was a popular mythology being bandied around at the time that the Moon landings were faked. Both stories found audiences among the same counterculture online communities.
The retainer you put me on is now spent. If you want me to follow any of this up, you’ll need to get in touch.
You have my number.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#CoverReveal #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksGroup : Avalon’s Portal #AvalonsPortal – Lynne W. Bailey @lynnewbailey1

– ‘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 blogtour, organised by Love Books Group Tour, to reveal the cover of

Avalon's Portal - Cover Reveal - Twitter (1)

But first some information

About the Author :

20200730_112545Lynne has been writing short stories and poems since the age of 12. She is currently working on various ghostwriting projects for a reputable publisher, however, Avalon’s Portal is her debut novel, published in her own name.
Lynne loves anything weird and wonderful, so expect to find her books full of magic, crystals, and mythical beings. Whilst working on the second book in this series, Lynne also holds a full time job and enjoys spending time with her family.

Synopsis :

Nothing exciting ever happens to Arthur, and that’s the way he likes it. But when he stumbles into a magical world on his 13th birthday, the new teen has to put on his big boy pants and begin the quest of a lifetime to find his way back home.
With the help of new friends, Arthur overcomes seemingly impossible obstacles, tames magical creatures, and fights mythical monsters. By the end of his journey he has changed in ways he could never have imagined; he needs to get home, but the pull of Avalon leaves him with a difficult decision to make.

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

blog-cover reveal

because this is happening

right now!

EBOOK Lynne W Bailey b01

Did this all pique your interest in reading the book? It will be available soon.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

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