#OneDayBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #Excerpt : Rocks and Flowers in a Box (Lorna & Tristan Series #2) – Cynthia Hilston @cynthiahilston

– ‘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 ‘Rocks and Flowers in a Box (Lorna & Tristan Series #2)’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

-j02QNfwCynthia Hilston is a thirty-something-year-old stay-at-home mom of three young kids, happily married. Writing has always been like another child to her. After twenty years of waltzing in the world of fan fiction, she finally stepped away to do her debut dance with original works of fiction.
In her spare time – what spare time? – she devours books, watches Doctor Who and Game of Thrones, pets her orange kitty, looks at the stars, and dreams of what other stories she wishes to tell.

Social Media Links:
Website
Facebook
Goodreads
Amazon
Twitter
Instagram

Synopsis :

5Xy07vZgThe wedding bells for Lorna and Tristan Blake toll doom right as the honeymoon begins with an unexpected turn in Tristan’s health. While World War II winds down, Lorna receives a letter from the War Department informing her that the brother she thought killed in action is still alive. She is overjoyed, but his return will dredge up a devastating secret about their parents’ tragic death –a secret that could destroy her new marriage and threaten her husband’s physical and mental well-being. What unfolds is balancing act of keeping the faith and shattering the pieces of the life she’s worked so hard to put back together.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Excerpt :

Chapter 7

Context: Lorna and Tristan are dining at a fine Italian restaurant with their friends, Macy and John. John drinks too much, much to Tristan’s dismay. Tristan never drinks anymore after years of alcoholism.

The tension seemed to ease after that as talk continued well into the evening over the clink of silverware on plates, oohs and ahhs over the aroma and flavor of the cuisine, and the music serenading us from one bite to the next. The second bottle of Chianti stood empty, drained mostly by John, whose red nose and loose tongue were both embarrassing and endearing.
“John, this is why we don’t keep wine in the house.” Macy looked at me and Tristan. “He rarely drinks, but when he does, he has no control.”
“I’m just havin’ a good time,” John slurred. “Nothin’ wrong with that.”
Tristan scowled at the other man. “Get a hold of yourself, John. Be glad you have a wife who can drive you home so you can sleep it off.”
John hiccupped.
Macy blushed. “I’m so sorry. He really isn’t like this.”
I suspected John’s endearing quality was wearing off as quickly as my lipstick had upon eating.
The waiter chose that moment to return and ask, “Will we be having dolce this evening or perhaps another bottle of wine?”
“Don’t you think two bottles of wine is enough?” Tristan shot at the waiter, glowering at John.
“Grazie, but no grazie,” said Macy with a tight smile. “I think we’ll just take the check.”
The waiter left without a word.
When the check arrived, Tristan snatched it and said, “I’ve got it covered.”
“But, Tristan—” Macy started to say.
He held up a hand, withdrew his wallet, and pressed some money to the billfold. He passed it back to the waiter. “Keep the change. Tip is covered.”
“Molto bene. Grazie mille. Buona notte.” The waiter gave a little bow and left.
“I think that’s our cue to leave,” Tristan said, standing.
My heart sank as I took his arm. Macy was helping John up. With a glance at Tristan, I released his arm and aided my best friend.
“I’m so sorry again,” Macy whispered, her eyes prickling with tears. “We were having such fun.”
“It’s okay. Let’s just get him to the car. Will you be able to manage once you’re home? Because we can follow you.” I looked back at Tristan.
Tristan nodded.
“What? No dolce?” asked John, his eyes glazed and round like two donuts.
“I think you’ve had quite enough for one night,” Macy said.
“But, dear, I love spumoni.”
Macy sighed and muttered, “God help me.”
“I can walk,” John said, although he was dead weight as he leaned on Macy and me.
“Here,” Tristan said brusquely, taking John’s arm over his shoulder. He wasted not a moment exiting the restaurant, his tall, strong frame much better suited for supporting John.
Macy and I followed.
“I’m so sorry,” Macy said for the third time.
I placed a hand on her forearm, stilling her when we arrived at their car. “Don’t be. The truth is…Tristan could learn to lighten up a little, although the alcohol incident…well…”
I thought Tristan and John would grow closer, become better friends, but as Tristan loaded the other man into the passenger seat of the Wells’ Dodge, I didn’t hold out much hope. I hugged Macy and opened the driver-side door for her.
“We’ll be right behind you and will help you get him safely inside,” I said. “Don’t worry about it.”
“This is just what I need,” Macy said in an uncharacteristically drawn voice. “My parents will see this, and I’ll have to explain.”
“It will be okay. I promise.” I pressed a kiss to her cheek and got in the Speedster.
Tristan slammed the door with more force than necessary after I entered, fell in behind the wheel, and with a grim expression, said, “Here we go.”

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

 

#BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @annecater / #QandAs : Killing Beauties #KillingBeauties – Pete Langman @elegantfowl @Unbound_Digital

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

Killing Beauties BT Poster

Today I’m on the ‘Killing Beauties’ blogtour, organised by Random Things Tour.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Pete Langman Author PicPete Langman is a writer, academic, cricketer and sometime rock and roll guitarist who holds a PhD on Francis Bacon (the other one) and was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease at 40. His non-fiction encompasses Cricket, Parkinson’s Disease, Music, History of Science, literature and culture, and has appeared in publications ranging from The Guardian to Guitar and Bass Magazine. He lives between Leiden and Brighton with his partner Dr. Nadine Akkerman, award-winning author of Invisible Agents, who supplies him with historical expertise and who keeps asking if they can have a cat now, please.

Synopsis :

Killing Beauties CoverEngland, 1655. Following the brutal civil wars the country swelters under a cloud of paranoia, suspicion and the burgeoning threat of rebellion. With the fragile peace being won by Cromwell’s ever-efficient Secretary of State John Thurloe, the exiled king Charles Stuart sends two spies on a dangerous mission to wrest back the initiative. These spies are different, however: they are women. Their task? To turn Parliament’s spymaster into their unwitting accomplice. Killing Beauties is a dark tale of subterfuge, jealousy and betrayal.
It is sometimes said that women are written out of history, but often they are not yet written in. Killing Beauties is based on the true stories of two female spies from the 1650s and gives them the voice that only fiction can. Pete Langman.

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 was born far too long ago for my liking, but the intervening years have been rather interesting. Having gone to Los Angeles in 1987 to study music, I spent the next decade playing and teaching the electric guitar, before burning out around the turn of the century. By this point I had been writing a monthly column for Guitar and Bass magazine for five years or so. Come the millenium, I switched focus, spending the next ten years immersed in literature, first as an undergraduate, then postgraduate and finally lecturer, I wrote a few academic pieces and taught a lot at several universities. In 2008, my world underwent a minor upsidedown moment when I was diagnosed with young onset parkinson’s. Just I received my first (temporary) lectureship. Perhaps unsurprisingly, things got a little messy, and I had to become a little more flexible on account of my new companion’s utter disdain for normal activities. In these past few years I’ve been quite active in the Parkinson’s community, publishing ‘on and in aid of’ (notably Slender Threads: a young person’s guide to Parkinson’s Disease), raising money and awareness, while working as an editor (mostly in academia), teacher (privately and at Oxford University), and writer. I’m a great lover of the game of cricket, and have produced several articles and a book (The Country House Cricketer) on the subject. I write considerably better than I play.
As for how one becomes an author … it’s a slippery word, and is perhaps not the most useful, when used on its own. Its root comes from the word ‘auctor’ which was the authority a writer such as Chaucer would cite to demonstrate the legitimacy of their writing. It wasn’t really until Ben Jonson that writers began to cite themselves as authors, that is, their own authority. I’m not sure when one qualifies as such, therefore. Is it on writing something, on someone else reading it or on publication? Ultimately, it’s down to sheer bloody-mindedness.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As a child I mostly read history books and encylopaedias. One prospective headmaster suggested to my mother that I (at 7) couldn’t read ‘because when I asked Pete what he thought of Biggles, he said “who”?’
As an adult it’s difficult. Until seven or eight years ago I read colossal quantities, and also taught literature, but then the side-effects of my meds meant that I would practically fall asleep the moment I opened the pages. These days I’m either writing, editing, or recovering from writing and editing. If I were to pick a modern book to re-read, however, it would be Quarantine by Jim Crace.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Dickens, without doubt. I’d love to know what kicks off his astonishing characterisations, and how he manages to find the secondary images that match a scene ‘just so’.

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’d like to meet Jenny Wren, from Our Mutual Friend, by Charles Dickens. I just love her acid wit – to watch the world go by while she gave a running commentary would be quite something.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Doubtless, but I couldn’t tell you what they were. I write everywhere: in bed; on the sofa; in the pub; on the train. But only when I want to. And when I have the energy – lethargy, fatigue and apathy are some of the lesser-known but debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s. My writing tends to come in big surges – I wrote the first draft of Killing Beauties (66,000wds) in 19 days. This was followed by some serious recovery before I could get to the relentless rewriting and editing necessary to batter it into the 93,000wds it is now.
Physically, however, I write very slowly. Parkinson’s makes writing by hand both impossible and illegible (google ‘micrographia’), and I pretty much type with one finger and thum on my right hand and one finger on my left. Twenty years ago I could virtually touch-type. If my body’s feeling co-operative, I can use another right-hand finger: if not, my tremor means I have constant word overruns and extra letters appearing from nowhere. It has a positive side, mind. It means I think about every letter I write, and rarely get into that flow where your fingers just get on with it.
It’s certainly true that on more than one occasion my surroundings have influenced my fictional world. If I am eating pie, I am generally eating pie with my characters, but it’s not always clear to me whether I have invited them for supper or they me …

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Definitely worried. Especially when I’m writing historical fiction … of course, everything that is ever written has a toe in the pool of authorial experience or observation, whether first-hand or otherwise. But each tiny truth has to be massaged and manipulated until it fits with the story at hand – and even in autobiographies the author’s supporting cast will generally be muttering ‘that’s not quite how it happened’ while they read as if it were some sort of mantra.
In historical fiction, the author pretty much chooses one of two possible paths – they will either historicise fiction or fictionalise history. Killing Beauties is (mostly) of the latter persuasion, as it takes real people and real events and weaves a story around them. In this case, the ideas are generated through considered conjucture spun from historical ‘node points’. Say, by way of an example, we know that x happened to y, and that two weeks later, y was seen at z, but we have no knowledge of what came in between. I will discuss these nodes with my partner, or with myself, or let the characters get on with it themselves – but in each case thinking of any possible routes from occasion x to position z. Eventually, a particular route becomes the only way the story works, the only way I can imagine the story unfolding or the only way the characters will allow.
In non-historical fiction, it’s usually working backwards from an observation, a question or an image. For example, I wrote a short story (cogito, ergo amo) from a discussion with a friend who suggested that to be kind is the default status of all sentient beings. This turned into ‘if a drone became conscious, would it want to help people?’ I wondered whether making a drone conscious would make it want to ‘find itself’, and then asked myself what would happen if its real ‘self’ was a killing machine …

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Ah, the eternal p vs p question. My usual answer is that I don’t really see that much of a difference, as pantsers are simply plotting longhand, while plotters are just pantsing in note form. With historical fiction, and perhaps more so with Killing Beauties than some, it’s a far more complicated question, as the answer is both. The protagonists, Susan and Diana, were real she-intelligencers, and so a fair amount of what happens to them in the book is (so far as we can tell) absolutely true. This also goes for their letters, as some of them are lightly modified versions of real letters that they (or others) wrote. These ‘true’ bits of history formed the pilings on which the path of the story itself was built. But these women were spies, and spies are not keen on leaving much of a trail behind them, as it tends to lead to disappointment on all sorts of levels. The result of this is that there are big gaps in the archives where we simply don’t know what happened. I got to colour in these parts in crayon. So I plotted meticulously, then leapt from my plot-points into the depths of the empty page as I wrote. Some parts of the book are more truth than fiction, others more made up than they are accurate. Hopefully, it’s not at all clear which parts are which.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
I suppose my one catch-all piece of advice would be take all advice with a pinch of salt. Writers are bombarded by ‘experts’ who say the only way to write is to be disciplined, or the only way to write is to pay attention to inspiration, and so on. Personally, I say give everything a listen, try out whatever appeals and if it works, keep doing it: if it doesn’t, move on. Life is too short to slavishly follow someone else’s star. When you read a headline that reads something along the lines of ‘learn the one trait shared by all successful writers’, remember that it is simply that they’re all successful.
One thing to bear in mind is that every great author has written total rubbish. We just don’t usually get to see it.

What are your futureplans as an author?
As ever, I’m not quite sure. Projects seem to decide on me, rather than the other way around. I have plans for a sequel to Killing Beauties, but there are also two other works that I would like to revisit in a serious manner. Which comes first will depend very much on circumstances – obviously if Killing Beauties has any measure of success, that will take priority. I am keen on trying different genres, however. This is perhaps another reason why making up my mind is very low down on my list of qualities!

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

Diana Jennings lifted the skirts of her dress and smiled at the sailor who stood in front of her, squinting slightly as the still weak morning sun groped at his face. She could see the waters of the English Channel lapping at his calves, and figured that exposing her rather unconventional footwear was preferable to allowing her already wet clothes to get even wetter. The prow of the two-masted vessel on which she had booked passage ground itself into the shingle of the beach beside her as its stern rocked gently on the swell. A light sea-fret drifted towards the shore, and had it not been for the chill of early morning Diana might have imagined the mist steam, and herself in one of the hot baths she’d heard were so popular in the Ottoman court. Sir Thomas Roe had been a friend of a friend and she had read third-hand versions of his reports of the Sultan’s mores with relish, and no little envy. In truth, however, at this moment the opulence of the once mighty Byzantium seemed as distant as a child’s fable.
She surveyed the small, natural harbour from where she was soon to set off for home, and shivered as the fret rolled over her. Home. Diana no longer knew where her home was. Certainly Antwerp had become rather too dangerous since Henry Manning had appeared on the scene. She knew that she ought to have resisted the urge to fleece him as he slept off his evening’s quota of wine, but Diana rarely did what she ought. It was a habit that always threatened to catch up with her, even if it never made good on its promises. But it wasn’t Manning’s coin that weighed down her skirts, nor was it her conscience. His coin merely weighed down her shoulder bag, and this was one burden she welcomed. Coin was always welcome. But the thick dew that still lay heavy in the air had soaked through each layer of her dress and was now cold against her skin.
‘Have you no trunk, milady?’ The sailor adjusted his cap as he spoke, and waded through the surf towards her.
Diana travelled light as a matter of course. She had learnt the hard way that a trunk of clothing rendered a dawn getaway virtually impossible. Anyway, coin and bare-faced lies smoothed the way into society better than any silk.
‘Milady?’ he enquired once more.
Diana held out the small satchel that was the full extent of her luggage. The sailor took it, hesitated for a moment as he felt its weight, and then threw it under the boat’s canvas tilt. ‘You’ll do well to cover it, save it from the spray,’ he said, looking Diana up and down. Diana was more than used to this. She knew that while at first glance she appeared much like all the others who sought his services as a ferryman, there was something about her that he could not put his finger on. Diana was just another woman in her mid-thirties, average height, moderately handsome, though not striking; dull from the felt hat that covered her light brown hair to her feet. Well, perhaps not to her feet. But it was her countenance that set her apart. Diana knew that ladies who used his services were generally forced to do so by the vicissitudes of fortune, and she imagined that they made no attempt to hide their distaste for either their situation or his appearance.
Diana was different. Trouble was Diana’s primary currency: it was not something she ran from. Everything about her was conspicuously inconspicuous. She could melt into a crowd as easily as become the centre of its attention. Her dress was a case in point. It was embroidered silk, though not of the highest quality, and its initial impact dulled on closer inspection. It wasn’t as expensive as it made itself out to be. In that sense, at least, the dress suited her perfectly.
‘You have none more suitable clothing?’ asked the sailor as he offered his assistance in boarding.
Diana shook her head almost imperceptibly, and a little disdainfully, before taking the sailor’s hand and negotiating the gangplank. As he guided her steps onto her transport home, he held onto her hand for just a moment too long, and Diana knew that he was wondering how her skin might have felt on his were she not wearing soft leather gloves. But she could also see that he dismissed this as a fool’s contemplation, and he was no fool. Once she was aboard, the sailor merely directed her to the position on the boat’s two benches that offered most protection from the spray that would inevitably soak the passengers. She nodded her thanks and sat. He manhandled a piece of oiled cambric to wrap around her shoulders. Diana took the material and drew it close around her. The atmosphere was tense, and she sensed danger. It might just be time to try a new name.

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

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 #RandomThingsTours @annecater / #QandAs : The Introvert Confounds Innocence #IntrovertConfoundsInnocence – Michael Paul Michaud @MichaelPMichaud @BlackOpalBooks

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

Introvert Confounds BT Poster

Today I’m on the ‘The Introvert Confounds Innocence’ blogtour, organised by Random Things Tour.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Michael P Michaud Author picMichaud is an American-Canadian citizen, an Assistant Crown Attorney in the Greater Toronto Area, and author of BILLY TABBS (& THE GLORIOUS DARROW) (bitingduckpress) and THE INTROVERT series (Black Opal Books). He holds a B.A. in English from McMaster University, an Honors B.A. in Political Science (summa cum laude) from McMaster University, a J.D. from The University of Western Ontario (with an international exchange completed at Washington & Lee), and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and International Thriller Writers. Michaud has won awards for both his work as a criminal prosecutor and for his work with the community. He has also made regular appearances on SiriusXM’s Canada Talks.

Social Media:
Facebook author page
Twitter
Instagram
LinkedIn

Synopsis :

The Introvert Front CoverFinally, a book series for all of the weirdos of the world!
THE INTROVERT CONFOUNDS INNOCENCE continues the story of the eponymous anti-hero introduced in THE INTROVERT.
With his life disrupted by an unscrupulous work colleague and a bully at his son Toby’s school, things go from bad to worse when his neighbor’s abusive boyfriend goes missing, plunging the introvert into the center of a murder investigation.
Increasingly hounded by a meddlesome detective, and with his thoughts continually urging him to make people “red and open” and to “achieve it” with his girlfriend Donna, what follows is a sometimes brutal, oftentimes hilarious, and absurdist account of the life of one very anti-social and unexpected anti-hero.

The Introvert Confounds Innocence Facebook Page
The Introvert Facebook Page
Goodreads page for The Introvert Confounds Innocence

Q&A :

Hi

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

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since a fell in love with the written word at Longfellow Elementary School in Portland, Maine. It was the third and fourth grades that won me over. My school had a Junior Great Books program, which kids could join. It was sort of a School run book club, where we’d read and discuss a story from one of the books. That was the third grade, I believe.
There was also a school run program where you earned a sticker for every book read. I enjoyed reading, yes, but I also took to the competitive nature of the exercise. Each student’s name was placed on a large piece of Bristol board, with room beside it to ‘sticker’ your progress, taped to a hallway or a door somewhere. The exercise was based on the honor system, but I would never have considered inflating my progress. Not even a single page (to this day, perhaps naively, I don’t fully comprehend those who rely on dishonesty as a legitimate life strategy. I just can’t relate to it).
And so I read, and I read, and I read.
Bunnicula. Howliday Inn. The Celery Stalks At Midnight. The Mouse and the Motorcycle. Runaway Ralph. The Trumpet of the Swan. The Witches.
You get the idea.
Bookmobiles and solitude were my friends, my freckled nose buried neatly behind the seam, wide eyes (or narrow, depending on the light) peeking out over the top of the pages. Every few days I would see another sticker alight next to my name, and I remember the fascination with watching my sticker count spread across the Bristol board, dwarfing the progress of my other classmates. Ten stickers, eleven, twelve. There were prizes along the way, bookmarks mostly. It didn’t matter. What mattered was that I was pretty good at this reading thing. And something else happened along the way. I became a devout fan of “the story.” Of characters. Of creativity. Of “what will happen next?” Yes indeed, I had the bug. And a part of me thought, maybe I could do this, too?
So I started to write, and by the end of the 4th grade, I had entered and won a story contest at my school (The Purple Panther – I mean, how could it NOT win?!) The prize was attendance at a writer’s conference, which I attended with my Mom and my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Inman. That was when I began to utter those same six words in earnest. “I want to be a writer.” And they are as true today as they were when I was nine years old. As is my love of reading. It’s pretty well the same, really.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I suppose I answered the first part above. As a grown-up? First off, do you have the parameters for that? I’m 44 now. Does that qualify? There are many days I feel no different than when I was 9, or 18, or 21. This aging thing is a trap-game. But as they all say in Deadwood…anyways.
In high school I fell in love with Watership Down. This book started to cultivate my love of animal rights and social justice in literature. Then, as I got a bit older, it became Animal Farm, which I count as the smartest, most scathing book about human nature that I have ever read (Bonfire of the Vanities is up there, RIP Tom Wolfe). Watership Down and Animal Farm influenced my debut novel – Billy Tabbs (& The Glorious Darrow) – which is itself a rather scathing satire about human rights, animal rights, and social justice generally.
Later on I began to devour Dickens, Vonnegut, and Dostoyevsky. There have been others, but those three, along with Orwell, have been my chief literary loves and influences.
The point is to find the books and writers that speak to you. For example, I wrote The Introvert immediately after reading Dostoyevsky (Crime and Punishment) and Camus (The Stranger). I enjoyed the two protagonists so much that I wanted to write a book that paid homage to both. The same for Billy Tabbs (& The Glorious Darrow). Since Animal Farm is my favourite book of all time, when it came time to write my debut novel, I wanted to write a dystopian social commentary with rules and hypocrisy and all that great stuff from AF.
Reading will help shape your own creative output.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
It would be Dickens. He had a way of folding words into sentences into masterpieces. Deftly. Seamlessly. Over and over. I would love to know if he had any particular strategies, education, or training, or if he was simply born with it, as I believe. There are times when I feel I am pretty good writer. Only then I read a few passages from Bleak House or Copperfield, and I sadly realize my limitations. This is Saliere/Mozart stuff, for people of my vintage.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Probably Jacob from Billy Tabbs (& The Glorious Darrow) – because he was such a kind, thoughtful, selfless character. He was written as almost a caricature of goodness, and the yin to Marlon’s yang. His soul is beautiful. A beautiful but tragic figure.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Not really. Though I would say that I am most in my groove when I make my way to a nearby pub, order a Guinness, and plug in my earbuds. This state of bliss – interrupted only by the occasional call for libation – helps me settle into my characters’ minds and the feel of my narrative.
As Hemingway said: write drunk, edit sober.
PS: please walk – do NOT drive – to a pub if you are going to embrace this strategy. Dead writers achieve surprisingly low word counts.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Believe it or not, this is a real thing since I started writing The Introvert series. A number of people have confided in me that they looked at me differently after reading it, especially people who did not know me all that well when they first read it. The Introvert books are written first person, deep inside his head, and he has a lot of intense, erratic thoughts. People who know me often hear my voice in their head as they are reading it. Of course, I wrote him and created his thoughts, but he is not me. Some of the run on thoughts are me, and of course it all came from my mind, but no, I am not thinking of making people “red and open”. At least not most days. 🙂
What’s interesting is that I have even had some of my reviewers comment on the looks or comments that they have received from friends after recommending it. I even replied to one of these reviewers, commenting, “Yeah, imagine how I feel.”
As I have written above, I am usually inspired by stories and characters from other books. I read stuff that I fall in love with, and then I want more. If there isn’t more, then I create it. And even if there was more, I would probably create it anyway.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
It depends on the book I am writing, though for the most part, I have a very basic outline of where I see the story going (think building the frame of a puzzle), then I fill it in as I go. Sometimes I don’t know where my story is heading, or who my characters are, until they tell me. I understand that this may sound odd or pretentious to non-writers, because after all, I am writing them. But as the story progresses, and particularly as I am writing dialogue, I am thinking as I go – what flows from this? What would the character say next? Many times I’m learning as I go, as they tell me, and it happens organically. This is particularly true for a book like The Introvert, and a sci-fi horror manuscript that I wrote called THE OTHERS, which are written first person. I find that I write first-person very stream of conscious.
The most I tend to do, which is what I am doing with my current manuscript – a steampunk detective mystery – is that I will write a few sentences for each chapter, as to what I consider might happen in each one. These are always fluid, and inevitably shift, but it is the puzzle frame I talk about above.
Part of the joy of writing is that I myself want to find out what happens. This is not some cute author come-on. It happens to be very real. I love to find out how my stories unfold and how they end.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Do put down your phone and stop scrolling through Instagram, or Youtube, or whatever other distractions are massive time burglars that take time away from achieving your goal. Everything in moderation! Avoiding procrastination is hard, but it’s worth it.
Do pick up a book and read everyday, even if only a few pages.
Do write everyday, even if only a few paragraphs.
Do attend some writing classes, if you can afford them, and have the time to do so. There are usually night classes available at local colleges.
Do read Stephen King’s book “On Writing”
Don’t let people tell you your idea sucks, or won’t sell, or that you have to write third person, or this genre etc etc. King talks about this in On Writing. Closed door versus open door writing. Your first draft should be with the door closed, otherwise people may interfere, cause doubt, etc.
This is your first draft. Let it out. Have faith in your ideas. Even if your ideas actually do suck (whatever the hell that means), have faith in them anyway.
Write what you want, and how you want. I always write for myself, first and foremost. I write a story that I want to read. If others enjoy it too, great.

What are your future plans as an author?
For those who don’t know me, I am a full time criminal prosecutor, and I write on the side (evening, weekends, holidays). So I have a very rich, rewarding career in place, but also one that commands a lot of my time and attention.
My future plans as an author are simply to keep writing, and to grow my published catalog (which will stand at 4 by end of 2020). At present I have been approaching independent publishers directly. This has allowed me entry into the marketplace and greater control over my work. However, one day I will want an agent, with an eye to breaking into the mainstream.
If I was ever able to sustain myself solely from my writing, that would be wonderful scenario, but I will cross that bridge when I get there. Until then, I will write.
To that end – the third instalment of The Introvert – The Introvert Bears Filthy Witness – is due out late in 2020. And as I mentioned above, I have a completed sci fi horror manuscript called THE OTHERS which I believe is a great little novel about a town visited my mysterious yet immobile creatures. It deserves a home and eventually it will find one. It contains one of my favourite characters that I have written.
And now? I am currently working on a brand new story, the first entry in a steampunk detective series. I am about a third of the way through the first draft, which I hope to finish this year. I don’t want to share too much just yet, but do I think a lot of people will enjoy it.
As for The Introvert, he is going to take a break for a while. Maybe this will give him more time to achieve it with Donna. There is likely to be a fourth instalment – The Introvert Finds his Freud – but it has yet been written and currently exists only in Molly-disapproved purgatory.
Readers can also follow my daily scrivener ramblings at fb.com/michaelpaulmichaud.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Sure! Here is a short excerpt of the introvert trying to interact with his four year old son Toby…

After Donna went back to washing her strawberries, I walked into the den to find Toby playing with some Lego. We had to take the Lego away from him for a few months because he’d put a small piece up his nose and we’d had to visit the doctor, but now that he was a little older, we felt that he could be trusted.
“Daddy, look!” he said, pointing to some sort of castle.
It wasn’t much of a castle. The structure was too small and was poorly conceived, but at least it had a moat and some trees so that much was decent.
“That is very nice,” I said. As a general rule, I tried to lie to people as little as possible, though I made the exception for my son because I’d read various articles in The Child Psychology Magazine that children benefited from positive reinforcement, even where it was undeserved, and it could even stunt their creativity or confidence if you undermined their work.
“This man goes here, and this one goes here,” said Toby.
Just like the castle, it wasn’t much of a formation. He’d arranged his knights outside the castle walls, and even though I felt that the men would be much safer inside, I once again said “That’s very nice,” even if the fact of the matter was that it was a tactically poor decision and would likely lead his men to slaughter.

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

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

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

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

About the Author :

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

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Synopsis :

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

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

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Guest Post :

Life doesn’t have neat edges

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

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Blog Tour Organized By:

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#BlogTour #RandRBookTours @RRBookTours1 @Shanannigans81 / #PromoPost : Headliners #Headliners – Lucy Parker @_LucyParker @CarinaPress

– ‘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 ‘Headliners’ Book Blitz, organised by R&R Book Tours.
To promote this book I have some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Lucy Parker - Author PhotoLucy Parker lives in the gorgeous Central Otago region of New Zealand, where she feels lucky every day to look out at mountains, lakes and vineyards. She has a degree in Art History, loves museums and galleries, and doodles unrecognizable flowers when she has writer’s block.
Her interest in romantic fiction began with a pre-teen viewing of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (Firth-style), which prompted her to read the book as well, and the rest was history.

Author Links:
Website
Twitter
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Facebook
Goodreads

Synopsis :

Book Cover(1)Title: Headliners (London Celebrities #5)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: January 20th, 2020
Publisher: Carina Press

He might be the sexiest man in London, according to his fan site (which he definitely writes himself), but he’s also the most arrogant man she’s ever met.
She might have the longest legs he’s ever seen, but she also has the sharpest tongue.
For years, rival TV presenters Sabrina Carlton and Nick Davenport have traded barbs on their respective shows. The public can’t get enough of their feud, but after Nick airs Sabrina’s family scandals to all of Britain, the gloves are off. They can barely be in the same room together—but these longtime enemies are about to become the unlikeliest of cohosts.
With their reputations on the rocks, Sabrina and Nick have one last chance to save their careers. If they can resurrect a sinking morning show, they’ll still have a future in television. But with ratings at an all-time low and a Christmas Eve deadline to win back the nation’s favor, the clock is ticking—and someone on their staff doesn’t want them to succeed.
Small mishaps on set start adding up, and Sabrina and Nick find themselves—quelle horreur—working together to hunt down the saboteur…and discovering they might have more in common than they thought. When a fiery encounter is caught on camera, the public is convinced that the reluctant co-hosts are secretly lusting after one another.
The public might not be wrong.
Their chemistry has always been explosive, but with hate turning to love, the stakes are rising and everything is on the line. Neither is sure if they can trust these new feelings…or if they’ll still have a job in the New Year.

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Blog Tour Organized By:

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#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : Sixty Minutes – Tony Salter @TonyOxford

– ‘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 ‘Sixty Minutes’ 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 :

A1PJKrAZSBL._SY600_Tony’s latest thriller, Sixty Minutes, was released on 29th August 2019. Tony is the author of bestselling psychological thriller, Best Eaten Cold. He writes pacy contemporary thrillers which explore different themes, but all share Tony’s thought-provoking plots and richly-painted characters. Sixty Minutes is his fourth novel. His second novel, The Old Orchard – a gripping family thriller – was published on the 7th of November 2017 and the sequel to Best Eaten Cold, – Cold Intent – was published in November 2018. Highlights of his early career include (in no particular order) three years as an oilfield engineer in the Egyptian desert, twelve years managing record companies for EMI Music in Greece, India and across Eastern Europe, running a caravan site in the South of France and being chauffeur to the French Consul in Sydney. Having survived the Dotcom boom, he went on to be a founder of the world’s largest website for expatriates, a major music publisher and a successful hotel technology business. In amongst this, Tony found the time to backpack around the world twice (once in his twenties and once in his fifties), learn six languages (including Norwegian and Greek) and to find a beautiful Norwegian wife. He now lives in Oxfordshire and writes full-time. He has recently turned sixty and is married with three children and five grandchildren. You can find out more about Tony at his website.

Social Media Links:
Twitter
Facebook
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Synopsis :

bE5uXDZAFive different people. Five separate lives. Sixty minutes to bind them for ever.
Hassan, Jim, Shuna, Dan and Nadia come from very different worlds. If life were straightforward, their paths would never cross. But our lives are rarely that simple and, as the clock ticks away the minutes of a single hour on a July morning, fate draws all five together in a headlong rush towards disaster.
Who are the heroes and who are the villains?
Tony Salter’s latest novel leaves us guessing right up to the last page.

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?
I studied engineering and then worked in business for many years. Despite the fact that I have always read widely, the idea of actually doing something creative wasn’t even on the radar. I was the practical, pragmatic one – the fixer, the problem solver. When I was in my mid-50s, I resigned from my CEO job and my wife and I went travelling for seven months. One goal of that trip was to decide what I wanted to do next. I decided to jump off a cliff and try to write novels.
I still assumed that it was ridiculous idea for me to try to do anything creative, but it turned out that people enjoyed what I was writing and so I have continued. After four novels, I think I’m beginning to get the hang of it.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I loved the Narnia books and Tolkien, moved on to science fiction, worked my way through many of the classics and have then continued to read from almost every genre. I probably read more ‘women’s literature’ than most men (I’ve just finished Pat Barker’s Silence of the Girls) which may explain why I feel comfortable writing female protagonists.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
A difficult question. I guess it would be amazing to pick the brain of Dosteovsky. If I’m only allowed living writers, then David Mitchell would have to be a contender.

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 have tea with Fabiola from my first novel, Best Eaten Cold. Apart from the fact that she’s gorgeous, I could probably give her some useful advice!

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Not really. I try and settle in for five hours in the morning, but can actually write anywhere and at any time. The trick is to actually do it, rather than procrastinating.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
I spend time every now and then working on basic concepts / ideas and then something will stand out from the list. I then just start at the beginning and my characters begin to evolve. Some scenes are based on moments in my life and my characters are inevitably composed of people I have known, read about or watched on TV or in films. Up until now, they have always been a unique mish-mash, so no-one needs to worry … yet.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Definitely the latter. I spent my working life being structured and I wanted to put that way of thinking behind me, at least during the writing phase. My books do have complex structures and plots, but I allow them to evolve. It’s as though the book is already there in front of me and I reveal it like exposing the numbers on a scratch card.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Do read everything you can on writing and/or do courses, but don’t follow the advice slavishly if it doesn’t suit you. Give yourself freedom.
Don’t try and craft the perfect sentence before you move on to the next one. Get the words down and keep moving forward. There is plenty of time to go back and the editing / revision process will be as lengthy as the writing process. There are so many temptations to avoid moving forward because, of course, at the end you will be forced to find out if anybody actually likes what you’ve written, That is terrifying, but if you’re only pretending that you want to write, why bother?

What are your futureplans as an author?
I will write one or more books featuring Nadia from Sixty Minutes and am also working on a historical novel based on my grandmother’s 1915 solo voyage to Harbin in Northern Manchuria on the Transsiberian Express.

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

The Oxford Botanic Gardens were only ten minutes walk from the flat and they seemed to be the only people there. Most of the flower beds were still bare, and it was only when they got to the far end towards the river that the reason for their visit became clear. A carpet of tiny, blue scilla spread out under the trees, a light blue sea surrounding beds of hellebores, papery flowers pink-veined and modest against the vibrant freshness of their leaves.
‘It’s beautiful,’ said Mona, squeezing him tight. ‘What a lovely idea. You were right. I was getting a bit fed up with the greyness of everything.’
Hassan knew that the moment was right and he kissed her gently on the lips before sinking to one knee in front of her and holding out the small red box which held all of his hopes.
‘Mona,’ he said, smiling as he saw her hand go to her mouth in mock horror again. ‘Mona El Masry. Will you do me the honour of becoming my wife?’
Mona’s hand stayed over her mouth as the two of them held their cartoon tableau. Neither was breathing.
Eventually, she spoke. ‘Oh, Hassan,’ she said. ‘I thought you understood.’
‘Understood what?’ Hassan hadn’t moved from one knee and didn’t know what was happening. Whatever it was, it wasn’t what he’d been hoping for.
‘Stand up,’ she said quietly. ‘Come over here and sit down.’
Hassan allowed himself to be led to the waiting bench like a spring lamb. ‘Understood what?’ he said again, trying to keep the rising panic from his voice.
‘I’m already engaged,’ she said. ‘I’ve been engaged since I was seventeen.’
‘Engaged? Who to? How can you be?’
‘His name is Anwar. He’s twenty-six. His parents are friends of my parents.’
‘Do you love him?’
Mona glared at him. ‘How could I? I hardly know him. We’ve only met once or twice since I was a kid.’ She moved closer to Hassan, confusion tracing tiny wrinkles in the corners of her eyes. ‘Surely you know how this works? Love has nothing to do with anything. It’s just how it is.’
‘But you’re different,’ he said, hearing the notes of pleading creeping into his voice. ‘You’re not from some poor village family, hanging onto old traditions. Your father’s a doctor and your mother’s a university professor. It’s different.’
Mona rested her cool palms against his cheeks. ‘No,’ she said. ‘It’s not.’
Hassan’s sluggish mind was still unable to keep pace, and he kept the ring box wrapped in his fist like a talisman. ‘But I love you. Don’t you love me?’
‘I don’t know what to say. If I tell you I love you, does that make it better or worse?’
‘If you love me, we could find a way. I don’t know how, but we could find a way.’
Something broke then. An invisible thread that had been joining them together. Mona took her hands from his face and pulled away. ‘No. We couldn’t,’ she said, an imperial hardness filling her words. ‘I love my family and my country. My life is there. You and I have had such a wonderful time, but when I leave Oxford, it’s over.’ Her lips were set tight and he could see the implacable certainty in her eyes. ‘I’m so sorry, but I really thought you understood.’
Hassan didn’t know what to say. Should he have known? Why? She’d never said a word about bloody Anwar. Was he supposed to be psychic? He’d been nothing more than a toy for her. Why was he surprised?
Mona looked at him, waiting for him to respond, but he didn’t trust himself to speak. An elderly couple were making their way towards them along the path, arm in arm. They looked as though they’d been married for a lifetime. ‘Well, if you’re just going to sit there,’ she said, eventually. ‘I’m going to brunch. Are you coming?’
‘Of course I’m not coming to fucking brunch.’
‘Suit yourself,’ she said, before getting up and walking away, her back stiff and the blue scarf flowing behind her.
As Hassan sat alone on the bench, head resting on his hands and the misery washing over him, he realised he was greeting an old friend. He’d allowed himself to believe that he could be happy, but the reality was that this was all there was. All there had ever been, waiting at the end of every tunnel.
Failure. Pathetic, weak and oh-so-familiar failure.

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

Giveaway :

Win 5 x PB copies of Sixty Minutes (Open INT)
*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

About the Author :

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

Social Media Links:
Website
Facebook
Twitter

Synopsis :

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

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Guest Post :

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

The Magic of Wor(l)ds