#BlogTour #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksGroup / #Excerpt : Hunted – Sarah Biglow and Molly Zenk @SBiglowWrites @UnsinkableMoZe @CayellePub

– ‘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 ‘Hunted’ blogtour, organized 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(s) :

USA Today Bestselling Authors Sarah Biglow and Molly Zenk are the authors of the Captivity series and the Celestial Academy series. Independently, they write across multi genres including: YA, urban fantasy, historical, and cozy mystery. Sarah lives in Boston with her husband and son. Molly lives in Denver with her husband and three daughters.

Synopsis :

Hunted eCover (3)On the hundredth anniversary of being turned into a vampire, Edith Dorset joins her adopted daughters and their friends at the Heartsong Clan’s annual Live Action Role Play recruitment event where she meets an eager young man named Dan Paxton. His older brother and Hunter, Darren, thinks Dan’s merely chaperoning a trip to a nerd convention, but has no idea he’s partnered with vampires for the weekend.
When Darren discovers Dan missing, he follows the only lead he has to the Heartsong Clan’s residence on Tombstone Row. Edith and Darren’s first meeting is uneasy because he lies his way into the Clan’s house, claiming to be there to play on the side of humans. He’s determined to keep his Hunter instincts in check, rescue his brother, and get it out of there.
An impromptu late-night encounter leads Darren and Edith to come clean with each other about who and what they are. Edith longs to keep Darren and his brother close, although it goes against Clan rules, and Darren is finding it harder than he thought to snuff out Edith and her family. Darren and Edith grow closer as they seek out the truth from her Sire, Mr. Heartsong.
While Darren uses all his Hunter skills to free his brother and be the hero, Mr. Heartsong banishes Edith from the Clan for her behavior towards Darren. No longer having Clan protection, Edith is faced with a terrible choice. Just as Darren returns with Hunter reinforcements, Heartsong and his Clan have vanished, along with Edith and her family. All that remains is a note from Edith, begging Darren to find them. And so, the hunt begins.

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Excerpt :

DARREN, 2018
I shouldn’t have let Danny talk me into coming to this damn convention. Crowds don’t bother me, but here, with everyone dressed up and covered in face paint, it’s a hunter’s nightmare. Th e slight pallor that warns you’re dealing with a vampire is impossible to pick out and that much body heat obscures their less-than 98.6-degree body temperature.
But, I loved my baby brother and he’d been begging me to come to this since he turned fi ft een. He was about to turn eighteen and life would get harder for him. Mom and Dad would have indulged him so I’d said he could come as long as I chaperoned. He’d mentioned something about meeting up with friends. I hated to admit it, but I’d focused on my training lately and didn’t know the first thing about his friends. The fact we’d come so late in the day didn’t thrill me either. It meant a higher chance that vampires could be out in force.
Danny had sweet-talked his way to the front of the line, leaving me behind. The moment I’d lost eyes on him, panic coursed through my veins. Hunter Academy intel said the Heartsong clan planned to recruit at this convention. My reason for saying ‘yes’ to Danny’s yapping about the con were twofold: indulge him, and get a lead on the vampire clan we’d been trying to take down since the hunters founded the Academy. Heartsong was crafty. I’m sure every member of his so called “family” were the same. As I inched closer to the front doors, I pulled my phone from my pocket and fired off a text.
DANNY, WHERE ARE YOU?
No response. Cel reception in such a massive space could be iffy in places but we had Academy-issued devices that boosted the signal when it dropped below two bars. He’d gotten the message.
That meant he was ignoring it or unable to answer. Neither option was great in my book. The pair of girls in front of me—maybe only fourteen—glanced back at me through their made-up eyes.
“What are you supposed to be?” one of them asked, a lisp elongating the ‘s’.
I glanced down at my all black outfit and trench coat. Another stipulation Danny had insisted upon was I dress up. Not one to abandon form, I’d made sure every item of clothing could conceal my gear. I’d made sure nothing would tip off the authorities or any vampires who might use the convention for their hunting grounds.
“Secret agent,” I answered. It was true for the most part. “I’m undercover.”

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Love Books Tour Host

#BlogTour #PumpUpYourBook @pumpupyourbook / #Excerpt : Orange City – Lee Matthew Goldberg @LeeMatthewG

– ‘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 ‘Orange City’ blogtour, organized by Pump Up Your Book.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE ANCESTOR, THE MENTOR, THE DESIRE CARD and SLOW DOWN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the Prix du Polar. His first YA series RUNAWAY TRAIN is forthcoming in 2021 along with a sci-fi novel ORANGE CITY. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in The Millions, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, LitReactor, Monkeybicycle, Fiction Writers Review, Cagibi, Necessary Fiction, the anthology Dirty Boulevard, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press and others. He is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City.

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Synopsis :

Title: Orange City
Author: Lee Matthew Goldberg
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Pages: 259
Genre: Sci-fi / Dystopian

Imagine a secret, hidden City that gives a second chance at life for those selected to come: felons, deformed outcasts, those on the fringe of the Outside World. Everyone gets a job, a place to live; but you are bound to the City forever. You can never leave.
Its citizens are ruled by a monstrous figure called the “Man” who resembles a giant demented spider from the lifelike robotic limbs attached to his body. Everyone follows the Man blindly, working hard to make their Promised Land stronger, too scared to defy him and be discarded to the Empty Zones.
After ten years as an advertising executive, Graham Weatherend receives an order to test a new client, Pow Sodas. After one sip of the orange flavor, he becomes addicted, the sodas causing wild mood swings that finally wake him up to the prison he calls reality.
A dynamic mash-up of 1984 meets LOST, Orange City is a lurid, dystopian first book in a series that will continue with the explosive sequel Lemonworld.

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Excerpt :

1

At six on the dot, the gloved cellular let out a piercing ring. A timer turned on, ticking down with each buzz. E wouldn’t have long to remain idle. The entire pod apartment vibrated, and his capsule bed slid open. The white ceiling drew his attention, the walls devoid of color, a minimalist’s fantasy—nothing like a home.
Shades of the dream from last night still lingered. His knuckles painted with blood as he beat a shadow. The voice of the shadow belonging to a ten-year-old boy. The boy’s cries stabbing E’s ears. He shook that dream away.
He removed the intravenous tube that connected him to his bed and switched off the cooling mist which allowed him to slumber for days. He stretched his old bones, his hair standing up in a state of white shock like it had since he was a young man. Swinging his thick legs over the side of the bed, he yawned at the morning before finally answering his cell.
“I’ll be right there,” he coughed into the digital eye on his gloved palm.
He removed the glove and pushed a button on the side of the bed. Doors opening along the wall revealed a sliver of a kitchen with a piping pot of subpar and gritty coffee brewing on the counter— the best offered to the Scouts— and two sizzling poached eggs from a suspect source. He scarfed down the eggs and pushed another button to raise the shades along the lone wall facing east. The heart of The City hovered in the near distance, its new buildings staggering on one end like giant colorful stalagmites. Sipping his black coffee, he watched it in motion as he did every morning.
Between the Scouts and the rest of The City lay a half a mile of ice water. The City was made up of many Regions, his situated on the outskirts. Sometimes he wondered what it would be like to fall into those frosty waters and drift off to wherever it might choose to take him, no longer having to shuttle between The City and the faraway Outside World anymore. But instead of a dramatic suicide, he suited up and headed through the tunnel with a suitcase in hand like he had for twenty years. He’d convinced himself long ago that living here was better than rotting in prison like he would’ve been if they hadn’t selected him. At least he was still able to get lost in a bottle of whiskey or feel the sun against his cheek during the few instances it was allowed to peek through the chronic clouds. Even though The City was far from ideal, the Outside World remained definitely worse. It reminded him too often of the man he used to be and of the terrible sins he’d committed. These thoughts returned at the beginning of every week while he geared up for another one, as he wondered if one day the Man in the Eye might give him a promotion and he wouldn’t have to be a Scout anymore.
That way, he’d never have to return to the Outside World.
Then, he could possibly be at peace, like all The City’s inhabitants wished.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

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Pump Up Your Book

#BlogTour @aria_fiction / #Excerpt : Staying Out For Summer #StayingOutForSummer – 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 ‘Staying Out For Summer’ blogtour, organized by Aria Fiction.
To promote Mandy Baggot her book I have some ‘basic’ information and an excerpt for you.

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 :

gqgq__zgFor Lucie Burrows, it’s time to embrace Greek life and put the past behind her!
Having spent the summer of 2020 battling a global health crisis, Lucie Burrows is looking forward to a summer out of lockdown. When best friend, Gavin, finds them the perfect Greek escape Lucie finally starts to think this summer might just go without a hitch.
But after a landslide puts the village into a local lockdown, Lucie is thrown together with Michalis Andino, the super sexy village doctor. It’s not quite the holiday she had planned, but things could certainly be worse.
As Lucie relaxes into the Greek way of life, she begins to wonder whether this lockdown might just end in a new life, a new love…

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Excerpt :

Kalamaki Beach, Corfu, Greece

The sun felt so good on his skin. As Dr Michalis Andino rested his bare torso against the beach sun lounger he felt his body drop into the material of his towel and deeply rest. This was what he had been missing this past year. Peace. Relaxation. That feeling that everything in the world was going to be OK. He was home and it felt good. Compared to the vibrant and often hectic heart of Thessaloniki, the island of Corfu was a flatline. But in the best of ways. The quiet was exactly what he needed right now. Quiet meant no destruction, no demand, no death. His body bristled then, his thoughts waking up and jumping on a train rather than stilling into a sunshine slumber. He needed to switch his brain off as well as his body. This was what this sabbatical was all about. It was either step away, rejuvenate and take a time-out or… break down.
Slipping his sunglasses upwards to rest on his dark hair, slightly longer than it had been for a while, Michalis surveyed the scene. The golden sand was speckled with loungers and bright blue parasols shading those who required it. Children made holes in the earth, building castles, digging trenches, chasing each other with buckets filled with sea water. The turquoise sea lapped slowly up the beach, swimmers having to wade out a reasonable distance before the sparkling water was deep enough to swim in. He would swim later. Once he had given himself a little peace just lying still, recovering… and not looking at his phone.
‘Dr Andino.’
Squinting against the sun, Michalis shielded his eyes and turned his head a little to the left. Had someone called his name? Surely it was his imagination. That was the problem with having lived through the worst time of your career, you were always on high alert. Dr Andino, this patient is worsening and we do not know why. Dr Andino, we need more Remdisivir. He wasn’t sure exactly how long it was going to take to completely let that heightened awareness go. He settled back on the lounger, discarding his sunglasses on the plastic table to his right that held his bottle of Alfa beer. Then he closed his eyes again.
‘Dr Andino.’
There was that voice again. It was female and it sounded vaguely familiar. Was he dreaming? He really didn’t want to open his eyes…
‘Please, Doctor, it is my eye.’
Michalis jumped then, almost falling from the lounger and into the sand. Feeling someone in close proximity he sat up, opening his eyes and finding himself a lot less than one-and-a-half metres away from Athena Martis from his village. Not only that, but the sixty-something woman was leaning into him, her eyelids prised apart by her fingers, one eyeball bulging like a huge shiny pink marble.
‘Mrs Martis,’ Michalis began. ‘Please do not open your eye that way here.’ He tried to lean away from her. ‘If the wind blows the sand then the sand will end up—’
‘—Help me, Doctor,’ Athena said, unrelenting in her quest to show him the inner workings of iris, pupil and a white that did look very pink. ‘The itch, it is unbearable. I blink. I do not blink. It is all the same. The doctor in Acharavi gave me an ointment, but it makes no difference. Harris says he will not listen to my pain any longer. Nyx tell me you come here so… I come here.’
Nyx. His little sister was going to pay for this.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksTours / #Excerpt : Vile – Keith Crawford @keithcrawford77

– ‘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 ‘Vile’ 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 :

Keith Crawford (1) (1)Keith Crawford is a retired Navy Officer, a disabled veteran, a Doctor of Law & Economics, a barrister, a stay-at-home Dad, and a writer. He has written for collections of scholarly works, academic journals, and newspapers including The Economist. He has had more than thirty plays recorded or produced for stage, been listed in a variety of short story competitions (in spite of his hatred of short stories), and runs a radio production company, www.littlewonder.website, which regularly runs competitions promoted by the BBC to help find, develop and encourage new writers.
In 2014 he was lecturing at Sciences Po in Paris and negotiating a contract to write a book on banking regulation, when he and his wife discovered to their delight that they were due to have their first child. Rather than writing more work that would only be read by his poor students, and then misquoted by politicians, he decided he would do his bit to stick his fingers up at the patriarchy and stay home to look after his own kids rather than the grown-up kids of rich people. Two more children swiftly followed. Keith has discovered that if you recite Stick Man backwards you get the lyrics to AD/DC’s Highway to Hell.
This (looking after the kids, not satanic rites with Stick Man) allowed him to support his wife’s career, which appears to be heading for the stratosphere, and also gave him the space to write about swordfights and explosions. And spaceships. All of which are more fun than banking regulation. As an extension to his work in radio production, he set up his own small press, and his first novel, Vile, is due to be published in December 2019. More novels will swiftly follow, like buses in countries that don’t privatise the bus companies.

Synopsis :

Vile Ebook cover 1600 x 2560 (1)Elianor Paine is a Magistrate of the Peace in the Kingdom of Trist and a republican secret agent. She has 6 days to subvert her investigation, supplant war-hero Lord Vile, then coerce his adult children to start a revolution, before her masters discover the truth and have her killed. Just how far is she willing to go? And can she change the world without changing herself?

Amazon

Excerpt :

Nathaniel stopped eating. He flickered his eyes back and forth across her face, as though he was trying to absorb each detail. They sat together for a while, he watching her, she kicking the reeds with her right foot. Then she reached into his lap and took another apple.
“Why did you send the letter to Lord Carada? Asking him to send a Magistrate?”
She took a bite. The juice rose to her lips.
“I thought you’d ask how I managed to lie to you.”
“I figured that out for myself,” she lied. “What started all this?”
“I had a fight with my father,” Nathaniel said. “Four months ago. A week later, Catrin, one of the barmaids from The Last Chance, went missing. And she was only the first. You’ve seen the list. Once I saw the pattern, I had to do something.”
“What pattern? What did you argue about?”
“I told him I wanted to leave. To study in the capital, or travel, or join a pirate ship and sail the archipelagos—whatever. But I’m a prisoner. He won’t even let me go to the monastery to see my mother’s grave.”
“If you want to leave, leave. What’s stopping you?”
“Answers. He’s hiding something—something important.” He gazed beyond the river, where the sky turned black and the first stars came out. “I mostly said it to provoke him, which I guess was pretty successful. He’s the great Arbalest Vile. Where can I go far enough away from him?”
She finished her apple and tossed the core into the river.
“What did he say when you told him you wanted to leave?”
“It wasn’t much of a conversation. He picked up a chair from the long table and smashed it across my back then, when he saw the chair was broken, beat me with the leg.”
Elianor had seen Nathaniel fight. He remembered him complaining how unalike he was from his twin, Persephone, and yet she found it difficult to imagine either submitting to anyone. But then she remembered the shadow of her own father, banging his fist at the head of the breakfast table.
“Why was he so angry? Did you fight back?”
“I think he was mostly upset that I’d broken the chair. And no, I didn’t fight back. I let him hit me. I don’t know why. Afterwards he looked at me as if I were something he had found under his boot. Like something he had decided to replace.”
She sat close enough that their knees touched. He looked up at the stars and even beneath the night sky his eyes were as blue as a child’s. She thought about the tattoo on his chest, hidden by his shirt.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “You didn’t want to hear all that.”
She kissed him.
He pushed her hood back and pulled her closer, his right hand in her hair. She slid one hand up his back and with the other, unbuttoned his cardigan. The apples tumbled as she swung her knee over and sat on his lap, chest to his chest.
“Take off your shirt,” she said.
He froze, his hand on her nape.
“Fine,” she said, kissing him again, smiling with her lips touching his. “I’ll go first.”
She shucked off her coat, tossing it up the bank so it wouldn’t float away on the river, then pulled off his cardigan. The dressing dragged at her injured side. He was breathing hard. She undid the top buttons of her blouse and placed his left hand just beneath her collar bone, leaning in closer and encouraging him to run his fingers down, just as she slid her own between the top buttons of his shirt.
“Stop,” he said.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub @maryanneyarde / #Excerpt : The Colour of Evil (Sebastian Foxley Medieval Mystery Book 9) #TheColourOfEvil – Toni Mount @tonihistorian #HistoricalFiction #Mystery

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

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

About the Author :

Toni Mount earned her Master’s Degree by completing original research into a unique 15th-century medical manuscript. She is the author of several successful non-fiction books including the number one bestseller, Everyday Life in Medieval England, which reflects her detailed knowledge in the lives of ordinary people in the Middle Ages. Toni’s enthusiastic understanding of the period allows her to create accurate, atmospheric settings and realistic characters for her Sebastian Foxley medieval murder mysteries. Toni’s first career was as a scientist and this brings an extra dimension to her novels. It also led to her new biography of Sir Isaac Newton. She writes regularly for both The Richard III Society and The Tudor Society and is a major contributor of online courses to MedievalCourses.com. As well as writing, Toni teaches history to adults, coordinates a creative writing group and is a member of the Crime Writers’ Association.

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Synopsis :

Book Title: The Colour of Evil
Series: The Sebastian Foxley Medieval Murder Mysteries
Author: Toni Mount
Publication Date: 25 March 2021
Publisher: Madeglobal.com
Page Length: 334 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction / Mystery

Every Londoner has money worries. Talented artist and some-time sleuth, Seb Foxley, is no exception.
When fellow craftsmen with debts to pay are found dead in the most horrid circumstances, fears escalate. Only Seb can solve the puzzles that baffle the authorities.
Seb’s wayward elder brother, Jude, returns unannounced from Italy with a child-bride upon his arm. Shock turns to dismay when life becomes more complicated and troubles multiply.
From counterfeit coins to deadly darkness in London’s worst corners; mysterious thefts to attacks of murderous intent, Seb finds himself embroiled at every turn. With a royal commission to fulfil and heartache to resolve, can our hero win through against the odds?
Share Seb Foxley’s latest adventures in the filthy streets of medieval London, join in the Midsummer festivities and meet his fellow citizens, both the respectable and the villainous.

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Excerpt :

The Hue-and-Cry

Of a sudden, there came a shout of ‘Stop thief!’ from farther along Bladder Street. That set off the hubbub of the hue-and-cry. Neighbours hastened onto the street, sounding horns, clattering spoons on pots and pans, adding to the din. It meant Adam and I were obliged to join the chase, pursuing the miscreant, whoever he might be. Adam sprinted ahead, fleet of foot, with Gawain running at full speed, thinking this a fine game. They turned up Noble Street, betwixt the precinct of St Martin-le-Grand and the Goldsmiths’ Hall, disappearing from my sight, along with the crowd of others who ran, hoping to apprehend the villain.
Never much of a runner myself, I soon lagged behind, keeping company with a breathless old man and a woman encumbered with a sleeping infant on her shoulder and armed with a hefty ladle. We would ne’er catch the most sluggardly criminal but the law demanded we make the effort, or else be fined for aiding and abetting the same. My hip was hindering my progress, slow as it was, and by the time we reached St Vedast’s Church at the lower end of Noble Street, I had to pause to ease my protesting bones. The old man stopped beside me to catch his breath; the woman too.
It was then that I glanced up the alleyway beside the church. A pile of rubbish half-blocked the narrow passage. All was filth and grime and stank of stale piss. Yet there was just light sufficient to see a flash of red: a good shoe, I realised, protruding from behind the unsavoury heap of detritus.
I pointed it out to the old man, then put my finger to my lips.
The old man nodded his understanding. He and I crept forth, into the alley. Like so many such passages around the city, this one seemed to end in a blank wall beyond the rubbish. There would be no escape for the vermilion-shod thief – if it was he. I stepped around a broken, handle-less bucket and then a collection of rusted metal odds and ends so as not to alert our quarry. When we drew within a yard or two, we both dashed forward, shouting ‘Hold! Hold, villain!’
A middle-aged fellow leaped from his place of concealment and attempted to push us aside. I shoved him in one direction and the old man tripped him. As the culprit staggered back along the alley, into Noble Street, the woman with the infant awaited him. Her skilful use of the ladle without rousing the child was remarkable. She brought it down upon his head, then whacked him across his middle. He went sprawling in the dirt. The clang of metal as he hit the ground revealed his ill-gotten gains, hidden ’neath his jerkin. A gilded candlestick rolled aside, its partner lay sorely dented – mayhap by the ladle blow – beside the fallen fellow. We had caught our thief.
We dragged him to his feet and shook him awake, marching him back to Bladder Street. I had the stolen candlesticks tucked under my arm. The rascal began complaining and attempted to pull free as his senses rallied but the woman threatened him with the ladle and he came quietly, resigned to his fate.
The householder he had robbed greeted us as heroes, the more so when I returned the candlesticks, though he sorrowed at the damage done. We said naught concerning the ladle as the possible cause of the dents.
‘Ale! Ale for all!’ the householder cried as those who had spent their strength in the hue-and-cry began to trickle back, to report that the thief had got clean away. Most seemed delighted that we had apprehended the culprit but a few were annoyed to have gone to so much effort for no purpose. Others – including Adam – were disappointed to have missed out on the moment of capture.
‘There was naught exciting about it, cousin,’ I assured him.
‘Did he put up much of a fight?’ someone else asked.
I was about to tell him ‘nay’ but the old man – Todd by name, as I learned – made answer for me.
‘I’ll say. The devil fought us like… like a devil. Kicking and flailing and yelling filthy words at me, young Seb here, oh, and Alice… her with the babe-in-arms. So we pummelled him and took him by force, didn’t we Seb? He was lashing out, all to no avail. We was too much for him, wasn’t we?’
The event grew in the telling, Todd elaborating and inventing new details to each new listener who asked. He and I became more heroic in our actions as the evening wore on; the woman, Alice, the true heroine with her ladle, became relegated to the role of a mere on-looker. By the time the City Bailiff, my friend Thaddeus Turner, arrived to take the thief into custody, Todd’s tale had become one of knights errant upon some holy quest. He told Thaddeus how we had wrestled the sword-wielding scoundrel of unsurpassed strength to the ground, despite his casting of evil charms upon us, taking many a cut and buffet in exchange – no matter that we bore not a solitary mark from our encounter.
I shook my head behind Todd’s back, such that Thaddeus should see me.
‘I shall make a true report on the morrow,’ I mouthed to him, not wishing to spoil Todd’s hour of glory.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub @maryanneyarde / #Excerpt : Ropewalk: Rebellion. Love. Survival. (The Ropewalk Series, Book 1) #Ropewalk – H. D. Coulter @coulter_hd #HistoricalFiction

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

Today I’m on the ‘Ropewalk: Rebellion. Love. Survival.’ blogtour, organized by The Coffee Pot Book Club.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Hayley was born and raised in the lake district and across Cumbria. From a young age, Hayley loved learning about history, visiting castles and discovering local stories from the past. Hayley and her partner lived in Ulverston for three years and spent her weekends walking along the Ropewalk and down by the old harbour. She became inspired by the spirit of the area and stories that had taken place along the historic streets.
As a teacher, Hayley had loved the art of storytelling by studying drama and theatre. The power of the written word, how it can transport the reader to another world or even another time in history. But it wasn’t until living in Ulverston did she discover a story worth telling. From that point, the characters became alive and she fell in love with the story.

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Synopsis :

Book Title: Ropewalk: Rebellion. Love. Survival.
Series: The Ropewalk series
Author: H. D. Coulter
Publication Date: 23rd November 2020
Publisher: Independently Published
Page Length: 243 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

The North of England, 1831.
The working class are gathering. Rebellion is stirring, and the people are divided.
Beatrice Lightfoot, a young woman fighting her own personal rebellion, is looking for an opportunity to change her luck. When she gains the attention of the enigmatic Captain Hanley, he offers her a tantalising deal to attend the May Day dance. She accepts, unaware of the true price of her own free will.
Her subsequent entanglement with Joshua Mason, the son of a local merchant, draws all three into a destructive and dangerous relationship, which threatens to drag Beatrice, and all she knows into darkness.
Now, Beatrice must choose between rebellion, love and survival before all is lost, and the Northern uprising changes her world forever.

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This book is on promotion during the tour at 99p or $1.37 and signed copies of the paperbacks will be available on Hayley’s website.

You can now also PRE-ORDER Book 2 ‘Saving Grace: Deception. Obsession. Redemption.’ via

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Excerpt :

Chapter 10

Bea clenched her fist tightly around the small weight of coins that remained from her hard-won guinea from Johnson’s and plunged her hand deep into her pocket. She had decided to buy some extra-fine silk thread to produce a piece of lace, especially for Mrs Mason. A small gesture to show her genuine feelings, without raising suspicion from anyone in her family. A simple buds-of-May design, inspired by her walk that morning. She couldn’t offer much, but she could offer that.
Market street was full of small children begging for coins, holding their grubby hands out for a single penny. She felt sorry for the little ones huddled in clothes that barely covered them and coughing so hard their chests shook. They looked like they hadn’t eaten in weeks, and certainly they probably couldn’t tell anyone when they had last taken a full meal. She had heard of men coming in wagons, scooping up the children that couldn’t run fast enough, and shipping them across to the New World to work as white slaves in the burgeoning towns and docks. Her heart ached for them, but what could she do?
She kept her head down, avoided eye contact and walked up Market Street towards Kings Street. Carriages were racing past on important business for the gentile clients nestled within. Bea winced as young boys and girls risked getting dragged under their wheels as they raced alongside, shouting pitifully, with the hopes of a penny or two flying out. She watched one child, about eight, with two tiny siblings, run as fast as his legs could carry him close up against a grand black coach. He leaped into the air and landed on the side, half of his body sticking through the window and his feet struggling to grip on to the tiny ledge, clinging on like a slender monkey. Within seconds, the swipe and thud of a silver-headed cane had sent the boy flying back through the air onto the road. The little body landed in a heap and lay still. Bea lifted her skirt and sprinted the last few yards towards him. Her anger spilled out as people continued to walk past. “Don’t move!” she told the boy as she knelt beside him.
He lay there dazed, trying his hardest to come around, to move on, hoping to grab another carriage. Months’ worth of dirt clung to his skin, and his clothes looked like they had been made for him years ago, inches too short for his growing limbs, and thin with constant wear. His brother and sister were exactly the same. They cowered over him, terrified to lose their only carer. Bea carefully checked him over for broken bones, or an injury to the head. His ribs were sticking out, like the arches of a viaduct, and he hadn’t eaten for a couple of days, judging by his desperation with the carriage.
“Can I be of assistance, Miss?” a man shouted as he ran over.
Without looking up.
“Please… Yes! I’m just checking him.” She redirected her attention back to the boy, speaking softly to him. “What’s your name?”
“David, Miss.”
“Does anything hurt David?”
“Me arm and me neck, Miss… I’ll be right.”
“Please, – let me just look at you first?” The boy nodded his head.
“Shall I fetch a Doctor Miss Lightfoot?”
Surprised to hear her name, for a moment Bea looked away from the boy and up at Joshua Mason. He was standing over them, dressed in a dark suit and top hat.
“Oh.”
“I will fetch my family doctor and I will be back as quick as I can, if you think he needs it?” He took his hat off and crouched down beside them, watching Bea as she carefully examined the child’s head.
The boy shuffled away from the new gentleman, fear evident on his face, as his siblings clutched at one another.
“None of them lot, no docs, they’ll send us back, we ain’t goin’ back!” He tried climbing to his feet.
“It’s alright, be calm, lovey. I don’t think yer need a doc.” Her accent became more like her Da’s in an unconscious attempt to soothe the boy. “You can move yer arm can’t you, just bruised that’s all and yer head took a knock. But ye’ll need to rest for a day or sa.” Bea reached into her pocket and felt for her pennies. “Here, take this. Buy yer selves some grub and stay hidden for a bit, alright?” She pressed them into his dirty fingers and smiled encouragingly.
Still terrified of the man, the child studied the woman; she looked more like him, spoke more like him, and she’d given him enough money to feed all three of them for over a week. Worried for their brother, the two younger children tugged him to his feet, as David clutched tightly on to the coins.
“Thank y’Miss…”
With a sibling under each arm, they quickly helped each other back towards Market Street and down one of the side alleys.
“Bea – Miss Lightfoot -”
Bea rose quickly to her feet and brushed off her knees.
“I must go. We’d better not act like we know each other had we – but thank you – you were the only one – the only one who would help.” She quickly smiled at him and turned to go.
“But Beatrice, I must speak with you…”
She shook her head.
“Goodbye Mr Mason, I shan’t keep you any longer.” He started to protest, but stopped when he saw the pain on her face.
“Goodbye Miss Lightfoot, I hope to see you again.”

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours / #Excerpt : Running Behind Time #RunningBehindTime – Jan Turk Petrie @TurkPetrie

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

Running Behind Time BT Poster

Today I’m on the ‘Running Behind Time’ blogtour, organized 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 :

Jan Turk Petrie Author PicJan Turk Petrie is a writer based in the Cotswolds area of England (UK). She is the author of seven published novels.
The Eldísvík Trilogy – a fast paced future-world Nordic thriller series set in 2068 in a fictional Scandinavian city state. Vol 1 – ‘Until The Ice Cracks’ – published July 2018; Vol 2 – ‘No God for a Warrior’ – published November 2018 & Vol 3 – ‘Within Each Other’s Shadow’ – published April 2019. An ebook boxset of ‘The Eldísvík Trilogy’ is widely available.
Jan has also written 4 very different stand-alone novels.
‘Too Many Heroes’ – a post-war thriller set mainly in the East End of London – published August 2019.
‘Towards the Vanishing Point’ – is a period literary domestic drama published in January 2020. It’s the story of an enduring friendship between two women and the sinister man who marries one of them.
‘The Truth in a Lie’ – is Jan’s first contemporary novel, published in June 2020. A story of love, loyalty, betrayal and the damage done by untold secrets
Jan’s latest novel – ‘Running Behind Time’ – is a time-slip novel published in March 2021. There’s a wrinkle in time on the 15:15 train from Paddington to Cheltenham Spa…
A former English teacher with an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Gloucestershire, Jan has also written numerous, prize-winning short stories.

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Synopsis :

Running Behind Time CoverThere’s a wrinkle in time on the 15:15 train from Paddington to Cheltenham Spa
It’s the Summer of 1982, and Beth Sawyer is thrilled to have landed the title role in a play. It may only be in a fringe theatre in Shepherd’s Bush, but it’s the start she’s always dreamed of.
It’s the Summer of 2020, amid the global pandemic, and Tom Brookes is furloughed. Unable to face lockdown in a tiny city flat, he moves back to his mother’s cottage in the sleepy Cotswold village of Stoatsfield-under-Ridge.
Neither of them expects an everyday train journey to throw their normal lives so spectacularly off-course.
This is the story of an extraordinary encounter between two people who should never have met.

Amazon

Excerpt :

Chapter One

East Sussex, England
July 1982
Beth

The sky is darkening with unnatural speed; with it comes a silence she finds disquieting. Ominous. Gulls that had been reeling and squawking off the cliffs have mysteriously disappeared. Only moments ago, the soaring song of larks had accompanied them to the top of the headland; now the birds have all gone to ground.
Other people – perhaps twenty, maybe as many as twenty-five – have been drawn to this same commanding spot as if by enchantment or a shared instinct carried in some ancient race memory. On the way up, she’d caught snatches of excited conversation – a carnival spirit; now there’s only whispering.
It’s almost upon them. A collective hush descends on the small crowd. Faces turn upwards to wait for the spectacle about to take place.
To her left, the silvery streak on the surface of the sea dims and then goes out. Where there had been summer warmth the air is chilly; the fine hairs on her arms stand up in response.
‘This is it,’ Kyle says pulling on her arm until she sits down next to him. The dry grass feels rough against her bare legs. She can smell all the baked-hard sheep poo they’re sitting amongst.
From his rucksack Kyle pulls out his binoculars and the piece of white card he’d rescued from the bin. He’s already explained to her how this will work, how you only need to point one of the lenses at the eclipse and an image will be projected straight through the eyepiece onto the cardboard. The other lens is capped off – it isn’t allowed to watch.
On the train down, he’d read a newspaper while she listened to the Planet Suite on her Walkman – not her usual choice of music but perfect to set the mood. She’d picked up the arts supplement he discarded and read a light-hearted feature describing some of the myths that had grown up as a way of explaining an eclipse. A traditional Norse tale put the blame on wolves eating the sun. In Ancient China it was dragons. Native Americans believed a bear had taken a great bite out of it. The Ancient Greeks took the whole thing more seriously; to them it was a sign the gods were angry and foretold coming disasters and destruction. It doesn’t surprise her; now would be the perfect moment for someone in long robes to stand on top of one of these mounds, raise a wooden staff and spout some dire prophecy.
Kyle is staring down at the image on the card. Seen his way, the coming partial eclipse resembles a diagram in a textbook. He’s set the whole thing up in between them so they can watch together. She notices the small tomato stain in one corner from their takeaway pizza.
In her head she tells him, ‘You might as well be watching it on the telly.’ She’s tempted to say it out loud but that would only spoil the moment for him.
‘Remember, don’t look at it directly.’ This was ostensibly to her, but he’d raised his voice so that it would carry to any foolish person around them who might be about to do such a thing. ‘Just one look and you could go blind,’ he adds for good measure.
The darkness intensifies until it’s impossible to make out the contours of the land or the line where it meets the sky. The colours of the day have all but drained away like they’re in a black and white movie. Under her breath, Beth quotes from King Lear: These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend no good to us.
Some people are gazing skywards, wearing special glasses that look far too cheap to ward off the destructive powers of two heavenly bodies set on what, from this angle, appears to be a certain collision.
‘Beth,’ he says, interrupting her train of thought. ‘I think we’re approaching maximum. Look then, or you’ll miss it.’ His sharp elbow digs into her ribs to make his point.
To please him, she glances down at the facsimile he’s created – the scaled down version of this momentous event he appears to be content with. His way is not hers; it never was.
Drawn back to the heavens but not quite trusting herself, she shuts her eyes and lets the moment take her. Such an extraordinary occurrence – it has to signify something.
By the gradual brightening of the shades of red inside her closed lids, she can tell the deepest darkness has passed. How strange this slow process of coming back to herself – to the promise of warmth on her skin. She opens her eyes, to watch the old world being reborn. Monochrome is being overlaid with colour. The spell broken, birds wake and remember their songs. A distant lamb cries out for its mother.
Kyle caps the other lens of the binoculars; roughly folding the piece of card in half, he stuffs both into his rucksack. Standing up, he says, ‘We should head off, beat the crush at the station.’
Now that the everyday world has been restored, the colours seem so bright. Beth wants to linger here, to lie back and find shapes in clouds; follow the progress of the boat that’s just a speck on the horizon as it moves across the newly sparkling sea.
For now, she complies, brushing the grass from her legs before she follows him down the hill towards the point where the narrow path splits and goes off in different directions.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksGroup / #Excerpt : Tsalix Silverthorn and the Desert of Desolation – Richard Siddoway @rmsiddoway @CayellePub

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

TsalixDesolationBLITZ

Today I’m on the ‘Tsalix Silverthorn and the Desert of Desolation’ blogtour, organized 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 :

1598640_1477819265774644_1988096300_oRichard M. Siddoway was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and reared in Bountiful, Utah. He was a professional educator for over forty-five years. In 1994, he was asked by Governor Michael O. Leavitt to create the nation’s first state-wide virtual high school –The Electronic High School. He served three terms in the Utah House of Representatives; the last two years he served as Speaker Pro Tempore. He is the author of a dozen books, including the NYT bestseller, The Christmas Wish, which was made into a movie starring Debbie Reynolds, Neil Patrick Harris, and Naomi Watts. He and his wife, Janice, have eight children, twenty six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

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Synopsis :

perf6.000x9.000.inddHaving retrieved the first talisman from the top of Mount Jinee, Tsalix and his friends are faced with another daunting task. They must cross Shayeksten, the Desert of Desolation to reach Mount Tsood and find the second talisman.
Shayeksten is formidable, dry, hot, and covered with drifting sand. Compounding their problem is their nemesis, Captain Nash Doitsoh and his band of soldiers, who are patrolling the desert and are determined to capture Tsalix and bring him to Prince Abadon. If they are successful in crossing Shayeksten and reaching Mount Tsood they must find where the talisman is hidden and then return to Mount Deschee to deliver it to the King.

Amazon

Excerpt :

Tsalix wedged himself into the cleft in the rock, placed his ear against the smooth obsidian wall and listened. Above him on the steep hillside, huge polished slabs of stone perched precariously. Through the rock he could hear the footfalls of the approaching riders on their enormous wolacs. Tsalix listened intently, trying to read the signature of the heavy, armored six-legged beasts. Each one had a slightly different gait, and someone with an experienced ear could identify each wolac by its tread.
Tsalix grimaced as he thought he recognized the footfalls of Nash Doitsoh’s wolac. The hoof beats were drawing nearer, and the young warrior forced himself even further into the crack in the rock wall at the base of Mount Jinee. He shed his breastplate to lose another couple inches, but still he felt as if his ribs were cracking from the pressure of the obsidian against his back and chest, until the crevasse widened and he popped into a small cave. He plummeted to the floor and took deep breaths, ignor-ing the pain in his bruised ribs, then reached back through the crack and retrieved his breastplate, sword, and knapsack. He could see his footprints outside the opening, but knew he had no time to obscure them.
Tsalix turned around and viewed his surroundings. In the dim light that filtered through the opening, he could see the cave’s roof was just slightly higher than he was tall, and the room was about six feet in diameter. He pressed himself against a side wall when he heard the wolacs stop outside the narrow channel that led into the cave. They were breathing hard and whistling through their gaping mouths that were bracketed with two sets of enormous pincers.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Love Books Tour Host

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #Excerpt : A Chance Encounter – Rae Shaw @RaeShawauthor

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

QnxUVIIA

Today I’m on the ‘A Chance Encounter’ blogtour, organized 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 :

Julianna Baptiste_logo-pinkRae Shaw is a pen name for the author Rachel Walkley.
Rachel is based in the North West of England. She read her first grown-up detective novel at the age of eleven, which proved to be a catalyst for filling many shelves with crime books, which still occupy her home and grow in number whenever she visits a book shop.
As well as crime, Rachel likes to unplug from the real world and writes mysteries that have a touch of magic woven into family secrets.

Social Media Links:
Website
Twitter
Rae Shaw Facebook page
Rachel Walkley Linktree

Synopsis :

a Chance Encounter_ebookYears ago, he chose a victim.
Now the wait is over.
Julianna Baptiste, a feisty bodyguard, finds her new job tedious, until her boss, the evasive Jackson Haynes, spikes her curiosity. Who is behind the vicious threats to his beautiful wife and why is he interested in two estranged siblings?
Mark works for Haynes’ vast company. He’s hiding from ruthless money launderers.
His teenage sister Ellen has an online friend she has never met. Ellen guards a terrible secret.
For eight years their duplicitous father has languished in prison, claiming he is innocent of murder. The evidence against him is overwhelming, so why does Mark persist with an appeal?
Keen to prove her potential as an investigator, Julianna forces Mark to confront his past mistakes. The consequences will put all their lives on the line.
HIDE OR CONFRONT?

GoodReads

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Excerpt :

Julianna will shortly be meeting a new co-worker for the first time – Mark, a man she has indirectly been told to keep an eye on by her boss. Why she doesn’t know. But Mark has a past that he doesn’t want to advertise. When his mother rings him at work, the call is unwelcome.

His mobile sang an unmelodious tune, which he had specifically picked for a purpose. She had to ring him, on his first day. He flicked the mobile to speaker phone then slid it a good distance away from his hand. His fingers clutched a pen.
‘Mum.’
‘I rang you yesterday.’ No hello or how are you. Bloody typical.
‘What do you want, Mum?’
‘When are you going to send me the two hundred you promised?’ She whined like a teenager.
Always money. It wasn’t as if he was rolling in it. According to her, she hadn’t a penny left even with the two jobs she worked. Lawyers cost, she liked to remind him, which was a gripe at his preferred profession. He never regretted his choice of career. Numbers were more polite than words.
‘Give me a chance, will you. It’s my first day. I’m trying to make an impression.’
A lengthy pause. She wasn’t impressed. Deidre had to be the most important person in his life.
‘Fine.’ She sniffed. The fake disappointment washed over Mark. She couldn’t act.
‘I’ll transfer some money this evening. Just a hundred though. I’ve taken out a deposit on a new apartment.’ He instantly regretted mentioning the flat.
‘Another one? You’re always moving.’
Away from you, he nearly said. Instead, he chewed the end of the pen. ‘It’s on the bus route. If you want me to splash out and buy a car…’
‘No, no. Save your money, darling.’
The “darling” made his toes curl. He hated it. Hated the falseness of her tone, the way she delivered affection in little packages as if it made up for all the crap she threw at him.
‘Don’t forget to find a solicitor. There must be good ones in London. Better than up here.’
‘God, Mum. It doesn’t make any difference.’ He punctuated each word staccato style. ‘If anything, they’ll be more expensive.’
Deidre clung to the hope new evidence was around the corner. She fruitlessly pursued missing connections, the names of her husband’s backstabbing mates who supposedly had slithered away to secret hideouts in London. Mark’s optimism had vanished years ago. Nobody spoke up for his father. Whoever held the clues to Bill Clewer’s guilt or innocence remained shamelessly silent or petrified. The whole bunch of them were scared, not of the law, but of what life had turned them into – career criminals. Clearing his father’s name wasn’t top of anyone’s list.
‘Well, let’s hope that means something.’ She didn’t bother to say goodbye.
Releasing his grip on the pen, Mark reached for the office telephone and dialled a number.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #FlyOnTheWallPoetryTours @fly_press @kenyon_isabelle / #Excerpt : The Colour of Hope #TheColourOfHope – Jen Feroze @jenlareine

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

Today I’m on the ‘The Colour of Hope’ blogtour, organized by Fly On The Wall Poetry Tours.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Jen has been in love with language for as long as she can remember. A former Foyle Young Poet of the Year, her poetry has appeared in national and international journals and anthologies. The Colour of Hope is her debut collection. Jen is a bookworm with a love of baking, conversation that makes your brain fizz and really good cheese. She lives by the sea in Essex with her husband and two young children.

Website

Synopsis :

The Colour Of Hope is a poetry collection with happiness at its heart. The 45 poems inside were created during the first lockdown in the UK, at a time when finding beauty and comfort in the everyday seemed at once fraught with difficulty and vitally important. Each was written for a specific recipient, based on three things they guaranteed would make them feel happy. I received a wonderful range of briefs. From the beautifully universal – a longing for nature and freedom, time spent with family, summers spent in other lands – to the gloriously specific – snaffling a Toffee Crisp from the fridge late at night, Fleetwood Mac songs, making the perfect scrambled eggs, and Ceilidh dancing. The result is a collection of poems that serves both as a record of this intense and intensely strange year, and as an uplifting reading experience that will connect and resonate with a much wider audience than the individuals they were initially written for.
2020 will be one for the history books, a year that has created emergencies on many fronts, not least the emotional. 60% of adults, and 68% of young people in the UK reported a decline in their mental health during lockdown. As such, 20% from the sale of this book will be donated to Mind, to help provide a bit of light in these uncertain times.

Signed copies
Waterstones

Excerpt :

For Claire

The birds came back weeks ago
but now, as the trees remember
who they are – putting on green
and petalled coats – it’s my turn to take wing.

I’m greedy for the light of other lands.
The way romance is painted into far horizons
with long, gilded brushstrokes.
Let me soar above and breathe it all in,
just for a little while.

Paris’s antique gold,
its full-skirted lovers twirling
together like falling flowers
along the Boulevard Saint Germain.

The hot, unabashed blue
of the Maldives –
colour that soaks your skin;
that leaves you stunned
and smelling of salt and jasmine.

And, oh, Venice. The old city’s jewelled slumber
under pale sorbet skies,
glinting blue ribbons threaded
through a patchwork of terracotta and church bells.

When my soul is quenched,
I’ll return, as certain as any swallow.
To sunshine-warmed sheets
where Coco purrs. Freshly cut grass.
The sound of your laughter in the kitchen.

For Jo

I hope the new normal is malleable,
a future we can shape in our hands:
wet clay and moth-wing gold.

I hope that our tomorrows are salt-splashed,
echoing with whoops and the happy shock of cold,
wild swimming, when we bob like a family of gulls.

That we move forward craving
months of umami; no longer seek to spin truths
or half-truths from strands of sugar.

Give us a winter with the red bite of kimchi,
a January that stings our lips
with salt and chilli oil. I hope we pen

the last chapters of the novel,
leave the brooding detective open-mouthed
and stuttering. Leave no loose ends, no skeletons.

Not a thing with feathers,
but the loping velvet shadow of a greyhound,
and a sunset as ripe as a cider apple.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds