#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:
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Goodreads
Amazon
Twitter
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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

 

Born Slippy #BornSlippyNovel – Tom Lutz @TomLutz22 , an #Excerpt @RepeaterBooks @CoriolisCo

– ‘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 not on a blogtour, but I’m sharing an excerpt of “Born Slippy” written by Tom Lutz to promote this book.
Before I let you read it, I’ll first post some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Tom LutzTom Lutz is a writer of books, articles, and screenplays, the founder of the Los Angeles Review of Books, and is now Distinguished Professor at UC Riverside. His books include American Book Award winner Doing Nothing, New York Times notable books Crying and American Nervousness, 1903, the travel books And the Monkey Learned Nothing and Drinking Mare’s Milk on the Roof of the World, and coming on January 14, 2020, Born Slippy: A Novel.
He has written for television and film, and appeared in scores of national and international newspapers, magazines, academic journals, and edited collections. He is working with a Los Angeles-based production company on a television show set in the 1920s, is finishing a third collection of travel pieces, a book on the 1920s (The Modern Surface), and is in the early stages of a book on global conflict along the aridity line.

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Synopsis :

BORN-SLIPPY-FINAL-600x909Title: Born Slippy: A Novel
Author’s name: Tom Lutz
Genre: noir, thriller
Publish date: January 14, 2020
Publisher: Repeater/Penguin Random House
Page count: 296

A provocative, globe-trotting, time-shifting novel about the seductions of – and resistance to – toxic masculinity.

“Frank knew as well as anyone how stories start and how they end. This fiery mess, or something like it, was bound to happen. He had been expecting it for years.”

Frank Baltimore is a bit of a loser, struggling by as a carpenter and handyman in rural New England when he gets his big break, building a mansion in the executive suburbs of Hartford. One of his workers is a charismatic eighteen-year-old kid from Liverpool, Dmitry, in the US in the summer before university. Dmitry is a charming sociopath, who develops a fascination with his autodidactic philosopher boss, perhaps thinking that, if he could figure out what made Frank tick, he could be less of a pig. Dmitry heads to Asia and makes a neo-imperialist fortune, with a trail of corpses in his wake. When Dmitry’s office building in Taipei explodes in an enormous fireball, Frank heads to Asia, falls in love with Dmitry’s wife, and things go from bad to worse.

Combining the best elements of literary thriller, noir and political satire, Born Slippy is a darkly comic and honest meditation on modern life under global capitalism.

Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Excerpt :

2013

The blast was felt for blocks. The concussion, the shattering glass, the rip of steel, the roar of falling concrete. The thick, evil odor lasted for days, as crews dug through the rubble and gathered debris-encrusted body parts. Passersby choked on the dust. Frank, when he first saw the images online, felt like he had been there, like the explosion was memory, not a photograph.
He had seen the building, the Credit Lyonnais branch in Taipei, only once, months before, during a brief, very distracted visit to see Dmitry, who was the head of their office there, or head of the region. It had been his first time in Asia. They had stopped in front of the building on Frank’s way out of town, that was all.
But when the Taipei Times website came up on his normal breakfast internet rounds, he immediately recognized the “before” picture. He felt shredded, felt the guilt of all survivors, obsessed with the cruel idea that he could have prevented it.
Which was ridiculous, he knew. Only Dmitry could have.
Something had caught up with him, Frank thought later that day — Dmitry’s voracious rapacity had finally met its match. He didn’t know how, or who, but he knew its karmic inevitability. Al Jazeera turned up some shaky video the next day, accompanied by the idea that separatist Xinjiang Muslims were responsible, which Frank thought unlikely — Dmitry had, by his own account, made many enemies, lots of them much closer to home. The video showed smoke blowing out of what had once been ten or twelve gleaming stories, now not much more than a maw, spewing black and noxious billows.
Did he see it coming? Like sharks and chum, like the Three Stooges with a ladder, like falling in love where you shouldn’t — Frank knew as well as anyone how stories start and how they end. This fiery mess, or something like it, was bound to happen. He had been expecting it for years.
He blamed himself, if not for everything, for not doing better. After all, he was the one who pretended to be Dmitry’s conscience. He was the one not paying attention, the one who had forsaken his duty, the one who had reneged on the implicit bargain he had made those many years earlier, without telling anyone, without telling Dmitry — without even telling himself. He was supposed to fix Dmitry. But he didn’t. He was inconstant.
He was, after all, the one who fell in love with Dmitry’s wife. He’d set some kind of bomb, too.
Frank Baltimore had first met Dmitry Heald on a building site in the Connecticut hills a dozen years earlier, when the eighteen-year-old Dmitry had come to America — in his Liverpudlian accent it sounded like Ameriker — trailing whatever dusty innocence he might still have had, looking for a little work, wanting to earn some quick money and then wander around for the rest of the summer doing a low- rent grand tour, reeling through the Big Lonesome West, as he always called it. Then he’d fly back to England for university: Leeds or Reading, Frank could never remember which, and didn’t know what the names meant, where they were on the status hierarchy — Ivy League-ish? Loserville? Frank had never gone to college. He had tried once, failed, quit. He had a chip on his shoulder about it, he knew.
He was a kid himself back then, having just turned twenty-eight. Like many people approaching thirty he was haunted by a sense that time was short, that he might remain an irredeemable failure into the flaky, moldy decrepitude that lurked around the bend. This house he was building was his big break, his move up from what he had always called a remodeling business, even though he had been nothing but a glorified handyman. This new house, nestled in the woods at the advancing edge of Hartford’s northwestern insurance-executive suburbs, had been his move into actual contractorland. He never made billions, like Dmitry did, but in the end he did all right. And, he said to himself, looking at the mayhem on his computer screen, he did it without killing or maiming anyone, either.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @annecater / #Excerpt : Loot & I’m With The Band #SerialMurderSquad – BL Faulkner @crimewriter1

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

Loot BT Poster

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

About the Author :

B Faulkner Author pictureBarry Faulkner was born into a family of South London petty criminals who ran with the Richardson’s Crime Gang in the 60’s-90’s. Being the youngest his mother, a top fashion model, was determined he would not follow in the criminal footsteps of the rest of the family and enrolled him into the Morely Academy of Dramatic Art to pursue a career in acting. Sadly young Faulkner was asked to leave after three months when no acting ability had surfaced. He went onto become an advertising copywriter with the English branch of the US Agency Erwin Wasey Ruffraf and Ryan where he got lucky with some scripts he sent to the BBC TV and became a scriptwriter and editor for them and several ITV companies. During this time the DCS Palmer plots were amassed in various notebooks and three years ago Faulkner finally found time to write and publish them. His early insight into the criminal world of his family has added authenticity to the characters and plots that makes them credible and the pace keeps the reader glued to the end. His signature end twist will always surprise you. Check out his top rated crime blog at geezers2016.wordpress.com.

Synopsis :

Loot Cover ImageTwo cases from the files DCS Palmer and the Metropolitan Police Serial Murder squad.
Case 5 ‘Loot’ sends the team on the trail of stolen WW2 Nazi gold that seems to be the reason for two murders. But where has it come from and how much is there? Soon the body count rises as an old gangland adversary from Palmer’s past emerges together with some feisty women and an English MP all prepared to kill for the prize. Everybody is playing cat and mouse with the gold changing hands with every twist and turn of the story that takes Palmer out of London to Gloucester and then to Brighton for an explosive finale.
Case 6. ‘I’m With The Band’ features 70’s rock band Revolution are still very big and packing out the major venues today but their original members seem to be dying in suspicious circumstances. Or so their manager thinks and he contacts Palmer’s number two with his fears. Palmer is not convinced until a nasty happening at Baker Street tube station underlines what the manager was afraid of. But who would want the band members dead? With a forty year career behind them it could be any one of thousands of past or present contacts. But this killer is confident, so confident he takes on Palmer via social network and tells him ‘catch me if you can’. But Palmer’s second in command DS Gheeta Singh was brought into his team because of her computer skills and is a match for the killer in cyber space. With just one original band member left alive the threat is real and Palmer must get to the killer before the killer gets to the member. The finale is an explosive one at a major Rock concert at the NEC.
Both case move along at the usual fast pace and with the usual ending twist that Faulkner does so well.

Amazon

Loot Back Cover

Excerpt :

LOOT
Chapter 23

Harry Robson turned the office safe combination lock clockwise and anti-clockwise as he said the code numbers under his breath, six turns and he heard the distinctive click inside. Swinging open the heavy door his eyes fell on the stacked gold bars shining in the office fluorescent light and his mouth stretched into a wide smile. The smile quickly disintegrated into panic as the office door opened behind him. He quickly pushed the safe door to hide the contents, turned and recognizing the figure he relaxed.
‘What are you doing here?’
‘I was passing and saw the light on.’
Robson nodded. ‘I remembered I had a bit of important paperwork to catch up on.’ He turned back to the safe to fully close it.
The monkey wrench that hit the back of his head was delivered with such force that had Harry Robson a death wish it was now granted. He slumped forward banging his empty face onto the safe as he slid to the floor. Another mighty blow was administered by the assailant just to make sure. A third was about to be aimed when the sound of a car pulling up on the wet gravel and mud outside halted the raised arm. The figure quickly moved away and stooped behind the reception counter out of sight as footsteps approached the cabin. The office door was flung open.
Finlay took a step inside. ‘I thought I might find you here…going to leave me and…..’ His words tailed off as he saw the body sprawled in front of the safe, the safe door slightly ajar. ‘Jesus, they didn’t hang about did they.’ His thoughts were for the gold not his uncle as moved to the safe and bent to pull the lifeless body away from the front of it. He opened the safe door and saw the gold intact. His quick mind was telling him, screaming at him, that if Harry was dead and the gold still there…..then whoever killed Harry was probably still there too…..the thought registered at the same time as the monkey wrench did it’s fatal work again and he fell across his uncle’s body.

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

 

#MiniBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #Excerpt : A Horse Called Bicycle (The Polo Diaries Book 2) – Roxana Valea @roxana_valea

– ‘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 Horse Called Bicycle (The Polo Diaries Book 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 :

RRoxana Valea was born in Romania and lived in Italy, Switzerland, England and Argentina before settling in Spain. She has a BA in journalism and an MBA degree. She spent more than twenty years in the business world as an entrepreneur, manager and management consultant working for top companies like Apple, eBay, and Sony. She is also a Reiki Master and shamanic energy medicine practitioner.
As an author, Roxana writes books inspired by real events. Her memoir Through Dust and Dreams is a faithful account of a trip she took at the age of twenty-eight across Africa by car in the company of two strangers she met over the internet. Her following book, Personal Power: Mindfulness Techniques for the Corporate World is a nonfiction book filled with personal anecdotes from her consulting years. The Polo Diaries series is inspired by her experiences as a female polo player–traveling to Argentina, falling in love, and surviving the highs and lows of this dangerous sport.
Roxana lives with her husband in Mallorca, Spain, where she writes, coaches, and does energy therapies, but her first passion remains writing.

Website
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Synopsis :

XTrAA9xwRoxy found love … but is it enough?
In the second installment of the Polo Diaries series, polo player Roxy goes back to Argentina a year after the events in Single in Buenos Aires, filled with dreams of settling down with the man she loves. This time, once again, Argentina is full of surprises and things are not what they appear to be. Or maybe they’re exactly what they’re meant to be, as a fortune-teller informs her.
Roxy takes a leap of faith and follows her dreams once again. She spends time at glamorous party venues of Buenos Aires and travels to the rough and wild pampas. Along the way, Roxy’s friends support and champion her quest for love, but when things get out of hand, Roxy realizes she needs to listen to her own inner voice and must make a hard choice. Two paths open in front of her, each one with far-reaching consequences. Which will she choose?

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Excerpt :

Context:
After breaking her collarbone while falling from a horse on a polo field, Roxy goes to watch the finals of the biggest polo championship in the world in the company of her Argentine friends who try to cheer her up by all means.

“Roxy!” Patricio shouts on my right. “Come here. Come! I have to show you something!” He makes his way towards me through the crowd and I see he’s bringing another guy with him, a dark-haired, well-built guy in a blue striped shirt and jeans. No white linen and no baseball cap, thankfully.
“I have someone for you,” he shouts as he approaches, dragging the guy along.
Patricio is my chief matchmaker in Argentina and I’ve heard a lot of comments about the suitability of his many cousins to become my boyfriends. Still, I’ve never seen him so excited to introduce me to someone before. Who is this guy?
“Roxy, come, you have to see this. You have to meet my friend Jorge.”
“Hola,” I muster.
“Hola,” he answers. I have the weird feeling he’s uncomfortable.
“Come and look. Look here.” With a quick gesture, Patricio starts to unbutton the guy’s shirt. Right there in the middle of the crowd under my shocked eyes. Is he going to strip this potential match naked for me to have a good look at him?
“Jorge had a fall just like you and surgery just like you. Three weeks ago. Look how well he has healed.” Patricio finally answers my silent question.
The shirt is now unbuttoned and the collarbone of the named Jorge revealed. Patricio is pointing to Jorge’s scar, all excited. “Look how well he’s healed and he doesn’t even wear a sling.”
I look at the guy. He’s slightly embarrassed by the whole fuss, and his shirt is half open. The scar looks great though, neatly closed off, just a thin white line on his shoulder. I don’t yet know how mine looks. I haven’t seen it yet.
“Broken collarbone?” I ask.
He nods. “Yes, in four pieces. Metal plate with seven screws.”
Mine was broken in five pieces and I have eight screws. I guess I win this contest.
“Wow, you’re doing well,” I say, pointing to my sling. “How come you’re out of your sling so fast?”
“I just took it off before coming here today. It didn’t hurt that bad. People don’t know, though, and keep on slapping me on the back.” He grins. “It hurts like hell every time someone says hello.”
I can imagine it does. The customary Argentine greeting between men involves a kiss on the cheek and sometimes a hug and a slap on the shoulder. I feel sorry for the guy.
“Don’t worry,” he says as he buttons his shirt back up. “You’ll be all right. We’ll both play again. Collarbone fracture, a classic with polo falls. No big deal.”
I nod. He goes. Patricio stays there, his eyes beaming.
“You see?” he says. “You’ll be all right. Did you see how well he looks?”
“Where the hell did you find him?” I ask him, amused. Patricio’s ability to find answers to my unspoken worries has never ceased to amaze me.
“And did you find Emi? He was looking for you.”
“Yes, I did. He told me he was shocked to see you in a sling again.”
“I bet he was. What else did he say?”
“That maybe you fall because you ride with the stirrups too short.”
That was something new. I’d never heard this explanation before. Short stirrups allow greater movement in the saddle, but if your muscles aren’t strong enough it’s easier to lose your balance and fall.
“So he says maybe you should ride with longer stirrups next time. Or maybe you shouldn’t ride at all.”
I look at him, but he’s not joking. His face goes back to that impossible-to-guess-what-he’s-really-thinking-about expression I know so well.
This is exactly the question in my head. Maybe I can change one little thing and I’ll be all right next time. Or maybe there shouldn’t be a next time at all.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @annecater / #Excerpt : Someone Close To Home #SomeoneCloseToHome – Alex Craigie #AlexCraigie

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

Someone Close To Home BT Poster

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

About the Author :

Alex Craigie Author PicAlex Craigie was ten when her first play was performed at school. It was in rhyming couplets and all she can remember about it is that:
• it was written in pencil in a book with weights and measures on the back
• the two heroes were Prince Rupert and his brother (whose name was changed to Sam to facilitate the rhyming process.)
• as writer, producer and director she ‘bagged’ the part of female lead.
When her children were young, she wrote short stories for magazines and since then has fulfilled her ambition to write a novel.
Someone Close to Home has won two ‘Chill with a Book’ awards – The Reader’s Award and the Book of the Month Award.
Alex lives in a small village in Pembrokeshire, Wales, and knows that she and her husband are lucky to have their children and grandchildren living nearby. It’s often chaotic and noisy but these are her most treasured moments and she savours them – even if she’s reduced to an immovable heap after they’ve gone.
As an independent author, without a big publishing machine behind her, she is very grateful to all the people who have found and bought her first book – and a huge thank you to those who’ve gone out of their way to write a review on Amazon or Goodreads. These reviews make a massive difference to ‘Indies’ and the positive ones encourage other readers to risk buying a copy.
What else can she say? Nothing, really. Writing this personal promotion has been very, very hard and she needs to go away now and lie down in a darkened room, preferably with a big bar of chocolate…
She looks forward to any contact from fellow lovers of books and any honest feedback is very welcome.

Synopsis :

• Paperback: 252 pages
• Publisher: Ashford Carbonel Publishing (9 Dec. 2016)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 0995696608
• ISBN-13: 978-0995696600

Someone Close to Home CoverTalented pianist Megan Youngblood has it all – fame, fortune and Gideon.
But Gideon isn’t good enough for Megan’s ambitious, manipulative mother, whose meddling has devastating repercussions for Megan and for those close to her.
Now, trapped inside her own body, she is unable to communicate her needs or fears as she faces institutional neglect in an inadequate care home.
And she faces Annie. Sadistic Annie who has reason to hate her. Damaged Annie who shouldn’t work with vulnerable people.
Just how far will Annie go?
‘Someone Close To Home’ is a story of love, malice and deadly menace.

Amazon

Excerpt :

The open door blocks my line of sight so my view of the world is of the rest of my own room and the small square of window facing me. It’s clouding over outside and the top of the yew tree is moving a little.
Shortly before breakfast the smell of toast comes as a welcome distraction from the permanent odour of urine overlaid with those pungent deodorisers that catch the back of my throat. Sometimes there’s a whiff of bacon that causes my stomach to contract. I’d love to eat some bacon again.
I’m left on my own for long hours. My breakfast can arrive any time between nine o’clock and early afternoon. Occasionally it’s missed out altogether. The staff are busy and little time is allowed for the unexpected burdens they often have to deal with. I don’t look forward to the food here, as such, but I feel listless and my stomach gripes when I go without it.
The problems with the muscles around my mouth and neck prevent me from communicating in anything other than ill-formed grunts and squeals, but they also make swallowing more dangerous, so I’m given thickened liquids to eat and drink.
The colour and bland taste varies, but the texture is depressingly the same. I’m reliant on someone patiently administering this stuff to me. The sessions are grim and a few carers barely conceal their irritation at having to wait for the process to end. When I have to slow down to cope with the effort, some of them take it as an excuse to stop, kidding themselves that I’ve had enough. They wipe my mouth and rush off.
Frequently one of the well-meaning carers will start off with the very best of intentions but will be called away to help elsewhere. When they return neither of us finds what’s left appetising, but we’ll both struggle on for a while. Sometimes they simply forget to return.
I hear the staff answering the insistent buzzers, their polythene aprons rustling. There are moans, shouts and cussing from rooms nearby punctuating the chivvying of staff. Trolleys rattle past laden with clean or soiled bedding. The place is never silent. Not even at night. My room is offset in the corridor, tucked behind a stock cupboard, and provides a convenient place for people to stop and talk without being seen. I’m used to low voices outside my room relaying gossip.
I know all the day shift’s voices now and have a better idea than most as to their characters. I’m also getting a handle on the night staff. There was Akosua, of course. The yew tree pixelates and distorts through the sudden onrush of tears. I know now how a heavy heart feels and I want to massage my chest to ease the pain.
And then there’s Annie. I know more about what motivates her than almost anyone else on the planet. I deliberately try to push all thoughts of her to the back of my mind – where they grow and fester.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @annecater / #Excerpt : Two Blankets, Three Sheets #TwoBlanketsThreeSheets – Rodaan Al-Galidi @WorldEdBooks @RKbookpublicist

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

Two Blankets BT Poster .jpg

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

About the Author :

Rodaan Al Galidi Author PicRodaan Al Galidi is a poet and writer. Born in Iraq and trained as a civil engineer, he has lived in the Netherlands since 1998. As an undocumented asylum seeker he did not have the right to attend language classes, so he taught himself to read and write Dutch. His novel De autist en de postduif (‘The Autist and the Carrier Pigeon’) won the European Union Prize for Literature in 2011—the same year he failed his Dutch citizenship course. Two Blankets, Three Sheets, already a bestseller in the Netherlands, is his most successful novel to date.

Goodreads

Synopsis :

Two Blankets CoverTranslated from Dutch by Jonathan Reeder

‘You have to take care, Mr Karim,’ she said, ‘this is your future.’ With the word ‘this’ she picked up the report from the first hearing. I was amused at the idea that my future would be determined by a few sheets of paper, and not by my health, my happiness or my dreams. Or a never-ending barbeque on the beach, or travelling the world on a legitimate passport.

Amsterdam Airport, 1998. Samir Karim steps off a plane from Vietnam, flushes his fake passport down the toilet, and requests asylum. Fleeing Iraq to avoid conscription into Saddam Hussein’s army, he has spent seven years anonymously wandering through Asia. Now, safely in the heart of Europe, he is sent to an asylum centre and assigned a bed in a shared dorm—where he will spend the next nine years.
Taking its title from the ‘two blankets, three sheets, a towel, a pillow, and a pillow-case’ that constitute the items Samir is given on his arrival at the Asylum Centre, and are the only things he owns during his nine years there, this book is the story of how Samir navigates his way around the absurdities of Dutch bureaucracy while trying his best to get along with his 500 new housemates.
Told with compassion and a unique sense of humour, this is an inspiring tale of survival, a close-up view of the hidden world of refugees and human smugglers, and a sobering reflection of our times.

Excerpt :

This passage, taken from the end of the book, describes what happens when there is a general pardon for asylum seekers in the Netherlands. Samir has been in the asylum centre (ASC) for 9 years – most of his housemates have been released, but he hasn’t heard anything yet…

About seventy asylum seekers who did not fall under the general pardon were left in the ASC. For years, it was a place of waiting and wailing, silence and screams, birth and death, suffering and succor—and now, strangely enough, it seemed incapable of near-emptiness. But it was. The emptiness was unbearable. The quiet in the rooms was hell. I have never experienced such a wretched feeling of loneliness and abandonment as in that desolate place. Every morning, I had to adjust anew to the deafening silence. Sometimes the silence was so overwhelming I couldn’t really tell if I was asleep or awake. When my roommates Malik and Salih got their residence permits under the general pardon, they both were also given a place to live. Salih in Groningen, Malik in a village in South-Holland. I stayed behind alone in O-139. Finally, a room to myself: this, too, was a kind of general pardon. But I found out I no longer slept as soundly as I once did. Something inside me always stayed awake. I used to think that this was because I had to share a room with others, but apparently that wasn’t it. It was because I shared my inner mind with others: with Reception, the IND [Immigration and Naturalisation Service], the Foreigners’ Police, Social Services, and all those other asylum seekers.
In the end, I too fell under the general pardon. Don’t ask how, I still don’t really know myself. It doesn’t matter, because it proved that my asylum request had never really been taken seriously. I had seen so many mistakes already that it was hard to take the IND’s decision seriously either.
I couldn’t get to sleep, my last night in O-139. So I paced through Yellow with its yellow walls, Blue with its blue walls, Green with its green walls, and Orange with its orange walls, from wing to wing, over and over, until the colors of the walls all faded and became gray. Everywhere I went was accompanied by memories and feelings. Every brick was a piece of history. On that last night, the building made me think of a sinking ship. I heard a violin coming from O-101. It was Levon, the Armenian. I stood outside listening, as I always did when he played, but this time I knocked on the door when he finished and asked the name of the piece. “Dle Yaman,” he said, and wrote it down for me. He promised to play it for me as often as I wanted, but I told him I would be leaving the next day. Before I left, I returned the two blankets, three sheets, towel, pillow, and pillowcase to the storeroom, and brought the receipt to Social Services, where Anneke gave me a day pass for the train and wished me a good life. I went back to O-139. I had packed my things in a bag Abdulwahid had left behind when he went to London. I picked it up and looked out the window one last time. I opened the door, took one last glance around the room, and left the asc by the back door. “Samir, Samir, wait!” someone shouted. I turned and saw Abdulsalaam. “I was just at Reception and they told me that even you got a letter. But not me,” he said. “Do you think I’ll ever get one?” How I wished I could give him an answer.
As I walked from the ASC to the train station I thought: what now, after nine years of marking time in that place? I looked in wonder at the world around me. Now that I no longer belonged to that building, it was as though I had been shut up in a sealed basement all those years. Rather than becoming open and larger, the world appeared treacherous and less trustworthy. I had changed, both physically and mentally. Social Services knew Samir, as did the receptionists, the Foreigners’ Police, and the ind. But I did not. And I had to get to know him so I could get on with my life.
A young mother, also on her way to the station, was pushing twins in a baby carriage. It was a positive, hopeful sign in those first minutes free of the ASC. The woman was carrying a handbag and a heavy suitcase. I offered to help and she nodded. At the station, she looked up at the departures board. “Shit,” she said, irritated. “Fifteen minutes’ delay.” I laughed out loud. She gave me a questioning look. “I’ve just had a delay too. Nine years. In that building,” I said, pointing to the orange wing of the ASC, still just visible in the distance. The woman smiled. If I hadn’t carried her bag for her, she’d probably have thought I was crazy. Maybe I was.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksTours / #Excerpt : The Essential Family Guide to Caring for Older People – Deborah Stone @DeborahStone_

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

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Today I’m on the ‘The Essential Family Guide to Caring for Older People’ 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 :

71bpk9+76iL._SY600_Deborah Stone is a leading expert in the field of elder care. Through her website she provides information and advice for families caring for older people, as well as advising companies on the effective development of products and services for older people. Deborah regularly appears on BBC, ITV, Sky and Channel 5 as a care expert, as well as contributing to lifestyle magazines and national newspapers with advice for those making decisions about care for relatives.
Her novel, What’s Left Unsaid, won The Chill With A Book Runner Up Prize for Best Book of 2018.
Deborah’s next novel is due to be published in 2020.

Synopsis :

unnamed (4)No one wants to think about getting older. It’s true. At any age, when things are moving along normally day to day and everyone seems fit and well, there seems no reason to think about future problems that your friends and relatives might (and probably will) come across as they age. In fact, it might even seem a little morbid to think such thoughts, or possibly even tempting fate?
Yet there will come a time when you must raise these issues and, ideally, this should be before any problems arise. The Essential Family Guide to Caring for Older People is the ultimate source of information and help for families with care responsibilities. Deborah Stone draws on her extensive experience working in elder care to offer practical advice on every aspect of the field in-depth.
Topics range from how to get help immediately, legal information, care funding options, a guide to useful technology and advice on the main physical and mental health issues that affect older people. Plus, guidance is given on dealing with social services and ensuring you choose the right care for your situations. Crucially, the book also offers help on how to cope as a career with practical advice on juggling family, work and your caring responsibilities while looking after yourself.

Amazon

Excerpt :

Chapter One

What to Do If You Need Help NOW

If you need to get urgent help for an older relative or relative now, this is where to start.
Go to see the GP first
Your older relative’s GP should be your first port of call if you are concerned about their health and ability to cope at home. The GP will run tests if necessary and will do two main things:
• Discuss medical treatment and arrange any further tests they may require
• Liaise with the local authority to get a care assessment for your relative
Managing a care assessment
Care assessments are carried out at home. It is very helpful to write down any important points before the assessment, so you can input your concerns and do not forget any issues you want to raise. The care assessment will look at your relative’s needs and recommend the appropriate services. Normally, an assessment is required before any services can be provided by the social services department of a local authority, but if the need is urgent, the local authority can provide help without carrying out the assessment, following discussion with your relative’s GP. The local authority will implement a community care assessment in order to ascertain whether a person needs a community care service and, if they do, whether it can be provided by the local authority. The assessment should provide certain basic information and a care plan should be drawn up. A wide range of services could be needed, from mobility aids and adaptations in the person’s own home to the provision of care workers, or placing your relative in residential care. You can read the full details about care assessments and what they entail on pages 70–73.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds