#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : Resurrection Men – David Craig @SootyFeathers @elsewhenpress

– ‘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 ‘Resurrection Men’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a guest post written by its author, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

aqPzD9lIAside from three months living on an oil tanker sailing back and forth between America and Africa, and two years living in a pub, David Craig grew up on the west coast of Scotland. He studied Software Engineering at university, but lost interest in the subject after (and admittedly prior to) graduation. He currently works as a strategic workforce planning analyst for a public service contact centre, and lives near Glasgow with his wife, daughter and two rabbits.
Being a published writer had been a life-long dream, and one that he was delighted to finally realise with his debut novel, Resurrection Men, the first in the Sooty Feathers series, published by Elsewhen Press in 2018. Thorns of a Black Rose was David’s second novel, also published by Elsewhen Press. He returns to the Sooty Feathers series with Lord of the Hunt.

Social Media Links:
Twitter
Facebook
GoodReads Blog

Synopsis :

1c4R8cLQGlasgow 1893.
Wilton Hunt, a student, and Tam Foley, a laudanum-addicted pharmacist, are pursuing extra-curricular careers as body snatchers, or ‘resurrection men’, under cover of darkness. They exhume a girl’s corpse, only for it to disappear while their backs are turned. Confused and in need of the money the body would have earnt them, they investigate the corpse’s disappearance. They discover that bodies have started to turn up in the area with ripped-out throats and severe loss of blood, although not the one they lost. The police are being encouraged by powerful people to look the other way, and the deaths are going unreported by the press. As Hunt and Foley delve beneath the veneer of respectable society, they find themselves entangled in a dangerous underworld that is protected from scrutiny by the rich and powerful members of the elite but secretive Sooty Feathers Club.
Meanwhile, a mysterious circus arrives in the middle of the night, summoned to help avenge a betrayal two centuries old…

Purchase Links:
Elsewhen Press
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Guest Post :

One of the challenges in writing fantasy is to show the readers a different ‘world’ (or different aspect of our world) with different rules, but still make it relatable to them.
Resurrection Men is a story with a lot of supernatural elements, and I wanted to balance it by grounding it heavily in reality. To do this, and to make it relatable to readers who don’t normally read fantasy, there were two elements I looked to; the world and the characters.
The story is mostly set in in Glasgow, 1893, a city where the rich live in large townhouses and country manors, and the poor live in squalid, overcrowded tenement flats crammed tightly together. My goal was to recreate Victorian Glasgow in all its splendour and squalor, using real places, many of which are still around today.
Among these places are the Southern Necropolis, a cemetery on the southern edge of Glasgow, and the northern Necropolis next to the Cathedral, a hill covered in gothic mausoleums. Several of the pubs are real, such as the Old Toll Bar, which has many of the fittings installed in the year this novel is set. I found it helped me create the world, to sit at the same spot in the bar where the protagonists sat, and imagine the bustle of pedestrians and horse-drawn trams outside. The stench of a city with a polluted river and dung-covered streets.
The Cathedral is about all that remains of medieval Glasgow, and the city council oversaw the demolition of much of Glasgow’s Victorian heritage during the 20th century, but some notable buildings remain. It’s worth recognising that many streets are named after people or places involved in the slave trade (Jamaica Street, Plantation, Kingston, Glassford Street among others), and that many of its notable citizens made their fortunes from that trade and the trades associated with it (tobacco, sugar and cotton).
Making the city as ‘authentic’ as I could was one half of grounding the story in realism; the second was to try and write the characters as three-dimensional, and to have them react realistically in dangerous situations, with their own motivations.
The main protagonists, Hunt and Foley, are men of questionable virtue. They make extra money on the side digging up freshly buried corpses and selling them to an anatomy professor. Both drink too much, and Foley’s depression and general dissatisfaction with his life is impacting his pharmacy shop.
I particularly wanted the characters to react appropriately in dangerous situations, to show them under the influence of fear and adrenalin. If you’ve ever been in a dangerous situation (i.e a fight or potential fight), you may recall the confusion and clumsiness if such a situation was new to you. Hunt is inexperienced in fighting and so he’s unsure how to act as fight or flight instincts war with one another. Foley is an ex-soldier with combat experience and responds more decisively.
I also wanted to show the impact fighting the undead has on the characters. The danger is new to Hunt and Foley, and over the course of the books they must decide whether to continue facing it. And learn, perhaps too late, whether or not that choice remains to them.
What would your choice be? To face going out night after night, to hunt and face the undead or their mortal servants, knowing death is a possibility each time – or turning a blind eye? In contrast to the young Hunt and Foley, the story also features Wolfgang Steiner and Lady Delaney, two veterans in the war against the undead.
Both have lost much and spent two decades fighting the undead. What toll would such a struggle take on them? When the rain falls and the wind howls at night, what drives Lady Delaney to go out in search of danger rather than sit next to a roaring fire with a book and a glass of wine in the relative safety of her home? After twenty years of such a life, I suspect she would not be entirely sane. Certainly, such misadventures in his youth took a heavy toll on Professor Sirk, another who years before learned of supernatural creatures and thought to fight them.
In Delaney, Steiner and Sirk, all of whom have suffered loss, do Hunt and Foley see their future if they stay involved in the supernatural world? This possibility will occur to them, more than once across the series.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

 

#BlogTour #DamppebblesBlogTours @damppebbles @DamppebblesBTs / #GuestPost : The Moscow Whisper #TheMoscowWhisper – Michael Jenkins @FailsafeQuery

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

The Moscow Whisper banner

Today I’m on the ‘The Moscow Whisper’ blogtour, organised by Damppebbles Blog Tour.
To promote this book I have a guest post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

yyDFL3QQI started climbing at 13, survived being lost in Snowdonia at 14, nearly drowned at 15, and then joined the Army at 16. Risk and adventure was built into my DNA and I feel very fortunate to have served the majority of my working career as an intelligence officer within Defence Intelligence, and as an explosive ordnance disposal officer and military surveyor within the Corps of Royal Engineers.
I was privileged to serve for twenty-eight years in the British Army as a soldier and officer, rising through the ranks to complete my service as a major. I served across the globe on numerous military operations as well as extensive travel and adventure on many major mountaineering and exploration expeditions that I led or was involved in.
I was awarded the Geographic Medal by the Royal Geographical Society for mountain exploration in 2003 and served on the screening committee of the Mount Everest Foundation charity for many years. It was humbling after so many years of service when I was awarded the MBE for services to counter-terrorism in 2007.

Social Media:
Twitter
Facebook
Website

Synopsis :

jpeg low MB‘Sometimes you have to enter the death zone to save the innocent.’
A top-secret clique of former spies meet for dinner to hatch a plan to murder a competitor, not knowing that they are under surveillance from a covert arm of British Intelligence. Hours later, with bodies strewn across a terrace, a piece of secret intelligence reveals an international plot of colossal magnitude.
For disgraced agent Sean Richardson, this is the beginning of a deniable mission to infiltrate and disrupt a group of Russian mercenaries who are working clandestinely to take over a nation state.
Acting covertly as an illicit arms trafficker, Sean is dropped into a deadly cauldron of terrorism and high-tech weaponry that will take a nation down. As the bullets fly and the chaos rains in, can Sean take down the merchants of death…or has he finally met his match?
The third in a set of spy thrillers that have been expertly crafted with stunning plot lines, magnificent locations, and twists that leave you gasping for air. Perfect for fans of Frederick Forsyth, Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy, and Scott Mariani.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Publishing Information:
Published in paperback and digital formats on 7th June 2020.

Guest Post :

The Moscow Whisper

Spies, Mercenaries, Weapons smuggling, and Forensics
A unique mixture of espionage

For those that have read the book, I hope you enjoyed the mixture of geo-politics, mysterious locations, and the fascinating mission that Sean, the main character, has to achieve set against tumultuous odds. A task he felt was impossible from the outset.
I thought for many months about how I might fuse some of the modern-day geo-forensics, bomb disposal, weapons smuggling, and Russian mercenaries into such a story. I wanted to immerse the reader with a rich insight into the modern-day world of intelligence operations, from strategic level and national assets, right down to simple and applied forensics on the ground, with a smattering of bomb disposal and weapons smuggling scenes too. Of course, most spy and espionage novels don’t have such a unique mixture, so what led me to explore these themes?
For many of my years, I was privileged to serve on operations with some incredible forensic and bomb disposal experts, both during my days on counter terrorist operations with the police, and also on overseas operations acting with the intelligence services and the military. Hence nearly all of the search, EOD (explosive ordnance disposal), weapons and forensic scenes are authentic, but have of course been adapted to the theme of the story where Sean comes up against a set of highly trained Russian mercenaries, a long way from home on another continent.
I really enjoyed showing some of the capabilities of modern-day cyber operations – highly trained operators using cutting edge technology to conduct intelligence gathering roles in support of covert missions. It’s no secret that many of these techniques are employed by many nations, and there have been lost of media coverage and articles about the power of cyber operations, hacking, and stealing secrets that are embedded in servers, networks and IT systems. Cyber espionage is very much alive.
But how does Sean use all these techniques and procedures to achieve the mission that Jack, his MI5 handler gave him? One of the main themes here is that he needs trusted friends and experts to achieve the mission, something he could never do alone. And so he brings in his team of eclectic, erratic, and eccentric operators together. I loved creating their oddities in the first novel, The Failsafe Query, and then bring them together again for their second high-octane mission in the Kompromat Kill, before completing the trilogy with The Moscow Whisper. Each of them can be read as standalone novels, and each are based on people I served with, and I blended in multiple characters to make them who they are today in the story. I always chuckle when I meet up with some of them for a drink and I’ve included most of their own personal traits into each character. The characters feel real because of it.
It was important to me that Sean did not become the tired ‘lone wolf’ superspy that you usually find in spy thrillers, but I wanted him to use his charisma and flair to lead a team of highly skilled geo-forensics and bomb disposal operators. Sean is a highly skilled professional, who pulls off his missions by selecting and leading the right team of people for the job. He is flawed, he makes mistakes, pays his dues, and has to find ways to live with the extensive trauma his profession has caused him.
The activities of Sean hunting down the merchants of death, are based upon my experiences of working in the world of Intelliegnce, weapons intelligence, bomb disposal and high-risk search for counter terrorist operations. But I adapted the principles to make a story out of it, and used the skills of what is known as Search Advisors to create the conditions for him to succeed. Police and military search advisors are those officers who conduct investigations into missing persons and finding criminal items – and they are superbly trained and lead the world in this type of activity.
It was great fun to blend in the military and geo-forensic aspects of the operation into the novel, and I hope you enjoy those scenesa mongst exotic landscapes. What exactly does it all reveal though……the twists and turns will eventually lead you to a very dramatic finale. Sean’s route to success and contentment is blocked by many disturbing and hidden facets that he didn’t know were in play. It seems an almost impossible mission. And just as you thought it couldn’t be any worse, along comes a standoff that needs Sean to somehow find a way out of.
Just as all seems lost, Sean senses an opportunity and gets some help he didn’t expect… .

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

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#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : Death Remembered – KE Coburn @KeCoburn

– ‘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 ‘Death Remembered’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a guest post written by its author, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

2PxDxTS0K E Coburn lives by the seaside in Kent, England, and spends her time plotting murders and mayhem for her imaginary friends in the Sleuthing Club!
As well as having a master’s degree in history, she’s a huge fan of everything vintage, especially the 1950s, and loves researching this interesting period. Nothing makes her happier than looking at old photographs, drinking old-fashioned cocktails, and doing as little work as possible.
Her debut novel Death Remembered: A Sleuthing Club Mystery (Book 1) will be published in July 2020.
If you fancy keeping up to date with her murderous plots you can find her on Twitter, at her website and on Facebook.

Synopsis :

oapPi7CASummer 1952.
The sun is shining, the birds are singing, but Charity Nicholls is bored of her quiet life in a tiny English village where nothing ever happens. Other than her nagging, marriage-obsessed mother, all she has to fill the time are her dreams of becoming a writer, and the Sleuthing Club – the mystery-reading book club she attends every week.
But everything changes the day her father receives a poison pen letter.
With the help of the Sleuthing Club, particularly handsome Henry Taylor, Charity is determined to find the culprit. But when people start dying and the police arrive, led by the infuriating Inspector James Lawrence, her little village becomes a hotbed of crime.
Can Charity find the murderer before anyone else dies?

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Guest Post :

How do you plan a murder?!

Since I started telling people that I write cozy mysteries, the question I keep getting asked is, how do you plan a murder?
It’s not a question I ever thought I’d be asked and I’m quite relieved it’s not being asked by the police! Luckily though, the answer is far less sinister than the question and no actual weapons are involved. I plot a murder on a sheet of A3 paper with bubbles here, there and everywhere and lots of different coloured pens to write stuff down with.
Now, I’m not advocating anyone actually plotting to kill someone. For starters, it’s against the law and not the best way to settle your differences and also, my method is purely for writing fiction. I’m a real plotter, so I have quite extensive notes and plot outlines anyway, but it’s important for the story (and my sanity) to have it all figured out beforehand, otherwise I get very confused and then have to try and unpick the mess during edits. Trust me, that is not fun! However, when it comes to cozies and for the purpose of getting all the foundations in place before I start writing, I always begin with the victim.
By starting with a fun victim, I can figure out who they are, why they died and how. And most importantly who did it, so I can make sure I lead the reader away from them and towards other suspects until the very last minute! By doing it this way, I can create a list of clues that I add into the story and then pull all those details back together at the end when my sleuth does her big reveal.
The next thing to do, (in a different coloured pen!) is to move onto other suspects and their connection with the victim. This often leads to ideas for red herrings too. Every mystery has to have red herrings otherwise, what’s the point? If the sleuth gets everything right straight away there isn’t going to be much of a mystery and there’ll also be a very low word count!
One of my favourite things about plotting murders is then turning this ‘murder map’ on its head and noting how Charity, my sleuth, is going to approach it. This is where the investigation really becomes a story. It needs to be logical because no one likes a sleuth who just magically guesses stuff! So, from here I start building an idea of her step-by-step investigation. The story starts to come together as I realise where she needs to be at what point to uncover the clues and can decide how she’s going to get there.
I also need to include the Sleuthing Club too! They act kind of like sidekicks, giving Charity someone to bounce ideas off, but they also allow me, as a writer, to use them as plot devices to deliver red herrings or clues as well. There’s a lot of layering involved in writing a cozy mystery, especially one like the Sleuthing Club that uses golden age crime stories as reference points, and though they’re easy to read, it doesn’t mean they’re easy to write. At least, not for me!
That’s where plotting and planning your murder comes in and why my number one tip for writing a cozy mystery is to create yourself a murder map! (Plus, playing with coloured pens is always fun!)

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : Empire’s Reckoning – Marian L Thorpe @marianlthorpe

– ‘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 ‘Empire’s Reckoning’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a guest post written by its author, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Empires author photoNot content with two careers as a research scientist and an educator, Marian L Thorpe decided to go back to what she’d always wanted to do and be a writer. Author of the alternative world medieval trilogy Empire’s Legacy, Marian also has published short stories and poetry. Her life-long interest in Roman and post-Roman European history informs her novels, while her avocations of landscape archaeology and birding provide background to her settings.

Social Media Links:
Website
Twitter
Facebook author page

Synopsis :

aCY3hbgMHow many secrets does your family have?
For 13 years, Sorley has taught music alongside the man he loves, war and betrayal nearly forgotten. But behind their calm and ordered life, there are hidden truths. When a young girl’s question demands an answer, does he break the most important oath he has ever sworn by lying – or tell the truth, risking the destruction of both his family and a fragile political alliance?
Empire’s Reckoning asks if love – of country, of an individual, of family – can be enough to leave behind the expectations of history and culture, and to chart a way to peace.
Purchase Link
Guest Post :

The Sound of Bells

Open moorland lay on either side of us, low hills rising in the distance. I listened, searching for one sound: the bell around a sheep’s neck. Out here, where fog and storm might mean a lost flock, every torp’s bells made a different sound. Above the high piping of a plover, and the distant, steady baa-ing, I heard the tone, once, and again. Karlstorp’s bell.

This is Sorley, the narrator of Empire’s Reckoning, determining where he is in a scene late in the book. Most of what happens in my books is accurate to real life. But did different landholders hang bells around their sheep’s necks with a sound specific to their flock?
While this sounds practical, it was remarkably difficult to research. In an annoyingly uncited paragraph in Wikipedia, I read:

Different bells can have specific sounds to identify important characteristics of the animals, such as age, sex, and species. Some cultures have even developed names to differentiate between bells and their tones; for example, in Spanish “truco” refers to stud males, “esquila” to female goats or ewes, and “esquileta” for pregnant females and immature animals. Each of these bells possess unique sounds, shapes, and sizes.

An article on the traditional sheep-bells of Crete also refers to the leader of the flock wearing a bell with a characteristic sound, and how hand-forging of bells meant they didn’t all sound the same. Tantalizing, but not proof.
Then I found this passage (again uncited) on the blog Woolwinding:

One area in East Anglia had four or five flocks that used the same piece of common land. Each flock’s lead sheep had a bell and each bell had a different note – probably because they were a different size, though this is not explicit, but the most common iron bells could not be tuned – meaning that flocks could be distinguished in the dark or in fog.

I tried to find a source for this, without luck. But it meant that there is a possibility the idea has a basis in traditional practice, and that’s good enough. Because, after all, the books are fiction!

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : The Rebel Heiress and the Knight – Melissa Oliver @melissaoauthor @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks

– ‘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 Rebel Heiress and the Knight’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a guest post written by its author, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

2wOPzYMAGrowing up in Richmond-Upon-Thames, Melissa Oliver used to walk past the old Mills and Boon offices as a teen, and wistfully sigh that one day her dream of writing for them will come true. Amazingly, after all these years, it finally has…& now she can bring all those stories out onto the pages of her books. Melissa lives in south-west London with her gorgeous husband and equally gorgeous daughters, who share her passion for castles, palaces and all things historical.

Social Media Links:
Twitter
Facebook

Synopsis :

3mmBPSh0She must marry the knight
By order of the king!
Widow Eleanor of Tallany Castle knows her people are broken by the taxes demanded by King John. So when she’s ordered to marry Hugh de Villiers, a knight loyal to the king, she’s furious—even if he is handsome! As gallant Hugh begins to heal the scars of Eleanor’s abusive first marriage, she’s even more determined to keep her secret: she is the outlaw the king wants to send to the gallows!

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Guest Post :

I knew I wanted to write a medieval romance, set against a back-drop of real historical events- and the spring of 1215 certainly had that.
With bitter divisions between King John and the Barons; civil unrest and lawlessness- the country was on the brink of civil war. Strangely enough; Brexit- which polarised opinions and divided the U.K recently, actually helped in making me understand the depth of anger and frustration felt by both sides. Only, back then, there was a real and palpable danger that the situation could spiral out of control, spectacularly…which it later did.
To set a tender romantic story at this tumultuous time was just too delicious for me to resist. I wanted to create that element of intrigue, adventure, and even hope.
This is one of the reasons why I love medieval historical romance- it has that excitement- that tangible, urgent immediacy about it that for a hopeless romantic like me, not to mention as a writer- is just too good to pass up. There are endless possibilities.
However, I’m conscious that this is also a period in history that occurred a long time ago, meaning that the availability of credible resources are limited. For instance, much as I like to keep the story and characters rooted in historical accuracy, it isn’t always possible. If that was the case, then my characters would have had to speak in ‘old’ French, since (middle) English wouldn’t have been spoken in court at this time. It does, however, need to feel authentic and believable.
I always start with a what if… scenario, with the emergence of characters forming in my head, adding more and more detail and layers as I go along. The plot may twist and turn as many times but ultimately it’s my characters that drive the story forward.
I create them, with the hope that they jump out of the page, and know that they inhabit a world that, much like ours, isn’t perfect and can be quite harsh at times. However, both my hero and heroine have no choice but to rise to any challenges in a, sometimes, unexpected way.
In terms of themes, there’s a nod to the legend of Robin Hood, which some historians believe, took its inspiration from the real-life story of Fulk FitzWarin III.
My heroine- Eleanor had been abused in her first marriage but uses that experience for a force of good, even though it’s a difficult experience to put behind her. She’s quite empowering really and yes women like Eleanor Tallany really did exist at that time. The hero too, Sir Hugh de Villers, is patient and kind- a powerful warrior with a big heart. I really love them both.
Eleanor and Hugh had sparks of attraction almost from the outset but they had to overcome standing on opposing lines when it came to the Baron’s conflict. At the heart of this book are two people who are drawn together, despite their differences and their difficulty to trust. There are variant shades between the light and dark elements here too, so I loved injecting humour into the story.

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#PublicationDayPush #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : The Scoundrel’s Bartered Bride – Virginia Heath @VirginiaHeath_ @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks

– ‘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 Scoundrel’s Bartered Bride’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a guest post written by its author, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

The Mysterious Lord Millcroft - Virginia HeathWhen Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Despite that, it still takes her forever to fall asleep.

Social Media Links:
Facebook
Twitter

Synopsis :

33Awcl3IMarriage … To the highest bidder
Lady Lydia Barton cannot seem to avoid Owen Wolfe since he returned after being wrongly transported for stealing her family’s jewels! But Lydia has more pressing problems―like her impending arranged marriage. Until Owen makes her father a counter-offer for her hand. Is Owen purely after her society connections? Or does Lydia dare hope that the charming stable boy she once loved is still within her ruthless, wealthy new husband?

Purchase Link

Guest Post :

A year ago, I asked my followers on social media what sort of story they would like to see next. I had two ideas—both of which I liked a great deal. The first was a marriage of convenience story involving a governess and an earl, and the second an enemies to lovers story which centred around the heroine’s misdeeds in the past before the hero went off to war.
Assuming they would be as excited as I was about these two stories, I stupidly put it to the vote to see which I should write first, and that’s where all my best laid plans unravelled like knitting.
You see, my followers had another idea. Because clearly my job as an author wasn’t hard enough already, they wanted me to write an amalgamation! An enemies to lovers, marriage of convenience story! Their two favourite tropes perfectly executed in one eighty-thousand-word package. To do either of those justice isn’t easy as they are both well-used as well as well loved, and I always want to do something original, so I had severe misgivings.
But as I’d asked, I listened. I threw my other two perfectly good ideas out of the window and went back to the drawing board, dug out my research books and thankfully, and entirely because of a dusty impulse buy from Amazon a decade ago, inspiration struck.
Therefore, there is no governess in this book. The hero isn’t an earl either. The heroine doesn’t have a checkered past and nobody went to war.
Now my story involves the explosive end to a forbidden first love, a former stable boy turned convict who has recently returned from Botany Bay, and an aristocratic heroine sold to pay her family’s crushing debts. There is also gentleman’s club, a whole wardrobe of rattling skeletons, a near seven foot tall bouncer with the soul of an artist, a diminutive but meddling three foot sidekick, an unconventional dash to Gretna Green and, because I stumbled across some fascinating research on the meaning of convict tattoos, a sexy flock of swallows etched into the hero’s left bicep which occupies a great deal of my heroine’s thoughts.
I hope you enjoy reading THE SCOUNDREL’S BARTERED BRIDE half as much as I enjoyed writing it! And enjoy those sexy swallows…

Giveaway :

Win 2 x e-copies of The Scoundrel’s Bartered Bride (Open INT)
*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : Celeste Three Is Missing – Chris Calder @CalderAuthor

– ‘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 ‘Celeste Three Is Missing’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a guest post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

UkF1K2uMAfter ten happy years of retirement in rural France, Chris Calder is back in England. He came late to writing novels, penning his first whilst incarcerated in a French hospital following cancer surgery. At the time he spoke little French. Unable to communicate effectively with the staff, he spent his time fleshing out his first novel. Five more have followed; light thrillers leavened with humour. Best of all, the cancer is now history.
Chris knows that readers of fiction expect to be diverted and entertained. He loves feedback and believes passionately that taking on board readers’ views improves what what he does. You can email him at chris@chriscalder.com. Go on, he’d love to hear from you.

Social Media Links:
Facebook
Twitter

Synopsis :

-fR199IcThe world’s first earth-orbit passenger plane, the sensational Celeste Three, takes off from its base in Arizona, also the only place where it is designed land. On a routine flight the craft disappears.
On board is Viktor Karenkov, billionaire oil magnate who has used his wealth to evade prosecution for a murder he committed years earlier. Gregory Topozian, the murdered man’s friend, has been waiting for a chance to bring Karenkov to justice. With dogged determination and considerable ingenuity, he conceives an audacious plan.
Getting the craft down in total secrecy is key. And someone has to pay the huge costs involved.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Guest Post :

The Awful Truth

In 1937, master tailor Isaac Bartelewski left his home in the Sudetenland and settled with his wife and son in East London, where he soon established a reputation as the best bespoke tailor in the Mile End Road.
Isaac worked long hours, but every morning he took a tea break in Jacko’s tearoom. In those days such places were not called cafés. Tea cost a penny, but only three farthings if you brought your own mug. Isaac’s was a white enamelled one with a blue handle and rim. A farthing was a farthing, after all.
Isaac became one of a small group who spent their tea breaks setting the world to rights. Sometimes he took his seven-year-old son Daniel along for a mug of tea and a bun. Little Danny would sit listening intently, saying nothing.
One day the topic at the table was, as it had been every day of late, the expected war and its outcome. One man said that he admired immigrants like Isaac who had fled the Nazis but, God forbid, what would they do if Hitler won?
To Isaac the very idea was unthinkable! Puce with fury he rose, leaned forward and placed his palms on the table. Little Danny cowered, his eyes saucer wide. Isaac, sputtering in frustration as he tried to find the right words, finally spoke.
“Hitler vin?” he thundered, shaking with fury. “HITLER VIN? Let me telling you, Adolf Hitler will becoming a Jew before he is becoming King of England!”
Thus did a little boy in the East End of London come to believe for a short while (for hadn’t his own papa said so?) that Adolf Hitler would become King of England, after he had first converted to Judaism.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

The Cloud Diver: Level 1 – Joshua Pantalleresco @jpantalleresco , A #GuestPost

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

blog-guest post

Today I’m not on a blogtour, but I’m sharing a guest post written by Joshua Pantalleresco, author of The Cloud Diver: Level 1 to promote this book.
Before I let you read it, I’ll first post some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Head ShotI write stuff…and podcast too!
Last year I published my second book, Stormdancer, which is part of the Watcher series. The Watcher is an epic poem about a Slave boy that escapes his dragon masters and goes into a post-apocalyptic wasteland, discovering that there is more to life than being a slave. Stormdancer continues the story – Kristin and friends go on their own journey to save the Watcher from the clutches of dragons. Both books are available on Amazon and are published through Mirror World Books.
I have an Amazon author page at http://amazon.com/author/jpantalleresco. Feel free to take a look. I also write comic books. Paradigm is the book that i’m working on with Twyla April. You can read the first issue at http://paradigmcomic.wordpress.com.
In addition to comics, I also run a podcast called Just Joshing. a podcast about life, art, and pursuing dreams. It airs weekly On podomatic, at http://jpantalleresco.podomatic.com. He even has merchandise for the podcast that you can use to support the show at http://www.redbubble.com/people/jpantalleresco.
In addition to being an artist, Joshua Pantalleresco is also a fan. He loves comics, video games, novels, pro wrestling and illustration. He posts actively on twitter, is playing with alternative food and medicine, and is trying to live life. He lives in Calgary.

Website
Twitter

Synopsis :

Cloud Diver 2How’s this: Johnny Wheeler was perfectly happy being a diver in Void Life. One fateful day doing his job in cyberspace he ends up finding a secret floor in the tower, and finds a woman with a Gunblade walking towards an ancient storage system known as the cloud. Johnny follows her and gets a file that everyone from zombie mobsters to unicorns that farts rainbows are after. Johnny’s only escape from this adventure business is that girl with the Gunblade (who may or may not like him very much.)

Amazon

Guest Post :

I’m fascinated with history. We literally tell stories of the past from the pieces we are given. We question what is real and what is fiction based on the pieces we are given. What kind of person was William Shakespeare? Was Jesus real? Was Tutankhamen as strange as he seems? Or was there more to the story than we realized? With history there are many interpretations, fascinating facts and all in all we can retell our tales of history and debate each other until the end of time.
History didn’t have the smart phone however. They didn’t have the cloud. They didn’t have computers that have piles and piles of data recording everything over and over again. More than any other time, we literally have a footprint of our existence from beginning to end if you were born after 2000. So unlike the previous examples, history may not be the telling the tale of events, but of people.
This was the idea that spawned my novel. What if you found a lost storage system, and in it, contained all the knowledge and stories up to a certain point in history? What treasures would you find there, and in so doing, what would you learn about you? For all the craziness of killer cupcakes, spam bots and zombie mobsters, there is the key concept. You find this incredible world of information, what do you do with it?
Johnny, Gunblade and company are about to embark on that journey in my novel. I imagine what our descendants will have an easier time finding our adventures. I imagine our firewalls will be something considered cute or ancient or maudlin. Something that grandpa did that was kind of cool, but something we’ve learned to evolve past.
Once we’re found, then what?
My opinion? Fiction and history will merge. It doesn’t matter what kind of book writers write, the best stories are about people living through things. Sometimes we are heroes, sometimes we are villains, but we live regardless. No one is perfect, and more and more as time goes on, our flaws are out there for all to see and hear.
What an opportunity we have to learn from each other. We have the ability to construct our narrative from beginning to end. Our tweets, pictures, posts, and recordings are shared to the world. Our ability to connect with each other has never been this strong. We can tell our story more than ever any way we choose to.
This thought is the real germ of the Cloud Diver. We have so much digital service and knowledge available to us these days its staggering. Unlike other points in history where information has to be pieced together, our archaeologists will be sifting through sand to find gold. So much knowledge is out there that the challenge will be to filter out the narrative. I think it will be scattered in abundance and hidden in plain sight, much like a lot of the best answers to our problems.
Our battle won’t be with knowledge but in how we construct the story going forward. We will have more pieces to play with. Will we add or subtract things that don’t fit our narrative? Temples book about lenses showed that English historians hid the fact that the ancient Egyptians understood how lenses worked even in ancient times. Bifocals may have been a device used even back then. What did that say about ancient Egypt’s knowledge base? That perhaps they were smarter than even the our more modern, reasoned times? Far simpler is the narrative that our ancient ancestors knew far less and were far more unwise than we are.
Or will we judge more harshly? All our sins are laid bare. I have been cruel to people in the past. I have done some things in the early years of my life that probably make me out to be a deviant. Will I be judged always for my actions then? Or will I be judged for who I was when I walk away? People are going to be looking at all our lives with mirrors of themselves. They will applaud us when we’re at our best. They will hate us when we are at our worst.
I’d be lying if I said I wonder what people will think of me in the future. I may be an arrogant prick saying this, but maybe I’m actually interesting enough that someone will take the time to look at me. Do I want to be the guy that hits on women and only shows off dick pics, or do I actually want to say something profound and do something worthwhile? That quote from Gladiator about what we do echoing in eternity has a lot more gravity with each passing day.
Perhaps that doesn’t really matter. A more disturbing thought passed my mind when I looked past myself. Will we be real to them? We’ll be digitized, two dimensional images frozen in time for all to see. Is that real? Or will someone imagine a story for each person that they care to look at? Or will they even care at all?
I think they’ll care. We tend to meet and connect with people. We have that need, past and future. But I think our images are much more clearer. We’ll be bigger mirrors, bigger characters in the story that is being constructed.
Will we be characters that archeologist imagine knowing more, as they will be more intimate with our knowledge and vulnerabilities than at any other point in history? I can’t help but imagine Commander Laforge in Star Trek fantasizing about a woman so much he created a program to interact with his take on her. It was fascinating, and creepy. Will future historians be as obsessed?
Looking at history will change. There is no doubt that we won’t be going back to the way things were before when we were looking at pyramids or cathedrals. We’ll have images, words, thoughts, hopes, dreams, defeats.
We’ll have facebook.
That’s a depressing thought.
How we look at history will be different. How we learn from it will be different too. I hope the stories we tell will be more sophisticated. Much like comparing the novels of today with the novels from the past. Writers today get into the hearts and minds of characters that much more. The depth and dimension will be explored more. Maybe we’ll be telling new stories going forward. There will be more depth, more debate, more questions. I hope we learn more about ourselves going forward. That I feel is the real secret to history. Understanding where we’ve been. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll learn just a bit more about where we’re going.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#MiniBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : Captured By Her Enemy Knight – Nicole Locke @NicoleLockeNews @HarlequinBooks @MillsandBoon

– ‘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 ‘Captured By Her Enemy Knight’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a guest post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

ocBgtkswNicole first discovered romance novels hidden in her grandmother’s closet. Convinced hidden books must be better, Nicole greedily read them. It was only natural she should start writing them (but now not so secretly).
If she isn’t working on the next book in her historical series, she can be reached at NicoleLocke.com!

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Synopsis :

VsCDiwjQFalling for the man
Cressida Howe, the Archer, is a well-tuned weapon. But she’s also a woman captivated by a man—Eldric of Hawskmoor, the warrior knight her father ordered her to kill. Instead, for years, Cressida has simply watched him… Now she’s been captured by her formidable enemy, and her well-ordered world comes crashing down, for Eldric is even more compelling up close. Cressida curses her traitorous heart—this assassin has fallen for her target!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Harlequin

Guest Post :

Top Ten things about the hero Eldric of Hawksmoor:

1. He looks like Brock O’Hurn, so yeah, I loved doing the research, and describing him, and…and…and.
2. Eldric was in a previous book: Her Christmas Knight as a friend of Hugh’s.
3. Whilst talking to Hugh, he mentions that the three perfect scars on his arm are caused by an Archer who will pay for his dishonourable deeds.
4. Little does he know the Archer is a woman.
5. He also doesn’t know he dances with that same woman at a Christmas Ball (she’s in disguise). He kinda liked dancing with her…and thinks about her a lot.
6. So when he meets this Archer (aka the fight), he’s a little torn and intrigued, full of lust and loathing, and…and…and.
7. Instead of killing her, he captures her. Romance ensues.
8. The problem with the Archer’s secrets, which involves the scars on the arm, is that they are juicy secrets. They also conflict with all of Eldric’s secrets.
9. Oh! And he whistles. All the time. In fact, that’s how the Archer first noticed Eldric…when she was a child. And over the years, she observes him again, and again, and again.
10. You see…she’s always loved him, and though he realises their connection may be a bit stronger than revenge, all those secrets may keep them from their HEA.

Giveaway :

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

a Rafflecopter Giveaway

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : An Implacable Woman – KT Findlay @KtFindlay

– ‘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 ‘An Implacable Woman’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Guest Post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

VoUTNEq0K.T. Findlay lives on a small farm where he dovetails his writing with fighting the blackberry and convincing the quadbike that killing its rider isn’t a vital part of its job description.

Social Media Links:
Website
YouTube
Facebook
Twitter

Synopsis :

CjJcTa5QIf a tooth costs a tooth and an eye costs an eye
When a man hits his wife, then it’s his turn to die

Furious that the courts and police can’t prevent respected surgeon John Kirby from beating his wife, Sally Mellors steps in to save her. Permanently…
But Grace Kirby isn’t the only one who needs saving and Sally quickly discovers she’s taken on a much bigger job than she’d thought.
With her unique ability to blend justice with fun, Sally sets joyfully about the business of removing the monsters from women’s lives, but is she in danger of becoming a monster herself?
As her friends in the police get ever closer, Sally has some serious questions of her own to answer.

Additional Maps of where An Implacable Woman

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon India
Amazon Canada

Guest Post :

It’s the little things that get you.
Like the spider I encountered the other day. She was so quick that I never laid eyes on her, but she managed to sink her fangs into the back of my knee three times before I knew she’d done it. That made for an interesting week…
Don’t get me wrong. I like spiders. A Lot. I look out for them, and in return they do their share of removing insects from the house. But on this occasion she’d settled down to hunt inside my clothes. That was fine overnight, but she took serious offence when I started to get dressed the following morning, hence the bites.
We’ve not spoken since.
And we’re not likely to either, given I don’t know which one she is, and she herself has shown no interest in furthering our communication. She appears to be satisfied that as long as the message has been taken on board, there’s no need to lecture me further on my shortcomings.
Thinking about it, things could have been considerably worse than they actually were!
I can live quite happily with most of the little things around me, but I draw the line at mosquitoes. In my country they’re just an itchy, whiney nuisance, but that’s quite enough to get them squished. I don’t begrudge them the odd drop of blood, but throwing in a days long itch like a “but wait, there’s more!” TV salesman, isn’t at all reasonable. And if I lived in a bit of the world where their free offers included malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever etc. then I’d be even less inclined to give them house room. Did you know that the mosquito has killed more human beings than anything else in history? Not the same one… obviously… but something to ponder none the less.
We authors are faced by a different kind of tiny terror, that lurks amongst the sentences, stalks the paragraphs, and nibbles quietly away at the marks on the page. Spelling and wording errors seem to have a will to survive that matches the most determined plant and animal species on the planet. No matter how many times you go through the manuscript, or how many beta readers you have, or how good your editors are, somehow, at least one the little blighters will manage to sneak through to the final work.
Did you see that!? There’s even one in the previous sentence, so well hidden that you can’t actually see it! The swine! That’s just not playing fair. Well, we can’t have that. I’m going to put it back right now! “… somehow, at least one of the little blighters will manage to sneak through to the final work.”
Yep, I’m more certain than ever. It’s the little things that get you. Every single time…

The Magic of Wor(l)ds