#BlogTour #DamppebblesBlogTours @damppebbles / #GuestPost : The Gene Wizards (The Wizards Series #2) #TheGeneWizards #TheWizardsSeries – Clare Blanchard @CBcrime

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

The Gene Wizards banner

Today I’m on the ‘The Gene Wizards (The Wizards Series #2)’ 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 :

Dr Clare KrojzlOriginally from the North Yorkshire coast in England, Clare Blanchard spent half her lifetime in Czechia in Central Europe, where her books are mainly set. Inspired by noir fiction, her settings are often like another character in the plot. She writes crime mysteries and dark urban fantasy with a historical twist.
Clare loves beautiful landscapes and architecture, cross-country skiing, the wine of South Moravia, and of course Czech beer. When she’s not being literary she knits funky socks.

Social Media:
Twitter
Facebook
Website
Instagram

Synopsis :

Gene wizardsNEWIt’s bad enough you’re from a family of rich bankers, without having to deal with secret genetic engineering factories in the Dakotas.
Especially when you wake up one morning after a tab of E and find you’re thinking in Hebrew.
Follow the adventures of the Vanpyre family as they wrestle with the Dark Side of money and power.

Purchase Links:
Scribd
Nook
Kobo

Publishing Information:
Published in ebook format by CB Books on 18th September 2019.

Additional Information:
The Gene Wizards will be reduced in price from $2.99 to $0.99 until 1st March 2020.

Guest Post :

Advice you would give your younger self

I’ll start with the most important one of the all:
1) Trust your instincts!
I’ve lost count of the number of times I had a gut feeling about something and tried to rationalise it by saying things like: “Oh, you’re exaggerating”, or: “You’re making too much of it.” I’ve lived to regret not trusting my instincts more times than I can count. I’ve never once lived to regret trusting them. Treat yourself and your feelings with respect. They’re there for a reason.
2) Don’t negotiate with bullies. You’re a target, not a victim
Over several decades I’ve met my fair share of bullies. These are the usual stages: your first thought is that you’re probably imagining it, but your gut is telling you you’re not, and your gut is always right. Your second thought is to start agonising about what you might have done to deserve this treatment. The answer, always, is absolutely nothing. The only reason you are being bullied is because you are physically available for it. Once you understand this simple truth, you stop being a paralysed victim and start being a target. And the great thing about being a target is that you can move! A major part of bullying is the con trick being played on you: that you have to engage with it. You don’t.
When I was about fourteen, I entered a short story competition at my school. The retired teacher who came to judge the competition decided to demolish my story in front of the whole school with a torrent of ridicule, saying it was like a trashy magazine story. As you can imagine, I was absolutely mortified – and furious. So furious, in fact, that I decided then and there to become a writer. It took me many years, but I am now a published author with a modest but enthusiastic following. So there’s another piece of advice I could have given my younger self: the people who make fun of you may actually be doing you more of a favour than they are doing themselves. Oh, and classy people like bringing other people up to their level, not dragging them down to theirs.
3) This one might sound cynical, but it’s on my list:
99.9% of romantic relationships are a total waste of time and energy.
Harsh words? Look around you at the anguish caused by ‘romance’! Think of all the time you could have spent doing other things – hang gliding, walking in the Welsh hills, learning how to cross-country ski or paint watercolours, learn a new language, back pack through Peru ……
4) Which brings me to the next piece of advice: Learn, learn and keep on learning!
This is the one piece of advice my younger self actually did follow and continues to follow as my older self. Learning new things keeps us young in heart and mind, keeps our outlook fresh, and keeps us humble. It takes courage, humility and persistence to learn new things. All real learning starts with character.
5) Don’t confuse your career with your life’s work. This one is for the artists and innovators among us. The second biggest time waster in life, in my experience, is trying to climb a career ladder. Especially in today’s corporate culture. Don’t get me wrong: I’m a great believer in developing knowledge and skills, as I wrote in point 4. It’s just that I’m more interested in the quality of what I’m delivering than in point scoring competitions.
6) While we’re on the subject of working for a living, many of us neglect to educate ourselves about financial prudence until we’re already in trouble in one way or another. That said, it’s way better to pursue prosperity than wealth. Prosperity is a bit like beauty: it’s more to do with proportions and ratio than with absolute numbers. As a general rule of thumb: if you’re working more than eight hours a day (averaged out over a week), your job is going to start costing you more than it’s making you. When we put ourselves in ‘time famine’, we’re sacrificing the time we would otherwise have had to shop around, cook decent meals at home, walk to work, keep fit, keep up with friendships and generally take care of ourselves properly. Quality of life is way more important than absolute income on the bottom line. Also, when we budget carefully with our time and our money, we make it work for us, not against us. I read somewhere that about 40% of Lottery winners end up going bankrupt. There’s a moral in there somewhere! If you lose money or property, you have the chance to replace it. Lost time is lost forever.
7) Last, but definitely not least: I would advise my younger self not to take myself too seriously. I keep meaning to get myself a custom-made T-shirt with the acronym DTIP on it: Don’t Take it Personally!

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

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#BookBirthdayBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : From Here to Nashville – Julie Stock @wood_beez48

– ‘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 ‘From Here to Nashville’ 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 :

mhfwCvAAJulie Stock writes contemporary feel-good romance from around the world: novels, novellas and short stories. She published her debut novel, From Here to Nashville, in February 2015 and her second novel, The Vineyard in Alsace in March 2017. Over You (Sam’s Story) and Finding You (Jenna’s Story), her follow-up novellas to From Here to Nashville were published in 2018, making the From Here to You series complete. She has also published a boxed set of the From Here to You trilogy of books.
The Bistro by Watersmeet Bridge was published in August 2019, followed by Bittersweet, a collection of 12 Short Stories for Modern Life in September 2019.
Julie is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Society of Authors.
Julie is married and lives with her family in Bedfordshire in the UK.

Social Media Links:
Website
Twitter
Facebook Author Page
Instagram

Synopsis :

skKshiVQTwo worlds, 4,000 miles apart. Is their love strong enough to keep them together?
Rachel Hardy dreams of being a successful country music singer in Nashville’s Music City, four thousand miles away from her lonely life in Dorset. When Jackson Phillips, an independent record label owner, encourages her band to audition for a nationwide ‘Open Mic’ competition, she decides they have nothing to lose.
But when she starts to fall in love with Jackson, the stakes suddenly get higher and she finds herself with a great big dilemma on her hands. Should she abandon her dream and take the easy way out or should she leave the life she has always known behind and take a gamble on a man who has personal demons of his own?
Follow Rachel and Jackson as they learn to trust in love again to see whether their music really can unite them.

Purchase Link

Guest Post :

Before I wrote From Here to Nashville, I’d never written anything longer than poems, music lyrics and the occasional short story. I never imagined that I would ever be able to come up with an idea that I could sustain over 80 – 90,000 words. I often had ideas for novels but they ran out of steam very quickly, and always before I could put pen to paper.
Then in 2013, that all changed when I started watching the then new TV series, Nashville. I fell in love with the show straight away, loving the music, the setting and the characters, and wondering why I had never been to Nashville!
About halfway through the first series, I had an idea for a novel, and it came fully formed into my mind: ‘What if you had a singer/songwriter in the UK who dreamed of becoming a country music star in Nashville and she met a record producer from Nashville who could help her to follow her dream?’
What usually happens after I come up with a story question like that is that I can’t come up with anything else and, frustrated by my lack of ideas, I lose interest in the whole thing very quickly. But this time, the ideas just kept coming. I came up with the names of the two main characters, Rachel and Jackson, almost immediately. I also decided that Rachel would have a best friend called Jenna, and that she would play in a band with Jenna’s two brothers, Sam and Matt. I had ideas for Rachel’s back story and also for Jackson’s, and I worked out how they would first meet. I had so many ideas coming at me that I bought myself a notebook so that I could write them all down and not forget anything.
Before I got going with the writing, I also needed to do a fair bit of research about the two settings I’d chosen for my story. Rachel lives in Poole, in Dorset, at the start of the story and although this is a place I know very well, I still spent a lot of time on the Internet researching the kinds of place she might live and how long it would take her to walk into town for example. I also spent a lot of time thinking about Jenna’s florist shop and where that might be located and what it would look like inside.
Then there was Nashville. As I mentioned, I’d never been so I spent a lot of time getting to know Nashville before I began writing. As Jackson is a wealthy record label owner in the story, I found myself researching luxury homes and products that I would never normally look at as well. I finally visited Nashville the month after the book was published and my family indulged me by letting me take them round all the places mentioned in the story, so that I could make sure that I’d got everything right.
To give myself the inspiration to keep me going, the next thing I did was to create a playlist of some of my favourite songs, including ones that I thought Rachel and her band, Three’s Company, might cover in their set. If you’d like to listen to the songs, you can find the link here. This also led to me writing some song lyrics for Rachel’s own songs which you can find in the story. I had so much fun doing that!
After writing my first book five years ago, I’ve found that every book since has been inspired by a particular setting or location, whether that’s a vineyard in Alsace or a bistro in Devon, and there’s no sign of the ideas running out any time soon.

Giveaway :

Win a signed paperback copy of From Here to Nashville, a bookmark and a guitar magnet (Open to UK Only)

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*Terms and Conditions – UK 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

 

Genesis: Vision of the New World – D. Ellis Overttun @neoverttun, author from The Terra Nova Series, A #GuestPost

– ‘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 a guest post written by D. Ellis Overttun, author of The Terra Nova Series to promote the second book ‘Genesis: Vision of the New World’.
Before I let you read it, I’ll first post some ‘basic’ information.

Synopsis :

Title: Genesis: Vision of the New World (Terra Nova book 2)
Date published: 13th August 2018
Genre: Sci-fi

A light streaking across the predawn sky, an explosion and an impending menace from above, seemingly unrelated events but connected to space time distortions predicted by an obscure scientific paper over 250 years ago. That same paper has predicted an end to the universe.
Has the unthinkable become a reality?
The ruling class Celesti see the danger as real and imminent since planet Arkos could become compromised in as little as 1,000 years. To them, that is one lifetime. That same timeframe is ten lifetimes to the servile class Gendu. To them, the threat does not even exist.
There are those within the Celesti who see the Gendu as a more immediate threat. Their solution is to genetically engineer a more pliant servant class and leave Arkos for an unknown planet. Is that even possible?
But will it even matter? The leaders of the Celesti, the Transcended, know a terrible secret: The Celesti are dying.
Against this backdrop of extinction lies the politics of power. A new leader has just assumed her role as the head of the Gendu Houses. However, she is an outsider. Will she be accepted or will she be cast out as an interloper?
Also, the leader of the most powerful religious organization on the planet is missing and presumed dead. It is the opportunity of a lifetime for anyone bold enough to seize the moment. Who will fill this void? Someone with a hunger for influence and privilege? Or someone with a calling for higher purpose?
Finally, there is a prophecy from the Codices of Taru which foretells of a time of darkness when the “head will be cleaved from the body” that will announce the coming of the “Deceiver”. Ancient superstition or a vision of the future?
Genesis: Vision of the New World tells this story in vivid detail, an evolution of the narrative begun in Universe: Awakening. As part of this journey, it takes a fascinating look into the world of the Gendu and introduces readers to a host of new characters and relationships. It is a potpourri of science, political intrigue and discovery driven by characters with selfish and selfless motives.

Amazon

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Guest Post :

Our story takes place on a planet called “Arkos”. It is inhabited by two peoples. The Celesti are the ruling class minority, and the Gendu are the servile class that comprise the vast majority of the population. The Gendu are governed by 12 houses, each said to be descended from the 12 children of the Great Father.

As the chapter opens, there has been a recent passing of Sodai Charif Darius, the Leader of the Houses. There is uncertainty surrounding the normal transition of power because Darius has chosen Kallista the Seer, someone not of House Artaxiad or any house, to succeed him rather than his grandson, Ra’id. Kallista reluctantly agreed to assume this role in order to groom Ra’id for the blood sport that is Gendu politics. But it is not so simple because one not yet ready to be a sodai charif would also not be ready to be a charif of his own house.

As an outsider, she understands that it will take all of her efforts to hold on to what has been bequeathed to her. At the same time, she cannot leave Darius’ grandson to the internecine intrigues of House Artaxiad. In either case, it is a matter of life and death. Save herself or save Ra’id? To attempt both would be to fail at both. She would appear to be faced with mutually exclusive alternatives. Or is she? To find out, please read Genesis: Vision of the New World, Chapter 10 – “Journey to the Sugar House”.

* * * * *

It was early afternoon, and Kallista sat at her desk in deep contemplation. Ra’id had left the Ministry for the Temple, and her quarters were being readied for occupancy. With the signet of her office now in her possession and pledges from her staff, she had successfully taken the first steps in securing her position as Minister. However, her situation was far from secure. Many of her aides had only given her perfunctory acceptance. She had their words but not their hearts. The rest of her staff, including Rith and Tamar, were another matter. From the morning’s inspections, she knew they were loyal. However, it might prove troublesome. They were all from House Artaxiad. How would that look to the Hagdola?

Then, there was Ra’id. He needed guidance. Clearly her choice of Rith as a temporary advisor was a mistake. His talents and predispositions were making things work that were already in place. He was an operator, not a builder. No, this would not do. However, none of her aides were appropriate either. All of them had stronger personalities than the reluctant Charif. In addition, while Ra’id would have been content to remain an aide, they were another matter. Most had good intentions, but she had learned that good intent is often compromised by ambition. She would have to deal with this next. She felt an obligation to Darius to watch over his grandson. On a more practical note, she would have a more difficult time in the Hagdola if House Artaxiad fell into turmoil. Ra’id needed a senior aide who was capable but untainted by ambition. That could potentially eliminate siblings, relatives or those with close family ties.

Did such a person even exist?

“Computer, access all background information pertaining to Charif Ra’id.”

“Acces granted.”

Ra’id would have undergone the standard, formal education common to all houses. The first seven years, known as the “common period”, would have included the children of nonfamily members whose parents were in service of the House. It was a policy designed to establish loyalty among the servant class.

“Display visual records for Charif Ra’id during the common period.”

A large holographic screen appeared before her filled with dots arranged neatly in rows and columns. Each one represented one still picture or video recording.

“There must be thousands,” she observed. “Filter records to include only those where a nonfamily member is the focal point along with Charif Ra’id.”

The screen shrunk in size.

“Still too big,” she thought.

“Filter these records to include only those where the nonfamily member is of similar age to Charif Ra’id.”

“Clarify age range.”

“Within the common period.”

The screen maintained its size, but the number of records were significantly reduced and had increased in dimension to fit the screen. The resolution was clear enough to just be able to make out the outlines of people.

“How many different nonfamily members are there?”

“Seven.”

“Enlarge and display these nonfamily members in decreasing order of frequency, indicating frequency of occurrence.”

The screen cleared. Then, the pictures of seven children were displayed.

“There you are.”

* * * * *

“I would advise against this,” said Rith.

“As would I,” added Tamar.

“Then, it is fortunate for me that I have not asked for counsel from either of you,” Kallista replied.

“Venturing out in this manner is far too dangerous,” Rith noted.

“Rith, who knows that I am Minister?”

“Well at present, only your staff and a small group within each of the houses, the ministers on the Governing Council and their staffs.”

“Precisely. There will be no official announcement until after the funeral.”

“While that may be,” Tamar argued, “the information is not secret and is bound to leak out.”

“Then, I should move quickly,” she replied, as she walked purposefully to the office foyer.

Rith and Tamar quickly followed.

Then, Tamar moved in front of her and blocked the doors that led to the corridor. “Minister, I cannot allow you to leave.”

“Tamar, it would displease me to see you in a cell,” she said to him, with a twinkle in her eye. “Remember Kenric?”

“Very well,” Tamar grumbled, “but at least, let me get some more men.”

“That will draw unnecessary attention to us. It’s bad enough that you look like a bodyguard, even in civilian clothing,” she said, as the doors opened.

Kallista and Tamar disappeared down the corridor leaving Rith behind shaking his head in disbelief. They made their way to the main doors of the ziggurat.

Just before they exited, Kallista, wearing a dark‑tan traveling cloak, put her hood up.  “Remember, Tamar. I am Kallista the Seer.”

“Yes, M…Kallista.”

“And there will be no name‑calling, regardless of what happens. I do not wish to have a repeat of what happened earlier today.”

“Yes, Kallista.”

Once on the walkway in front of the Ministry, Tamar flagged down one of the many electric vehicles that could be commandeered for site‑to‑site transport.

“Destination?” the driver asked.

“Port of Eden Detention Center West,” Tamar replied.

“The Sugar House? What are fine people like you doing going to a place like that?”

The Sugar House derived its name from an area where sugar, molasses and a popular alcoholic beverage distilled from sugar known as “melikaf” were once stored. Much later, when the detention center was constructed, the old name was retained by the locals. The West Docks was not only the part of the Port of Eden that serviced the Gendu population. It was also the center for illicit waterborne trade along the River Danu and the focal point for the cast of characters who participated in such activities. The Sugar House was populated with some of the most dangerous criminals on the planet.

“I’m going to visit my brother,” Tamar said gruffly.

“Oh…what’s he in for?” the driver asked a little nervously.

“He is being held for murdering a driver who asked too many questions.”

Kallista gave Tamar a look.

“There was no name‑calling,” he said matter-of-factly.

The journey proceeded in silence.

* * * * *

“We are here to see Colwyn, son of Mazur,” Tamar said to a clerk, at the front desk of the jail.

“Visiting hours are over for the day.”

“I would ask you to make an exception,” Kallista said. She reached into her cloak and pulled out a 50‑akuro note.

The clerk’s eyes widened as it slid discreetly across the counter. His hand slowly moved to retrieve his prize.

“We will also require one of the interrogation rooms,” she said assertively, as her fingers pressed down on the note, halting its progress.

“I’ll see what I can do,” the clerk replied, with a nervous smile. He left his post but returned a short time later. “I’m good with it, but my supervisor has some concerns.”

“I would speak with him. I am sure we can work something out.”

“Down there,” the clerk said, pointing to a solid metal door.

The area around the information desk had seen better days, but that did not compare to the setting beyond the door. Their eyes had to adjust as the lighting grew dimmer. Their footsteps crunched as though they were walking on small pebbles. The walls were covered in black mold, and insects and rodents scurried about. The moist air reeked of body odor and was filled with the muffled sounds of angry screaming. Just beyond the door, they were met by an unkempt‑looking, older man who looked as though he could have been one of the prisoners under his charge.

“Are you the supervisor with concerns?” Kallista asked.

“Yeah,” he replied gruffly.

“Will this assuage them?” she asked, holding out a 100-akuro note.

“Yes,” he said, with a smile.

He led them to a dimly lit room and told them to wait. The only furniture that occupied this drab space was a table and four chairs. A short time later, the door opened, and a young man was thrown in. His hands were bound behind his back, but he nevertheless rose to his feet just as the door slammed shut.

“COWARDS! FILTHY PIGS!” he screamed, as he hurled himself against the door. He very quickly sensed two silent figures standing in the shadows in the far corner of the room. He turned to face them, ready for a confrontation.

“Colwyn, son of Mazur?” Kallista asked.

“Who wants to know?” he snapped back.

Colwyn reminded Kallista of a young Darius. He had the same chiseled features as many Gendu males, but it was his eyes that drew her comparison, eyes that never wavered from hers.

“I am Kallista the Seer,” she said, removing her hood.

“Kallista the Seer? Of course, Kallista the Seer,” he replied sarcastically. “Pleased to meet you. I am Taru. You know Taru…the Creator.”

“You cannot be.”

“Yeah?! Why not?!”

“Because in all the images I have seen of Taru, his hands are not bound behind his back.”

“Well, you got me there,” he smiled. “Now, who are you really?”

Normally in these situations, Praana would have descended on him, and he would have been able to see the truth of Kallista’s assertion. However, this time was to be different. Kallista wanted him to arrive at any conclusions unassisted.

“As I said, I am Kallista the Seer.”

Ok, Kallista the Seer,” he again replied sarcastically. “What do you want?”

“I have an order from the Minister authorizing your release. Someone in House Artaxiad requires your service once again.”

Hah! Darius would not need to send a woman, especially Kallista the Seer, to this shithole to have me released. All he would need is a runner.”

“Listen, stupid,” Tamar said, “hear what she has to say. It’s not like you have anything better to do.”

Kallista gave Tamar a look.

“There was no name‑calling,” he said matter-of-factly. “I only pointed out his lack of common sense in this situation.”

“Well, Darius wouldn’t need someone like me,” Colwyn concluded, “Who then?”

“Ra’id.”

“Iddy? Of course, why didn’t I think of that? How is Iddy?”

“He is in trouble and needs your help.”

Colwyn was taken aback. His sarcasm, an indication of his disbelief, left him. “He has grown to manhood. Next in line for charif and minister. He would not need me. He has not needed me…”

“Since the common period.”

“Yes,” he replied, a genuine smile coming across his face.

“He was of normal size but lacked the aggressiveness of the other boys.”

“Yes.”

“So, you protected him.”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“Because…he did not look down on me.”

“You were gifted. One of only a handful of the servant class to ever be educated beyond the common period. With some urgings in the right places from your friend and your father, you were even accepted to be trained as alessos. But you are not alessos.”

“No,” he said sadly.

“Why?”

“In my youth, I was arrogant. Strong in mind and body but lacking experience. I was alone, easily baited.”

“You have been purged of this flaw I take it.”

“Yes,” he replied, with certainty.

“The records show you were expelled for fighting. So, what better place to come than the Docks? I understand that underground fights are alive and well.”

“Yes.”

“But illegal and so we find you here.”

“You spoke of trouble.”

“Yes, those boys have grown.”

* * * * *

Normally, I would go into the background and commentary of a post. I will only mention that the Sugar House is a place I nicked from the sugar house prisons in New York during the American Revolutionary War. What I really want to do is turn the commentary over to my wife, Natasha. For those of you who have been following my guest posts, her visuals always feature somewhere. That “where” is here. So, without further ado…

Thank you, David, and hello all. The inspiration for this visual came to me as I scanned the table of contents of Genesis. In this case, “Journey to the Sugar House” caught my eye. As I reread the chapter, I was struck by the difference between the office and the prison environment. On one side was civilization, on the other barbarism. The imagery of a blackhole came to mind with the event horizon being a metaphor for that metal door. The woman represents Kallista looking sadly on as a faceless Colwyn desperately struggles to maintain his humanity. I want the viewer to ask: Does Colwyn cross the event horizon and fall into the blackness or can there be hope in this despair?

20190330 Universe (2nd ed) - Cover (300 x 480 72 DPI)
Despair? | Natasha Evelyn Overttun

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Genesis: Vision of the New World – Excerpts and Commentary:
Themes in Genesis: Vision of the New World posted on The Book Hole
Chapter 2 – “Person of Interest” posted on My Bookish Bliss
Chapter 45 – “Tok and Maag” posted on Hair Past A Freckle
Chapter 55 – “Memories of Origin” posted on B for Bookreview
Chapter 65 – “Proof of Concept” posted on Don Jimmy Reviews

Series Overview:
Author Q&A posted on The Magic of Wor(l)ds
Author Q&A posted on On The Shelf Reviews
Author Q&A posted on The Book Hole
Author Q&A posted on From Belgium With Book Love
Cover Makeover Genesis: Vision of the New World posted on On The Shelf Reviews
Indie Spotlight – Terra Nova Series posted on beforewegoblog
Indies of Christmas posted on The Reading Closet

Universe: Awakening – Excerpts and Commentary:
Background to Universe: Awakening posted on Zooloo’s Book Diary
“Prologue” posted on Simply Phil’s Blog
Chapter 1 – “In the Darkness” posted on beforewegoblog
Chapter 2 – “Beyond a Program” posted on The Magic of Wor(l)ds
Chapter 6 – “Confessions” posted on Read Yourself Happy
Chapter 8 – “In the Darkness” posted on Zooloo’s Book Diary
Chapter 46 – “Tsai and Citrus” posted on Herding Cats
Chapter 60 – “The Awakening” posted on The Reading Chemist
Chapter 66 – “The Second Way” posted on The Tattooed Book Geek
Chapter 83 – “The Dream” posted on Reads & Reels
Chapter 85 – “Heron of Edenoud” posted on On The Shelf Reviews

For a deeper dive:
Universe:  Awakening 
Genesis:  Vision of the New World

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#PublicationDayPush #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : The Single Best Thing – Elaine Spires @ElaineSWriter

– ‘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 Single Best Thing’ 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 :

eHp63KiQElaine Spires is a novelist, playwright, screenwriter and actress. Extensive travelling and a background in education and tourism perfected Elaine’s keen eye for the quirky characteristics of people, captivating the humorous observations she now affectionately shares with the readers of her novels. Elaine has written two books of short stories, two novellas and seven novels, four of which form the Singles Series – Singles’ Holiday, Singles and Spice, Single All The Way and Singles At Sea. Her latest book, Singles, Set and Match is the fifth and final book in the series. Her play Stanley Grimshaw Has Left The Building is being staged at the Bridewell Theatre, London in May 2019. Her short film Only the Lonely, co-written with Veronique Christie and featuring Anna Calder Marshall is currently being in shown in film festivals worldwide and she is currently working on a full length feature film script. Only the Lonely won the Groucho Club Short Film Festival 2019! Elaine recently returned to UK after living in Antigua W.I. She lives in East London.

Social Media Links:
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Synopsis :

dDBiARgQAlmost four years have passed since Melv followed Eve back to England refusing to throw away their long awaited chance of lasting love and happiness. Much has happened in that time. No longer a tour manager for Travel Together, Eve is enjoying unexpected success in her new career. Has she forgiven him for hurting her so deeply? Was her love for him simply enough? And what about her own dark secret?

Provoking smiles and tears this glimpse into Eve’s future brings the Singles’ Series to its final conclusion.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Guest Post :

Back in December I gave a talk at Dagenham Library and thoroughly enjoyed myself. The reason I was there was to promote The Banjo coming out in paperback. The Banjo is set in Dagenham in 50s and 60s and the term banjo is unique to Dagenham and it refers to a pedestrianised cul-de-sac of which there are many in the borough. The audience was a lively one and they had loads of questions for me including, “Are you a very critical reader?”
And the answer to that is a resounding “Yes!”
For me the first thing a book has to be is believable. I wrote plays before I wrote books and because a play is visual and includes the actors’ performances I was always looking for believability. And as a reader I scrutinise the story and ask the question of each scene/plot twist: is it believable? And whether it’s believable or not is down to the writer’s ability to make us believe even the most unlikely occurrence. Some writers have that talent in spades, they can make us believe anything and others sometimes fall short.
My other bugbear is poor grammar. Now, before you start calling me a pedant or grammar-nazi let me explain. If you are a writer you make a living through language. Yes, language is a living thing and therefore it changes and develops. Over the last fifty years British English has become inundated with Americanisms, mainly due to the influence of American films and TV programmes. Except so many people don’t call them films any more, they say “movies”. I accept that.
There was a time when “got” was unacceptable. I was told by my English teacher that we could always find another verb. So we had to say “He recovered,” instead of “He got better” and “She got ready for the party” became “She prepared for the party” etc. For the last thirty years “got” has become normal as English has become less formal. But now I read “gotten” everywhere and that an Americanism. When I read that in a book written by a British author I shake my head in despair.
Other errors guaranteed to irritate me are writers that don’t know the difference between less and fewer; number and amount; sitting, seated and sat; standing and stood. Last year I stopped reading a book I was quite enjoying because the continual use of “sat” instead of “sitting” drove me nuts! “He was sat in his office.” No he wasn’t! He was sitting. Someone tried to tell me it was a regional thing but I hear it all over. And surely grammar rules apply to the whole country, don’t they?
And don’t get me started on writers using “I” when it should be “me”. So a correct sentence would be “It was a special treat for Mary and me” – not for Mary and I. The secret is to take away Mary and then you see that you can’t say “It was a special treat for I.” It’s not the same as saying “Mary and I prepared a special treat” is it?
And the thing that astounds me most of all is that the vast majority of these books are published by well-know publishing houses. Don’t they use proof-readers any more? Don’t editors pick up grammatical howlers?
We indie writers get a lot of stick; there’s a lot of prejudice aimed as us. God help us if anyone finds a typo in one of our five-hundred page books. Yet the majority of mistakes I come across don’t come from indies but rather from traditionally published authors.
I know that many will be shaking their heads and asking, “Why does it matter, Elaine?” Well, because it does. As I said before, if you make your living from using language then treat it with respect. Take delight and pride in the English language with all its idiosyncrasies, quirks and exceptions to the rule. I’m not talking about dialect in books because when people are speaking anything goes. But when you’re writing prose it doesn’t.
It takes as much work to get something wrong as to get it right. No other language seems to get butchered by its writers the way English does. Is it too much to ask that we all take a little pride in our language again? Or am I being picky?

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : A Shape on the Air – Julia Ibbotson @JuliaIbbotson

– ‘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 Shape on the Air’ 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 :

TAHeLgNAAcclaimed, award-winning author Julia Ibbotson is fascinated by the medieval world and concepts of time travel. She read English at Keele University, England (after a turbulent but exciting gap year in Ghana, West Africa) specialising in medieval language, literature and history, and has a PhD in socio-linguistics. She wrote her first novel at 10 years of age, but became a school teacher, then an academic as a senior university lecturer and researcher. As well as medieval time-slip, she has published a number of books, including memoir/history of food (The Old Rectory), children’s medieval fantasy (S.C.A.R.S), a trilogy opening in 1960s Ghana (Drumbeats), and many academic works. Apart from insatiable reading, she loves travelling the world, singing in choirs, swimming, yoga and walking in the countryside in England and Madeira where she and her husband divide their time.

Social Media Links:
Website/blog
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

Synopsis :

lKF3UVbQUnlocking a love that lasts for lifetimes – and beyond! When Dr Viv DuLac, a medievalist, slips into 499 AD and into the body of Lady Vivianne, little does she realise that both their lives across the centuries will become intertwined as they fight for their dreams … and their lives. How can the key which Viv bring back with her to the present unlock the love they both crave, and help them through the dangers they both face? And how can they help each other across the centuries, without changing the course of history?

Purchase Links

Guest Post :

Have you ever experienced “déjà vu”?

Have you ever experienced that feeling of ‘déjà vu’? You know, when you suddenly feel a shudder that says ‘I’ve been here before’ or ‘that’s happened to me before’. I’ve had it many times and I’ve thought – “really?” How come we sometimes enter an old house and look around and feel that it still bears the imprints of past inhabitants? I’m not talking about ‘ghosts’ or anything specific or physical, but what I have called in my novel ‘shapes on the air’.
The idea for A Shape on the Air had been brewing in my mind for a long time. I had been reading about, and mulling over, the notion of time-slip and especially the concept of ‘worm-holes’ and the Einstein-Bridge theory of portals into other dimensions of time and space, in effect quantum mechanics. I know it sounds fanciful and Dr Who-ish, and oddly I’m not a great fan of fantasy, but I felt that this was in fact a more ‘logical’ (in some ways!) and scientific explanation of those everyday glimmers of ‘déjà vu’ and perceptions of the past that many of us experience. Those intimations that maybe the spirits of history are embedded in the fabric of old houses and ancient geology. So, what if we could take it further and, somehow, actually slip into the world of the past, another world but one to which we might have a personal connection, through our own family links perhaps, which still reverberate through us; some kind of glimpse of those shapes on the air.
Could, perhaps, our ancestors somehow reach out across time to ‘touch’ us in this world, not physically but spiritually or emotionally? Watching programmes like ‘Who do you think you are’ where the subjects research their ancestral history, I feel that there is a lot more in their discoveries than merely drawing up a family tree and timeline. They often find a rather eerie connection with their family members, in terms of character, situation, talents, life-views and professions. Of course, many of us, myself included, have looked into our family histories and see nothing at all in common with our ancestors, indeed sometimes they seem totally remote! But I’m aware that those connections and links across time can be there and that’s what I wanted to explore in my book. What if a perfectly rational, normal person could somehow touch another time? What would happen then? And what could go wrong?
The theory of worm-holes and portals through which we could slip across the time-space continuum into other historic periods and places is really only that – a theory. It’s unproven – how could it be otherwise? But it does raise some wonderfully intriguing ideas. Such a gift for a creative writer. And since it is presented by great scientific minds such as Einstein’s, it lends itself to some serious thought.
As the Reverend Rory says in A Shape on the Air, “Just think of the universe. Black holes. Even birth and death. What are they? How come you can suddenly become a thinking person, at birth, and nothing at death.” At first Dr Viv thinks she may be suffering some kind of temporary insanity after her traumatic experience with her partner Pete and his betrayal of her. She thinks maybe that has triggered the feelings of crossing the time dimension and merging with Lady Vivianne, but as the story progresses it seems that there is more to it than that …

Giveaway :

Win a Paperback copy of The Old Rectory, book mark, postcard, key ring, handbag fob. (UK Only)

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*Terms and Conditions – UK 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 : Blood On His Hands – Ian McFadyen @IanMcFadyen1 @BookGuild

– ‘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 ‘Blood On His Hands’ 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 :

h9GCMN_gIan McFadyen lives in Bishops Stortford, Herts and has published seven books in the Carmichael series so far. McFadyen has built up a strong following and is particularly well supported by library borrowers – being positioned in the top 10% of most loaned authors in the last few years. Favourably mentioned alongside Wilkie Collins and Colin Dexter, McFadyen’s titles are all available in paperback and on kindle.

Social Media Links:
Facebook
Twitter

Synopsis :

1UhIIazAWhen a stranger enters DI Carmichael’s local church, with blood on his hands claiming to have committed a murder, Carmichael and his team are quickly summoned.
And when the man disappears, as mysteriously as he arrived, with few clues to his identity, where he came from and where he went, Carmichael quickly realises that all may not be as it seems.
The conundrum becomes even more puzzling when, in less than 24 hours, a corpse is discovered in the boot of a Bentley car down a quiet country lane.
As the body count rises Carmichael and his team remain confounded as to who is behind the murders and what motive they have for taking so many lives. In this, the eighth gripping murder mystery from the pen of Ian McFadyen, the author once again captivates the reader with an array of beguiling characters tightly woven within an intriguing, skilfully scripted plot.
It will keep you guessing right until the end…

Purchase Links:
Book Guild
Amazon
Waterstones
Foyles
Blackwell’s
WHSmith
The Book Depository

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Guest Post :

Three questions I’m often asked

1) What it is that makes me want to write whodunits?
I adore puzzles and conundrums of any description; Sudoku, the biggest crosswords I can find, brain teasers, quizzes are all my idea of relaxation. Not that I’m brilliant at them, but I love them just the same. Then there’s the idea of being able to outsmart someone, maybe not the most endearing quality somebody can have, but sadly a big part of my psyche. This manifests itself in many forms; having to win at chess or monopoly, beating a bookie by picking an outsider to win a race or correctly predicting the next leader of whichever political party is looking for a new figurehead. All of these give me pleasure. Then there’s my main TV interest. You can forget Strictly or I’m a celebrity as far as I’m concerned; and soaps, no way. I always migrate to Murder Mysteries, like Poirot, Morse, Lewis, Midsomer Murders or Vera. Then finally there’s my interest with idiosyncratic characters. This is probably the main influence on my writing. I’m simply intrigued by people; and the quirkier they are the greater my fascination. I can think of fewer pleasures than watching people or eavesdropping on a peculiar conversation they may be having. When you add the pleasure of writing to the above mix, I guess few other outcomes other than being a murder mystery writer are likely.
2) What I think are the most important elements of a good whodunit?
My answer to that is TCP – the twist, the characters and the plot. Without all three it’s hard to see how the book can be complete. Having pace is also important. I try and achieve this by avoiding too much dialogue at any particular point in the book. I also find short chapters help my stories move along at a healthy speed.
3) What do I enjoy the most about writing?
I enjoy almost every part of the process, from the initial idea through planning the story, writing the book and promoting the books once they are launched. I still get a buzz from getting my authors copies, seeing my books in libraries or on the shelves in a book shop; and the thought that, at any one time, there are people who are being entertained by reading a story I’ve made up is extremely satisfying.

Giveaway :

Win 5 x Paperback copies of Blood on His Hands (UK Only)

ABzD4ZmA*Terms and Conditions – UK 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

#PublicationDayPush #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : Lilian and the Irresistible Duke – 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 ‘Lilian and the Irresistible Duke’ 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 :

3P05_ECgA reunion in Rome … Sparks an affair to remember!
Responsible widow Lilian Fairclough is persuaded to travel to Rome for a hard-earned break and to let down her hair! She’s surprised to be reunited with passionate, cynical Italian duke, Pietro Venturi. He reawakens her sensual side and intrigues her with glimpses of pain beneath his rakish surface. Enticed into a secret and temporary affair – what will happen once she returns home?

Purchase Link

Guest Post :

Lilian and the Irresistible Duke is my 14th published novel but the first set outside of the British Isles. When I knew my responsible widow was embarking on a foreign adventure, I decided to send her to one of my favourite cities in the world— Rome.
Like Lilian, I first visited the city in my forties. It was a school trip and I was one of the organising teachers, which meant my first responsibility was to the thirty teenagers I was chaperoning rather than the sightseeing. To make matters worse, it rained torrentially for almost the entire trip, so the kids were fractious and the adults were frayed. Yet even with those obstacles, I immediately fell in love with the city. Rome is so full of history; it made my little nerdy heart soar!
Subsequent visits have been less challenging, and my last one happened just two years ago during a particularly balmy Summer. There is something intoxicating and seductive about Rome in the sunshine— it is almost as if the entire city comes awake. From dawn to dusk it has a vibrancy all of its own that even the intense heat of July cannot dampen. As you walk those ancient streets, teeming with restaurants and cafes which spill out onto the pavement, there is always something going on. Residents, commuters, market traders, street performers, tourists and even packs of international nuns on a holy pilgrimage to the Vatican make the central parts of the city busy and exciting.
The Colosseum is both spectacular an awe inspiring. The historian in me cannot help but imagine what it must have looked like in in heyday, or what it must have felt like to be part of the huge audience during the games, or how terrifying it must have been to be one of the gladiators walking into that arena ready to fight and wondering if you would be lucky enough to walk out again in one piece! But the Colosseum isn’t all about history nowadays. It is also a mecca for every fresh visitor to the city, some more keen to take the perfect Instagram photo with one of the many entrepreneurial modern gladiators all dressed up in shining period armour than to take snaps of one of the earth’s most iconic buildings.
Away from that, as you wander around the two thousand year old ruins of Ancient Rome or the Pantheon or in one of the many Catacombs, you find peace. And then, once the summer sun goes down, the banks of the Tiber are lined with hundreds of outdoor, pop-up restaurants which the entire population of Rome seems to clamour to dine it.
One of my favourite thins about Rome is how the ancient constantly interferes with the modern. The jagged remains of an aqueduct over a busy road filled with traffic. The odd temple wall here and a stray statue there. Even the river bears testament to Rome’s imperial past, as feet from the modern bridge which crosses the Tiber, still pummelled by the same tidal rapids which have pummelled it for two millennia, is the last remaining arch of Ponte Rotto. Literally meaning ‘broken bridge’ nowadays, it was one the main artery linking the old city to nearby suburb of Trastavere. I sat next to it one night while eating dinner at one of those pop-up restaurants and couldn’t help wondering about the centuries of people who had crossed it before it was replaced in the 1800s.
Like me, my heroine Lilian was also blown away by Rome, but she is also blown away by handsome Italian art dealer by the name of Pietro and they fall in live while they sightsee. I hope you enjoy their story too, and if you haven’t been to Rome, I hope it inspires you to visit it one day. Go in the Summer, so you can eat your dinner beside the broken bridge. I promise you, you won’t regret it.

Giveaway :

Win 2 x e-copies of Lilian and the Irresistible Duke (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