#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : From The Deep – Kateri Stanley @sal_writes @BurtonMayers

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

From The Deep

Today I’m on the ‘From The Deep’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

From The Deep Kateri Stanley author picKateri Stanley is a pseudonym for the multi-genre fiction writer. Since being a child, Kateri has been inspired by the wondrous mediums of books, music, TV and film. After working in the healthcare industry for eight years and studying for an Arts and Humanities degree, she made the decision to move cities in the West Midlands and live with her ever-suffering partner and their felines. Her debut novel Forgive Me was published by indie press house, DarkStroke Books in 2021 and it reached #1 in the US Horror Fiction charts on Amazon. She is currently working on her third novel, Bittersweet Injuries and would love to pursue a full-time career in writing.

Social Media Links:
Website
Instagram
Twitter
Facebook
GoodReads
BookBub

Synopsis :

From The Deep Kateri Stanley author picJulian Finch, widower and fisherman, awakes to learn that the bodies of two colleagues have washed up on the beach of Drake Cove. The close-knit community is under fierce public scrutiny due to a long-standing tradition called “The Culling”, the annual slaughter of pilot whales for consumption. An act which divides the nation.
The suspects are the extreme animal rights group, the Fighters Against Animal Cruelty (FAAC) who go wherever the politics is trending. They’ve been harassing the small fishing town for many years, smashing up their boats and sending vicious hate mail.
Tensions mount after a viral video, uploaded by the FAAC of Julian killing a pregnant whale, causes uproar online and in real life. In the aftermath, Julian becomes the victim of hate crime. In order to avoid further life-threatening attacks, Julian and his daughter take refuge in the home of Frank Blothio: ex-fisherman turned writer and political activist who does not have the best history with the animal rights movement, or Drake Cove as a whole.
As Julian integrates into the Blothio way of life, he discovers heinous secrets and disturbing truths lurking beneath the skin of his hometown that will change his life forever.

Purchase Links:
Amazon
B&N
Book Depository
Waterstones

Q&A :

Hi

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

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’m Kateri. A dark fiction writer from the Midlands in the UK. I write under a pen name, not my real name. It still feels weird to type Kateri when it isn’t my actual name. I’ve been writing since I was young and I loved the idea of becoming a storyteller. My Mom says that if I don’t write, I’ll end up in a mental hospital (dark joke) and she’s right. It’s linked to my state of mind and I think it is for many of us creatives. Musicians, acting, singers, artists, film making and so much more.
I became an author last year (2021) when my first novel Forgive Me, a sci-fi horror was published by indie house, DarkStroke Books. I’d been working on the story for years and during the pandemic, I managed to grab some time to polish it off. Originally, I was querying the story with literary agents. I received rejections or no responses and then I turned to independent publishers. I found DS, thought the books they published were suitable for this story and I submitted it to them. A week later or so, I signed a contract! Since then, my debut novel has become a no.1 bestseller on Amazon!
My second novel, From the Deep – a dark mystical thriller was published by Burton Mayers Books (another indie press house) on 3rd May 2022. About a local fisherman who is dealing with the shock of the deaths of his colleagues. His hometown is under public scrutiny due to a fishing practice which splits the nation. The Culling is loosely based on the real-life practice of the Grindarap (from the Faroe Islands) where pilot whales are slaughtered for food consumption. There’s a killer among the town, but who is it?

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up? 
Hannibal by Thomas Harris, Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult, The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice, Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman –I consumed all of these books as a teenager and I’ve reread several times as an adult.
I also love reading non-fiction, On Writing by Stephen King, it’s part memoir, part writing advice and I can read over and over again. If you’re a dark fiction writer like myself or a King fan in general, I highly recommend you check it out. He’s very funny, and very honest.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
/

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
If it was out of my second novel, From the Deep – it would have to be Frank Blothio, the former fisherman and animal rights activist. He has his head screwed on properly, I adore the way he debates. He’d have a lot to say and to tell me. He uses his brain in order to educate others, not his fists compared to the Fighters Against Animal Cruelty who use violence and intimidation to get their point across. Not many people from Drake Cove like him because he publicly criticizes their culture and the use of The Culling. A practice where the locals (Drake Covians) slaughter whales for food.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Music. I have something playing in my ears whether it’s a Spotify playlist or a YouTube video playing. It helps me to concentrate. I don’t like silence.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
/

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
/

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Write, see what happens. Dive in. You won’t know unless you explore. As the late and great Anne Rice said. ‘Go where the pain is. Go where the pleasure is.’ And I agree with her.
Don’t be pulled in by those ‘how to write’ videos on YouTube. It’s one person’s opinion and there are so many on there, and they all say different things that clash with each other. Find your own voice.

What are your future plans as an author?
I’m currently working on the first draft of my (hopefully) third novel. It is a supernatural drama with religious, historical and romantic elements. There are cameos from famous (and infamous) people from world history. There’s been a lot of research for this one. Psychology, counselling, incel culture (not very nice), and The Divine Comedy…

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
This is the opening of From the Deep which sets the tone of the novel and gives you a taste of what it is like to live in Drake Cove.

Prologue

Ian Copton decides to head out on his boat, Serenity. After the fallout from today’s demonstration, his job had been cut short due to a potential danger. The authorities never said anything about the amount of rubbish protestors left behind. It was a sure way to drive anyone holidaying in Drake Cove to demand their money back. But this is the world nowadays. Emotions are more important than rationality and steel hard facts.
“A load of bullshit,” he whispers, dangling the rod over the edge.
Ian waits for several minutes until he senses a pull before reeling in the line. Pierced by the sharp hook, the fish flaps helplessly. He clasps his hand around its head, rips the hook free and drops it into the bucket by his foot. Ian repeats this several times until Serenity shakes, violently.
Ian reluctantly resumes his fishing, hurling the line back into the water, muttering swear words under his breath. If it wasn’t for his choice of career, people wouldn’t be able to eat fish at all unless they fetched it from the sea themselves. The consumers didn’t have to get up at the crack of dawn, heave a heavy net and come home stinking of fish guts.
There’s a sudden pull on the fishing line. Ian frowns, trying to yank the rod, twisting the coil, but he can’t shift it. He must’ve hooked a pretty big one. He uses his full weight to pull the line in but it doesn’t budge. Then Serenity shakes again. The line goes slack.
Fuming, Ian peers over the side with his flashlight and sees something. His blood runs cold as his brain explodes with hectic possibilities. Before he can process some sort of strategy, it springs out from the water, seizing his fishing rod, dragging him overboard.
The ice-cold water munches at his limbs and he kicks out at the figure, his palm tightening around the handle of the rod. He hears an angry squeal when the rod splits in two. Then a pain erupts in his chest.
Ian breathes out, water races into his lungs like a tidal wave, suffocating him. He remembers seaweed circling his head and a pair of large, piercing eyes glaring back before the darkness finally engulfs him.
~
Herb Clarke kicks several coffee cups across the sand, mumbling about the mess. Alone time with his thoughts and the fresh sea air always got his creative juices flowing. His current worry is marketing his book shop whilst coordinating everything else. He hadn’t grown up in the social media age until his niece showed him the mechanics. Now, he’s all over it, taking pretty decorative pictures, hoping the attractive graphics would inspire any literature loving customers to empty their pockets. His niece mentioned something, a popular social media platform the younger generation lapped up like milkshakes. But he’d read enough scathing stories to know it wasn’t for him. How would it generate sufficient interest to sell books? What could he do to stand out?
Herb continues with his walk until he sees a murky frame lying on the sand. He squints, trying to get a closer look, thinking it’s a heap of black bin liners. Then he notices…the outline of an arm, and leg.
“Oh my God,” he utters, jogging over when he realises it’s the body of a man. It’s someone he knows too.
“Ian?” Herb asks.
The man’s clothes have darkened from the water. His golden hair has whitened and it clings to his grey skin. Herb touches his shoulder, turning the man to find a metallic spike lodged in his chest. Ian’s eyes bulge out of his head. The fishing line is lashed around his neck, penetrating his skin. The hook is embedded in his face, right down to the bone. The repulsive smell of dead flesh hits Herb’s stomach.
The police station’s only a half an hour walk away, ten if he drives but he can’t leave the body. Herb’s shaky fingers jab at his phone screen, missing the correct numbers now and then as he makes the call. When someone answers on the other end, Herb has to carefully piece his words together like a puzzle.

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

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

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

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : The Sweetheart Locket – Jen Gilroy @JenGilroy1

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

The Sweetheart Locket

Today I’m on the ‘The Sweetheart Locket’ blogtour, organized 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 :

Jen Gilroy Author Photo Spencer Studio Website Square 1080pxJen Gilroy writes sweet contemporary romance and dual timeline historical women’s fiction—warm, feel-good stories to bring readers’ hearts home.
A Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® finalist and shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Joan Hessayon award, Amazon named her third book, ‘Back Home at Firefly Lake,’ a ‘Best Book of the Month: Romance’ in December 2017.
A dual British-Canadian citizen, Jen lived in England for many years and earned a doctorate (with a focus on British cultural studies and social history) from University College London. Returning to where her Irish family roots run deep, she now lives with her husband, teenage daughter and floppy-eared rescue hound in small-town Eastern Ontario, Canada.
When not writing, she enjoys reading, ice cream, ballet and paddling her purple kayak.

Social Media Links:
Website
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram

Synopsis :

Jen Gilroy Author Photo Spencer Studio Website Square 1080pxWhat if the key to your present lies in the past?
London, 1939
On the eve of the Second World War, Canadian Maggie Wyndham defies her family and stays in England to do her bit for the war effort. Torn between two countries, two men and living a life of lies working for the Special Operations Executive (SOE), Maggie’s RAF sweetheart locket is part of who she is…and who she isn’t.
San Francisco, 2019
Over twenty years after Maggie’s death, her daughter Millie and granddaughter Willow take a DNA test that’s supposed to be a bit of fun but instead yields unexpected results. Willow has always treasured her grandmother’s sweetheart locket, both family heirloom and a symbol of her grandparents’ love story. But now she doesn’t know what to believe. She embarks on a search for the truth, one she doesn’t know will reveal far more about herself…
A gripping and heart-breaking dual timeline novel about love, loss and buried secrets, The Sweetheart Locket is perfect for fans of Lorna Cook, Rachel Hore and Suzanne Kelman.

Purchase Links:
Universal Amazon Link
Hachette

Guest Post :

Past, present and writing women’s stories

Thanks to The Magic of Wor(l)ds blog for hosting me on the tour for my latest book, The Sweetheart Locket.
As both reader and writer, the fiction that appeals to me most focuses on women’s lives and relationships. In The Sweetheart Locket, from England and France in the Second World War to San Francisco 2019, I explore the lives, loves and losses of two different women connected through a British Royal Air Force (RAF) sweetheart locket.
During both World Wars, men serving in the armed forces gave ‘sweetheart jewelry’—brooches, lockets and bracelets—to women at home. In my story, a sweetheart locket crosses the two timelines and connects one woman, Maggie, with the granddaughter, Willow, she never met.
And in telling both women’s stories of love, loss and family secrets, The Sweetheart Locket is also about courage and hope, and everyday heroism and humanity.
In Second World War England and 2019, my main characters are at turning points in their lives.
In 1939, Maggie defies her Canadian family and stays in England to ‘do her bit’ for the war effort—a decision that has major repercussions for her own life as well as the lives of her daughter Millie and granddaughter Willow.
In 2019, Willow, a single mom to a grown daughter, is going to England for an extended work trip when a DNA test she took for fun yields unexpected results.
Are there secrets in Willow’s family history and could Maggie’s past be a clue to Willow’s present?
Maggie and Willow face numerous challenges, Maggie especially in Britain’s wartime Special Operations Executive (SOE) working as a secret agent in occupied France. Yet neither lose hope in a brighter future.
And whilst Maggie’s wartime life is one of action and adventure, in the contemporary story Willow, determined to discover what her gran did in the war, finds a different kind of courage to rebuild complicated family relationships and, in her forties, rediscover who she is and pursue dreams she’d once set aside.
While the characters I write about are fictional, an historical story like The Sweetheart Locket is shaped by real women’s lives and experiences.
As I write past and present in books with happy and uplifting endings guaranteed, I also hope that just as The Sweetheart Locket offers escape and distraction, it’s also an opportunity for readers to reflect on the lives of their own female family members and draw inspiration from their legacies.
Women’s history and women’s lives aren’t only about big sacrifices. Rather, in many cases the formal historical record overlooks women’s stories, bravery and sacrifices. That’s why in my historical stories particularly, I write about ordinary women caught up in often extraordinary circumstances.
If you choose to read The Sweetheart Locket, I hope you enjoy it. Our past shapes our present and our future because no matter what we face, either in the past or today:
‘Being brave [doesn’t] mean you [aren’t] afraid. You [do] what you [have] to despite the fear.’

Giveaway :

Win 2 x Kindle copies of The Sweetheart Locket (Open to UK / Canada)
*Terms and Conditions – UK & Canada 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

#MiniBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : The Lost Laird From Her Past – Jeanine Englert @JeanineWrites @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks

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

The Lost Laird From Her Past

Today I’m on the ‘The Lost Laird From Her Past’ blogtour, organized 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 :

Jeanine Englert’s love affair with mysteries and romance began with Nancy Drew, Murder She Wrote, and her Grandmother’s bookshelves full of romance novels. She is a VIVIAN® and Golden Heart® Finalist as well as a Silver Falchion, Maggie, and Daphne du Maurier Award Winner in historical romance and mystery. Her Scottish Highland historical and historical romantic suspense novels revolve around characters seeking self-acceptance and redemption. When she isn’t wrangling with her characters on the page, she can be found trying to convince her husband to watch her latest Masterpiece or BBC show obsession. She loves to talk about books, writing, her beloved rescue pups, as well as mysteries and romance with other readers. 

Social Media Links:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
GoodReads
BookBub
Instagram

Synopsis :

The Lost Laird From Her PastA second chance…
With her first love!
Lady Brenna Stewart is grateful to be saved from her burning carriage—only her rescuer is Laird Garrick MacLean, the man she once loved and lost! He seems determined to protect her from the unknown enemy pursuing her across the Scottish Highlands. But, bitterly hurt by his past betrayal, she needs answers. Why did he abandon her? And how can she keep her heart safe now, when the connection between them is as strong as ever…

Purchase Link

Guest Post :

Thank you, Magic of Wor(l)ds, for hosting me today for a guest post on your blog! I’m so excited to be here to celebrate the release of my latest Harlequin Historical / Mills & Boon book, The Lost Laird from Her Past, which is book two in the Falling for a Stewart series.
As a writer, I’m often asked about what advice I would give to a younger version of myself. After having published my fourth book and written several others that have not been published, I’ve compiled five things I wish I could tell my younger self about being a published author:
1) Don’t compare yourself with others. The old saying that comparison is the thief of joy is absolutely true. Even though this is a quite impossible task at times. The less you compare yourself to others, the happier you will be. Celebrate your own writing journey as it will not be like anyone else’s, and it shouldn’t be!
2) The quality of your stories matter more than anything else. Marketing, social media, the next contract, etc. are never as important as your writing. Make time to write, revise, and edit your best book possible every time. Not every story will be equally amazing for a variety of factors, some that will be in your control and some that won’t, but do everything you can to make each book the best it can be!
3) Not everyone will love your book babies. And that is okay. Let me repeat. It is okay to get a 1-star rating. Your world will not end. You’ll mope for a while and feel sick to your stomach for a while, but you will recover. I am a big believer in Becca Syme’s theory that getting a 1-star rating means that you are getting more widely read, which is a good thing, even if it doesn’t always feel that way.
4) Set goals about what is important in your writing career every month and every year. Make time to set goals each month and each year about your writing career. It can be easy to get derailed in your writing career because of life, your day job, and your family. Take time to assess how things are going and change your goals as you need to. Writing should be fun and something that fills your cup, not the other way around. If it is draining you, stop and figure out why, so you can course correct with what’s important to you as a writer.
5) Listen to but don’t take all the advice given to you. People are well intentioned and often offer up a great deal of unsolicited advice. Listen to that advice, but also listen to your gut: only take the advice that is right for you. And be wary of people that offer extreme suggestions. Over the years, I have received much solicited and unsolicited advice. I would say half of it was helpful. If I’d taken the other half to heart, I might have never published my first book, ruined my career, or started to try to write and publish books I didn’t believe in.
Most importantly, write your own story, and embrace the gift of the story that has been given to you. I’m a big believer of this Hank Williams, Jr. quote: “People don’t write music. It’s given to them.” I believe the same is true of the stories given to each of us. Cherish them as well as your gift as a writer.
Thank you so much for having me on your blog today! It has been amazing spending some time with you. Please feel free to drop a comment or ask questions if you like. I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about my writing process or my books.
Please also feel free to follow me @JeanineWrites on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram or you can drop me a note on my website at www.jeaninewrites.com.
Wishing you all health, happiness, and a wealth of words and stories for this year!

– Jeanine

Giveaway :

While Away the Hours in Scotland Giveaway! (Open to UK / US)
Whether it’s too cold, too hot, or too rainy where you are, you can while away the hours with the first two books in the Falling for a Stewart Series: Eloping with the Laird and The Lost Laird from Her Past! Your prize also includes two Scottish blessing bracelets, one for you and one for a friend, and some lovely book swag! Happy reading!

*Terms and Conditions – UK & US 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

#MiniBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #Excerpt : A Defiant Maiden’s 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. –

A Defiant Maidens Knight

Today I’m on the ‘A Defiant Maiden’s Knight’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

2wOPzYMAMelissa Oliver is from south-west London where she writes historical romance novels. She lives with her lovely husband and daughters, who share her passion for decrepit, old castles, palaces and all things historical.
Melissa is the WINNER of The Romantic Novelist Association’s Joan Hessayon Award for new writers 2020 for her debut, The Rebel Heiress and the Knight.
When she’s not writing she loves to travel for inspiration, paint, and visit museums & art galleries.

Social Media Links:
Website
Instagram
Twitter
Facebook

Synopsis :

A Defiant Maidens KnightA tense, dramatic medieval love story.
A knight’s protection…
That she doesn’t want…or need?
Joan Lovent may be losing her sight but she refuses to lose her independence too. So when Sir Warin de Talmont tells her it’s too perilous to be out alone in the city, she doesn’t pay him any heed. But with threats surrounding them, she begins to value his protection and helps with his dangerous work in return. If only the powerful connection between them wasn’t so impossible to ignore!

HarperCollinsPublishers
Harlequin
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Excerpt :

Warin de Talmont and his friend, Nicholas d’Amberly encounter Joan Lovent once again on the streets after she had agreed that she would no longer come to that part of London alone.

‘Sir Warin de Talmont?’ The woman had the temerity to grimace at him. ‘It seems that once again you have somehow found yourself in this part of London that you have a great dislike for.’
He smiled. Joan Lovent certainly had a spark of humour laced with her obvious irritation in finding him here again. ‘Ah, but I only dislike it when I happen upon you here, Mistress Joan.’
‘You put me to the blush, sir, by singling me out with these attentions. Truly—you honour me.’
‘I very much doubt it,’ he said wryly. ‘May I introduce my friend, Sir Nicholas d’Amberly?’
‘Of course. It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance, sir.’
She turned her head around, but something in the manner in which she spoke must have raised D’Amberly’s curiosity in her. The man’s brows shot up as he darted a quick quizzical glance in Warin’s direction before returning his attentions to the woman. Ah, d’Amberly had not been aware of Joan Lovent’s impaired eyesight and he had forgotten to inform him. After all, for Warin it was neither an important nor a pertinent fact about her. The woman was vexing with or without her diminishing sight.
‘Enchanted, Mistress Joan.’ D’Amberly caught the woman’s dainty hand and lowered his head over it. ‘I have heard so much about you.’
‘Have you indeed, sir? I am surprised.’
‘I do not see why. For once my friend has not been excessive in any way when describing your lovely appearance.’
Her lips curved into a real smile—one that she had never bestowed on him. ‘I thank you but I’m sure Sir Warin has grossly exaggerated.’
Nicholas d’Amberly flashed his devastating smile. One that had usually amused Warin at the absurdity at the impact it had on women—but not this time. This time it irritated him in a wholly unexpected manner.
‘I assure you that he has not.’
‘Thank you, sir, but I think it might be prudent to release my hand from yours as it might raise a few suspicions about your attentions to just an unassuming page.’
D’Amberly let go of her hand and tilted his head. ‘You see, mistress, how your beauty and graciousness, even dressed as you are, make me forget myself. In truth, I have quite forgotten where I am.’
This time Joan Lovent actually giggled, making Warin grind his teeth together. And not because he had never managed to make her laugh. Not that he cared about such trifles—the woman was nothing to him. Even so, it was irksome that she was actually enjoying this discourse with Nicholas d’Amberly. But then most women did.
‘Then allow me enlighten you, sir, for I would hate for you to get lost.’ She grinned. ‘You are on the corner of Honey Street in a part of London considered so terrible, so very bad, that our friend here has resorted to following me in attempt to intimidate me into never returning back here again.’
‘That is very poor form.’ D’Amberly shook his head. ‘However, I can vouchsafe that he does mean well.’
‘I do.’ Warin was beginning to get more and more aggravated with the mild flirtation between his friend and this woman. ‘And by and by, there was never an intimidation, rather an agreement that was made, Mistress Joan. An agreement, I might add, which you have soundly broken with this little outing.’
She had the good grace to blush before tilting her head up defiantly. ‘I’m afraid to say that when I thought about it at length I came to the conclusion that my prior vow to the souls of All Hallows must prevail.’
Warin’s face was like thunder. ‘Is that so, mistress?’
‘I’m afraid it is. But you will be heartened to know that my visit here is not entirely unsanctioned, since I informed my sister by marriage of it. Indeed, Brida acquiesced to my little outing here.’
Warin’s patience was becoming raggedly thin.
He moved a little to shield the woman from a moving cart, before responding.
‘You might believe that these jaunts might meet Mistress Brida’s approval, but be assured that they would not meet her husband’s—your brother’s.’
Warin noticed a muscle flick in her jaw. ‘Then it is good thing that Thomas is none the wiser, sir, and can only hope that it would remain so. I bid you a good day. Sir Nicholas, it was a pleasure to make your acquaintance,’ she muttered, turning to leave.
‘Wait one moment, if you please.’ Warin reached out and caught her wrist, preventing her from moving away. ‘As I have maintained before, this is not some jest, Joan. Nor is it a game.’
‘Have I said that it was?’ she whispered, looking up, hurt filling those pretty blue eyes of hers.
He needed to make the woman understand the situation far better. He needed her to cease being so bloody obstinate.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : They Had Eyes of Silver – S. E. Davis @SarahDavisAuth1

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

They Had Eyes of Silver

Today I’m on the ‘They Had Eyes of Silver’ blogtour, organized 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 :

They Had Eyes AuthorS. E. Davis is a veterinarian and advocate for werewolf health. She lives on the North Dakota prairie with her family and a Weimaraner who understands shifting into human form is not necessary for being part of the pack.

Social Media Links:
Website
Instagram 
Twitter 
Facebook

Synopsis :

They Had Eyes of SilverA secret lineage. A family cursed. A forbidden love that can’t be denied.
Veterinarian Reina Kirke is exhausted. So, when her best friend suggests a European vacation, she doesn’t hesitate. A much-needed break and a chance to investigate her mysterious family tree sound perfect. Too bad she’s in no way prepared for what she finds. The fairytale town in Belgium hides family secrets grounded in the supernatural. Legends of werewolves and witches surround her, and a taboo love affair threatens to pull her into a danger she might not be able to handle.
What seems like a chance encounter with Blaise Woodward, a brooding hunk with his own secrets, sets up a sequence of events that could unravel both of their families as they realize their deep connection to each other is generations old. But only one thing is certain.
Their lives will never be the same…

Purchase Link

Guest Post :

Wolf-shifter Candles

When I start a project, I immerse myself in it. Research on the web, read books similar to/about my intended topic, make notes, sketch, then do. Yeah, my behavior runs the razor’s edge of obsessive. Fine. I am obsessive. Throw in a great song list and a fantastic scent, and I can lose myself in the craft. I have done this with quilting, crafts, raising rabbits, growing pumpkins, and now I do it with writing.
What do I do differently with writing? I make bookish items! Bookmarks, stickers, T-shirts, tattoos, and playlists.
Luckily, social media was so supportive of my obsessions that they suggested several wonderful candle companies to follow. Into the world of book-based candles I delved and ordered aromas based on the Grishaverse, The Witcher, and The Night Circus. All I needed to add was flame, and the waxed finds transformed my writing space into a magical haven.
I decided that I, too, should have a candle companion to my wolf-shifter romance, They Had Eyes of Silver. What scent combination would I be creating? A blend of fresh cut wood, leather, cinnamon, and bonfire.
Amazon loves people like me. Package after package arrived with containers, wax, essential oils, special candle making pots, etc. I designed labels for my “Silver-Eyed Wolf” creations.
During my unpacking and organizing, one of my daughters came in and asked what I was up to (besides making a mess). After I explained I was creating candles scented after the male lead in my book, she gave me a funny look and said, “You’re making a candle that smells like wet dog?”
I laughed and told her, “No. Of course not.”
But then I started thinking.
Should I?
Why shouldn’t I? Wouldn’t wet shifters in their animal form smell like “normal” wolves? Would that be a better match than the sultry concoction my brain came up for the hot wolfie? I prefer the wet dog smell to whatever dead thing my Weimaraner, Bodey, digs up and rolls in. He, of course, prefers a dirt crusted nose and earthen-marinated carcasses and toys.
Sitting with my dog after one of his baths, I can tell you that while I could write just fine, I didn’t think the world needed a wet dog scented candle. I preferred the real deal. Plus, I already had all the other oils. Although it would have been cheaper to commission a book-themed candle company to produce candles for me, making them myself was a pleasant distraction while waiting for feedback on edits.
Do I use them? Of course! While writing, I light up and burn my homemade candles. I have three books to complete and plenty of wax to eat through.

Afbeelding1

Giveaway :

Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card (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 / #PromoPost : Sister Agatha: The World’s Oldest Serial Killer – Domhnall O’Donoghue

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

Sister Agatha

Today I’m on the ‘Sister Agatha: The World’s Oldest Serial Killer’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a some ‘basic’ information for you.

About the Author :

Domhnall O'Donoghue HeadshotHailing from Navan in the royal county of Meath, Domhnall is a graduate of the Bachelor in Acting Studies Programme, Trinity College Dublin, later completing a Master’s in Screenwriting at Dún Laoghaire IADT.
He now works as an actor and a journalist, dividing his time between Galway, where he films TG4’s award-winning series, Ros na Rún, Dublin and Venice, where he and his Italian lover continuously promise their well-worn livers that they will refrain from quaffing so much Prosecco. (Unfortunately, it seems some vows, just like nearby Rome, were not built in a day.)
Wine-drinking aside, for more than four years, Domhnall has also enjoyed the responsibility of being Assistant Editor at Irish Tatler Man, a title whose various awards includes Consumer Magazine of the Year. Thanks to this role, he interviewed a host of high-profile names such as Tommy Hilfiger, Chris Pine, Kevin Spacey, David Gandy, and Jacques Villeneuve.
Domhnall has written for the majority of Ireland’s leading newspapers and magazines, including the Irish Independent, The Irish Times and RTE. He also writes a monthly column in Woman’s Way, the country’s biggest-selling weekly magazine.
His first novel, Sister Agatha: the World’s Oldest Serial Killer, was released in 2016 to critical acclaim (Tirgearr Publishing). His second and third books, Colin and the Concubine and Crazy for You were published by Mercier Press, Ireland’s oldest publishing house.

Social Media Links:
Facebook
Twitter 
Instagram

Synopsis :

Domhnall O'Donoghue HeadshotSister Agatha is 118 years of age, whose vim and vigour would put the most robust athletes to shame. However, during a routine check-up, her doctor claims that she has just a week to live – inconvenient, seeing as the beloved sister once made an improbable vow: to be the oldest person in the world. At last count, she was the fifth.
Never one to admit defeat, Sister Agatha concocts a bold Plan B. Using her final days, she intends on travelling the world to meet the only four people whose birthday cakes boast more candles than hers.
And then, one by one, she will kill them.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : Murder in the Cards – Gina Cheyne

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

Murder in the Cards

Today I’m on the ‘Murder in the Cards’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Murder Gina Cheyne Author PicGina has worked as a physiotherapist, a pilot, freelance writer and a dog breeder.
As a child, Gina’s parents hated travelling and never went further than Jersey. As a result she became travel-addicted and spent the year after university bumming around SE Asia, China and Australia, where she worked in a racing stables in Pinjarra, South of Perth. After getting stuck in black sand in the Ute one time too many (and getting a tractor and trailer caught in a tree) she was relegated to horse-riding work only. After her horse bolted down the sand, straining a fetlock and falling in the sea, she was further relegated to swimming the horses only in the pool. It was with some relief the racehorse stables posted her off on the train into eastern Australia to work in a vineyard… after all what could go wrong there?
In the north of Thailand, she took a boat into the Golden Triangle and got shot at by bandits. Her group escaped into the undergrowth and hid in a hill tribe whisky still where they shared the ‘bathroom’ with a group of pigs. Getting a lift on a motorbike they hurried back to Chiang Rai, where life seemed calmer.
After nearly being downed in a fiesta in Ko Pha Ngan, and cursed by a witch in Malaysia, she decided to go to Singapore and then to China where she only had to battle with the language and regulations.
Since marrying the first time, she has lived and worked in many countries including Spain and the USA.
For a few years Gina was a Wingwalking pilot, flying, amongst others, her 64-year-old mother standing on the wing to raise money for a cancer charity. She was also a helicopter instructor and examiner and took part in the World Helicopter Championships in Russia and the USA.
She became a writer because her first love was always telling a good yarn!
Under the name Georgina Hunter-Jones she has written illustrated children’s books such as The Twerple who had Too Many Brains, and Nola the Rhinoceros loves Mathematics.
She now lives in Sussex with her husband and dogs, one of who inspired the Biscuit and Pugwash Detective Series about naughty dogs who solve crimes.
Murder in the Cards is the second in the SeeMS Detective Agency series.

Social Media Link:
Website

Synopsis :

Murder Gina Cheyne Author PicDeath is the rule, survival the exception in 1960s Soho bridge circles.
When the SeeMs Agency detectives play bridge online in 2020, they don’t expect their opponent to die during the game and yet a post-mortem the next day proves Brian Deliverer was dead halfway through the night. Can a dead man play bridge?
Employed by Brian’s daughter Karen to investigate his death, the team are led back to a notorious 1920s murder and to a missing teenager from a Sussex village in the 1960s.
Should they tell his daughter the terrible truth behind her father’s death even if it costs her everything?

Purchase Link:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Q&A :

Hi

First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Thank you so much for hosting me, I really appreciate it too and I hope your blog readers enjoy the post. I love doing this sort of thing and I love writing. Thank you, Gina.

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I was brought up in the house of my grandmother, Heaven, a widow, and a Strolling Player. Everything in Heaven’s house was drama. If you woke her accidentally in the morning you were not naughty, but the wickedest little girl alive who would surely not get to Heaven.
Even though her husband died five years before, she still wore black from her lace cap to her lace up Victorian boots and had periodic episodes of wailing, until my father said he would leave the house and take his children on to the streets rather than put up with that. Then she wailed in private.
Something about this house must have given me a taste for writing, as all through my career as a helicopter pilot I continued to write. I edited two helicopter magazines and I wrote books about flying. However, I always longed to write fiction. Finally, when COVID came I settled down to write and produced my first novel, The Mystery of the Lost Husbands, closely followed by my second, Murder in the Cards. Both detective stories, they follow the SeeMs Agency detectives as they try to find first lost dogs, then lost husbands and finally a teenager lost in the 1960s.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
Tintin. If I feel like cheering myself up or just having a giggle, I will pick up a Tintin book. I don’t know if it is just because I am thrown back to childhood or if I just have a childish sense of humor but I do love reading Tintin cartoons.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Kamila Shamsie. I think she has such a nice calm way of writing books that are seething with emotion and pain. She seems to be able to see life from a broad perspective and I so admire the way she is able to show big events from an unusual perspective and in a way that allows the reader to make their own judgements.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I would like to have tea with Miranda, one of my detectives from the SeeMs Detective Agency and her crazy dog. She loves people and spending time with her makes them feel happy, partly because she is interested in each individual person she meets, but partly because she has what the Spanish call allegre: a person who makes you happy. The English translation is cheerfulness, but it is more a person who has that ability within them to make others cheerful.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I do like to do WORDL before I sit down to writing. Even if I get Phew, it is fine, although if I do better than Phew, I think this will be a good day for my brain and a good day for writing.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
No body need be worried: I don’t write about real people I know, although I have tried to in the past, but I found I made them flat and uninteresting, so I prefer to imagine the reality.
However, some of my ideas do come from real life. For example, the idea behind Murder in the Cards came from the 1920s murder of a man across a bridge table. The man played badly, his wife criticised him, he slapped her, she went and got his gun and shot him dead. She was not only acquitted but got $30,000 in insurance money. Clearly the judge was a bridge player.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Both, I think. I usually write the end first, then write a plan up to the end from the beginning, and then often change the whole thing. However, the fact that I already have the end in mind when I write helps to keep the clues coming and to give them a sense of purpose.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Do take time to read your own writing carefully. It sounds obvious but on my first few (unpublished) books I actually found them too boring to read over more than once. That should have told me something!
Do let other people read your work and listen to their opinions. They may be wrong, you should use your judgement on that, but they are a clear pair of eyes looking into your work and they will have questions about things you think are obvious.
Don’t hurry to publish your books before they are ready. It is too tempting to get out your books when they still have inconsistences and typos. I recently read a very good book from an author who had not taken the time to reread her book and consequently got names of her major characters mixed up. She also didn’t seem to know the meaning of various words she could easily have researched. If she’d done those things, she would have changed the book from good to excellent, and no doubt, sold a lot more.

What are your future plans as an author?
To write more books in this genre and to experiment with other genres. I love writing, I love researching and I love experimenting.
Perhaps one day I will write the story of my extraordinary grandmother, Heaven, and her crazy house. When we lived there, there was an unexploded bomb buried in the roof. which no one knew about, and inside, with my aunt, her son, my two brothers, my parents, me and my eccentric grandmother there was another explosive situation.

Last, but not least: Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
This is from Murder in the Cards and is set in 1963 in Jack’s Club in Soho. Fran is a teenage runaway who is making a living by playing high stakes bridge and using Polari (a gay language used before 1967) to give cheating signals to her partner, Bev. Bev has just bid diamonds.

Jack, watching the game, could already imagine a leer forming on Tank’s internal face. Of course, there would be nothing visible; Tank and his partner played poker in the club far more often than they played bridge. Tank had the king, queen, jack and two little diamonds. Although he only had a count of seven, his partner would certainly have something, and they would have enough to get the girls down. Tank loved playing with green molls, and anyone could see the girl Fran was an innocent for the plucking.
‘Oh … three clubs, I think,’ said Fran, her eyes hardly flickering over the winding ring on her partner’s finger.
‘Pass,’ said Mr Ruby.
Jack imagined Tank’s annoyance. He was no doubt hoping to play with diamonds as trumps, given the hand he held. He wondered what tricks that clever little innocent was pulling tonight.
‘Five diamonds,’ said Bev.
‘Double,’ said Tank.
Fran spent a lot of time deliberating, almost speaking then holding back, thinking. Tank loved it. You could almost hear her little brain ticking over, he thought. She’d got herself in too deep for sure. He was going to put a big, big bet on this one. He might even get the girl, as well as the money, for the night.
‘Seven no trumps,’ said Fran.
Tank almost wet himself in delight. There was going to win big tonight. He pushed all his money into the centre.
‘Double,’ Ruby said.
‘Redouble,’ said Bev.
Jeeezzus! Did those bitches never learn?
Behind him and unseen by any of the players Jack made a signal for Clinton to send over the security, discreetly. Whatever the outcome of this game, the amount of money involved meant emotions were going to be charged.

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

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

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

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : The Hostage of Rome – Robert M. Kidd @RobertMKidd1

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

The Hostage Of Rome

Today I’m on the ‘The Hostage of Rome’ blogtour, organized 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 :

When Cato the Censor demanded that ‘Carthage must be destroyed,’ Rome did just that. In 146 BC, after a three year siege, Carthage was raised to the ground, its surviving citizens sold into slavery and the fields where this once magnificent city had stood, ploughed by oxen. Carthage was erased from history.
That’s why I’m a novelist on a mission! I want to set the historical record straight. Our entire history of Hannibal’s wars with Rome is nothing short of propaganda, written by Greeks and Romans for their Roman clients. It intrigues me that Hannibal took two Greek scholars and historians with him on campaign, yet their histories of Rome’s deadliest war have never seen the light of day.
My hero, Sphax the Numidian, tells a different story!
When I’m not waging war with my pen, I like to indulge my passion for travel and hill walking, and like my hero, I too love horses. I live in Pembrokeshire, West Wales.

Website
Twitter
Facebook

Synopsis :

The Hostage Author217 BC. Rome has been savaged, beaten and is in retreat. Yet, in that winter of winters, her garrisons cling on behind the walls of Placentia and Cremona, thanks to her sea-born supplies. If he could be freed, a hostage of Rome may yet hold the key to launching a fleet of pirates that could sweep Rome from the seas. For that hostage is none other than Corinna’s son Cleon, rival heir to the throne of Illyria, held in Brundisium, four hundred miles south of the Rubicon.
But Hannibal is set on a greater prize! Macedon is the great power in Greece, feared even by Rome. Its young king, Philip, is being compared with his illustrious ancestor, Alexander the Great. An alliance with Macedon would surely sound the death knell for Rome.
Given Hannibal’s blessing, Sphax, Idwal and Corinna face an epic journey against impossible odds. Navigating the length of the Padus, past legionary garrisons and hostile Gauls, they must then risk the perils of the storm-torn Adria in the depths of the winter. If the gods favour them and they reach the lands of the pirate queen, only then will their real trials begin.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Guest Post :

The Natural World in the Age of Hannibal

In The Hostage of Rome, the third book in The Histories of Sphax series, the action takes place in some of the wildest and most remote places of southern Europe. Whilst writing it I realised I had to conjure up landscapes that have now largely disappeared, along with the animals that once inhabited them. My research into this aspect of the novel turned up some surprising facts!
The early chapters of the novel describe a one hundred and forty mile journey by boat down the Po river (Padus in Latin) from Piacenza in northern Italy, to its extensive wetland delta on the Adriatic coast south of Venice. Today, the vast mixed forests of poplar, willow and birch which would have clothed its banks in Hannibal’s day have all but disappeared, and over the millennia the course of the river has also changed. These days nobody is quite sure where, or how far, the delta extended, but the best guess is that this watery wilderness stretched for hundreds of square miles. Today it’s a nature reserve.
Naturally, Sphax and his party lost their way in this labyrinth of waterways. But what they encountered next came as something of a shock. Even at the time of Hannibal, aurochs (it sounds like a plural, but the name also refers to a single animal) were not common, but if you did encounter one, it was wise to give them a wide berth! Standing at least six feet at the shoulder, with a massive head topped by deadly horns almost three feet long, aurochs were a wild ancestor of today’s domestic cattle. Gauls prized their horns as trophies, but an aurochs hunt was not to be undertaken lightly. In his Gallic Wars, Caesar speaks of them with the utmost respect!
And that wasn’t the only dangerous animal they caught sight of in the delta. Wolves, bears and wild boar were common, as were bison, thought to be much bigger in Hannibal’s time than today’s remnant populations in eastern Europe and the US. Other animals I mention in passing are otters, beavers, lynx, elk and deer. As for birdlife: there would be vast flocks of flamingos, and soaring over their heads, everything from vultures to white-tailed sea eagles.
Sphax’s voyage then takes him along the island archipelago of what is now Croatia. Today, the offshore islands, golden beaches and verdant coastline are breathtakingly beautiful, a real holiday hotspot. When Sphax sailed these waters, even in the depths of winter these island would have been clothed in green, with magnificent stands of Lebanese cedar and the handsome Aleppo pine. As they enter the Bay of Kotor (modern-day Montenegro) and make for Rhizon (modern-day Risan), Sphax waxes lyrical: ‘This is Elysium,’ he says, ‘I would willingly give up the desert to feast my eyes on such beauty.’
When Sphax and Corinna walked hand in hand up the steep hillside above the citadel in Rhizon, they did it by moonlight, so at least they weren’t in danger of being savaged by lions. Which would not have been the case if they’d ventured out into the wilds in broad daylight. Lions were not uncommon in Illyria (modern-day Albania, Montenegro and Croatia) and were widespread throughout the Balkans, Greece, Macedonia and Thrace. All Sphax had to worry about that evening was Illyria’s wolves and bears. Today, Montenegro is proud of its populations of these protected creatures.
It might surprise readers to know that it would take another six hundred years (well into the fourth century AD) before the philosopher Themistius complained that lions could no longer be furnished for his Constantinople beast-shows because they’d been hunted to extinction. Greece supplied lions for Imperial Rome’s gladiatorial games, but through over-hunting, eventually this source dried up, forcing them to import barbary lions from north Africa.
I find it astonishing to think that as the Saxons came to our shores and established the kingdom of Wessex, the roar of the lion could still be heard in the wildest reaches of Europe.
As I’m writing about Hannibal, I suppose I should say something about elephants! Contrary critters … as likely to trample their own soldiers as their enemies. Here’s a few facts.
Of the thirty-seven that crossed the Alps and took part in the Battle of the Trebia in 218 BC, only two or three survived the terrible winter that followed. Virtually all Hannibal’s elephant corps were small African animals, captured in the dry woodland fringes of the Sahara. They could not possibly have supported a howdah bristling with javelinmen! The best they could hope for was shock and awe, achieved in spades at the Trebia, routing Roman cavalry and infantry.
We know that the largest of them, probably an Indian bull elephant named Saurus (the Syrian), did survive that winter of winters and carried Hannibal through the swamps of the Arno river in the campaign of 217 BC. Other than this, elephants played absolutely no part in Hannibal’s campaigns in Italy.

Giveaway :

Win Book 6 in The Histories of Sphax series to be dedicated to the winner, & a signed dedicated copy too (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 / #QandAs : The Sky Turned Black – John Steele @JohnSte_author @silvertailbooks

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

The Sky Turned Black

Today I’m on the ‘The Sky Turned Black’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

John Steele B&WJohn Steele was born and raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland. In 1995, at the age of twenty-two he travelled to the United States and has since lived and worked on three continents, including a thirteen-year spell in Japan. Among past jobs he has been a drummer in a rock band, an illustrator, a truck driver and a teacher of English. He now lives in England with his wife and daughter. He began writing short stories, selling them to North American magazines and fiction digests. He has published four previous novels: Ravenhill, Seven Skins, Dry River and Rat Island, the first of which was longlisted for a CWA Debut Dagger award. John’s books have been described as ‘remarkable’ by the Sunday Times, ‘dark and thrilling’ by Claire McGowan, and ‘spectacular’ by Tony Parsons. The Irish Independent called John ‘a writer of huge promise’ and Gary Donnelly appointed him ‘the undisputed champion of the modern metropolitan thriller’.

Social Media Links:
Twitter

Synopsis :

John Steele B&WHIS BIGGEST CASE YET. BUT IT COULD BE HIS LAST…
NYPD officer Callum Burke is on a routine drugs raid when he bursts in on a scene of monstrous horror – and two killers about to get away.
The men are caught but they won’t talk. All the cops learn is that they’re Russian and extremely dangerous which means this could be the start of a savage new gang war.
Callum Burke is assigned to the investigation. It’s Manhattan in 1997 and the city is being cleaned up. The pressure is on.
But when Callum discovers there might be more to the Russian involvement than just criminal gangs, he finds himself in deeper trouble than he’s ever known…

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Q&A :

Hi

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

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, during the bad old days of the ‘Troubles’. My mother was – and still is, in her late eighties now – a voracious reader. I always got a couple of chapters of Charlotte’s Web or James and the Giant Peach before bed when a child. My father could spin a story, and they both influenced me greatly. My last novel, Rat Island, and my latest, The Sky Turned Black, are NYC-set crime stories heavily influenced by my time living in the city.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I loved Charlotte’s Web and Roald Dahl. Also comics: Batman, and the British horror comic, Scream. I now enjoy Harry Crews’s work and, as much of his stuff is out of print, have picked up copies of his novels here and there. His first, The Gospel Singer, is getting a new Penguin edition this year so I can’t wait for that.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Harry Crews was willing to put everything on the page, and I’d love to chat with him about the integrity of his work. Richard Price is superb at portraying urban life on the darker side. I’m a big fan of the comic book writer Garth Ennis: he hails from the same part of the world as me and I’d love a session in the pub with him. I’d also like to read the novels of film director S. Craig Zahler – I love his movies and would be interested in reading some of his work.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I think Mattie Ross, in Charles Portis’s True Grit, has got to be one of the greatest literary heroines of all time and I look forward to the day my own daughter reads the book. She’s just a fantastic, flawed character – judgemental, cranky, self-righteous; but dogged, stoic in the face of great danger, and burning with an inner passion to see justice done. I can relate to some of her background, too.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I have to write when and wherever I can as I work full-time and want to be around for my family as much as possible. I can’t afford to have rituals, or even warm-up time, really. I look forward to the day when I can, though!

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Back to Harry Crews again. He wrote an essay titled Climbing the Tower, in which he confessed how he believed we all have the capacity to do terrible things and each day can be a struggle to control these dark urges. I wouldn’t go that far in terms of myself, but I do think crime writers tap into the darker side of their psyche. You have to be careful, though. I bought a book for research, Practical Homicide Investigation by Vernon J. Geberth. Geberth is a former NYPD homicide detective and the book is used as a text on police training courses. But it’s illustrated with real crime scene photographs, which I foolishly didn’t realise when I ordered it. There are images in that book I can never unsee.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I was a devout pantser until now, but I am currently writing a third Callum Burke novel, The Devil Gave Them Voices, and I tried to loosely plot out the majority of the book before starting to really write. I thought it would make it easier to write with the pressures of work, family etc., but I have ended up ditching much of what I plotted and flying off in a different direction anyway.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
I’d say I’m still a novice writer myself! Start with short stories. When you do start a novel, you have to be tenacious – stubborn, really – to complete the work. Make sure you’re writing something you believe in and can live with for months or years.

What are your future plans as an author?
I had a ball writing Rat Island (2021) and The Sky Turned Black which is out now, so I want to finish the book I’m currently writing, The Devil Gave Them Voices, set in the same milieu. After that, who knows?

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
This is a moment in my new novel, The Sky Turned Black, when protagonist Callum Burke has chased a violent drug dealer into an alleyway in Brooklyn. He’s waiting for another narcotics cop, Lee, to join him and is puzzled at the dealer having disappeared.

“The alley was lined with the rear of various stores. There were a couple of shutters, lots of locked doors. A bank of trash cans. What looked like a couple of hiding holes where some buildings were shorter than others. He pulled the Glock.
There was the radio. He could call for help. Lee must finish his lap of the block in a minute, see the alley and follow Callum in.
He took a step, his breath still harsh.
Another step, another breath.
Then he couldn’t breathe at all and 6’4 of criminal terror and rage was barreling into him, driving him against a steel door. It felt like his ribs were making to crush his lungs. His head reeled. His limbs lost it for a second. The Glock hit the ground.”

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

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

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

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #PromoPost : Five Dead Men – Rachel Green @AuthorRachelG

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

Five Dead Men

Today I’m on the ‘Five Dead Men’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a some ‘basic’ information for you.

About the Author :

Rachel Green is the pen name of a writer from the UK. Rachel has twice been longlisted for both the Bath Novel Award and the BPA First Novel Award, as well as being on the shortlist for the Capital Crime New Voices Award. Rachel lives in a tiny village in England, but travels frequently to the south of France where the stories from the Madame Renard Investigates series are set.

Social Media Links:
Website
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook
BookBub

Synopsis :

Five Dead MenWhen the bodies of five men are discovered in a secret vault at the villa Belle Époque, suspicion falls upon the villa’s former owner, enigmatic Pascal Deveraux.
Actor, gambler, general good-for-nothing – Pascal has lived a life of privilege and excess. But with no evidence to implicate him in murder, the case goes unsolved.
Called in to investigate the cold case, it’s not long before Margot’s enquiries re-open old wounds. Aided by policière municipale, Alia Leon, the investigation moves swiftly from the smugglers’ trails of the Pyrenees to the cannabis clubs of Barcelona. And it’s there, in the dark medieval streets of the city’s Gothic Quarter, that someone finds a reason to silence her.

Purchase Link:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

The Magic of Wor(l)ds