#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #PromoPost : Out of the Bower – A. E. Walnofer

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

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

About the Author :

A.E. Walnofer spends weekdays mobilizing the soft tissue and synovial joints of patients, and weekends typing out stories that are incessantly brewing inside her head. There are lots of these tales and she hopes to share many more of them with you in the future.

Social Media Links:
Website

Synopsis :

London, 1817: When Barclay Durbin, a young street preacher, encounters Honora Goodwin, injured on a London street, he doesn’t know she has just escaped from Titania’s Bower, a brothel. Taking her to his ancestral home to recover amongst his family, he falls in love with the vivacious girl and comes to believe that she is divinely appointed to become his wife.
Honora begins to feel similarly and knows that the good-hearted gentleman’s attentions would likely ensure her future happiness, but she is intent on liberating Celia Woodlow – the friend she was forced to leave behind at the Bower. Telling Barclay only parts of her own story, Honora enlists the besotted young man to help her.
When their plan goes awry, Honora realizes that only the truth can deliver them from the emotional and societal maelstrom in which they find themselves. But if she divulges all, what will become of Honora and Barclay’s budding attachment? And will Celia ever gain her freedom?
Out of the Bower tells the tale of a forbidden romance, an ardent friendship, and the ever-essential redemption of self.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Giveaway :

Win 3 x E-copies of Out of the Bower by A. E. Walnofer (Open INT)
*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : The Housekeeper of Thornhallow Hall – Lotte R. James @lottejamesbooks @HarlequinBooks @MillsandBoon

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

Today I’m on the ‘The Housekeeper of Thornhallow Hall’ 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 :

Lotte James trained as an actor and theatre director, but spent most of her life working day
jobs crunching numbers whilst dreaming up stories of love and adventure. She’s thrilled to
finally be writing those stories, and when she’s not scribbling on tiny pieces of paper, she
can usually be found wandering the countryside for inspiration, or nestling with coffee and a
book.

Social Media:
Twitter

Synopsis :

She arrived as a housekeeper
Will she leave as a countess?
To some, Thornhallow Hall might be tarnished by tales of vengeance and ghosts, but to new housekeeper Rebecca Merrickson it represents independence and peace from her tumultuous past. Until the estate’s owner, William Reid, the disappeared earl, unexpectedly returns… After clashing with him over the changes she’s made to the house, Rebecca slowly unearths the memories that haunt brooding Liam—and her defiance gives way to a shockingly improper attraction to her master!

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Harlequin Books

Guest Post :

How developing characters for theatre informed my process as a romance writer

If you peek at my bio, you’ll see that I trained as an actor and theatre director. I love theatre, and still work in the industry when I can, mainly as a director. Some might say those nice pieces of paper I earned in pursuit of an acting career are now just that – pretty pieces of paper. But I honestly don’t think I would be the writer I am today, if I hadn’t learned all I had on that path.
Actors create characters. It is a group effort, or at least, in my opinion, should be, between all the parts that make up the whole; writer, director, creatives… Whether a Shakespeare, or a new piece of devised work, creating a piece of theatre, TV, or film, is only possible if all the parts work together. But at the heart of the actor’s work, is taking a character, and bringing them to life. Giving them breath, and making them real.
You are taught many tools, tricks, and techniques to make that happen. Everyone has their preferred methods; some like some Chekhov (Michael – not Anton), while others prefer some Uta Hagen. Some start with movement, others with research. Most I’ve met use an arsenal, pulling out different tools for different projects.
Typically, you begin by looking at the trajectory of the play. You have certain moments to work from; the character’s story as it is given by the writer or creator. Many, myself included, build from there, working through intentions and actions, motivations and objectives, as well as what the character uses to fulfill those objectives. Are you guilting others? Seducing them? What’s working? You’re looking at power – who has it, and who wants it? All this informs who the characters are (to you).
From there, always a storyteller at heart, my process continued with piecing together the rest of the character’s story. Filling in the blanks – the what happened before this scene or what happens after the play. I think many writers and actors share an affinity for character bios – along with lists of favourite colours, foods, or pieces of music. Then I would look at movement, and voice. What is their center? Head, heart, or gut? Do they move quickly, or slowly? Does their place of birth inform the way they speak?
You can begin to see how very similar building characters in fiction might be, and how such in-depth, pointed work, might transition nicely to writing. All that I’ve mentioned are tools I still use to build characters in my novels. Sometimes, if I’m stuck on a character, I will literally take a walk in their shoes, and break out my old acting skills. I’ll try on some clothes, or a way of moving. I definitely am guilty of talking out scenes – making sure it sounds human, and like my character.
And of course, at the heart of characters, well, humans, is emotion. On stage and on the page, particularly in romance, you need to know what the character is thinking, how emotions and patterns of thought inform decisions and action.
For The Housekeeper of Thornhallow Hall, I began with an image – the housekeeper before the grim mansion. But what brought her there? What made the lord run from there? What emotions can be powerful enough to drive them along the paths they have tread so far? What do they lack? How has their work informed how they move, and speak, and relate to each other? (To know the answers, naturally you’ll have to read the book…)
I read a quote from Kafka a few weeks back that really stuck with me: ‘A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside of us.’ There are so many thoughts on what art is, what it should be. For me, it is something like what Kafka says. And to be the axe, you first have to break through and explore the frozen depths of those things you put on stage or on the page. For when there is truth in the work, human truth, then, and only then, can it reach out and touch others’ hearts.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : Getting Away With Murder – Joy Wood @Joywoodauthor

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

Today I’m on the ‘Getting Away With Murder’ 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 :

Joy Wood has worked as a nurse most of her adult life and turned to writing six years ago to ‘see if she could.’ Her earlier work was adult romance and intrigue, but more recently she has switched genres to romance with a crime element. Joy lives in the small but charming seaside town of Cleethorpes in North East Lincolnshire and her writing ideas come from watching the tide turn daily, of course with the obligatory ice-cream – someone has to support the local economy!

Website
Facebook
Twitter

Synopsis :

Claire is happily married to the charismatic Max Maric and living the dream in a luxury house in the prestigious Sandbanks area of Poole Harbour. She loves her husband and their precious son, Freddy. Her life is perfect. Or so she thinks.
Annabelle is Max Maric’s lover. She’s a wealthy widow and is all set to marry him, just as soon as he’s divorced. Her life will then be perfect. Or so she thinks.
One man, two women, but they can’t both have him.
And he doesn’t get to choose – the schizophrenic decides, with a sophisticated plan to eradicate her nemesis in the most heinous of ways.
The intended victim needs a friend. Fortunately, she has a new one she’s become close to.
But nobody told her that false friends are worse than open enemies.

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! 🙂

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I am a registered nurse with a degree in public health. I’ve always loved reading, but never really thought about writing until six years ago when I just wanted to see if I could write a book. As you can imagine, it took quite a while for my words to become a book, but I’m pleased to say I got there. Becoming involved in the book community has changed my life. Now I can’t imagine not being part of it.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I grew up with Enid Blyton, Agatha Christie and Mills and Boon. (I spent years looking for a typical Mills and Boon hero to have in my life!) When I was 12, I sneaked into my mother’s bedroom and started to read the book at the side of her bed that I “could read when I was older.” It was a gem and has stayed with me all my life. The book is ‘The Other Side of Midnight’ by Sidney Sheldon. I still think about how that story transported me away from my young life into a different world as I turned each page.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Barbara Taylor Bradford. I was lucky to win a competition two years ago to attend a book launch where she did a question and answer session with the host of the evening. My goodness me – what a personality. She was captivating and extremely wise.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
The first book that I ever wrote had beautiful identical twin sisters in it (For the Love of Emily). Rebecca was the central character for the book and everything she did/action she took, was for her dear twin Emily who had moderate learning difficulties. I developed her into such a charming, cute and endearing character which readers seemed to fall in love with. I’d love to meet her in real life! I once went to a book club with members who had kindly read the book and wanted to give me feedback. The joy of the evening was them all discussing the lovely Emily. It amused me that she only existed in my head!

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
None whatsoever. Have laptop, will travel. I do seem to consume a lot of biscuits though hence my return when it opened up to my slimming class!

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Not at all. My characters are far removed from real life, however I do use situations that interest me and I’d like to replicate in some form. So beware of telling me any holiday mishaps or family secrets!

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Definitely go with the flow. I always have an idea in my head when I start, but the drama begins at the PC. Somehow, ideas seem to flow for me as I write and I like to develop the characters as ideas spring to mind.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Do’s – get writing. It is so easy to not write. You can find loads of reasons to put it off. I believe in writing and writing and writing until the novel is finished. That said, it isn’t a novel at that stage – it’s just telling me the story.
If you don’t want to write a full story, try a short story, or maybe keep a journal. The key is writing, not thinking too much because if you do, you talk yourself out of it ie ‘I can’t write’ ‘who would want to read my book’ ‘how will I ever get a publisher?’ ‘I can’t self publish, I wouldn’t know how.’ YES YOU CAN to all of those – JUST WRITE!
And don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are so many people out there that have been where you are and are only too willing to pass on tips etc. I’m not an expert but I’m happy to share the way I do things.
Don’ts – have your iPad/iPhone around when writing. Social media kills all creativity. Don’t get drawn in by negative people who try to put you off ie “My aunty wrote a book and only sold 100 copies.’

What are your future plans as an author?
I’m delighted to report that I have just signed a two book deal with Dark Edge Press. I’m really looking forward to working with a traditional publisher as I’ve been independently working alone and self publishing for five years. It will be interesting to see the comparison. I do love self publishing though and sincerely hope to do both. Whether I can remains to be seen. I do hope so as my independent books are on sale locally which is a real boost for a self published author. But I do need to come up with some new ones.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Annabelle attending a regular counselling session.

“That’s reassuring,” George Grey nodded, “but in everyday life, we all suffer with stress, or for want of a better expression, we all come under pressure. My concern is how you are going to handle that when such a situation arises, and more importantly, how your fiancé will react. We’ve worked together on coping strategies but we do need to be mindful that another incident could have huge consequences.”
“Yes, of course. But as I’ve said many times since the episode with my late husband, I am now better. I’m a completely different person. That almost seems like it was somebody else. I’m on a new pathway in my life right now. Nothing like that will happen again with Max and I, I can assure you.”
“But you do understand my apprehension regarding the speed in which you’ve progressed in your relationship. I’m reassured you have explained it all to your fiancé, but I’m somewhat sceptical about him not being unduly worried. No disrespect intended, but I think any man would be that enters into a relationship with a woman with a history such as yours.”
“Yes, but he’s relieved I have you helping me to move on as well as being thankful the courts were lenient. He knows I was ill at the time and is sympathetic about that. I’ve reassured him that I’m on medication to control everything. Dr Stead said as long as I keep taking that, he sees no reason for me to ever go back to that dark and dismal place.”
“Has Dr Stead suggested that your fiancé accompanies you to any sessions with him?”
“No. He didn’t seem to think that was necessary.”
“I see. Then we must trust his professional opinion even if he and I differ. You’ve been doing well with the bespoke programme, and we want to make sure that continues. But your life is going to change dramatically when you get married. Part of my role is overseeing your sustained positive mental health, but also I feel I have a responsibility to ensure that a man who has become central in your life, is aware of the potential chance at some stage of a reoccurrence of a negative episode which could put him in danger.”
“Fine,” she said firmly, “I’ll discuss it in greater depth with him then.”
“That’s my advice. While I can’t force you to bring your fiancé with you to one of our sessions, I am suggesting that he does accompany you. One session most probably would be all we’d need together.”
“Right, well, I’ll think about it. But before I do anything, is my medical history confidential? If I choose not to tell . . . elaborate further about my diagnosis, nobody else gets to know but you and Dr Stead, do they?”
She glared at George Grey knowing the answer but wanted to remind him of his place. He wasn’t controlling her relationship with Max.
His face remained deadpan. “Of course your medical history is confidential. But we find ourselves in uncharted waters here. And as you’ve said yourself, you’ve explained everything that has happened to your fiancé, therefore,” he peered over his glasses at her, “I’m finding it difficult to comprehend why you would object to him gaining more information. Information which could protect him and give him a greater awareness of how to support you if in the future you find your mood . . . fluctuating.”
She needed to remain calm. Best to fake tiredness and get out of there.
“Look . . . with respect, I’ve spoken to Dr Stead and he’s happy with me and my medication. And I’ve done as you previously suggested and explained everything that has happened to my fiancé. I’m feeling rather tired today and have a splitting headache. If you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to cut today’s session short.”
“Of course. Just one thing that has occurred to me. You say you’ve explained everything. How clear have you been?”
“I don’t know what you mean?”
“Have you told your fiancé there was an accident and your husband died?” he paused giving her time to digest what he was saying . . . “or have you explained it was you that killed him?”

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

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 / #QandAs : Trail of the Jaguar – Jonathan Hanson

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

Today I’m on the ‘Trail of the Jaguar’ 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 :

Jonathan Hanson grew up northeast of Tucson, Arizona, with Sabino and Bear Canyons as his backyard, providing him with years of desert expeditions, hunting like the Apaches and building wickiups (which failed spectacularly).
He has since written for a score of outdoor and adventure magazines including Outside, National Geographic Adventure, Nature Conservancy, and Global Adventure, and has authored a dozen books on subjects including natural history, sea kayaking, wildlife tracking, and expedition travel.
Jonathan’s exploration experience encompasses land- and sea-scapes on six continents, from the Atacama Desert to the Beaufort Sea, from the Rift Valley to the Australian Outback, and modes of transportation from sea kayaks to sailboats to bicycles to Land Cruisers.
He has traveled among and worked with cultures as diverse as the Seri Indians and the Himba, the Inuit and the Maasai. Jonathan has taught tracking, natural history writing, four-wheel-driving techniques, and other subjects for many conservation and government organizations.
He is an elected fellow of the Explorers Club and the Royal Geographical Society, and a charter member of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, and lives in Southern Arizona with his wife of 37 years, Roseann Beggy Hanson.
You can follow Jonathan’s Overland Tech and Travel blog and order signed books at ExploringOverland.com.

Social Media Links:
Facebook
Instagram

Synopsis :

Biologist and wildlife photographer Clayton Porter witnesses what appears to be a routine drug-smuggling flight across the Arizona-Mexico border. Instead, he uncovers a sophisticated operation involving a secret lodge high in the Sierra Madre, canned hunts for endangered jaguars, a ring of opioid-dealing doctors in the U.S., and a string of cartel victims partially consumed by a large predator. After he unwittingly throws a wrench into the works, Porter becomes a target of revenge, and resorts to skills from his military service to save himself and those close to him.

Purchase Link

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 for the opportunity!

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I grew up in the desert outside Tucson, Arizona, immersed in nature when I wasn’t off in the fantasy worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs or H. Rider Haggard. This set me on a path to becoming a wilderness guide, a safari leader in Kenya and Tanzania, and a freelance writer for publications such as Outside and National Geographic Adventure. I’ve written a dozen non-fiction books, both solo and with my wife, Roseann, on natural history subjects. The fantasy worlds and the natural history finally came together in my first novel, Trail of the Jaguar.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I devoured everything to do with Africa, from Tarzan to Livingstone, as well as the history of the American West and the Mountain Men. I still love histories of all kinds, and I still love well-crafted action/adventure escapism.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I adore Michael Korda’s biography of T.E. Lawrence, Hero. I would love to ask him how he was able to make Lawrence so sympathetic while at the same time being utterly rigorous in his research and in documenting the man’s sometimes-tortured psyche.

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 feel like I already know my own characters pretty well! So I’m going to say Allan Quatermain from H. Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines. He could tell some good tales.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Not really. I usually start writing around 7:00 AM unless I go for a bicycle ride (alternate days). I generally have a second cup of coffee around 10:00. Kinda boring, huh?

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Well, my wife does raise an eyebrow at my more violent concepts now and then. But my ideas come from everywhere. I’m a voracious reader; I love to travel, I follow news from around the world. All input is good input! Every time I think I’m going overboard on a fictional plot, all I have to do is look at world headlines to realize my imagination could never outstrip reality.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
The general plot comes first, but only as a broad outline. From there the story finds me.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Only write what you are passionate about. Craft every sentence as if it were the first one. Be accurate in all real-world details, even in fiction. Put 25 percent of your energy into the opening of your book (or article), another 25 percent into the end, and the rest in the middle.

What are your future plans as an author?
I am working on a sequel to Trail of the Jaguar, which will take Clayton Porter from the southwestern U.S. to the Canadian Arctic

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Sure! Here’s a passage from an incident in the early part of the book, narrated by the protagonist, Clayton Porter, and involving his friend Jedediah Carson, an octogenarian ex-Green Beret. And a cat named Pounce.

“Jed!” I bellowed at the house, although I knew there’d be no response.
I went straight for the door, up the porch and through the opening, completely sun-blind. I sidestepped to get my silhouette out of the light, and swept the room with the Colt’s muzzle. Slowly my pupils dilated.
Jed lay on his back under a shattered window, Winchester leaning against his chest, coagulated blood caking the Two Grey Hills rug beneath him. Too much blood.
I ignored him. There was every chance his assailants had left someone behind to ambush me, and wherever Jed was now he would never forgive me if I took one in the back of the head while crying over his body.
Clearing a building bears no relation to what you see in the movies, with the hero peering through doorways one pie slice at a time. Clearing is tactically the most stupid thing you can do, since your enemy has had time to situate himself behind cover you know not where, almost completely hidden, while you have to expose yourself at every opening. Unless it’s a hostage situation it’s better to just stand back and toss in grenades. But I had no grenades, so I simply went through the house at full speed, hoping a first shot at me would miss and betray the location of the shooter.
Kitchen—clear. Bathroom—clear. Sally’s sewing room—clear. Jaqueline’s room and closet—clear.
I went through the main bedroom door and swept from the left side with the muzzle of the pistol.
Wrong direction. A flash of movement to my right. I spun and crouched, tucking the weapon tight so it couldn’t be grabbed and swiveling it toward the oncoming blur, finger taking up the last gram on the trigger.
Pounce landed on my shoulders, clinging there and mrowling plaintively.
Bloody hell. “Jesus, buddy,” I said. I stroked his head while I cleared the master bath one-handed.
I went back down the hallway to the living room, Pounce sticking to me like a barbed limpet. I looked through the back window into the patio. Nothing there. I went back to the front door to check the yard one more time, really just putting off what I needed to do next.
There was a voice. Not from the yard, but the floor. Garbled and fluid-filled, but a recognizable baritone nonetheless.
“Whenever you’re finished . . . makin’ out with the damn cat . . . do you think you could . . . call me a medic?”

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

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!

#MiniBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : Coldharbour – John Mead @JohnMeadAuthor

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

Today I’m on the ‘Coldharbour’ 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 :

66H7-ZfwJohn was born in the mid-fifties in Dagenham, London, on part of the largest council estate ever built, and was the first pupil from his local secondary modern school to attend university. He has now taken early retirement to write, having spent the first part of his life working in education and the public sector. He was the director of a college, a senior school inspector for a local authority, and was head of a unit for young people with physical and mental health needs. When he is not travelling, going to the theatre or the pub, he writes.
John is currently working on a seies of novels set in modern day London. These police procedurals examine the darker side of modern life in the East End of the city.

Social Media Links:
Twitter
Amazon author profile
Goodreads profile

Synopsis :

The Met Police’s Major Investigation Team East has its hands full: a rash of tit for tat gang related stabbings, a strangled housewife, the decomposed remains of a woman found in a ditch and more to come. Adding to their woes is their boss, Chief Inspector Matthew Merry, being distracted by his problems at home.
For Matthew’s wife, Kathy, her only concern is dealing with the aftermath of being drugged and raped by a co-worker. Will the trial of the man responsible be enough to give her the justice she demands. Or, as her therapist states, is it revenge she really desires. She doesn’t know. As her emotions see-saw from elation to depression, her only certainty is that her husband seems more concerned about his work than her.
And Matthew is only too aware of his failings both at home and work. But the police machine grinds on, seeking information and sifting evidence — justice is not their concern.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Guest Post :

Crime Novels
My loves and pet hates

It is probably worth starting with an initial note about book genres: they are a necessary evil for the publishing industry, how else do you advertise a book or list it on Amazon, but are otherwise meaningless. Like all authors – he said, shaking his head as he did so, to emphasise the disdain he felt for publishers and agents – I write about life. Although… if there are any publishers or agents reading this: I write Crime Fiction / Police Procedurals — just in case you are interested in such things, they are well worth a read.
In reality there is no definition of a crime novel. Bertie Wooster stole a silver cow-creamer (The Code of the Woosters), Smeagol (AKA Gollum) stole a ring (The Hobbit), Count Dracula assaulted people and sucked their blood (Count Dracula) and Daenerys Targaryen would undoubtedly have ended up doing time for her misuse of dragons to destroy whole towns (Game of Thrones); the fact remains that none of these are crime stories.
There is no requirement to include a detective in a crime novel, not a professional one, nor even a private investigator, paid or unpaid. Any interested amateur is enough. Occasionally journalists and lawyers are used and, given they have reasonable investigative skills, are not bad choices. However, in practice, any old busybody will do. Just look at the qualification base of the likes of Agatha Raisin, Phryne Fisher or the unrivalled Miss Marple. Sherlock Holmes had, at least, studied for his profession, as consulting detective, focusing only on the knowledge he needed to solve crimes to the exclusion of everything else — to the extent that he seemed unaware that the Earth revolved around the Sun.
However, as with all other investigators of the non-professional kind, Holmes only had to prove his suspect guilty to his own satisfaction. No need for trial by a jury of his peers and chains of evidence, his own judgement was sufficient. And, of course, if the accused dies, hopefully in some ironic way, at the very end then justice is served. All those legal requirements that can make things messy, and let’s not mention appeals and pardons, are done away with. Everyone is happy, people are never wrongly suspected and accused — not in the world of sleuthing.
If, however, this doesn’t quite tie things up as neatly as readers demand then one way round the issue is to have the baddie confess. Preferably in front of a group of witnesses and probable alternative suspects who have been gathered together deliberately for dramatic effect. In fact this is such a popular way to bring about an ending, in order to completely confirm that the investigator has fingered the correct suspect, that it often occurs in investigations conducted by police inspectors. No caution is ever given, no reading of rights, no need for the accused to have legal representation. The entire case is laid out before witnesses and other probable suspects, just to ensure everyone is speaking from the same page and pointing their finger at the same person. No wonder the accused always cave in and owns up, not that it matters as the confession would be thrown out of court but that’s an inconsequential detail.
Of course, like everyone else, I love these type of crime stories. Who wouldn’t want a world where the baddie is always unmasked and punished for their crimes, where the death of a loved one is a plot device and no grey exists. Reality is very different but not always as enjoyable. However, there is some Crime Fiction that is both realistic and enjoyable. Look at a couple of recent TV shows, such as Broadchurch and Unforgotten, they show it is possible to tell crime stories that are both realistic, harrowing and yet entertaining.
In the final analysis, all writers of Crime Fiction cut corners and take a degree of licence with reality, in order to tell their story. Inspectors and DCI’s are managers and rarely do the investigative work their fictional counterparts do. The police are part of large organisations which tend to be highly regulated and usually have authoritarian structures. A lot of the day to day grind is just that, a boring grind. The police are ordinary men and women dealing with ordinary people, victim and suspect alike, going through a terrible situation. And as for crime, whether it is the theft of a few coins or a murder, in reality it is never fun for the victim — never justifiable as a reason for someone to exercise their little grey cells or stave off boredom (both Poirot and Holmes are great fictional characters, but have a tendency to be self-satisfied and smug).
However you like your crime stories, whether artificial and contrived or realistic and harrowing, they should – unlike the real thing – always be entertaining.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#MiniBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : Angel of the Lost Treasure – Marie Laval @MarieLaval1 @ChocLituk

– ‘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 ‘Angel of the Lost Treasure’ 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 :

HifK7RngOriginally from Lyon in France, Marie has lived in the Rossendale Valley in Lancashire for the past few years. She writes both contemporary and historical romance. Her novels include best selling contemporary romantic suspense novels LITTLE PINK TAXI and ESCAPE TO THE LITTLE CHATEAU, which was shortlisted for the 2021 RNA Jackie Collins Romantic Suspense Awards, as well as A PARIS FAIRY TALE and BLUEBELL’S CHRISTMAS MAGIC. Her latest novel, ANGEL OF THE LOST TREASURE, was released in February 2021. Marie also contributes to the best selling Miss Moonshine’s Emporium anthologies together with eight author friends from Authors on the Edge.

Social Media Links:
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Synopsis :

vH0J0CBQAn ancient secret hidden within a mother’s song …
When young widow, Marie-Ange Norton is invited to Beauregard in France by the mysterious Monsieur Malleval to collect an inheritance, she has no choice but to accept.
But when she embarks on the voyage with her fiery-tempered travelling companion Capitaine Hugo Saintclair, little does she know what waits for her across the sea in turbulent nineteenth-century France on the eve of Napoleon’s return from exile. When she arrives, she is taken aback by Malleval’s fascination with her family – seemingly inspired by his belief they are connected to a sacred relic he’s read about in coded manuscripts by the Knights Templar.
As it becomes clear that Malleval’s obsession has driven him to madness, Marie-Ange is horrified to realise she is more the man’s prisoner than his guest. Not only that, but Hugo is the only person who might be able to help her, and he could represent a different kind of danger .

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Kobo

Guest Post :

Mixing history and fantasy:
ANGEL OF THE LOST TREASURE and the treasure of the Knights Templar

I am not the first author, and I certainly won’t be the last, to be fascinated by the history of the Knights Templar and to find inspiration in their troubled, secretive and dramatic past.
In ANGEL OF THE LOST TREASURE my heroine Marie-Ange must recover a relic hidden by the Knights Templar – the Cross of Life – which is rumoured to give eternal life. With the help of cuirassier captain Hugo Saintclair, she unravels an old family mystery before returning the cross to its original hiding place in the crypt of the chateau of Arginy in the Beaujolais region.
Whereas the Cross of Life is my invention, I had great fun interweaving the romance between Marie-Ange and Hugo Saintclair with myths and historical facts about the Knights Templar.
But who were they and what happened to them?
The Knights Templar was a monastic order founded in 1118 to protect pilgrims to the Holy Land, to defend the Saint-Sepulchre and fight in the Crusades. The Order grew in power and wealth and the Knights Templar, in their distinctive white mantles adorned with a red cross, were among the most skilled fighting units of the Crusades. They managed a large economic infrastructure throughout Christendom, acquired vast estates, became the French Kings’ bankers and built fortifications across Europe and the Holy Land.
The Templars’ existence was tied closely to the Crusades and when the Holy Land was lost, support for the Order faded and rumours that they indulged in heresy grew rife. In 1307, Philippe IV of France – also known as Philippe le Bel – had most of their members arrested, tortured into giving false confessions, and then executed. Cynics would perhaps mention at this point that the French king was deep in debt towards the Templar Order and probably hoped to get his debts written off and lay his hands on the order’s considerable fortune… Pope Clement V disbanded the Order in 1312, and the speculation and legends started.
One of them stems from the curse issued by the last Great Master Jacques de Molay as he was being burned at the stake in Paris. He supposedly predicted that the Pope would die within forty days, foretold Philippe le Bel’s imminent death and cursed all his descendents for the next thirteen generations. The Pope did die three weeks later, and Philippe le Bel eight months later. Some claim that the execution of King Louis XVI in 1792 put an end to the Templar malediction on the royal family, since Louis was the 13th generation of the Capet line.
King Philippe’s actions against the Templars didn’t make him a wealthy man since only a fraction of the Templar’s vast treasure was ever recovered. Some believe that the Templar Knights arranged for it to be shipped away to Scotland or Cyprus, or transported to a secret location, like the chateau of Arginy in the Beaujolais or Gisors in Normandy.
In ANGEL OF THE LOST TREASURE I chose the chateau of Arginy as the treasure’s hiding place. Arginy is a fascinating place indeed. It was built on an ancient Roman salt mine in the 11th century then extended in the 16th century. With its three towers and a dungeon, it looks imposing and mysterious, even to this day. Between the 13th and the 15th centuries the chateau belonged to the powerful Beaujeu family and to the man who was the twenty-first Grand Templar Master between 1273 to 1291: Guillaume de Beaujeu.
A few nights before his execution, Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master, called his nephew Guichard de Beaujeu to his jail in Paris for a final meeting. Nobody knows what they talked about but shortly after Molay’s execution, Guichard removed the coffin of his ancestor Guillaume from the Paris Temple and transported it to Arginy. What was in that coffin? Beaujeu’s remains only or the Templar treasure that Jacques de Molay had asked his nephew to keep safe?
So the legend was born…Ever since the 16th century, treasure hunters have tried their luck at Arginy, but there were so many accidents or reports of ‘diabolical’ goings-on that people soon believed the chateau was cursed. In the 1950s the chateau’s then owner, Jacques de Rosemont, called in a team of occultists who decreed that the Templar treasure was indeed hidden in the crypt at Arginy, and that it was guarded by the ghosts of eleven Templar Knights.
The chateau is still privately owned to this day, but nobody has been looking for the treasure for a while…
With so much history and so many legends attached to it, it’s no wonder that Arginy plays such an important part in ANGEL OF THE LOST TREASURE.

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BookBirthdayBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : The Gilded Cage on the Bosphorus – Ayşe Osmanoğlu @AyseGulnev

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

Today I’m on the ‘The Gilded Cage on the Bosphorus’ book birthday blitz, 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 :

Ayşe Osmanoğlu is a member of the Imperial Ottoman family, being descended from Sultan Murad V through her grandfather and from Sultan Mehmed V (Mehmed Reşad) through her grandmother. After reading History and Politics at the University of Exeter, she then obtained an M.A. in Turkish Studies at SOAS, University of London, specialising in Ottoman History. She lives in the UK with her husband and five children.

Social Media Links:
Facebook
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Synopsis :

Brothers bound by blood but fated to be enemies. Can their Empire survive or will it crumble into myth?
Istanbul, 1903.
Since his younger brother usurped the Imperial throne, Sultan Murad V has been imprisoned with his family for nearly thirty years.
The new century heralds immense change. Anarchy and revolution threaten the established order. Powerful enemies plot the fall of the once mighty Ottoman Empire. Only death will bring freedom to the enlightened former sultan. But the waters of the Bosphorus run deep: assassins lurk in shadows, intrigue abounds, and scandal in the family threatens to bring destruction of all that he holds dear…
For over six hundred years the history of the Turks and their vast and powerful Empire has been inextricably linked to the Ottoman dynasty. Can this extraordinary family, and the Empire they built, survive into the new century?
Set against the magnificent backdrop of Imperial Istanbul, The Gilded Cage on the Bosphorus is a spellbinding tale of love, duty and sacrifice.
Evocative and utterly beguiling, The Gilded Cage on the Bosphorus is perfect for fans of Colin Falconer, Kate Morton and Philippa Gregory.

Purchase Links:
Amazon
Payhip
Kobo
B&N
Apple Books
Google Play

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?
Hello… I’m Ayşe. I was born in England, but I am Turkish and a member of the Ottoman Imperial family. After reading History and Politics at the University of Exeter, I obtained an M.A. in Turkish Studies from SOAS, University of London, where I specialised in Ottoman History. I live in Sussex, in the UK, with my husband, our five beautiful children and our two cats. Other than researching my family history, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, travelling to new and interesting places, reading historical novels, playing golf and tennis, and I absolutely love going to the ballet. My guilty pleasure is chocolate, and lots of it!
I’m still not quite used to the idea of being an author! The Gilded Cage on the Bosphorus is my debut novel and the book that I always dreamed of writing. Ever since I was a little girl… I just never seemed to have the time to write it – until now!
It was never my intention to publish the book – it was written to encourage my children’s interest and sense of pride in their heritage, and to teach them the forgotten customs and traditions of my family. So, one day, I simply started to write. I also wanted to record some of the many stories and memoires that my grandparents shared with me of their unique lives in Imperial Istanbul, before they were lost forever. And I wanted to discover more about the characters and personalities behind the faces in our faded old family photographs, so as to keep their memory alive. (My father persuaded me to publish the book once he had read it and I just couldn’t refuse him. The paperback was then published on his 80th birthday!)

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now grown up?
As a child I used to love reading fairytales – especially ones about princesses! Now that I am all grown up I enjoy reading historical novels as I still enjoy reading about princesses! My shelves are filled with books by Jean Plaidy, Alison Weir, Hilary Mantel and Philippa Gregory…

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Wouldn’t it be amazing if this was actually possible?! I would choose Leo Tolstoy as I would love to learn how he weaves such compelling themes into his stories and bares open his characters’ souls. If he were busy I would ask Jane Austen if I could pick her brain, on account of her wonderfully subtle wit and her detailed and perceptive character portrayals, which I would love to try to emulate even if only in a tiny way.

If you could, which fictional character would you like to invite for tea and why?
I would like to invite Elizabeth Bennet into the drawing room after dinner for tea, as was the custom in her time! I just know that I would instantly like her and want her to become a close friend. Her lively wit, outspokenness and sharp intelligence would make for great conversation, and of course I would also like to find out if she and Mr Darcy lived ‘happily ever after’ as we all hope. I love the fashions of that period – so beautiful and feminine – so I would also be intrigued to see what she would wear!

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I am most definitely not a morning person! So on a writing day I am rarely at my desk before about 11ish, but once there I am ensconced for the day! I am not naturally creative so need to escape to the sanctuary of my study, surrounded by shelves of books and piles of research material, before being able to immerse myself into the scene I am working on. I also need complete silence to write. Not easy with five children, so I tend only to write when they are at school / university. I usually begin by re-reading the chapter I have been working on, go over any relevant research notes, and then just start tapping away at the keyboard. Once I have written a scene, I will re-read it a few times, make whatever edits I feel are needed, then reward myself with a few pieces of chocolate!

Where do you come up with your ideas? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
No one in my life need be worried!! My books are based on real people who lived a long time ago and on real historical events, so this is what gives me the main framework of my stories. Many ideas came from reading my Grandfather’s memoirs, listening to the stories of both my grandparents and to my father’s recollections. I do however get some ideas from observing my own children – the scene in the palace’s harem garden where the young princes and princesses build a snowman and have a snowball fight is one such example. Whether it be Istanbul in 1905 or Sussex in 2021, children playing in the snow will have much the same kind of fun!

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
When I wrote The Gilded Cage on the Bosphorus I absolutely went with the flow! I planned no plot outlines, made no chapter summaries and I had never even heard of the Three Act structure! I did however, draw out a timeline, but that was about as far as I got. However, during lockdown I took an online creative writing course, so the sequel might be written in a much more structured way!

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s / don’ts)?
Being a complete novice myself, I really do not think that I am in a position to give anyone any advice. However, what I would say is write about what you love or are interested in, write for yourself, and enjoy the journey…

What are your future plans as an author?
My dream is to continue researching and telling the story of my family. I plan to write a saga that will end in 1924, so I hope that there will be a few more books to come! Research for the sequel is well underway…

Last, but not least: Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Absolutely! It would be my pleasure! As I mentioned the snowball fight earlier, I will take you back to December 1905 and invite you into the harem garden of the Çırağan Palace on the shores of the Bosphorus, to meet my grandfather’s aunts and uncle as they play in the snow with their father.

Outside in the harem garden, meanwhile, two opposing sides had established themselves; each had set up makeshift defences behind one of the clumps of trees, and was busy building up supplies of snowy ammunition. The once-pristine blanket of snow was now dotted with large patches of uncovered grass and haphazardly-scattered footprints, giving it the appearance of a tattered patchwork quilt. Selahaddin had been voted the ‘commander’ of one of the sides by Adile and Safiye, his two ‘captains’, while ‘General’ Fuad had assumed command of the other. He had appointed Rukiye as his second-in-command, and this had instantly angered Atiye, who was not at all happy to have been relegated to the position of a mere sergeant! That had been the first argument. The second had been about tactics – Fuad had ordered his sisters to draw the enemy out into the open, where he would attack from above. He planned to climb one of the trees and rain down snowball bombs on his adversaries, undetected by them. Rukiye had said this was too dangerous – a remark that was not well received by Fuad, who retorted that she obviously did not understand that war was in any case a dangerous business. He had then felt obliged to remind her that a junior officer should never contradict the orders of her superior, especially on the field of battle; however, she had ignored him and told him not to be silly.
Battle was now joined. Despite feeling somewhat disheartened by this untimely mutiny, Fuad modified his tactics, leading a death-defying head-on charge into the clump of trees that his father was defending together with the ‘twins’. Snowballs flew in all directions, bursting open on impact; for the most part their trajectories ended on the ground or against tree trunks, but a few did indeed find their target. As ordered, Rukiye and Atiye concentrated their attack on their father, and he soon surrendered in fits of laughter. Fuad’s missiles hit Safiye first on the leg, then on the chest. She raised both hands above her head in a gesture of surrender, not wanting to be hit again – which meant that only Adile now remained to be forced into submission. By this time Fuad was running low on ammunition, but seeing his sister crouching behind a tree he took aim and lobbed a particularly compact snowball straight at her. It hit her hard in the face, and she burst into tears. This had not, of course, been his intention, and he rushed over to apologise, but all the same the incident brought the game to an abrupt end.

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

Thank you so much Stefanie, for inviting me to answer your probing and interesting questions and for hosting me on your Blog, and thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising my Virtual Book Tour to celebrate the 1st Birthday of The Gilded Cage on the Bosphorus.

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 / #QandAs : In The Beasts Cage – Mac Altgelt @macaltgelt @BookGuild

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

Today I’m on the ‘In The Beasts Cage’ 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 :

I am a Risk Management executive and Investor in Texas but I moonlight as a writer, short-film maker, musician, composer and world traveller (or, I was a world traveller in the pre-COVID days). In music, I have released 2 full-length albums (one of which is still available) and 2 E.P.s. I have published one humor book entitled 101 TIPS AND REVELATIONS FROM A MODERN DAY CYNIC (Black Rose Writing, 2017). IN THE BEAST’S CAGE is my first novel, but I have a second already in progress and no plans of slowing down. I have also written countless blogs, poems, short stories, essays and movie scripts in addition to my more sprawling fiction projects. Because of my work in the Risk Management industry, I spend a great deal of time in London working closely with Lloyd’s and can be found in that country often as a result. I have a wife (Alejandra) and two children, a 3-year-old daughter (Sophia) and a 1-year-old son (Otto) who was born in the midst of this pandemic. My wife is a dual-citizen of Mexico and Spain and had been living in London for 2 years prior to us meeting.

Social Media Links:
Website
Instagram
Twitter
Facebook
YouTube

Synopsis :

Harbouring a dark secret from his past, immortal Lord Blake from medieval England arrives mysteriously in a sleepy coastal town in Georgia, USA. There he meets Hugo Wegener, an ex-doctor who is burdened with his own dark secret, and life-long resident Ginny Harrison, who is involved in her aging father’s absurd dream of refurbishing and reopening the town’s long-defunct zoo. As Blake’s relationship with Ginny blooms, he finds himself involved in the insane zoo project and, when Bruce Kelly, an exotic game smuggler from South Africa, arrives in town on the eve of the grand reopening with a plan to rid the zoo of its valuable animal species, it is up to Blake, Hugo, and the old man to stop him, without revealing the terrible secrets of their pasts.

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 began my writing journey at an extremely young age as a poet. Poetry was my first muse, as they say. As I grew, I began to fancy myself a musician, though I could play no instruments. I used to carry around a little black notebook full of poems I’d written, which I, as a musician, incorrectly referred to as songs. Fairly soon, I began to record the “songs”, which were really spoken word poems since, again, there was no music accompanying it. As I continued to get older, however, I did learn to play instruments and my focus from then on centred on legitimate song-writing. I wrote and recorded music for many years, writing the occasional blog or poem, here or there, but had no real ambition to do anything else. It wasn’t until my early 30s that I began writing fiction with any level of seriousness, Nowadays, while I still love to play music, I know my true love to be writing novels, and I have no plan of slowing down anytime soon.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I grew up absolutely loving To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I have reread it more than I have any other book. It is a constant and loved companion throughout my life and always has been. I also loved The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein growing up. I read it to my own children now and it still makes me tear up every time.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
It would have to be Dickens. This is not because he penned my favourite book of all time, certainly not, but because he has penned more of the books that I love than any other writer. This is owing to his enormous body of work, and the quality present throughout the whole of it that is never lacking. Many authors can write a single great book, but it takes a true master to write many great books. Dickens was a unique success in this, and so he must be allowed the honour of being the author whose brain I’d most like to pick. Of his work, my choice for the best would be Great Expectations.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Albus Dumbledore. Let’s face it, at this point I’ve read the Harry Potter series so many times that I’m aware of countless reasons why maybe this is not the best choice, however, his genius, charm, and eccentricity simply make him an irresistible prospect to me. And I stand by my choice.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
As a father of two small children with a very demanding full-time job, I do not really have the luxury of strictly observing any ritual without fail. Adaptation is a skill a father learns quickly. The only two that are practiced with any degree of stability are the classical music playing in the background, and the fact that I always swap out my desk chair for a large inflatable ball on which I sit to write. I do not know why I do this latter bit, other than that I used to sit on it to improve my posture, wrote my very first legitimate fiction projects while mounted on top of it, and for whatever reason still feel compelled to remain sitting on it while I write today. Now, of course, this ritual is more in observance of the pre-established custom than of any legitimate effort for me to improve my hopeless posture.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Well, as mentioned, a dream served as the initial spark that was eventually to become In the Beast’s Cage. Other stories occur to me randomly, often late at night when I am wallowing in a state somewhere between wakefulness and sleep. I find my mind to be most active in this twilight period, so much so that it often prevents sleep altogether. In the early morning, I can often achieve a similar level of mindfulness during which I enjoy my most vivid dreams (like the above mentioned). As far as characters go, if they are based on real people from my life then I’m not sure I’d be able to tell you whom. I know my characters are patchwork creations encompassing traits from numerous people in my real life, however, I cannot place them with any degree of specificity. They are each in themselves a study of humanity at large, and none are based squarely upon some individual from my life. They may have your smile, or laugh, but they are also imbued with another’s will, determination, or talent, and still another’s quirks and idiosyncrasies. They are all of you.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I am a combination of the two, otherwise known as a “planter”. This basically means that very little is planned out beforehand, but some certainly is. That is to say, I am not flying totally blind as might a true panster. I typically do a short 1–2-page outline consisting of bullet points that serves as a general overview and direction for the story, as well as laying out where I ultimately want it to end up. Each bullet point typically lends itself to a full chapter in the text itself. How it gets from A to B, however, is ultimately as surprising to me as it would be to the reader.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
It probably sounds cliché at this point, but don’t lose faith in your own ability or the quality of your work, and in this you will surely be tested. Rejection is a big part of this process, and it will make you question the value of what you have written. Believe in yourself, and keep going. Everyone gets rejected (a lot) when they start out, beyond what is humane. The decision to publish takes extraordinary determination and a strong constitution. It is certainly not for everyone.

What are your futureplans as an author?
While I always have a few projects on the back-burner, I am currently allocating the bulk of my energy to the completion of a new novel. At the time of this writing, I am about 45K words into a Science Fiction Satire that I am very excited about. Perhaps the publishing adventure I am on now will serve to pave an easier path for this next project. I suppose only time will tell!

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?

Far in the distance, but steadily growing larger, were hundreds of disembodied, dancing flames, flickering and bouncing from side to side. What the flames connected to remained obscured by darkness, but Blake knew with certainty that the flames belonged to torches, and that the carriers of those torches were not likely to be on a mission of peace. The innumerable shining orbs were so vast that they looked like stars painted against the blackness of the horizon, extending the reach of heaven deep into the realm of man so that the division between the two spheres could no longer be perceived. Blake knew that the torch-bearing men likely believed themselves to be doing the work of God and smiled cynically, recognizing the irony and preparing himself to meet them in peace, if possible. Colin, seeing the advancing torches, gasped in fear and retreated back into the house. The other staff, more desirous of witnessing something novel and potentially tragic than of ensuring their own safety, remained rooted to the spot at the back of their master.
When the silhouettes of those bearing the torches finally gained a true form through the darkness, Blake called out, “Who goes there? You are trespassing on my lands and I demand an explanation. This is not the conduct of civilized men to storm the house of a noble with undeclared intentions in the dead of night.”

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

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 / #QandAs : Hooverville – Kayla Joy

– ‘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 ‘Hooverville’ 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 :

ZdRpBTCAKayla Joy is an author and artist living in the Pacific Northwest with her family and her many animals. At 20, she has already self published two books: Morbid Tales from Behind the Mirror (available on Amazon now) and Hooverville. 

Social Media Links:
Website
Instagram
Facebook

Synopsis :

d_Y7HcBwAnnaleise Winston can never seem to fit in with the Society Girls, the strict rules that govern them, or their selfish indulgence during the Great Depression. Behind closed doors, her publicly perfect new fiance, Frank Alexander, is violent and dismissive, but without his financial security, Annaleise and her mother will be on the streets with not a penny to their name.
When Annaleise finally has enough, she runs away and accidentally becomes stranded in a Hooverville, a lawless homeless encampment in Central Park, where she must keep her identity a secret if she wants to stay alive. But a kind shoe shiner named Thomas Kelley may get in the way of everything she thought she ever wanted. As their love for each other grows, the Great Depression worsens, and Frank will pay any price to bring back his bride.

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?
Hi everyone! My name is Kayla Joy, I’m the author of Hooverville and Morbid Tales from Behind the Mirror. I’ve always wanted to be an author, but it officially happened after I challenged myself to write and publish a collection of short horror stories before Halloween and that has been the most fulfilling journey ever and made me realize that I could be an author. Now, my second book Hooverville is coming out and I’m so excited.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I looooovveddd Roald Dahl books. I think I was yelled at by teachers for reading too often. My favorite book was Matilda, of course. Nowadays I’ve been really into autobiographies. I have Michelle Obama’s, Elton John’s, Julie Andrews’, etc; I think learning from others’ life stories is the best way to become accustomed to the world.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Neil Gaiman, because he’s written in so many genres and somehow nails it every single time, and he seems like a decent human being. A lot of times when authors have a lot of hits they start to seem stuck-up, but I don’t get that vibe from him.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
My tea party would include Jo March from Little Women, Annaleise Winston from Hooverville, and Lizzie Bennett from Pride and Prejudice. Their group chat can be called Strong Female Lead Tea Party Gals.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I have to have a salty/sweet snack like chocolate covered pretzels or popcorn and M&Ms, and I like to listen to film scores and build a scene that matches the beats to the song and I think it makes my scenes stronger. There is a scene at the end of Hooverville that lines up to a song from the Lion King score, and another one that lines up to The Hunger Games’ score.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Ahaha, they should be worried. Most of my ideas come from my life, with some sort of twist with it. Hooverville was already a small idea in my head, but it didn’t really take shape until I got in an argument with someone about the homelessness problem. They repeatedly said “they got themselves in this mess, they should get themselves out” and that changed the narrative of Hooverville drastically.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’m a pantser by heart, a plotter by nature. I plot things out, but then while I’m writing I’ll get an idea that completely changes the structure of the story and I have to throw out all the planning I just did.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Do: Find a writing support group. Twitter is a great place to go, and it will help immensely.
Do: find what works best for YOU. So many writers will tell you that you have to write every day or that you have to write a certain number of words each day, but ultimately you have to find the routine that works for you.
Don’t: Believe you’re above learning. You aren’t. Always strive to learn something new. Even reading will inspire you and you won’t even know it.
Don’t: Give up on yourself.

What are your future plans as an author?
I have at least 2 more books planned for the near future, and beyond that I don’t know! I’d love to get a film deal some day.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Absolutely! This scene comes from Chapter 4 of Hooverville. It comes at the moment Annaleise realizes she has a chance to escape.

Dinner is painfully awkward, unfortunately. Mother doesn’t take her glaring eyes off me for even a second. Frankly, I don’t care how furious she is with me; I’ll not put up with it. As I’m about to excuse myself to my room, Frank clears his throat and stands, trying to hold back a smile but failing. Even the skin on his face unnerves me. It’s like aged leather that has been stretched out over time, with a sort of green tint to it.
“Ladies,” he smirks. “I have an announcement. I’m going away on business in the morning. I won’t be back for at least a week,” he says, practically bouncing as he speaks. This isn’t news, though. Frank’s away on business at least half of the time. He’s never made a big show of it before, so what’s he hiding? Frank answers my question before I ask it. “Don’t be mistaken, this isn’t like any ordinary business trip.” He holds his head higher in the air and looks at Mother. “Governor Roosevelt and President Hoover have invited me to a gala where I will get to meet all the state senators and the opportunity to have an input in some political manners.”
Mother clasps her hands together excitedly and congratulates Frank, but I feel frozen to my chair.
“The President invited you?” I ask incredulously, raising my eyebrows disbelievingly. Mother’s eyes burn a hole in my skull.
“Yes, he and I met once at an alumni event. He went to school with my father.” Frank smiles proudly at this and looks me up and down.
“Why would he invite you to do politics?” I ask, scrunching up my nose. “You’re a businessman.”
“Anne, all politics is business, and especially right now, he needs someone like me to show him how to keep his money.” Frank shares a laugh with Mother and snaps his fingers at Virginia to load more food onto his plate. Virginia gives me a look while scooping extra potatoes.
“Is money all anybody here cares about?” I ask.
“Don’t be silly, Anne. Without money, man has nothing.” Frank says. “You can pretend not to care about it all you want, but even you can’t live without it.” I take his words like a challenge. I’ll show him, when I leave him and make it on my own without his money. I don’t need him or anyone to survive.
“Well,” Mother chimes in. “I think that’s quite an honor they’ve given you, Frank. Be sure to bring us back a souvenir from Washington.”
“Actually, I was going to ask if Annaleise wants to come with me.” Frank and Mother both look at me hopefully, my mother nodding for me. In their faces, I see an opportunity, an opening in the brick walls they’ve built up around me. Very carefully, I speak.
“I’ll think about it,” I tell them, a soft smile coming to my lips. “I’ll let you know before we go to bed.”
“Very good.” Frank smiles at my sudden personality change, and I grin to myself while cutting up my steak. I catch Virginia eyeballing me, but I give her a minuscule shake of my head.

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

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 / #QandAs : Tally and the Angel – Eleanor Dixon

– ‘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 ‘Tally and the Angel’ 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 :

qizSlGJwMy school life was spent in a girls’ boarding-school specialising in classical ballet and on leaving I danced professionally, touring Europe, for 4 years. After that I ran my own ballet school in Athens, Greece and simultaneously volunteered as a veterinary nurse, as my love of animals is the driving force in my life. I returned to England with my horse and my cat, and now live on a smallholding in Shropshire with various farm animals and a constant stream of pets.
I started writing while in Greece and completed a Creative Writing Course with the Writers’ Bureau. The same year, I won an annual competition in the Writing Magazine for an adult Fairy Story.
On my return to England, I wrote two children’s books, but my new life, caring for Highland Cattle, sheep, hens and pets, coupled with extensive global travel, meant that writing for publication took a back seat. I continued my love of writing with a daily journal and amusing travel blogs of each trip.
I am now writing full time and TALLY AND THE ANGEL is the first of a planned series. Their next adventure takes place in Canada, in North Yukon and the third in Japan. I intend them to have adventures in Greece, Egypt, Peru, Africa – anywhere I have been, really.
My first book THE GRACEFUL GHOST is shortlisted for the UK Selfies 2021 Award.

Social Media Links:
Website
Facebook
Instagram

Synopsis :

SJ5ncoYgWhen Tally discovers her pendant is home to the Angel Jophiel, she knows life will never be same again. But what good is an angel who won’t appear in front of others? Especially when she needs to convince her friend Balvan she knows where the kidnapped children of India are being held. Will Jophiel help Tally and Balvan escape the kidnappers’ clutches, or will they all perish?

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 spent my school life in a ballet boarding school and danced professionally for 4 years before opening my own ballet school in Athens, Greece, which I ran successfully for 16 years. I have also worked as a veterinary nurse (helping to assuage my desire to be a vet) and a medical rep, and in my youth had part time jobs as a kennel maid, a nanny and a rep for an ink company. In my entire chequered career, writing ticked along in the background
I have always loved it and wrote all my life without realising I was forming the basis for a writing career; I wrote weekly letters to my mother from the age of ten till she died. I always write a journal and I used to be the one cheering the loudest when the English teacher set us creative essays for homework. I even used to write some of my classmate’s essays for them, I enjoyed it so much. But it was a friend in Greece who encouraged me to ‘start writing’ when I was telling her about a scenario I had been imagining while I was out riding my horse one day. “Write it down,” she said, and it became the basis of my first book (unpublished).

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As a child, I loved Enid Blyton and her adventure and boarding school stories. A. A. Milne’s When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six are my earliest memories. I still have the books, along with two other, very precious to me, books: Poopy, The Dancing Doll by Lucille Steven and Mokey (after whom my dog is named), the Deep Sea Donkey by Grace Couch.
Then I loved C S Lewis and his Narnia series followed by Tolkein’s the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, both of which I have read 19 times!
Now I read a wide range from children’s to adult though my preference is fantasy.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
There isn’t one particular writer. I appreciate and value any advice I’m given by any writer, whether established or not. We’re never too old to learn and there’s always so much to learn.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
From my own books, I would love to have tea with Jophiel, the Angel. He is so wise yet humble. He has a wicked sense of humour, and he would be able to tell so many tales.
If I were to choose from someone else’s books, it would be Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings. He captured my heart from the first time I read the book at 13 years old. He’s so strong and yet down to earth.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I am a creature of habit! I like to start at my desk in the morning, while I’m actually writing, then sit on my sofa, with my feet up, to edit. I have a set alarm on my phone called “Screentime” which goes off every 20 minutes to remind me to look away from the computer for 20 seconds at something 20 feet distant (to avoid eyestrain and headaches). I get so engrossed that it feels like it’s going off every two minutes!

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
No one in my life needs to be worried! I may take traits, habits or features but mix them up so much that no one character resembles anyone I know.
I honestly don’t know where the ideas come from. They are like sparks. They come from a casual word, a slight incident, or even a song. They just seem to froth up in my mind like a beer poured too fast.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I used to be a pantser and admit that I prefer that method. However, my editor insists on a chapter breakdown before I start writing so I’m having to learn to be a plotter. I’m not sure it works as I change so much as I go along.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Do attend as many courses, lectures, online sessions as you can. There’s so much to learn. Let experienced people read your work and guide you (not your mum, brother, sister, best friend!) but Don’t let anyone steal your confidence. Keep writing, no matter what.

What are your futureplans as an author?
I have so many books planned, I wish there were more hours in a day! The sequel to The Graceful Ghost has just gone to my editor and another four books are lining up in that series (The Amberwood Hall series). Also the second book in the Tally and the Angel series is at first draft stage and another four are planned.
Then, this morning, I had an idea for a YA story which I can’t wait to start! How do I split myself into three, please?

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
From Tally and the Angel:

Horrified, Tally and Balvan gazed down, their throats closing as they breathed in the stench.
“It’s like every bit of rubbish in the world,” Tally whispered to Balvan, who nodded, his face pinched with dread.

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

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!