#BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours / #QandAs : The Heretic’s Daughter #TheHereticsDaughter #IsaacAlverez – M Lynes @MLynesAuthor

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

The Heretic's Daughter BT Poster

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

About the Author :

Photo on 13-10-2016 at 12.31Michael writes historical fiction and won a prize for his debut novel, Blood Libel, at the 2020 Emirates Literature Festival. Sophie Hannah called it, ‘immensely gripping,’ and the Historical Novel Society said, ‘Lynes knows his history and tells the story with verve.’ He is an alumnus of the Faber Academy’s Writing a Novel course.
The Isaac Alvarez Mysteries are set in turn of the 16th century Andalusia. A febrile time: the Catholic monarchs, Isabella and Ferdinand, had just ended the Moors’ 700-year domination of the region. Religious tensions between Catholics, Jews and Muslims are running high and the Inquisition is determined to drive out heresy. Isaac struggles with his religious identity whilst trying to protect his family and keep King Ferdinand happy.
Isaac’s first investigation was published in January 2021 . The second, The Heretic’s Daughter, was published in May 2022. He is hard at work on the third book in the series and planning the fourth. Michael is originally from London but currently lives in Dubai with his family.

Website

Synopsis :

HD_FINAL Draft copy 2Seville, 1498. As the Inquisition’s grip on Andalucia tightens, Isaac and Isabel are forced to choose between family and faith. Can their family survive the consequences?
Isaac seeks revenge on Torquemada for the murder of his wife and best friend. But he’s not the only one who wants The Grand Inquisitor dead. The King commands Isaac to investigate. If Isaac stops the assassination, he saves the man he hates. Fail and he loses the King’s protection: the only thing keeping a heretic like Isaac alive. After a perilous journey to Granada, he confronts both Torquemada and the truth about himself.
Conflicted by her father’s heresy and distressed by his quest for vengeance, Isabel sets out to discover the truth. Feeling abandoned by her father, the trail takes her to the darkest places in Seville. She is unnerved by a shocking revelation and a surprising discovery about her real feelings. Can Isabel use what she has unearthed to save her father and their family?
The first book in the Isaac Alvarez Mysteries, Blood Libel, won a prize at the 2020 Emirates Literature Festival.

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Q&A :

Michael Lynes writes The Isaac Alvarez Mysteries under the pen name M Lynes. The first
book in the series, Blood Libel, won a prize at the 2020 Emirates Literature Festival and
was published in 2021. The second book, The Heretic’s Daughter, has just been published. He’s working on the third instalment which will be available in 2023.

Why did you decide to write about late-medieval Andalusia?
I’ve always been fascinated by periods of immense social and political change. And turn of the 16th century was an extremely turbulent time in Spain. I thought it was a very rich period to set a series of historical mysteries in. I was really drawn to the period after learning some of the human stories after a visit to Andalusia in 2013. I wanted to explore what that meant for a specific family, so I created the Alvarez family. Isaac, the father, is a lawyer working for King Ferdinand. He is a converso – a Jew forced to convert to Catholicism – the so called ‘True Faith’ of the time. But in his heart he remains a Jew. He is forced to become an investigator to protect both his faith and his family. His daughter, Isabel, is conflicted by her father’s heresy. The first book, Blood Libel, tells the story of the Alvarez family’s fight for survival focusing very much on Isaac’s point of view. The second book, The Heretic’s Daughter, which was recently published, continues the story in Granada and focuses more on Isabel’s view of events. There’s even a romantic sub-plot. I’ve been really pleased by the reviews for this so far.

Wasn’t this a very violent time? How do you capture the reader’s interest?
Some of the characters are blood-thirsty and cruel but there are also acts of great kindness and sacrifice. The reader spends time with each member of the Alvarez family getting to know them as individuals and, I hope, empathising with their situation. Their moral dilemmas are set in far more dangerous times than our own, but I think their concerns are universal and have contemporary resonance.
I tried hard not to make the two central antagonists in Blood Libel – Alonso and Torquemada – pantomime villains. I spent a lot of time in their heads looking at it from their point of view, which wasn’t always a comfortable place to be. They believed that the Inquisition’s mission was to save souls. They saw themselves as shepherds protecting their flock and ensuring that as many of them as possible would get to heaven. Were they misguided and did they do great damage to many families? Absolutely. By putting the Inquisition’s side of the story, I hope the reader will get a more nuanced, three-dimensional view. But I certainly don’t downplay how unjust and repugnant the Inquisition was.

What’s the biggest challenge in writing historical fiction, and what’s the best part?
If you write historical fiction then you do a lot of research. I’m still trying to persuade my wife that I desperately need to return to Andalusia to do some more ‘research’ into the wine and food of the region. But once you start writing you need to let a lot of the detail go. I found that very difficult in my early drafts where I was guilty of trying to show off how much I knew. Hopefully, I’m better at that now as otherwise it can become very boring for the reader. Now that I’ve got an established world and set of characters it is fun thinking about what they might do next. And I’m at the point where they surprise me, which makes writing really enjoyable. I think of the characters as just people who loved, laughed and worried in much the same way as we do. They just did it in a very different context, particularly religiously.

What are you working on now?
I’ve just completed The Heretic’s Daughter which I’m really excited about. I think the cover design by Jennie Rawlings, (http://www.serifim.com) is stunning. I’ll be particularly interested to hear from readers about how they feel about the ending of the book. There are a lot of changes in store for the Alvarez family. This book naturally leads on to the third instalment which I’m hoping to get started on very soon and publish in early 2023.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours / #Excerpt : Codename Edelweiss #CodenameEdelweiss – Justin Kerr-Smiley @justinksmiley @UnicornPubGroup

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

Codename Edelweiss BT Poster

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

About the Author :

Justin Kerr Smiley Author PicJustin Kerr-Smiley was born in 1965 and educated at Newcastle University. As a journalist he has reported from the Balkans, Northern Ireland, the West Bank and South America. He has also written for the Guardian, The Times and The Spectator. He is the author of two previous novels, including Under The Sun. He lives in London.

Synopsis :

Justin Kerr Smiley Author PicAdolf Hitler has a son…
the hunt is on!

In 1976, Argentina is governed by a military junta bankrolled by former Nazis. It is the anniversary of a mysterious village fire in the jungle. The lone survivor, a Guaraní boy, is now a Jesuit priest. A Jewish journalist, Ariel Guzman, interviews him at his mission. The man claims Adolf Hitler escaped from Berlin with Eva Braun and made a secret camp near the Iguaçu Falls. The Führer ordered the village’s destruction, but the priest refuses to say why. He mentions the codename Edelweiss and will only reveal the person’s identity if he dies.
Argentina’s most powerful man is billionaire and Waffen-SS veteran Tiago Hecht. He is searching for Edelweiss so that he can establish a Fourth Reich. Hecht now has confirmation Hitler’s son is alive. But so does the Mossad and they have sent an agent to eliminate him. The only sanctuary for ‘Edelweiss’ is at the Vatican, but time is running out.
The hunt is on…

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Excerpt :

BUENOS AIRES–POSADAS
Thursday 12–Saturday 14 August 1976

Ariel Guzman makes sure he is alone. In these uncertain times it pays to be vigilant. It might be paranoia but recently he has had the feeling that he is being watched. It is strange and unnerving, like someone pointing a gun at you. As far as he can tell nothing appears to be out of place. There are no unusual vehicles parked nearby and nobody is lurking in the shadows. The journalist waits for a car to pass before he crosses the street and enters his apartment building. It is a solid block of brick and stone, functional and unassuming like many in the capital. He gets into the lift and when it arrives at his floor he opens the gate, walks down the passage and unlocks his door.
Ariel places his keys on the hall table and hangs up his jacket. He takes a bottle of beer from the fridge, flips the top and has a drink. He returns to the living-room with a packet of pistachios and switches on the television to watch the evening news. Ariel reclines on a sofa and eats the nuts, tossing the shells into a waste-paper basket as he sips his beer. The military junta has issued a decree banning any gathering of the political opposition. He has already covered the story for his newspaper La Nación and so he rises and opens a window and listens to the traffic going by. It is spring and the air is humid and filled with pollen.
Ariel lives in San Telmo near the church of the Inmaculada Concepción, although he never attends Mass. It is not because he is agnostic, which is true, it is because he is not Catholic. He is Jewish. His surname had been changed from Gottlieb to the Hispanic Guzman by his father Otto, an immigrant from Hamburg who arrived in Argentina on a packet steamer in the last days of 1938 with nothing but the clothes on his back and a suitcase filled with books. It was after Kristallnacht. The writing on the wall, if anyone needed it, that Jews were no longer safe in Hitler’s Germany. Otto escaped in time but many of the Gottlieb family did not and perished in the camps of Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen and Dachau. If Ariel had any faith at all he would have gone to the synagogue. In fact, he has not been inside a temple since his bar mitzvah despite Argentina being the largest and oldest concentration of South America’s Jewish diaspora.
‘To be a Jew is to walk the earth forever,’ his old father used to say. He never explained why but Ariel knows what he meant.
He turns his attention back to the television and sees a priest being interviewed. The man is young and unmistakably Indian. From his accent Ariel supposes he is a Guaraní from the remote north, probably Misiones. The screen shows the city of Posadas which melds into jungle and the ruins of the abandoned mission at San Ignacio Miní, before returning to the priest. The camera cuts to his hands. He holds a rosary and massages the beads as he speaks.
‘I pray for my family and my people every day. I hope there will be an answer. It has been a long time.’
‘Thirty years.’
‘Yes, but I shall never give up. One day the world will know the truth, I am certain of it …’ The priest falters as his voice begins to crack. ‘I’m sorry,’ he says. ‘It’s hard for me. I’m sure you understand.’
‘Of course. Father Javier Ibarra, thank you for coming here and sharing your thoughts with us about this terrible event.’
‘Thank you.’
The programme resumes with the presenters in the studio. Ariel picks up a pencil and writes the priest’s name on a pad. He is sure it is the same man who was the sole survivor of the Misiones tragedy, when a village church in the jungle caught fire killing everyone inside. It was thought to have been the result of a catastrophic lightning strike. Some even suspected arson but most people dismissed the theory. Who would have done such a thing and what possible motive could there have been?

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours / #Excerpt : Date With Betrayal #DateWithBetrayal – Julia Chapman @DalesWriter @panmacmillan

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

Date With Betrayal BT Poster

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

About the Author :

Julia Chapman Author picJulia Chapman is the pseudonym of Julia Stagg, who has had five novels, the Fogas Chronicles set in the French Pyrenees, published by Hodder. She is also
the author of the Dales Detective series which follows the adventures of Samson O’Brien and Delilah Metcalfe as they solve cases in the Yorkshire Dales.
Born with a wanderlust that keeps her moving, Julia has followed her restless feet to Japan, Australia, the USA and France. She spent the majority of that time as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language but also dabbled in bookselling, pawnbroking, waitressing and was once ‘checkout chick of the month’ at a supermarket in South Australia. She also ran an auberge in the French Pyrenees for six years with her husband.
Having spent many years wandering, she is now glad to call the Yorkshire Dales home. Its distinctive landscape and way of life provide the setting for her latest set of novels, the Dales Detective series.

Synopsis :

Date With Betrayal CoverIn the seventh novel in Julia Chapman’s Dales Detective series, Date with Betrayal, betrayal is rife in the idyllic Yorkshire Dales as Samson O’Brien, owner of the Dales Detective Agency, is targeted by a hitman. Can Bruncliffe save him? A brilliantly engaging and witty mystery, perfect for fans of Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club and M. C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin series.
Death is coming to Bruncliffe: its target is Samson O’Brien.
Oblivious to his impending date with fate, Samson is busy juggling a number of cases at the Dales Detective Agency. Too busy, in fact, to notice his partner behaving oddly.
Because Delilah Metcalfe knows what is coming. A hitman. Sent from London with one objective: to finally silence the troublesome O’Brien before his corruption case can make it to court.
With Samson’s life in peril, and betrayal around every corner, Delilah has no choice but to call in favours from all of her Bruncliffe connections in order to counteract the menace threatening to engulf the Dales town.
The only trouble is the townsfolk have long memories and deep grievances when it comes to Samson O’Brien. Trust must be earned and they will take some convincing before they put themselves in danger in order to save him.
And even then, it might not prove enough …
Full of charm, wit and characters that will capture your heart, the series begins with Date With Death. Have you read them all?

Date Graphic 1

Amazon

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Excerpt :

Two Days Before …
They ambushed her in the ginnel on her way back to the office. With the evening throwing the narrow alleyway into gloom and the large mass of the limestone outcrop overhead adding to the shadows, she didn’t see it coming. One minute she was walking towards someone she knew. The next, two strong arms were grabbing her from behind, the Chinese meal and bottle of wine she’d been carrying knocked to the ground, glass smashing. She tried to scream, but a large hand was covering her mouth. So she kicked instead, backwards, the satisfaction of feeling her heels connect with solid shins, a rough grunt of pain her reward.
Useless though.
Those same strong arms lifted her off her feet and bundled her to the end of the ginnel, towards a waiting car. She had a glimpse of sleek black lines, a BMW, and then she was sprawled on the back seat, face pushed into leather, aware of the roar of the engine as the vehicle sped away. Aware of the panicked thumping of her heart.
She’d been warned that there was trouble coming. Warned not to trust anyone. But she’d mocked those attempts to protect her. And now she’d been abducted.
Alongside the fear, she felt an overwhelming sense of shame. She’d been an idiot for not listening.
Forcing her terrified mind onto more practical matters, she noted the car had started climbing, the incline steep enough to roll her body against the back of the seat, her head kept face down by a heavy hand. She lay there, twisted uncomfortably, counting off the seconds, doing her best to track time. Approximately three minutes later they turned right, onto more level terrain, a track of some sort, the BMW jolting along it for twenty seconds before stop- ping. A blindfold was pulled over her eyes and she was hauled out into the evening air.
But only an offcumden born beyond the stone walls of the Dales could think a piece of cloth was enough to befuddle this local. With a strong wind on her cheeks, bringing with it the spring scent of grass and sheep, she was calculating the route they’d taken, the geography of her home town unique enough to give her a fair idea of where she was—
A loud screech and frantic flapping of wings at close quarters made her captor jump, his grip on her arm tightening.
‘Bloody countryside,’ he muttered against the clatter of birds taking to the air.
Pheasants. A large number of them judging by the noise, startled into clumsy flight and further confirming her hunch. She was somewhere on the high fells to the east of town. Not far from the large estate where the birds were bred for sport. And close to Ellershaw Farm.
Her parents, her oldest brother and his family – they’d be sitting down for their tea in the farmhouse kitchen. If she screamed, would they hear?

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours / #PromoPost : Fair Game #FairGame – R.D. Nixon @RDNixonAuthor @HobeckBooks

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

Fair Game BT Poster

Today I’m on the ‘Fair Game’ blogtour, organized by Random Things Tours.
To promote this book I have some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Terri Nixon Author PicTerri Nixon is an author of historical fiction, family sagas, and mythic fiction
R.D. Nixon is the side of her that argues a lot, and writes crime / thrillers
She was born in Plymouth. At the age of 9 she moved with her family to Cornwall, to a small village on the edge of Bodmin Moor, where she discovered a love of writing that has stayed with her ever since. She also discovered apple-scrumping, and how to jump out of a hayloft without breaking any bones, but no-one’s ever offered to pay her for doing those.
She now lives in Plymouth, and works in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business at Plymouth University, where she is constantly baffled by the number of students who don’t possess pens.

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Synopsis :

FINAL Fair Game CoverIt’s autumn in Abergarry.
The nights lengthen, the weather turns, and the atmosphere darkens as the community is rocked by a brutal roadside murder: a loan shark’s ‘bag man’, Craig Lumsden, is found bludgeoned to death in his car in the early hours of the morning.
The season for murder.
The case seems simple enough. and the fingers quickly point to the most obvious suspect. But things are rarely as simple as they seem…
A murder that’s too close to home.
Too close for comfort, and definitely too close for complacency for private investigators Maddy Clifford and Paul Mackenzie. Delving into the case brings at least one of them face-to-face with danger… Will life in Abergarry ever be the same again?

Amazon

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours / #Excerpt : Keep Your Friends Close #KeepYourFriendsClose – Tony Millington @TonyMillington9 @darkedgepress

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

Keep Your Friends close BT Poster

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

About the Author :

Tony Millington Author PicI was born in Warrington Cheshire in 1967 but moved to Rutland in 1981 with my parents.
Attending Uppingham Community College, Rutland sixth form, and later attending Stamford College.
I have done various jobs, including a lifeguard, white van man, and temp work but working at RAF Wyton as a civil servant for the MOD for many years was my most loved career sadly ending in redundancy due to all the cuts to the civil service.
I live in Peterborough, married with one son. My writing started when I heard the archetypal saying, “Everyone has a book in them.” Ideas have been floating around in my brain for a long time, so I thought it was about time to put them down on paper.

Twitter

Synopsis :

Keep Your Friends Close CoverA young woman’s body is found on the Russell brother’s patch.
Jimmy and Allan have been running West Ravenswood for too long, it’s time to bring their empire down.
While Monteith gets to work on doing just that, Detective Watson begins searching for a young woman, snatched from the street while out running.
Are the abduction and murder linked?
Will the Russell brothers evade justice – again?

Amazon

Excerpt :

PROLOGUE

Monteith was glad his day had finished. Matthews had been pressing him again to get information on the Russell’s, but he was getting nowhere with just being a patron of the casino. They kept their business and private lives separate. Trying to make a jerk like Matthews understand that was impossible.
Mac had confirmed the identity of the river body as Duncan Healey, adding another murder to Susan’s charges of accessory to the fact.
Crompton was facing trial for the murder of Littlewood. He was being kept under close supervision in prison.
DCI Tanya Wright had come in and had hit the ground running. She was fair but tough when needed to be.
There was talk that as they didn’t officially have one a Detective Inspector was needing promoting.
Watson had gone into town to meet his wife and children for a meal. Monteith, at least could relax for a couple of days before re-entering the madhouse that was the Criminal Detective Agency.
Walking towards his BMW Series 1, Monteith flicked through the text messages that had been left on his iPhone as he approached his car.
Two men dressed in dark clothing stepped out in
front of him.
One of them smashed a right-handed punch into
Monteith’s face. The force of which sent him bouncing off the front wing of the car next to him. One of the men forced a hessian bag over his head and bound his hands behind his back with Ty-Raps before he had time to yell for help.
‘What the hell? Who are you?’ Monteith mumbled, feeling the full force of a kick to his stomach, which knocked the wind out of his lungs.
He heard a van pull up next to him and doors opening. Then he was hoisted off the ground and thrown into the back of the van. The doors slammed slut, the engine revved, then whoever was driving the van moved off.
‘Got you,’ Allan Russell said.
He sat in his car and watched the event unfolding from afar. He waited till the van had cleared the car park before he followed it at a safe distance.
Jimmy Russell was sampling one of the finest scotches in his collection, a Highland Park, distilled in 1974, and bottled in 2006. Only one hundred and forty -one bottles had ever been made.
A notification on his mobile phone disrupted him. It was a text message. He read it with a smile.
Your package has been collected.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours / #Excerpt : Gemini Divided #GeminiDivided – Lauren Kristen Roberts @LaurenKRoberts

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

Gemini Divided BT Poster

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

About the Author :

Lauren Roberts Author PicLauren Roberts is a recovering elementary school teacher. She writes books about stubbornly independent women whose lives have spun out of their control, helping them land safely on their feet. After moving from city to city all her life, she settled in Northern Virginia with her husband, three kids, and their rescue dog, Thor—who is, ironically, afraid of thunder. Gemini Divided is her debut novel.

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Synopsis :

Gemini Divided Front CoverEveryone has secrets, but the skeletons in Jen’s closet are bigger than most.
By day, she writes fanfiction for her favorite TV show, Gemini Divided, but by night, she works as an assassin to pay her mother’s chemotherapy bills. Her world tilts on its axis the day she is assigned to kill Will Bryant-the handsome and charming star of Gemini Divided, and her celebrity crush. What could Will have done to land on someone’s hit list?
The assignment gets Jen up close and personal with Will, who is just as kind in person as he is in the media coverage she obsesses over. When she stumbles onto the reason Will ended up as her target, she must make a life-altering choice: kill Will and keep her mother alive, or save Will and put herself in danger, leaving no way to fund her mother’s treatments in the future. She has to decide quickly, because in two days, the choice will be made for her.

Amazon

Excerpt :

JEN ADJUSTED THE SCOPE AND peered through the long-range lens, once more searching the sea of faces. Her attention landed on a couple at the center of the action: a brunette in a skin-tight emerald dress stood facing a handsome man in a dark suit. As he leaned toward her, speaking into her ear, a woman with disheveled red hair and smudged eye makeup jabbed him in the shoulder from behind. He straightened and turned, startled, as she flung the contents of her drink in his face and disappeared back into the crowd. While the brunette tore into the dripping-wet man, Jen tilted her head a few degrees, frowning in curiosity before letting her attention wander.
Across the room, her eyes were drawn to another couple. A tall man stood close to a woman in a black cocktail dress, his fingers tangled in her shoulder-length chestnut hair and his face inches from hers. Her back was pressed against the window, accentuating the plunging back of the dress; it dipped lower than any Jen had ever seen. She rolled her eyes. Definitely designed by a man. When the man’s hand came into view, blatantly groping at the woman’s bottom, Jen scanned onward.
It’s way too crowded in there. And there’s so much touching. A shiver threatened to throw the rifle off balance, but she regained control. While the party was full of interesting characters, the entire thing made her uncomfortable.
Her mark was easy to locate. Fish Lips, as she thought of him, looked exactly like the pictures in his dossier, only slightly less gangster in real life. Maybe a tad chubbier, too.
She checked her watch. Midnight. It was time.
Rolling her shoulders, Jen settled into the stock of the rifle. She took a deep breath and cleared her mind. For a second everything was perfectly still.
Click.
Shattered glass rained down on the partygoers, reflecting flashes of the strobe light all the way to the top of the cathedral ceiling. Murmurs of awe rolled through the crowd, some guests assuming they’d witnessed the release of sparkling confetti or fairy dust, not the splintering of a floor-to-ceiling window. Almost immediately, amazement turned to shrieks of terror.
Panic spread like wildfire through the room, and people surged away from the void where the window had been. The only one in the room not moving was a well-dressed man in an armchair with his back to what was now the open air, the ends of his long, slicked-back hair dancing in the wind. He slumped forward as blood gushed from a bullet hole in the back of his head and his newly disfigured face.
The rhythmic strobe lights flashed and the bass pounded as the crush of terrified guests scrambled toward the only exit, colliding, frantic to escape. With blood running down their glass-peppered faces and arms, some guests looked like they’d been attacked by a wild creature.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours / #PromoPost : Blackout #Blackout – Simon Scarrow @SimonScarrow @headlinepg @colinbookshaped

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

Blackout BT Poster

Today I’m on the ‘Blackout’ blogtour, organized by Random Things Tours.
To promote this book I have some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Simon Scarrow Author PicSimon Scarrow is one of the most successful British historical novelists of the 21st Century and a multiple Sunday Times No. 1 bestselling author. After a childhood spent travelling the world, he pursued his great love of history first as a schoolteacher, before becoming a full-time writer. His Roman era Eagles of the Empire series has sold over 4million copies of the books in the UK alone, and his work has been translated into 24 languages. He is also the author of a quartet of novels about the lives of the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon Bonaparte, Young Bloods, The Generals, Fire And Sword and The Fields Of Death; a novel about the 1565 Siege of Malta, Sword & Scimitar; Hearts Of Stone, set in Greece during the Second World War; and Playing With Death, a contemporary thriller written with Lee Francis. He also wrote the novels Arena and Invader with T. J. Andrews.

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Synopsis :

Blackout CoverBerlin, December 1939
As Germany goes to war, the Nazis tighten their terrifying grip. Paranoia in the capital is intensified by the rigidly enforced blackout – Die Verdunkelung – that plunges the city into oppressive darkness every night, as the bleak winter sun sets.
When a young woman is found brutally murdered, Criminal Inspector Horst Schenke is under immense pressure to solve the case, swiftly. Treated with suspicion by his superiors for his failure to join the Nazi Party, Schenke walks a perilous line – for disloyalty is a death sentence. The discovery of a second victim confirms Schenke’s worst fears. He must uncover the truth before evil strikes again.
As the investigation takes him closer to the sinister heart of the regime, Schenke realises there is danger everywhere – and the warring factions of the Reich can be as deadly as a killer stalking the streets…
In the tradition of writers like Robert Harris and Len Deighton, Simon Scarrow brings a bygone era to life with rich clarity, lightly worn historical research and an eye for intrigue. Blackout, the first in a new series is sure to win new fans while also appealing to readers of his Eagles of the Empire books.

Amazon

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours / #QandAs : Wolf Tones #WolfTones – JJ Marsh @JJMarsh1

– ‘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 ‘Wolf Tones’ blogtour, organized by Random Things Tour.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

As an English teacher, actor, director and cultural trainer, I’ve lived and worked all over Europe. Now I’m a full-time author, publisher and audiobook narrator.
My crime novels in the Beatrice Stubbs Series have become international bestsellers.
Psychological dramas Odd Numbers (shortlisted for the 2021 Bookbrunch Selfies Prize) and Wolf Tones dig deep into the world of emotional dependence.
The Run and Hide Thrillers chase a hunted woman around the world.
I live in Switzerland with my husband and dog, taking advantage of the landscape, languages, Prosecco and cheese.

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Synopsis :

You escaped the past. Here comes the present.
Fifteen years ago, Rolf was destined for the gutter.
His luck has changed. Now a cellist with the Salzburg City Orchestra, he has his dream job and dizzying prospects.
All because of her.
Smart, sexy, well connected and crazy about him, Leonor is his fantasy woman. She made him and he’ll never forget it.
Neither will she.
She chooses Rolf’s diet, his friends, his decisions and career path. She knows best. When does a champion turn controller?
While he submits to domination at home, he struggles at work. The maestro is determined to break down and rebuild his new cellist. Clash after clash shatter Rolf’s confidence until he doubts everything about himself.
Then a rumour reaches his ear. Has he misjudged his new friends? Is something more sinister pulling the orchestra’s strings?
Regardless of the drama behind the scenes, the show must go on. It’s the only way to escape his past.
A classic artist, Rolf presents the best side of himself, hiding the pain of imperfection. A strategy with devastating results.

Amazon

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 inviting me!

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
My name is Jill and I write as JJ Marsh. I’ve published twelve books in the Beatrice Stubbs series, three standalone novels and am embarking on a new series of international thrillers. Writing has always been a part of my life, as has reading. I’ve been a teacher, and actor and a theatre director – all those involve storytelling. Becoming an author was a natural progression.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
Stella Gibbons’ Cold Comfort Farm is a book I read as a child and still love as an adult. From Enid Blyton through Stephen King and Jane Austen to Louis de Bernières and Milan Kundera, I learned something from all of them about the way to use words.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
J.M. Coetzee. He tackles the most heart-rending topics with a clear eye. I’ve attended one of his readings and he’s searingly intelligent. If I ever met the man, I’d probably be too intimidated to utter a squeak.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones and I could have a fun afternoon in a London tea-room, as long as they serve prosecco.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
My writing process is pretty dull. Mindmap themes, outline the plot, fill the storyboard, get the words on the page, then edit, edit, edit. But my non-writing habits are those of a magpie. I’m always aware of conversations, signposts, unusual names and unexpected images, specific tastes or atmospheres, peculiar encounters and odd experiences. My notebooks are crammed with random observations and saved for the day they come in useful. I’m a kleptomaniac in the Supermarket of Ideas.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
See above. Concepts for a novel tend to ferment a while until I can see a way of telling the story. It can be a moral dilemma, a life-changing event or a social or political point that interests me. The starting point must come from a character. As for people in my life, I have stolen names and appearances on occasion, but never from anyone genuinely close.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Plotter who lets the pants take over when the time is right. I was almost at the end of White Heron when my subconscious poked me in the ribs and pointed out how I could use one character as a ‘didn’t see that coming’ moment.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Join a critique group, online or in person. Learn how to think critically, to give and receive feedback, to constantly remember the author’s intention and help them reach their goal. After years of doing this, good habits become second nature and first drafts need fewer edits. Read books on craft and test out those theories with a short story or perfectly honed flash fiction. Pay attention to what’s happening in the publishing world and read as widely and deeply as you can. There is no one way to be a writer so make sure you’re aware of the options.

What are your futureplans as an author?
My current focus is on getting Wolf Tones in front of the right audience which will absorb most of August and September. Then in October, the second in my Run and Hide series comes out. Black River is a thriller set in the Amazon rainforest. I have sketched outlines for six books in that series so will get to work on No.3. Towards the end of the year, I’m bringing out a novella as a Christmas special for fans of Beatrice Stubbs.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Of course. This is when my main character, Rolf, has just arrived at his new apartment in Salzburg.

Three streets away, he found a Thai restaurant offering takeaway packages. He ordered in passable German and asked if there was shop nearby where he could buy wine. The young girl behind the counter was helpful and patient and assured him he could get to the mini-market and back in the ten minutes it would take the kitchen to cook their order.
Half an hour or so after he’d left, he unlocked the front door and ran upstairs, carrying a brown paper bag filled with containers of Thai curry and rice. In his right hand, he held a bottle of champagne. The apartment was empty so he went onto the balcony to see if she was there.
Down in the garden, Leonor was sitting at a wrought-iron table, laughing with a young man. Rolf didn’t even know how to get into the garden.
“Food is ready!” he shouted, brandishing the bag.
She looked up and her face broke into a beautiful smile. “Bring it down here with plates and glasses. I want you to meet our neighbour.”
The guy lifted his face and gave a salute. “Hi! My name is Anton, I live downstairs. I don’t want to intrude on your first night. Just wanted to say hello.”
“Give me a minute.” Rolf collected two plates, two sets of cutlery and two glasses. The gesture was pointed. Tonight they did not want company. But when he got downstairs and found the door to the garden, he saw Leonor and Anton were already drinking cocktails from martini glasses.
“Hi,” said Anton, saluting again.
“Meet Rolf, the one I’ve been telling you about.”
“Hello, Anton,” said Rolf, forcing a smile.
Leonor took the bag and inhaled. “Mmm, I love Thai food. Would you like to join us? I’m sure we can stretch this for three.”
Anton held up both palms. “Thank you, but no. I’ve already eaten and I really don’t like spicy food. I have a typical Austrian palate, I’m afraid. I’ll leave you in peace to enjoy your meal. Just so you know, there’s a house cat called Blue. He’s currently favouring my place, but changes his mind about where he sleeps quite frequently.”
Leonor waggled a glass at Rolf. “Are you ever going to open that bottle? That’s fine with us, we love animals. Thanks for the martini. Cocktails before champagne, I could get used to Salzburg.” She laughed up at him with the sparkle in her eye she always used when she wanted to charm someone.
Anton laughed with her, evidently spellbound. “Great to meet you and I’m so pleased to have friendly neighbours again. The last woman was a miserable old bag. Hey, do you two fancy going out for a drink next week? I could show you some local bars and warn you which ones to avoid.”
Leonor tilted her face to Rolf, her mouth an O of delight. She was handing him the mic and he couldn’t see a way out.
“That’s kind of you. It would be useful to learn a bit more about the area.” He twisted the bottle and the cork popped out. He poured the overflow straight into a wine glass, aware of Leonor’s giddy laughter.
Anton took his cocktail glasses, wished them a good evening and went inside his own apartment. There was no sign of any cat.
They emptied the cartons onto their plates, drank champagne and toasted their new start. As the twilight deepened and lights came on in the apartments on the other side of the hedge, their building remained in darkness. Presumably Anton had gone out for the evening. Why not? Young, not bad looking and obviously familiar with the local nightlife. What reason would he have to stay home? Rolf relaxed a little and let go of the feeling they were being watched.

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

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 #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours / #Excerpt : Targets of Treachery (Lord Edward’s Archer series, Book 4) #TargetsOfTreachery – Griff Hosker @HoskerGriff @lume_books

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

Targets of Treachery BT Poster

Today I’m on the ‘Targets of Treachery’ blogtour, organized by Random Things Tours.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Griff Hosker Author PicGriff Hosker was born in 1950 in Lancashire and attended a boy’s grammar school. After qualifying as an English and Drama teacher in 1972, he worked in the North East of England for the next 35 years. During that time he did write, mainly plays, pantos and musicals for the students at the three schools in which I worked. When he stopped teaching he set up his own consultancy firm and worked as an adviser in schools and colleges in the North East of England. The new Conservative Government ended that avenue of work and in 2010 he found that he had time on his hands; having started work at the age of 15 he found the lack of work not to my liking and used the time to research the Roman invasion of Britain and begin to create a novel. The result was The Sword of Cartimandua.

Website
Twitter

Synopsis :

Targets of TreacheryThe next book in the bestselling series, Lord Edward’s Archer.
Captain Gerald has proven himself an unrivalled archer, but now he is married, he longs to enjoy life’s simpler pursuits, raising a family and tending his land.
But life on the borderlands brings complications, and King Edward has different ideas for Gerald. Prince Llywelyn of Wales will not toe the line, and once more, Gerald is chosen as royal envoy. He must cross the treacherous Welsh Marches to make strategic allegiances and request Llywelyn bend the knee to the English crown.
When those allegiances fail to protect England from Welsh rebellion, King Edward abandons diplomacy and seizes Welsh land to erect and capture castles, imbuing the landscape with intimidation.
As Gerald assists in this military tug-of-war, his thoughts are back home with his family, where personal vendettas threaten his own fortifications. Can he help wrest power back into English hands before the Welsh mob descends on all he holds dear?

Buy Link

Excerpt :

England, 1274

It was January and when I returned to England, with the woman who would be my wife and my men from the Crusades, I could not know that the new King of England, my master, Edward, and his wife, Eleanor, would take two years to return to England. In contrast to our new king, my men and I could not wait to get home, for we had invested our money wisely in silks and spices. We hoped that when we reached England, we would make ten times the price we had paid for them in the Holy Land. Due to many events beyond our control, we made even more, for we returned to a land that was more lawless than when we had left.
Robert Burnell, who had been left in charge of the country when King Henry became ill, was a fine administrator, but he was not a ruthless man and that was what was needed. As a result, we feared for our safety on the roads of England.
We stayed in London for just three days, but it was necessary, for we had goods to sell and items to buy. We hired a carter to take out purchases and our belongings with us. We rode through our homeland, heading for my village of Yarpole, as though we were going to war. My men were protective of Mary, the slave I had rescued from the Turks, as well as me, their paymaster. I had earned two wounds in the war, one in my back and one in my leg. Neither had threatened my life and would not impair me as an archer, but my men were concerned that I should not suffer another before I reached home.
Sarah, my housekeeper, and her son, James, my steward, were delighted to see me but Father Paul, my priest, was overjoyed when he saw I had brought a bride-to-be, for he had long thought that I should not be a bachelor.
The object of my affections, Mary, was overawed by it all; it was as warm a welcome as she could have hoped, and it contrasted with the weather. Although the weather in England was clement for the time of year, she had been brought up in hot climes and she found it almost bone-chillingly cold. That first evening, as we sat in my hall, having enjoyed a hastily prepared but nonetheless delightful meal, we two spoke. Sarah and James were preparing a chamber for her. My priest had made it quite clear that Mary had to be alone before we wed.
“I am so lucky, Gerald. I have a home for the first time in my life and it is a magnificent home. You are surrounded by the best of people, but yet I fear that I will let you down.”
“How can you do that? All you have to do is to be yourself.”
“You are a great lord. You told me that you were an archer, but I should have known from the way the queen spoke of you that you are more than that. You are close to the man who rules this land and I know that I will have to meet great ladies. They will see that I was a slave, and it will reflect badly upon you.”
I took her hand and kissed it. “I told you on the voyage home of my life. There are no secrets between us. I am a humble archer who has now been made a gentleman. I have done things which might have seen me hanged if events turned out differently. All that you endured was no fault of yours! No more talk of letting me down.” I waved a hand around the room. “While the banns are being read and we prepare for the wedding, give thought to how you would like to decorate our hall. I am a man who has neither the experience nor the eye to furnish a hall. In a day or two, we will ride to Wigmore and I will introduce you to Baron Mortimer and Lady Maud. He is the lord of the manor, but Lady Maud is the one who runs it! I think that you should meet. You will get on!”
I was proved correct. I knew not why, but Lady Maud had great affection for me, and it was not just because I had done great service for her. I believe she saw me as another child. She took to Mary immediately and as soon as she heard our news, she whisked her off to meet her ladies and to hear the details of our romance. Lady Maud ruled this part of the Marches because she knew all that was going on. The lords of the land told their wives their innermost thoughts and none could keep that information from Lady Maud.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours / #Review : The Gathering Storm #TheGatheringStorm #SturmtaucherTrilogy – Alan Jones @alanjonesbooks

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free.
I’m grateful of receiving a free copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review of this book. –

About the Author :

Alan Jones is a Scottish author with three gritty crime stories to his name, the first two set in Glasgow, the third one based in London. He has now switched genres, and his WW2 trilogy will be published in August 2021. It is a Holocaust story set in Northern Germany.
He is married with four grown up children and four wonderful grandchildren.
He has recently retired as a mixed-practice vet in a small Scottish coastal town in Ayrshire and is one of the RNLI volunteer coxswains on the local lifeboat. He makes furniture in his spare time, and maintains and sails a 45-year-old yacht in the Irish Sea and on the beautiful west coast of Scotland. He loves reading, watching films and cooking. He still plays football despite being just the wrong side of sixty.
His crime novels are not for the faint-hearted, with some strong language, violence, and various degrees of sexual content. The first two books also contain a fair smattering of Glasgow slang.
He is one of the few self-published authors to be given a panel at Bloody Scotland and has done two pop-up book launches at the festival in Stirling.
He has spent the last five years researching and writing the Sturmtaucher Trilogy.

Website

Synopsis :

The Gathering Storm: Book 1 in the Sturmtaucher Trilogy, a powerful and compelling story of two families torn apart by evil.

Kiel, Northern Germany, 1933. A naval city, the base for the German Baltic fleet, and the centre for German sailing, the venue for the upcoming Olympic regatta in 1936.
The Kästners, a prominent Military family, are part of the fabric of the city, and its social, naval and yachting circles. The Nussbaums are the second generation of their family to be in service with the Kästners as domestic staff, but the two households have a closer bond than most.
As Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist Party claw their way to power in 1933, life has never looked better for families like the Kästners. There is only one problem.
The Nussbaums are Jews.
The Sturmtaucher Trilogy documents the devastating effect on both families of the Nazis’ hateful ideology and the insidious erosion of the rights of Germany’s Jews.
When Germany descends ever deeper into dictatorship, General Erich Kästner tries desperately to protect his employees, and to spirit them to safety.
As the country tears itself apart, the darkness which envelops a nation threatens not only to destroy two families, but to plunge an entire continent into war.

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Review :

‘The Gathering Storm’ is the 1st book in ‘The Sturmtaucher Trilogy’ and I’m not sure how to review this book without doing Alan Jones injustice with my words.
I’ve read already a lot of books about WW2, but none so vast and interesting as this one and it’s only the first part of the trilogy!
It blows my mind just thinking about the sheer amount of research the author must have done to be able to write such a vivid, detailed and informative, but very readable story.
From page one this book captured my attention and although it sometimes is very heartbreaking and difficult to read it’s also very beautiful in a way.
I guess that’s is mainly because of the way Alan Jones writes and because of the fact he really knows his stuff and can go in deep.
I really had the feeling that everything happened as I’ve read it although I know that some stuff is fictitious and I certainly believe that this is the strength of the book.
It’s maybe a substancial book to read, but I definitely recommend everyone, especially the youngster, to read it as we can’t / mustn’t forget what happened during the war.
I believe it’s a bit weird saying that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, but I did, and I love to read the 2 other books too as this is by far one of the best books out there about WW2.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds