Hello lovelies! Today I have an exclusive extract from the latest book by Jay Raven, The Lazarus Child, as part of the blog tour organised by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources but first a little about the book:
Title: The Lazarus Child (Blood Riders 3) by Jay Raven
Date Published: 28th January 2021
Genre: Historical Horror
To save his missing daughter a distraught slayer must venture deep into the heart of darkness
Legendary vampire hunter Anton Yoska is on the edge, tormented by the rumour that the precious child he once thought dead is still alive and lost in a world of monsters.
One creature alone knows for sure what happened to Gretchen, but Terek Modjeski won’t divulge his secret – revelling in the twisted power over his long-time foe.
Despairing and drinking heavily, Anton stumbles from near disaster to near disaster as he puts his team in jeopardy, testing their friendship and loyalty to snapping point.
Only one diabolical solution is possible – to confront Terek in his maximum security cell and force the bloodsucker to end his game of cat and mouse. But making the cunning infernal talk will mean employing brutal methods that go against every code Anton has ever lived by, forcing him to become as much of a demon as the leeches he hunts.
Face to face with the evil, taunting vampire, the desperate slayer takes a decision that will change his destiny forever – sending him hurtling into danger to confront a terrifying truth about his lost child that risks not only his sanity but the future of mankind.
You can buy your copy here:
In this extract Crown Princess Stephanie, wife of Transylvania’s tyrant ruler Leopold, is unhappy about having to attend a reception at the Russian embassy. But she has darker worries too…
Stephanie had also, to her chagrin, lost the argument about not using the hideous golden coronation coach to transport them there.
It had been delivered from the city museum an hour before and, as she swished across her dressing room and peered down from the window, she saw that it was currently sitting in the palace courtyard, being polished to a state of gleaming vulgarity under the illumination of a line of flaring torches.
Leopold’s family had never had what might be described as refinement, and the coach’s ostentatious wedding cake design was testament to their predilection for grandiose gestures.
She also noticed a lone figure wandering about the carriage in awe, the young man approaching it tentatively but not quite bringing himself to touch the gilt coachwork. He seemed lost, bewildered, and she found herself feeling sympathy for him.
“Isn’t it beautiful?” Berta blurted, pressing her nose up to the glass. “Just like something from a fairy tale.”
Stephanie agreed, but the maid’s observation made her uncomfortable. The young man was barely older than a child, and in the fairy-tales that her grandmother had told her – the old, terrifying, traditional tales, not the modern, sanitised happily ever after versions – terrible things happened to children, fate being no protector of innocents.
“Ready?” Leopold’s voice broke into her foreboding. “It’s time we were off. I want to be fashionably late, but not one minute later.”
She narrowed her eyes, as she studied her husband framed in the doorway, modelling his full state ceremonial outfit with a swagger and poise that just managed to stay on the right side of ridiculous.
He’d have been truly handsome but for one small detail – the sly look he was unsuccessfully attempting to hide.
“I’m not going,” she declared.
He breathed in heavily. “I thought we’d sorted this out,” he said wearily. “I have no choice but to attend.”
“But I DO have a choice,” she pointed out. “And I’m not moving from this spot until you tell me what is going on with that bewildered-looking boy down there. What are you up to? Just what are you scheming?”
She could see him weighing up the consequences of refusing to answer, then considering a fabrication that would placate her.
“And don’t lie to me,” she warned. “I always know when you are playing fast and loose with the truth.”
His pained sigh told her that she’d won.
His explanation moments later made her wish she hadn’t.
About The Author –
Jay Raven is the author of Gothic chillers and historical horror reminding readers that the past is a dangerous place to venture, full of monsters and murderous men. He blames his fascination with vampires, witches and werewolves on the Hammer Horror films he watched as a teenager, but living in a creepy old house on the edge of a 500-acre wood may have something to do with it.
Hello lovelies! Today on my blog, I have an exclusive excerpt from Ray Britain’s latest novel Forgotten Lives as part of the blog tour organised by Emma at Damppebbles Blog tours but first a little about the book:
Title: Forgotten Lives by Ray Britain
Date Published: 10th January 2021
Genre: Police Procedural
A man is murdered with quiet efficiency on his doorstep. A strange emblem left behind suggests a gang killing but when more bodies are found with the same emblem, and one of them a cop, DCI Doug Stirling’s investigation takes a sinister turn.
But what linked the victims in life, and now in death?
When more deaths are uncovered, miles away and years apart, but all with the same emblem left behind, pressure mounts on Stirling. Is it the work of the same person? If so, why are they killing again, and why here? One thing is clear. The killer is highly skilled, ruthless, and always one step ahead of the investigation. Is someone feeding information to them?
Working in a crippling heatwave with too few investigators, too many questions and not enough answers, when wild media speculation of a vigilante at work sparks copycat attacks, demonstrations for justice and with politicians fearing riots, Stirling needs a result – fast!
Meanwhile, Stirling’s private life is falling apart, not helped when Lena Novak of the National Crime Agency is assigned to his team. But is she all that she seems? Things could not get worse. Stirling takes a call from a retired cop. Things just got worse!
As Stirling closes in on the killer he finds the killer’s trademark inside his home – he is being targeted.
The rider’s eyes flinched warily as the door was opened by a woman. Behind her, a floodtide of music tumbled and cursed its way down the stairs to join battle with noise blaring from a half-open door at the far end of the hallway. The air around them pulsed under the throb of a penetrating bass beat.
Unable to hear the rider speak, the woman shook her head and walked to the foot of the stairs where she drew in a deep breath and hurled her words upwards, ‘’Wayne! Turn that bloody music down!’
The music continued.
She looked at the delivery rider, rolled her eyes and shouted harshly down the hallway. ‘Mickey! It’s a pizza delivery. You ordered pizzas?’
There was no answer, and no one appeared.
With a hissed obscenity she turned and left the helmeted rider standing at the door, two pizza cartons resting in the crook of an arm, as she walked barefoot along the hallway where she pushed open the door. A fresh blast of excited screams from a television show swept along the hallway and pushed past the rider, out into the street.
The rider glanced back down the driveway, concerned that the noise might draw the attention of neighbours or a passer-by.
An aggressive exchange of words was followed by the appearance of a broad-shouldered man in an open-neck shirt drawn tight over his muscled bulk. Around his neck hung a heavy gold chain, half-hidden amongst a mat of dark curly hair. He glared belligerently at the leather-clad figure in the porch, tossed an abusive remark at the woman and swaggered towards the door with the bow-shouldered gait of a body builder.
Mickey McBride stood in front of the delivery rider and stared hard into the flat, impenetrable eyes that gazed at him from behind the half-raised visor of the crash helmet.
‘Who are you?’ demanded McBride, aggressively. ‘I ain’t order no pizzas!’
Balancing the boxes on one arm, the rider held up a delivery note as explanation.
‘I only delivers them mate. Two pizzas for a Mickey McBride at this address, all paid for. That you?’
Behind McBride, the woman leant against the door frame, watching the television while glancing occasionally towards the front door until a roar of laughter drew her into the room and out of sight. Seemingly oblivious to the noise around him, McBride’s nostrils flared at the smell of hot cheese and spiced meats. He swallowed instinctively as his eyes slid greedily to the boxes.
‘Paid for, you say?’ he demanded, and looked back at the eyes above the neckerchief.
The rider nodded, tucked the delivery slip into a pocket of the leather jacket and held the boxes out for McBride to take.
McBride gave a sly grin. ‘Well, seems a shame to let ‘em go to waste,’ and put out his hands to receive the boxes. As he did so his eyes narrowed suspiciously, and he peered over the motor-cyclist’s shoulder.
‘Ain’t you a bit old to be delivering pizzas? Where’s your bike?’
The rider let the boxes tilt forwards. Instinctively, McBride grabbed for his falling prize with both hands.
He barely saw the rider’s right hand strike upwards. Barely registered the blow to his ribs as thin, cold steel parted flesh and muscle to pierce his heart, where it was deftly twisted, then withdrawn with a soft, sucking noise.
McBride did feel an explosion of pain fill his chest. The immediate, overwhelming loss of control. Still clutching the boxes, he gulped fish-like for air that would not come and fell to his knees. The rider bent forward and spoke into the dying man’s ear.
Bewildered, McBride looked up into the blue eyes studying him with a cold detachment. A faint glimmer of recognition flickered briefly in McBride’s eyes but was extinguished as his ruined heart emptied, and he pitched forward across the threshold of his home.
The helmeted figure stepped aside and stared down the hall, the knife ready. The woman was still out of sight. Another swell of noise washed down the hallway and over the prone body, smothering the soft snap of a blade being returned to its concealed sheath.
The rider pulled down the visor, turned, and walked away. Nearby, a motorcycle was started quietly and slowly ridden away.
A woman’s scream tore the air.
If that has piqued your interest, you can buy your copy here:
Ray Britain’s second novel ‘Forgotten Lives’ follows closely on from ‘The Last Thread’ (2017) with a new investigation for DCI Doug Stirling, the toughest of his career.
As a police Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) Ray led specialist investigations. He was also a Hostage & Crisis Intervention Negotiator – a voluntary role – responding to hostage situations, many firearms incidents and numerous suicide interventions, not all of which ended happily. His roles took him to the USA, India, Europe, Australia and elsewhere, receiving Commendations in recognition for his work.
Ray’s real-world experience puts the reader at the heart of a complex, fast moving investigation with all of its uncertainties, stresses and frustrations, and of the dark, bitter sadness’s of people’s lives.
Ray also worked with the Serious Fraud Office and the Home Office, London, and with the City of London Police’s Economic Crime Directorate.
When not writing, Ray might be found mountain hiking, following rugby, skiing, reading, sailing, or generally keeping fit..
So today I have a long time supporter of my blog and all round lovely author David Ellis Overttun for a very special guest post which includes an excerpt from his upcoming novel Mirror in time which is the fourth book in the Terra Nova series which will be released this year. Now over to David:
I first met LJ when I used to be on Twitter. (I have now turned that over to my wife, Natasha.) At the time, I was a totally unknown author. How would I know? When I did a search of “Overttun”, I would get “Do you mean: overturn” — period. I can proudly say that now I am a relatively unknown author. Do the same search now, and you get the same “Do you mean: overturn”. But, now at least, there are some search results. How will I know when I’m known? When I just get the search results. (Do a search for “rowling”. You don’t get “Do you mean: rowing”. Although, I bet there was a time when you did.)
LJ is the poster child for open minded and supportive. With all the great books and authors out there, who would give someone just starting out a second glance? She is also the reason why my covers are so sharp. During our correspondence, after I finished my first book, Universe: Awakening, she said (and I’m paraphrasing), “you might want to get a more eye-catching cover.” Being charitable was an understatement. So, I turned that part of the book over to Natasha, and we’ve gone from…
What a difference!
With all that’s been going on in the world right now, I’ve been finding it hard to set aside the time to finish my 4th book, Mirror in Time. I’ve been doing some ARC guest posts of some of the opening chapters to put pressure on me to finish. LJ has been so kind to assist me in this kick-in-the-pants endeavor with this guest post. So, many thanks! (Also, an FYI. It’s working. Just before Xmas, I sat down and wrote about half of chapter 12 of the paperback version. Only 2-½ chapters to go!)
* * * * *
Our story so far…
As night falls, a transport flies toward a towering mountain range. Stars that should fill the sky are obscured by a random patchwork of contrails.
AV Sundog comes under attack tantalizingly close to its destination and, its lone passenger, Prefect Godvina, is now recovering in the Observatory’s medical facilities. While she has not sustained any physical injuries, the stress caused by the evasive maneuvers have caused her aura to contract. The attending physician expects she will return to normal in a few days, but an individual known as the “Advisor” draws attention to the emotional impact of her current condition. The Director of the Observatory agrees, but his concern seems to go beyond the clinical interest of the two medical professionals. This is personal. Just how personal is revealed when he turns his scrutiny to the pilot of the atmospheric vehicle, Agent Thalia, exiling her and the two escort pilots, call signs: Avenger and Golden Boy, from the facility.
Before departing, Thalia goes to a bar known as “No Man’s Land” to take the edge off. There, she meets Avenger and Golden Boy. They advise her they need to file a report of the incident. And now, ARC eChapter 2: “History”.
* * * * *
Godvina opened her eyes. Her vision was blurred, and all she could make out was fuzzy pale-gold light. She was stiff and sore. “Where am I?” she thought. Her first answer would have been AV Sundog. The last thing she remembered was passing out during an inverted dive. But she was now in a reclined position lying on what she could only assume was a bed. Her vision slowly began to clear. She was in a medical capsule.
A holographic cover receded to either side. Around her was dimly illuminated, and there was a pale-gold light off to her right.
“My love!” Jo’el said as he rushed to her side. He grasped her hand and kissed it. “You are awake. Raise light. How do you feel?”
The room gradually became illuminated with simulated daylight at a rate that matched the ability of her eyes to adjust.
“I…I am fine. I guess. What am I doing here?”
“You came under attack.”
“Yes, that is the preliminary report from Agent Thalia. You appear to have passed out during her evasive maneuvers.”
“Now, I remember! That bitch went out of her way to do this to me! Maneuvers my ass!”
As she rose to get out of the capsule, she noticed her aura. “What happened to my corona?!”
“Dr. Kyros says it has retracted…”
“But it is only temporary. A few days at most.”
“A few days?!”
“Please, my love, calm yourself.”
“I will show you calm!” She stood and faced him, her full, thick, strawberry-red hair cascading on her shoulders. Her piercing blue eyes were malevolently transfixed on him.
“How is that?” she said with stone-cold calm.
“Very calm.” Jo’el had seen this many times before. He had learned to stay out of her way until the storm had passed.
“Clothing. Computer, link with Agent Thalia, voice-only.”
A section of one of the walls, the height of a closet, opened into the room.
“Where are my clothes?”
“They are in laundry services.”
“Emergency notification. Why are they there?”
“Well…they were a bit…”
Then, she remembered and erupted with a howl of anger.
“Unable to link with Agent Thalia. Her nexus appears to be nonoperational.”
“Fucking coward! Computer, current location, Agent Thalia.”
“Agent Thalia has just departed Building K, Chi Mesa.”
“Godvina, you cannot leave looking like this.”
She turned and faced him with a look that sent a chill up his spine. Then, something quite unexpected happened.
“Mirror, full length,” he quickly said. “Look, you are back to normal.”
“So, I can leave?” she asked sarcastically.
“Yes, yes, of course.”
“Good. Get me something to wear!”
* * * * *
The three agents made their way to a secure room, a hardened location buried deep in the mesa protected by biometric security, anti-surveillance measures and sensors to detect changes in air quality and temperature.
“Agents Mica’el, Gabri’el and Thalia with a secure link to Prefect Tarsus,” Mica’el said.
Tarsus was the prefect at the Ministry of Defense and Security in charge of intelligence and their direct superior. They each stood at attention and bowed as his hologram appeared before them.
“Good even to you,” he said, returning their bows. “Report.”
“I have safely transported Prefect Godvina to the designated terminus. However, it was not without incident. It has resulted in some complications.”
“As per our orders, Gabri’el and I provided covert escort. En route, we encountered six Gendu AVs, fighter class,” Mica’el replied.
“They appear to be a new, more advanced design, able to penetrate military-grade camouflage,” Thalia said. Then, something occurred to her. “How is it they were unable to see you?” she asked, looking at Mica’el. “As a matter of fact, how is it I was unable to see you?”
“Let us just say that some adjustments were made to reduce the effectiveness of your instrumentation before you left for Jomo,” Tarsus interjected unapologetically.
“We were bait?! And you said nothing?!” she exclaimed, giving Mica’el then Gabri’el a dirty-look.
“Come, come, Thalia,” Tarsus said with a smile, “you know things such as this come with the territory. Your callsign is ‘Wind Goddess’, is it not? The best fighter pilot we have, no? Or did I make the wrong choice for this mission?”
“No, of course not, sir.” While she may have felt compromised, how could she have responded any other way?
“You all appear to be in one piece. I take it the mission was a success.”
“You were correct, sir. Misleading information of an AV, apparently unescorted, with you on board was sufficient to draw out dissident Gendu elements,” Gabri’el replied. “They were unmarked with masked transponders, but we inflicted sufficient damage to down all of the hostiles. I would imagine there should be enough wreckage to identify the source. Also, all the pilots ejected. We should have them in custody in due course.”
“However, sir, my passenger has suffered certain complications.”
“Her corona has retracted.”
“Really?” Tarsus said with a smile. “And that is a bad thing?”
“She is very upset.”
“And that is a bad thing?”
All of a sudden, the doors opened, and Godvina stormed in. “Get out!”
The agents were taken by surprise. Secure rooms were supposed to be inviolate.
“How did you…” Thalia started to say.
“I SAID, ‘GET OUT’!”
The three looked toward Tarsus, who nodded his head, and they departed.
“Good even to you, Prefect Godvina. I hope you are well,” he said calmly.
“Cut the crap, Tarsus. You know exactly how well I am. You vindictive bastard. You set me up!”
“On the contrary, it was a covert operation, sanctioned at the highest level, designed to draw out dissident elements within the Gendu. I had my best pilot at the helm of your AV and my best operatives as your escorts. You were never in any danger.”
“Your intent was not to put me in harm’s way. It was to humiliate me! You know how flight disagrees with me!”
“Yes, Agent Thalia mentioned a contracted corona, but she must have been mistaken. It looks perfectly normal to me…a little small perhaps.”
An individual’s corona was the dominant factor in determining position and status in Celesti society. Size mattered, the bigger the better. High-ranking officials in the various ministries had visible auras that continued downward past their shoulders, ending at their waists. Governing Council members had visible auras that surrounded their entire bodies. Godvina had a corona that was above average, more than adequate to allow her to rise to the level of prefect, reporting to Minister of Science Janus, himself. The ‘observation’ was an obvious slight.
“Are you sure? My corona is full…robust. How could I be a prefect otherwise?”
She wore a pale-yellow, two-piece suit that was standard dress for almost everyone in the Ministry of Science. She undid her single-button, lapelless jacket. Grasping each front panel, she slowly parted the garment affording Tarsus a more complete view of the white, mandarin-collar shirt underneath. While not busty, there was enough of a protrusion in the material to cause his eyes to widen slightly.
“You better have your vision checked, my dear. Have a closer look. I think you are mistaken…What was that?” she asked touching her index finger to her ear. “Cat got your tongue?” She glanced downward then back up at him and made a gesture as if she were biting her lower lip. “From your reaction, it looks like you are not getting any since I left you. I wish I could say the same, but alas…I cannot. I have learned many things in the intervening time…the Gendu way for example.”
The “Gendu way” was the common term for sexual relations through physical contact.
“Of course, I am sure you are well-acquainted with that. Having once been a guardian, you must have made many forays into the Pleasure District.” She paused for effect. “Mmmm…touching…feeling…” she said in a low, throaty voice, slowly closing her eyes briefly, “you well know how I found those things…disgusting. But…I have recently changed my mind. How unfortunate…FOR YOU!” She snapped her jacket closed. “End link!”
* * * * *
Thalia, Mica’el and Gabri’el waited apprehensively in the corridor, wondering what to do. Tarsus had given them leave, but it was not the same thing as being dismissed.
“How did she do that?” Gabri’el asked, referring to Godvina’s entrance.
“I have no idea,” Thalia replied. “But entering a secure room like that is no small thing. Where did she learn that?”
“It is a security risk. Should we take her in for questioning?” Mica’el wondered.
“A prefect? Are you crazy?” Thalia exclaimed. “Talk about a career-ending move. But, if you are intent on suicide, Avenger, I shall step aside,” she said, making a gesture with her hand in the direction of the secure room door.
“The rumors must be true,” Gabri’el mused.
The implication was that Godvina had learned how to break the seal from someone…someone high up in security.
“A conclusion we should all keep to ourselves,” Thalia cautioned, “along with the bitch goddess’ entrance.”
The door to the secure room suddenly opened, and Godvina casually emerged. “Your master calls,” she said with a calm, icy stare before continuing down the corridor.
The three entered an empty room.
“We better get back to him,” Mica’el said. “Agents Mica’el, Gabri’el and Thalia with a secure link to Prefect Tarsus.”
They each again stood at attention and bowed as the hologram of Tarsus appeared before them.
“There is just one more thing I have to report,” Thalia said, acting as if nothing unusual had recently transpired.
“Director Jo’el has ordered us off Jomo. I understand he does not have the authority but…”
“In the interests of maintaining good inter-ministerial relations…I understand completely. Mica’el, Gabri’el, I place you in charge of the investigation of the hostiles. Thalia, find a suitable location close to Jomo to park your ship then return and keep Prefect Godvina under close covert surveillance.”
“So, the rumors are true,” she thought. Was his order something trivial to keep tabs on the remnants of a spoiled relationship or something more? She had to be sure. “Sir, is there anything in particular I should be looking for?”
“Yes, as you know, the first permanent streak across our skies appeared about 70 years ago. Since then, they have only grown in number. At the same time, Arkos has experienced increasing climatic and seismic activity that has placed a strain on the planet’s resources and economy.
“Director Jo’el’s work on space-time cosmology made him the most logical person to lead efforts to find a solution to this problem. Prefect Godvina is in charge of the Cosmological Data Collection and Compilation Center, and it would be natural for her to be working closely with him. What makes this unusual is that they are meeting at Jomo, in fact that they are meeting at all. Director Jo’el does visit the Ministry ziggurat in Eden. As you well know, face-to-face meetings are only reserved for issues of the most sensitive nature. None were stated on her visitation request. I think they are hiding something, and I want to know what it is.”
Thalia interpreted “face-to-face” to mean “intimate”. “Ugh, this is personal, a royal pain in the ass. But, on the other hand, should be an easy assignment. If I find something juicy, I might even get a commendation in my file,” she thought.
“Understood, sir. I will require access to her nexus and identification of any nexus that comes to within standard proximity.”
“It would also be ideal if I could tag her.”
Such access would allow Thalia to monitor everything facilitated by Godvina’s nexus. A tag was a device about the size of a button placed on the back of the neck. Enabled by an invisible film affixed to the nexus, it would also allow the Agent to listen in on any conversation within close proximity to Godvina.
“Ideal but not feasible. She is a prefect. Her aura will make it impossible for you to install the tag without her knowledge. This will have to suffice.”
* * * * *
So, now we see the reason for Jo’el’s concern. He and the recovering patient are an item. My original title for this chapter was “Fire and Ice” to describe the dichotomy of Godvina’s personality. (Who knows? Maybe, I still will. After all, this is an ARC.) However, I settled on “History” because it speaks to the former relationship between our fiery prefect and Tarsus.
Just an FYI, the part where Godvina torments Tarsus was inspired by the Seinfeld episode “The Implant” with Teri Hatcher.
We also learn the reason for Godvina’s visit to the Observatory. She is a scientist, here to investigate the composition of the night sky.
As always, I have asked Natasha for a visual to go along with the post. In the past, she would find something in one of the chapters for inspiration then I would do the wwit. For Mirror, I decided we would go in chronological order. So, to give her something to hang her hat on, I said, “Show me how you feel when (on those rare, almost nonexistent, can’t-remember-the-last-time-it-happened occasions) I piss you off.” Here is her thought.
Thank you David for that lovely post and your kind words, it means a lot!
If that was interesting for you here are some more guest posts both for Mirror in time and for previous books in the series:
Hi lovelies! Today I have a guest post from Mark Brumby as part of the blog tour for Always Adam, organised by Emma at Damppebbles blog tours but first a bit about the book:
Title: Always Adam by Mark Brumby
Publisher: Boomslang Books
Publication Date: 30th November 2020
London-based financial journalist Spencer Beck is obsessed with billionaire biotech prodigy, Adam Reid, orphaned in his mid-teens when his parents died in a tragic murder-suicide in New York City. A shadowy informant with MI5 connections promises Beck unfettered access to the mysterious Reid and introduces him to Daniel Flanagan, a retired Big Apple detective who investigated the deaths of Adam’s mother and father. Spencer’s initial scepticism, fed by the suspicions of the former police officer, turns to excitement when Reid reveals the truth about himself and his altruistic ambitions to protect society from a deadly virus with a powerful vaccine he’s developed. But when Beck’s entire world starts to implode, he discovers Reid harbours a vendetta that, left unchecked, threatens not only his survival but that of an entire species.
Although it maybe shouldn’t have done, the Covid-19 pandemic took much of the Western World by surprise and, until very recently, we’ve been very much on the back foot.
Armchair experts have polarised to the extremes. Healthcare professionals have taken one view but libertarians have quite another and experts, such as Messrs Whitty & Vallance have been pilloried for crying wolf.
However, as there really is a wolf out there, isn’t that perhaps a little unjust?
The professionals have been criticised for getting their ‘forecasts’ wrong but, to be fair to them, they have always said their numbers were only an indication of what could, and most likely would, happen if people did not change their behaviour.
But behaviour did change.
And it changed before the experts made their views known with people behaving much as they have done for centuries in similar situations. They stayed in, they mixed less and they self-imposed lockdowns long before the word itself was coined since much of our behaviour is hard wired and, unfortunately, that is not a secret.
We can be manipulated. Our fears, hopes and dreams are predictable and, in Always Adam, a book first written some seven years ago when the idea of a global pandemic was nothing but a distant fantasy, we consider how such knowledge, in the hands of a billionaire such as Adam Reid can be dangerous.
We suggest that history, and even pre-history, is written by the winners and that just who are and were the ‘good guys’ is similarly determined.
Our anti-hero, the twenty-something Adam Reid, is a genius with a vaccine and a vendetta. He is ruthless and plays his cards well. Read Always Adam to find out how his plans unfold and who, if anyone, can stop him.
About the Author:
A Cambridge economics graduate, Mark Brumby is a vastly experience financial analyst and owner of Langton Capital, an FCA-regulated advisory company specialising in the hospitality and leisure sectors. He is a partner in the Imbiba Partnership, which invests in pub, bar and restaurant start-ups.
Mark wrote Always Adam (originally published as Payback) in 2013. Boomslang is republishing the book in November 2020 as it deserves to reach a wider audience in the current pandemic climate.
“Covid-19 has brought home not just the fragility of human life but the power of vaccines. Very shortly, we hope, a vaccine could physically alter the cell structure of three or four billion people and protect the same number again via herd immunity. But what if a vaccine were misused?”
“In some ways the world has changed but in many ways it remains the same. The ‘facts’ re our existence have not and will not change. But the events of the last few months have brought home the truth that we are only animals and that we are almost as much at risk from novel diseases with high R ratios and significant mortality rates as we have ever been.”
“I tried to take a step back and look at how we got here & what we’re doing. That sounds deep but some 99% of species that have ever existed are extinct, so what makes us so special?”
“Indeed, we’ve very nearly joined the list of ‘used-to-be’ species list on several occasions. Anthropologists believe that the human population at times in our history fell to a total of less than 10,000 individuals worldwide. You could fit them all in a small football ground and it’s more than a 99.99% reduction on the number of people around today.”
“As an author, Covid-19 has moved the goalposts a little. It has made the unbelievable a little more believable. A pandemic, until December of last year was, literally, a fiction.”
Mark Brumby is married with five children and commutes between London and his home in York.
Hello lovelies! Today I have an exclusive extract from The Coronation by Justin Newland as part of the blog tour organised by Kelly at Love Books Group Tours but first a little about the book:
Title: The Coronation by Justin Newland
Date Published: 5th November 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction
It is 1761. Prussia is at war with Russia and Austria. As the Russian army occupies East Prussia, King Frederick the Great and his men fight hard to win back their homeland.
In Ludwigshain, a Junker estate in East Prussia, Countess Marion von Adler celebrates an exceptional harvest. But this is soon requisitioned by Russian troops. When Marion tries to stop them, a Russian Captain strikes her. His Lieutenant, Ian Fermor, defends Marion’s honour, but is stabbed for his insubordination. Abandoned by the Russians, Fermor becomes a divisive figure on the estate.
Close to death, Fermor dreams of the Adler, a numinous eagle entity, whose territory extends across the lands of Northern Europe and which is mysteriously connected to the Enlightenment. What happens next will change the course of human history…
This extract is from Chapter 7. It’s from the point of view of Marion, Countess von Adler, and takes place in a church. Konstantin is a church warder, when sober, that is. The passage makes more sense if you understand that Adler in German means eagle.
Marion bowed to the altar and edged towards the curtain where Konstantin stood waiting for her. Standing next to him was like balancing on a dinghy in a rough sea, because he was swaying this way and that, guided at each turn by the vapours of intoxication. He eventually managed to hand her the pull-cord for the curtain, which she grasped in hands moist with nervous energy.
She recalled the first time she had performed this ceremony. It was soon after her marriage, some seventeen years ago. Then, when unveiling the statue, she nearly fainted with the shock of seeing it. Over the years since, the aura of mystery surrounding the statue had never diminished. An enthralled silence descended on the church.
Pulling the cord revealed the strange and incongruous statue of Our Lady von Adler.
The congregation let out a collective gasp. They always did. Every year. There was the statue in all its glory – a traditional interpretation of Our Lady dressed in a pale blue upper garment and white surplice, palms flat on her thighs, staring through the walls and out into the depths of the universe. With her other-worldly gaze, she was stealing a furtive glance into the sacred, tremulous core of life itself.
While from the neck down the rendering of the statue was entirely conventional, what was perched on her head was anything but.
There, with its talons buried in Our Lady’s head, was an adler – an eagle, a double-headed golden eagle. The sculptor had captured the moment when the King of the birds was about to take off, its huge wings spread wide, its beak open. Its claws were buried deep in her scalp.
With a life-size eagle perched unceremoniously on her head, the marriage of bird and human was both an incongruous enigma and an abiding mystery. Her own head was aching again. She couldn’t move.
She closed her eyes, opened and then quickly closed them. In that moment, she got a vivid impression. The Virgin Mary’s head was an egg. An egg! And the eagle was going to rip it off Our Lady’s neck and fly off with it.
Then she realised. The eagle was taking it off to its nest.
It was going to keep it by its brood patch to incubate.
The head of the Virgin Mary was an egg, a womb!
When she opened her eyes, the impression had vanished – and was replaced by a tidal wave of pain gushing through her own head.
About The Author:
Justin Newland writes history with a supernatural bent. His novels are The Genes of Isis,
an epic fantasy set under Ancient Egyptian skies, and The Old Dragon’s Head, a historical fantasy played out in the shadows of the Great Wall of China. He lives with his partner in Somerset, England.
Hello lovelies! As part of the blog tour for Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds, I have a fab Q&A with the author Nick Albert but first a little about the book:
Title: Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds by Nick Albert
Date Published: 25th September 2017
Nick and Lesley Albert yearn to leave the noise, stress and pollution of modern Britain and move to the countryside, where the living is good, the air sweet, with space for their dogs to run free. Suddenly out of work and soon to be homeless, they set off in search of a new life in Ireland, a country they had never visited. As their adventure began to unfold, not everything went according to plan. If finding their dream house was difficult, buying it seemed almost impossible. How would they cope with banks that didn’t want customers, builders who didn’t need work, or the complex issue of where to buy some chickens?
‘Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds’ is the first in a five-book series of humorous memoirs chronicling our quirky lives since we gave up the stress and pollution of modern Britain and bought a derelict farmhouse in beautiful rural Ireland – a country we had never before visited. Hindered by a lack of experience and money, we combined our optimism and enthusiasm with a second-hand DIY manual and set about renovating our new home. Since then, we’ve rescued seven dogs and two cats, become reluctant chicken farmers and learned to live life at a slower pace. Along the way there were many thrills and spills, some sadness and tragedy, but overall our new life has brought us lots of laughs. We really are living the dream!
Where did the inspiration for your book come from?
As an Englishman living in Ireland, I’m frequently asked, “Why did you move here?” This happy event usually occurs at dinner parties, soon after I’ve cornered some unsuspecting stranger in the kitchen. Lacking what most people would consider appropriate social filters, I tended to treat that polite ice-breaking enquiry as a genuine expression of interest, requiring a comprehensive answer and perhaps a slideshow of photographs. After a few minutes, these poor unfortunates would either pretend to have a heart attack, or politely slip under my arm mumbling, “You should write a book.”
Okay, that’s not entirely correct! In truth, I was extremely lucky to find a publisher with vision and patience who loved my story. Even though they disliked the rambling manuscript I’d already written, they could see the potential for five or more memoirs and were prepared to work with me for a year while I wrote the first Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds book.
If you could describe your book in one sentence what would it be?
The comical tale of an English couple and their unruly dogs searching for a better life in rural Ireland.
What is a typical writing day like for you?
I like my routines and need to have a clear desk and a focused mind before I begin writing. Every morning after breakfast, I’ll take my dogs for a long walk through the forest or across the moorland surrounding our house. After some exercise and a shower, I’m usually ready to write by around 11am. Ideally, I’ll start my workday by catching up with emails, fan mail, social media and other marketing tasks. It’s amazing how much stuff authors have to do these days, outside of research and writing. On a good day, my desk is clear and I’m ready to write by around 2pm. I have a strict rule not to work beyond 6pm, except for when my wife is away in England visiting family. If I’m close to a print deadline and feeling the need for a little more writing time, I’ll announce a period of ‘Digital Detox’. It’s rather a false economy as there’s usually a bunch of catching up to do when I go back online, but sometimes the writing has to take priority.
If you could recommend just one book to read what would it be and why?
If I could only have one book, it would be the life story of British Air Force pilot Robert Stanford Tuck, ‘Fly for your life’ written by Larry Forrester. Not only is it a cracking tale of bravery during the Battle of Britain and whilst he was a prisoner of war, it’s a really well written memoir.
Who are your favourite authors?
Hmm. That’s a tough question to answer honestly. My book collection is somewhat eclectic; I’m not sure what that says about me. As well as a library, I have dozens of stacked boxes bulging with hundreds of golf books, biographies featuring authors from all walks of life, loads of thrillers, some sci-fi and the complete works of Sue Grafton, Lee Child, Tom Holt, Terry Pratchett and William Shakespeare. I’m never without a book. One secret I can reveal, if I’m writing comedy, I’ll only read thrillers – and vice versa. When I was a student living in Norwich, England, my first flat was next door to the best second-hand bookshop in the city. What heaven! Back then I read a lot of sci-fi books and thrillers, purely for the escapism. Because I was from an Air Force family, I also collected hundreds of military biographies. Other favourites in my collection were Clive James, David Niven and Spike Milligan. These books were treasured possessions, I still have most of them now.
Tell me something interesting about yourself (that’s not in your author bio!)
At the age of 14, when I still had hair and before I acquired wrinkles, I worked as a professional actor on stage and TV. Before my dad convinced me I’d be better off with a proper job, I even did a little modelling!
What are you currently working on?
I’m well into writing book four of the Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds series. At the same time, I’m working with Andy Stevenson, who is doing an awesome job narrating the Audible audio version of book three.
About The Author:
Nick Albert was born in England and raised in a Royal Air Force family. After leaving College he worked in retail management for several years before moving into financial services where he quickly progressed through the ranks to become a training consultant. As a very passionate and reasonably talented sportsman, Nick had always wanted to use his training skills towards creating a parallel career, so in the mid 1980’s he qualified and began coaching sport professionally. After a health scare in 2003 and in search of a simpler life, he and his wife Lesley, cashed in their investments, sold their home and bought a rundown farmhouse in the rural west of Ireland – a country they had never before even visited. With little money or experience and armed only with a do-it-yourself manual, they set about renovating their new home, where they now live happily alongside a flock of chickens, two ducks and several unruly, but delightful dogs. In 2017 Nick was signed to Ant Press to write a series of humorous memoirs about his life in rural Ireland. Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds (book one) was published in September 2017 and soon became an Amazon bestseller. Book two in the series was published on 1st June 2018 and book 3 in August 2019. Book four is due out in early 2020.
Nick is also the author of the twisty thriller, Wrecking Crew, the first in a series of books featuring reluctant hero Eric Stone.
Hello lovelies! Today I have a fantastic guest post from Terri Nixon about the inspiration behind her novel A Cornish Inheritance but first a little about the book:
Title: A Cornish Inheritance by Terri Nixon
Date Published: 5th December 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction
Welcome to Fox Bay Hotel, where family fortunes rise and fall.
1920, Bristol. Helen Fox is happily married to the love of her life: charming, former playboy Harry. With their three children, glamorous lifestyle and extravagant parties, they have the perfect life. But after a tragic motorcycle accident, nothing will ever be the same…
Helen is forced to leave their home and move to the Fox family’s hotel on the Cornish coast – where she discovers her perfect life has been based on a lie.
Now Helen must find a way to build a new life for herself and her children with the help of a vivacious new friend, Leah Marshall.
But when the future of the hotel is threatened, Helen discovers that she hasn’t left her past behind after all, and unless she takes drastic action, she’s going to lose everything all over again…
1920s Fox Bay Hotel is a bit of a glamour trap. A former monastery, now a holiday destination for the most discerning of guests, and situated on the coast within a stone’s throw of a picturesque village. An art deco dream of a place… Too too perfect, darling, you simply must go! But sign up a lawyer first…
I was all fired up ready to write a fourth volume in the Penhaligon Saga; I’d written a detailed outline, which I loved (I still do) and was hoping my publisher would pick it up. But they decided the saga had run its course, had tied everything up nicely in book 3, and answered all the questions I’d asked in book 2. ‘We’d like you to write something new.’
So I plucked something out of mid-air and threw it at my agent. ‘Uh, how about a… a hotel? Set on the South Devon coast?’ It would be so wonderful to write something set in the area in which I was born, and a hotel would give me the opportunity to have any number of different types of guests, with their own interesting secrets and stories. I was buzzing already.
The publisher was equally enthusiastic. ‘Sounds great, send in a submission package. We particularly love that it’s set in Devon!’
I wrote an outline and the first three chapters, and sent it all off.
‘Yes please, we’ll take 3. Only please could you set it in Cornwall instead?’
So I happily re-set my fictional village on the west coast of Cornwall and began the exciting job of getting to know my characters.
A few years ago a good friend of mine moved into a gorgeous flat that had once been part of a military hospital here in Plymouth. He’d gone exploring up in a communal attic space and found this painted on one of the beams:
H & H, The Heavenly Twins… what’s not to love about that? He knew I’d be all over it, and he was right; when I realised I’d called my main character Helen, and her husband Harry, I knew I had to incorporate that mysterious, hastily-painted little slice of history somehow.
And so the Heavenly Twins were born.
Harry the bon viveur and former playboy, living – in modern parlance – his “best life,” in the years immediately following the Great War, and throwing the biggest and glitziest parties, with the brightest and smartest friends.
Helen, not quite timid, but certainly no social butterfly, could hardly believe he’d chosen her at first, and she wasn’t the only one, but in the years since they married they have defied expectation and silenced the critics. Their marriage has been passionate and rock-solid, and their three children are adorable but headstrong individuals, who have grown up rich in matters both material and emotional. Everyone loves the Foxes.
But of course this can’t last; it’s a family drama! If this family existed in a soap you’d just know there was something nasty in the woodshed; some shade from the past, or a terrible decision, is going to shove a spanner in the spokes, and the fates just sit back and watch with a sly grin, while everything collapses.
So it is with the Foxes. When Helen has to take the children away from the home they’ve known all their lives, and even the memories of those halcyon days are tainted, she has to re-evaluate her situation, and, at the same time as she’s coming to terms with her own “new normal,” she has to protect her children’s futures.
She makes a new friend, Leah Marshall, a widow with a shady past, but such a talent for mimicry and play-acting that the Foxes warm to her immediately. She brightens everything, becomes an honorary aunt to the children, and later, when Helen has cause to question her honesty and her intentions, I hope the readers will feel the conflict as deeply as if Leah is a real member of the family. She’s a question mark, hidden by the brightness of her own smile.
Helen herself is unused to standing her ground and having to fight for what’s hers, and all we can do is watch, and will her on. The family motto is Vulpes latebram suam defendit – The fox defends his lair. Helen has a lot of work to do…
The second half of the first book, A Cornish Inheritance, prominently features one of the now grown “children,” and each of the next two books will do the same for the others. It’s been interesting to see how the sudden change in lifestyle has affected the “cubs” during their formative years, and each of them has their own individual set of interests and ambitions, which can lead them into dangerous, potentially deadly, situations. But will they listen to me, the mere author? As if! They’re just going to go right on with what they’re doing, and if they won’t listen to me, what do you suppose chances are that they’ll listen to Helen?
So hold on to your hats; those Fox cubs are going to shake things up at the bay, and the shockwaves might well stretch across the whole of Cornwall!
About The Author:
Terri was born in Plymouth. At the age of 9, she moved with her family to Cornwall, to the village featured in Jamaica Inn — North Hill — 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. Since publishing in paperback for the first time in 2002, Terri has appeared in both print and online fiction collections, and is proud to have contributed to the Shirley Jackson award-nominated hardback collection: Bound for Evil, by Dead Letter Press. As a Hybrid author, her first commercially published novel was Maid of Oaklands Manor, published by Piatkus Entice. Terri’s self-published Mythic Fiction series set in Cornwall, The Lynher Mill Chronicles, is now complete and available in paperback and e-book. Terri also writes under the name T Nixon, and has contributed to anthologies under the names Terri Pine and Teresa Nixon. She is represented by the Kate Nash Literary Agency. She now lives in Plymouth with her youngest son, and works in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Plymouth University, where she is constantly baffled by the number of students who don’t possess pens.
Hello lovelies, today I have a fantastic Q&A with author William Osborne but first a little about his new book:
Title: Jupiter’s Fire by William Osborne
Date Published: 1st December 2019
Publisher: Conrad Press
Genre: YA Historical Adventure
When Franco, a teenager living in the monastery at Monte Cassino in 1944 uncovers a long-lost Roman Eagle, the fabled Aquila for the Jupiter Legion, he sets in motion a desperate struggle to prevent the Nazis from using it to win the war. In a do-or-die mission, Franco and Dulcie, a teenage mountain girl, must steal the Eagle back and escape before its deadly power is unleashed. Pursued by the implacable forces of the SS they will discover not just the secrets of the Eagle but also themselves.
Q&A with William Osborne:
Can you tell me a little bit about your book?
It’s the third book in a trilogy, all featuring a teenage boy and girl who get caught up in an exciting adventure set in World War Two. In Jupiter’s Fire the two protagonists must steal a mystical and dangerous Roman artefact before the Nazis use its power to win the war. So, not much at stake then!!
Where did the inspiration for your book come from?
A trip to Naples, learning about the city, Vesuvius and remembering a quote from my time as a screenwriter. “Start with a volcano and work up to a climax!” Unfortunately the volcano is at the end in my story.
If you could describe your book in one sentence what would it be?
What is a typical writing day like for you?
I don’t really have one. Some days I start early, some days late. But always put in two to three hours minimum.
If you could recommend just one book to read what would it be and why?
HMS Ulysses by Alaistair Maclean. I’m not sure why because it is dated and old and nobody has heard of it any more, but it’s depiction of the North Atlantic Convoys going round the Arctic Circle to Russia in the Second World War while being hunted by U Boats is shattering in its verisimilitude.
Who are your favourite authors?
William Boyd when he’s on form.
George McDonald Fraser
I have so many…
Is writing your only job? If not, what is your other job?
I started life as a barrister, then became a screenwriter which I still do though I am concentrating now on my fiction writing.
Tell me something interesting about yourself (that’s not in your author bio!)
I collect old Military helmets from the German and British Empire time, ie, pre 1914.
What are you currently working on?
I have two screenplays on the go, a romantic comedy set in 1980s England and a dark thriller set in up state New York in 1960. I am also planning my next novel where the hero is a young woman secret agent in yes, World War Two!!
About The Author:
William Osborne – Born 1960 – educated at Greshams School, Holt, Norfolk and Robert Louis Stevenson, Pebble Beach, California, studied law at Cambridge,(MA), barrister at law, Member of the Middle Temple. Screenwriter and member of Writers Guild of America (West) – Author (published works, 1994, 1998, Hitler’s Angel, Winter’s Bullet, Jupiter’s Fire). Lives in Norfolk, enjoys life, film, dog walking, cold water swimming, lego, collecting odd stuff, driving his beach buggy.
Hello lovelies and welcome to my stop on the Appetite for Risk blog tour, where I’ll be bring you a fab guest post from the author Jack Leavers. A little heads up for bargain hunters out there, Appetite for Risk (ebook) will be part of a BookBub deal on Saturday 14thSeptember. The ebook will also be discounted to 99p/99¢ for a limited time before and after 14thSeptember.
Title: Appetite for Risk by Jack Leavers
Publisher: Book Guild
Date Published: 28th July 2019
A fast-paced action thriller inspired by real events in the aftermath of the Iraq War.
With Saddam Hussein deposed and an entire country in need of rebuilding, former Royal Marine John Pierce hears the siren call of adventure and opportunity. His fledgling UK business is struggling to support his young family and he has connections in the Iraqi capital – fate seems to point one way.
In early 2004, Pierce rolls the dice when he jumps into a taxi in Jordan and heads for the turmoil of postwar Baghdad to grab a share of the reconstruction gold rush. But when Iraq spirals into the hell of a full-blown insurgency, he must rely on his wits and his local friends if he’s to evade the rampant bloodshed.
As the action rolls across the blood-stained Iraqi landscape and embraces London’s seedy underbelly, Pierce tangles with the authorities at home and finds himself thrust into the heart of British and American covert operations against Al-Qaeda in Iraq.
Having set out with little more than ambitious goals and an appetite for risk, can a determined ex-bootneck survive the mounting chaos unscathed and succeed in hitting the jackpot?
Appetite for Risk is a novel set in the aftermath of the Iraq War. It features a fictional main character, former Royal Marine (ex-bootneck) John Pierce, attempting to grab a share of the perceived reconstruction gold rush in Baghdad. That said, it’s fiction that is inspired by my own experiences as an ex-bootneck trying to achieve exactly the same fifteen years ago.
Many authors and their novels are inspired by a sprinkling of real life experience without making a big deal of it, so what makes Appetite for Riskdifferent? To my mind, it’s the nature of the experiences I’ve used and how much they drive the story.
This novel was my first effort at creative writing since school. I’ll caveat that – it was my first attempt at writing purely for entertainment since my schooldays. In my role as an investigator and then a security & risk management consultant, I’ve often needed to get creative over the years with reports, assessments, scenarios, contingency planning, and producing cunning operational plans for a variety of tasks all over the world.
Step back to late 2017 and you’d have found me frustrated with delayed projects and late payments from overseas projects. On a whim, I decided to have a go at writing the book I’d always been encouraged to produce. I’ve never kept a diary or journal and there were too many legal skeletons lurking, so a memoir or non-fiction was out of the question. Instead, I wanted to write a novel that utilised a couple of memorable events from my times in Iraq. A particular road trip to Basra in late 2004, and my taxi rides from Amman to Baghdad in early 2004 that seemed madness on reflection (and not much better at the time).
My intention was to weave a fictional plot around these two elements and produce a full length novel of 90,000 – 100,000 words. Well, that’s not strictly true. My initial intention was to see if I could write a single reasonable chapter. I had tried writing a couple of pages ten years earlier out of boredom when stuck in Northern Iraq without electricity one day. The less said about those pages the better. On my return to the UK I’d even bought a ‘How to Write a Novel’ book, which had sat largely unread for the next decade.
The problem I quickly encountered was explaining how John Pierce came to be in Iraq, including why he made the decision to embark on such a perilous business plan. Slowly I found myself adding more and more layers of my own experiences and rationale (?) because any other explanation seemed unbelievable.
Because every decision made and every action taken has a myriad of justifications, consequences, and interwoven links with so many other factors, it became natural to set the actual flow of events down on paper as they had happened, including aspects of family, business, and related shenanigans in the UK. Using my professional background, I could then introduce ‘what-ifs’ that developed into fictional plot lines and allowed me the flexibility to add new scenes & characters, and ‘sex-up’ some memories to suit.
So, is Appetite for Riskfact or fiction?
It’s fiction, as I said. But to those who know me now and knew me back in 2004, it also contains a snapshot of my life as captured through the eyes of ex-bootneck John Pierce.
And how much of the book is ‘creative non-fiction’?
I’d estimate 60% is based on memory. And in some instances, even those featured in the book can’t remember where reality stops and the fiction starts.
Yours aye, Jack.
About The Author:
Jack Leaversis a former Royal Marine with over thirty-years’ experience spread across the military, private security, corporate investigations, maritime counter-piracy, and risk management. His varied career has included numerous deployments to conflict zones around the world such as Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, trouble spots in Africa, and the Somali pirate-infested waters of the Indian Ocean.
Jack continues to work in challenging environments and has now begun to pen novels inspired by some of the more enterprising projects that got the green light, and other audacious plans that didn’t.
The current WIP is a follow up to Appetite for Risk that sees ex-bootneck John Pierce return to face a ruthless enemy in Africa.
Jack is normally based in London, UK, but finds he’s at his most productive writing-wise when deployed overseas. Trips to Iraq and Africa beckon, so the follow up should be finished soon.
Hello lovelies! My first post of the day is a fantastic Q&A with Jim Ody as part of the blog tour for his latest book Noah’s Lament but first a little about the book:
Title: Noah’s Lament by Jim Ody
Date Published: 15th August 2019
Genre: Young Adult
Noah Thomas is seventeen and his world is flawless. He’s handsome, his grades are great
and he’s in love with his best friend Rosie. All is perfect until his dad is caught having an affair with Rosie’s mum.
Unable to cope, his mum runs back to America to a place called Escape; taking him with her. Now, broken hearted in a foreign country, he’s no longer the popular ace student and is struggling to fit in.
Tahli is a troubled soul. Dark and mysterious, she attaches herself to Noah. Instead of finding his feet, he thinks he’s losing his mind. Slowly, he begins to spiral out of control.
In the place that everybody escapes to, could Noah be the first to have a reason to get away?
Q&A with Jim Ody:
1. Where did the inspiration for Noah’s Lament come from?
The interesting thing about Noah’s Lament is that I had defined parameters. This is #28 of a long running series set in the Colorado town of Escape. This meant that there was a lot of information that I had to be mindful of in regards to lay out, and business owners and locals. I had free rein for the genre, and story content, but everything else had to fit nicely into the series.
At first, I found this a daunting task, but as the story evolved, I became less worried about the details, and more about intertwining the backstory. This was the first time I had a go at writing a YA novel. I was careful to keep to my usual dark style, whilst watering down the content so as it could be in secondary school libraries.
2. If you could describe your book in one sentence what would it be?
A dark take on the a-fish-out-of-water scenario, with a bit of a twist.
3. Out of all the characters in Noah’s Lament, did you have a favourite to write?
Stevie is a great character. He is the new next-door neighbor to Noah in Escape. He is a nerd who instantly sees Noah as a hero. When he gets angry he shouts, “Flat White!” instead of a profanity.
4. What is your favourite genre to write and why?
I touch on many genres, but most are shoot-offs of dark psychological/thrillers. I love to lead the reader, and then whip them around when an unexpected ending. I deal in the relationships of people, as they are so fascinating. Humans do such strange things depending on what their goal is. I observe and use the characters I see in real life to help tell my stories.
5. What is a typical writing day like for you?
I work full time as a Business Analyst, and have three children, therefore my writing starts usually at about 8:30pm. I write for about two hours. It might be new chapters of going back over the writing from the night before. I’ve got into the habit of doing this every day of the week (apart from Saturdays as I tend to watch boxing!).
6. If you could recommend just one book to read what would it be and why?
This is a very hard question. I’m sure my answer would change every six months. Currently, I love Youby Caroline Kepnes. I think the raw observational narrative is a good example of exceptional writing. I would also add The Bottomsby Joe R Lansdale as it’s thought-provoking, touching, and funny telling the tales of turn or the century America where money allowed the rich to bully the poor, racism and sexism was accepted, and yet a poor family, does it’s best to get through it. Wonderful emotive writing.
7. Who are your favourite authors?
Again, I have many. The two I’ve mentioned (Caroline Kepnes & Joe R Lansdale), also Dean Koontz, and CJ Skuse. I have to stop there because once I get started, I cannot stop. I enjoy authors who are not scared to push boundaries and who have a unique voice.
8. Tell me something interesting about yourself (that’s not in your author bio!)
I play the drums. I’m self-taught and have played them since I was seventeen (a long time ago!), I even played a couple of gigs! I am a huge fan of music, but it’s the beats and rhythm that I really feel. I listen to music to calm me down when I am feeling anxious. At work, if I cannot put music on then you will see me spinning my pen like a drum stick. I’ve perfected three different ways to spin them.
9. What are you currently working on?
I’ll keep this brief. I have a book called Mr Watchercoming out in November (this is a cross between Youand Eyes Wide Shut), then another book coming out in January called The Revenge of Lisa Lipstick(This is a dark revenge vigilante/thriller). However, I’m currently writing a book called The Loss. This is about an accident that affects the lives of three people forever. The story deals with the effects of each character, and eventually comes back in full circle, as we find out the whole truth. Then, I have a more adventure/thriller called Mystery Island, which is about the relationship of a couple who go looking for buried treasure only to end up on an island that holds a huge secret. I expect to release at least five books in the next twelve months.
10. Is there a question you’d wished I’d asked and what is the answer?
Perhaps, What do you like most about writing? My answer is: I write books to produce stories that I want to read. I love to think that these stories are now available for others to enjoy too. I really love seeing people add my books to Goodreads. It makes it all worth it every time I read reviews, either good or bad. The fact that somebody has invested their time in to reading my books is great.
About The Author:
Jim was first published in an English School Textbook in 1987. He won a competition to draw a dog-walking machine. Having won an art competition the year before, he felt that at the age of
For 10 years Jim wrote for a number of websites reviewing and interviewing bands in his own unique way, as well as contributing dark poems and comedic features.
He writes dark psychological/thrillers that have endings that you won’t see coming, and favours stories packed with wit. He has written three novels and a novella all released by Crazy Ink. He has also contributed to around a dozen anthologies. He has a new book called ‘Mr Watcher’ coming very soon!
Jim has a very strange sense of humour and is often considered a little odd. When not writing he will be found playing the drums, watching football and eating chocolate. He lives with his long-suffering wife and three beautiful children in Swindon, Wiltshire UK.