Happy #PublicationDay A Spirited Girl on Cornish Shores by Laura Biggs @rararesources @PaperDollWrites #Giveaway

Hello lovelies! Wishing a happy publication day to Laura Biggs for her new book A Spirited Girl on Cornish Shores. I have an exclusive Q&A with the author herself plus an amazing giveaway (see bottom of post) but first a little about the book:

A Spirited Girl on Cornish Shores Amazon Cover

Title: A Spirited Girl on Cornish Shores (A Little Hotel in Cornwall Book 2) by Laura Biggs

Date Published: 23rd July 2019

Genre: Chicklit

Description:

It looks like a perfect Cornish autumn, with aspiring novelist Maisie Clark still finding inspiration as a maid at the historic Penmarrow Hotel. Between the staff of quirky co-workers, glamorous and unusual guests, and her growing friendship with the charming but mysterious Sidney Daniels, Maisie is living out adventures instead of just penning them in the pages of her would-be novel’s growing number of chapters.

And then there’s the slight problem of keeping the balance between friendship and ‘something more’ with Sidney, who’s helping introduce her to the village’s version of a Cornish Halloween, and has recently taken an interest in Maisie’s secret that may change things between them. But even Maisie’s imagination can’t conjure the unusual event this Halloween brings to the Penmarrow. An eccentric earl has chosen this site to host his lavish birthday celebration that includes a pretty (and perceptive) young psychic whose predictions seem to have everyone on edge — and, to Maisie’s delight, the elusive novelist Alistair Davies is rumored to be part of the guest list! But with the earl’s bickering relatives and illustrious friends on hand— and more than one ghost of the past waiting to be revealed — it’s anyone’s guess what the festivities will bring before the party is over.

Will the psychic foretell doom for the earl’s gathering—and is her ‘gift’ as genuine as it seems? Will Maisie finally meet her favorite author face to face? And, more importantly, what about the romantic sparks that fly between Maisie and Sidney?

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Spirited-Cornish-Shores-Little-Cornwall-ebook/dp/B07R59BM53

UShttps://www.amazon.com/Spirited-Cornish-Shores-Little-Cornwall-ebook/dp/B07R59BM53

Q&A with Laura Biggs

Can you tell me a little bit about your book?

It’s the second book in a series about an American waitress and aspiring novelist who ends up working across the Pond in a beautiful Cornish hotel. It has a little bit of a Halloween theme, with some spooky events taking place when an eccentric and wealthy guest at the hotel hires a famous psychic as part of their elaborate birthday celebration.


Where did the inspiration for your book come from?

I think it came partly from my long-time fondness for light-hearted, mildly scary stories. Growing up, I adored classic films like The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, Arsenic and Old Lace, and Blackbeard’s Ghost. And the idea of a wealthy earl’s bickering relatives gathering at a historic hotel for a haunted birthday party seemed very Agatha Christie somehow, even if there was no real mystery involved.


If you could describe your book in one sentence what would it be?

A feel-good romance with a dash of Halloween fun!


What is a typical writing day like for you?

Well, it usually consists of about six to eight hours of writing on a laptop. I sometimes have a music playlist to work to or maybe some television to run in the background. And, of course, other obligations surface throughout the day, so it’s not complete solitude and screen time, thankfully!

If you could recommend just one book to read what would it be and why?

As far as fiction books go, I wouldn’t know where to start. There are so many I love and feel are prime examples of certain genres, such as Jane Austen for romance and Agatha Christie for mystery. It would be too hard to choose just one, I’m afraid!


Who are your favouriteauthors?

I’d have to say Jane Austen is among my all-time favourites authors. Her novel Sense and Sensibility is one I will never get tired of reading.


Tell me something interesting about yourself (that’s not in your author bio!)

Hmmm, let’s see. This isn’t so much interesting as a bit unconventional, BUT…I didn’t own a cell phone until 2018. So, yeah, I’ve been behind the times for awhile now, LOL!


What are you currently working on?

Right now, more books for my series ‘A Little Hotel in Cornwall’ are in the works (including a Christmas one for the end of the year!).

About The Author:

Laura Briggs is the author of several feel-good romance reads, including the Top 100 Amazon UK seller ‘A Wedding in Cornwall’. She has a fondness for vintage style dresses (especiallyA Little Hotel in Cornwall Author Pic ones with polka dots), and reads everything from Jane Austen to modern day mysteries. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, caring for her pets, gardening, and seeing the occasional movie or play.

Social Media Links –

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PaperDollWrites

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/authorlaurabriggs/

Giveaway to Win one of 3 Cornish themed prizes (Open Internationally)

1st Prize: A Ross Poldark collectible Knitdark character doll (Open Internationally) –1 winner

Perfect for fans of all-things Cornwall, this Ross Poldark doll with tricorn hat is made by AngelaA Spirited - Ross Poldark Knitdark Giveaway Blay, whose popular Knitdark creations have been featured on The Graham Norton Show. Since each doll is hand made, the Ross the winner receives may vary slightly in appearance from the one in the picture. Readers can learn more about the Knitdarks at Angela’s Twitter page @kwerkyknits as well as her Etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/kwerkyknits

 

2nd Prize: A decorative tin T.A.R.D.I.S (Open Internationally) –1 winnerA Spiritted - T.A.R.D.I.S. tin Giveaway

A tin T.A.R.D.I.S similar to the keepsake Maisie is gifted by Sidney in Book 1, A Little Hotel in Cornwall. Designed by Etsy artist KittyConduitt81 and perfect for fans of Doctor Who! Being a unique, hand made item, the final design may vary slightly in appearance from the one pictured. Learn about KittyConduittDesigns on Etsy at https://www.etsy.com/shop/KittyConduittDesigns

3rd Prize: A Kindle/Tablet case featuring cover art from A Little Hotel in Cornwall (Open Internationally) –1 winner

A Spirited - Cover art for Kindle or Tablet GiveawayA specially designed case for a Kindle or Tablet featuring the cover art for Book 1 in the series A Little Hotel in Cornwall. The final product’s size, texture, and color will depend on the winner’s device.

*All 3 winners will also receive a digital copy of Book 1 in the series, A Little Hotel in Cornwall.

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

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494258/?

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#BlogTour #GuestPost In Alexa’s Shoes by Rochelle Alexandra @roshellie28 #damppebblesblogtours

Today I have a Q&A with Rochelle Alexandra as part of the blog tour for her new novel In Alexa’s Shoes but first a little about the book:

Title: In Alexa’s Shoes by Rochelle Alexandra

Publisher: Author Academy Elite

Date Published: 25th June 2019

Genre: Historical Fiction

Description:

In Alexa’s Shoes – a dramatic, uplifting true story of a teenage girl overcoming great odds to survive. A historical novel that beckons the reader to follow in the footsteps of a real-life individual one step at a time. Based on the true story of the author’s grandmother.

In the autumn of 1940, thirteen-year-old Alexa’s happy life is ripped from her as she, her mother, and many of the locals are rounded up by the Nazis in Poland. Loaded into trucks, they are transported to an unknown destination. Terror and uncertainty become the new normal. Life is a continuous nightmare as she is selected by the Gestapo officer’s wife, destined to become little more than their slave.

Separated from everyone she loves Alexa relies on her Christian faith, inner strength and courage, to endure through her long nightmare. Her story takes her on a treacherous journey across war-ravaged Europe in search of her family and the life she once knew. Despite living through unimaginable hardships and life-threatening danger, Alexa feels that someone or something seems to be looking out for her. Years later, she finds out that not all was as it seemed, as hidden secrets from this dark period in history are revealed to her.

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Alexas-Shoes-Rochelle-Alexandra-ebook/dp/B07SVR7H36/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=B07SVR7H36&qid=1560244696&s=gateway&sr=8-1

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Alexas-Shoes-Rochelle-Alexandra-ebook/dp/B07SVR7H36/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=In+Alexa%27s+Shoes&qid=1560244667&s=gateway&sr=8-1

In Alexa's Shoes Blog Tour

Q&A with Rochelle Alexandra:

Where do you find inspiration for your novels?

I find writing about what I know is the best way for me to write. The inspiration for ‘In Alexa’s Shoes’ came after hearing first hand from my Polish grandmother, about her true-life experiences during WWII. We were very close and each time I’d go over to visit her in Poland, she’d share a little more of her story with me. Each time she’d tell me more about the things she had gone through. I could visualise it in my mind’s eye, as if watching a movie of her life. I always said to her that it would make a great novel, to which she agreed but said that she was too old now to write it but that I should write her story for her. I promised her that I would one day and finally began writing it in January of 2018. Knowing the story so well, it was relatively easy for me to write, even though I had to translate it into English in my head first. I had a real passion for telling it and felt that I had a duty to do it in a way that highlighted the best qualities of Alexa and delivered it in a way that she would both approve and be proud of. Alexa’s story is one that I’ve told to many friends over the years at dinner parties or on my travels to strangers and it has always gotten an amazing response. This also gave me the encouragement to write my grandmother’s story down.

Who is your writing hero?

That’s a hard choice to make, but if I could only pick one author I’d have to go with Agatha Christie. I love her detective mysteries and the way her plots unravel, I always have. The murder, the suspects, the hidden secrets, the suspicions, the explanations and unexpected twist in her storylines. I like the way she always keeps you guessing who done it until the end. I like her use of locations, especially the foreign ones. It appeals to my love of travel.

Which book do you wish you had written?

Another hard to choose question, but I’d pick ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ if it’s an Agatha Christie work. I love a good murder mystery and I love the way her work has stood the test of time. However, equally I’d love to have written any of Ian Fleming’s Bond thrillers.

What advice would you give to someone considering taking the plunge and attempting to write their first novel?

First of all, I’d say don’t be put off by the enormity of the task before you. Just start writing and keep writing. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, but keep the finish line in your sights. The only thing that can stop you – is you, so don’t let the negativity, fear and doubts set in. Do your research, know your characters and plot out the map of your book. Then start getting down your first draught. Don’t allow yourself to get held up by blocks, skip that part and move on to another chapter. You can always go back to it later when clarity has come, and chances are it will as you write more of your content. Keep moving forward, write, write, write you can edit it later.

It’s helpful to have a proposal written out, even if only for yourself. Include such things as a synopsis, comparison titles, unique selling point, your target audience. This will help as you write your novel, remember it’s a marathon but you want to complete it and cross the finish line.

If you could have a dinner party and invite three other writers (living or dead), who would you invite?

Heather Morris who wrote ‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’. I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting her in person yet, but we have become friends on social media, and I enjoy our conversations. She’s written a fabulous piece of work and her next promises to be just as powerful.

Agatha Christie of course.

Ian Fleming would be my third guest of choice. What a fabulous interchange of conversation that would be around my dinner table with those three highly esteemed authors. Whatever would I serve on the menu?

What’s the one question you wish I had asked and what’s the answer?

Is there a message that you tried to convey in your novel?

The answer is Yes. Alexa had a real love for people, all people. She was very compassionate and emanated love in every part of her life. Despite the hardships and trials which she went through at such a young age, being taken by the Nazis and separated from her mother, she didn’t become bitter, resentful or allow breeding ground for hatred. She believed that hate was a poison which had detrimental effects, not only on the hater themselves but also on the receivers. She chose love over hate, which is something that is needed very much in our world today especially in light of all the hate crimes recently around the world. We need to remember the lessons of the past, or again we are destined to repeat them. Through the Nazis hatred for the Jews there were many other groups who were segregated against, imprisoned, tortured and killed. Alexa and her Christian mother were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and they were wrenched away from life as they knew it, forever changed by that day. I hope my novel reaches the hearts of many, including our youths and millennials who doubt that the holocaust even occurred.

About Rochelle Alexandra:

Rochelle Alexandra was born in Glasgow, Scotland where she grew up, then moved to NewIMG_0967 York to live when she was eighteen. She had an early love for writing poetry, winning a National Scottish competition and later had a few poems published in the USA. She’s a talented artist and photographer with a real love for children, horse riding and travel. Her favourite jobs were in advertising, working for a newspaper, a photographer’s assistant and private chef. She ran her own freelance art business painting portraits, murals, abstracts and commissions.

She never set out to be a writer, but after hearing her Polish grandmother’s gripping true life history during WWII first hand, she made a promise to her gran that she would write her story in book form. Sadly her grandmother Alexa passed away aged 92, just two months before the novel ‘In Alexa’s Shoes’ about her life was due to be published. Little did Rochelle know that she’d love the writing process so much and now has several future novels planned.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/roshellie28

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rochelle-Alexandra-Author-402257290515469/

Website: https://www.rochellealexandra.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ro_alexandra_author/

#BlogTour #GuestPost Three by K.J. McGillick @KJMcGillickAuth @rararesources

Today I have a fab Q&A with K. J. McGillick as part of the blog tour for her book THREE: Deception Love Murder but first a little about the book:

Three Front Cover

Title: THREE: Deception Love Murder by K. J. McGillick

Date Published: 5th January 2018

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Description:

Inviting a stranger into your home can be dangerous. Inviting a stranger into your life can turn deadly.

How would you feel if you discovered your death was meticulously planned by someone you loved? You didn’t know how or when or even why. All you could do was wait.

Emma has it all-a job she loves and a man who professed to love her.

Or did she? How could she be so blind?

When her lover’s car is found burned and abandoned in another state, the police come asking some hard questions. What she discovers upends her world completely. Jude had been living a double life right under her nose. A deceitful life, a treacherous life. Who was this man that had already groomed another woman to take over Emma’s life? A woman who was Emma’s body double and now dead.

Why had she so easily trusted this psychopath with her heart? Betrayed on every level, consequences not of Emma’s making were nipping at her heels. Tick. Tock.

THREE is a gripping crime thriller that will have you hooked. A fast-paced psychological thriller that has been compared to the works of Dan Brown. It can be read as a standalone and serves as the first book in the Path of Deception and Betrayal series.

Purchase Links:

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078VFT9PJ/

UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B078VFT9PJ/

Three will be 99 p/c for the duration of the tour.

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/nxVD9MOsLss

Three Full Tour Banner

Q&A with K. J. McGillick

Can you tell me a little bit about your book?

My book is about an ordinary woman who gets caught up with a man who has targeted her for her expertise in art. The man is part of a criminal organization who launders money for terrorist activities by selling forged art.


Where did the inspiration for your book come from?

My curiosity about how easy it is to launder money and wanting to know more about it. And the criminal elements of the art world. It amazes me the amount of money people will pay for some swirls of paint.


If you could describe your book in one sentence what would it be?

Inviting a stranger into your life can turn deadly, be judicious in your trust.


What is a typical writing day like for you?

I normally am up by 4 a.m. and start writing. In the evening I review the material and make some preliminary alteration.

If you could recommend just one book to read what would it be and why?

The DaVinci Code because it is a thriller and yet really makes you question the foundation of religion.

Who are your favouriteauthors?

Dan Brown, John Grisham, Scott Pratt, Lee Child, David Baldacci.


Is writing your only job? If not, what is your other job?

I still practice law on a part-time basis but have placed more emphasis on writing since last year.


Tell me something interesting about yourself (that’s not in your author bio!)

I spend most of my disposable income on travel and over the last twenty years have been to Europe over thirty times and Russia once. I am an art and history buff.


What are you currently working on?

A thriller about a stolen Boticcelli by a person with a rare genetic disorder that evades being captured for two murders because of that disorder.

About The Author:

K. J. McGillick was born in New York and once she started to walk she never stopped running. But that’s what New Yorker’s do. Right? A Registered Nurse, a lawyer now author.Three head shot

As she evolved so did her career choices. After completing her graduate degree in nursing, she spent many years in the university setting sharing the dreams of the enthusiastic nursing students she taught. After twenty rewarding years in the medical field she attended law school and has spent the last twenty-four years as an attorney helping people navigate the turbulent waters of the legal system. Not an easy feat. And now? Now she is sharing the characters she loves with readers hoping they are intrigued by her twisting and turning plots and entertained by her writing

Social Media Links:

https://www.facebook.com/KJMcGillickauthor/

Kathleen McGillick

@KJMcGillickAuth

http://www.kjmcgillick.com/

https://twitter.com/KJMcGillickAuth

https://www.goodreads.com/Kmcgillick 

#GuestPost #Excerpt Universe: Awakening by D. Ellis Overttun @neoverttun

Hello lovelies! Today I want to welcome back D. Ellis Overttun who I featured recently with a cover make over (you can see it here). Today I’m bring you an excerpt and guest post with some more fabulous artwork from his wife Natasha but first a little about the book:

Title: Universe: Awakening by D. Ellis Overttun

Date Published: 7th October 2018

Genre: Science Fiction

Description:

The year — 526,780. A probe is deployed from ISV Intrepid at the outer edge of the universe. It is the last of a complement of twelve that is part of the Deep Exploration of Uncharted Space or DEUS. Its mission: collect data on the redshift of light and spatial distortions. Time horizon: 1,000 years.

Before ISV Intrepid can return to base, something goes wrong. There is an accident. The ship is later salvaged but its pilot is missing, its copilot in a coma.

The probes collect their data with uneventful regularity.

Fast forward to 526,880. A sole surviving probe still sits in the darkness at the outer edge of the universe. Now, unseen to the naked eye, the space around the probe begins to stretch and distend. Then, the probe disappears, engulfed by an energy of unknown origin and unknown composition. However, it manages to transmit one final message.

CD3C has monitored the disappearance of each probe over the last three years. While the interpretation of the data remains a mystery, speculation is that something has invaded the universe and is moving a superluminal velocity. Its effects could be manifested in as little as the next thousand years. To the Celesti, this is one lifetime.

What can be done?

The one person who might be able to solve this problem is the copilot of ISV Intrepid. He has been lying in stasis suffering from mental trauma. He has been this way for the past century, the longest recorded case in medical history. His unchanging condition has been a convenient solution to stall any inquiry into the accident that put him there.

This threat changes everything. Now, he is needed.

Is it possible to unlock his mind?

The task falls to Auberon, a career nobody inhabiting the lower level of the hierarchy of the Ministry of Science. Can something be awakened in him to allow someone ordinary do something extraordinary?

Universe: Awakening answers this question. In the process, it explores the world of the Celesti, a highly evolved humanoid species with advanced technology, physiology and a unique way of procreation. It blends science and political intrigue to reveal the interplay of storyline and character development that forms the staging ground for the Terra Nova Series.

Guest Post: Background and commentary of Chapter 85:

Auberon and Natasha, two ministerial aides to the First Minister, have been tasked with purchasing a gift for, Minister Abhean, one of the ministers on the Governing Council, just prior to an upcoming meeting to elicit his “consideration and favor”. The phrase is a polite euphemism for sanctioned bribery. Natasha knows the minister has an appreciation for a certain kind of art. So, the two aides make their way to an exclusive gallery in Old Eden to meet with its proprietor, Heron of Edenoud.

Auberon is new to this position, having been recently seconded from his role as an advisor to patients suffering from mental trauma. He has heretofore been disappointed with this promotion from the lack of privacy in his living accommodations to the bland and austere cuisine to the constant environment of quiet and contemplation. As we shall see shortly, he will find an oasis in this excursion.

Culturally, Old Eden is a place where the two peoples of the planet set aside their differences and co-exist in harmony. The descriptions were inspired by a day trip my wife, Natasha, and I took to Vieille Ville (Nice) on a 2009 vacation to Provence. I have taken some artistic license with the imagery but that is to be expected.

I have used language from across time and around the globe to give Universe an other-world feel. To make the grade, a word or phrase has to roll off the tongue and have a coolness factor to it. The name “Heron of Eden” or “Heron of Old Eden” sounded too blah so I added the Dutch word “oud” (meaning “old”) and voila – Edenoud. “Danu” is a Proto-Indo-European word for “water” whose cognates can be found in the names of many European rivers. “Sro kanti” means “bread” in Tocharian B and is the bouquet of good champagne. “Drekka” is an Old Norse word for “drink”.

How do I make a visit to an art gallery interesting? Why with holography and music, of course.

I wanted the scene to start from nothing as Auberon and Natasha enter a dark empty space and then transform into something full of life. Enter a memory from my childhood watching reruns of old cartoons. There’s one I remember of a fox hunt that starts off with a tranquil scene of a meadow at dawn. The music opens with the Ranz des Vaches part of the William Tell Overture. (However, as I seem to recall they skipped the flute intro and went straight to the English Horn.) Try to hear this as you read the part in question. (You’ll know it when you read it.) Then, at the appropriate time, imagine the Finale to the Overture. (You’ll also know it when you read it.)

Holograms are used to populate the walls of the space the same way we look at catalogues or see the results of internet searches. It is an interesting way to show you how an art gallery in a very technologically advanced society might look.

My wife, Natasha, has created a visual representation of the chapter to stir your imagination to help create what Rod Serling has described as “a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind”.

Universe - Chapter 85 - Gallery (Apr 20, 2019 1362 x 977 400 DPI)

Without further ado, please partake of Universe: Awakening, Chapter 85 – “Heron of Edenoud”.

* * * * *

Old Eden, as its name might suggest, was the oldest part of the city. It was situated on the west bank of the River Danu. It was a true melting pot, where the two cultures intermingled without regard for race or status. It was a labyrinth of narrow cobble-stone streets with low-rise stone and plaster-finished earth-tone and pastel-colored buildings. The widths of the streets gave the structures a towering appearance, as though one were walking through a valley gorge. Shops sold a variety of foodstuffs, clothing and curiosities. Bakeries, eateries, outdoor patios and cafes carried the delicious aromas of arusha, warm buns and fried meats. Auberon had been here many times before but it was always something he relished with anticipation. Vehicles were not permitted inside this part of the city and they would have to travel on foot from the parking area to their destination. They stepped out of their transport in a parking lot filled with electric vehicles. As they exited the lot, the holograms on the transport faded and the slab placed itself in the storage rack.

Where are we going?” Auberon asked.

Minister Abhean appreciates a certain type of art. We are going to see one of the exclusive art dealers in the city.”

They made their way through the busy streets until they came to an odd-looking store front. No signage identified the name of the establishment. In place of the display window, there was simply a large wooden sign of the profile of a painter holding a parallel palette. He was dressed in a dark-green tunic and trousers. He seemed to be contemplating something just out of an onlooker’s visual range, his unkempt hair and scruffy appearance reinforcing the image of an artist. There was a narrow pair of French doors inset into the wall just to the right.

Here,” Natasha said.

The interior space was square. It seemed too small and confined for an art dealer. The walls were eggshell white not unlike the walls in postop but were devoid of any art. The dark wood floors ported no displays of any kind. They merely squeaked with each footfall, echoing the loneliness of a barren cavern. The entire space was poorly lit and completely empty. The only point of focus in this unremarkable environment was a small door at the far side.

Are you sure this is the right place?” Auberon whispered.

Natasha put her index finger to her lips and said nothing. They waited. At length, the dim light began to change and soon it looked as though they were in natural daylight. Something caught Auberon’s nose. His head snapped to attention and he began to sniff the air almost like a wild animal trying to catch the scent of its prey. He turned to Natasha. She simply smiled and again put her index finger to her lips. The smell became more and more savory with a multitude of different layers. Then, the sound of a horned instrument began to play the introduction to a very well-known classical piece. The legato had always reminded him of looking out at a meadow at dawn, so peaceful. The music slowed to a stop. Then, one, two and then many different brass instruments joined in as the tempo quickened. As drums began to beat, the door burst open and four beautiful Gendu women, wearing long-sleeve ankle-length forest-green linen tunics emerged. Two took up position on either side of Auberon and two took up position on either side of Natasha. Another Gendu male entered the room pushing a table on wheels with trays of food that connected the aromas Auberon had detected earlier. Another Gendu female entered the room pushing a smaller table on wheels porting different chilled beverages.

Finally, a large Gendu male was the last to emerge from the door. He was dressed in a long-sleeve ankle-length tunic made of white silk. The color accentuated his olive complexion and long straight jet-black hair. It was apparent from the way the tunic hung from his body that he was a fine physical specimen with a chiseled physique. He had smoldering eyes that seemed to look right through Auberon.

Wow,” Auberon said, acknowledging this man was striking.

Ministerial Aide Natasha,” the man said bowing his head.

Heron of Edenoud,” she replied also bowing her head. “I am pleased to present Ministerial Aide Auberon.”

I am honored,” Heron said bowing his head.

As am I,” Auberon replied bowing his head.

Please partake,” Heron said pointing to the two tables.

Auberon was at a loss and was carefully watching Natasha’s lead.

Is it permitted?” the woman on Auberon’s right asked Natasha.

Yes,” Natasha replied bowing her head.

Asking the question was a Gendu custom that simultaneously addressed two possibilities. The first gave permission to the woman to cater to Auberon if he was Natasha’s husband. The second was an acknowledgement that Auberon might be a single male and could be catered to by the woman without offending Natasha.

Thank you,” the woman replied also bowing her head.

Please this way,” they said to him in unison, pointing to the tables.

The two women then locked arms with him. A contented smile spread across his face as he felt the breast of each woman snuggly against his arms. Auberon did not know what to expect but he knew it would be pleasant and he found it very easy to follow these two women. They took him to the food table and began to explain each dish. Finally! This is what it was like to be a ministerial aide!

And you Ministerial Aide Natasha,” Heron said, “will you not partake?”

Perhaps in a moment.”

What assistance may I offer you today?”

Ministerial Aide Auberon has a meeting later this morning with Minister Abhean and we need a gift.”

Really?” Heron replied looking at Auberon.

Yes, you are aware of Minister Abhean’s preferences in art. We would like you to recommend something appropriate.”

Computer. Present recent woodblock print acquisitions,” Heron said.

The walls were immediately filled with dozens of holographic representations requested by Heron. Natasha did a cursory walk around the room. In the meantime, Auberon had returned from the food table and stood in the background. Each woman was carrying a small plate with a small selection of finger foods and a linen napkin.

After a time, Natasha narrowed her selections down to two pieces. One was a picture called Waves Against Shore by Daruma and a second was called Fish at Sea also by Daruma. Each piece was about a shoulder’s width in length and about half of that in width.

I will choose between these two,” she said.

As always, your taste is impeccable,” replied Heron.

A short time later, two Gendu males brought the two pieces from storage and hung them on the wall.

Could I please see each throughout the day?” Natasha asked.

The lighting began to change to reflect the cycle of natural light throughout the day and different kinds of artificial light.

We will take Waves Against Shore.”

Excellent choice! Shall I have it delivered to the Ministry of Arts?”

No, we will take it with us.”

As you wish,” Heron replied with a bow. “Now, we must celebrate!”

He went to the beverage table and picked one of the fluted glasses. Each woman to the right of Auberon and Natasha did the same and presented them with a glass filled with a golden chilled bubbling liquid.

What is this?” Auberon asked.

We call it ‘sro kanti’. I think you will find it to your liking.”

Auberon looked toward Natasha who closed her eyes and nodded her head slightly.

May your gift bring enjoyment to the recipient,” Heron said as he raised his glass. “Drekka!”

Drekka,” Natasha and Auberon repeated also raising their glasses.

When they left Heron’s, Auberon carried a nondescript bag with a beautifully wrapped package inside. As they walked back to the parking lot, the warm summer sun and the effects of the toast made his face flush and he began to feel dizzy.

That sro…sro stuff is strong.”

Sro kanti and yes, it is very strong. Here, you better let me carry that.”

I thought the Code did not permit us to drink alcohol.”

You are correct.”

Then, why did you drink it?”

I did not. It was only sufficient that I bring the glass to my lips.”

Oh no. Am I in trouble again? But you said it was ok.”

It was. Since this matter is classified,” she replied smiling, “you are safe.”


About The Author:

I grew up in a town in the Midwest, my mother was a bookkeeper for a small HVAC company and my father was a draftsman. At university, I studied chemistry. However, when I graduated, I did not (or could not) pursue that vocation because I was terrible in the lab.

I have been a storyteller ever since I can remember. It started as a way to get out of trouble and evolved as a way to entertain those around me. My first recollection of writing prose was in elementary school when I had to write a short essay about a picture from a magazine. (Mine was a freshly baked loaf of bread.) In grade 7, I penned two short stories for a school writing competition. One was entitled “My Funny Cousin”, a descriptive piece about a relative (a little older than me) who stayed with us one summer. My mother very quickly killed that story. At the time, it didn’t make sense to me because she told me she thought it was very funny. It was only later that I figured out that I could have replaced “Funny” with “Flamboyant” in the title. So, it was back to the drawing board. My second attempt was a collection of anecdotes about the life of my maternal grandfather titled “The Hilarious Things My Grandfather Did”. That one went on to win.

My first complete novel was a story about a soldier of fortune in the age of horse and bow. At the time, I had contact with people in the entertainment business in California. The feedback I got was that I should take one of the chapters and expand it into a novel. That made no sense to me. What the heck did that mean? How could you expand something so small into something big? So, I never pursued it. However, the comment stuck with me. It was only much later that I figured out that it meant that I should never rush the telling of a story.

This brings us to the present and the Terra Nova Series. (Book 2 has just been published and Book 3 is in progress.) I write for an audience of one: my wife. She loves the stories. Now, all I have to do is get 99,999 more like her and I’ll have a hit!

#BlogTour #GuestPost The Serial Dater’s Shopping List by Morgen Bailey @morgenwriteruk @BOTBSPublicity

Today I’m excited to bring you a guest post from Morgen Bailey but first a little about her book:

Title: The Serial Dater’s Shopping List by Morgen Bailey

Publisher: Bombshell Books

Date Published: 12th July 2018

Genre: Humour

Description:

Are you looking for the perfect summer holiday read? Then you’ll love this laugh-out-loud comedy about the highs and lows of dating.

Izzy is a journalist who usually writes a technology column for a local newspaper. Her somewhat-intimidating boss William sets her the task of dating thirty-one men, via an internet dating site, all within a month, and writing about it for the paper.

Having an active, though fruitless, social life with her friend Donna, Izzy knows what she wants in a man, so creates a shopping list of dos and don’ts and starts ticking them off as she meets the men.

Follow the ups and downs of the dating process including Tim ‘the Weeble’, whose date leads Izzy to see banoffee pie in a whole new light, Lawrence the super-skinny social worker, Felix with his bizarre penchant for Persian Piranhas, and ‘the music maestro but don’t talk about dead pets’ Jake.

By the end of the month, will Izzy have met Mr Right?

You can buy your copy here: 

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Serial-Daters-Shopping-List-comedy-ebook/dp/B07F8VRRYY/

US: https://www.amazon.com/Serial-Daters-Shopping-List-comedy-ebook/dp/B07F8VRRYY/

B L O G T O U R

Guest Post:

The Reluctant Serial Novelist:

I’d never planned to be a novelist as I loved short stories so much (and still do – I’ve written over 400). I’d heard the average novel takes a year and didn’t want to spend that long on one story but then I discovered NaNoWriMo (www.nanowrimo.org), the yearly 50,000+ words in a month project. I ‘had a go’ in November 2008, with a comic crime, which ended up being just over the minimum and I self-published as Hitman Sam.

After writing another standalone, After Jessica, inspired by a true event, it was then late October 2009 and another NaNo was looming so I needed to come up with something to write next. I had a Word document crammed with ideas, amongst which was a variety of ‘weird’ men. After two crime novels, I wanted to write something fun so created Izzy to meet this assemblage, and The Serial Dater’s Shopping List was born. It ended up being a 115,640-word first draft, written with three days to spare! I took over a year to edit (and re-edit) it down to just over 100,000 words while continuing to write short stories.

In November 2018 and half of January this year, I wrote the first draft of the follow-up, The Serial Dieter’s Shopping List, which has Izzy’s sidekick, health and beauty columnist, Donna set with the task of eating thirty-one under-five-hundred-calorie dishes in thirty-one days, a year on… the following May. As if that wasn’t complicated enough, she’s sent to the sister newspaper at Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, not far from where I grew up so semi-familiar territory. She works there during the week but stays with her wacky mother, Lesley, in nearby Tring, where my mum lives.

They say to write what you know and while my knowledge influences my writing, I haven’t dated thirty-one men in thirty-one days… despite my brother calling Serial Dater my autobiography. I also haven’t tested that many ‘healthy’ dishes, even as a member of Weight Watchers and Slimming World – not at the same time!

One upside of writing a series is that you already have a bank of familiar characters – familiar to you and to the reader… so they have to be consistent. Series are so popular because most readers (and authors) feel bereft at the end of a novel they’ve enjoyed and want more. Izzy still features in Serial Dieter but Donna and her boyfriend (I won’t say who he is but they get together in Serial Dater) are the main characters so get more airtime although Donna more so because they’re apart during the week.

One downside is that once your first book is published (Serial Dater is published by Bombshell Books), the details are then set in the proverbial stone so if you want to change anyone’s name, a location or other key feature, you’d have to change it in the first book. There was no way with all the office staff, Izzy’s family and her dates, that I wasn’t going to repeat the first letter of some of the names used – it’s how readers remember names best – and in the Serial Daters case I’d like to have changed a couple of the names as they do appear in the second but not in the same scenes so I’m hoping there’ll be no confusion.

I do plan others in the series – the next two being crime rather than women’s fiction, although the lead characters may be women, one certainly can be, but Izzy and Donna will have a rest while I create a whole new set of characters and thus have more freedom, albeit staying within the same ‘Shopping List’ concept. Watch this space!

Morgen’s website is http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com and email is morgen@morgenbailey.com. She is morgenwriteruk on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook where she also runs a free mentoring group on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/morgensmondaymentorship. She’s happy to hear from anyone interested in writing and / or reading. Morgen makes a point of the ‘Morgen with an E’ because MorgAn Baileys include a rocket scientist (female) and male: athlete, Green politician, basketball player, and transsexual porn star!

Author Bio:

Morgen Bailey (Morgen with an E) is an author (of novels, short stories, writing and editing 2 Morgen July 2017guides), freelance editor (for publishers and indie authors), writing tutor (in person and online), Writers’ Forum magazine ‘Competitive Edge’ columnist, blogger, speaker, and co-founder of Northants Authors. The former Chair of three writing groups, she has judged the H.E. Bates Short Story Competition, RONE, as well as the BBC Radio 2, BeaconLit, and Althorp Literary Festival children’s short story competitions. She also runs her own monthly 100-word competition. 2018 events include talks and workshops at Troubador’s Self Publishing Conference speakers, workshops and panels at Delapre Book Festival, interviewing and workshops at BeaconLit, and NAWG Fest with her ‘Editing your Fiction’ weekend residential course. Morgen can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and many others. Her blog is http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com, and email address morgen@morgenbailey.com.

#BlogTour #GuestPost #Giveaway Fox Halt Farm by Celia Moore @CeliaMooreBooks @rararesources

Today I’m excited to bring you a Q&A with Celia Moore and a giveaway (see bottom of post) but first a little about her book:

Fox Halt Farm Rachel

Title: Fox Halt Farm by Celia Moore

Date Published: 1st November 2017

Genre: Saga

Description:

Opening on a cliff edge, Billy finds herself alone and betrayed. She believes everyone and everything she loves is threatened. Richard’s world is aglow with wealth, love and unswerving family loyalty but then his perfect life crosses Billy’s. He could save Billy, her beloved dairy cows and Fox Halt Farm but this young woman isn’t in the mood to be rescued.

Nothing will stay the same. Should they trust each other? Will their secrets tear their lives apart?

Fox Halt Farm is hard to put down. The story cracks along and you are caught up in Celia Moore’s vivid storytelling from the start. If you love novels by Jill Mansell, Fiona Valpy, Lucinda Riley, Maeve Binchy and Danielle Steel you will love this novel too!

Fox Halt is just £1.99 until 12th April 2019!! You can buy your copy here: https://amzn.to/2BzrEh1

Fox Halt Farm Full Tour Banner

Q&A with Celia Moore:

Q: Can you tell me a little bit about your book?

My novel is a dramatic romantic saga set over two decades. The fictional Fox Halt Farm has its warm beating heart on a small dairy farm on the edge of Dartmoor. The story starts in 1986, when Billy May is eighteen and her family farm is struggling to survive. Richard MarcFenn heads up a thriving multinational business in London. Their unexpected meeting leads to consequences for Billy and Richard, their families and their friends. This is a love story with a cast of intriguing individuals all enmeshed in each other’s lives.

Q: Where did the inspiration for Fox Halt Farm come from?

My parents sold their dairy herd when I was just four years old, and as I grew up, I witnessed many of the neighbouring farmers forced to sell up too. My novel came out of a need to reflect on my life so far, especially the bond I feel for Devon. I have worked in jobs as diverse as a chartered surveyor in London, to a climbing instructor and mountain leader in North Wales. I took my life experiences to create a sweeping saga inspired by a dream that wouldn’t go away – I saw four very different characters in a particular situation, and Fox Halt Farm was the tale of how they came to be together.

fox halt pic 1

Q: Could you describe your book in one sentence?

Fox Halt Farm is a far-reaching story of love, families, heartbreak and secrets.

Q: What is a typical writing day for you?

There isn’t a typical day for me, in the summer months, I garden full-time for customers but from late December to the end of February, I concentrate on writing. Starting at 8:30am, and stopping when I have to, often finishing at 11pm. I am passionate about my writing and become wholly engrossed in it. Every minute I can, I write. My workstation is in the kitchen so I am still part of family life.

Q: If you could recommend one book what would it be and why?

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Ablom. It is a wonderful book emphasising to me how precious life is, and how important the people you love are. Beautifully written with heartfelt words.

Q: Who are your favourite authors?

Ann Cleeves for her characters. Maeve Binchy for her exploration of family dynamics, and Jilly Cooper mostly for the descriptions of the worlds her characters inhabit.

Q: Tell me something interesting about you?

I spent 5 wonderful months in 2002 cycling around the whole of New Zealand on the back of a tandem bike. My fellow rider lost 2 stone in weight during our trip, whereas I lost nothing, I was obviously not pedalling quite so hard!

fox halt pic 2

Q: What are you currently working on?

I am currently putting the finishing touches to Culmfield Cuckoo, the sequel to Fox Halt Farm before its release on 20th March.

About The Author:

Celia Moore (1967-now) grew up on a small farm near Exeter. She had a successful career as aFHF Celia Moore Chartered Surveyor working in the City of London before working her way back to Devon. In 2000, she left the office to start a new adventure as an outdoor instructor, teaching rock climbing and mountaineering. Today she gardens for a few lovely customers, runs and writes (accompanied at all times by a border terrier x jack russell called Tizzy). She is running the London Marathon in April 2019 for three cancer charities.

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/celiamoore.books  

https://www.instagram.com/celiascosmos/

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/celiascosmos

https://www.celiascosmos.com

https://twitter.com/CeliaMooreBooks

Giveaway to Win a £15 / $15 Amazon Gift Card (Open Internationally)

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

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494203/?

 

#BlogTour #GuestPost #NowhereGirls by Teuta Metra @Teuta_Metra @annecater #RandomThingsTours

Today I’m excited to bring you a guest post and extract from Nowhere Girls by Teuta Metra but first a little about the book:

Title: Nowhere Girls by Teuta Metra

Date Published: 8th February 2019

Genre: Literary Fiction

Description:

Friends Alba and Sara could not be more different. While Alba is forcing her way into the upper echelons of Albanian’s richest and most powerful, Sara is working more than one job as a struggling journalist. Both desperate to escape their corrupt country, they’re quickly dragged into a sordid world of politics and lies.

When tragedy strikes their friend Ina, the two women must come together to save her little boy. Can they put away their troubles and secure a better future for the child? Or will their past catch up with them?

NOWHERE GIRLS is a thrilling tale of love, lies and the lengths a woman will go to for freedom.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nowhere-Girls-Teuta-Metra-ebook/dp/B07NCY2Q26/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1549383008&sr=1-1&keywords=nowhere+girls+teuta+metra

Nowhere Girls Blog Tour Poster

Guest Post:

This is one of my favourite parts of the book. Ina sends her best friend Sara a letter from beyond the grave. Like many women in Albania, Ina is suffering at the hands of an abusive husband with no way to defend herself, no money and no support network. It’s easy for those living in other countries to expect a woman in her position to have somewhere to go – but in Albania, most women don’t have a voice. This letter was hard to write because I’ve known many women in her position. I needed to readers to understand her plight.

It’s also the turning point in the book. It’s this letter that forces Sara to work with Alba and rescue her godson from a country they all fear.

Dear Sara,

If you are reading this letter, then I’m already gone. I knew my luck would run out eventually with that man. Please don’t judge Ardit too harshly. He wasn’t always this bad, but life, the people he hung around with and the suffering we have endured have made him like that. He started drinking more in Thessaloniki. Things went from bad to worse when we arrived back in Albania. We lost everything in Greece because of the crisis – our jobs, money, our home. When we got back to Albania, he started gambling, telling me he would make everything right again. He lost us the last of our savings I’d somehow managed to gather in Greece. Any guilt or remorse he felt he just drank away, blotted it out. It made him forget how bad things really were.

I rang him one night. Johan was very ill with fever and I was afraid. His friends mocked him: you better run home to your wife. Your boss. He became more violent that night, and ever since then, the violence never stopped. He hit me hard. I ended up with a black eye and a cracked rib. I felt sorry for Johan. He cried and screamed, ‘Daddy, please don’t.’ That boy has seen things no child should see. I didn’t know how to walk away without making things worse for the children.

You were right, Sara, I rushed into marrying him and didn’t listen to anyone’s advice. I cheated. Yes, I cheated on him. Only once, I swear. He never found out. You’re the only one I’m telling my secret to. Please keep this to yourself. Don’t misuse my trust. I don’t want my children to ever find out. I often ask myself why I did it? At the time I saw it as an escape, I convinced myself that this handsome Russian man would rescue me and the children and whisk us away from our horrible lives. But in reality he only wanted one thing – and if I’m honest with myself, it was just nice to feel free and wanted for a short while. Afterwards I treasured that liaison, it was my secret revenge on Ardit. My own silent rebellion.

There’s something else I haven’t told him about. Alba has been putting money into my two grown children’s accounts. She is helping me a lot and, I must say, I never expected that from her. Perhaps I judged her poorly and she’s a lot kinder than I gave her credit for. This is why I kept it from you, Alba said you would be suspicious and I didn’t want to worry you.

Sara, here is the important part, if you’re reading this and something has happened to me – please look after Johan. He is your Godson and it pains me that the two of you never got to meet. I know we never managed to hold a proper baptism for him, but I’m sure God will forgive us under the circumstances.

I’m counting down the days until Ardit kills me. Isn’t that a terrible thing to say? I did what I could, I even told the police. I don’t know why I bothered. They laughed at me every time I went to the station, with black eyes and torn lips. There’s that whore again; they would say to one another. I wonder what she did this time to piss her poor husband off. I gave up expecting any help from them eventually.

My dear friend, I hope you are not crying. This letter wasn’t written to make you sad, but to ask for your help – you’re the only person who never pushed me away. I’m including 200 euros in this envelope – I know it’s not much but perhaps you can buy Johan a prom suit for his graduation. He’s seven now, but who knows how old he will be when you read this. I like the idea of Johan wearing something from me on his special day that I don’t expect to ever see, even if it’s only a pair of socks.

Please tell him that he had a mother who loved him very much. Take care of him, now that I am gone. And I love you too, so much. Never forget that. You were like my mother, my sister, my everything.

Ina x

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Now a fiction writer, Teuta Metra’s experience as an Albanian journalist has made her an expertTeuta Metra Author Picture on the struggles of women from her country. Author, journalist and teacher, Teuta now lives in The Netherlands with her husband and two sons. 

Twitter @Teuta_Metra

Website : http://www.teutametra.com/