Welcome to the blog tour for the fascinating new release by Albert Cory, Inventing the Future! Read on for more info and a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card!
“Inventing the Future is Based on the True Story of the Xerox Star, the Computer that Changed Everything”
Title: Inventing The Future by Albert Cory
Publication Date: August 10th, 2021
Genre: Based on a True Story/ Historical Fiction/ Technologies
Imagine a time before everyone stared at a screen, before fonts, icons, mice, and laser printers, before Apple and Microsoft… But behind the scenes, Xerox engineers were dreaming and inventing the modern personal computer.
Who were these people who changed the world, and why did corporate management just want to sell copiers and printers?
Albert Cory* was one of the engineers, charged with making that dream a reality and unknowingly starting a revolution. Inventing the Future is based on the true story of the Xerox Star, the computer that changed everything.
It was finally happening. After almost five years of labor by 250-plus people, the Office of the Future was here. Despite the prayers for them, 64K memory chips had not appeared. Michael had gotten corporate approval to increase the manufacturing cost with an extra 64K words of memory. Star now had 256K words, or 512K bytes of main memory. The performance was still poor, but at least it was tolerable now.
Star had been announced and demoed in New York already, and this week was the National Computer Conference in Chicago, starting Monday, May 4, 1981 and lasting until Thursday. Dan had volunteered to man the Xerox booth for all four days. He flew out to Chicago on the Sunday morning before it started, but with the time change, it was past dinner when he finally arrived at McCormick Place.
Dan read the Sunday Chicago Tribune.
In Business, Compushop was offering an Apple II starter system for $1,595. But then buried deep inside the section, Dan found what he was looking for, a story about the Star. It began:
Xerox terminal has symbols, not codes
Managers and professional workers haven’t been the best customers for automated office equipment like computer terminals.
Maybe it’s because they are more accustomed to pointing and selecting material rather than typing out explicit commands.
Maybe it’s because they can’t type.
The article quoted a Xerox marketing executive, who explained that the Star was aimed at “managers or professionals who produce documents, reports, or charts.” It explained how the mouse worked. The executive went on to explain that the Star system cost $15,595, but “technological advances will allow price reductions in the future.” Star would be demonstrated at the National Computer Conference at McCormick Place this week.
Dan, Janet, Martin, Henry, and the rest of the Xeroids were continuously busy, explaining the Star to curious attendees. Visitors could try a mouse, and lots of them did—almost no one had ever used a mouse before. A technical staffer had brought a box full of spare mice and swapped in a new one every hour since the accumulated dirt and finger oil from all the guests made the rubber balls in the mice sticky.
As each hour approached, people began gathering around the monitors to see the demos. By noon, they were waiting 10 minutes before the hour. Michael stationed himself near the left side monitor, where he kept busy talking to reporters, executives, and random attendees. Michael watched the crowd closely, and he noticed that Steve Jobs, one of the Apple founders, came every hour, surrounded by other guys Michael didn’t know. He knew that Jobs had visited PARC the year before last for a demo of the Alto and Smalltalk, but he hadn’t seen Star before. He had supposedly asked, “Why isn’t Xerox doing anything with this?” Now, he found out they were.
Albert Cory is a pen name for Bob Purvy, a retired software engineer who worked on the Xerox Star. In his career he also worked at Burroughs, 3Com, Oracle, Packeteer, and Google. All characters are fictional and are composites of the scientists, engineers, and executives who lived the story, with the exception of the auto-biographical character, Dan Markunas. The other two main characters, Janet Saunders and Grant Avery, are completely fictional, and are not in any way representative of the real people who had their jobs (note: the author makes clear which events are real and which are composites in the Endnotes).
Title: Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Date Published: 7th March 2019
Genre: Historical/literary fiction
Everybody knows Daisy Jones and the Six.
From the moment Daisy walked barefoot on to the stage at the Whisky, she and the band were a sensation. Their sound defined an era. Their albums were on every turntable. They sold out arenas from coast to coast.
This is the story of their incredible rise: the desire, the rivalry – and the music.
Then, on 12 July 1979, Daisy Jones and the Six split up.
Nobody knew why. Until now…
I have seen some fantastic reviews for Daisy Jones & the Six since it’s release, so when I spotted it in the library I thought I’d give it a go even though it’s not my usual genre.
What I loved about the book was it was written as if it was a real documentary about a seventies rock band. While I was reading it, it almost convinced me they were, in fact, a real band.
I know little about seventies music or the whole scene (bit before my time) but Taylor Jenkins Reid created this hedonistic atmosphere of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ rock that I found entirely believable.
Honestly, would I say I liked any of the characters? Not really, but there was just something about them that fascinated me and made me want to read on and see what happened.
A little trigger warning/spoiler here, this book contains themes of drug and alcohol abuse, along with abortion, which the author handles sensitively, but it was realistic too, which at times was a little uncomfortable to read.
Daisy Jones & The Six is an original and captivating read that I honestly thought about for days after finishing it.
About The Author:
Taylor Jenkins Reid is the New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, as well as One True Loves, Maybe in Another Life, After I Do, and Forever, Interrupted. Her newest novel, Malibu Rising, is out now. She lives in Los Angeles.
Welcome to the tour for The Girl in the Triangle by Joyana Peters!Read on for details and a chance to win a signed copy of the book!
Title: The Girl In The Triangle by Joyana Peters
Publication Date: July 12th, 2021
Genre: Historical Fiction
When your dreams finally seem to be coming true, it’s hard to trust them.
It’s been four years since seventeen-year-old Ruth set eyes on her fiance. After surviving near-starvation, revolution and a long trip across the stormy ocean, she can’t help but wonder: Will Abraham still love her? Or has America changed him?
Nowhere’s as full of change as 1909 New York. From moving pictures to daring clothes to the ultra-modern Triangle Shirtwaist Factory where she gets a job, everything exhilarates Ruth. When the New World even seems to rejuvenate her bond with Abraham, she is filled with hope for their prospects and the future of their war-torn families.
But when she makes friends and joins the labor movement—fighting for rights of the mostly female workers against the powerful factory owners—something happens she never expected. She realizes she might be the one America is changing. And she just might be leaving Abraham behind.
The Girl in the Triangle is an immigration story that will appeal to fans of Brooklyn by Colm Toibin and The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani. It questions what it means to be an American, and what is the true meaning of strength.
He stood outside the dressing room with his arms crossed. “I was starting to fear I’d need to send in a search party.”
“I’m sorry,” Ruth said. “I met the sister of one of your friends.”
“Chayele,” Abraham chuckled. “That explains it. That girl could talk the hind legs off a donkey.”
He steered her to the line for the stairs and gestured for her to open her bag to be examined. “They fear people stealing scraps for sewing at home.”
Ruth held her bag open wide as the guard poked through. Eventually he nodded, and they exited through the door to the stairs.
“Chayele seemed really nice. She introduced me to her friends as well. She said you were good friends with her brother?”
“Yankel,” Abraham nodded. “He’s good folk. He took me under his wing when I got here. Makes me get out and have some fun from time to time.”
Ruth pondered that for a moment and considered Chayele’s painted face. “She’s not a—what do you call it? Floopsy, is she?”
Abraham laughed. “No, Chayele’s not a floozy, though she might be the center of any party. She’s just been here awhile and has embraced America.”
“America encourages painted faces?”
Abraham tilted his head and thought before answering. “America encourages fun, at least in your free time. Not like in Russia where you just go to work and come home.”
“How do you spend your free time?”
Abraham turned to face her with a twinkle in his eye. “All kinds of ways. Seeing performers singing in shows, going to the circus, heading out to Luna Park.”
“What’s Luna Park?”
“An amusement park in West Brighton Beach. You can ride a roller coaster and see recreations of villages from all over the world—it’s amazing. I’ll take you one weekend.”
Ruth mulled over this new word, weekend. She had no clue what a roller coaster was, but it sounded exciting. Everything Abraham mentioned was foreign and strange. They’d sung as a family around the piano or even in the street with neighbors on holidays. But shows? Performers? These were novel ideas.
Abraham glanced over at her with a mischievous smile. “Still love running?”
“Race you home!” he shouted and took off ahead.
“You gonif! You still cheat!” she shouted and took off after him.
His laughter floated back to her as she ran. The cityscape flew by as she weaved in and out of people on the sidewalk, some shouting insults in response. They rolled right off Ruth. Her exhaustion evaporated, the caress of cool air on her face sweeping away her lethargy. She dug deep to run faster, her competitive instincts kicking in. She’d never felt so happy and free.
Congratulations to author Julia Brewer Daily on the release of her debut novel, No Names to Be Given!
Read on for more info and a chance to win a $100 Amazon e-gift card!!!!
Title: No Names To Given by Julia Brewer Daily
Publication Date: August 3rd, 2021
Genre: Historical Fiction/ Women’s Fiction
Today’s young women will not understand how our families made us feel shame so intensely; we surrendered our first-born children to strangers. Faith Reynolds, No Names to Be Given
The widely anticipated debut novel by Julia Brewer Daily is a glimpse into the lives of women forced by society to gift their newborns to strangers. Although this novel is a fictional account, it mirrors many of the adoption stories of its era.
When three young unwed women meet at a maternity home hospital in New Orleans in 1965, they are expected to relinquish their babies and return home as if nothing transpired. Twenty-five years later, they are brought back together by blackmail and their secrets threatened with exposure—all the way to the White House.
Told from the three women’s perspectives in alternating chapters, we are mesmerized by the societal pressures on women in the 1960s who found themselves pregnant without marriage.
How that inconceivable act changed them forever is the story of No Names To Be Given, a novel with southern voices, love exploited, heartbreak and blackmail.
Men loved Sandy’s body. She didn’t have the option of leading with her wit or intellect. Her looks arrived first. It was both a blessing and a curse.
Now, Sandy placed her hand on her formerly taut stomach. It felt bloated and mushy. How long would it be before she was back in her sparkly dance costumes and performing for audiences? The provocative bustiers and garter belts would not fit her now. She slid up in her hospital bed and peered through a crack in the curtain. They were all in the same recovery room, separated by thin blue fabric. She heard the other two moaning as they awakened. A nurse worked among the three of them and whispered, as if the others were out of earshot, “What a coincidence ya’ll went into labor on the same day. We were inducing you next week.”
An acidic smell of disinfectant and the rusty odor of blood invaded Sandy’s nostrils. She swallowed and found her throat parched and lips chapped. Her head throbbed with a dull drumbeat, and she tasted a metallic tang. What have I done? Why did I think this was the better choice?
Sandy’s thoughts jumbled, like a bad movie looping in her head. She squeezed her eyes shut as she remembered how her heart once pounded whenever she heard Glen’s voice. The curtains separating the roommates’ beds reminded Sandy of those in her home in Illinois, and her mind projected Glen’s image into the hospital room.
“You see what happens to trashy girls?”
She imagined him sitting at the end of the bed, sneering at her. Sandy’s teeth chattered, and her body quaked in small jerks. Her chest rose and fell so rapidly; she became faint. Sandy imagined dying in the hospital. Women died from childbirth all the time. Would her mother ever find out? Probably not. Sandy covered her tracks pretty well. Glen would think she got what she deserved.
Sandy leaned forward and yanked back the cloth separating them. Becca twisted from side to side. Sandy hated seeing her roommate in such distress. Becca might have been a princess-like creature in her former life, but Sandy admired her rebellious streak. How many other white girls had the guts to fall in love with a Negro? Becca broke the silence. “I cannot believe our babies are in the nursery down the hall, and they won’t let us see them,” she whispered. “Maybe we can sneak down there.”
“Don’t. It may make things worse.” Sandy wanted to avoid all maternal feelings and didn’t want to see a child who might look like her or Carlos.
“I can barely walk to the bathroom.” Faith’s voice trembled. Her pixie haircut, unwashed and dishwater blond, was in spikes and her eyes seemed too large for their sockets.
“Hey, Nurse Carter. If you let me go to the nursery, I won’t bother you anymore.”
“You know that’s not allowed.” The nurse frowned at Becca.
“I promise to stand behind the window. I just want to see my baby. One time. I promise.” The nurse’s response was to leave the room.
Becca whispered to Sandy. “I just want to see the skin color. I want to see if the adoptive parents will know it’s a mixed-race baby.”
Most of all, Sandy knew she longed to hold her child. Becca still declared love for her baby’s father. Sandy was still in love with her child’s father, too, but he would be no help to her from behind prison bars.
“I’ll go on a hunger strike. Do you want me to barricade myself in the nursery?” Becca made her announcements in a loud voice.
“Hush. You’re disturbing the entire home.” Nurse Carter poked her head back in the doorway and spoke harshly.
Perspiration beaded in the hollows of Becca’s cheeks, and Sandy watched as she swiped it away with her palm. Her beauty dulled only slightly with her auburn hair in a messy knot on the top of her head and her freckles dominant on her ivory skin. Becca’s startling blue eyes were now the color of a very stormy sea—gunmetal and glinting.
“Everything’s gonna be alright,” Sandy cooed. She feared Becca would
spring from the bed and run toward the nursery. Sandy watched Faith with her hands clasped as if in prayer.
“Faith, are you okay?” She always spoke to Faith as if she were a child. They were all about the same age, eighteen, but Faith’s innocence made her seem so much younger.
“I’m miserable,” Faith said.
“Me, too. I feel like a medieval torture device stretched my limbs,” `Sandy said.
Faith chanted prayers for her baby. “Please, Lord. Please let my baby have the very best parents. I know you’ll take care of him—or her.” She hummed the lyrics of “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” “Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight.”
“How are we expected to walk away and pretend nothing happened? They knocked us out before we had our babies and won’t let us see them? We don’t even know if we had a boy or a girl.” Becca blurted out.
Sandy did not turn to Becca. Instead, she watched Faith twist her hands. Faith’s frame disappeared from view under the sheet. Sandy was afraid her tiny limbs, awkward and knobby, would vanish altogether without the bed to contain her. Every time Sandy looked at Faith, she remembered Faith’s description of her assault.
Now, a living reminder of it existed. Faith had said she didn’t want this baby carrying the blame for its conception. Suddenly, Faith began gulping breaths like drinking water with a cupped hand from a bucket. Sandy tried not to look at her reflection in the mirror. Her hair, not dyed since entering the home, showed roots black and wide like the stripe of paint against a hot asphalt roadway, only in reverse—her platinum locks clung to the dark center. Towering above Faith, she saw how sallow her skin was and how lackluster. She needed her eyebrows plucked and her nails painted—no time to worry about all that. Sandy required all her strength for her own recovery and assisting her friends.
She tucked Faith and Becca’s blankets around them, raised their hospital bed rails, and crawled back into her bed.
Julia Brewer Daily is a Texan with a southern accent. She holds a B.S. in English and a M.S. degree in Education from the University of Southern Mississippi.
She has been a Communications adjunct professor at Belhaven University, Jackson, Mississippi, and Public Relations Director of the Mississippi Department of Education and Millsaps College, a liberal arts college in Jackson, Mississippi.
She was the founding director of the Greater Belhaven Market, a producers’ only market in a historic neighborhood in Jackson, and even shadowed Martha Stewart.
As the executive director of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi (three hundred artisans from nineteen states) which operates the Mississippi Craft Center, she wrote their stories to introduce them to the public.
Daily is an adopted child from a maternity home hospital in New Orleans. She searched and found her birth mother and through a DNA test, her birth father’s family, as well. A lifelong southerner, she now resides on a ranch in Fredericksburg, Texas, with her husband Emmerson and Labrador Retrievers, Memphis Belle and Texas Star.
Hello lovelies! Today I have a Q&A with author Alison Burke as part of the blog tour for her new book Search For The House Of Dreams organised by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. First a little about the book:
Title: Search For The House Of Dreams by Alison Burke
Date Published: 14th June 2021
Genre: Historical Fiction
It is the year 1847 in the elegant city of Bath where 18yr old Genevre Stratton is treated more as a servant than a daughter in the elegant house where bills are not paid, and the rent is in arrears.
Appalled by the dishonesty and overriding social ambition beneath her parents’ veneer of respectability, only her love for her younger brother and sisters keeps her there.
Left to cope alone when their false world falls apart, she fights to keep her siblings together, until poverty forces her to yield them to the care of their half-brother, George Coleman. Handsome, wealthy and charismatic, he is the enemy who becomes her lover.
To surrender all to her passionate desire for him, or to keep the independence of a new-found musical career on the London stage? This is her choice to make, until an unexpected call of duty takes her to Paris.
Must the old, dark secrets she discovers there alter the course of her life forever?
It is a historical novel, told in the first person by 19yr old Genevre who strives to keep her younger sisters safe when their father dies and their mother deserts them. When love, with a cost, comes to all three, her sisters surrender willingly but Genevre, beautiful, clever and just a little bit ruthless, finds another way. This is a stand-alone novel, but a sequel is possible.
Where did the inspiration for your book come from?
From bits of family history, usually hushed up, and from an interest in the place of women in the English theatre of the late 19th century, as well as other aspects of their life at a time when women’s rights were negligible.
If you could describe your book in one sentence what would it be?
When their family falls from grace, what lengths must the beautiful, spirited elder daughter go to in order to save her siblings from disaster?
What is a typical writing day like for you?
Immediately after getting dressed and drinking one cup of excellent coffee, I work on my current novel for about two hours, having read first several pages of yesterday’s work to get into the right mindset. More coffee, a couple more hours of writing or relevant admin and finish. Lunch. While I do housework and gardening I often rehearse ongoing scenes and may get them written in the evening.
If you could recommend just one book to read, what would it be and why? Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fanny Flagg. When I first read it, over thirty years ago, I thought it was just a funny book. Recently rereading it, I found it examined friendship, women’s aging, lesbianism, justification for murder, euthanasia, the importance community and the dehumanising effects of racism on white as well as black people. It was still a funny book.
Who are your favourite authors?
Marion Keyes, Jojo Moynes, Robert Harris.
Is writing your only job? If not, what is your other job?
I am a retired health professional.
Tell me something interesting about yourself (that’s not in your author bio!)My age, but I’m not going to say what it is.
What are you currently working on?
A stand-alone romantic novel set in in the English county of Devon in the early 19th century
This is the Regency period but, though set among the land owning class, there are no rakish Dukes awaiting salvation by the love of a good woman or any of the familiar tropes of that much exploited and enjoyed period of English history.
About The Author:
I was born in Lancashire and started my career by training as a State Registered general nurse. Later, I joined the army and became an officer in the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps. On a posting to Malaya, now Malaysia, I found my true love. This was an ideal setting for a marriage with young children, and now my memories are a wonderfully rich source of material for my writing.
Title: Duchess If You Dare (The Maidens of Mayhem 1) by Anabelle Bryant
Date Published: 30th March 2021
Genre: Romantic Suspense
From the glittering ballrooms of the ton to the city’s grittiest corners, London has no shortage of wrongs in need of righting–and the Maidens of Mayhem are prepared for the challenge. United by secrecy and sisterhood, these daring women from all walks of life aim to fight injustice wherever it takes them–even into the arms of unexpected love. This feminist take on Regency-era Robin Hoods from USA Today bestselling author Anabelle Bryant is destined to storm readers’ hearts!
Scarlett Wynn’s tragic childhood taught her that life can be cruel to women with little power. So when a local seamstress disappears, Scarlett vows to find out why. Armed with a weapon and her courage, Scarlett scours London for clues–and crosses the unlikely path of Ambrose Cross, the Duke of Aylesford, at an unlikely place: an upscale brothel. The Duke is trying to solve a mystery of his own, and Scarlett is sure they can help each other–if she can resist the attraction that draws them together…
As Duke of Aylesford, Ambrose is duty-bound to protect his family name from scandal no matter the cost. But Scarlett’s fearless spirit forces him to look beyond his world of privilege. Scarlett is as intoxicating as she is dangerous, igniting a fire in him like no other. When the pair learn both mysteries they’re trying to solve are tied to a string of missing women, the tangled scheme they uncover may put their lives, and their growing love, in mortal danger–and lead them to search their hearts like never before…
“A delightful historical romance with a liberal dash of adventure, plenty of sizzling heat, and a heart of pure gold. A superb start to Bryant’s new Maidens of Mayhem series”
–Lenora Bell, USA Today bestselling author
“Duchess if You Dare is a fantastic read that kept me up late and has me anxiously awaiting the next book in the series.”
I want to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on this tour and the author for providing me with a copy of Duchess If You Dare in exchange for an honest review.
You know when you go into a book expecting one thing, but it surprises you in a good way, and turns out to be something completely different? That’s exactly how I felt about Duchess if you dare.
Duchess If You Dare has action, mystery, romance and a good few racy scenes to really get your heart pumping.
The novel follows Scarlett, a maiden of mayhem who looks out for women who were often overlooked by the law and society. Her path crosses in an unlikely fashion with Ambrose, the Duke of Aylesford, who is pulled into looking into the disappearance of a prostitute by his feckless brother Martin.
I loved the character of Scarlett, she’s strong, independent and doesn’t conform to the rules of polite society. Love interest Ambrose is weighed down by the expectations of being a Duke, but he shows his fiercely protective side when it comes to Scarlett.
I would have liked to see a bit more of the other Maidens of Mayhem and I felt the mystery aspect could have been a bit stronger, but of course that’s just my opinion.
Duchess if you dare is a rip roaring adventure with plenty of action, intrigue and a bit of steaminess too.
About the author:
USA Today Bestselling author Anabelle Bryant began reading at age three and never stopped. Her passion for reading soon turned into a passion for writing and an author was born. Happy to grab her suitcase if it ensures a new adventure, Anabelle finds endless inspiration in travel; especially imaginary jaunts into romantic Regency England, a far cry from her home in New Jersey. Instead, her clever characters live out her daydreams because really, who wouldn’t want to dance with a handsome duke or kiss a wicked earl?
Anabelle’s books have been translated into several languages including Japanese and Russian, but writing isn’t all that keeps her busy. Building miniatures, baking and photography are other favorite pastimes. Often found with her nose in a book, Anabelle is just as happy in a room full of people. She enjoys meeting readers, attending conferences and book signings. She has earned her Master’s Degree and is ABD for her Doctorate Degree in education.
A firm believer in romance, Anabelle knows sometimes life doesn’t provide a happily ever after, but her novels always do. Visit her website at AnabelleBryant.com
Hello lovelies! I’m very excited to have an excerpt from new release Amalie by EJ Woods as part of the first ever blog tour organised by Zoé over at Zooloo’s book tours! First a little about the book:
Title: Amalie by EJ Wood
Date Published: 15th April 2021
Publisher: Question Mark Press
Genre: Historical Thriller
HEY MURDERED FAMILIES THE FUHRER CANNOT PROTECT THEM NOW
It’s not wise to murder the family of a budding assassin. Created by Auschwitz, her skill is honed by revenge.
A very different type of serial killer is loose in 1950s Europe. In Britain, a Brotherhood of powerful men takes notice and enhances the expertise and artistry of a killer.
DCI John Owen was born to serve. Recruited by MI6, he tracks an accomplished executioner whose love of luxury and the arts is second only to the love of watching an early death come to those who truly deserve it.
Join the chase. Then ask yourself… Can there ever be only one winner?
Wiesenthal without a doubt was soon on the rise to becoming one of the most famous Nazi hunters the world would ever see. A survivor of Mauthausen, he began to dedicate his life in the war crimes section of the United States Army gathering evidence to convict German war criminals. He wasn’t about to let anyone who had committed the crimes against humanity just walk away.
Another such man was called Hanns Alexander. Although Alexander was born in Germany during World War 1 into an assimilated wealthy household, his Jewish family had fled to Britain when Hitler’s rise to power threatened his family. His father was a popular doctor who was known to hold elaborate parties for the social elite including Albert Einstein. After the war ended, Alexander was one of the first volunteers wanting to investigate war-related crimes. A deep-seated rage fuelled his interest, and he’d drive around Europe with a dead Nazi strapped to his car. Amalie smiled as she recalled the memory when she read about his mission, she felt it far more interesting than the capture of Rudolf Höss; the exact details are unknown but he was either beaten by Jewish soldiers or forced to walk naked along a snowy road. However his fate ended, it wasn’t enough, and later he was taken into custody and hanged a short while later.
William looked into Amalie’s eyes. ‘What will you do when you have completed your quota?’
2004 – The discovery of a skeleton in the Liverpool docklands unearths long buried secrets. Reporter, Anne McCarthy, is keen to prove herself and dives into the case with abandon where she finds Michael, an old Irish caretaker who knows far more than he’s letting on and may have a connection to the body.
Meanwhile, Vinny Doyle, is starting a postgrad degree, researching Liverpool’s immigrant history and a burgeoning Scouse identity. But Vinny has been neglecting his own family history and stranger Michael might know about his father’s disappearance in the 70s.
1955 – Escaping violence in Ireland and fresh off the boat, Michael falls in with Wicklow boys Jack Power and Paddy Doyle, who smuggle contraband through the docks putting them at odds with unions while they rally the dock workers against the rackets and the strikebreakers. A story of corruption, secret police, and sectarianism slowly unravels. But will the truth out?
As the conflict heightens, Michael questions the life sprawling out ahead of him. In the present, Anne races to solve the mystery, but is she prepared for what she’ll find?
I want to thank Northodox Press for providing me with a copy of Under the bridge in exchange for an honest review.
I was so intrigued by the blurb for this, and I honestly don’t read that many novels set in my hometown, so I thought I’d give it a go.
Under the bridge is a mix of historical drama and mystery which really teaches you something about the history of Liverpool!
The story centres around Garston, a suburb in the south of Liverpool, and a place I don’t believe I’ve visited, but it has a long and interesting history. Now I’ve lived in and around Liverpool my entire life and I used to think I knew a thing or two about the place, but after reading this novel I realise I’m woefully uninformed! Seriously, I think I learnt more about my own area reading this book than I ever did in a history class.
There are some powerful themes throughout the novel, including immigration, racism and religion (in particular the Catholic/Protestant divide which has been prevalent for a long time). The author really doesn’t shy away from those tough subjects.
There were some interesting characters, but I liked Anne the best. She’s a smart, ambitious, if a little naïve, journalist trying to make it in the newspaper business that even back in 2004 was shrinking.
There were several different points of view in the book, along with the back and forth in the timeline that I found it a little hard to keep everything straight in my mind. Also, I felt it was a little heavier on the drama rather than the mystery, but of course that’s just my opinion.
Under the bridge is a gritty debut that really doesn’t pull any punches!
About The Author:
Jack Byrne was born and raised in Speke, Liverpool to an Irish immigrant father and grandparents. Under the Bridge is his debut novel and follows reporter Anne and student Vinny around Merseyside, as they become involved in a story of unions, crime, and police corruption after human remains are discovered at a construction site.
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 I have my review of Beyond the Yew Tree plus a giveaway to win a copy of either The Last Thing She Said or The Woman of Heachley Hall (see bottom of the post) but first a little about the book:
Title: Beyond The Yew Tree by Rachel Walkley
Date Published: 27th March 2020
Genre:Ghost Story/Women’s fiction
Whispers in the courtroom.
Only one juror hears them.
Can Laura unravel the truth by the end of the trial?
In an old courtroom, a hissing voice distracts shy juror, Laura, and at night recurring nightmares transport her to a Victorian gaol and the company of a wretched woman.
Although burdened by her own secret guilt, and struggling to form meaningful relationships, Laura isn’t one to give up easily when faced with an extraordinary situation.
The child-like whispers lead Laura to an old prison graveyard, where she teams up with enthusiastic museum curator, Sean. He believes a missing manuscript is the key to understanding her haunting dreams. But nobody knows if it actually exists.
Laura is confronted with the fate of two people – the man in the dock accused of defrauding a charity for the blind, and the restless spirit of a woman hanged over a century ago for murder. If Sean is the companion she needs in her life, will he believe her when she realises that the two mysteries are converging around a long-forgotten child who only Laura can hear?
I want to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources tour for inviting me on this tour and providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Beyond the Yew Tree is an intriguing mix of ghost story, historical fiction, mystery and romance, with even a little legal thriller action thrown in there too!
I liked the main character Laura. She’s a little blunt but honest and level headed, not the kind of person you’d think would even entertain the notion of being haunted! But she hides a secret pain in her past, a mistake that’s troubled her for years. Sean was also a very sweet character who compliments Laura’s bluntness well.
The ghost of the story also has a compelling and tragic tale to tell, expertly woven throughout the novel.
I did find the trial aspect a little tedious at times (it was to do with fraud, not a subject I find that interesting) but that didn’t spoil my overall enjoyment of the novel.
Beyond the Yew Tree blends several genres together to make a sweet and satisfying read.
About The Author:
Aspiring writer who pens Women’s Fiction and magical tales about family secrets.
Giveaway to Win One copy of The Last Thing She Said or The Woman of Heachley Hall (Open INT)
If the winner is in the UK then it will be a print copy, otherwise International winner is e-book.
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 dispatch or delivery of the prize.