When Polly Met Olly – Zoe May / #Review #MiniBlogBlitz @rararesources @zoe_writes

 

Polly and Olly were never supposed to meet…

Polly might spend her days searching for eligible matches for her elite list of clients at her New York dating agency, but her own love life is starting to go up in smoke.

Even worse, she can’t stop thinking about the very person she’s meant to be setting her latest client up with… surely it can’t get any worse!

But then Polly bumps into oh-so-handsome Olly, who heads up a rival agency, and realizes that perhaps all really is fair in love and dating war…

 

 

My review

The title is fun and put a smile on my face straight away. It was the first thing that attracted me to the booK.

The title is not the only humourous thing. The author has sprinkled the story with some funny bits but the main focus is on romance.

Everybody is keen on finding the ‘one’ and we have ticked boxes on a (mental) list with how we want our ideal partner to look, but looks are not everything! Maybe we should delve deeper and extend our list with things we want or don’t want our ideal partner to have or do.  Not very romantic though, is it, but it might keep heartbreak at bay.

Anyway when you (finally) meet your better half it can be quite an eye opener and love can make you make a u-turn. No matter how many people might think you are not suited, the only thing that matters is how you feel about each other.

A fun read and remember there’s a lid for every pot. 4 stars.

Thank you, Zoe May and Rachel’s Random Resources.

 

About the author 

Zoe May lives in Oxford and writes romantic comedies. Zoe has dreamt of being a novelist since she was a teenager. She spent her twenties living in London, where she worked in journalism and copywriting before writing her debut novel, Perfect Match. Having experienced the London dating scene first hand, Zoe could not resist writing a novel about dating, since it seems to supply endless amounts of weird and wonderful material!

Perfect Match was one of Apple’s top-selling books of 2018. It was also shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Joan Hessayon Award, with judges describing it as ‘a laugh out loud look at love and self-discovery – fresh and very funny’.

As well as writing, Zoe enjoys walking her dog, painting and, of course, reading

Social Media Links 

https://twitter.com/zoe_writes

https://instagram.com/zoe_writes

https://www.facebook.com/zoemayauthor/

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/When-Polly-Met-Olly-fantastically-ebook/dp/B07F8N76KG/

US – https://www.amazon.com/When-Polly-Met-Olly-fantastically-ebook/dp/B07F8N76KG/

Advertenties

Scouse Gothic (Book 1) ‘The Pool of Life..and Death’ – Ian McKinney / #PromoPost #BlogTour @rararesources @scousegothic

 

Melville wakes with a pounding headache – there had been too many hangovers recently, but this felt different. What had he been drinking last night? Then he remembered – it was blood.

​Enter the bizarre world of Scouse Gothic where a reluctant vampire mourns a lost love and his past lives, where a retired ‘hitman’ plans one more killing and dreams of food, and a mother sets out to avenge her son’s murder, and , meanwhile, a grieving husband is visited by an angry angel.

Set in present day Liverpool, vampires and mortals co-exist, unaware of each other’s secrets and that their past and present are inextricably linked.

But as their lives converge, who will be expected to atone for past sins?

 

 

Promo Post

***

Thank you, Ian McKinney and Rachel’s Random Resources.

 

About the author

Ian was born and bred in Liverpool but left for university in the 1980’s when the city appeared to be in a terminal decline. After qualifying he worked in London and Essex before finally settling in Shropshire with his wife and daughter.

However a set of circumstances meant that he returned to live in the city once more. What he found was a modern vibrant city. The derelict buildings from his youth had been restored and repurposed. A dock was now a tourist attraction, a church was now a night club, a gaol now a hotel.

It was then that he had the idea for Melville a vampire who had known the city in its prime and had now returned to it. Initially the story of Melville was written as a short story, but the more Ian explored the city the more he realised there were many more tales to tell than just Melville’s. That was when the idea for Scouse Gothic was born.

The first book ‘A Pool of Life ..and Death’ , was very well received and has now been followed by a further two books. Ian continues to spend his time between Liverpool and Shropshire and is currently working on two further projects.

 

Social Media Links 

Twitter: Ian McKinney @scousegothic

 Facebook: Ian McKinney @scousegothic

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017A6XDBO

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017A6XDBO

 

 

Lucy’s Last Straw – Debbie Viggiano / #Review #BooksOnTour @bookouture @DebbieViggiano

 

It was the toothpaste smeared around the sink that broke my marriage. As I rubbed it away AGAIN, I was reminded of everything else I’ve put up with these twenty-five years. My husband’s obsession with his pension, his ability to charm me into every single one of his ideas, never being taken on a romantic date, let alone ravished on the patio (like the woman who lives next door)… small things, but the realisation was huge. 

Just when Lucy Jones thinks her marriage is about to screech to a halt over toothpaste, her husband, Leo, announces he wants to move to tumbledown (clapped-out) Rose Cottage, and Lucy knows she’ll be the one managing the renovations.

Then along comes gorgeous builder Will, ten years younger and the only person actually listening to Lucy. His twinkly eyes and blowtorch smile are causing Lucy to break out in a hot sweat – but is it love, lust or simply dodgy hormones that are causing her heart to flutter?

Lucy loves her husband, but everyone knows that little things build up. And then they explode. Can Lucy keep it together, or will there be one last straw she might not be able to get over?

 

 

My review

There are a lot of books that can put a smile on my face, but it’s not often that there is one that really can make me laugh out loud.

Humour does not mean the same to everyone, but this one was seriously hilarious to me. It had me sniggering more than once and people in my neighbourhood were often rolling their eyes and I saw them thinking : There she goes again. 🙂 🙂

I would not mind having Lucy for a friend. She is really someone I could relate to.

This story is about people focussing on the wrong things and getting so stressed about them that everything else seems to disappear in thin air. It keeps on escalating until it’s almost broken beyond repair and that’s when you seem you wake up and see the light again.

I can honestly say this was the funniest book I have read up till now this year. 5 stars

Thank you, Debbie Viggiano, Bookouture and Netgalley.

 

About the author

Prior to turning her attention to writing, Debbie Viggiano was, for more years than she cares to remember, a legal secretary. She lives with her Italian husband, a rescued pooch from Crete, and a very disgruntled cat. Occasionally her adult children return home bringing her much joy… apart from when they want to raid the fridge, or eat her secret stash of chocolate. Follow Debbie’s (intermittent!) blog: www.debbieviggiano.blogspot.com Tweet @DebbieViggiano or look her up on Facebook!

 

Author Social Media Links

Website: www.debbieviggiano.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debbie.viggiano.5

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/DebbieViggiano

Buy  Links   

Amazon: https://geni.us/B07R27VF4LSocial

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2UYzQmQ

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2GwXNaz

Googleplay: http://ow.ly/HaYc30owgbi

Sealed with a death – James Silvester / #Interview #BlogTour #LoveBooksGroupTours @JamesSilvester1 @UrbaneBooks

 

Love, deception and murder dominate as thriller writer James Silvester delivers the second in the Lucie Musilova series.
Still new to the top secret Overlappers intelligence team, and on her first `hit’ alone, Lucie Musilova has an attack of conscience and nearly botches the operation, taking a bullet wound before finishing off her target. Though her injuries are minor, she is chastised for her carelessness and assigned desk duties. Here she investigates a number of disappearances of European women from Britain – the women all missing without trace until the body of one is discovered, raped and murdered. Lucie learns that tens of women have disappeared, all with little investigation. As she digs deeper she begins to uncover a terrifying international conspiracy that potentially threatens not just her life, but to topple Governments….

 

 

Q&A

Enjoy!

***

When and where do you prefer to write?

Preferably I’d be writing all day in a tranquil atmosphere of peace and calm. As I have kids, I grab a couple of hours at a time at my desk at home trying to screen out the chaos.

– Do you have a certain ritual?

More a rule than a ritual but I do insist that I write at least 1000 words per sitting. Obviously the ideal would be far more, but if I’m having an off day or the flow isn’t there, I still make sure I reach that number. Sometimes I’ll go back the next day and re-write the whole thing…

– Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?

Fruity water in the day time and rum at night. I like to write at night…

– What is your favourite book?

I’m never sure I completely know the answer to this, but I think I’d have to say 1984.

– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?

I toy with it but it’s probably a long way off. I had a short sci-fi story published once, and I wrote a comedy script that picked up a bit of interest before being dashed against the rocks, but I think I’m very happy in the thriller genre for now. Pretty much everything I write in any genre ends up quite dark anyway.

– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?

Absolutely. I find it easier to shape characters if they’re based on someone. Most of my lead characters are based on actors I like, or at least based on their physical appearance but many of the supporting characters are people I know.

– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?

I used to, but not so much anymore. Instead I’ll type notes into my phone or email myself with ideas to work on later. Not very purist of me I’m afraid.

– Which genre do you not like at all?

I think all genres have something to teach us and I’ll happily give most things a try, but I struggle with pure romance.

– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?

From the past, Ian Fleming. I’m tempted to say John le Carre, but I’d be too in awe.

– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?

I’ve been lucky enough to spend a lot of time in Slovakia and the Czech Republic over the years and a lot of my work is influenced by those countries. I met my wife in Prague and we have family there, and I also studied the history when I was younger and fell in love with the place. I’d like to think my style suits those backdrops, but that’s for others to judge!

Thank you, James Silvester and Love Books Group Tours.

 

About the author 

James Silvester’s debut novel and sequel, Escape to Perdition and The Prague Ultimatum, reflected his love both of central Europe and the espionage genre and was met with widespread acclaim. His new series features strong female protagonist Lucie Musilova, a character fully reflective of Europe’s changing cultural and political landscape. James lives in Manchester.

The Summer of Going Topless – Liz Davies / #CoverReveal #BlogTour @rararesources @lizdaviesauthor

Candice Summerville is invisible. No one seems to notice her – not really. Heck, she often doesn’t notice herself, except for her monthly scrutiny in the mirror to check on her body’s steady slide towards middle age.
But when her ancient, practical estate car is consigned to the scrap heap, Candice falls in love with a cute, purple convertible, and from that moment on her life begins to take on a whole new meaning. Strangers wave at her and people stop to talk, and suddenly she isn’t invisible any longer.
Life seems to be looking up, especially when she meets silver fox and handy-man, Paul. There’s just one fly in the ointment, one thing she that has her second-guessing herself.
Is it the car that Paul sees – or is it her?
Cover reveal
***
Thank you, Liz Davies and Rachel’s Random Resources.
About the author

Liz Davies writes feel-good, light-hearted stories with a hefty dose of romance, a smattering of humour, and a great deal of love.

She’s married to her best friend, has one grown-up daughter, and when she isn’t scribbling away in the notepad she carries with her everywhere (just in case inspiration strikes), you’ll find her searching for that perfect pair of shoes. She loves to cook but isn’t very good at it, and loves to eat – she’s much better at that! Liz also enjoys walking (preferably on the flat), cycling (also on the flat), and lots of sitting around in the garden on warm, sunny days.

She currently lives with her family in Wales, but would ideally love to buy a camper van and travel the world in it.

 

Social Media Links

Twitter https://twitter.com/lizdaviesauthor

Purchase Links: UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07V72XKWP US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07V72XKWP

Publication Date: 22nd August

The Painter – Deirdre Quiery / #Interview #BlogTour #LoveBooksGroupTours @SupernovaQ @UrbaneBooks

 

In a desire to impress the people who visit his workshop, renowned artist The Painter, employs a gardener to create an inspirational landscape which includes a labyrinth, an orange grove and Moorish-inspired fountains. They develop an intimate relationship and the Painter, whose life and talent had become increasingly dissipated, finds himself slowly recovering his original innocence and talent. However, the relationship is tainted by the Painter’s jealousy when visitors express more interest in the magical garden and mysterious labyrinth than in the Painter’s art. That jealously blossoms into deadly rage when The Painter catches the gardener changing one of his paintings….
Deirdre Quiery’s compelling new thriller explores themes of love, life and deceit, and examines the lengths we will go to pursue and protect our passions. Perfect for fans of Jane Corry and Amanda Brooke.

 

 

Q&A

Enjoy!

***

What inspired you to write The Painter as your third novel?

For many years before writing my first novel Eden Burning, I kept journals in which I recorded my thoughts, emotions, insights into who and what had inspired me that week.

I drew on those journal reflections to explore violence, forgiveness and love in my first novel Eden Burning which grew out of my personal experiences of growing up in Northern Ireland, being evicted at gunpoint from home, living on the Peace Line with two Uncles murdered, three bombs placed outside the house and the family twice being taken hostage by the IRA.

My second novel The Secret Wound explores the same themes of violence, forgiveness and love – this time set mostly in Mallorca. My husband and I moved to Mallorca sixteen years ago. I tapped into the ex-pat community, jealousy, hidden secrets to create a psychological thriller where past secrets break into the present like bolts of lightning.

The Painter – my third novel – cut the umbilical cord to Northern Ireland. It is set in Mallorca. I continued to write a novel with the themes of violence, forgiveness and love and this time in a totally different context. I am in real life a painter, a leadership consultant and a writer. I have been taught how to paint by two excellent Argentinian artists. I also have entered the world of the rich and famous in Mallorca – as a guest and observer – I hasten to add – not as one of the rich and famous! I was inspired to write a novel about talent, dissipation, transformation that could only come through a painful process of self-knowledge.

Where is The Painter exactly set – you mention Mallorca?

Yes. It is set in the beautiful tranquil town of Soller in the Serra de Tramuntana mountains and valleys of Mallorca. Who would believe what murder and intrigue to fill the minds of anyone living there?

Who was your favourite character to write?

Definitely that of the Painter – Augustin Silvero. For the first time I wrote in the first person. The honesty of writing 15 years of personal Journals, I hope paid off. I enjoyed entering Augustin’s soul with all his desires, guilt, envy and desire for love. I went to Hell in a Dantesque fashion with him and back.

When and where do you prefer to write?

I begin writing in the early morning before the sun has risen and the birds sing. I sit at table after feeding the five cats and looking at the mountains and stars and praying for inspiration! I write for at least four hours with two hour intervals for coffee. If I am inspired I can write until twilight when the sun has set.

Do you have a certain ritual?

Yes. As I described above – although sometimes I sit on the sofa before writing and meditate and think about what it means to be alive and what on earth am I doing writing.

Is there a drink or food that keeps you company while you write?

I like Nespresso coffee, Rooibos tea and sparkling water. I don’t really like food – although you would never think that to look at me. I think that is because I know that I need to eat something. When on my own, I settle for pasta with tomato sauce with a hint of cayenne pepper of course to spice the novel up. When I have my pasta I drink red wine.

What is your favourite book?

 Maybe Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road”. I appreciate how leading edge he was in attempting to be alone on a spiritual path, challenged by the weaknesses of being human and attempting to tread a path between the Divine and Human.

Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?

 I love that question. I have a dream of writing a myth that has never been told. I wonder what that would be. I love to go beyond what is literal in my writing to what is symbolic and universal and where the reader can connect at a universal level of being. I ask myself – what’s new about our world now – that could allow a new myth to emerge?

 Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?

 Yes – especially the nasty ones.

 Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?

 Absolutely. I am a notebook addict. I cannot go anywhere without one.

Which genre do you not like at all?

 100 Shades of Grey comes to mind. Sorry – is it 40 or 50. I’m definitely not into erotic writing.

 If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?

 Someone with a super human sense of humour. That might be my husband!

If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?

 I have travelled to 32 different countries. Perhaps my favourite has been South Africa. I could stay longer there to do research. I already have an idea for a novel based there. Or maybe it could be Alaska where I could research the possible life of a hermit living in an igloo. I have read a lot about the Desert Fathers living in Egypt during the 4th century – an icy hermitage could be interesting to research.

Thank you, Deirdre Quiery and Love Books Group Tours.

 

About the author 

Belfast born Deirdre Quiery is based in Mallorca where she runs Seven Rocks Consulting. Not just a writer, Deirdre has not only painted with Argentinian artist Carlos Gonzalez in Palma and Natalia Spitale in Soller, she is also a winner of the Alexander Imich Prize in the US for writing about exceptional human experiences, and the Birmingham Trophy Prize in the UK. The Painter is her third novel for Urbane following the Irish thriller Eden Burning and murder mystery The Secret Wound.

Buy Link

https://amzn.to/2TQCbKQ

The Girl in the Grave – Helen Phifer / #Review #BooksOnTour @bookouture @helenphifer1

 

Beth Adams #1

When the body of a teenage runaway is found hidden inside someone else’s grave in a small-town cemetery in The Lake District, an urgent call is made to Forensic Pathologist Beth Adams. Still traumatised by a recent attempt on her own life, one look at the beautiful girl’s broken body is enough to bring Beth out of hiding for the first time since her attack. She’s the only one who can help her trusted friend, Detective Josh Walker, crack the most shocking case of his career.

Beth struggles to believe it’s a coincidence that the gravesite was scheduled to be exhumed, exposing the evidence. Does this twisted killer want to be caught?

Throwing herself into her work Beth discovers traces of material beneath the victim’s fingernails that sets the team on the killer’s trail. But this critical lead comes at a dangerous price, exposing Beth’s whereabouts and dragging her back into her attacker’s line of fire once again.

With Beth’s own life on the line, the investigation is already cracking under the pressure. Then another local girl goes missing… Can Beth stay alive long enough to catch the killer before he claims his next victim?

 

 

My review

Often crime series put the police in the picture, but this time we have a wonderful collaboration between police and a forensic pathologist, with the doctor on the biggest stage.

I don’t like blood at all, but I am very fascinated by everything the CSI does. I would not want to have to watch a PM but I am often stunned by what they can find out with the smallest of evidence.

I also love crime series where the main characters have a history and Beth certainly has and she is not home free yet.

The author shows us that even a truckload of security systems can’t give you a 100% warranty and that the person you trusted the most is often the one you should have avoided.

A very good start to a new series. Looking forward to Beth Adams #2.

Thank you, Helen Phifer, Bookouture and Netgalley.

 

About the author

Helen Phifer lives in a small town called Barrow-in-Furness with her husband and five children.

Helen has always loved writing and reading. Her love of horror films and novels is legendary. Helen adores reading books which make the hair on the back of her neck stand on end. Unable to find enough scary stories to read she decided to write her own.

 

Social Media Links

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Helenphifer1

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

Twitter:      https://twitter.com/helenphifer1

Website:     https://www.helenphifer.com

Buy Links

Amazon: https://geni.us/B07QQ34JBXSocial

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2Phxl95

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2IE3SEY

Googleplay: http://ow.ly/APUL30osVA4

Missing in Wales – Jenny O’Brien / #Interview #BlogTour @rararesources @ScribblerJB

 

Missing in Wales, the first in an exciting new Welsh-set crime series by Jenny O’Brien, author of The Stepsister. The next in series, Stabbed in Wales, will be available soon. 

Alys is fine – don’t try to find us

Izzy Grant is haunted by the abduction of her newborn daughter five-years ago. When a postcard arrives from her missing partner, the man she believes is responsible, saying they’re fine and asking her not to try to find them, she knows she can’t give up hoping. Then she sees a face from her past. Grace Madden. Just where did she disappear to all those years ago? And is there a connection between her disappearance and that of her child?

DC Gabriella Darin, recently transferred from Swansea, is brash, bolshie and dedicated. Something doesn’t fit with the case and she’s determined to find out just what happened all those years ago.

 

 

Q&A

***

– When and where do you prefer to write?

Firstly, thank you for inviting me onto your blog today. I write in the lounge usually very early in the morning when the house is asleep and late into the night.

– Do you have a certain ritual?

Not as such but I do need to write in complete silence so, in a world where headphones rule, I can be found wearing ear defenders.

– Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?

I don’t eat when I write but there’s always a mug of strong tea to keep me company.

– What is your favourite book?

I am David, by Anne Holm. An amazing voyage of discovery about a young boy released from a prisoner of war camp and left to find his way back home.

– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?

No. I write in a few genres as it is. Children, Romance, Psychological and now Crime Thrillers.

– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?

Not as such. I’ve included friends that have asked to be characters but apart from that.

– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?

Yes, although I usually don’t have it on me when an idea hits and write on whatever scrap of paper is to hand. I’ve even used the back of receipts in the past.

– Which genre do you not like at all?

I don’t enjoy books that scare me, so horror isn’t really my thing.

– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?

Valerie Keogh. She’s also an Irish nurse/author and we write in similar genres. We understand how each other’s writing mind works so it could be fun.

– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?

France. It’s only a stone’s throw away from Guernsey and there’s plenty of it we’ve yet to explore.

Thank you, Jenny O’Brien and Rachel’s Random Resources.

 

About the author

Jenny O’Brien was abandoned in Dublin at the tender age of 17 by her parents when they decided to move to Wales. It was only on the completion of her studies that she was finally able to join them.
She’s an avid reader and book blogger in addition to being a RoNA book judge.
She writes for both children and adults with a new book coming out every six months or so.
In her spare time she can be found frowning at her wonky cakes and even wonkier breads. You’ll be pleased to note she won’t be entering Bake-Off. She’s also an all-year-round sea swimmer.
Jenny currently resides on the island of Guernsey with her husband, children and cats. She works as a nurse and writes in her spare time.

Links

blog: https://jennyobrienwriter.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JennyOBrienWriter/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ScribblerJB

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07RGCDT75

US- https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RGCDT75

Beneath the Surface – B.K. Stubblefield / #Extract #BlogTour #SilverDaggerBookTours @thedogtale@SDSXXTours

 

Secrets In Oak Creek Book 2

“He clutched his head in his hands. His shoulders shook, but no sound came. Minutes stretched, interrupted only by the pop of burning wood.”

Ryan Collins had it all – financial freedom, an exciting career, and attractive women. A favorite photographer in the glamorous world of fashion, his lifestyle is the envy of many. Only a few know of the demons that haunt him.

When Ryan and Emily Carmichael discover Oak Creek’s dirty secret, they become witnesses to a drug crime. With Ryan’s plans for a career change temporarily on hold, the physical and emotional attraction to Emily grows strong. But a twisted truth taught so many years ago spirals to the surface and strangles his heart. A romantic relationship just isn’t meant to be.

While assisting a friend with a documentary in the African wild, Ryan is forced to confront his terrors. As the battle within rages will he be able to permanently silence the voices this time? Will he find a way back to Emily, and the happiness he so desperately craves? Or is it too late?

**Only .99 cents!!**

 

Book Trailer

 

Extract

***

CHAPTER 1

Twenty-nine years earlier

tartled, the little boy awoke.

Confused and scared, his eyes fluttered then opened wide as he gazed into the darkness of the room. Strange noises had woken him. Or had it only been a bad dream? No, not a dream… there they were again. His heart sprinted at the low growls, shrieks, and whispers. Was someone hurt? He couldn’t tell, but it scared him.

His ears pricked, and he strained to pick up any sound. He knew no monsters hid under his bed or crouched in the corners of his room. But still… what if?

Suddenly, a bolt of lightning flashed and split the night sky with an erratic zig-zag across the horizon. The boy relaxed. Scaredy-cat he chided himself aloud. It’s only a storm. The low moan of the approaching storm had roused him from his sleep.

Storms didn’t scare the little boy–his dad had taught him how to stay safe. And his dad was his hero – he was a soldier and knew everythingabout safety. The boy watched and learned, bonding with his dad over fun outdoor trips … like when they went camping. Just the two of them. But his dad wasn’t home that night. His unit was on a military field exercise. The boy closed his eyes and said a prayer for his dad’s protection.

His fists uncurled, releasing the bedsheet from a steely grip as he counted the seconds to the next crashing boom of the thunderclap. As the thunder rolled, he thought he heard the strange noise again. What was that? Did the rumble disappear into the night? No. The sound came from the end of the hall.

With his frightened heart slamming against his ribs, he gathered the courage to get out of bed and hitched up his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pajama pants. Barefoot, he padded across the room. With great care, he quietly turned the doorknob and stepped out into the hallway.

He had to pee but didn’t have far to go. The bathroom door across the hall from his room stood open. He slipped inside, softly closing the door behind him. When he finished, he opened the water faucet just enough to wash his hands under a warm trickle before he slipped back into the hall. That’s when he heard it again. That noise. Without making a sound, the boy crept along the wall until he stopped in front of his parents’ bedroom. Pressing his ear against the flimsy wooden door, he listened.

There! The sounds he couldn’t label came from inside. Fright washed over him. Mom! What’s wrong? Why are you crying? With a racing heart, and hands clammy with a cold sweat, he turned the knob with great care. He eased the door ajar, just wide enough to peek through the opening.

Heavy drapes obscured the faint lights of the night sky, causing the boy to blink a few times against the dim shadows. His eyes adjusted, and he tried to make sense of the burly shape silhouetted against the inky dark of the room. The boy stood motionless, his feet rooted to the hardwood floor, blood pounding in his ears. In horror, he watched the dark shape bending over his mom. She whimpered. To the small boy’s ears, the sound was a cry of pain. Like when I fell and scraped my knees the other day, he remembered.

A high-pitched cry broke the boy’s paralysis. “Mom?” he probed. BOOM! Another thunderclap cracked the air. “Mom? Mom…. are you hurt?” the little boy cried out as he flung the bedroom door wide open.

“Fuck!” He heard the man’s cuss at the same time his Mom screamed.

“Ryan!” she shrieked and grabbed a throw blanket as she jumped off the bed. “Get out!” Enraged, she grabbed his arm and pulled him into the hallway. “Why the hell aren’t you in

bed? You should be asleep!” His mother’s voice sounded harsh as she dragged him to his room and pushed him inside. “Go back to bed…and stay in your room! Go to sleep!”

Confused and hurt the boy hurled himself onto his bed. Embarrassment and shame twisted in his tummy. But why, he didn’t know. He’d angered his mom. She’d been furious, – but he had just wanted to help. A sick feeling settled in his belly.

The boy knelt on his bed and propped his elbows on the windowsill. His hands cradled his face as he watched as the lightning strikes became fewer and fewer. The storm finally moved away. As Ryan watched dark clouds rush across the night sky, tears rolled from big blue eyes, dripping onto his pajama sleeves. He felt all tangled up on the inside. What is this man doing to my mom, and why is she so mad at me? He’d just wanted to check out the weird noises and see why she was crying.

When dad had left, he’d hugged Ryan. “Take good care of Mom for me, buddy,” he’d said, and the boy nodded his promise.

His mind shaped a large cloud into a dinosaur, and he wished he could ride it across the sky to visit his dad. His battle buddy–that’s what dadcalled him.

The storm had long passed when the boy awoke again. His mom was in the kitchen, reading the newspaper and drinking her morning coffee when he’d shuffled into the room.

“Good morning, sleepyhead.” Looking up from the paper, she sounded pleasant. But the boy was suspicious. Is she still mad at me?

When he didn’t answer, his mother frowned. “Swallowed your tongue, boy?”

“Mom, who was that man last night?” He moved towards the table, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes.

“What are you talking about, Ryan?”

“The man in your bedroom… what did he do? Did he hurt you?”

Her tone sharpened. “Ryan, come here.” Grabbing his small arms, she pulled him until he came to stand between her knees. “Look at me,” her stern voice demanded. But the boy kept his eyes glued to the kitchen floor.

His mother’s manicured fingers shot out to push up his chin. He stared into her eyes with a blank face.

“You had a nightmare. No one tried to hurt me.”

“But I saw him.” The boy knew he wasn’t supposed to talk back, but he disobeyed.

“Nonsense Ryan!” She shook the boy’s small shoulders, but the defiance didn’t leave his eyes. “There was no man! And nobody was in my room. Stop making up stories. Do you hear me? And Ryan? I don’t expect you to bother your father with this make-believe monster story when he comes home. Do you understand?”

Ryan nodded. He understood this tone; he’d experienced it often.

Sour-faced, she released him from her grip with a dismissive push. “You’re just like your father.” The boy’s throat closed, and his eyes watered at the dislike he heard in those mumbled words. It didn’t take much to irritate his mom. She was often agitated–with him and his dad. As much as he wanted to please her, on certain days, he could do nothing right. No matter how he tried. She doesn’t love me.

“I asked you a question, Ryan!” A final shake of his shoulders and the boy answered, as if on autopilot. “Yes, ma’am.” But he knew because he had seen the man. When he’d watched the clouds move, he saw him coming out of their house, get into his car and drive away.

It was the first time Ryan realized his mom lied.

Thank you, B.K. Stubblefield and Silver Dagger Book Tours.

 

About the author

B.K. Stubblefield is a new writer with a passion for animal rescue. After adopting her new dog Harper, she was quickly overwhelmed with the challenges of raising a “puppy on steroids”. Together with her close friend, Debra Wagner, she published ‘Rescued: A Tale of Two Dogs’, two nonfiction tales of love, patience and commitment. In an effort to help bring awareness to animal neglect and abuse in our own neighborhoods, B.K. Stubblefield shares several short stories of animals brought out of the shadows and into the light of love in her second book “Rescued: Out of The Shadows.” Fictional short stories and memory books/journals continue to carry the theme of dog rescue.

B.K. Stubblefield is also a contributing author to “Be Their Voice: An Anthology for Rescue, Volume I & II

Her debut novel, ‘Secrets in Oak Creek’, a mystery/romance, was published in November 2017.

Born and raised in Germany, the author has spent many years supporting her husband’s military career. Moving between Europe and the United States, she now makes her home in the small rural town of Elizabethtown, Kentucky where she enjoys the slower pace of small town living. Early morning weekend walks with her dog Harper are among her favorite activities.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

 

Author Links

Website: http://www.BKStubblefield.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BKStubblefield1

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/thedogtale

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14091854.B_K_Stubblefield

Buy Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Beneath-Surface-Oak-Creek-Book-ebook/dp/B07NTW9BWM

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beneath-the-surface-b-k-stubblefield/1131455269?ean=9780578488301

The Awakening Aten – Aidan K. Morrissey / #GuestPost #BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @annecater @AidanKMorrissey @matadorbooks

 

The Awakening Aten envelops the reader in an Egypt of whispers and fears, of webs within webs, deceit upon deceit. Its themes of murder, intrigue, political and religious conflict, corruption, tomb robbing, war and executions are set against a background of fundamental ideological change.

Ancient Egypt is seen through the eyes of two families; one royal, the other commoner. Yuya, whose tomb is in the Valley of the Kings, is a foreigner who rises from slavery to become Regent to an infant Pharaoh and thus, the most powerful man in the world’s wealthiest empire. His children and descendants will remain at the very heart of the country’s destiny. Kha is a tomb painter and builder who experiences both the despair of imprisonment and the horror of war. As Overseer of the King’s Works he restores the Great Sphinx, and inscribes the ‘Dream Stela’ placed between its paws, still visible today. Through tragic and deathly events his family and that of Yuya become entwined.

 

 

Guest Post

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Character assination in historical novel writing!

‘The Awakening Aten’ is a novel based on the fictional lives of real people living in Egypt 3,500 years ago.

One of those people is Nahkt.

There is no information about Nahkt other than that contained in his tomb. His name means ‘strong.’ In his lifetime he held the titles of “scribe” and “serving priest”. The only other information we can glean is that his wife was named, Tawy, she was a ‘chantress of Amun’, and that her son was called Amenemapet.

Nahkt’s tomb was discovered (and probably robbed) by locals in around 1887. It was partially cleared by the Antiquities Service in 1889 after European archaeologists rediscovered it. However, due to lack of plans, the burial chamber and shaft were not cleared until around 1907 when Norman de Garis Davies and his wife Anna Macpherson Cummings, (for some unknown reason known as Nina,) were commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of New York to take tracings and drawings of this and other tombs. Their journal entries, ‘The Tomb of Nakht at Thebes,’ were published in 1907.

Nahkt’s tomb in the Valley of the Nobles was the first non-royal tomb I ever entered. It was a quiet January, my wife and I were the only tourists in the valley, which made us very popular with the guides and tomb caretakers. We spent a long time in this particular tomb, lit for us by mirrors reflecting the sunlight. The tomb caretaker told us the story of Nahkt’s statue found as if discarded, in the shaft. He showed where the name of Amun had been chiselled out wherever it appeared throughout the tomb, but was unable to tell us why.

He pointed out the richness of the artwork, particularly of the three musicians which broke with the conventional way of painting at that time.

When I decided to put pen to paper, I just had to include Nahkt, and all of the above elements are included in ‘The Awakening Aten’ with my own interpretation of events.

At first, Nahkt was depicted as a quiet cleric living his life, working in the temple, married to Tawy and sharing everything with ‘her’ son Amenemopet, preparing for his post-mortem journey to eternal paradise. This characterisation didn’t last long as Tawy became more the focus of my attention. Nahkt became a villain, with Tawy and her family central to the plot.

In the ‘historical notes’ at the end of the novel, I apologise to the spirit of Nahkt for my cruel depiction of him. I re-emphasise that apology here – but someone had to be ‘Mr. Nasty!’

We can never know the true story of Nahkt, what we do know however, is that he had accumulated a lot of wealth in his lifetime to have been able to create an eternal resting place as sumptuously decorated as this is. ‘The Awakening Aten’ contains one possible, although, I admit, probably unlikely, explanation of his life and death, but there could be many more.

One of the joys of writing historical fiction based so long ago, is that there are no records of events which could potentially restrain the writer, from pursuing character traits and life events. The history of Egypt is one of guess work and piecing together puzzles. The history was by word of mouth, in the intricate tales of story tellers which undoubtedly changed over the course of thousands of years, before the Greeks and the Romans came to put their own interpretations, on what they found, down on paper. We can seek help from the carvings on temple walls and stone tablets known as ‘stele’ which have been found in sites all over Egypt. ‘The Awakening Aten’ takes part of the story from the ‘Dream Stela’ of Thutmose IV standing between the paws of the Great Sphinx in Giza. Additionally the great rose granite stela of Amenhotep II found in his sun temple near to the Sphinx and a copy in Karnak makes fascinating reading and a great basis of a storyline. These, of course, are the stories of the victors – like most history.

One of the main aims of a novelist is to create believable characters who the reader loves or hates. As one reviewer of ‘The Awakening Aten’ told me, it is good to have someone to ‘either root for and/or to hope they come to a sticky end – you didn’t disappoint there!’

When I was writing about the characters in the novel, I used as my inspiration the items which were buried with them. Sadly, the American led expedition to the tomb of Nahkt, decided to send items back to the United States aboard a steam ship, which was cruelly torpedoed and sunk by a German U-Boat somewhere off the coast of Ireland. This included the stelophorous kneeling statuette of Nahkt holding a stela with a hymn to Ra, the sun god, which now lies somewhere at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Thanks to the exceptional artistic skills of Norman and Nina who made meticulous recordings we can know what some of them looked like – the picture above is a copy of the statuette as recorded by them.

In some parts of the world, there is a belief that a person is not dead so long as their name is mentioned. If that be true, then the Ancient Egyptians truly have attained that for which they strived so hard, – eternal life.

I would love to hear from readers or people interested in the life of Ancient Egyptians and can be contacted through my website https://www.aidankmorrissey-author.com, or facebook and twitter.

Thank you, Aidan K. Morrissey and Random Things Tours.

 

About the author

I am of Irish heritage and was the first member of my immediate family to be born outside of Ireland. My professional life has caused me to travel the world. I am now looking forward to settling in the North East of England, to concentrate on writing.

A graduate in Law from Leicester University, after working for some years in a commercial environment, I qualified as a Solicitor in 1981.

My career developed in an unusual way and I have lived and worked at various times in Italy, Brazil, the United States, India and Germany.

I have always had a love and fascination for history. A holiday in Egypt sparked a particular passion for Ancient Egypt, especially the latter part of the 18th Dynasty. A history, which Pharaoh Horemeb (Djeser-Kheperu-Ra circa 1319-1292 BCE) tried to destroy and which only came to light following the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922.

‘The Awakening Aten’ is the culmination of many years of research.

I have built up a substantial collection of academic books and novels on Ancient Egypt, its customs, traditions and daily life. I am fortunate to have been able to visit all of the major museums containing artefacts from Egypt throughout the world, as well as spending months in Egypt itself studying the funereal valleys and other sites. All of this supplemented by internet research.

This novel is the first in a plannned five book series, looking at the fictional lives of real people through a period of major political and religious change, spanning approximately 130 years.

My hobbies are reading, which I enjoy as much as I do writing, and taking bracing walks along the North East Coast and in the Northumberland Hills.

Website: http://www.aidenkmorrisey-author.com/ Twitter @AidanKMorrissey