They Call Me the Cat Lady – Amy Miller / #Review #BooksOnTour @bookouture @AmyBratley1

 

You’ve seen me on the street. You’ve walked past my house, and pointed, and wondered. The cat lady. All on my own, with only my five cats to keep me company. Did no-one ever tell you that you can’t judge a book by its cover?

Everyone in town knows Nancy Jones. She loves her cats. She loves her tumbledown house by the sea. She loves her job in the local school where she tries to help the children who need help the most. Nancy tries hard not to think about her past loves and where those led her…

Nancy never shares her secrets – because some doors are better kept locked. But one day she accepts a cat-sitting request from a local woman, and at the woman’s house, Nancy sees a photograph, in a bright-red frame. A photograph that opens the door to her painful past…

Soon Nancy doesn’t know what frightens her the most: letting her story out, or letting the rest of the world in. It’s impossible to find companionship without the risk of losing it. But can Nancy take that risk again?

 

 

My review

A devastating incident can turn your world upside down. It can have such an impact that you build walls around you and you only find solace in taking care of cats and people in need.

You think you are safe in your little shell but suddenly the past you tried so hard to put behind you is thrown in your face when you least expected it.

On the one hand you live through all the pain yet again. On the other hand it might be the start to full recovery.

The author takes us back in time so we can find out what happened. It’s a heartbreaking story and things were said in the heat of the moment. Now, years later, people find their way back to each other and the healing process can start for real.

You might say you will never fall in love again, but you never know what Cupid might have in store for you …

A lovely heartbreaking story with quite a few silver linings around the big black clouds. 4 stars.

Thank you,  Amy Miller, Bookouture and Netgalley.

 

About the author

Amy Miller is the pseudonym of Amy Bratley, who started her writing life working on magazines and newspapers. She has previously written three women’s fiction novels published by Pan Macmillan, the first of which was a bestseller in Italy. Her day job is being a freelance managing editor of both a vintage interiors magazine and a food magazine, two subjects she’s passionate about. Amy lives in Dorset with her husband and two children.

www.amybratley.co.uk

Daring Dreamer – Deborah King / #Interview #BlogTour @rararesources @dkingnovels

 

Two best friends. Two fresh starts. Will old regrets sabotage their second chance?

Janna’s heart is heavy with grief and broken by betrayal. But as she leaves the big city for a quaint midwestern town, the future feels less frightening with her best friend, Shelby, by her side. After landing a job in the local fresh market and the attentions of a handsome architect, she may yet learn to heal old scars…

Shelby loves the position Janna secured for her and the new sense of community, but wishes small-town life wasn’t so lonely. After packing up all she could salvage from her painful past, she endures more than her fair share of bumps on the winding road to recovery. Afraid her heart may be too damaged for real love, she drowns her sorrows in drunken nights at bars.

With new heartaches around every corner, can Janna and Shelby stay true to their friendship and their dream of lasting freedom?

 

 

Q&A

Enjoy!

***

1. When and where do you prefer to write?

I’ve found that writing in the early evening until ten or eleven o’clock proves to be beneficial for me. I write my stories in my comfy, family room chair, with my cat sitting on my lap.

2. Do you have a certain ritual?

I use a mechanical pencil and an extra black eraser when my pencil’s eraser disintegrates along with legal pads for the first drafts and various long notes that pop into my mind when I’m not writing. I love post-it notes for specific words, page numbers, and website URL’s, etc. My desk is surrounded by them. Google is my primary research tool for any required credible data in my stories. After all, they are fiction. I write in word, on my computer to create the final first draft. I can’t live without my workouts. I have to take breaks, and as I workout my story ideas ripen. My multitalented editor is the final step in my writing process.

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

Water and tea are my go-to drinks as I write. I also enjoy an occasional Moscow Mule.

4. What is your favourite book?

If I had to pick my favorite book, it would be Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Though, I do enjoy many other books, particularly those written by Maeve Binchy and Liane Moriarty.

5. Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?

I will not stray from writing women’s fiction, although, I am bouncing a few ideas back and forth about adding a bit of suspense to my next series.

6. Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?

Oh, yes! I’ve been surrounded by many unique individual throughout my life. Of course, I tend to exaggerate their looks, personalities, and behaviors.

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

I carry my legal pad or my phone’s note app with me at all times. You never know when an inspirational phrase or idea will strike. It could also be something or someone I happen to find stimulating.

8. Which genre do you not like at all?

I find it impossible to connect with Sci-Fi. It boggles my mind to say the least.

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

I would love to co-write a book with Liane Moriarty. I find her women’s fiction stories extremely entertaining, interesting, and well-written.

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

That is difficult to answer, because they’re all beautiful and intriguing in their own way. Off the top of my head I would say Austria, Ireland, and Norway just to name a few.

I would like to personally thank you for participating in Daring Dreamer’s, Rachel’s Random Resources tour.

Thank you,  Deborah King and Rachel’s Random Resources.

 

About the author 

 Deborah King is a spirited woman who was inspired to pursue her dreams due to her mother’s death from early onset Alzheimer’s disease. She has the unique ability to read people and tackle life’s hardships.

Deborah is a distinctive new voice in inspirational, romantic women’s fiction. After raising two children, working with a not-for-profit wildlife rescue organization, and reading too many books to count, she retired from her personal training and weight management business to follow her dream of writing.

She is extremely grateful for having the opportunity to work with many different people sharing and teaching what inspires her, which you’ll catch glimpses of in her books.

Deborah’s lived in several diverse areas in her city as well as three years in a rural setting. She lives in Missouri with her supportive husband, two rescue cats, who believe they’re dogs, her mini fitness store, and her eclectic collection of books.

For all the latest information, excerpts from her upcoming books, general fun, or to chat, follow Deborah on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DeborahKingAuthor.

She loves to hear from her fans. To follow Deborah’s social media links, reviews of her women’s fiction books, her blog, and to sign up for her monthly updates, visit her at https://deborahkingbooks.com.

Social Media Links 

https://deborahkingauthor.com

Facebook – DeborahKingAuthor

Facebook – Deborah King The Inside Scoop: Advanced Reader Group.

Twitter – https://twitter.com/dkingnovels/

Pinterest – debbiekingstl

GoodReads – deborahking2018 (Profile Link)

 

The Universal Mind – Peter Weisz / #Extract #Blog Tour #SilverDaggerBookTours @SDSXXTours @PeterWeisz4

 

Are we all slaves to a gross illusion? Who are we? What is the mind, what is consciousness and what is reality? This book offers educated answers and explanations to all these questions and more. This book motivates the reader to reconsider everything they think they know about themselves and the world today, examining the different models of creation, evolution of humanity and the universe, the essence of matter and of life itself, exploring all manner of scientific, theological, psychological and philosophical and metaphysical hypotheses and offering insights into ancient mystical wisdom and the road to enlightenment. Can it be, that this complex, living, breathing, sophisticated, opinionated, creative and conscious entity that we call human, is made up merely from a few invisible atoms of nothingness? We are not simply made from flesh and blood – we are beings of an infinity of dimensions, too vast to contemplate, but our brains and our senses are only able to perceive that which is rooted in matter, for that is the substance from which we believe we are made. What we call reality, is most definitely not what it appears to be.

 

 

Extract

***

Imagine that you and me are standing facing each other. Now let’s begin to exchange our body parts. We’ll begin by exchanging our brains. Remember, my brain needs to be connected to your spinal column and all the nerves that run through your body, including your eyes, ears, mouth, fingers…everything. Now, have you become me? Let’s exchange hearts. But my heart has to be connected to arteries and veins and pump the blood that is in your body, so are you yet me? Next, how about we exchange our hands and feet. Then, our arms and legs. Then we can go a step further and exchange the largest organ we have, which is our skin. Are you still you? Am I still me? OK, now let’s exchange some internal organs, say, our livers, lungs, stomachs, kidneys and spleens. How do “you” feel now? So, let’s swap our eyes, ears, nose, mouth…all our bones and our whole torsos and faces. You definitely look like me now…but are you me – and am I you? Can you see where I’m going with this? Let’s keep on until we have exchanged everything. Are you now me looking at you, or are you now a different you, looking at me? Have you become me? What if we were now to swap back the parts of our brains most associated with memory, being the hippocampus, the amygdala and the neocortex. Would you then be you with my body, or me with your memories? The point is, at what moment do you become me? How much of ourselves do we have to exchange before this transformation takes place? And what about our “souls” or “spirits”, or our minds?

When you say “I am” …something or other, who and where is the “I” that is saying or thinking those things? What is your mind made from? Your mind is not a conglomeration or a mere collection of your memories and experiences. It is not a “thing” that lives in your brain. It is not something that is made from any “stuff”, so where does that “mind” reside in the physical world if it is not physical? Is it inside you – or does it just hover somewhere nearby?

Thank you, Peter Weisz and Silver Dagger Book Tours.

 

About the author

Peter Weisz (Dip Psych, HND, BACP) was born in London, England in 1961 and practices as a psychoanalyst and therapist, specializing in psychodynamics and the study of the subconscious and unconscious mind. He majored in psychology, music, English language and literature. He is the founding director of “One 2 One Counseling”, an organization offering personal therapeutic support to those with emotional and psychological disorders. He has worked at a number of private rehabilitation facilities and treatment centres since 1998 including the world renowned Priory Clinic in London, England. Peter is knowledgeable in ancient and contemporary philosophy, transcendental thought, general science, theology and mystical & esoteric writings, both classical and modern. He has also worked as a professional musician, singer/songwriter, producer and stage director for 25 years, travelling the world with a variety of bands and is the founding director of “A Major Events”, a music production company in Cape Town, South Africa, where he currently resides.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Amazon * Goodreads

Author Links

Website: https://www.peterweisz1.com/theuniversalmind

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PeterWeisz4

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Peter-Weisz/e/B07GNGYF1K

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/70016254-peter-weisz

A Clean Canvas – Elizabeth Mundy / #Interview #BlogTour @rararesources @ElizabethEMundy

 

Crime always leaves a stain…

Lena Szarka, a Hungarian cleaner, dusts off her detective skills when a masterpiece is stolen from a gallery she cleans with her cousin Sarika.  When Sarika goes missing too, accusations start to fly.

Convinced her cousin is innocent, Lena sweeps her way through the secrets of the London art scene. But with the evidence against Sarika mounting and the police on her trail, Lena needs to track down the missing painting if she is to clear her cousin.

Embroiling herself in the sketchy world of thwarted talents, unpaid debts and elegant fraudsters, Lena finds that there’s more to this gallery than meets the eye.

 

 

Q&A

Enjoy!

***

1. When and where do you prefer to write?

I wrote my first novel In Strangers’ Houses when I was working full time. It’s about a Hungarian cleaner who turns detective when her friend goes missing. I’d treat writing like any other project – an hour would go into my diary every day after work and I’d make myself comfortable as soon as I got home and write until my husband came through the door an hour or two later. I always write reclined on my sofa – sitting at a desk feels too much like being at work.

I wrote the second in the series, A Clean Canvas, the same way, but I was also pregnant. It was harder to find the energy, but luckily that book came very easily. It’s set in a gallery in Islington and sees Lena’s cleaning agency accused of theft when a masterpiece goes missing. The conflict between the very down-to-earth Lena and the pretentious London art scene was great fun to write – and I hope it will be fun to read too!

2. Do you have a certain ritual?

I just sit down and write.  I think it’s a mistake to wait until I’m feeling inspired and creative – I could be waiting a long time! Instead I try to write a little every day – sometimes I’m pleased with what I’ve done, other times it needs a lot of editing. But that’s fine, the words aren’t carved from stone and can always be changed later.

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

Unlike Lena, I love to drink tea – as a die-hard coffee fan, she’d be appalled!  But I also like to munch on the kiflis my mother bakes. They are nut filled pastries based on a recipe from my Hungarian grandmother and something Lena frequently indulges in too. There’s a recipe for them at the end of my third book A Messy Affair, but that’s not out till January 2020.

4. What is your favourite book?

The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald. The Jazz age is vividly drawn, the parties often hilarious and the depiction of the American dream powerful. But for me it’s the little details that are the best.  Fitzgerald makes dog biscuits decomposing in milk poetic, symbolic and beautiful. That’s the kind of writing I can read over and over and never tire of.

5. Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?

I love writing crime because there’s always that element of mystery to keep the pages turning, but I’d like to try something else one day. There’s some romance in my novels between my Hungarian cleaner and a police constable and I’d like to have a go at writing that sort of novel perhaps. I’ve also had an idea for a thriller, and I’d absolutely love to write something more literary. But for the moment I’m sticking to crime.

6. Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?

I take inspiration from things people around me do and say, but I wouldn’t say any of my characters are straight representations of anyone I know. You have to be careful with that as friends and family will be on the lookout to see themselves in your books. I have one character in my first book who is a little lazy, messy and loves sausage rolls. My poor husband is convinced it is based on him!

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

Yes! There’s nothing worse than coming up with a great idea and then forgetting it. Because I write murder mysteries I worry if the police ever came across that notebook – it’s full of ideas for how to kill people!

8. Which genre do you not like at all?

I think all genres have their good and bad books. I can’t read anything too gory though, the images come back to haunt me. I keep my murders fairly clean for that reason – I never dwell for too long on the blood and guts.

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

I’d love to write with Alexander Mccall Smith. I’ve seen him talk and he’s hilarious. His books have a wonderful warmth to them that I really enjoy. I think my Hungarian cleaner would love to travel to Botswana and work for the Number One Ladies Detective Agency!

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

While I was writing my first book in the Lena Szarka series In Strangers’ Houses I went to Hungary to research. I had already drawn inspiration from my Hungarian relatives, but it was brilliant to be there in the flesh, listen to their speech patterns  – and eat a lot of Hungarian cakes!

Thank you, Elizabeth Mundy and Rachel’s Random Resources.

 

About the author 

Elizabeth Mundy’s grandmother was a Hungarian immigrant to America who raised five children on a chicken farm in Indiana. An English Literature graduate from Edinburgh University, Elizabeth is a marketing director for an investment firm and lives in London with her messy husband and two young children. A Clean Canvas is the second book in the Lena Szarka mystery series about a Hungarian cleaner who turns detective.

Social Media Links 

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @ElizabethEMundy

www.elizabethmundy.com

The Silver Ladies of Penny Lane – Dee MacDonald / #Review #BooksOnTour @bookouture @DMacDonaldAuth

 

Tess and Orla have been best friends throughout most of their adult lives. So when life gave them lemons and their loved ones let them down, they pooled their resources and bought a dressmakers shop on the corner of Penny Lane. And they’ve been doing just fine ever since.

But one day, while studying her tired eyes and shapeless figure in the mirror, sixty-two-year-old Tess realised that she doesn’t want her life to be just fine anymore. She wants it to be extraordinary. For as long as she can remember she’s put everyone else first. Now she wants to rediscover herself – and experience the kind of whirlwind adventure that will have the power make her smile when she’s confined to the armchair of a retirement home.

With the encouragement of fun-loving and quirky Orla, Tess joins an over-the-hill dating agency and the two friends book a singles cruise around the Mediterranean. And that’s when their adventure of a lifetime really begins…

 

 

My review

Everytime I see the cover of this book, I start humming the Beatles song. So, thank God it’s not an audio review. LOL. I would not want to put you through this. 😉

What I like about this author’s books is that she puts the more mature people in the spotlight. These people often have been through a lot and might have let themselves go for a while. But it’s not because you are over 50, 60 or older, you are doomed to be alone for the rest of your life or you don’t want to look your best.

Can they be as naive as someone much younger? Sure thing and there are always people, no matter their age who (try to) take advantage. Do you have to blame yourself for being taken advantage of? Maybe yes, you should be a little more critical, but it still does not give the other person the right to treat you the way they do (did).

Is it unusual to say oh, I really should not to this or that, but doing it anyway in the meantime? No, because when you take a moment you will probably realize you have done it yourself on one (or more) occasion(s).

Society often dictates things and you feel obliged to follow through, but there is nothing wrong with being selfish from time to time and do something you feel good about even though others might not agree.

Look for a new partner (or not), go on a diet (or not). It does not matter as long as you feel it’s the right thing for you, go for it. That the lesson I have learned here.

I enjoyed this book. Is it laughing out loud? Maybe not, but it made me smile nevertheless. Is it feel good? It certainly is. The road to happiness is a rocky and twisty one, but if you do not give up, you will reach your destiny. 5 stars.

Thank you, Dee MacDonald, Bookouture and Netgalley.

 

About the author

The Runaway Wife is Dee’s first (published) novel but in fact she wrote her very first book – at around seven years of age! This was a love story which she duly illustrated before sewing all the pages together up one side. Writing was what she ‘was good at’ in school and she won several essay competitions, but then life got in the way and she didn’t pick up a pen again until after retirement.

Dee left Scotland and headed for London at the beginning of the swinging sixties. After typing her way round the West End she became an air stewardess on long haul routes with BA (then BOAC) for eight years. After that she did market research at Heathrow for both the government statistics and for BA, she became a sales rep and was the receptionist at the Thames Television Studios in Teddington when they had the franchise.

She then ran a small B&B for ten years in Cornwall, where she lives with her husband. Dee has one son and two grandsons who live locally.

The red gene – Barbara Lamplugh / #Interview #BlogTour #LoveBooksGroupTours #Barbara Lamplugh @UrbaneBooks

 

When Rose, a young English nurse with humanitarian ideals, decides to volunteer in the Spanish Civil War, she is little prepared for the experiences that await her. Working on one front after another, witness to all the horrors of war, she falls in love with a Republican fighter, Miguel. In 1939 as defeat becomes inevitable, Rose is faced with a decision that will change her life and leave her with lasting scars. Interspersed with Rose’s story is that of Consuelo, a girl growing up in a staunchly Catholic family on the other side of the ideological divide. Never quite belonging, treated unkindly, she discovers at a young age that she was adopted but her attempts to learn more about her origins are largely thwarted. It falls to the third generation, to Consuelo’s daughter Marisol, born in the year of Franco’s death and growing up in a rapidly changing Spain, to investigate the dark secrets of her family and find the answers that have until now eluded her mother.

 

 

Q&A

I hope you like this interview

***

1.When and where do you prefer to write?

I’m at my best, my most creative in the morning, though ideas can come at any time. I use my spare bedroom as a study-cum-writing room. My desk is by the window and as I’m lucky enough to live in a very sunny part of the world (Granada in Spain), on most days of the year, I have the sun streaming in. It does make a difference. I’ve noticed that on the few grey days, I feel less inspired! From my window, I look across the valley to wooded hills and the beautiful white summer palace of the Alhambra, the Generalife.

2. Do you have a certain ritual?

Not really. I start by going over what I’ve written the day before and revising it. I find that helps get me back into the story so that I can move on with it. But I don’t think that counts as a ritual.

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

I try not to take any food into my writing room as crumbs attract bugs – my house hosts everything from ants and woodlice to centipedes and locusts, though the resident geckos help by gobbling up the smaller ones. In the summer I usually have a glass of water to hand. From time to time I’ll wander out to the kitchen and snack on whatever delicious fruit is in season.

4. What is your favourite book?

That’s a really hard question; there are so many books I love. But if I have to choose one, I’ll go for Laurie Lee’s As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning for his lyrical writing and the freshness of his observations as a 19 year-old youth busking his way through 1930s Spain with his violin.

5. Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?

My novels don’t tend to fit easily into a genre. But I am working on a memoir, which I’ve never done before, so the answer must be yes.

6. Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?

Never directly. I would say my characters are based on my knowledge of people, acquired over a lifetime, but that’s not the same thing. I draw on my observations and experience and I’m incorrigibly curious about people – about what motivates them, how they negotiate their lives and relationships.

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

When I remember. Often I forget and have to rummage around in my bag for some scrap of paper – a ticket or receipt or even a paper serviette – that I can use to write down an idea.

8. Which genre do you not like at all?

There are genres I rarely read: fantasy, horror, crime… But I can think of books I’ve loved and admired in nearly all genres. I might once have said war novels. But now I’ve written one myself – though The Red Gene is much more than a war novel.

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

If it was fiction, a man perhaps, to get the male take on life. No particular man in mind but probably not a man I was in a relationship with!

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

I already live in a foreign country, Spain, although after twenty years it no longer feels like a foreign country, it feels like home. I love travel so an excuse for spending a longish time in another country certainly appeals. It would have to be a country where I could speak the language so perhaps one of the South or Central American countries that have long been on my bucket list. Or India, which fascinates me, and where English is widely spoken. These days with the Internet and Google, you can research almost any subject without even leaving your desk. However, to set a novel (let alone write a travel book) in another country, it seems to me that you have to spend a considerable time there in order to absorb its ambience: the people, the culture, the landscape in all its seasons.

Thank you, Barbara Lamplugh and Love Books Group Tours.

 

About the author

Barbara Lamplugh was born and grew up in the suburbs of London. After gaining a degree in Language and English from York University, she trained as a librarian and worked in public libraries in Shropshire before the travel bug took hold, followed by the writing bug (see Author page).

In the meantime, her day jobs included working as a librarian, as a project officer for Age Concern (inspiration for one of her earlier novels), running a Volunteer Bureau and, briefly, recording milk yields on Shropshire farms. She also found time to train as a counsellor and use her skills with two local charities, and to write occasional articles for magazines and newspapers, including The Guardian.

In 1999, with her two children now independent, she moved to Granada, Spain, where she found work as an English teacher, an editor and translator and a features writer for the magazine Living Spain, the job of her dreamsAt the same time, she continued to write fiction. As she gradually got under the skin of her adopted city and country, she began to choose Spanish settings for her novels. Secrets of the Pomegranate, published in 2015, was set in Granada. The Red Gene, due out in April 2019, is set in various locations in both Spain and England.

Besides writing, she enjoys cycling, walking, dancing, jazz and, of course, reading. Although happily settled in Granada, she makes regular visits to the UK to spend time with her children and grandchildren.

Forever People – Alison Lyke / #Extract #BlogTour #ForeverPeople @AlisonLyke @RRBookTours1

 

Welcome to Zeta City, where the whole world goes to die. Here, the Node System uploads the minds of the dying so they can spend eternity in a digital Promised Land. But, this cyber heaven is causing hell on earth for the living because the System forces them to earn Points to buy data in the afterlife.

Camille is a salty mercenary out to hoard as many Points as possible by exploiting the dying with illegal technology. She’s on the hunt for Toy, a rebel leader who uploaded lethal technology to her own brain in an attempt to wipe out everyone’s Node Points.

Camille goes to increasingly dangerous lengths in pursuit of Toy. She soon finds that the Node is full of warm reunions with loved ones and otherworldly creations. It’s also full of lies.

“Forget poetic dreams of ghosts in the machines. We are the machine. We donated our souls to it.”

 

 

Extract

Enjoy!

***

Chapter One

CAMILLE

Camille had three kinds of clients: those who were trying to extract funds or rare items from someone else before they died, those looking to find a loved one before they died, and regulars with a myriad of shady reasons for needing repeated, illegal services. Wren Barrett was Camille’s favorite type of the three. He was a balding account manager, from the Delta Zone, who’d come to Zeta City to find his son. Like most others arriving in Zeta for the first time, he was ill-equipped, soft, and confused.

He washed up in Camille’s office like a beached manatee: gasping for air and bleached by the sun. Her office walls were stark white, as was her desk and other furniture, and even the floor, giving the woman herself the appearance of a smudge on a piece of blank paper.

Camille wore a grey tank top, black shorts, and she was unadorned aside from her wrist mounted reality augmentation device. The device’s long touch-sensitive screen and pad ran down her forearm; her RAP was an impressive piece of technology that marked her as wealthy and well connected. She also had a mop of frizzy, black hair that hung raggedly around her ears.

While Wren Barrett spoke, Camille sipped on an orange juice box straw and watched him closely. Mr. Barrett’s son was dying. Sashi Barrett was born dying, even more so than the rest of us. Sashi had a heart condition that made life a painful struggle. So, Sashi did what many people from all over the world do when they want to die; he came to Zeta City.

Zeta City was the capital of the Zeta Net, so-called because the entire area was covered by a wireless network designed to upload people’s consciousness at the time of death and store it in the Node’s massive computer system. Zeta was not the only Net, there were dozens of others, but many people chose Zeta because Zeta was the first netted city in the world.

Generations of people made pilgrimages to Zeta before the other Nets were built, and now some people superstitiously clung to it as the place to go to die. Maybe it was because Zeta gave the world the first promise of a tangible afterlife. “Going to die in Zeta” was the new “going to church on Sunday.”

“You can find Sashi?” Mr. Barrett asked sadly, “you can keep him alive?”

“I can find him and keep him alive, more or less, until you’re ready to let him go into the Node. I accept cash and other forms of payment. You know what I mean,” Camille said.

“Of course. I’ll transfer two-thousand Node Points to you, as a thank you for your service, along with four hundred in cash. Does that work?”

“No rush. We’ll sort it once it’s over, Wren.”

When Camille stood up to shake Mr. Barrett’s hands, he was surprised to see that she that she was a thick woman with large breasts and the hint of a belly. He was expecting a fit, muscled mercenary. Then he realized, there was no reason for her to be fit, most of her bounties couldn’t run away. . . . .

Camille found Sashi, who was a boy – twenty at the most – in an alley two blocks from the Water Street Gate, in an area known for drug abuse and homelessness. He was a heap of bones and in dirty, Central Charity-issued clothes. His method of suicide, a drawn-out opiate overdose, was not doing him any favors. Camille double-checked the hologram on her wrist RAP to verify his identity, and then crouched next to him.

“You wanna tell me why you’re trying to die?” Camille asked him softly. He took a moment to answer. It was clear that he hadn’t carried on a conversation for quite some time.

“Death in the Node has got to be better than life here.” He struggled.

Her suicidal bounties always gave some form of that same statement as their reason for killing themselves.

“You got enough Node Points, kiddo? Don’t want to die without enough of those NPs.” Camille always asked her dying bounties some form of that question. It turned out that Sashi had more than enough Node Points to have a comfortable afterlife. The wealth that afforded his addiction would also support him in death. It wasn’t supposed to work that way, that wasn’t how the Founders set it up, but the Founders were long gone down the Node’s rabbit hole.

“Do you want to see your dad before you go? He’s the one who sent me,” Camille asked. Sashi’s dull eyes lit up, and faded just as fast.

“I won’t make it through the hour,” he mumbled.

“It’s okay. I have a Confiner.” Camille tapped her wrist RAP. She called Mr. Barrett and then hovered over Sashi in the alley for the rest of the afternoon. The device within her wrist RAP stabilized the electronic version of Sashi’s mind inside his body, and it would last as long as she was close to him. Once she turned off the Confiner or moved away from the deceased, his consciousness would release into the Net and, eventually, be uploaded into the Node. The technology wasn’t above the table, but it was also quite rare.

Camille would have preferred moving Sashi to her place, which functioned as an office, apartment, and an occasional hospice, but he did not want to move and she was compelled to accommodate the dying. Sashi did die before his father came, forcing Camille to use the Confiner.

Camille often chased after debtors and thieves who were trying to die before they could be seized. She would hold them, in their dead, damaged bodies until they resolved their issues with their victims or creditors. But some days, like that day with Sashi, were just sad and slow. On these days, Camille felt like an angel, guiding the broken home.

She stood about fifteen feet away from Mr. Barrett and his dead son (the farthest that the Confiner could reach and still hold the dead in place) as they spoke softly and tearfully. The boy’s mother, who had been estranged from both of them, showed up.

Afterward, Camille went home to her apartment, which was on the other side of a door in the back of her office. She left the clinical, white room for the for the chaos and color of her own apartment. She checked her wrist RAP to make sure that Mr. Barrett had transferred the promised Points. Satisfied, she unhooked the device from her wrist and set it on her coffee table. She sat down on her sofa and cried for several minutes before tearfully ordering wild mushroom soup and crusty bread from her favorite diner.

The next morning, Camille received a call from her least favorite kind of client, a regular named Cody. He wanted Camille to extract a young woman, named Toy, from an old cabin on the edge of Zeta’s bayou and bring her to Camille’s office, if possible. Otherwise, Camille was to confine Toy in place until Cody arrived.

Thank you, Alison Lyke and R&R Books Tours.

 

About the author

I’m an author and an English and Communications professor from Rochester, NY. I’m an insatiable reader and a dedicated writer. I’ve spent many years honing my skills and I now enjoy helping others find and explore their own voices. I write fantasy and science fiction and I aim to captivate and inspire. I’ve written two published novels: a modern mythology titled Honey, which came out in 2013 and Forever People, a cyberpunk science fiction slated to come out in the spring of 2019. I also regularly contribute poetry and short stories to literary magazines.

Alison Lyke

The Family Lie – Jake Cross / #Review #BooksOnTour @bookouture @JakeCrossAuthor

 

You whispered goodnight to your daughter. You didn’t know that would be your last goodbye.

You wake up in the middle of the night.

Your five-year-old daughter is gone.

Your husband is nowhere to be seen.

Your family think he took her.

The police believe he’s guilty.

But he wouldn’t do that, would he?

He’s a loving father. A loving husband. Isn’t he?

 

 

My review

This month seems a month full of ‘meeting’ unknown (at least unknown to me) authors. It’s always a pleasure reading a story written by a favourite author because you know you will be in for a treat. But I also love being surprised by what new authors have in store.

The blurb is already sending chills down my spine and the book’s opener is very promising.

Maybe the story is not the most suspenseful I have read, but you certainly need to keep focused because the twists and turns make your head spin and if you do not pay attention you will have missed out on something. You are thrown into the past and dragged back into the present so fast you feel like you are sitting in a time machine. 4 stars.

Thank you, Jake Cross, Bookouture and Netgalley.

 

About the author 

Jake has making stuff up from a real early age. His parents never believed his silly lies when he was young, so he still has no idea why he thought he could invent a decent story as an adult. But he kept trying, and here we are. THE CHOICE is his first novel, the first of three thrillers to be published by Bookouture, and he hopes you like it. If you don’t, he at least hopes you don’t ask for a refund.

Social Media Links

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JakeCrossAuthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17625443.Jake_Cross

Sketch – Didi Oviatt / #CoverReveal #BlogTour #CreativiaPub @RRBookTours1 @Didi_Oviatt

When the body of the local girl, Misty Crawl, is found dismembered in an underground bunker, the town is thrown into a whirlwind of panic and speculation. Times aren’t exactly smooth sailing with a depression in full swing. The spaced out community of farmers pull together as one, trying to uncover the guilty party.

Thrown smack in the middle of such chaos, is a group of teens. They’re known troublemakers, but have good hearts. Although they’re innocent, the local law enforcers believe otherwise, and the true killer is lurking far too close for comfort. Will the four be able to uncover the truth before one of them pays the price for Misty’s death? Or will the brutal killer strike again, attacking the heart of the four?

(Sketch is a young adult psychological thriller. It’s a quick easy read, appropriate and gripping for mid-teens and up with no sexual content and some bloody gore. Parent’s be advised.)

 

 

Cover reveal

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About the author

Didi Oviatt is an intuitive soul. She’s a wife and mother first, with one son and one daughter. Her thirst to write was developed at an early age, and she never looked back. After digging down deep and getting in touch with her literary self, she’s writing mystery/thrillers like Sketch, Search For MayleeAggravated MomentumJustice for Belle, and New Age Lamians.Along with a six- piece short story collection called the Time Wasters. She’s also collaborated with Kim Knight in an ongoing interactive short story anthology The Suspenseful Collection. When Didi doesn’t have her nose buried in a book, she can be found enjoying a laid back outdoorsy life. Time spent sleeping under the stars, hiking, fishing, and ATVing the back roads of beautiful mountain trails, sun-bathing in the desert heat, along with watching the relaxing dance of a campfire plays an important part of her day-to-day lifestyle.

Didi can be found on her Website/BlogGoodreadsFacebookTwitterInstagram and most importantly AMAZON

Caught in a web – Joseph Lewis / #GuestPost #MiniBlogBlitz @rararesources @jrlewisauthor

 

The bodies of high school and middle school kids are found dead from an overdose of heroin and fentanyl. The drug trade along the I-94 and I-43 corridors and the Milwaukee Metro area is controlled by MS-13, a violent gang originating from El Salvador. Ricardo Fuentes is sent from Chicago to Waukesha to find out who is cutting in on their business, shut it down and teach them a lesson.  But he has an ulterior motive: find and kill a fifteen-year-old boy, George Tokay, who had killed his cousin the previous summer.

Detectives Jamie Graff, Pat O’Connor and Paul Eiselmann race to find the source of the drugs, shut down the ring, and find Fuentes before he kills anyone else, especially George or members of his family. The three detectives come to realize that the ring has its roots in a high school among the students and staff.

 

 

Guest post

Enjoy!

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The Antagonist and the Protagonist

            Human beings are not perfect. I think each of us can pick out qualities within us that we would rather do without. There are qualities in each of us that, well, we need to work on. There are faults. In fact, I’m willing to wager that for some of us, if not most of us, it is easier to identify our faults than it is for us to identify those qualities we are proud of.

The characters of any book have to be real to the reader. The protagonist as well as the antagonist should have both good and bad qualities. There should be both strengths and weaknesses. At times, the weaknesses in the protagonist that make him or her loveable and interesting. It is these qualities that push the reader into the pages as we follow along on the adventure just to make certain nothing extraordinarily bad or catastrophic happens to our heroes.

In Caught in a Web, one of my favorite characters, Brian, suffers. His mom and dad can’t recover from the loss of Brian’s twin brother. Brian is neglected, left out, and basically on his own. He doesn’t always make the best decisions, but I’m willing to bet each of us did some stupid things along the way as we grew up. A counselor, Jeremy, guides him, works with him and provides him with the structure that is lacking in Brian’s own home. Brian has been friends with Jeremy’s adopted kids for several years and it dawns on Brian that he is more welcome in Jeremy’s home than in his own.

I think the reader identifies with Brian because, as I stated, we don’t like to see anyone suffer, especially kids. Deep down, we want kids to be happy and successful. This is certainly true of our own kids, isn’t it?

George, one of my readers’ favorite characters, is a fifteen-year-old Navajo Native American. He is displaced from all he knew and loved because his family had been murdered execution style in another book, Stolen Lives. He has been adopted into Jeremy’s family. Relatively speaking, he is happy. He is cared for. He is loved. As James Patterson does with his Alex Cross character, I move George and the other characters from my previous books into other stories and adventures. As George and the others move forward, there is baggage, some known, some unknown to the reader. This baggage, both good and loveable contrasts to those qualities that aren’t so loveable. Kids make mistakes. There are lapses in judgment. We’ve all had them as we grew up. Some of us still have these lapses in judgment, don’t we? As I said, characters in a book need to be real.

Now, enter the antagonist, or in the case of Caught in a Web, the antagonists. Yes, there are several bad guys as the reader finds out. One is more evil than the other. They have a purpose, and I purposely hide the purpose from the reader until close to the end of the book. In fact, the reader will find out who the antagonists are before the reader finds out why they are the way they are. That is done purposefully. In this story, the greater puzzle is the why, not the who, although I am rather proud of the climax.

The antagonist in any mystery is generally not liked by the reader. They cheat, they kill, they rob, and they create all sorts of mayhem. They are intentional in their infliction of harm on the protagonist. They come in all shapes, sizes and ages. They can be male or female.

It is this tension that sets up the plot of Caught in a Web. One of the antagonists, the truly evil antagonist without a conscience, will threaten members of Jeremy’s family. Again, no one likes to see kids struggle or come to harm. It is this edge, this tension, that the reader rides on until the end of the story.

             Thank you, Joseph Lewis and Rachel’s Random Resources.

 

About the author 

Joseph Lewis has written five books: Caught in a Web; Taking Lives; Stolen Lives; Shattered Lives, and Splintered Lives. His sixth, Spiral into Darkness, debuts January 17, 2019 from Black Rose Writing. Lewis has been in education for 42 years and counting as a teacher, coach, counselor and administrator. He is currently a high school principal and resides in Virginia with his wife, Kim, along with his daughters, Hannah and Emily. His son, Wil, is deceased.

Lewis uses his psychology and counseling background to craft his characters which helps to bring them to life. His books are topical and fresh and appeal to anyone who enjoys crime thriller fiction with grit and realism and a touch of young adult thrown in.

Social Media Links 

Twitter at @jrlewisauthor

Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Joseph.Lewis.Author

Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Joseph-Lewis/e/B01FWB9AOI /