The Midwife of Auschwitz by Anna Stuart / #SpotlightPost #PublicationDay @bookouture @annastuartbooks

Auschwitz, 1943: As I held the tiny baby in my arms, my fingers traced the black tattoo etched across her little thigh. And I prayed that one day this set of numbers, identical to her mother’s, would have the power to reunite a family torn apart by war…

Inspired by an incredible true story, this poignant novel tells of one woman’s fight for love, life and hope during a time of unimaginable darkness.

Ana Kaminski is pushed through the iron gates of Auschwitz beside her frightened young friend Ester Pasternak. As they reach the front of the line, Ana steps forward and quietly declares herself a midwife – and Ester her assistant. Their arms are tattooed and they’re ordered to the maternity hut. Holding an innocent new-born baby, Ana knows the fate of so many are in her hands, and vows to do everything she can to save them.

When two guards in their chilling SS uniforms march in and snatch a blond-haired baby from its mother it’s almost too much for Ana to bear. Consoling the distraught woman, Ana realises amidst the terrible heartache there is a glimmer of hope. The guards are taking the healthiest babies and placing them with German families, so they will survive. And there are whispers the war is nearly over… Ana and Ester begin to secretly tattoo little ones with their mother’s numbers, praying one day they might be reunited.

Then, early one morning, Ana notices the small bump under Ester’s thin striped clothing…

***

***

Spotlight Post

Thank you

***

About the Author

I wanted to be an author from the moment I could pick up a pen and was writing boarding-school novels by the age of nine. I made the early mistake of thinking I ought to get a ‘proper job’ and went into Factory Planning – a career that gave me some wonderful experiences, amazing friends and even a fantastic husband, but didn’t offer much creative scope. So when I stopped to have children I took the chance to start the ‘improper job’ of writing. It’s not been easy but I love it and can’t see myself ever stopping.

The Berlin Zookeeper is the first in my new series of WW2 novels. It’s a dual timeline novel set in Berlin Zoo in the present day and at the climax of the war, as the keepers battle to save the lives of both their animals and themselves in the face of terrible hardships. Coming this August is The Secret Diary, exploring the troubles facing a bold group of young women trying to integrate back into ‘normal’ society after life as a tight-knit team of ‘gunner girls’ – and trying to hide the secret that binds them…

I also write medieval fiction as Joanna Courtney.

***

Author Links

website – annastuartbooks.com 

twitter – @annastuartbooks

facebook – @annastuartauthor

***

***

Book Link

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Midwife-Auschwitz-heartbreaking-emotional-historical-ebook/dp/B09VF3BGWD/

Advertentie

Muskets and Minuets by Lindsey S. Fera / #Extract #BlogTour @maryanneyarde @AuthorLinzFera

***

Love. Politics. War.

Amidst mounting tensions between the British crown and the American colonists of Boston, Annalisa Howlett struggles with her identity and purpose as a woman. Rather than concern herself with proper womanly duties, like learning to dance a minuet or chasing after the eligi-ble and charming Jack Perkins, Annalisa prefers the company of her brother, George, and her beloved musket, Bixby. She intends to join the rebellion, but as complications in her personal life intensify, and the colonies inch closer to war with England, everything Annalisa thought about her world and womanhood are transformed forever.

Join Annalisa on her journey to discover what it truly means to be a woman in the 18th cen-tury, all set against the backdrop of some of the most pivotal moments in American history

***

***

Extract

In the dimmed twilight, Annalisa paced the foyer of her house. The old clock chimed half-eight. George had left the farm mid-morning. When will he return? Will he return?

A boulder overtook her stomach. She would have joined her own militia had Mamma not held her hostage with her sisters.

Certainly, the Danvers minute marched…

Galloping hooves sounded from the lane and Annalisa ran outside with a lantern. When she met the path, she gasped.

Jack rode Frederick, and George, looking rather limp, held onto his waist. All air left her lungs.

“What’s happened to George?” Briny tears dripped onto her neck and chest.

Jack dismounted. “He’s been wounded. We need a doctor.”

She ran toward them, and a sudden terror paralyzed her from touching George. “Was there a battle?” The lantern rattled in her hands, and she threw her arms around Jack. “Tell me George will live.” She inhaled the gunpowder on his clothes and the salty sweat from his neck.

“Dear heart.” Jack held her. “Please, we must get him a doctor. And yes, there was a battle.”

“Yes. Of course.” She reluctantly pulled from him and her mind cleared. “This way. I’ll have Henry call on Dr. Brown.”

They led Frederick up to the house, whereupon Jack aided George from the horse’s mount.

“Annie? ’Tis but a scratch.” George’s head slowly lifted and he grinned, but his vacant stare chilled her.

Annalisa squeezed his bloodied hand. “This is far more than a scratch, dear brother.” She helped Jack, who walked with a considerable limp, haul George indoors. “Henry! Come quick.”

Her youngest brother appeared from the parlor with Mary. “My God, what’s happened?”

“You must ride to Dr. Brown’s at once. George is wounded from battle. Frederick is right outside but he’s ridden a long way. Perhaps take Dinah.”

“Of course.” Henry rushed past them and out the front door.

“Into the drawing room.” Mary led the way and cleared off the pillows from the sofa.

Thank you

***

About the Author

A born and bred New Englander, Lindsey hails from the North Shore of Boston. A member of the Topsfield Historical Society and the Historical Novel Society, she forged her love for writing with her intrigue for colonial America by writing her debut novel, Muskets and Minu-ets. When she’s not attending historical reenactments or spouting off facts about Boston, she’s nursing patients back to health in the ICU.

***

Author Links

Website: http://www.lindseyfera.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorLinzFera

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

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

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Lindsey-S-Fera/e/B09598KYNM

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21491352.Lindsey_S_Fera

***

***

Book Links

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Muskets-Minuets-Lindsey-Fera-ebook/dp/B094WBHWBB

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Muskets-Minuets-Lindsey-Fera-ebook/dp/B094WBHWBB

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Muskets-Minuets-Lindsey-Fera-ebook/dp/B094WBHWBB

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Muskets-Minuets-Lindsey-Fera-ebook/dp/B094WBHWBB

Little Girl Missing by J.G. Roberts / #Review @bookouture @JuliaRobertsTV

Detective Rachel Hart #1

How can a little girl vanish into thin air?

Five-year-old Cassie Bailey’s mother tucked her into bed and kissed her goodnight. This morning she’s missing, her unicorn bedcovers are empty, and her parents are frantic.

Detective Rachel Hart knows that the first few hours after a child goes missing are the most crucial, and that the Baileys are living every parent’s worst nightmare. Rachel knows, because as a child her family lived through it too, when her sister was taken.

The days are ticking by with no sign of Cassie, and the cracks in the Baileys’ marriage are beginning to show. But are the holes in their stories because they’re out of their minds with panic – or because they’re lying?

Rachel’s convinced that Cassie knew the person who took her, but can she find the little girl before she’s lost forever?

***

***

Review

I did it again. 😊 I have read book 2 and 3 and now I have finished book 1. I am very weird, I know, but it does not hurt, so why not? 😉

Normally in book 1 you get to know the new police team. I now had the advantage of knowing them already. I could fully focus on the story. You see, being weird has some good points too. 😊

It’s always a tragedy when someone you love goes missing. I am convinced that it must be even more heart-breaking when it is a small child that has disappeared. An adult can maybe try and defend himself or find ways to try and escape, but what can a little mite do? Not very much and that makes it more emotional.

And in times of deep sadness and anxiety, who can you always count on? Right, that one true friend you have known for years. She would do anything to help and support you, because that’s what friends are for.

Maybe this was not a case Rachel should have worked on because of the emotional connections she feels. It might even have muddled her brain a bit and maybe she did not exactly do the best investigation. What matters most though is that in the end the baddies are were they belong, but maybe the mystery could have been solved a bit sooner? We will never know. 😊

Anyway I really enjoyed the story and I know the next books will be amazingly good. 4 stars.

Thank you,

***

About the author

Julia Roberts self-published her first novel in 2015, Life’s a Beach and Then, the first part of the Liberty Sands Trilogy, followed by books two and three in the trilogy and the stand-alone, Alice in Theatreland, before signing a three book deal with Bookouture, under the name J G Roberts, for a detective/crime/thriller series centred around DCI Rachel Hart.

Little Girl Missing, was published in June 2019, followed by What He Did and Why She Died. She has now re-signed with Bookouture as Julia Roberts for two emotional heartbreakers; the first one, My Mother’s Secret, is publishing in January 2021 and is available now on pre-order.

Born in Nottingham, Julia travelled the world working as a professional dancer, singer and TV presenter, experience she was able to call on when developing the character of travel blogger, Holly, for her Liberty Sands trilogy.

Following roles as a hostess on the The Price is Right and a member of the Beadle’s About hit squad, she auditioned as a presenter for QVC, and launched the American shopping channel in the UK where she still works full-time.

She has two grown-up children who are in part responsible for her becoming a novelist. On Mother’s Day 2013, they gave her a notebook with words ‘Hold On People… I’m Having An Idea’, on the cover. On the first morning of a much-needed holiday in Mauritius, following a year of treatment for Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia, Julia had just that – the idea for her first novel.

***

Author Link

@JuliaRobertsTV

***

***

Book Link

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Girl-Missing-absolutely-unputdownable-ebook/dp/B07RBY2MBH/

The French for Murder by Verity Bright / #SpotlightPost #PublicationDay @bookouture @BrightVerity

A Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery #10

A grand villa, croissants for breakfast and a dead body in the wine cellar… Lady Swift can’t seem to take a vacation from murder!

Summer 1923. Lady Eleanor Swift is finally persuaded by her butler, Clifford, to take a villa in the south of France for the season. She plans to do what a glamorous lady abroad should: long lunches on the balcony followed by lazy afternoons lounging by the pool. Even Gladstone the bulldog is looking forward to a daily paddle in the ocean.

But when Clifford examines the wine cellar, he discovers there are no decent reds but there is a very dead body. The victim is famous American movie star Rex Armstrong. Poor Rex seems to have been stabbed with a sword from the film set. So how did he end up in Eleanor’s villa?

Before Eleanor even has time to change out of her travelling suit, her beloved butler is arrested for the crime. At sea without her right-hand man, Eleanor must gather her wits if she’s to outsmart a murderer and save Clifford.

Attending a glitzy party at the luxurious Hotel Azure with the film’s cast and crew so she can question her main suspects, Eleanor overhears the director having a most unsettling telephone call that throws all her theories out of the water. Can Eleanor unmask the true killer before her time abroad is cut murderously short?

***

***

Spotlight Post

Thank you

***

About the author

Verity Bright is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing partnership that has spanned a quarter of a century. Starting out writing high-end travel articles and books, they published everything from self-improvement to humour, before embarking on their first historical mystery. They are the authors of the fabulous Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery series, set in the 1920s. 

***

Author Link

Website: veritybright.com

***

Book Link

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/French-Murder-absolutely-addictive-historical-ebook/dp/B09SZSXT2L/

Fallout by Edie Baylis / #Review #BlogTour @rararesources @ediebaylis

***

Allegiance #2

Secrets. Lies. Revenge.
With the odds stacked against her, Samantha Reynold is determined to prove she’s tough enough to be the boss. But when a secret from the past threatens to ruin Sam’s reputation, she suddenly feels very alone in this dark new world. There’s only one man she can turn to – rival club owner, Sebastian Stoker.

Seb knows first-hand how secrets and lies can tear a family apart. He wants to protect Sam at all costs, but siding with her could threaten his own position as head of the Stoker family and risk accusations of betrayal.

With loyalties divided and two families at war – the fallout could be deadly.

***

***

Review

This is the second book in the series and that’s where I pick the story up. I had a lot on my plate in the beginning because I did not know the characters from the previous book and I had to get to know them. That was no problem at all. I quite liked it, figuring out who was who and who was part of which family.

This was a book filled with lies, deceit and revenge as the cover already promises us and they kept their promise.

I like it when those scheming so and so’s end up with what they deserve. You reap what you sow and when you try to solve things with violence, you often are treated the same way. So if you cannot stand the heat…

Sam is the one who evolves the most. She goes from little princess to tough business woman, but that does not mean she looses her hart of gold for those she loves.

As I mentioned before when reviewing a gangland crime, that’s what I really enjoy about the genre. The bosses are hard as nails, but where their loved ones are concerned they will do whatever they can to protect them. They love them deeply and they fight with all they have.

I loved this book and I am looking forward to the next part. 5 stars

Thank you

***

About the author

Edie Baylis is a successful self-published author of dark gritty thrillers with violent background settings. She lives in Worcestershire, has a history of owning daft cars and several motorbikes and is licensed to run a pub. She has signed a five-book deal with Boldwood.

***

Author Links

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

Twitter https://twitter.com/ediebaylis

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

Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/EdieBaylisnewsletter

***

***

Book Link

https://amzn.to/3pYMsrB

The $22.50 man by Richard Voorhees/ #SpotlightPost @RichVoorhees

The Genji Trilogy #2

“We want you….”

John Still applies for a job at some film operation in Midtown to work as a sound editor. But after the interview, which includes a hearing exam, they tell him no dice.

Since it’s still the Depression, and the pavement in New York is a helluva lot hotter than the job market, he decides to plot his next move inside the confines of a shady bar.

As he’s sipping a beer, decidedly let-down, some flatfoot settles himself on the stool next to him and says simply “We want you….”

He’s a wanted man, after all. For his hearing. The police are hiring informants—to drive cabs, eavesdrop, and report back. The cop says it pays $22.50 a week.

Is a former rumrunner, like John Still, the right guy for the job? Depends how he looks at it. Depends on the job.

***

***

About the Author

Voorhees earned his English degree from Dartmouth College, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He graduated with Highest Honors in the major, writing a senior thesis on T.S. Eliot and Charles Baudelaire. He did graduate work in Film Theory at Paris III (Censier) in conjunction with University of California at San Diego. His primary area of study was American Film Noir. He has worked as a financial journalist, video editor, filmmaker, screenwriter, lexicographer, and French/English translator. His film, “Proust + Vermeer,” premiered at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco. 

***

Author Links

Website: rgvoorhees.com

Twitter: @RichVoorhees

***

***

Book Link

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/22-50-man-Genji-Trilogy/dp/173482512X/

Death at Beacon Cottage by Betty Rowlands / #Review @bookouture @BettyRowlandsFP

The sun breaks through the clouds to shine on a little cottage where a mossy path leads to the front door, but inside something terrible has happened…

Police photographer Sukey Reynolds is looking forward to a quiet weekend gardening at home, when she gets a call that there has been a shocking break-in at a local manor house. Once she begins to gather evidence, Sukey realises that this is the latest in a spate of well-crafted burglaries in the Cotswolds. Someone is targeting expensive houses with valuable art collections…

Thankfully, the police soon have a suspect in custody. But, during questioning, he suddenly catches a glimpse of Sukey, turns deathly pale and calls out to her. Sukey is sure she has never met this man before… Is this a bizarre joke, or is there a stranger out there who is Sukey’s perfect double in every way?

Just as Sukey begins to suspect she’s being followed, the police are baffled by a spate of local murders. With the body count rising, and the police unsure of where to turn, is Sukey herself a clue in this strange case? Can she unmask the killer before she becomes the next victim?

***

***

Review

I finished part two of this series and I enjoyed it so much, I started the next book straight away.

Sukey is a SOCO and they do very important jobs. Trying to find the tiniest clue in order to uncover the culprits is the first step, but I don’t have the slightest doubt she would make a very good detective too. Both professions require a good memory and you have to pick up every piece of the puzzle and Sukey is always on the ball for sure.

I guess we all know Robin Hood. In my opinion our burglar might be one of his descendants who forgot part of the story along the way 😊. He steals from the wealthy and does not want to hurt anybody. The only thing he forgets is to give to the poor. He only lines his pockets and those of even wealthier people. Maybe he should reread the story. 😉

Is it possible to feel sympathy for a not so good person? Yes, it is because he does realise what he is doing is not kosher, but when he realises who he does it for and what is at stake he feels even worse and he makes a admirable decision.

Sukey, who normally does not have to deal with killers directly, now feels herself very much in the middle of the action. Thank God for attentive civilians, right?

This is not a good book. It is a great book. I loved it. 5 stars

Thank you

***

About the author

Betty Rowlands 1923-2020

Betty Rowlands burst onto the crime scene in her mid sixties by winning the Sunday Express / Veuve Clicquot Crime Short Story of the Year Competition which shows it’s never too late to start writing. Her success continued with her highly acclaimed Melissa Craig mysteries featuring a crime writer who solves mysteries in Gloucestershire. Her second series, The Sukey Reynolds Stories comprise of thirteen books, featuring Sukey Reynolds, a Scenes of Crime Officer who later becomes a detective. She lived in the heart of the Cotswolds, where her Melissa Craig mysteries are set, and then in Bristol which is closer to Sukey Reynolds patch, where she lived until her death on 29 July 2020, just a few months before her 97th birthday. She passed peacefully in the residential home that she called ‘home’. She will be greatly missed by her two surviving children, her four grandchildren, six great grandchildren, other family members, her friends and you, her many readers. The resurgence in interest in her Melissa Craig and Sukey Reynolds books in her last years gave her immense pleasure. She loved to receive emails from her fans knowing that her writing was being so enjoyed. Betty may no longer be with us but Melissa and Sukey are still there solving those mysteries. Keep on reading!

***

***

Book Link

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Death-Beacon-Cottage-absolutely-addictive-ebook/dp/B07QJZF9HG/

Shimmer by Alan Meredith / #Extract #BlogTour @ZooloosBT

***

Lyla is having the worst year of her life and then her Mum announces they are moving to a strange new town.

The only silver lining is the signs that a cat has made itself home in the new house.

Lyla quickly finds out though that Shimmer is no ordinary cat….

***

***

Extract

I used to think water was flat. That’s one of the reasons it is hard to see. This water is not flat, it is made up of hills which, after you get over the first one, you find out there is a bigger one on the other side. I have been catty paddling for ages now but I have no idea if I have made any progress toward land. My Beth Compass keeps telling me I am on the right flooded track so I keep pawing water.

It’s dark now and I think I have made my last mistake. The living water has found a new game, hitting me. The water hills continued to get bigger and bigger until eventually they became water mountains and started to collapse. Collapsing onto me, burying me under the water. I swim hard each time and break the surface gasping for air. I am running out of cat power but the mighty water does not seem to be running out of energy or enthusiasm. I continue to be pummeled, mercilessly with rhythmic efficiency.

I just reach air before another water mountain collapses on top of me, but I succeed again and grab some precious air. This monstrous water does not know who it’s dealing with! I shall never give up! I will conquer it as I have defeated all who have challenged me on this journey. Water mountain, collapse and smash! I don’t reach the surface this time and everything goes black.

Thank you

***

About the Author

Alan Meredith lives in sleepy West Sussex with his wife and two children. He relocated there after suffering a psychosis back in 2000. Writing stories was a childhood love that he lost as he mistakenly believed that imagination had no place in the grown up world.

He likes taking reality and weaving fantastical elements into it. Alan’s writing reflects his belief that life is a journey of highs and lows and the idea that ‘life should be fair’ is an unrealistic expectation to give anyone, especially kids. If you are looking for the sugar coated ‘Happy Ever After’ you have come to the wrong place.

***

Author Links

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100070364175481

GoodReads : https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21319936.Alan_Meredith

***

Book Links

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B09VYKLH9Q

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09VYKLH9Q

The Silver Sail by Bridgette Dutta Portman / #GuestPost #BlogTour @lolasblogtours @bdportman

***

A looming supernova. A long-lost starship. A hero turned evil.

Olive Joshi never meant to fall through a portal into her own abandoned novel, much less kill her protagonist and resurrect her as a villain. Now she’s on the run in a universe quickly spiraling out of her control.

After narrowly escaping Coseema with her life, Olive and her friends head for a distant planet in search of the legendary starship the Wave-Rider, which may be the only hope for the doomed people of Lyria. But the voyage there is littered with obstacles—the tyrannical ruler of a dying colony, a mysterious spacefarer, the ever-present threat of Coseema, and Olive’s own obsessive fears. Back on Lyria, Olive’s allies face obstacles of their own as they vie with the cruel emperor Burnash, while Burnash himself chafes under Coseema’s control. Olive, armed with her omniscient journal, finds comfort in reading along with her friends’ adventures. But when time runs out, she must embark on a risky collision course with her former heroine, one that may force her to give up what she treasures most.

***

***

Top 10

The Twin Stars and the Silver Sail are in the portal fantasy subgenre—an ordinary person is whisked away to a magical world through some kind of doorway, tunnel, or other type of portal. In no particular order (except #1), here are my top 10 portal fantasies:

1. The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum – This was my all-time favorite movie as a child, and my mother read the first of the books to me as well. For a while, when I was four or five years old, I insisted people address me as Dorothy.

2. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll – I loved Alice’s zany, surreal adventures down the rabbit hole.

3. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster – This one reminded me a bit of Alice, with its clever wordplay and delightful bizarreness.

4. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende – While I haven’t read the book, the movie version really captured my imagination as a kid. And that scene was pretty much the saddest thing I’d ever seen. You know the one. Scarred for life. Thanks for that.

5. The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis – I think every kid at one point or another has walked into their closet with their eyes closed hoping they’ll come out in Narnia. It hasn’t worked for me yet, but hey, you never know!

6. The Adventures of Kate trilogy by T. A. Barron – I read Heartlight and The Ancient One numerous times as a kid (I only realized there was a third book later). I found Kate to be a strong, brave, relatable protagonist.

7. The Fairyland Books by Catherynne M. Valente – I love this charming series about a girl named September who has numerous adventures in a fantasy world.

8. Inuyasha by Rumiko Takahashi – Isekai (portal fantasy) is a very popular genre in Japan. A prime example is this manga and anime about a girl who falls through a well into a land filled with monsters and demons.

9. The Labyrinth, directed by Jim Hensen – Who doesn’t want to be captured by a hot goblin king? I think this movie sparked my lifelong crush on David Bowie.

10. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire – I’m cheating here because I haven’t read this one yet, but it’s been on my TBR list forever. The premise: a Home for children who have returned from their respective fantasy worlds. What happens once the adventure ends?

Thank you

***

About the author

Bridgette Dutta Portman is an author, playwright, and teaching artist. Dozens of her plays have been produced across the United States and overseas. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Spalding University, as well as a PhD in political science from the University of California, Irvine. She is past president of the Playwrights’ Center of San Francisco and is currently a member of Same Boat Theater Collective, the Pear Playwrights’ Guild, and the Dramatists’ Guild. She recently joined the board of the Pear Theatre in Mountain View, CA. The Twin Stars is her debut novel, and the first of a planned trilogy. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband Deepanshu and their two young children

***

Author Links

Website: http://www.bridgetteduttaportman.com

Newsletter: http://www.bridgetteduttaportman.com/newsletter.html

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bdportman

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21491632.Bridgette_Dutta_Portman

***

***

Book Link

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Silver-Sail-Coseema-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B09Z3R5MF5/

***

Giveaway

One winner wins a $25 Amazon or B&N gift card

Open International

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/3a3d67293/

 

 

 

 

 

 

:

 

:

 

:

 

:

 

 

:

 

Midas by Alan Meredith / #Interview #BlogTour @ZooloosBT

***

Hearing voices when no one is talking to you is a bad sign right?

When twelve year old Tyler follows the calls of his name into the burnt out house on the roundabout, and finds a golden lizard called Midas, his luck appears to have changed for the better.

Right?

***

***

Q&A

When and where do you prefer to write?

I can pretty much write anywhere. I wrote Shimmer and Midas mostly at airports and on airplanes. In fact, I remember finishing Shimmer in Incheon Airport in South Korea. I was quite emotional empathising with Lyra’s Mum in the last scene. I was openly crying but no one noticed. I don’t fly so much anymore but even just waiting in the car to pick up my daughter from drama, or suchlike, I am likely to pick up my notepad and pen disappear off into one of my alternate realities. The main thing for me is not where and when but my state of being. I need to be bored. When I am bored by imagination wakes up and beautifully fills the gap. Things like smartphones are my creative kryptonite. They stop me from reaching the required ‘bored’ state. They are a necessity to be heard in the modern world but secretly I would like mine to have a burial at sea.

Do you need peace and quiet when you are writing?

Not really. I can be in a very busy place, like an airport, and completely disappear into one of my worlds. Now if we were talking about sleep then yes, peace and quiet are essential.

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

Great question. I would pick my wife Sam. She writes these amazingly immersive fantastical meditations. I think she has many fiction books in her waiting to be written. I think it would be interesting to write a story together with each of us writing from a different main character’s perspective.

Say someone asks if they can use your name in a book. Would you rather be the ‘good one’ or the ‘bad one’?

Ohhh, another good one. I would be like to be the antihero. The kind of person who is flawed, done things they are not proud of but then are put in a position where they can seek some redemption. Characters who are so good that if you sliced them in two you would see the word ‘GOOD’ written through them, you know like a stick of rock, are a real turn off for me as a reader.

Who would you like/have liked to interview?

Rik Mayall. He was the first celebrity that I felt sad about them passing. I think it’s because I grew up watching things like the Young Ones and Bottom and it kind of felt like a unique bright light went out which would never be seen again. Not really true though as he shines on in all the reruns of those shows. And George Orwell, I would like to ask him how close is 2022 to 1984.

Where can I find you when you are reading?

I really wish you hadn’t asked that one. You can’t find me as I am either in bed or… errrr… on the toilet!

Where can I find you when you are not writing/reading?

Putting the world to rights with my wife Sam or watching films with my daughter Emily or son Callum (they have different tastes) usually with the dog or cat cuddled up with us. Although my body is old, and takes a long time to recover now, I do like competing in Strongman contests. I did my first one last year and this September will be my second. It’s interesting how much of it is mental, rather than physical, and it’s about puzzling out how to lift and move the insanely heavy objects. Unless you get the technique right you turn into Superman with a pair kryptonite underpants.

What goes through your mind when you hold your new book in your hands for the first time?

Very little to be honest. It’s more the physical sensation of all the hairs on your body standing on end with electric excitement. I suppose what you are thinking, behind all the fireworks in your head is, “I did that. I moulded that world from nothing.” Being an author is bit like being Thanos with all the Infinity Gems, authors are gods!

How do you come up with a title for your book?

I guess I am a bit basic in that regard. As soon as I have determined the name for the main character then the book is titled too.

How do you pick a cover for your book?

I usually have a very clear picture in my mind for how I want the cover art to look. However, I don’t always have the skill to craft my mental picture into reality (unlike my use of words). Then I am truly blessed as my son is a fantastic artist. He drew the cover art for Shimmer when he was only 8 years old! It’s also one of the benefits of being an indie author, I have full creative control over all aspects including the book covers.

Thank you

***

About the Author

Alan Meredith lives in sleepy West Sussex with his wife and two children. He relocated there after suffering a psychosis back in 2000. Writing stories was a childhood love that he lost as he mistakenly believed that imagination had no place in the grown up world.

He likes taking reality and weaving fantastical elements into it. Alan’s writing reflects his belief that life is a journey of highs and lows and the idea that ‘life should be fair’ is an unrealistic expectation to give anyone, especially kids. If you are looking for the sugar coated ‘Happy Ever After’ you have come to the wrong place.

***

Author Links

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100070364175481

GoodReads : https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21319936.Alan_Meredith

***

Book Links

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Midas-Alan-Meredith-ebook/dp/B09WLPK7GD

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Midas-Alan-Meredith-ebook/dp/B09WLPK7GD