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#BlogTour #Extract ~ Forward to Glory: Exposition by Brian Paul Bach @ftgquartet @gilbster1000 @AuthorightUKPR

Butterbugs is becoming somebody. He has come to Hollywood to act, and as an aspiring performer, so far, he is a survivor. His dream persists… though barely. But something’s coming.

He has had to endure nearly crushing challenges with a tenacity deserving its own kind of award. Perhaps simple luck is all that’s needed. It soon appears, from unexpected quarters. And starting there, his ascent begins.

Butterbugs is about to be exposed – as actor, as talent, as star. A splash like no other will soon inundate Hollywood.

In FORWARD TO GLORY’s guise as a four-part epic-noir-satire, EXPOSITION continues the grand procession commenced in TEMPERING. Proudly episodic, unabashedly sensational, it is a saga geared to a seasoned readership eager to embrace a daring narrative with determination and relish.

As he advances, Butterbugs is gifted with the assistance of many: Vonda – the superstar, who literally picks him off the street; The Angry Black Priest – the super-artist, who, out of tragedy, teaches him wisdom; Sonny Projector – the super-agent, who sees something exceptional in this intriguing unknown; Old Atrocity – the super-technician, whose cinematic expertise perfectly compliments the actor’s unique persona; Cody, Saskia and Justy – women to love, who love him; Pepper and Prairie – whose very existence may be nothing more than shadows on a screen but whose power is projected upon him; and Heatherette – whose reappearance saves his life.

The FORWARD TO GLORY Quartet

I. Tempering – the Actor’s struggles

II. Exposition – the Actor’s rise

III. Apotheosis – the Actor’s climax

IV. Beyond Fin – the Actor’s legend

Amazon UK  B&N

About the Author

Brian Paul Bach is a writer, artist, filmmaker and photographer; he has worked across the entertainment business, in theatre, music and as an academic. He now lives in central Washington State with his wife, Sandra. His previous works include The Grand Trunk Road From the Front Seat, Calcutta’s Edifice: The Buildings of a Great City, and Busted Boom: The Bummer of Being a Boomer. He writes a regular column for Kolkata On Wheels magazine. The first book in the Forward to Glory quartet, Tempering, was released in March 2017.

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EXTRACTS from EXHIBITION Act II.

of

The FORWARD TO GLORY Quartet

Brian Paul Bach

Argument

Butterbugs, the chief protagonist in this four-part saga – of which TEMPERING was the first, and EXHIBITION the second – is a nobody from nowhere, who came to Hollywood to try his chances at acting in films. His initial experiences were dispiriting. But his persistence starts to pay off. Chance encounters provide upward mobility, and soon he is discovered, and the roles begin to come.

In the opening chapter, Critical Mass: And He Didn’t Even Know What Hit Him, Butterbugs has just heard that a breakthrough series of films in which he was to star has been cancelled. In despair, he calls his girlfriend Cody, a high-level worker at a major film studio.

‘Cody? Is that you?’

‘Who’s this?’

‘Butterbugs, lover.’

‘At such a time?’

‘Oh. My clock says 4:10.’

‘4:10!’

‘AM or PM?’

‘Butterbugs! What’s with you – ?’

‘Oh, Cody, star-love, I… I got…’

‘What’s wrong?’

‘Well, can I come over?’

‘Over? It’s after 4:10…’

‘You said I could come over any time. Via Crazy Lane…?’

‘Butterbugs, it’s a school night. Er, morning…!’

‘So you’re…’

‘I’ve got to get up in an hour. My precious sleep… What remains of it…’

‘So, you’re mad at me?’

‘Mad? What’s that all about? I’ve got to get up soon.’

‘You’ve got an hour.’

‘Butterbugs, just tell me. Are you OK? Did something happen?’

‘Something happened. I’m, I don’t know, I just want you. You.’

‘Just… tell… me… what… happened.’

‘I thought I could come over.’

‘Butterbugs, would you just tell me? Use the miracle of the telephone. I’ve got to meet with Kritchurd Puerile’s fucking PR dude in three hours at the Bev Hills Hotel. It’s going to be a jungle of a day. Now will you just get on with it?’

‘I thought that I could just, I don’t know, be with you.’

‘You used to be.’

‘I’ve been so busy, Cody. Cody!…?’

‘And you think I haven’t? What makes you think –’

‘The Bucolics! Cancelled!’

‘Oh, Butterbugs…!’

‘Yeah, cancelled!’

‘I’m so sorry…’

‘Oh, Cody, I don’t know. What to do.’

‘You poor Butterbugs. I’m sorry, so sorry.’

‘Sonny quashed it.’

‘Sonny? Why??’

‘He caught Porter trying to sign me for three pictures, but –’

‘Ah! The old two-for-three. Or is it the other way round? It’s past 4:10! I’m not yet –’

‘You know…!’

‘You aren’t the first one, hunk. I’m sorry, and sorry again.’

‘So, Cody, can I, can I, come over?’

‘Butterbugs, I’m sorry. For all kinds of things. All sorts of reasons. But, but, I have two sons, and two of them, well, I have to address their issues, you know.’

‘What…?’

‘Kid stuff. Stuff with kids. Well, not exactly.’

‘You love them.’

‘Yes. Yes, I guess I do. What are you talking about? Of course! Well, I guess I’m really awake now.’

‘So, can I?’

‘I just told you, what I have to face with the boys.’

‘What?’

‘Well, Urie got pressured into OxyCynara at school, and he didn’t want to do it, but he was the one who got caught. And Elvin, well, they’re accusing him of being gay. They, his peers. Because, well, he, is, I know it. He’s gay, and I’ve got to figure out a way… His father and I –’

‘What, I ask you, has that got to do with me?’

‘Where have YOU been? Apparently in your own world, that’s for sure.’

‘Cody, I. Cody, I…’

‘You just don’t know. You just care about your feature picture career. You say you loved me. And I loved you. But what does that mean now?’

‘It means, I love you!’

‘Yeah, well, that’s fine to say, but… Butterbugs, I’ve got to…’

‘What’s OxySinai, anyway?’

‘OxyCynara. A very powerful opiate. You see what I’m up against? Kids taking that shit!’

‘I’m up against some stuff, too. Some shit. And not exactly my own.’

Sensing that Butterbugs might be facing a personal emergency, Cody considered acceding to his request. On the other hand, it was wholly impossible. She had spoken truth to her lover, and even then, not in toto. There were plenty of ancillary matters and subplots attached to the general scenarios already outlined. Besides, she couldn’t be Earth Mother to every needy soul out there, regardless of his puppy passions. The gap of generations was felt acutely this early morning in bed, solo.

‘We all have our own shit to wade through, Butterbugs.’

‘But love-Code! But – you’re my main thing! Aren’t I yours?’

‘When I have time, Butterbugs. When I have time. Right now I have to go. I have to. You talk to Sonny. Even Parker. You can still talk, can’t you? It’s the Industry. It’s not all glam. People have been killed for less. Don’t let it throw you. Talk to Sonny. I’ve got to hang up now. Good luck, Butterbugs. Good luck…’

The click happened.

Butterbugs kept the receiver to his ear.

‘Cody! Are you there? Cody! Are we… over?’ Then, lowering it slowly, ‘We’re over. She just stopped it. I know it. And I did it.’

Now an established star with a huge following, Butterbugs experiences one triumph after another. In Chapter 66: ‘The Promise of Joy’, he is out filming on location. Needing a respite from an argumentative set, he wanders off and soon encounters a great lodge and its two occupants, the lovely Pepper, and the much younger Prairie. In the ensuing idyll, Butterbugs falls in love with Pepper. Jana, the film’s director, finds them and is jealous. Two thugs associated with the film show up and Jana is subjected to attempted rape. She is rescued by Butterbugs, Pepper, and Prairie. A police helicopter awaits to evacuate them from the scene.

In the hubbub and turbo-noise of the blades whirling, Jana only had time for a quick appreciative ‘thanks’ glance in Pepper’s direction – no more.

As for Butterbugs, it was naturally assumed by all that he would accompany Jana, to see the whole affair through.

‘We’re outa here, Butterbugs,’ Jana yelled, as he hustled her out to the chopper. Everyone was waiting. ‘Let’s go!’

After she was safely loaded, he started to withdraw.

‘Let’s go, Butterbugs!’

The helicopterian tumult was pressing in from every angle.

‘I’m not going back,’ he announced.

‘You what?? What? Oh, hell! After all this?’

‘I’m staying on. I belong here. Especially after all this.’

‘People,’ interjected Chopper Pilot Melstone, ‘We’ve got to lift off, now.’

‘You heard the man. So get in – please – movie star and rescuer!’

Jana thought her star might respond to being treated like a real-life hero.

‘NOW!’ repeated Melstone.

‘I tell you, I’m giving up pictures. I’m staying here. I’m staying on.’

‘Butterbugs.’ A voice came from directly behind him, marvelously strong in the midst of the roaring wind. It was Pepper.

He spun about. She was a vision of loveliness, with her hair blowing all around, with lips anxiously parted, and eyes as soulful as the first moment he had seen them, in quieter times.

‘Pepper! You came!’

‘I did. To see you off. And now, you must go.’

Butterbugs was thunderstruck.

‘Go??’

‘It is right that you accompany your director, after what has happened tonight. She needs your comfort and support. You must see it through.’

‘But Pepper, we are on the verge of knowing each other. This time, this, this situation, has brought us together. Do you not feel –’

‘I do. I tell you, I do. I feel it. Like no other feeling. Ever.’

‘We must talk.’

‘We will talk. But right now, you must see Jana through, to complete safety.’

How could he argue further?

‘Then I will go. And we will talk.’

He was able to pause only a fleeting moment before all stops were pulled out. Or almost all.

‘I think I love you. That is the truth in front of us now. I think I love you, Pepper.’

‘Oh, Butterbugs! That is the wonder I had hoped for! I can say the same, and I will, except: I know I love you. I love you!’

She kissed him then, fully, with a conviction that matched her words:

‘Oh, my dear lover!’

He returned everything she gave him just then, with his compliments, and their equality was all around them.

‘Pepper! Pepper! I love you too! I know it, I knew it! Oh, Pepper-love! The first moment I saw you! You knew it, too!’

‘I did! I did!’

They kissed again with passions boosted by the surrounding cyclone, as well as the perceived impatience of the crew and Jana, who looked upon them without malice, but with a sort of exhaustion that went well beyond near-rape. It also marked a desire’s defeat, for here, directly in front of her, was a scene she could neither stage nor edit.

‘I am a director,’ she thought to herself. ‘And a helpless one.’

‘People!’ repeated Chopper Pilot Melstone, ‘I’m afraid we really must go now.’

He knew of the star he now addressed, and gave him every possible opportunity to play out his poignant scene with all courtesy (‘Just like in one of his pictures!’ he would crow to his colleagues later), but if they didn’t take off right now, fuel supply records after the mission’s conclusion would be an embarrassing point of compromise to the county, movie star people or no.

‘Then, I depart,’ said Butterbugs, letting up from his kiss for a moment before re-engaging. ‘My love also to that little Prairie of yours, sweet-teen lovely!’

‘Oh, yes, yes, yes!’ Pepper cried.

‘And I depart in pure love, for that is what I can give and feel, at last!’

‘Go now,’ she replied, with held-back tears. ‘And return! Truly, we will meet again.’

Reluctantly, Deputy Sheriff Dan Merrick gently dared to touch the star on his shoulders, as a signal that the urgency of departure was now very real, and approaching a red line of criticalness.

Butterbugs complied, and his eyes never left Pepper’s until she was compelled to retreat beyond the danger zone of the blades. Butterbugs almost burst out of the craft – to ensure her safe passage back to the lodge, if nothing else. But stout Merrick strapped him in, directly opposite Jana, who could no longer bear the scene, and looked only down.

Butterbugs’ star continues to rise, further and further – higher than any star ever. The climax is told in FORWARD TO GLORY’s third Act: APOTHEOSIS.

Thus, the themes for each of FORWARD TO GLORY’s four Acts: I. TEMPERING [the Actor’s struggles], followed by II. EXPOSITION [the Actor’s rise], III. APOTHEOSIS [the Actor’s climax], and concluding with IV. BEYOND FIN [the Actor’s legend].

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#BlogTour #Promo ~ The Captain’s Disgraced Lady by @CatherineTinley @rararesources #Giveaway

Who is Captain Harry Fanton?

When Juliana Milford first encounters Captain Harry Fanton, she finds him arrogant and rude. There’s no way she’ll fall for his dazzling smile! Her visit to Chadcombe House was always going to prompt questions over her scandalous family, so she’s touched when Harry defends her reputation. She’s discovering there’s more to Harry than she’d first thought…

A man so plagued by the demons of war, he’s sworn he’ll never marry, no matter how tempted…

Purchase – Here

About the Author

Catherine Tinley writes witty, heartwarming Regency love stories. She has loved reading and writing since childhood, and has a particular fondness for love, romance, and happy endings. After a career encompassing speech and language therapy, NHS management, maternity campaigning and being President of a charity, she now works for Sure Start. She lives in Ireland with her husband, children, and dog.

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Giveaway – Win 2 x signed copies of The Captain’s Disgraced Lady (Open to UK only).

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#BookReviews ~ My Top 20 Favourite Books of 2017 #BookBoost #Authors #Publishers

So it’s the end of another year, I really don’t know where this one has gone, we all say it, but time simply does move faster the older you get I’m convinced. Well we all know this has been a pretty crap year as far as health is concerned for me so I will draw attention immediately to my love of books. 

I have been as busy as ever with the blog and it still amazes me that so many wonderful authors, publishers etc trust me with their ‘babies’ before publication so that I can have the pleasure of reading and reviewing.

I have participated in loads of blog tours which are great fun and it’s a real honour to be asked. I am lucky enough to be sent lots of books or ARC’s (advance reader copy) in the mail or via my Kindle, I belong to Netgalley where a vast majority of my blog tour books come from and then of course I get tempted when I spot something interesting and buy it. 

So how do I compile my top books of the year you may ask … at the time of writing this I have read 315. I enter the annual Goodreads challenge which helpfully keeps count for me and I can see at a glance when I have read them.

Sometimes I can tell as soon as I begin a book that it is going to be the ‘one’ that wonderful moment when you start the story and know it’s going to be entertaining, enjoyable and fit on every level. One particular book I read at the very beginning of January as soon as I’d finished I just knew it would be on this years list, nothing has swayed my decision or beaten it so far, so the stakes were very high this time to compete with that. Other books I saunter through them, enjoy them for what they are and then let them sit in my head for a while, a few on this list have arrived via that route because once they have found a place in my mind they don’t leave .. to me that is a sign of a great book!

So in no particular order here are my favourite books of 2017 .. it has taken me a long time to compile this and there are many others that so very nearly reached the pile but I have to be realistic … a top 50 may be cheating a bit 🙂

Thank you so much to all the authors featured for providing a fabulous reading experience and to any who feel they have been neglected I thank you as well .. I didn’t have any book this year I didn’t finish or score lower than 3* so that shows the calibre was high.

I have noticed a lot that appear on my list are in fact parts of a series, in which case please assume I have read and enjoyed the others as well 🙂 

My top publishers based on this selection appear to be Bookouture, Bloodhound and Orenda .. thanks guys!

The links to my reviews can be found underneath the pictures.

Not Thomas Sara Gethin  Honno Press

 Pay the Penance Rob Ashman   Bloodhound 

 Little Girl Lost Carol Wyer  Bookouture 

 The Great Escape Charlotte Fallowfield  

Porcelain Lee Cockburn Clink Street Publishing

Walking Wounded Anna Franklin Osborne Amolibros

Holiday Wishes Jill Shalvis  Headline Eternal

Deep Down Dead Steph Broadribb  Orenda 

 The Other Twin Lucy Hay Orenda 

 Degrees of Darkness Tony J Forder Bloodhound

The Surrogate Louise Jensen  Bookouture

Seas of Snow Kerensa Jennings  

Love, Secrets & Absolution KL Loveley  Globeflower Books

 The Dead of Winter Billy Mclaughlin  

 Maria in the Moon Louise Beech  Orenda

 Zenka Alison Brodie  

 Death Wish Linda Huber Bloodhound 

When We Danced at the End of the Pier Sandy Taylor Bookouture

Sleep Tight Caroline Mitchell  Bookouture

The Darkest Lies Barbara Copperthwaite  Bookouture

So there you have it, quite a wide variety. I’m not sure what it says about my personality based on my choices but there seems to be a book for a range of emotions. Have you read any, are you tempted by what you see or have I missed any off that I really need to read?

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#BlogBlitz ~ A Lion Is Not Just For Christmas by Henriette Gyland @henrigyland @BrookCottageBks

Series: 2nd in the Sweet Romance Mysteries series set in Norfolk

Genre: Romance mystery

Release Date: 20th December 2017

Is there life after the circus has left town?

Circus performer Justine Belmont works with big cats, but when the circus is disbanded and the old lion is sold to a private menagerie at a stately home in Norfolk, she is asked to spend a few weeks settling him into his new environment. When she arrives at the estate, however, she receives a mixed welcome.

The groundsman Tom Yates resents her presence as he doesn’t feel he needs her help with the lion. He revises his opinion when he sees the bond between her and the big cat, and she and Tom grow closer, although Justine remains torn about her feelings for him. The lady of the house, Priscilla – who is married to the reclusive owner, Lord Brooks’s, grandson – is not so easily convinced. She perceives Justine as a threat for the male attention and her plans for the manor. And her two young daughters are a little too curious about the lion for their own good.

When unsettling events occur, Justine begins to wonder if there is more to Priscilla’s animosity than meets the eye. Can Justine keep herself and everyone else safe until it’s time for her to leave again and start a new life elsewhere?

Amazon UK  Amazon US Goodreads Link

EXTRACT

Scene when Justine and Tom meet, in reality, for the second time.

“I remember you.

Not many men had red hair like that and wore it so unashamedly loose like a rose gold crown. This groundsman – Tom – was the reason Justine had nearly missed a step during the last performance of the season. As far as she was aware ginger men preferred to keep their hair cropped short or even shaved off, fearing that it would make them look effeminate. Or something like that.

There was nothing effeminate about this guy. On the contrary, Justine thought, drinking in his broad shoulders, strong hands and sturdy workman’s clothes. He was every bit a man.”

 

About the Author

Henriette Gyland grew up in Northern Denmark but moved to England after she graduated from the University of Copenhagen. She wrote her first book when she was ten, a tale of two orphan sisters running away to Egypt, fortunately to be adopted by a perfect family they meet on the Orient Express. Between that first literary exploit and now, she has worked in the Danish civil service, for a travel agent, a consultancy company, in banking, hospital administration, and for a county court before setting herself up as a freelance translator and linguist. Henriette recently began to pursue her writing in earnest winning the New Talent Award in 2011 from the Festival of Romance and a Commended from the Yeovil Literary Prize. Henriette lives in London.

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#BlogBlitz #Excerpt ~ Dating the It Guy by Krysten Lindsay Hager @KrystenLindsay @NeverlandBT #Giveaway

Dating the It Guy by Krysten Lindsay Hager
YA contemporary
Emme is a sophomore in high school who starts dating, Brendon Agretti, the popular senior who happens to be a senator’s son and well-known for his good looks. Emme feels out of her comfort zone in Brendon’s world and it doesn’t help that his picture perfect ex, Lauren seems determined to get back into his life along with every other girl who wants to be the future Mrs. Agretti. Emme is already conflicted due to the fact her last boyfriend cheated on her and her whole world is off kilter with her family issues. Life suddenly seems easier keeping Brendon away and relying on her crystals and horoscopes to guide her. Emme soon starts to realize she needs to focus less on the stars and more on her senses. Can Emme get over her insecurities and make her relationship work? Life sure is complicated when you’re dating the it guy.

Purchase: Amazon  B&N  iBooks  Kobo

About the Author


Besides mining her teen years and humiliating moments for her novels, Krysten is also a book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. Krysten writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like, Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2), and Dating the It Guy. Her debut novel, True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book and the Dayton Book Expo Best Sellers award. Krysten’s work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Grand Blanc View, the Bellbrook Times and on Living Dayton.

Follow Krysten:  Website  Instagram  Facebook  Pinterest  Twitter  Youtube

 

Excerpt 4

He put the magazine between us, and when I moved forward to see it, he put his arm across the back of my chair. Now lots of guys did put their arms on chair backs, even Kirk did that with Rory, and he definitely wasn’t interested in her, but I couldn’t help but hope it meant something. I got this shivery feeling, and he asked if I was cold. I shook my head. I always got a feeling before something major was about to happen, and it has nothing to do with being cold, but I didn’t know why I got the feeling. Grandma used to do the same thing and always said, “Somebody just walked across my grave.” Somehow I didn’t think Brendon would understand if I told him I needed to move my future burial plot to a less high-traffic area.
“Are we still on for the art fair?” he asked.
I had only been circling it with hearts on my calendar since he asked.
“Sure, I think I’m still free,” I said.
We finished up our work, and he walked me out to meet Kylie.
“Okay, I’ll pick you up at three tomorrow,” he said, walking off.
“Can I ask a stupid question?” Kylie asked as soon as Brendon was out of earshot. “What’s he like? Because he’s so well-known, and I can’t imagine what it’d be like to grow up with your whole life under a microscope. I mean, my mom remembers his first birthday party pictures being shown on the news. And he’s hot, but he’s not like I-know-I’m-a-hottie hot, but more like a confident, ‘Yes, I am hot. Any questions?’ I mean, he has to have noticed there aren’t any guys who look like him walking around.”
“I should tell him what you said.”
“Don’t you dare,” Kylie said.
“I get what you mean—he’s grown up with everybody knowing his dad and watching him, but he’s pretty down to earth.”
“So what’s up with you two? You guys didn’t do any work last Saturday, and now you’re going to an art fair.”
“I dunno. He just asked me to go with him.”
“Asked you to go with him as his study buddy or asked you to go with him because he’s desperately in love with you?” she asked.
I said we were just friends, but she wouldn’t let it go.
“Okay, duh, obviously I like him, but let’s be honest. He’s out of my league. He’s out of most people’s league. It’s weird because normally if I like a guy then one of two things happens—either he likes me and asks for my number…or I find out he’s not into me and I cry in my pillow and listen to man-hating music for at least three days,” I said. “But this time’s different because he’s, I dunno, not just ‘some guy.’ I mean, I’m not putting up a shrine to him in my room, and I haven’t rooted though his garbage can, but I have as much chance of going out with him as Kirk does of getting an ‘A’ in this class.”
“You listen to man-hating music?” she asked, and I narrowed my eyes at her. “Whatever. Anyway, Em, he’s asked you out once already, and you are seeing him tomorrow. Plus, he’s always staring at you.”
I said he was probably just bored in class today, but she wouldn’t let it go.
“I’m not just talking about today. When we watched the movie on Monday, he watched you instead, and whenever I see you guys, he acts like there’s no one else in the room,” she said.
I couldn’t hold back the big, stupid smile spreading across my face. “He does? For real?”
She nodded. “You know, it’s weird. Here you were all upset you didn’t have a partner at the beginning of the semester, and then you ended up with like, Mr. Perfection, as your partner.”

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Praise for Dating the It Guy

“Dating the It Guy is an entertaining story that is as absorbing as it is hilarious.” Reviewed by Arya Fomonyuy for Readers’ Favorite

“A satisfying YA romance that is really about growing up and learning how to deal with life.” Writing Pearls book review blog

“There is so much to love about this book. Krysten Lindsay Hager knows how teens think and speak, and she understands why Emme would feel overwhelmed by everything about Brendon – his looks, his popularity, his feelings for her, his exes, his family.” Vox libris: the voice of books book review blog

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#BlogTour #Extract ~ 88˚ North by J.F.Kirwan @kirwanjf @NeverlandBT

Would you kill your loved one to save the world?

The world’s most-wanted terrorist is on the loose, and this time the threat is global. To stop him, Nadia infiltrates his organization, from the triads of Hong Kong, to the refugee-smugglers of Sudan, to the Mafia gangs running oil platforms in Sakhalin. But in the end, she must travel to the top of the world and confront her sworn enemy on the Arctic ice, where she will face a terrible choice.

Amazon UK

About the Author 

J. F. Kirwan is the author of the Nadia Laksheva thriller series for HarperCollins. Having worked in accident investigation and prevention in nuclear, offshore oil and gas and aviation sectors, he uses his experience of how accidents initially build slowly, then race towards a climax, to plot his novels. An instructor in both scuba diving and martial arts, he travels extensively all over the world, and loves to set his novels in exotic locations. He is also an insomniac who writes in the dead of night. His favourite authors include Lee Child, David Baldacci and Andy McNab.

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Extract

Nadia was led outside by Blue Fan, where four armed men awaited her, which seemed a trifle excessive. The road was quiet, except for the night breeze rustling the trees. Salamander and Jake were gone. The hazy lights of a beach – Repulse Bay, she reckoned, the only true beach on the island – beckoned far below.

Blue Fan walked up to her, close. ‘If you make it to the beach, you live.’

‘Bullshit,’ Nadia said. ‘It will look better for the headlines if I’m shot in the back fleeing the crime scene.’

‘You make it to the beach, you live. Our code, remember?’

‘Salamander doesn’t live by a code. He twists the rules any way that suits him.’

Blue Fan seemed to consider this for a moment. ‘I am not my grandfather. You will have a five second head start.’

Nadia scanned the bushes and trees descending at a thirty-degree angle to the beach, five hundred metres below. Dense vegetation. Almost no light. There would be roads crossing her path every now and again. It was a chance, a slim one. And there was one good reason to try.

Jake.

She turned back to the four men. Three of them looked eager for the hunt, removing their jackets, revealing heavily-tattooed torsos and arms. The fourth one stood back. At his feet was a long holdall. A sniper rifle. Just in case. There was an open, flat stretch of land between the tree line and Repulse Bay. He’d have a clear shot.

She spoke to Blue Fan. ‘If we meet again, just bear in mind that for me, there are no rules.’

‘Everyone follows rules. Most are not aware of the rules they follow. Now, run, Nadia Laksheva. Run for your life. One.’

Nadia sprinted across the tarmac into thick bush, ducking just in time beneath a low hanging branch. In her head, she counted. Two. She tripped over a root, and tried to roll in the soft earth and leaves, but ended up sliding on her front. Three. She got up and start running again. Four. Taking large, loping strides, each one threatening to twist her ankle on treacherous undergrowth, she thought about alternative tactics: lying low, climbing a tree, breaking off to the left or right. No. The quickest route to life was a straight line. Five. She heard the thrashing of the three men entering the bushes behind her, their footfalls thumping the ground. They probably knew this terrain, and would spread out in case she was stupid enough to hide.

The headlamps of a car rounding a bend lit up the foliage below, and a clearer passage emerged to the left. She bolted for it. Darkness flooded in again, but the route was etched on her retinas, and she ran as fast as she could. Suddenly she spilled onto asphalt, an empty road, her knees buckling as she hit solid terrain. No cars, just the men closing on her. A high-pitched pfft sound to her right announced a bullet from a silenced weapon. She dashed for the other side of the road and dived into the bushes.

She rolled the way she’d been taught, knowing that at this speed, if she hit a tree trunk, she’d be stunned long enough for them to catch her. But she came up on her feet and continued, arms in front of her in a crude triangle, hands in front of her head. A thick branch whacked her ribs, making her spin around, but she kept her balance. She kept her arms up. Protect the head, always. That’s what the Chef had taught her. She heard the whine of a motorcycle, maybe a local on his way home on the road she’d just crossed. But Salamander’s men were already charging through the bushes behind her. She had maybe another four hundred metres to go. She wasn’t going to make it. Not even close.

She kept running.

A second pfft told her they were trying to down her in the woods before she reached the next road, so that became her goal. Just make it to the road. A branch exploded to her left, so she began zigging and zagging. Maybe if she was lucky, she’d hit the road just as the motorbike was coming along it, and maybe … Too many maybe’s.

Just fucking run!

She spotted the white lines of the road through a gap in the trees, and pushed off for one final sprint, but the next bullet found her left shoulder and sent her sprawling forward. Her hands instinctively went down to brace against the fall, and a branch struck her in the face. It felt like she’d been punched on the nose, and she tumbled out of the woods, her head smacking onto the warm tarmac.

Through ringing ears, she heard the motorbike’s engine, the driver braking, crunching through the gears. She crawled towards the white line, her final goal. She touched it. If she was killed here, bleeding, wounded, at least somebody might ask why a kill shot had been necessary. A seed of doubt before the investigation was closed. She imagined the headline. Russian assassin-bitch gets what she deserves.

Shoes skidded to a halt in the dirt. The men didn’t venture onto the road. Of course, three men chasing an unarmed, wounded woman would look suspicious. They’d either have to leave her, or kill the motorcyclist if he stopped. She heard the crackle of static followed by a low, urgent voice. One of the men was asking Blue Fan what to do.

The motorbike was slowing. She regretted it. An innocent passer-by was going to be killed.

The men stepped out into the road, fanning around her. She looked up into the glare of the headlamp, unable to see the rider, the motorbike’s engine humming calmly.

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#BlogTour #Extract ~ Making The Difference by Kathryn Haydon #Giveaway @BrookCottageBks

Genre: Medical romance

Release Date: January 2017 (e-book format) & March 2017 (print format); both available via Amazon.com

Publisher: Mezzanotte

Single mum, Phoebe Jackson is stunned to find her new neighbour is hot, new doc Oliver Grey – locum consultant for Greenways Hospice where she is a specialist palliative care nurse. At their first encounter sparks fly, but soon there are sparks of a different sort. However, Oliver makes it clear from the outset that he’s not a settling down kind of guy. Having a family is not for him. Phoebe must decide if a summer romance is enough – or can true love change his mind?

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THE BOOK IS FREE TO DOWNLOAD FOR THE DURATION OF THE TOUR!

A WORD FROM KATHRYN HAYDON

Hello readers, pleased to meet you and have this chance to introduce myself. I am a West Country author; indeed, the red earth of Devon is steeped in my bones. I write under the pen name of Kathryn Haydon – Haydon as a nod to my mother (it was her maiden name) and Kathryn for no other reason than it flows well!

From as far back as I remember, I’ve loved to write and always hoped to be published ‘one day’ – but, as all writers know, the road to publication is a tough one and it’s taken me a while. Although short story competition wins, not least the Crediton Courier prize in June 2016, felt good, publishing a novel remained elusive. However, in January 2017, my dream was realised. What a thrill to see ‘Making the Difference’ launched via Amazon.com, first as an e-book and later, March 2017, in print format. A big thank you to Bettina at Mezzanotte for all her support and guidance along the way.

What were the highlights as I worked steadily though my six- month contract with Mezzanotte, bringing my book to completion? There were several, starting (of course) with Bettina’s email stating that she liked my synopsis and first three chapters – and could I please send her the rest. You bet I could; in fact, I couldn’t send the remaining chapters off fast enough! The thing that stands out most, though, is the excitement I felt on being involved in choice of my book’s dust jacket. A real ‘wow’ moment, especially as I love it!

Why choose the medical romance genre? Well, they say write what you know and I am a retired nurse. So, it made sense to use a medical setting as the backdrop for my story. Also, I remain passionate about good palliative care; it really does make the difference. So, if you’re looking for something new – a ‘feel good’ book to curl up with on a winter evening by a cosy log fire, perhaps – then look no further.

EXTRACT

“I like you, Phoebe Jackson – very much.” Placing a finger on her lips, Oliver silenced her. “If we take things any further it’s your call. Only before you make that decision you need to know something. I don’t do families, or long-term commitment. I’m a man who can’t offer roses round the door and a happy ever after ending. So, if that’s what you’re looking for, never say I didn’t warn you.”

Feeling her cheeks flame, Phoebe gasped. Stepping back smartly, she broke Oliver’s hold, head held high.

“I think you’d better go,” she hissed, keeping her voice low because of her son sleeping upstairs. “Though, for the record, aren’t you getting a little ahead of yourself, Oliver? I’m content with my life the way it is. Noah and I are fine on our own. It would take a really special kind of guy to make me even consider changing the status quo. And, in case you hadn’t noticed, I’ve already got roses round my door!”

“Hell, Phoebe, I didn’t mean – – -” Cursing under his breath, he reached for her.

Fending him off, Phoebe’s eyes blazed.

“What exactly did you mean, Oliver? I’m not sure.” Her voice was saccharine sweet. “Are you suggesting, since we live in such close proximity, that you pop round for a spot of sex whenever the mood takes, no strings attached? We are both single, how very convenient. I’m afraid you’ll have to let me get back to you on that one. I haven’t had much experience of playing the hussy.”

“Phoebe, be a gown up. I’m moving on after the summer.” Oliver gave her a hard look. “We both know that. I’m not into making promises I can’t keep.”

‘Making the Difference’ is waiting for you, with an ending that won’t disappoint.

I’ve enjoyed writing Oliver and Phoebe’s story very much. I hope you have equal pleasure reading it.

Very best wishes,

Kathryn Haydon.

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#BlogTour #PromoPost ~ The Season For Love by M.W. Arnold @mick859 @rararesources

Believing she was responsible for the death of her husband, Chrissie Stewart retreats from all those who love her. A chance meeting with mysterious stranger, single-parent Josh Morgan and his bewitching young daughter Lizzy, breathe new life into her and gradually, she feels able to start to let go of the memory of her lost love. Unexpected links are revealed between the two families that strengthen the growing bonds she feels to this man and with the encouragement of her best friend Annie, herself hiding a hidden conflict from Chrissie, she battles with her demons to believe in her ability to trust and love again. Everything comes to a head on Christmas Day; which all goes to show that this is truly The Season for Love.

Purchase links for The Season For Love

Amazon US Amazon UK  B&N  Bookstrand  Smashwords  Kobo US  Kobo UK

About the Author 

Mick is a hopeless romantic who was born in England, and spent fifteen years roaming around the world in the pay of HM Queen Elisabeth II in the Royal Air Force, before putting down roots, and realising how much he missed the travel. This, he’s replaced somewhat with his writing, including reviewing books and writing a regular post at the www.NovelKicks.co.uk blog site.

He’s the proud keeper of a cat bent on world domination, is mad on the music of the Beach Boys and enjoys the theatre and humouring his Manchester United supporting wife. Finally, and most importantly, Mick’s a member of the Romantic Novelists Association, with the forthcoming publication of his debut novel The Season for Love.

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#BlogTour #Extract ~ Blackmail, Sex and Lies by Kathryn McMaster @TrueCrimeNovels @rararesources

Blackmail, Sex and Lies is a story of deception, scandal, and fractured traditional Victorian social values. It is the tale of a naïve, young woman caught up in a whirlwind romance with a much older man. However, both have personality flaws that result in poor choices, and ultimately lead to a tragic end.

For 160 years, people have believed Madeleine Smith to have been guilty of murder. But was she? Could she have been innocent after all?

This Victorian murder mystery, based on a true story, takes place in Glasgow, Scotland, 1857. It explores the disastrous romance between the vivacious socialite, Madeleine Hamilton Smith, and her working class lover, Pierre Emile L’Angelier.

After a two-year torrid, and forbidden relationship with L’Angelier, that takes place against her parents’ wishes, the situation changes dramatically when William Minnoch enters the scene. This new man in Madeleine’s life is handsome, rich, and of her social class. He is also a man of whom her family approve.

Sadly, insane jealous rages, and threats of blackmail, are suddenly silenced by an untimely death.

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Blackmail, Sex and Lies will be dropped to 99p/c for the duration of the blog tour.

About the Author 

Kathryn McMaster is a writer, entrepreneur, wife, mother, and champion of good indie authors. She co-owns the book promotion company One Stop Fiction , where readers can sign up to receive news of free and discounted 4 and 5 star reviewed books. She is also a bestselling author of historical murder mysteries set in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Her debut novel, “Who Killed Little Johnny Gill?” was well received. All her novels are based on true stories, and she melds fact with fiction, writing in the creative nonfiction style. She lives on her 30 acre farm in the beautiful Casentino Valley, Italy for 6 months of the year, and during the other half of the year, on the small island of Gozo, Malta.

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Extract

The novel is based on the true story of the infamous Madeleine Smith. She was a young, vivacious socialite who was accused of murdering her social-climbing, working-class lover, Pierre Emile L’Angelier with the aid of arsenic in Glasgow, 1857. However, this excerpt already casts doubt on the case when we realise that Emile, as he is known, entertains some rather dangerous practices of his own. Here he is setting out a meeting room for the local horticultural society and we are given more clues as to who he really is. Will this dangerous habit the cause of his untimely end, or was it the hand of another?

‘As he brought out the chairs and tables, Emile’s pulse raced with the excitement for the evening ahead. With numerous well-bred women attending this was an opportunity he never passed up. All of them were the type of woman he felt he deserved to be allied to, on the level of society he aspired to attain.

While his thoughts of the various ladies jockeyed for position, William McDougall Ogilvie, assistant bank teller by day, and secretary of the society by night, arrived early to make sure the tables and chairs were set up in good time.

“Ah, Emile my good laddie, how nice to see you again. Is everything under control?”

“Good evening Mr. Ogilvie. Yes, everything’s going according to plan. The room should be ready shortly.”

“Looking forward to the meeting then?”

“Oh yes, as always. I so enjoy mingling with the ladies afterwards.”

“Um, yes, well, I’m looking forward to the talk on Aspidistras tonight. Fascinating plants! And they grow so well indoors. Do you grow any yourself?”

“I wonder if Miss Chatham will be coming this evening. I do hope so. I hear her father’s an excellent surgeon. He’s made quite a name for himself in Dundee, apparently. I think she rather fancies me.”

“Oh, it must be your French accent women find so attractive, L’Angelier.”

“Perhaps. I’ve been thinking of late I should secure myself a wife who’ll help me elevate my position within society. A good marriage is all it’ll take.”

“Quite possibly, but such a marriage would be almost impossible to secure. I wouldn’t advise it. The matters of the heart are complicated enough, without trying to jump class, laddie. Rather stick with the breed you know.”

To Ogilvie’s relief, the conversation turned to safer ground. Emile embarked on an anecdote concerning a journey to France with a person of some distinction. How they had given him charge of all their luggage, carriages, and horses, when he experienced trouble with the horses en route.

“Oh, the journey was quite arduous, actually, especially for the horses. But I found a simple solution which worked exceedingly well,” said Emile as he started setting out the water glasses on the table.

“What was that?” enquired Ogilvie, sounding rather intrigued.

“Well, some of the horses were really knocked up and I gave them some arsenic which made them accomplish the journey.”

“Arsenic? Good Lord! What effect did this have on the horses?”

“It made them long-winded and enabled me to complete the arduous ride with ease.”

“Yes, but weren’t you worried you would end up poisoning them?”

Emile laughed and casually flicked off some imaginary lint from the tablecloth.

“Oh no, not at all. You see, I take it myself.”

“You take it yourself? Laddie, that cannot be true. I certainly wouldn’t like to try it.”

“I’m not suggesting you do, Mr. Ogilvie, but I’ve been taking it for years now, and I’ve suffered no ill-effects at all. It improves the complexion, you know. I used to have pains in my back for many years, and shortness of breath at times from asthma, but that’s all gone now.”

“Really? You can’t ingest it then, surely?”

“I take it a number of ways, but mainly I drink a few grains from time to time in my tea. Here, I’ll show you.”

He walked back to his office, and after a few moments came back with a small envelope to prove his point. He opened it up carefully, and inside was a small amount of brilliant white, crystalline powder.

He closed it up again making sure the arsenic grains stayed well contained.

“I take handfuls of poppy seeds too, quite regularly,” he went on to admit. “I eat them in such large quantities it makes me quite lightheaded, but all rather enjoyable. It does help in this miserable world of ours, don’t you think?”

“Well, I’m surprised you don’t seem to have suffered any ill-effects, if what you say is true. From the arsenic, that is,” said Ogilvie.

“Ill effects? None whatsoever. I recommend it, Ogilvie. Perhaps you should try it, after all.” ‘

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#PublicationDayPush ~ Recluse Millionaire, Reluctant Bride by @sunchara3 @rararesources #BookBoost

Is his reluctant bride a business risk or a personal necessity?

Stan Rogers, recluse millionaire, must negotiate a risky deal with Stella Ryan, the exotic beauty from his past, to gain custody of his son. But how can he close the deal with her, the one and only woman who flips his switches and pegs him as the enemy?

Martial artist Stella knows she should steer clear of Stan, the man who had shattered her heart and could still destroy her. Four years have passed since their hostile business deal, and now, the American financier is proposing holy matrimony…but she’s the reluctant bride wondering, what’s he up to?

Purchase Link – Here

About the Author 

Sun Chara, an Amazon top 100 bestseller, writes sexy, hip ‘n fun contemporary romance for Harper Impulse. JABBIC winner, Manhattan Millionaire’s Cinderella launched her writing career, spinning the ‘global millionaire’s series’. She makes her home in southern California, and has appeared on stage/film to rave reviews in How the Other Half Loves, General Hospital, and McGee and Me. With a Master’s Degree in Education, and membership in SAG/AFTRA and Romance Writers of America, she enjoys sipping designer Frappuccinos topped with whipped cream/sprinkles, and dancing on the beach…making everyday a celebration!

Sun loves to hear from her readers on: Facebook Twitter

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