Book Tours · Excerpt · Fiction · Guest Post · Q & A with Author

French Letters Children of a Good War by Jack Woodville London

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Synopsis:

Eleanor Hastings knew from experience that some bombs lie buried for decades before blowing up to hurt someone. Now, forty years after World War II, a cache of faded wartime letters is discovered in a cellar, causing Eleanor’s husband, Frank, to understand that he really was a bastard and sending him on a quest to find out who he really is — and to uncover his family’s long-buried secrets.

“Children of a Good War is like a giant puzzle you think you’ve solved, then find more unsettling pieces. Intelligent and engrossing, hard to put down, London’s best novel to date lingers in your thoughts long after you close it and turn out the lights.”
— Author Joyce Faulkner, winner of the Howard-Johnson Prize for Historical Fiction

Best Novel of the Year — Military Writers Society of America
Best Novel of the South — Willie Morris, Finalist
Best Novel with a Romantic Element — Dear Author, Finalist

 

Purchase Links

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Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/French-Letters-Children-Good-War/dp/099061218X/ref=sr_1_fkmr3_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1541876953&sr=8-1-fkmr3&keywords=french+letters+children+of+a+god+war

B&N:https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/french-letters-jack-woodville-london/1129542078?ean=9780990612186

 




EXCERPT

 

Chapter Ten

i.

When Frank was nine years old he watched Peter shoot a BB gun at birds on a highline wire and wondered, Why don’t they just fly away? and then, Why doesn’t the electricity shock them?

Frank wondered a lot of things.  He wondered why Hercules liked to play fetch with him but not with Peter.  He wondered why he had a used bike but Tog had a new one.  He wondered why there were different churches for just one Bible, and why Tog seemed reasonably happy about not going to any of them.  He wondered why he was invisible whenever Peter was present (Sunday school class, junior high band, school cafeteria and assemblies, Saturday night at the movie theater, any time they went to The Corral), and why he had a learning disability (I’m retarded…), a concern raised by the requirement of Bridle High School that all students had to take trigonometry and chemistry, neither of which he intended to use in his grown-up life.

               He also wondered why he took little interest in the very things that Peter was so good at, such as football, basketball, track, girls, and Mother’s 1962 Chevrolet.  He wondered why he wasn’t kicked off the football team after mooning Peter at the Homecoming game, suspecting (rightly) that the coach knew that Tog depended on Frank to help him pass English and history during the football season. He next wondered why he was disinvited from the school sports banquet after the season was over, suspecting (rightly) that it had to do with mooning Peter at the Homecoming game. 

Frank once wondered, on a very cold and cloudless night one week after the sports banquet, why water does not freeze inside a town’s water tower, but when that same water is filled into the bed of Marshall’s pickup and then laid down in sheets on Main Street by driving the pickup back and forth as the water seeps out from the tailgate, it freezes on pavement like ice on a skating rink. 

He also wondered why a couple of gallons of very wet chicken manure added to a gallon of gasoline didn’t burn well but when fifteen pounds of dried manure, plus a box of saltpeter from the school cafeteria pantry, were added to gasoline, the mixture would scorch grass, chalk yard lines, dirt, subsoil, and everything beneath it in the shape of the letter ‘S,’ and continue to burn for quite a long time while the coach and superintendent slid around on the ice on Main Street before getting to the school football field to see what that  odd glow was, visible in the night sky.

The following Sunday, while squeezed onto a pew between Virginia and Will, listening to a sermon on the fires of Hell, Frank wondered why no one preached the chapter in Luke where Jesus told the multitudes that he had come to bring fire to the earth and wished it already were kindled or, about the Prince of Peace telling the Twelve Apostles in the book of Matthew that he came not to bring peace but a sword.  That Jesus sounded like someone interesting.

               In his last few months at home, before graduation, Frank wondered whether Tog would ever come back to him.  In his first few months at college he wondered why he had to take math and science, which he intended to never use in his grown-up life. 

As a sophomore, he wondered why they seemed to be having so much trouble beating Vietnam and, later, after graduation, whythey assigned to his birthday the very first number drawn in the draft lottery, the only lottery that Frank ever won.  He soon wondered why he was sent to infantry training and then why he was so bad at it.  He wondered if he would live to drive the used Volkswagen that Will had given him for college graduation and, when he did, whether going to graduate school and writing for a newspaper in Austin would give him the skill he

needed to write about what he really saw in Vietnam.  Frank soon came to wonder also why no one had told him sooner about live music, the Soap Creek Saloon, Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July picnics, or longneck beers. 

               Frank’s curiosity was not purely inward looking.  He asked why, whenever anyone believed that if something could be separate but equal, they always wanted it to be separate.  He asked his editor why a highway divided East Austin from rich Austin and why Mexican laborers were paid less to roof houses and pour cement than scruffy white guys who didn’t work as hard or do as good a job; his editor said they were good questions.  He asked why farmers who depended on government subsidy checks always voted for the candidate who would cut the farm budget, and why anyone thought that it was Ronald Reagan rather than Ayatollah Khomeini and the Fedayeen who really had defeated Jimmy Carter in the 1980 election.  Pat C. Oh said they were rhetorical questions.  He genuinely wanted to know why President Reagan thought that death squads for democracy were more likely to work in El Salvador than they had in Vietnam and why a coup in once-British Grenada was an American problem; no one wanted to talk about those questions. 

Some of these wonders became files of clippings for stories that were never written.  When Frank pitched them, Mr. Burnam said that Frank needed to focus on city council meetings and school board hearings.

               Frank was not aware of everything, not even everything that mattered.  He was unaware of interest rates, unaware that plastic is not biodegradable, and unaware that security investment regulations usually were enacted after some investment firm had figured out a new way to cheat its investors. 

He was completely unaware when, during a graduate seminar on “Reporting Foreign Political Events,” in which he asked why Margaret Thatcher thought that putting huge swaths of coal workers and shipbuilders out of work would make England a better place for them to live on unemployment benefits, that a young woman was passing by the open doorway.  He didn’t know for a long time that she heard him question whether the rousing use of a crushing military action against a third-world banana republic would restore dignity to unemployed coal miners in Yorkshire and, hearing no answer to his question, that she stood in the doorway long enough to figure out which one of the people in the room had asked the very point she had read in a three-week-old copy of the Manchester Guardian, which she had stumbled across in the graduate school library reading room.  Of course, she was unaware that he had noticed her reading theGuardian and had wanted to find out for himself what interested a person who looked like her. 

               In short, like younger brothers everywhere, Frank grew up largely invisible but observant, standing out from the crowd more often by doing something that upset someone’s expectations rather by doing something that met them

Frank Hastings had no clear understanding that the purpose of his life was to be the person who asked why as a means to making the world a more open place, if not a better one.  Indeed, the only two people who clearly knew that were Eleanor, who for several weeks after hearing his voice in the seminar room had followed Frank at a discrete distance until he finally discovered her, and his father, Will, who now was dead.

 

About the Author:

 

jack w london headshot

Honored as Author of the Year, MWSA 2011-2012, and winner, Indie Excellence Award, 2013, is the author of the award-winning French Letters fiction series.  His novels are praised for their meticulous historical research and ability to capture the language, attitudes, and moral culture of their setting in prose described by reviewers as ‘beautiful, but not pretentious.’

The World War II-era novel Virginia’s War was a Finalist for Best Novel of the South and the Dear Author ‘Novel with a Romantic Element’ contests. His ‘parallel-quel’ novel Engaged in War won the silver medal at the London Book Festival for General Fiction and the Silver prize in the Stars and Flags Historical Fiction competition.  It was the Book of the Month by both Good Reads and the Military Writers Society of America and was the book for which the Indie Excellence Award was given to Jack in 2013.

The third volume in the series, Children of a Good War,  is on track for publication in 2018.  One pre-publication reader wrote “Intelligent and engrossing, it’s hard to put down, (his) best novel to date lingers in your thoughts long after you close it and put out the lights.”  Look for pre-order information in the near future.

And, Jack’s non-fiction book on the craft of writing, A Novel Approach, won the e-Lit gold medal for non-fiction books in 2014-2015.  It is now the standard work for use by veterans in classes presented by the Military Writers Society of America on the craft of writing fiction.

He has published some thirty literary articles and fifty book reviews, all in addition to a lengthy career as a courtroom lawyer and a forty year writing career as the author of technical legal articles, beginning with his appointment as managing editor during law school of the University of Texas International Law Journal.

Jack shares his love of writing with presentations and lectures at writing conferences throughout the United States and abroad.  He has in the past presented at the Historical Novel Society Annual Convention; Military Writers Society of America; Historical Novel Society; Southwest Writers; Writers League of Texas; Central Texas Authors; University of Texas, San Diego State, Stanford, Herriott-Watt University in Edinburg, Scotland, and University of Padua, Italy, as well as US DOD schools and Navy bases in Europe.  He teaches writing classes to veterans who want to learn the conventions and devices of fiction writing so that they, too, can write their stories.

And, apart from literature, Jack also is the co-author of two of the most widely published and essential books for trial lawyers, the Pattern Jury Charge series for Business and Deceptive Practices and for Professional Negligence, Products Liability, and Premises.

Jack is a reader as well as a writer.   His cheeky, much-loved series of book reviews, ‘On the Nightstand,’ is on this website.  Jack reviews the books we all read, from New York Times best sellers to under-the-radar releases and the classics and rates them based on how well they keep him awake — a 100 watt book is a real page-turner and a 20 watt book helps Jack sleep by conking him out pretty quickly.   Click on the the tab for On the Nightstand and find some great reads.

And, Jack still is a student.  He is learning more of the craft of creative writing student at Rewley College, Oxford University, under his tutor, Dr. Jonathan Miles, who also is a critically acclaimed author.

Jack grew up in small town Texas before earning degrees at the University of Texas and West Texas State University and earning certificates at the Fiction Academy, St. Céré, France and Ecole Francaise, Trois Ponts, France.    He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, Alice, and Junebug the writing cat.

 

Social Media 

Website: https://jwlbooks.com/

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

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/JackWoodvilleLondon




Author Guest Post

 

Share the first sentence (or first three sentences) of the book and comment on it

There was a minor commotion in the street and she realized that she had no choice but to follow him outside. It was a relief, she felt, although she knew it was only a postponement. Miss Herald had gone to Faversham to tell Eldred Potts that she would no longer walk out with him, as it then was called.”

I set out to create a world for a woman named ‘Miss Herald.’ Who is she? She lived somewhere close to Faversham, which is an ancient village in England, ten miles or so from Canterbury and on the Roman road where the pilgrims of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales spent their last night before arriving in Canterbury proper. And, since she didn’t live in Faversham, where did she live? We soon learn that she lives in Canterbury where she attends the local ‘new’ university and studies archaeology. We also learn that Faversham is the site of a mostly-demolished ruin where in the 1100’s an English queen and king were patrons of the church and were buried; Miss Herald has undergraduate fantasies of fame from discovering their remains or unearthing some other hidden relic of the past.

So, what was she doing in Faversham when the book begins? Rather than an archaeological dig at the monastery, she was there to tell her boyfriend that she was through with him. I tried to infuse a bit of ‘bygonese’ into the paragraph by using the term ‘walk out’ as both a British term for dating and as a term that is now out of fashion.

Their names are clues. A ‘Herald’ is someone who brings news or is the sign that something is about to happen. I added another clue to the fact something was about to happen by saying her following Potts into the street because of a minor commotion was a ‘postponement.’ Potts is a reference to what most archaeological digs yield, shards of pottery.

What is it that she heralds? Her presence heralds that buried bombs can explode to injure people long after they’ve been forgotten. That is one of the major themes of the novel. And, before long, Potts is no longer with us, the victim of a cow that stepped on a buried bomb from World War II and landed on him. And, on a more intimate scale, she is not invited to Potts’ funeral; the locals said that his unfortunate demise was what might be expected as Potts should not have been trying to court Miss Herald in the first place, but should have stayed with ‘his own kind.’”

Miss Herald is indeed different, and things are about to happen.




Author Q & A

 

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to race sports cars until I was about 14, then wanted to be a basketball player. Then I wanted to be a history professor. I always wanted to be a writer.

What is your education/career background?

Groom High School; BA in History and Foreign Relations at West Texas State University; jurisdoctor of law degree at the University of Texas; Certificat at Academy of Fiction, St. Séré, France; presently in graduate school in creative writing at Rewley College, Oxford.

When you are struggling to write/have writer’s block, what are some ways that help you find your creative muse again?

I dig out one of several novels that just light my fires. Larry McMurtry teaches creative writing with every sentence. I read almost anything by Evelyn Waugh or Anthony Powell. John Lanchester and Hilary Mantel are creative and inspiring.

What do you think makes a good story?

A flawed protagonist, a conflict, a solution, then disaster.

Do you have any interesting writing habits or superstitions?

Probably not. I believe that when working on fiction, you should attempt 1000 words a day. I also believe that you should begin by reading what you wrote yesterday, edit and revise it, then move on to a fresh 1000 words. Repeat tomorrow.

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Book Blitz · Book Tours · Chick Lit · Giveaways · Q & A with Author · Women's Fiction

The Barn of Buried Dreams by Chrissie Bradshaw Mini Blog Blitz with Q & A with Author & Giveaway (Paperback copy of ‘The Barn of Buried Dreams’, limited edition mug featuring both of Chrissie Bradshaw’s  novels and a box of fresh macarons delivered from ‘Urban Cakehouse’ (Open to UK Only)

 

The Barn of Buried Dreams

The Barn of Buried Dreams

by Chrissie Bradshaw

 

Synopsis: 

Erin and Heather Douglas are struggling. Their mother’s death has left a void in their family and everyday life has side-lined their dreams.

Erin has buried herself away in the family home and left her stage career. By hiding away, she is evading the pain of returning to London and the acting world where her ex-fiancé is enjoying success and a new relationship. When she meets charismatic Texan Jackson McGee, she wrestles with her feelings for him. Should she trust another man?

Heather is juggling babies, work, a rocky marriage and running on wine. An overheard conversation makes her ask, would Mark cheat on her?

Can the sisters help one another to face their fears, dust off and revive those dreams and find joy in life?

 

Purchase Links

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Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Barn-Buried-Dreams-When-daylight-ebook/dp/B07GY3YFQ7

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Barn-Buried-Dreams-When-daylight-ebook/dp/B07GY3YFQ7

Author Bio

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Q & A with Chrissie Bradshaw:

 

How did you come up with the idea for this book?

My novels are stand alone yet they are linked because they are set around one or two families in a Northumbrian village called Dunleith. This is a village near the border to Scotland where ‘reivers’ from either side were bandits and it was a bit like the wild west so characters are hardy.  Some of the characters of book one come into book two. They can be read in either order.

The whole idea for ‘The Barn of Buried Dreams’ arose because Heather Douglas was a ‘best friend’ to Cleo Moon in ‘A Jarful of Moondreams’ and, because she is quite a strong character, she wanted her own story. I gave her equal billing with her sister Erin in ‘The Barn of Buried Dreams’ because Heather is a bit like Marmite and Erin is just lovely and, as sisters, their stories intertwine.

(Marmite is a salty yeast spread that we eat in the UK and you either love it or detest it)

What was your favorite thing about each character?

Heather first appears in a small role in my first novel. She is a fiesty drama queen who demanded a story of her own. Remember the Marmite comparison? You love her or you want to shake her.I really put her through the mill in ‘The Barn of Buried Dreams’ and she came through. My favorite thing about her is that her heart is in the right place.

Heather’s sister, Erin has had a wonderful life and then been hit hard by the loss of her mother and a break up with her fiancé. I love her thoughtfulness and her strength of character that shines through in the end.

Jackson McGee my Texan hero is my favorite kind of man. Good-natured, good-looking, strong yet vulnerable. Have you seen Scott Eastwood, Clint Eastwood’s son? He’d be perfect in the role of Jackson.

Do you have a playlist you listen to when writing?

I do! I played Fleetwood Mac’s version of ‘How do you hang on to a dream?’ a lot. One of the characters is in musical theatre so I played, ‘Les Mis’ quite a bit. Lastly, I played music from ‘Nashville’ because I love it and my Texan Jackson McGee loves it too. I’d have Deacon Claybourne (Charles Estes) playing Jackson’s dad. What a father-in-law.

Any favorite foods/drinks you like while writing?

Black tea with a biscuit (cookie) or two.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always liked reading and writing my own stories came from that. I knew I’d write novels one day. In my late twenties and thirties, I juggled my career with being a single parent and my dreams of writing novels, finding my ideal man or travelling had to be put on hold. My energy was used up with the school run, a challenging job and after school activities. Luckily, I loved my job and loved my daughter so I was tired but happy and fulfilled. Those childhood years are precious and we can’t grab them back even though we sometimes think the summer holidays are neverending! My three dreams were buried away but eventually they all saw daylight. My younger self would be amazed to know that I’d be a happily remarried, well- travelled author, one day.

What made me knuckle down to writing a novel was a bloody great storm in my G cup. That kick started it all! I was fit and healthy so I surprised when I found out I had an aggressive breast cancer but I didn’t ever think ‘why me?’  Why not when it happens to 1 in 8 of us women? I felt numb as I prepared for the treatments and prepared for the worst scenario. Would my time be far shorter than I’d ever imagined?

Secretly( I didn’t want to upset my family) I set about writing a bucket list. I’m good at writing lists but not so great at carrying them out! This was the most important list I’d written. I thought about writing and the pleasure it gave me so that went on the list. I thought I would quite like to do a lot of things but nothing compared to writing. My real regret was  not ever getting down to writing those novels in my head so my bucket list was short. Write a novel!

As soon as my ‘chemo fog’ lifted, I got to work on an idea I had been playing around with for far too long. At that point, I didn’t care if my novel was published or not as long as I finished it. That was my promise to myself.

 What are some are your favorite reads?

My favourite reads include ‘Me Before You’ and anything by JoJo Moyes.

‘Rachel’s Holiday ‘ and every book by the brilliant Marian Keyes.

Jane Fallon, Jane Green and Lisa Jewell are also writers I love. I devour their novels as soon as they are released.



A giveaway. A read, a cuppa and a treat.

The Barn Giveaway Prize - IMG_2270

Win a Paperback copy of ‘The Barn of Buried Dreams’, limited edition mug featuring both of Chrissie Bradshaw’s  novels and a box of fresh macarons delivered from ‘Urban Cakehouse’. (Open to UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494162/?

 

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4-Star Review · Book Tours · Christie's Reviews · Giveaways · Q & A with Author · Women's Fiction

Oh! What a Pavolova Book Birthday Blitz with Review, Q & A with the Author, & Giveaway {Win a signed copy of The Cocktail Bar (Open Internationally)}

Oh What A Pavlova

 

Oh! What a Pavlova

by Isabella May

Synopsis: 

Kate Clothier is leading a double life: a successful jet-setting businesswoman to the outside world, but behind closed doors, life with Daniel and his volcanic temper is anything but rosy.

Some days – heck, make that EVERY day – cake is her only salvation. 

Slowly but surely, the cities she visits – and the men she meets – help her to realise there IS a better future.

And the ley lines of Glastonbury are certainly doing their best to impart their mystical wisdom…

But will she escape before it’s too late?



Christie’s Review

4 STARS

Very well-written and thought provoking book!

Looking at Kate from the outside, at first glance, you would think she lives a life anyone would envy. However, if you took a deeper look, you would see it’s anything but that. She lives a double-life. She is a successful businesswoman and travels all over the world, meeting interesting people along the way. At home, if’s very different, she has lived with a man who is quick-tempered and abusive. As she continues to travel, she begins to think maybe there is a better, happy future for her, but she is the one who has to take that first step before things get a lot worse.

There were times I wanted to slap some sense into Kate. She is by no means perfect. She has flings with men, but she always goes home to Daniel every single time. Her taste in men at times is definitely not the best. I wanted her to get off the dangerous merry go round she was on, yet I could understand her reasons because of her fear and self-confidence issues which are all parts of being captive in a violent relationship with someone.

I thought Isabella May did a great job of showing her readers some aspects of domestic violence that we may not always see or even know about. Kate is successful. She does travel, and she seeks the companionship of men who may give her a brief respite. She also shows us those men don’t fix the issue. Kate has do do that for herself. She has to learn to love herself and be healthy before she can jump into another relationship. She told  Kate’s story with love, understanding, and even gave us a few laughs. Hopefully, someone in a similar relationship will read Kate’s story and take his or her first step to finding a life that is both safe and happy!



Oh Waht A Pavlova Book Cover

Purchase Link: myBook.to/pavlova

 

Author Bio 

Oh What a Author Pic

Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalucia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the sea and the mountains. When she isn’t having her cake and eating it, sampling a new cocktail on the beach, or ferrying her children to and from after school activities, she can usually be found writing. As a co-founder and a former contributing writer for the popular online women’s magazine, The Glass House Girls – www.theglasshousegirls.com – she has also been lucky enough to subject the digital world to her other favourite pastimes, travel, the Law of Attraction, and Prince (The Purple One). She has recently become a Book Fairy, and is having lots of fun with her imaginative ‘drops’! Costa del Churros is her third novel with Crooked Cat Books, following on from the hit sensations, Oh! What a Pavlova and The Cocktail Bar.

Social Media Links –

www.isabellamayauthor.com

Twitter – @IsabellaMayBks

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/IsabellaMayAuthor/

Instagram – @isabella_may_author

 

Q & A with Isabella May

 

How did you come up with the idea for this book?

Seven years, a whole lot of brainstorming, a burning desire to dispel the myth that a violent relationship is violent all of the time, a background in publishing, and a huge love of cake.

 

What was your favorite things about each character?

Well, there are a lot of versatile characters jumping across the pages of ‘Oh! What a Pavlova’, so we’d be here a while if I listed them all…

I’ll plump for three of the main females instead:

Kate – spontaneous, intuitive, creative

Daisy – literary, supportive, dependable, an excellent listener

Steph – body positive, self-assured, rule-breaker

 

​ Do you have a playlist you listen to when writing?

No, I need absolute silence when I write. The lyrics of my favourite artists would probably end up in my sentences! I’ve yet to experiment with a little light classical music as a backdrop though…

 

Any favorite foods/drinks you like while writing?

Coffee, cake, and copious amounts of water.

 

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I think my inner-self has been nudging me in this direction all my life. As a small child I would create witty stories complete with (badly drawn!) illustrations. As a slightly older kid, I moved on to surreptitiously passing folded concertina paper games of ‘Consequences’ around the classroom. As a grown-up (although I’m not sure I’ve done a whole lot of that), I loved nothing more than to concoct essay-style emails in the workplace in response to my male colleagues’ bullet point questions.

 

What are some are your favorite reads?

I’m a huge fan of Joanne Harris and love the way she fuses magical realism into real life. Daisy James and Julie Caplin write some pretty damn good romantic comedies. I’m also a sucker for a bit of Jonas Jonasson wit, as well as a Julian Fellowes period drama.

Giveaway

Win a signed copy of The Cocktail Bar (Open Internationally)

Oh Giveaway Prize - The Cocktail Bar

 

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494147/?

Book Tours · Fiction · Q & A with Author

The Benevolent Dictator by Tom Trott Blog Tour with Q & A with Author

The Benevolent Dictator

The Benevolent Dictator

by Tom Trott

 

Ben longs to be prime minister one day. But with no political connections, he is about to crash out of a Masters degree with no future ahead. So when by chance he becomes fast friends with a young Arab prince, and is offered a job in his government, he jumps at the chance to get on the political ladder.

Amal dreads the throne. And with Ben’s help he wants to reform his country, steering it onto a path towards democracy. But with the king’s health failing, revolutionaries in the streets, and terrorism threatening everyone, the country is ready to tear itself apart.

Alone in a hostile land, Ben must help Amal weigh what is best against what is right, making decisions that will risk his country, his family, and his life.

 

Purchase Links

TBDmain_tweet

https://tomtrott.com/tbd

www.amazon.co.uk/Benevolent-Dictator-Tom-Trott-ebook/dp/B07BZQHTDB

Author Bio 

TBD - MePromoCollege5

Tom Trott was born in Brighton. He first started writing at Junior School, where he and a group of friends devised and performed comedy plays for school assemblies, much to the amusement of their fellow pupils. Since leaving school and growing up to be a big boy, he has written a short comedy play that was performed at the Theatre Royal Brighton in May 2014 as part of the Brighton Festival; he has written Daye’s Work, a television pilot for the local Brighton channel, and he has won the Empire Award (thriller category) in the 2015 New York Screenplay Contest. He is the proverbial Brighton rock, and currently lives in the city with his wife.

Social Media Links –

www.twitter.com/tjtrott

 www.facebook.com/tomtrottbooks

www.tomtrott.com


Q & A With Tom Trott

How did you come up with the idea for this book?

This book was one of those lightbulb moments where the story arrived almost complete in a burst of inspiration. But there’s no way that would have happened if I hadn’t read The Great Gatsby, loved Ozymandias, and watched Adam Curtis’s documentary Hypernormalisation. The novel is some strange hybrid of those three very different things, all packed into a thriller.

 

What was your favorite thing about each character?

My favourite thing about Ben, the narrator, is that he is an entirely well-meaning person, he always wants what’s best for everyone. I had not written from the perspective of a character like that before and it’s a much nicer headspace to spend a year in; it’s also an enjoyable challenge to make a compelling character out of.

 

Do you have a playlist you listen to when writing?

No, but I often watch five minutes of a film before I write, in order to occupy the right tone. In this case it was Adam Curtis’s documentaries, both Hypernormalisation and Bitter Lake.

 

Any favorite foods/drinks you like while writing?

Just coffee. I treat myself to one from my Nespresso machine when I’m writing. I did eat raspberries whilst writing one chapter and they made it into the chapter in a really important way. In that case it was fortuitous, but another time it could be a disaster.

 

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Not until I had graduated from University. I always wanted to be a storyteller, but it took a lot of different forms before that: actor, director, etc. I finally decided to write a novel after reading Ian Rankin’s account of writing his first Rebus book. I would encourage any who is thinking of writing a novel to just throw caution to the wind and write it, and most important of all, finish it.

 

What are some are your favorite reads?

I love Raymond Chandler, and I’ll always go back to his books, particularly The Lady in the Lake. I also love Agatha Christie, J. K. Rowling, Tolkien, Philip Pullman, Arthur Conan Doyle, my tastes are all over the place. The book I read this year that I would recommend to everyone is Rebecca. I was overwhelmed by how good it was. In one particular paragraph I was completely transported to the point where I could smell the sea air she was describing and feel the breeze on my face! I haven’t had that kind of experience since I was a child.


 

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5-Star Review · Book Tours · Christie's Reviews · Excerpt · Historical Fiction · Historical Romance · New Review · Q & A with Author · Romance

Condemned & Admired: The Earl’s Cunning Wife (Love’s Second Chance Book 9) by Bree Wolf Book Tour with Excerpt, 5-Star Review, & Q & A with Author

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Condemned & Admired: The Earl’s Cunning Wife (Love’s Second Chance Book 9)

by Bree Wolf

 

Book Blurb

A French privateer’s daughter. A marquess’s son.

And a chance encounter on the high seas.


Twelve years ago, Lady Silcox fled England with her six-year-old daughter Violet to spare her the life she herself had been forced into: an arranged marriage to an older man.
Today, VIOLET WINTERS is a grown woman sailing the seas on her French stepfather’s privateer, dreaming of commandeering a ship of her own. However, when she stumbles upon a betrothal announcement of the man she was set to marry, Violet cannot help but feel honour-bound to protect the woman who had been forced to take her place.
Fortune smiles on Violet and delivers an English lord into her hands – and with him the chance to return to England unrecognised.

OLIVER CORNELL, EARL OF CULLINGWOOD, is trapped in a life he abhors. Not seen as a son, but merely an heir, he dreams of sailing the seas, the epitome of freedom.
By sheer happenstance, Oliver ends up on a merchant vessel, which is promptly boarded by a French privateer. On board the Chevalier Noir, Oliver meets the captain’s daughter, a woman unlike any other he has ever met. Utterly fascinated by the adventurous gleam in her eyes, he does not hesitate to offer his assistance when Violet finds herself in need of a guide to London’s upper society.
Revelling in his first taste of adventure, Oliver poses as her husband…only to realise before long that posing as her husband will not be good enough.
Can a privateer’s daughter and a marquess’s son ever have a happily-ever-after? Or is their love doomed to fail?

 

EXCERPT

Giveaway question: Have you ever lived on borrowed time?

Once the last course had been cleared off the table, the circle of friends moved into the ballroom where–to Violette’s surprise–they found a young man seating himself at the pianoforte.

“Shall we begin with a waltz?” Oliver asked, winking at Violette as he reached for her hand.

Chuckles rose from the others as they all turned toward their spouses, eyes filled with deep emotions as they looked at one another.

The man at the pianoforte began to play, and Violette took note of the impeccable way the other two couples began to move across the empty dance floor. A lump settled in her stomach, and a hint of panic raced through her veins.

“Look at me,” Oliver said, his voice strong, as he pulled her into his arms. “Don’t look at them,” he whispered when their eyes met. “You can do this. We can do this.”

Doing her best to remember the steps, Violette allowed Oliver to guide her to the soft notes of the music, her gaze dropping down to her feet again and again.

“Look at me,” Oliver repeated, pulling her against his chest so that she was no longer able to see her feet.

Violette glared at him. “I should think this is rather inappropriate,” she commented, trying her best to keep her voice from losing its seriousness. “What will the lords and ladies of the ton think?”

Oliver grinned. “That I’m very fond of my wife.”

Violette suppressed a laugh. “Be serious.”

“I am.” His gaze held hers, and suddenly there was no mockery in the way he looked at her.

Inhaling a deep breath, Violette could feel his fingers tracing intricate patterns across her back where his hand rested gently, and yet, insistently while his other closed more tightly around her own. There was something in his eyes. Something that spoke of deep longing, and yet, he seemed peaceful, satisfied with the place he had found in life.

At least for the moment.

Violette felt her heart skip a beat as she tried to interpret the emotions that were dancing over Oliver’s face, and a touch of panic crept up her spine. Although she was far from disinclined–in fact, rather curious–from exploring a physical relationship with her fake husband, Violette knew that anything more would only lead to complications.

After all, his place was here in London as the future marquess while her own was out at sea. No amount of wishful thinking could change that.

No matter what they felt, what might come of the time they spent together pretending to be husband and wife, in the end, they would have to go their separate ways.

Averting her gaze, Violette looked over Oliver’s shoulder, refusing to meet his gaze as he tried to re-establish the connection they had had. The connection that had made her realise that the greatest danger on this endeavour was not to have her secret revealed, but to lose her heart to a man who could never share her life.

When the music stopped, there was a moment when Violette looked up and saw not only confusion but also a touch of fear in Oliver’s eyes. Had he felt it, too? She wondered. Had he just now realised the same thing? That they lived on borrowed time?



 

Christie’s Review

5 STARS

What a fantastic historical fiction/romance! I am new to the series, so I was relieved to know this could be read as a standalone! Getting to know Violette and Oliver was a perfect way to spend the day!

Violette is swept away from the life that was dictated to her by her cold, unfeeling father, Viscount Silcox, one dark night by her strong, protective mother and a French privateer. Years later, her mother and stepfather, that French privateer who whisked them away, have given her a life of freedom to make her own choices. England is a lifetime away until one day all that changes when a prisoner and a notice of a upcoming wedding change everything, and she finds herself back in the possible crosshairs of her unfeeling father.

Oliver dreams of a life outside the stuffy, regimented society of England that comes with being an Earl. He can never live up to his father’s standards, but he doesn’t believe he has the courage to take control over his own destiny that is until he becomes the prisoner of Violette and her family on a French sea vessel.

This is a couple destined to be together even though all odds are against them. When Oliver agrees to help Violette by posing as her husband, all bets are off. I liked both of them as individuals so I adored them as a couple. She helps him embrace his passionate, adventurous side all the while helping him find the freedom he craves. He shows her another side of life beside the open sea…a life full of love and support. He truly sees her as an equal, and he treats her as such.

This wasn’t just your ordinary historical romance. Violette wasn’t a damsel in distress, and she didn’t need a hero to save her because she was the hero. I just LOVED that concept. Yes, Oliver was a support, but they were equals which is a couple ahead of their time during that era.

Underlying all the romance, intrigue, and adventure was the theme of family and what constitutes a family…is it blood or relationships? Wolf does an amazing job of showing her readers that blood doesn’t make a family as you will clearly see in this novel, but it’s the love and relationships you form with others that make up a family.

I highly recommend reading if you love historical fiction/romance, and I recommend reading even if this genre isn’t your cup of tea. You might just become a fan after reading a Bree Wolf novel!



 

Purchase Links:

Webage: www.breewolf.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7333700.Bree_Wolf

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/breewolf.novels/

Facebook EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/408576936315941/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Condemned-Admired-Cunning-Second-Chance-ebook/dp/B07D3TBHL7/

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/condemned-admired-the-earls-cunning-wife-bree-wolf/1128641189?ean=2940162096047

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/condemned-admired

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/condemned-admired-earls-cunning-wife-9-loves-second/id1382213939?mt=11

Author’s Bio

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USA Today bestselling author Bree Wolf has always been a language enthusiast (though not a grammarian!) and is rarely found without a book in her hand or her fingers glued to a keyboard. Trying to find her way, she has taught English as a second language, traveled abroad and worked at a translation agency as well as a law firm in Ireland. She also spent loooong years obtaining a BA in English and Education and a MA in Specialized Translation while wishing she could simply be a writer. Although there is nothing simple about being a writer, her dreams have finally come true.

“A big thanks to my fairy godmother!”

Currently, Bree has found her new home in the historical romance genre, writing Regency novels and novellas. Enjoying the mix of fact and fiction, she occasionally feels like a puppet master (or mistress? Although that sounds weird!), forcing her characters into ever-new situations that will put their strength, their beliefs, their love to the test, hoping that in the end they will triumph and get the happily-ever-after we are all looking for.

If you’re an avid reader, sign up for Bree’s newsletter at http://www.breewolf.com as she has the tendency to simply give books away. Find out about freebies, giveaways as well as occasional advance reader copies and read before the book is even on the shelves!

Q & A with Bree Wolf

As a writer of historical fiction, is there a lot of research involved when developing a story?

I suppose that depends on your definition of “a lot”. Before I even started writing my first novel in the (pre-)regency period, I naturally did extensive research on peerage, titles, inheritance, marriage, divorce (not really an option those days!), formal etiquette, etc., etc. Now, with each new book added to the series, I get to research a little something new, like the how-to of fencing, all things Scottish, dueling and now privateering (a legal form of piracy). That’s always exciting!

Is there a certain time period in history that is your favorite? If so, what would that be?

The regency era is among my favorites as it provides a very specific setting. There are fixed rules for ladies and gentlemen (more so for ladies, of course!), which do not allow for much wriggle room. Or do they? In truth, I believe that boundaries create opportunities, and I love writing about extraordinary people who find a way around the rules in order to claim their happily-ever-after.

Do you have any other genre you like to read?

While historical romance is undoubtedly my favorite, I also love variations of it. Adding a bit of a mythical theme to history as in adaptations of the tales of King Arthur, for example. In book four in my novel series, Abandoned & Protected, Henrietta travels to Scotland and comes into contact with people who possess certain abilities. As I generally don’t include supernatural concepts, it is only hinted at, and every reader can draw their own conclusion.

I know you have traveled abroad, is there any one place that is your favorite? If so, where, and why was it your favorite?

Well, I’m partial to the Celtic countries as they’re steep in the kind of history that usually gets my creative juices flowing. I cannot set foot in Ireland (my favorite!) without feeling my thoughts whisked away on yet a new adventure. Also the landscape is simply breathtaking and provides a wonderful and more relaxed (compared to London!) backdrop to these love stories. It feels like anything is possible, something I like to bring across in my novels.

This new book begins with a privateer? Were any of the characters based on anyone in history? 

Not particularly. Naturally, I researched privateering in Europe in the early 19th century, but also broadened my research when it became clear that by then privateering was already on a descending branch. Still, I was more taken with what privateering could represent in that era. Again, opportunity to decide one’s own fate. To bend the rules…or break them. Freedom. These are major themes in my newest novel, which is why I chose a setting on the high seas. It seemed fitting.

Book Tour Dates (1)

Cover Reveals · Q & A with Author · Romance

Wait With Me by Amy Daws Cover Reveal with Q & A with Amy!!!!

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Wait With Me by Amy Daws releases April 5!

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When romance novelist, Kate Smith, finds her long lost writing mojo in the customer waiting area of a tire store, the complimentary coffee isn’t the only things that’s hot. But sexy mechanic, Miles Hudson, is just up for a friendly test-drive of her new book idea.
At least, that was the agreement.

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http://bit.ly/WaitWithMe

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Full Blurb

When romance novelist, Kate Smith suddenly gets writers block as she’s beginning the final installment of her international bestselling erotic Bed N Breakfast series, she’ll do pretty much anything to get her groove back.

Like sneak into a Tire Depot waiting room, because her words flow there just like complimentary coffee—smooth, sweet, and scorchingly hot.

She manages to fly under the radar until the rugged and charming mechanic, Miles Hudson, notices the quirky redhead slinking in and out of the employees only entrance.

But she’s way too intriguing to blow the whistle on.

Doing a test-drive of her new book idea sounds like a much better option.

Author QandAScared woman lying in bed and hiding under the sheet

Q: This book says “based on real-life experiences” …what does that mean?
A: Wellllll…let’s put it this way, the dedication to my book says: This book is inspired by real life events. Except for all the hot and romantic parts. My life is not nearly that exciting. So basically, it’s true that I snuck into a tire shop waiting room to write. And I brought countless friends and family cars in to write, just so I had an excuse to come in. But sadly, there was never a hot mechanic that caught my eye and wanted to jump into a friends-with-benefits situation with me. I’m pretty sure my husband would have wanted me to take a hard pass on an offer like that. 😉

Q: What inspired you to turn this experience into a story?
A: Wellllll, my agent initially! I started posting about my Tires Tires Tires excursions on social media and it sort of blew up. Like over 500 reactions to my posts when I was sneaking in…it was crazy. I’d never had so much social media engagement ever! And my agent was like, “Why are you not writing a book about a hot mechanic, Amy!” So, I decided to give it a whirl and let’s just say, the words flowed like that delicious complimentary coffee at TTT.

Q: Why do you think it flowed so effortlessly?
A: Well, I’m American and the majority of my books take place in England so that comes with a lot of challenges to make sure I’m writing true to their dialect. Basing Wait With Me in Colorado and using my own dialect was so fun and refreshing. It’s probably why I wrote it so fast! And I took a lot of the same crazy things that happened to me at Tires Tires Tires and used them in the story, so that gave me a great running start on the story.

Q: Since this book is based on your own experiences, how much is the heroine like yourself?

A: Kate’s voice is a lot like mine. Her humor, her sass. Her reactions. But honestly, that’s where our similarities end. She’s a redhead and she’s from Colorado her family isn’t very supportive of her career. My family is crazy supportive—so her background is truly very different from mine. As the book progressed, she really became her own person. She was super fun though and easy for me to write.

Q: That cover is HOT! Who is the model? Is it a real Tires Tires Tires mechanic?
A: Sadly, no. There’s a bunch of fun guys that work at TTT but I see them more as fun uncles…not sexy mechanics. The model is Austin Loes and he lives nearby, so we got to do the shoot in the TTT garage! It was a blast and he is PERFECT for this cover!!!

Q: Does this book have potential to become a series?
A: It does! There’s a couple of fun secondary characters in this novel that I’d love to tell their stories. And the recurring theme in the series would be that all the “meet cutes” happen in various waiting rooms.

Q: Where can readers catch up on the truth-life Tires Tires Tires full story?
A: I have a fun cliff notes version on my website: www.amydawsauthor.com/tirestirestires

Q: Are you still spending your days writing at Tires Tires Tires?
A: Duh! Complimentary coffee and cookies? I’d be a fool not to! Those guys at TTT have opened their arms to me and I love having a fun and unique writing place to go. It just goes to show that you can find inspiration in the most unlikely places.

AuthorBio13254841_1712669075674776_2966283892361812453_o

Amy Daws is an Amazon Top 100 bestselling author of the Harris Brothers Series and is most known for her punny, footy-playing, British playboys. The Harris Brothers and her London Lovers Series fuel her passion for all things London. When Amy’s not writing, she’s watching Gilmore Girls or singing karaoke in the living room with her daughter while Daddy awkward-smiles from a distance.
For more of Amy’s work, visit: http://www.amydawsauthor.com