#BlogTour : Indigo Lost by S R Summers @IndigoLost : @Authoright #Extract

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I am sharing an extract today for “Indigo Lost” by S R Summers for the blog tour by Authoright. Indigo Lost is available in hardback, paperback and eBook format from Amazon UK

Synopsis:

After the brutal murder of her family, and the uncovering of her mysterious abilities, a young girl escapes and hides in the city of Las Vegas — but who is going to protect her?
Violence has always has always been familiar to seven-year-old Mysty, known for her piercing indigo eyes. Ever since she can remember her father has been an aggressive and brutish man, but then one day things go too far and Mysty witnesses the violent murder of her beloved mother. Taken in by the police for safety and questioning, she realises that she has nobody to turn to and can only rely on herself to survive. So, when she has the chance, she decides to make her escape; the only problem is she’s three floors up and it’s one hell of a drop. But seeing no other option, she takes a leap of faith out of the window and never looks back.
Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, the king of the city, cut-throat mob boss Donny Capello, is contemplating his next takeover when an out-of-control truck nearly crashes into him. Dazed, he notices a skinny young girl with bright blue eyes injured and crouching in a doorway, who he swears somehow saved his life, like a guardian angel. But before he can speak to her she disappears. Determined to find out who the girl is, and why she would trouble herself to save someone as irredeemable as him, Donny Capello will do anything to find her. But she’s not yet ready to reveal herself, and this time there’s no window for her to escape from, and Vegas is Capello’s city, so it’s only a matter of time before he finds her.
In the first book of her epic Infinity Squared series, author S.R. Summers has drawn on her varied life experiences and the challenges she’s personally faced —from work-place bullying to xenophobia— to craft not only a dramatic and, at times uncomfortable, narrative, but also one which provokes questions within the reader about their place in the world. Through the relationships between her central female protagonist, Mysty, and those she encounters, Summers hopes to highlight the importance of personal growth, the internal conflicts an individual experiences when faced with diicult life questions, and the strength and empowerment of reaching out in life and making real connections and friendships rather than the at-a-distance relationships of today’s technology-mad world.
Blending elements of crime, fantasy, romance and coming-of-age with social fiction, Indigo Lost is the perfect next read for those looking for an exciting and thought-provoking new series to get stuck into this spring.

Extract:

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This extract comes from a scene between Donny Capello, mafia boss of Vegas, and our young central female character, a runaway child from a broken home who escaped a brutal end to a tragic domestic abuse case that claimed the lives of her sister, mother and grandmother. This is an important moment when she chooses a new name for herself, as her powerful new friend offers her a chance to get her life back on track. An opportunity she is only partially cognisant of, in her childlike innocence.

He got up and came back with a pad of paper and a pen, and slid it across the table to her right side, knowing she was right-handed, and looked at her. 

Will you write down what you will not tell me?”

Her face paled again and her heart pounded. Why did he have to ruin everything by asking her to do that? She didn’t want to do that. She squeezed her eyes shut. But the urge to wipe her soul clean of the pain, of the hurt and the blood, was growing within her. But why here is this room, with this . . . stranger?

You don’t want to know what I know. I don’t want you to know.” It was a whisper. “Sometimes I wish I was dead too so I wouldn’t be able to remember.” She shook her head. “I can’t write it.”

The man who killed your family, I can make sure he’s never able to come after you.”

Her eyes snapped open, and despite the emotion they were bright and alert now. “He’s in prison. I think he is, anyway.”

Even easier.”

She shook her head. “No. I’m not a killer. Though he deserves to die a million times for what he did.”

You’re sure?”

Yes . . .”

It was a shaky whisper. It was clear the idea was tempting, but agreeing to more death was obviously unthinkable for her. And he didn’t want her to become blood-thirsty, he just wanted her to feel safe.

Will you tell me your name?”

No.”

She picked up the pen and wrote the initials of her mother’s name very faintly, then crossed them out, not wanting to give away any clues.

You can’t go through your whole life being a mystery with no name.”

Absent-mindedly she wrote the word ‘mystery’, doing an impressive slanted ‘M’ and two looping ‘Y’s. She tilted her head and crossed out some of the letters, and then rewrote the word she ended up with. She put the pen down and turned the pad around and pushed it to him.

Then I’ll be a mystery inside a name.”

This was no average kid. He was going to have to get used to that.

Mysty? Two ‘Y’s? Unusual. It suits you. You’re sure?”

She nodded decisively.

Fine. OK, Mysty, now explain to me another mystery: how do you survive those jumps off buildings?”

He crossed his arms and leaned back, looking at her with eyes that told her he wanted an answer and it had better be honest. Squirming a little under the scrutiny, she fiddled with her napkin while she tried to come up with a good enough answer.

About the Author:

  About the author: Living in Leamington Spa, West Midlands, S.R. Summers owns and runs the popular ZouBisou cafe. Previously, she has enjoyed a career working within broadcast media whilst living in Belgium and within the field of e-commerce. She also holds a degree in History from the University of Cambridge. When not managing her cafe, you’ll find her busy writing and working on the final book in her Infinity Squared eight-part series. The first in the series, Indigo Lost by S.R, Summers (published by ShieldCrest Publishing XX April 2018 RRP £20 hardback, £12 paperback and £5.99 e-book) is available to purchase from online retailers, including Amazon, and to order from all good bookstores. For more information you can follow the author @indigolost.

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#BlogTour : The Forever Night Stand by Bena Roberts @benaroberts : @rararesources : #Spotlight

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Today I am shining a spotlight on “The Forever Night Stand” by Bena Roberts for the Blog Tour organised by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. This is yet another book I would love to have the time in my schedule to read.

Synopsis:

A two hour romance which starts with drama and mayhem!

Sara has her back up against the wall. She is recovering from the side effects of chemotherapy and at her own “cancer free” party, she makes a decision that will change her life forever.

The adventure begins when she leaves her posh lifestyle in Scotland and moves in with her Bollywood loving parents, in West London. Her parents are tragically ashamed of Sara’s actions and her electronic monitor. She decides to make them happy again and considers re-marrying. 

Enter Raj, a possible hero who comes with the promise of a huge Indian wedding in Goa!

George, the childhood love of her life who seems to be hanging around every corner. Or should she just go back to her husband? Sara faces the biggest dilemma of her life, after making the colossal mistake of her life. What will she do and whom will she choose?

Purchase From –  Amazon –  Smashwords – Kobo – Nook

About the Author:

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Bena Roberts was a journalist and analyst. Now she prefers the title novelist and romance adventurist. She graduated in England 1994 and then with a Masters in 1997.

Born in 1973, Bena lived in West London until she was 24. Then she lived and worked in Budapest, Bruges, Prague, Amsterdam, Vienna, Hamburg and Munich. She currently resides in Germany, between Heidelberg and Frankfurt. Although she still refers to London as ‘home.’

Bena successfully created a technology blog which gained funding, had lunch with Steve Ballmer and was ‘top 50 most influential woman in mobile.’ Her blog also won several awards including Metro Best Blog.

Bena has two children, loves small dogs and always writes books with a cup of Earl Grey.

Bena’s favorite literary style is black humor, and she hopes to offer a unique voice in this area. Her books aim to confront the darkest of life experiences, with levity. Most of her writing is heavy hitting yet also entertaining.

Also –  Available My Cake! A short story

Pre-Order Tammy&Lisa – How far would you go to protect your teenage son ?

Follow Bena on –  Twitter –  Amazon Author Page – Goodreads Author Page

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#BlogTour : Production Values by Liv Bartlet @LivBartlet : @rararesources : #Extract : #Giveaway (Open Int’lly)

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With all the best will in the world I know I cannot read all the books that come into my email box. “Production Values” by Liv Bartlet is a book I am sharing an extract for as part of the blog tour with Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources.

Synopsis:

“Mornings like this I can understand the appeal of killer high heels. How they click with command down the sidewalk: Get out of my way, I’m in charge and I’ve got the footwear to prove it.”

At the age of 28, Kat Porter has become the it-girl of British TV Production. Gut, gumption, and artistry have carried her through a dozen impossible scenarios to arrive at her first run as Executive Producer, and now all three muses point to Ian Graham’s star power as the key to Los Angeles and golden statues.

But disaster looms as Ian twists Kat into a chameleon fit for success. Ian’s young daughter is thrown into the spotlight and Kat must face the consequences of her neverending quest for acclaim.

Production Values takes a biting but fun look at Hollywood—from the way we interpret female ambition to the influence of the paparazzi on how TV shows and stars fail or succeed. 

Purchase Links:   – Amazon US –  Amazon UK

Extract of Production Values: 

Intro:  After Kat and Bea fought about a tattoo-revealing stunt in a script read-through, Kat took off for Germany. Now she’s returned to London, ready to apologize and armed with an idea for a new TV show.

Excerpt

I knock on Bea’s open office door and close it behind me before she can look up from her computer. “So, who wants to be friends again?”

It’s been too many days with the combatants retreated to their respective corners. I’ve knocked on Bea’s apartment every night since I returned from Germany, but she’s not there—she’s been at the refugee clinic, where she goes when life turns bad. When I’m not writing like a dervish, I’m full of abject misery.

Which is why I’ve practiced an apology that I hope will tumble the wall between us. “The tattoo thing was stupid. No matter how it started, I know it looked terrible. I did everything you said. I spent money on a guest star to chase success in all the wrong ways. If we can’t make it on our merits, it’s not worth it. You were right.”

Bea blinks at me, the only crack in her neutral nonconfrontational face. Then she melts. She won’t make this hard. She never does.

“We’ve worked so hard, Kat. If the rumor reaches the board, they’ll shut us down. We can’t be that show.” Bea sighs—deep, from her soul. “But I’m sorry, too. I overreacted.”

I hug her without warning. I want it all the way over. Bea’s not a hugger, not unless she’s applying comfort like medicine, but she takes none herself, so this kind of mutual affection feels like cuddling a street cat.

Bea pushes back and holds my shoulders. She looks at me, reading me, her head tilted to the side. “And how was Germany?”

“It was fine, I’m fine. Still on the rails, I promise.” I cough to cover up the threat of tears.

Bea talks to her mom every day, and the whole family pops in for a video chat at least once a week. My lack of family has always struck her as a great sadness, a heartbreak I know she carries for me all the time.

“Anyway, I think I’m giving up on men for a while,” I lie. I’ll never give up on love, it’s the only thing that thrills me as much as my art.

“Sure you are,” Bea laughs, but lets me have my game.

“And in my spinster state, I’ve decided you need a date. My gift to you. Want me to set you up with Wayne? He still captures more accidental footage of you than anyone else.”

Bea shudders and crosses her arms in front of herself. She never dates, never. “Will I get to go back to giving up on romance in twenty-four hours when you forget your vow of celibacy?”

I snort with laughter.

Bea puts her arm around me and I lean onto her shorter shoulder. “We okay again? I miss being okay. Feels like it’s been a long time.”

“Yeah, we’re good. Better than. We’ve got each other and we’ve got 21 Things. And something new, actually.” I bring up the paper-clipped stack of papers from my side. “I know every idea for post–21 Things has been rejected thus far, but I think this is the one.”

“Ideas are good,” Bea prevaricates and reads the title page. “What’s K-Town?”

“It’s what all the military people there call Kaiserslautern and the surrounding posts and bases.”

“So, military . . . drama? Judging by the number of pages? In Europe?”

“Full-hour comedy with a dash of drama. Dramedy, though I will deny ever saying that word. Edgy. Real people, real lives.”

“This sounds like an excuse for you to watch hot men in uniform. Can I nix any actors you’ve fangirled? Maybe I should do casting.”

“Stop. Ian was good for the show. But, yes, you can have casting privileges if you like the pilot script.”

Bea chews that spot on her lip, the one that bleeds sometimes. “Kat, I don’t have the talent for anything beyond 21 Things. This was magic.”

“Of course you have the talent! What are you talking about? You make money drip out of advertiser pockets!”

“I’ll do what I can. You create. Tell me where you want it. If Anna wins—”

“LA. An American network. It’s going to be possible. Because we are going to get nominated and we’re going to awards shows and we’re going to have it-quality buzz. And then—National Network. National is where this show belongs.”

Bea nods and bites her lip hard. I’m not surprised to see a slight red stain on her teeth. “Let’s think on it. We might have something else. Something I’ve been too in denial to even touch.”

About the Authors:

Liv Bartlet is the pseudonym for writing partners Becca McCulloch and Sarah McKnight, who have been building worlds and telling stories together for more than a decade. They’ve logged hours of behind-the-scenes movie and TV footage and challenged each other in a friendly Oscar guessing game every year this millennium. Lifelong Anglophiles, their Monkey & Me world sprang to vivid life on a trip to London that included divine pastries, sublime art, and a spectacular pratfall in the British Museum.

Becca is a professor, a scientist, and a secret romantic who insisted their first order of business in London was a meandering five-mile walk to see Big Ben. She lives with her husband, children, and an ever-expanding roster of pets in Logan, Utah.

Sarah is an Army brat, an Excel geek, and has a lot of opinions on the differences between science fiction and fantasy. She lives with her cat, Sir Jack—who is featured prominently on Liv’s Instagram —just outside Salt Lake City.

Social Media Links – Website – Twitter – Facebook – Instagram

∗∗∗ GIVEAWAY ∗∗∗

Production Values - Giveaway - Off-ScriptFINAL.jpg Giveaway – Win  Production Values & Off Script e-books & $25 or equivalent Amazon Gift Card (Open Internationally)

*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.

∗∗∗∗ TO ENTER CLICK HERE ∗∗∗∗

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#BlogTour : Little Teashop of Horrors by Jane Lovering @janelovering : @rararesources @ChocLitUK : #PromoPost

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I am shining a spotlight on “Little Teashop of Horrors” by Jane Lovering. I really wanted to read this book and as time escaped me yet again I thought I would share the #booklove as part of the Blog Tour by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources.

Synopsis:

Secrets, lies, carrot cake and an owl called Skrillex!

Amy Knowles has always been the plain sidekick to her pretty best friend Jules. And whilst the tearoom they both work in on the Monkpark Hall estate in Yorkshire is not exactly awash with eligible bachelors, it’s obvious where the male attention is concentrated – and it’s not just on the cakes!

There is one man who notices Amy. Joshua Wilson also works at Monkpark, where he flies his birds of prey for visitor entertainment. He lives a lonely existence but he has reasons for choosing isolation – and, in Amy, he may have found somebody who understands.

Then a management change brings slick and well-spoken Edmund Evershott to Monkpark. He’s interested in Amy too, but for what reason? Josh suspects the new manager is up to no good – but will Amy? Because Edmund could leave her with much worse than a broken heart…

Purchase links for this book from ~ Amazon UK ~  Amazon US ~  Kobo

About the Author:

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Jane was born in Devon and now lives in Yorkshire. She has five children, three cats and two dogs! Jane is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and has a first-class honours degree in creative writing. Jane writes comedies which are often described as ‘quirky’. Her debut Please Don’t Stop the Music won the 2012 Romantic Novel of the Year and the Best Romantic Comedy Novel award from the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Her Christmas novella, Christmas at the Little Village School, was the winner of the RONA Rose Award from the Romantic Novelists’ Association in 2018.

Social Media Links – Twitter – Facebook – Website

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#BlogTour : a spoke in the wheel by Kathleen Jowitt @KathleenJowitt : #BookReview

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I am delighted to be on the blog tour for “a spoke in the wheel” by Kathleen Jowitt. My thanks to Kathleen for my copy and also for my spot on the tour. You can buy a copy at Amazon UK and is available in paperback or eBook format.

Synopsis:

The first thing I saw was the wheelchair.

The first thing she saw was the doper.

Ben Goddard is an embarrassment – as a cyclist, as an athlete, as a human being. And he knows it.

Now that he’s been exposed by a positive drugs test, his race wins and his work with disabled children mean nothing. He quits professional cycling in a hurry, sticks a pin in a map, and sets out to build a new life in a town where nobody knows who he is or what he’s done.

But when the first person he meets turns out to be a cycling fan, he finds out that it’s not going to be quite as easy as that.

Besides, Polly’s not just a cycling fan, she’s a former medical student with a chronic illness and strong opinions. Particularly when it comes to Ben Goddard…

My Thoughts:

Ben Hubbard is a disgraced drug taking cyclist. He wants to become anonymous as he walks away from his career, instead of trying to make excuses or trying to justify his actions. He leaves his family and his lifestyle and wants to start afresh. A chance encounter with flatmates Vicki and Polly gives him the chance to a take the first steps.

This is a book I wasn’t sure what to make of from the synopsis especially as I am not really a road cycling fan. Little things caught my eye and I am so glad they did because I started the book and devoured it in one sitting. I love books that surprise me and this is one that did that.

Three characters Ben, Vicki and Polly are very different in their personalities and come across as quite a rag-tag bunch. With various aspects of their lives that make them stand out you get to learn about Ben and his past and the way he is starting from scratch. Polly is a brilliantly blunt, no-nonsense person whose chronic illness means she is reliant on a wheelchair. Finally Vicki a workaholic who likes to give people a chance and I think is something like the glue to the group.

So this is not just about cycling though it does play a role and has mentions throughout. What it is however is a story about three people and how they deal with life from three very different perspectives. Cycling is the unifying point of this group for various reasons and the author has found a wonderful balance and not allowed it to be the most important factor of the book. Kathleen allows each characters story to unfold and make themselves heard.

If you want a wonderfully addictive and absorbing character driven story then this is one I would highly recommend. It is not a depressing book by a long shot, and it is written in an honest and at times humorous way. The author has brought life to the characters on the pages as you experience the ups and downs of their lives in this realistic portrayal of three people.

My huge thanks to the author for bringing this book to my attention and for my honest thoughts on it and for my spot o the Blog Tour xx

About the Author:

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Kathleen Jowitt was born in Winchester, UK, and grew up deep in the Welsh Marches and, subsequently, on the Isle of Wight. After completing her undergraduate degree in English Literature at the University of Exeter she moved to Guildford and found herself working for a major trade union. She now lives in Cambridge, works in London, and writes on the train.

Her first novel, Speak Its Name, was the first self-published book ever to be shortlisted for the Betty Trask Prize.

Follow Kathleen on –  Website – Twitter – Facebook – Instagram – Amazon Author Page

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#BlogBlitz | When Evil Calls Your Name by John Nicholl @nicholl06 | @bloodhoundbook @sarahhardy #BookReview #BookReview

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Today I have the “When Evil Calls Your Name” by John Nicholl.  Published by Bloodhound Books and available in various formats from Amazon UK.  My thanks to Sarah for my spot on the tour.

Synopsis:

Are you looking for a dark and gripping psychological thriller? Then you’ll love When Evil Calls Your Name by #1 best-selling author John Nicholl. 

Even the darkest secrets can’t stay hidden forever…

When twenty-nine-year-old Cynthia Galbraith struggles to come to terms with her traumatic past and the realities of prison life, a prison counsellor persuades her to write a diary exploring the events that led to a life sentence for murder.

Although unconvinced at first, Cynthia finally decides she has all the time in the world and very little, if anything, to lose. As she begins writing she holds back nothing: sharing the thoughts she hadn’t dare vocalise, the things that keep her awake at night and haunt her waking hours. 

Will the truth finally be revealed?

My Thoughts:

This story follows on from White Is The Coldest Colour, (my review) and is from the viewpoint of Cynthia who now lives in prison.  Her story is told via a journal that her counsellor has advised she writes.

Please read the first book before you start this one.

This answers so many questions I had about Cynthia.  I was frustrated with her character, but this one is her account of her life as a child, through university and how she met David Galbraith and how he completely destroyed any control she had over any decision, he controlled her and others around her. This is a really addictive read, and as you learn about Cynthia’s life you realise how she was manipulated so convincingly. But also you see how she is starting to make steps towards standing up for herself, no longer wanted to be a victim.

This story really plays on how a master manipulator plays on the vulnerabilities and insecurities of a person until they become a shadow of their former selves.  Because of the writing style it has a very believable feel to it, that personal account adds the perfect touch to the realism of the story.

In comparison to the first book it does differ quite a lot.  Even though it has a dark psychology theme, it is not as the dark and twisted as the first book.  It is an addictive read and a great follow on story.  A book I would recommend to those who like to read a psychological thriller from the perspective of the victim who was unaware she was being manipulated.

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#Extract | She’s Bad News by Elle Spellman @capesandcorsets @rararesources

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Today I am hosting an extract for “She’s Bad News” by Elle Spellman. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the tour. Purchase links for the ebook areUK: Amazon ~ US: Amazon.

Synopsis:

What would you do if you woke up with super powers?

For Bella Brown, life hasn’t gone according to plan. She’s almost thirty, still living in her uneventful hometown, and her dreams of becoming an investigative reporter have fallen by the wayside.

That is, until she wakes up one morning to find she’s been gifted with some amazing new abilities. What’s a girl to do with heightened senses, super speed and the ability to lift a truck one-handed? Bella quickly discovers that her new powers can easily help her land front-page leads at local newspaper The Hartleybourne Gazette.

Soon Bella’s out every night chasing down local criminals for stories, while keeping her powers a secret from everyone besides flatmate Chloe. But when a burglary-gone-wrong accidentally turns her into the mysterious Hartleybourne Heroine, Bella finds herself on the front page for the wrong reasons. Her secret becomes harder to keep as she tries to track down the source of her powers, and especially when crime reporter Matt Gilmore is intent on unmasking the town’s new vigilante…

Suddenly, having an extraordinary life is far more dangerous than she ever imagined.

 

Extract from “She’s Bad News” by Elle Spellman:

She’s Bad News follows Bella Brown, an aspiring journalist in a small town who thinks that luck is against her – that is, until she wakes up with super powers.

In this extract, Bella is trying to track down the source of her mysterious new abilities. Thinking that a diet pill could be responsible, she turns up at SegPharma, the company responsible for manufacturing the tablets, to try and find out more…

One thing was for certain – this place wanted to blend into the background.

Tentatively I stepped out of Delilah, grabbed my bag from the passenger seat and made my way across the car park towards the door, surveying the place. What was I even expecting, some Willy Wonka-like factory that claimed to make all your dreams come true? Probably. Though I knew from my investigation into BodiBurn that companies like this much preferred to lay low.

Taking a deep breath, I pushed the buzzer and waited. No response. I could hear noises from inside, from the back of the building that, I now realised, was particularly long as well as tall. The back, I presumed, was where the products were made. I jabbed the buzzer again, twice just to be on the safe side.

“Hello, SegPharma,” a male voice crackled from the intercom.

“Hiii!” I said excitedly. “I’m looking for the company who manufactures NARCIS products. Would that be you guys?”

“What is this regarding?”

I stood on the spot, looking up at the small security camera above the door. This was my chance, and I couldn’t blow it.

Having thought about my predicament, I had decided not to rush in and tell all about my P-word. Going in guns blazing would be way too risky. It’d be far too easy for SegPharma, or NARCIS, to deny it; after all, landing abilities like this could also land me grounds for immense compensation. Not that I wanted money – I just wanted answers. And, as I’d previously learned from BodiBurn, asking for the truth straight out often led to nothing. So I was going to try a different method.

“Oh! Well, it’s a bit of a long shot really,” I said, in the perkiest voice I could muster. “I’m a health and beauty journalist from a top women’s magazine! I’m looking into some of the nation’s favourite and most talked-about slimming aids, and of course, you’ve made the top spot! So I was hoping to have a chat with someone about the latest NARCIS range. My colleague has some and says they’re totally life-changing!”

Okay, white lies seemed to be my forte of late. I just hadn’t lied this hard before.

“Wait in reception, please,” the voice said curtly. Let’s face it, I could kick down the door with minimal effort, but I was at least trying to stay civil. The door opened with a click. I was in.

Flattery gets you everywhere.

I stepped into a small reception area, where a young man in a smart grey shirt covered by a white lab coat greeted me from behind an overly-clean white desk. I looked around, taking in the bland, somewhat clinical surroundings; white seats, coffee table decorated with leaflets, generic ornamental pot plants. The usual.

The man looked me up and down, no doubt wondering why some random woman had turned up out of the blue to their hidden headquarters on a desolate industrial park. “In case you’re wondering,” he said, arms folded, “we are a cruelty-free company. We keep any testing to a minimum, and ensure no animal is truly harmed.”

“Truly?”

Truly. We only test on animals when absolutely necessary, and even then, it’s not lethal.” He shot me a look that said, ‘So there. Ner-ner,’ but not before stealing a quick glance out the window to see if a small army of my picketing mates were waiting outside to storm the place.

“Thanks for the clarification, but that’s not why I’m here.”

There was a flicker of dismay on his face. It was so quiet in the building that maybe some sign-wielding protesters from PETA would have brought some much-needed action to his day. “That’s good. Just a prior warning. Wouldn’t want any trouble. If you’re a journalist, I’d be curious to know what kind of story you’re working on.”

“Like I said, one of your products has become one of the most popular in the UK!” I said, trying to keep up my perky attitude and Stepford-like grin. “So I just wanted to have a chat with you about the NARCIS range. The Ultra-Boost range in particular. It’s become quite a hit…”

“Honestly? I don’t think anyone here is likely to help you. The products are developed here at SegPharma, but the brand itself is based elsewhere. If you need Sales and Marketing, you’d be better off speaking to – “

“To Alexis Dean. I know,” I smiled, leaning in closer. I could hear the soft thud of his heart beating as he stood behind the desk. “I saw her on TV just yesterday. The thing is, I’m having a bit of trouble with tracking her down. Do you know how hard it is to speak to someone at NARCIS Life Solutions who isn’t a robot trying to sell me stuff? It’s nigh on impossible. I’m on a tight deadline and so lucky I managed to find you guys! I’ll be writing an intriguing piece on the brand, an article that gives an insight into what you actually do, you know? I want more than just PR. While Alexis is busy fielding off the controversy about those ‘body-shaming’ ads, I’m going to try and dispel that. Really get behind the brand. I’m giving you a great opportunity here. Are you going to throw that away?”

The man looked at me, speechless, as I realised that was probably the most persuasive pitch of my career, and I was only pretending.

About the Author:

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Elle Spellman is a writer and comic book geek living in Bristol, UK. She’s been writing since a very young age, spending her childhood afternoons penning stories about fictional adventures, and illustrating them too.

Now, Elle tends to write contemporary fiction with kick-ass heroines and a little bit of magic. She’s Bad News is her debut novel, and she’s just finished working on her second. Her other interests include running, wine, red lipstick, the paranormal, and all things Batman.

Social Media Links –  Twitter ~  Goodreads Page ~  Blog

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Many thanks for reading my post a share or like would be great 🙂 xx

#BookReview | Walden of Bermondsey: Where There’s Smoke by Peter Murphy @noexitpress

36602275Today I have a short story that introduces Judge Waldon of Bermondsey in “Where there’s Smoke” by Peter Murphy. I received this from No Exit Press in readiness for the upcoming tour for “Judge Walden Back In Session” Blog Tour by Anne Cater.

Synopsis:

Meet Judge Charlie Walden in the first case of six from the novel, Walden of Bermondsey

If you like Rumpole of the Bailey, you’ll love Walden of Bermondsey

When Charlie Walden took on the job of Resident Judge of the Bermondsey Crown Court, he was hoping for a quiet life. But he soon finds himself struggling to keep the peace between three feisty fellow judges who have very different views about how to do their job, and about how Charlie should do his.

And as if that’s not enough, there’s the endless battle against the ‘Grey Smoothies’, the humourless grey-suited civil servants who seem determined to drown Charlie in paperwork and strip the court of its last vestiges of civilisation.

No hope of a quiet life then for Charlie, and there are times when his real job – trying the challenging criminal cases that come before him – actually seems like light relief.

My Thoughts:

When Tony is seen running from a burning church it soon follows that he will become the prime suspect and a trial is moved to Bermondsey Crown Court where Judge Walden presides.

For a short story this is brilliant, not only is the case full of twists but you also get an all access pass to the behind the scenes of the Court.  The descriptions of the Grey Smoothies is very tongue in cheek and a real eye opener. Judges  discussing problems with thier cases and seeking each others advice was a great way of seeing different views of a case.  There is enough jargon to give a real feel for the setting, but not so much that it gets confusing to read.

This is my first experience with this author and I was very entertained.  The overall feel of the story is convincing especially with mannerisms, language and procedure and the authors expertise plays a part in this wickedly addictive read.

Many thanks for reading my post, a share or like would be wonderful 🙂 xx

#BookReview | Spring at The Cafe at the End of the Pier by Helen Rolfe | @HJRolfe @orionbooks

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“Spring at The Cafe at the End of the Pier” by Helen Rolfe in the second in this series of short stories.  Published by Orion Books and available on AMAZON UK as an eBook.

Synopsis:

Spring is coming to The Café at the End of the Pier… A feelgood novella and the start of a brilliant new series…

Jo has settled into running her grandparents’ little café at the end of the pier in Salthaven. She’s given it a spring-clean and a spruce-up and she’s getting to know the locals and starting to enjoy life by the sea.

But when her Harry, her ex-boyfriend, turns out to be her new accountant, feelings from the past start to flood back. He’s here to help sort out the café’s finances, which Jo’s grandparents left in a mess, but Harry seems to have a hidden agenda and Jo isn’t entirely sure spending time with him is a good idea.

Jo throws herself into her new plans for the café – turning it into a real café of love by arranging blind dates for some of the regulars. Her own love life might be non-existent, but it doesn’t mean she can’t bring a little bit of magic to the locals who have made her so welcome. This time she chooses single-dad Ben and doctor Jess. Will they find love at The Café at the End of the Pier?

And will Jo manage to put aside her feelings for Harry in order to give the café the future she dreams of for it…?

My Thoughts:

This continues on from “Valentines Day at The Cafe at the End of the Pier”, where Jo helps out at the cafe.  Now she is running her Grandparents cafe for four months and is really getting a feel for her regular customers, and realising that there is more to the business than she originally expected.  Paperwork, need I say more?

Helen has done it again for me with this book.  This book for me is very believable, I work in a cafe/ restaurant in Cornwall, a rural but near the coast location.  I love the way author has picked up on all the little aspects of this type of business, not just the achy feet, the customer nuances but also the behind the scenes aspects.  But then wrapped around this busy cafe is the story of Jo, she has a chance at a new start.  Her return to her home town means she will have to deal with an ex boyfriend, she will have to leave the bitterness of their separation behind her.

Helen gives wonderful descriptions of the cafe, the people, the town and the food.  I have a feeling that this author has a thing for cakes and smoothies as she describes them wonderfully.  I can close my eyes and see this cafe from the descriptions Helen has woven, if only it were real so I could eat those cakes. Into this there is the romantic side of Jo, too busy to look for love herself, she sets about trying to link up a couple of her customers.

I was gutted by the time I got to the end of this book, I was totally immersed in the story.  It is a wonderful story that meanders through the life of Jo, and the romantics will be spoilt for choice.  A perfect, quick read that is beautifully written feel good story that will make you smile as you read.

I love this series and I am eager to read the next one in June. Highly Recommended.

About the Author:

2krhc8k2oi7ko3vv94v986teti._SY200_.jpgHelen J Rolfe writes contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and community. Characters often face challenges and must fight to overcome them, but above all, Helen’s stories always have a happy ending.

Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries around the world. So far, locations have included Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Connecticut, Bath and the Cotswolds.

Born and raised in the UK, Helen graduated from University with a business degree and began working in I.T. This job took her over to Australia and it was there that she studied writing and journalism and began writing for women’s health and fitness magazines. She also volunteered with the PR department of a children’s hospital where she wrote articles and media releases. Helen began writing fiction in 2011 and hasn’t missed the I.T. world one little bit, although the I.T. skills have come in handy of course, especially when it comes to creating and maintaining a website.

After fourteen years of living in Australia, Helen returned to the UK and now lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and their children.

To learn more about Helen and her writing, find her at: Website  ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

The Series:

There are a further two books, to follow this series, I have already pre-ordered them, but at the time of publishing this post the covers are not available :o) xx

Many thanks for reading my post, a share or like would we wonderful. 🙂 xx

#BookReview : The Trial by John Mayer @johnmayerauthor

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Today I have an urban legal crime read on my blog The Trial by John Mayer. It is self published by John and available in paperback and also eBook, you can get your copy at Amazon UK.  I would like to thank Lizzie (John’s wife) and John for sending me a copy of this book.

Synopsis:

An urban legal/crime novel set in the beautiful Scottish city of Edinburgh. 
Part I of The Parliament House book series 

When Glaswegian Brogan McLane completes many years of university education and legal training he crosses that great divide from Glasgow to Edinburgh. ‘Called’ to the Bar of the Scottish Supreme Court, he becomes a member of the most prestigious club in Scotland; The Faculty of Advocates in Parliament House.

When High Court Judge, Lord Aldounhill, is found dead after a transvestite party in his sumptuous home, those who know the killer close ranks and need a scapegoat – who better than ‘outsider’ Brogan McLane?

Out on bail with his career on hold, McLane and his band of blood brothers in the Calton Bar in Glasgow need to get ahead of their enemies or McLane will go down for life after Trial. But every time they discover a piece of evidence, it seems there is a mirror image to contradict it.

Through the murky world of Russian controlled transvestite hotels and with some unexpected police and judicial help, McLane battles against ‘Low Life in High Places in the Old Town’ until the killer is found.

But well protected and knowing all the tricks, will the killer ever stand trial in Parliament House

My thoughts:

Brogan McLane is not your usual Advocate, he is from the tenements of Glasgow and has worked hard to get where he is today in Edinburgh, The Scottish Supreme Court and become a member of  “The Faculty of Advocates” in Parliament House.  When the death of a Judge threatens his career and his marriage, Brogan will do what he can to prove his innocence.  He is not part of “the old boys” or “hooray Henry’s” and the family tradition that goes back over the generations,and he knows that he is being persecuted.  There are some who automatically point the finger as he is not of the same social status as them seeing Brogan as “Dirt with a Degree”. The ones who know or know of Brogan know he is being set up.  Just a matter of time before things sort themselves out, but who will come out on top?

With very little knowledge of the Scottish Legal system and terminology, I was very pleased to find a glossary of terms at the beginning of the book, a great way to get up to speed before the story starts.  From the off there are quite a few characters and their roles mentioned, it did take a minute or two to get my head around them, but when I did it became plain sailing when met them again further in the book.  The character of Brogan I have to say was good, but I also really liked Jimmy and Big Joe.  Jimmy has a very trusted and important role with insider knowledge.  Big Joe, best friend of Brogan is a wonderful lovable rogue, a true and loyal friend.  There are many others but these three are my favourites.  At this point I would like to mention that Brogan is married, and there is a story about them that I would have liked to read more about.

The story is set out in short quick chapters and you are soon led into a story of corruption, greed and the struggle for power in the halls of the Scottish Judiciary system.  There are great snippets of historical interest and also how the system works, this was a something I enjoyed and I like the fact that I can learn things as I read a story.  The  main plot focuses on the murder of the judge and also unearths some secretive behaviour and also more serious issues.

Once you get the names and terminology under your belt, the story really starts to get going.  It has a plot that takes you through the underhanded and murky world of those in power and think they are above the law, and can pretty much do as they please.  The voice of corruption is strong within the story and has been well-balanced with the justifiable ( though not completely legal) actions of those that are seeking the truth.    There are wonderful atmospheric court room scenes, that help build up the suspense and also the severity of what is happening.  That suspense is continued as you accompany Brogan’s supporters on their information and evidence gathering escapades, not completely by the book of course but, playing the game in a way that hampers the disinformation that those on the other side are compiling is all part of it. A case of who can manipulate who and get to the truth before it disappears first.  The descriptions of the buildings and also the inclusion of photographs aids the reader in seeing the story as well as feeling it, an interesting and very useful addition.

This is a book I definitely enjoyed as I got to meet new characters in the start of a new series.  I would definitely recommend this to readers who like a court room based story that incorporates a crime investigation and secret lives themes.  It is well laid out, written with a good pace and a multilayered plot.  A Definitely Recommend this book from me, once I started it I didn’t put it down until I had finished it, at 2am in the morning !!! That kind of says it all really 🙂

About the Author:

13694916John Mayer would love to be a top-flight blues guitar player and have dated Jennifer Aniston. But what he did achieve, amongst other things was to be a 1970s Indie Record Producer before becoming a top-flight Advocate in the Supreme Court of Scotland where he specialised in international child abduction: rescuing the children, not abducting them, of course.

In his youth, John was shot! Twice! Once in Glasgow, Scotland and once in New York City. John attacks everything he does with passion. And that’s what he brings to his writing.

Follow John on Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Website

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give a share.  Get your copy of the book  HERE  🙂 xx