Wordless Wednesday - Writing

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BOOK BLAST: HER FINAL WATCH BY MARGUERITE ASHTON - WIN $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD

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We're really excited to be hosting Marguerite Ashton's HER FINAL WATCH Book Blast today! Leave a comment below to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!


Title: HER FINAL WATCH
Author: Marguerite Ashton
Publisher: Endeavour Press
Pages: 296
Genre: Crime



Speaking second-hand truths can be deadly …

Detective Lily Blanchette will stop at nothing to solve a murder. Her current case involves the killing of an undercover cop working to bring down the mob for prostitution and drugs.

But Lily's usual laser-like focus on the case has been disrupted.

Two weeks earlier, she learned she was pregnant by her murderous husband whom she'd killed in self-defense. Unsure whether to keep her baby or place the child of this cruel man up for adoption, Lily keeps the pregnancy a secret from her colleagues.

Under mounting pressure to solve the case, Lily arranges a sit-down with a local mob boss only to find out her suspect is also wanted by them. But before Lily can warn her team, she and her new partner, Jeremiah, are shot at, and another body is found.

When she discovers Jeremiah has a connection with the underworld, she is pulled into a conflict that swirls around the boss's son who's hell-bent on revenge.

To add to the complexity of the situation, Lily learns that her victim might still be alive if it wasn't for opportunistic Assistant District Attorney, Ibee Walters, who has a twisted vision of justice.

As Lily gets closer to finding the killer, she unravels ugly secrets that point to Ibee and Jeremiah - placing Lily's life and her unborn child in danger.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

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Detective Ariel Weeks stabbed at the small block of ice until it split into several pieces across the counter. She tossed the jagged cubes into the glass and made her client a drink.

In less than twenty-four hours, Ariel would no longer have to use the name Jasmine and keep men company to protect her cover. All she needed to do was make it through this last night and she’d be allowed to be who she was; a mom just doing her job.

After gathering evidence and recording all the data she had, it would be hard to detah. Towards the end, she’d learned things she wished weren’t true, leaving her stomach in tattered knots.

Back at home, there were two reasons Ariel would never take on another undercover assignment.

Click.

Ariel ground her teeth as the door to Cabin D opened and closed. She could feel Mikey Surace, the mob boss’s son, staring at the backless white dress she wore at his request.

The man who smiled at the sight of blood was standing behind her, breathing heavily.


When Marguerite Ashton was in her twenties, she took up acting but realized she preferred to work behind the camera, writing crime fiction. A few years later, she married an IT Geek and settled down with her role as wife, mom, and writer. Five kids later, she founded the Crime Writer’s Panel and began working with former law enforcement investigators to create; Criminal Lines Blog, an online library for crime writers who need help with their book research.

She’s a workaholic who hides in her writer’s attic, plotting out her next book and stalking Pinterest for the next avocado recipe. 

A member of Sisters in Crime, Marguerite grew up in
Colorado, but is now happily living in Wisconsin and playing as much golf as possible.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 


Marguerite Ashton is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter
  • This giveaway ends midnight October 31.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on November 1.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!




a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Bookish Conversation with 'A Wanted Man' Robert Parker

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Robert Parker is a new exciting voice, a married father of two, who lives in a village close to ManchesterUK. He has both a law degree and a degree in film and media production, and has worked in numerous employment positions, ranging from solicitor’s agent (essentially a courtroom gun for hire), to a van driver, to a warehouse order picker, to a commercial video director. He currently writes full time, while also making time to encourage new young readers and authors through readings and workshops at local schools and bookstores. In his spare time he adores pretty much all sport, boxing regularly for charity, loves fiction across all mediums, and his glass is always half full.

His latest book is the crime/thriller, A WANTED MAN.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK



About the Book:

Title: A WANTED MAN
Author: Robert Parker
Publisher: Endeavour Press
Pages: 307
Genre: Crime Thriller

It’s down to fathers and fatherhood.

Ben Bracken, ex-soldier, has just got out of Strangeways.

Not by the front door.

With him, he has his ‘insurance policy’ – a bag of evidence that will guarantee his freedom, provided he can keep it safe – and he has money, carefully looked after by a friend, Jack Brooker.

Rejected by the army, disowned by his father, and any hopes of parenthood long since shattered, Ben has no anchors in his life.

No one to keep him steady. 

No one to stop his cause…

The plan: to wreak justice on the man who had put him in prison in the first place. 

Terry ‘The Turn-Up’ Masters, a nasty piece of work, whose crime organisation is based in
London.

But before Ben can get started on his mission, another matter is brought to his attention: Jack’s father has been murdered and he will not rest until the killers are found.

Suddenly, Ben finds himself drawn in to helping Jack in his quest for revenge.

In the process, he descends into the fold of
Manchester’s most notorious crime organisation – the Berg – the very people he wants to bring down…

This action-packed and fast-paced story will keep you turning the pages.
Manchester is vividly portrayed as Ben races around the city seeking vengeance.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon



What’s inside the mind of a crime author?

Too much, but I think that’s mainly because I live a fairly hectic lifestyle with two young kids and a third due any minute now. So I’ve got a mad ever-evolving checklist of things that need doing everyday, interspersed with the darkness, murder and mayhem which I write about - it’s fairly chaotic place in that skull of mine.

What is so great about being an author?

The freedom to create is liberating and exciting always, and when a story, moment or character just clicks, it can be immensely satisfying. It also lets me spend a lot of time with my family, so I see myself as very lucky indeed.

When do you hate it?

Never. Maybe one day I’ll feel the pressure to create, the pressure to find that spark, but at the minute, I’ve noted down everything for so long that I’ve got literally years with of books and stories in my notebooks ready to go. It feels, at this point, I’ve always got something to write about – and I’ll hold onto that for as long as I can.

What is a regular writing day like for you?

Get up at 5.30/6am with the kids, do the whole breakfast and cartoon stuff, then Mrs Parker takes them off to school. I’ll have a coffee and get to it, breaking for lunch and the gym, a few errands too if needed, before stopping at 5pm. When the kids are in bed, if there’s nothing going on, more often than not I’ll get straight back to it. I try to do 2000 words a day.

How do you handle negative reviews?

I love them. Always have. It just drives me on, makes me want to succeed even harder.

How do you handle positive reviews?

With gratitude. If someone has said they like one of my books, I’m totally over the moon, because giving people enjoyment was, is and always will be the only thing I ever set out to do.

What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author?

They ask what genre – then I say crime, and they have this look on their face which betrays instantly that they are wondering if I’m a closet sociopath.

What do you do on those days you don’t feel like writing? Do you force it or take a break?

Make myself, if I need to. But if I’m wrestling with something and I’m struggling to get my head around it, I’ll take a break – ordinarily that sorts out a new perspective so you’re good to go again.

Any writing quirks?

Movie music, on a low to medium volume. Weird maybe, but it never fails to work.

What would you do if people around you didn’t take your writing seriously or see it as a hobby?

Wouldn’t care one bit. Anything negative just makes me go at it with more grit.

Some authors seem to have a love-hate relationship to writing. Can you relate?

Nope, I’m afraid not! I love it, and never thought I’d get to do it full time, so I’ll never hate this thing.

Do you think success as an author must be linked to money?

No, not at all. Obviously there is a purely economic factor that has to be there if you want to do it full time, but everything is relative. If your happiness is the size of your cheque from your publisher, then that’s up to you. For me it will always be if someone enjoyed my work – and if you think about it, if you are making something that people are enjoying, more people will want to enjoy it too. And if more people are enjoying it, the more money you’re likely to make, so one can lead to the other in any case!

What has writing taught you?

Giving up is not an option if you want to get somewhere.

Leave us with some words of wisdom.

See my last answer! Don’t ever stop until you get there.

BOOK BLAST: A TANGLED WEB BY MIKE MARTIN

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 We're happy to bring you Mike Martin's A TANGLED WEB Book Blast! Please leave a comment for Mike to let him know you stopped by!


Title: A TANGLED WEB
Author: Mike Martin
Publisher: Booklocker
Pages: 338
Genre: Mystery

BOOK BLURB: 

Life is good for Sgt. Wind­flower in Grand Bank, Newfoundland. But something’s missing from the Mountie’s life. Actually, a lot of things go missing, including a little girl and supplies from the new factory. It’s Windflower’s job to unravel the tangled web of murder, deceit and an accidental kidnapping that threatens to engulf this sleepy little town and destroy those closest to him. But there’s always good food, good friends and the love of a great woman to make everything better in the end.

Find out more about when this book will be released at

Mike’s Facebook Page


Book Excerpt:


“Life doesn’t get much better than this,” said Winston Windflower. The Mountie looked over at his collie, Lady, who wagged her tail at the sound of his voice. If dogs could smile, she smiled back. His world was almost perfect. He had the love of a great woman and a good job as a Sergeant in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police patrolling one of the lowest crime regions in the country. Plus, the weather had been mild so far, at least for Newfoundland in early December, and that meant no snowstorms with forced overnighters at the detachment. Life was very good indeed.
He had good friends, including Lady, who was amongst the best of them. And he had a child on the way. His wife, Sheila Hillier, was pregnant and at the clinic for her three-month checkup. He was waiting to hear how both Sheila and the baby were doing. His Auntie Marie had told him the baby was a girl, and if anyone knew about these things, it was his Auntie. She was a dream weaver, an interpreter of not just dreams but of messages from the spirit world. Windflower had recently spent a week with her and his Uncle Frank, another dream weaver, to learn more about the dream world.
Interpreting dreams was part of his family’s tradition. But it was an imperfect tool that gave information, not always answers. Perhaps the most important thing he learned was that dreams do not predict the future. Instead, as his Auntie told him, “Dreams tell us about our past, what has already happened. They also point to actions we should take if we want to get the right result in the future and to the signs all around us that we need to follow.”
Windflower was contemplating that piece of wisdom when he noticed a very distraught woman get out of her car outside the RCMP detachment in Grand Bank. She ran towards the front door. He walked out to meet her, but the administrative assistant, Betsy Molloy, beat him to it.
“There, there now, Molly. What’s goin’ on?” asked Betsy as she put her arms around the other woman and guided her to a seat in the reception area.
“It’s Sarah, she’s gone,” said the other woman between sobs. “I told her to stay close by the house where I could see her. I went out back to put the wash on the line. When I came in, she was gone.”
“Okay, Mrs. Quinlan,” said Windflower as he knelt down beside the two women. “How old is Sarah?” He didn’t really need to know how old the girl was. He wanted to help the mother calm down so she could give them as much information as possible.
“She’s going to be six next month,” said Molly Quinlan. “She’s growing up so fast. But she’s still such a little girl. And now I’ve lost her. Brent is going to kill me.” She started sobbing again.
“What was she wearing so that we can help find her?” asked Windflower, trying to get information but also trying to help Molly Quinlan feel useful.
The woman stopped crying and said her daughter was wearing jeans and a favourite t-shirt. “It was pink and had sparkles. She said it made her feel like she was a princess. And she had her light blue jacket on with a hood.”
Windflower smiled. “I’m sure she’ll show up soon. But let’s go over to where you last saw her, and we’ll start looking. She can’t have gone far. Leave your car here, and come with me. I’ll drive you over.” The woman smiled weakly at Windflower through her tears and allowed him to take her arm and guide her to his Jeep outside the door.
He returned inside to give directions to Betsy. “Get Constable Smithson in here. I’ll call Frost and get him to come in from his rounds.”
Betsy nodded her agreement, and Windflower went outside to drive Molly Quinlan home.
Meanwhile, it turns out, Sarah Quinlan was fine, perfectly fine. She had wandered a little way from home in the centre of town. She was going to go down to the nearby brook to feed the ducks. She knew better than to go into the water, but she couldn’t see any reason why she couldn’t just look. She’d done it before, and nobody seemed to mind. As long as she didn’t stay away too long, everything was okay.
Sarah had that great fearless attitude of a child who grew up in a small and very safe community. She knew most of her neighbours, and they all watched out for her. She also had the natural curiosity of little children, especially when she saw something new. The truck parked on the roadway above the brook was new, so Sarah went to take a closer look. Even better, the back door of the truck was open, and there was a ramp leading inside. This was certainly worth a closer inspection.
Sarah Quinlan was having fun exploring the back of the large truck when she heard a loud, rumbling noise. She didn’t know it, but the driver had started the engine. It was so loud, and Sarah was so frightened by it, she froze. The next thing she remembered was everything going almost completely black and the back door of the truck slamming shut. She cried out, but by then it was too late. Seconds later she, the truck and the unsuspecting driver were barrelling out of town and onto the highway.
Windflower drove Molly Quinlan to her house and got her to show him where Sarah had been playing. Together they walked through the house to see if the little girl had come home and hidden there. But no such luck. While they were searching the house, they were joined by two of Quinlan’s neighbours who took over Molly’s care and made her a cup of tea. Soon afterwards Constable Harry Frost arrived from his highway patrol.
Windflower gave him a quick update and directed him to go to one end of town to start the search. He would begin the house-to-house search through the neighbourhood when Smithson showed up.
He first checked out back and looked in the storage shed, a favourite hiding place of every little kid and probably where Windflower himself would have taken refuge. But Sarah was not there. As he went to the front of the house, Constable Rick Smithson showed up.
“Afternoon, Boss,” said Smithson. “Any sign of her yet?”
Windflower shook his head. “Frost is doing the big circle search. You and I will start the door-to-door. Ask them if they saw the girl this afternoon. I’ll start from here. You go down to the brook, and work your way up.”
Smithson returned to his cruiser and sped off. Windflower wasn’t worried. Yet. But he knew that the first few hours were crucial in finding a missing child. If they didn’t, then it was almost always something more serious. Not time to panic, but no time to waste. He walked up to the first door and knocked.




About the Author

Mike Martin was born in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a longtime freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand.

He is the author of Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People and has written a number of short stories that have published in various publications including Canadian Stories and Downhome magazine.

The Walker on the Cape was his first full fiction book and the premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. Other books in the series include The Body on the T, Beneath the Surface, A Twist of Fortune and A Long Ways from Home.

A Long Ways from Home was shortlisted for the 2017 Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award as the best light mystery of the year. A Tangled Web is the newest book in the series.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Summer on Earth: Interview with Peter Thompson

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Peter Thompson grew up in Illinois, and lives near Chicago. He remembers how excited he was when the first astronaut stepped on to the moon. He has had an appreciation of space, and all its possibilities ever since. His love of children’s books developed while reading to his three sons. His first novel, Living Proof, was a thriller published by Berkeley Books. Summer on Earth is his first book for younger readers. It will be released in August of this year.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER


What’s inside the mind of a middle grade sci-fi author?

Curiosity and empathy. I think it all comes down to that sense of wonder, and imagining what things would be like, if something was different. By asking What if questions, and trying to put myself in the shoes of the character experiencing this situation, I get a chance to live life from a new perspective. My novel, Summer on Earth, is the story of Ralwil or Will, an alien who is forced to land on a farm to fix his broken spaceship, and his relationship with Grady, the 11-year-old boy who lives there. It was a lot of fun writing from the perspective of Ralwil, an alien from another galaxy. To him, everything here is new and exotic. Things we take for granted and think of as dull and boring, are fresh and exciting to him. Grady’s perspective was challenging in another way. It has been a long, long time since I was 11 years old. Remembering back to how I was at that age, and trying to make it authentic, was very satisfying in the end.  

What is so great about being an author?

It is a wonderful feeling to have an idea, and to start writing, and to see how the story takes shape. I love how characters come alive and go off in their own direction. When a story works, it feels like I am a stenographer, just trying to keep up and write down the story as it flows out of me. I think we all have creative impulses, and it is a wonderful feeling to start with just a germ of an idea, and to see it grow. When my writing flows, it is exciting for it to come together, surprising me at times as the story finds its way, and ends up as a finished novel, telling a story that has never been told in that way before.

When do you hate it?

I don’t think I ever hate it, but writing can be frustrating at times. Every day you start with a blank page. Sometimes the story flows and it feels great. Other times it is a struggle. I try to push through when it isn’t flowing, but there are times where I don’t like any of my ideas, and nothing is working the way I want it too. I just try and relax and keep going. It always comes back if you keep on putting in the time.

What is a regular writing day like for you?

I do most of my writing early in the morning. I try and get up at five thirty, and write for a few hours before going to work. I usually read what I wrote from the day before, say may affirmations, then put on my headphones and listen to some instrumental music, set the timer and start to write. On a good day it will flow effortlessly. Sometimes it doesn’t, but if I keep it up, the story comes through.

How do you handle negative reviews?

There is always a sting when you read a bad review, and I wonder sometimes, maybe they are right? But the truth is, a review is only an opinion. I’ve had enough good response to know that my stories are working, even if they don’t work for everyone. You have to believe in what you do. Our stories are all personal, even when they are fiction, and as an author we need to have confidence that we are telling the story the best way that we can tell it, even when someone else doesn’t get it.

How do you handle positive reviews?

It is a good feeling to know that someone really connected to my story, and I immediately think that they are obviously very intelligent, beautiful and well respected human beings. I’m only partially kidding when I say that. In my heart I send out thanks and gratitude. It feels good and I do get a boost from good reviews. But, like a bad review, it is still only one person’s opinion. I read them, enjoy them, and move on. 

What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author?

Surprise, mostly. I don’t bring it up as a rule, so they are more likely to hear about it when someone else tells them, or they read an article, or now, it might be because of social media. People see you in the way they know you, or were first introduced to you. We all have many facets, and people who know me through my work, or from family connections or any other relationship, think of me based on how they first came to know me. I know I feel the same way when I find out something new about a friend or acquaintance that I didn’t know before. I recently found out that someone I’ve known for years was a painter. I thought that was so cool, and it made me look at her in a new light. When people find out I am an author, they are surprised, but it rounds me out as a person to them. They see me for more than the one role they might identify me with. Most people don’t know many authors, though, so when they ask me for my autograph, or to sign a copy of my book, I sometimes feel like a minor celebrity. 

What do you do on those days you don’t feel like writing? Do you force it or take a break?

I try and write every day, but some days I am very productive, and other days, not so much. I do take breaks from writing, but if I am working on a project and it doesn’t flow, I keep pushing. I’ve found that inspiration comes reliably when I push through and put in the work.

Any writing quirks?

I usually sit in the same spot and listen to music when I write. I also say my affirmations before I start, and find that this helps put me in the right head space for writing.

What would you do if people around you didn’t take your writing seriously or see it as a hobby?

I’ve been very lucky in that my family and friends have been very supportive of my writing. And that does make a big difference. But ultimately, I write for myself. When I write it is a form of self-discovery, and I can’t wait to see what happens next. Early on, the people I share my work with are those who I know will take it seriously. Sometimes there are stories that I get excited about, and my early readers don’t see it the same way. When that happens I listen to their opinion, and then decide whether I want to accept it, or not. As a writer you have to have a pretty thick hide, because criticism is part of it, and good criticism can make you better.

Some authors seem to have a love-hate relationship to writing. Can you relate?

Absolutely. I love to write, and when it is flowing I have a real sense of joy and accomplishment. But there was a long period where I stopped writing entirely. At the time, my life was busy and I had a lot of stress from other sources. I kept getting stuck with my writing. I felt blocked and discouraged and trying to write was just adding more stress. I put everything away and just stopped.  I missed it, but writing was too painful at the time. Since then, I have come to appreciate the process more, and now I try and keep writing even when I don’t feel like it is working. In the long run I have faith that what needs to come out, will come out.

Do you think success as an author must be linked to money?

I don’t. Money is important to the extent that it gives you validation. Knowing that a publisher believes in your story enough that they are willing to pay for it, is a great feeling. I remember when I saw my first novel in a book store the first time, it gave me a real rush of excitement. I have to admit, I do fantasize about my book becoming a runaway best seller, and I am looking forward to the movie premier (take note, any movie producers in the audience). But I don’t write for the money. If I was given a choice of having a whole bunch of readers reading my book for free and loving it, or having someone pay me a ton of money not to publish the book, I would always go for more readers. Like most authors, I work a full-time job, and that’s where most of my money comes from.


What has writing taught you?

That’s a great question. I have learned a lot about myself in the process of writing. I know that I can take on a big project, and see it through to completion. I have learned not to take myself too seriously, and I try and separate the process from the outcome. I’ve learned that I have more fun when I write for my own enjoyment, then when I try and write for some potential audience. I know that writing is almost like praying or meditating. I am the one typing on my keypad, but when the writing flows, I connect with something else, and I am often surprised and delighted by what comes out on the page.


Leave us with some words of wisdom.

When writing, especially in the beginning, don’t write for other people, write for yourself. I try and amuse myself. I know things are going well if I’m laughing while I write, or feel tears come to my eyes. I try to turn off my editor, let it go and just have fun.


Book Feature: The Song of Solomon by Owen Sypher

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We're happy to host Owen Sypher's THE SONG OF SOLOMON REVEALED Blog Tour today! Please leave a comment or question below for Owen and don't forget to check out his book at Amazon!




Title: THE SONG OF SOLOMON REVEALED
Author: Owen Sypher
Publisher: Litfire Publishing, LLC
Pages: 308
Genre: Religion/Bible Studies

The book of Song of Solomon is a spiritual book full of allegories or pictures where God used the natural to show the spiritual. By using the keys of understanding found in the Bible the author has unlock the hidden meaning of the book of Song of Solomon.

The book of Song of Solomon is about the love that Jesus has for his bride. When looked at from this angle a lot of the verses makes more sense.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon * Barnes & Noble



Song 4:16: Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits. KJV
We know that north is God’s direction as stated in Psalm 75:6–7.
Ps. 75:6–7 For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. 7 But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another. KJV
Since promotion comes from God, and the only direction not mentioned is north. That makes north God’s direction. That would make south man’s direction. This illustrates to me that we need the right spirit in our lives, no matter what comes our way. Whether the wind is blowing from the north or the south makes no difference; we still have the same spirit (our fragrance).  What this tells me is that no matter if I am receiving the blessings of God (north wind blowing upon my life) or cursing or tribulation from others (south wind, or man’s direction), I would have the same spirit blowing out of my garden or I would show the right spirit no matter what is happening in my life, and it would be a sweet smell to the Lord, and it is all because of the things that the Lord has planted in my garden.
We have the capabilities of doing this because we understanding this verse in Romans 8.
Rom. 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. KJV
Phil. 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. KJV
I use this scripture to show that I am not going to let outside circumstances dictate how my spirit responds to the Lord. I can be content in the Lord no matter what.


Owen L. Sypher is a devoted servant of the Lord. At eleven years old, he started a spiritual journey to discover and understand God and his word.

In 1979, he received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Since then, he has had fellowships with the same group. Song of Solomon is his first book.

You can visit his website at http://www.sypherbooks.com.   
 

A Shape on the Air Book Blast & Giveaway!

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Title: A SHAPE ON THE AIR
Author: Julia H. Ibbotson
Publisher: Endeavour Press
Pages: 267
Genre: Medieval Timeslip Romance
Unlocking a love that lasts for lifetimes … and beyond …
Dr Viv Dulac, a lecturer in medieval studies, is devastated when her partner walks out (and with her best friend too) and it seems that she is about to lose everything. Drunk and desperate, her world quite literally turns upside down when she finds herself in the body of the fifth century Lady Vivianne. Lady V has her own traumas; she is struggling with the shifting values of the Dark Ages and her forced betrothal to the brutish Sir Pelleas, who is implicated in the death of her parents. Haunted by both Lady Vivianne and by Viv's own parents' death and legacy, can Viv  unlock the mystery that surrounds and connects their two lives, 1500 years apart, and bring peace to them both? Can the strange key she finds hold the truth? A haunting story of lives intertwining across the ages, of the triumph of the human spirit and of dreams lost and found.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon


Prologue

1500 years before

Lady Nymue, her mother, is rising from the mere like a spirit: tall, slow like a dream, over-gown falling in slim folds from her waist. Vivianne sees her in a haze of mist, like magic, an illusion. She feels it, that enchantment, and it is enfolding her, but making her shiver, too. Her life-giver, robes dry despite the water, is coming towards her as she stands anxiously on the bank, waiting impatiently, calling out urgently, hopping from one foot to the other, tangling her feet in her earth-sweeping kirtle, longing to rejoin her playmates who are chasing around the village pretending to be Roman soldiers. Her mother, reaching out a hand to her, is shaking her head, but laughing. Be more patient, my little Lady Vivianne, she says, I have not completed my rituals, but let me wrap you in my cloak, for I must return to the mere. But she is only a little girl and something is making her feel cold, frightened. No, she calls, sticking out her lower lip, I want to play! I want to be Honorius this time! They promised! Eleanor will play my wife - or maybe my lady servant.
Her mother is ruffling her soft curls. Well, then, she smiles, I will return later to finish. She is lifted onto her mother’s horse, in front, held close. Dry, warm, comforting. Riding back to the village. Her care-giver is taking her back to play with her friends again. Her mother turns to the special hall which her father, Sir Tristram, called “sacred” and where she is only allowed to go sometimes.
And then, fire, flames, the acrid smell of smoke. Looking across to the great hall, terror strangling her heart, stealing her breath. Running towards the wooden building, through the ash and cinders and the roaring, screaming now, choking. Someone holding her back, pulling her.
Darkness.
Waking up in her little bed. A big red-faced man in the shadows, haloed with a fair unruly beard and thick wild hair, telling her that her parents were dead, burned in the fire. Her mother and her father, both of them. An accident with tallows. She knows those tallows; they are always on the altar in the sacred hall. They are only spoken of in whispers. But this man is speaking in a strange way, loud, too loud, and it seems to her, sneering, as she peers at him through the darkness.


Julia Ibbotson is giving away a PDF copy of ‘Drumbeats’!

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Award-winning author Julia Ibbotson is obsessed with the medieval world and concepts of time travel. She read English at Keele University, England (after a turbulent but exciting gap year in Ghana) specialising in medieval studies, and has a PhD in linguistics. She wrote her first novel at 10 years of age, but became a teacher, lecturer and researcher, and a single mum.  Julia has published four books, including a children’s book S.C.A.R.S (a fantasy medieval time slip), a memoir, and the first two novels of her Drumbeats trilogy (which begins in Ghana).  Apart from insatiable reading, she loves travelling the world, singing in choirs, swimming, yoga, and walking in the English countryside.

Her recent release is A Shape on the Air.

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