Friday, 26 May 2017

Book Review & Blog Tour: FINDING ALISON BY DEIRDRE EUSTACE

Welcome to today's stop on the Finding Alison blog tour!


Published by Black & White Publishing on 18 May 2017

Grief and guilt. Love and resentment. A community divided.
No one in Carniskey has ever truly understood what led Sean Delaney, a seasoned local fisherman, to risk his life in a high storm in the dead of night. Now, three years on from that tragic night, his wife Alison is still struggling with her unresolved grief and increasing financial worries.
After three difficult years, Alison has grown distant from her daughter and estranged from her friends and fellow villagers, particularly her best friend Kathleen who harbours a deeply guarded secret of her own. Isolated by its stunning yet often cruel surroundings, this is a community used to looking after its own but the arrival of an outsider & artist and lifelong nomad, William; offers Alison a new perspective on life and love that threatens to unearth the mysteries of the past.

The story starts the night Alison's husband, Sean, goes out on his boat at night and is never seen again, presumed drowned.  They had quarrelled before Sean walked out of the door and three years on Alison is still consumed with guilt and grief.
Her teenage daughter, Hannah, is rebelling, she's keeping bad company and is lying to her mum.  Alison is at her wit's end when her sister, Claire, who lives in London, offers to have Hannah for the summer, and she can't wait to leave her mum and the sea for the bright lights of London.
While she's away it gives Alison time on her own to reflect on what she wants from her life and maybe start to move on, especially when she meets nomad William, living in his camper van at the beach.
A wonderfully told story, full of beautiful descriptions of the sea, with a surprise or two, it's about living for the moment, moving on, taking control of your life and learning to let go.
I must just mention the cover too.  I loved it.  It conveys so much of what the story is about - Alison, reflecting on her life, looking out to the sea she both loves and hates.
Thanks to Black & White Publishing for giving me the opportunity to read this enchanting book and be involved in the blog tour, which you can follow here:-



Finding Alison is available to buy from Amazon UK  -  Amazon US  -  Book Depository


Thursday, 25 May 2017

Spotlight & Giveaway: WAVES OF MURDER BY CS McDONALD (A Fiona Quinn Mystery)

Join Fiona and the gang for a hot whodunit on the sandy beaches of Presque Isle, Pennsylvania!



Book Details:

Book Title: Waves of Murder: A Fiona Quinn Mystery
Author: C.S. McDonald
​Category: YA Fiction, 190 pages
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: McWriter Books
Release date: April 11, 2017
Tour dates: May 15 to 26, 2017
Content Rating: G (The Fiona Quinn Mysteries are for everyone--adults love the books and they are appropriate for teens and tweens too!)

Book Description:

School’s out for the summer!

Kindergarten teacher, Fiona Quinn is looking forward to spending some quality time in her yard and with her boyfriend, Detective Nathan Landry. However, Fiona’s plans get squelched when her mother volunteers her to edit a manuscript for famous romance author, Wyla Parkes.

What’s so bad about that? The author insists Fiona must work on the manuscript at her beach cottage on Presque Isle--three hours away from her yard and Nathan. Spending six weeks in an adorable cottage on a private beach doesn’t really seem all that bad until people start turning up dead—beginning with the author! Fiona’s summer of sun and sand is instantly transformed into a murder investigation. Can Fiona and Nathan crack the case or will the murderer get away on a wave of deceit?

Join Fiona and the gang for a hot whodunit on the sandy beaches of Presque Isle, Pennsylvania!

Buy the Book: 


Meet the Author: 



For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. She was a professional dancer and choreographer. During that time she choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. In 2011 she retired from her dance career to write. Under her real name, Cindy McDonald, she writes murder-suspense and romantic suspense novels. In 2014 she added the pen name, C.S. McDonald, to write children’s books for her grandchildren. Now she adds the Fiona Quinn Mysteries to that expansion. She decided to write the cozy mystery series for her young granddaughters, and has found that so many adults love them too.

Ms. McDonald resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband, Bill, and her poorly behaved Cocker Spaniel, Allister.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook


BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR:

May 15 - Library of Clean Reads - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
May 15 - Book Crazy Scrapbook Mama - book spotlight / giveaway
May 15 - Working Mommy Journal - book spotlight / giveaway
May 15 - Corinne Rodrigues - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
May 16 - Reviews in the City - book spotlight / giveaway
May 16 - Celticlady's Reviews - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
May 16 - Books, Dreams, Life - book spotlight / giveaway
May 16 - Blooming with Books - book spotlight / giveaway
May 17 - Rainy Day Reviews - book spotlight / giveaway
May 17 - Sleuth Cafe - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
May 17 - Zerina Blossom's Books - book spotlight / giveaway
May 17 - Mystery Suspense Reviews - book spotlight / guest post
May 18 - FUONLYKNEW - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
May 18 - The Book Drealms - book spotlight / giveaway
May 18 - Laura's Interests - book spotlight / giveaway
May 18 - #redhead.with.book - book spotlight / giveaway
May 19 - Babs Book Bistro - book spotlight / giveaway
May 19 - Brooke Blogs - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
May 19 -100 Pages a day - book spotlight / giveaway
May 19 - Puddletown Reviews - book spotlight / giveaway
May 22 - Hall Ways Blog - book spotlight / giveaway
May 22 - Literary Flits - book spotlight / giveaway
May 22 - Books for Books - book spotlight
May 22 - Bound 2 Escape - book spotlight / giveaway
May 23 - Kristin's Novel Cafe - book spotlight / giveaway
May 23 - Katie's Clean Book Collection - book spotlight / giveaway
May 23 - Cassidy's Bookshelves - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
May 23 - Travelling Through Words - book spotlight / giveaway
May 24 - Rockin' Book Reviews - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
May 24 - Seasons of Opportunities - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
May 24 - Bookworm Cafe - book spotlight / giveaway
May 25 - JBronder Book Reviews - book spotlight
May 25 - Carole's Book Corner - book spotlight /
May 25 - Deal Sharing Aunt - book spotlight / giveaway
May 26 - 3 Partners in Shopping Nana, Mommy + Sissy, Too! - spotlight / giveaway
May 26 - StoreyBook Reviews - book spotlight / giveaway
May 26 - Jessica Cassidy - book spotlight


Enter the Giveaway!
Ends June 3
USA entries only


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Monday, 22 May 2017

Book Review & Book Tour: ALL THE GOOD THINGS BY CLARE FISHER



Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for All the Good Things


Published by Penguin on 1 June 2017

What if you did a very bad thing... but that wasn't the end of the story

Twenty-one year old Beth is in prison. The thing she did is so bad she doesn't deserve to ever feel good again. But her counsellor, Erika, won't give up on her. She asks Beth to make a list of all the good things in her life. So Beth starts to write down her story, from sharing silences with Foster Dad No. 1, to flirting in the Odeon on Orange Wednesdays, to the very first time she sniffed her baby's head. But at the end of her story, Beth must confront the bad thing. What is the truth hiding behind her crime? And does anyone - even a 100% bad person - deserve a chance to be good?

All the Good Things is the debut novel of Clare Fisher and is so moving, so thought-provoking and so sad but it's also uplifting and beautiful ...... it's so many things but it's also an unforgettable story.

Beth narrates her life story as if she's talking to her child.  She talks of her unhappy childhood with her single mother, her foster parents, her friends and work, boyfriends.  All told in a totally honest way.

No-one can stay invisible for ever - it's too boring. The only way to make people see me was to do something bad.

She finds an escape in her life by her imaginative writing, her teachers praise her but she doesn't understand why.

She makes wrong decisions, but she doesn't know why she makes them, why she spoils the good things in her life, she's vulnerable and lives in her own unreal world, and sometimes she makes good decisions.

All this is leading up to 'the bad thing' which placed her in prison and she believes she doesn't deserve any good things to happen to her.

Beth is such a complex character, she had good times and bad times, like all of us, but it's how she deals with them that makes her different and this difference slowly dawned on me as I read her story. 

All the Good Things is a beautifully written story, it's a memorable story, with perfect pacing and compelling characters.

Meet the Author

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My short fiction has been published widely in print and online, including in anthologies from Siren PressCinnamon press  LitroAestheticaAnnexe Magazine and Flight Press. I won second place in the 2015 Ilkley Literature Festival short story competition, and won the 2013 London Short Story Prize and Cinnamon Press writing award.
I’ve also taken part in collaborative projects; In 2014 I was Writer in Residence at the UK Young Artists Festival, where I met and was hugely inspired by artists in all sorts of other mediums. My forthcoming collection, HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN,  began life as an ACE-funded commission for Leeds Light Night 2014, where I made a live art installation for the first time. worked as a satellite artist to Stevie Ronnie as part of the PH1 Residency project at the New Schoolhouse Gallery in York.
I run a monthly writer’s group in Leeds, WordLab, and do freelance editing, most recently with Cornerstones Literary Consultancy.
I hold an MA (with Distinction) in Creative and Life Writing from Goldsmiths, University of London and  BA in Modern History from Oxford. I speak French, play the piano, run, swim and walk.  I work at the strange and wonderful Square Chapel in Halifax.

My thanks to Penguin for giving me the opportunity to take part in the blog tour.  

Please see what all the other bloggers thoughts are.




Available to buy from Amazon UK 




Saturday, 20 May 2017

Spotlight with Excerpt of Chapter One on WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE - PANDORA Book One BY DL RICHARDSON



For fans of Robopocalypse, The Hunger Games, Ready Player One, World War Z


Pages: 437 ebook / 338 print
ASIN: B01N01QFTQ
Digital ISBN: 9781370736201
Print ISBN: 9781539545699
Release date: November 21, 2016  

Genre: apocalyptic sci-fi

Everyone wants to escape reality. And a new state-of-the art virtual-reality gaming facility offers players the perfect place to swap their regular lives for a world of monsters and fantasy locations. But what happens when, instead of playing the game, the game ends up playing them?


CHAPTER ONE

Jack Minnow grabbed a brochure off the rack and his eyes scanned the back page.
"It says here that rule breakers are ten times more likely to survive an apocalypse. They're adaptable and they rely on cunning and instinct."
Jack was five-foot-eight, and the woman behind the counter, called an operator, was easily six-feet tall. Looking at her was like looking at a marble statue atop a pedestal. All white – her hair, her tight-fitting jump suit, her face, neck, and hands, painted to resemble a computer generated character. He allowed himself to imagine that the stage make-up covered places he couldn't see.
She smiled at him. "It also says that rule breakers are ten times more likely to die within the first hour. They're reckless and often act without thinking."
She pushed a plastic tray towards him, the kind handed out at airports to slip under x-ray machines. Jack dropped his wallet, phone, and car keys into the tray.
"So it's a win/win day for a guy with a superhero complex," he said.
Superman, his mother had called him after he'd brought home a stray dog for the fifth time. "Can't help but save things," she'd told the dog ranger. Even as a boy, Jack knew what happened to the mutts who were handed over to the ranger, but he still brought dogs home for one last night of fun. His superhero complex was the reason he'd entered The Apocalypse Games. Save everyone. Save the world. Nobody dies. Not for real anyway.
The operator removed the tray and he stood there waiting for a voucher. None came. A warning flared up into his brain. What did he really know about this operation?
"Seriously, about those odds," he said. "Exactly how much testing has gone into the program? I mean this is opening day. There must be kinks to iron out."
"We use the same technology as they do at NASA," she said. "The nutrient tubes and mist emitters feeding into the simulation pods are the same as those used in space travel. The structural integrity of the pods was tested by NASA engineers only last week." She tilted her head to the side. "We'll take good care of you, Mr Minnow. I'll see to it personally."
He didn't know her name, or anything else about her, but he felt he could trust her. He had to trust her; he was placing his life in her hands.
She stepped out from behind the counter, slipped her arm through his, and guided him toward a set of doors where he caught flashes of shiny surfaces and bright lights. A sign indicated the room was called The Launch Pad.
"How will you see to it personally?" he asked, dragging his gaze back to her dazzling blue eyes. "Will you be in the game with me?"
She shook her head. Pity. He was sure he'd enjoy cyber-sex.
"You've got a good crowd here for the opening. How many players you reckon? Eighty? Ninety?"
"There are one hundred and five players taking part in today's auspicious event."
Jack's mood sank a little. "Won't it get crowded?"
She placed her other hand on his arm. Others might have found the gesture too friendly, but not him. Attention from a beautiful woman – genuine or as part of a customary service – warmed his insides.
"There are many apocalyptic scenarios on offer," she said. "Some players have chosen to be placed randomly, in which case we'll load them into scenarios that other players haven't pre-selected. It's highly unlikely you'll all be playing the same game." She stopped at a machine similar in size to an ATM and ran a laminated pass across the scanner. "I understand you'll be teaming up with two other players, Reis Anderson and Kelly Lawrence."
"Kelly's my sister," said Jack, not wanting to give the woman the wrong impression. "I'm being a good brother and chaperoning her."
The operator nodded. "Have you chosen an apocalypse to survive? Or will you opt for the random selection?"
"I don't mind surprises, but Kelly's…let's just say she's a novice at this. We've decided to play—"
Her fingers swiftly landed on his lips. "Don't tell me. If I don't know then I can't reveal any spoilers."
She slipped the laminated pass around his neck and continued ushering him toward The Launch Pad. At the doorway, she gently pried her arm away and her azure-blue eyes twinkled.
"I assure you, Mr Minnow. You will be in the greatest of care. Please make your way inside and enjoy your complimentary champagne. It won't be long until you're taken to the simulation pod."
The doubt still niggled at him. "So when we die in the game, what happens?"
She looked off to another player signing up at the desk.
"Miss…Operator?"
At last she turned around and smiled, revealing dazzling white teeth. "You can't die in the game."
"But it'll feel like it. That's what the brochure says."
"Yes, it will feel like death," she said before walking briskly away.


Reviews

"From the very first to the last page, the story is emotionally charged, the action intense, and the conflict driving the plot forward." - Readers Favorite


"The suspense is biting and the reader can feel the pulse of the characters. From the very first to the last page, the story is emotionally charged, the action intense, and the conflict driving the plot forward." - Arya Fomonyuy for Readers' Favorite


"The concept and plot was so different to any dystopian novel I've ever come across. It wasn't exactly Terminator, with robots rising up to kill humans, but more like Star Trek-type technology becoming sentient and killing humans." Rachel Sawyer Diaries


Meet the Author


D L Richardson likes many things, reality isn't one of them. She writes Science-Fiction, Horror, and Fantasy. She lives in Australia with her husband and dog.


Author contact links


Website       

Facebook     

Twitter     

Google +

Blog      

Amazon author page

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00717D7KU



BOOK TWO IN THE SERIES IS COMING OUT ON THE 8TH JUNE 2017


WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE - CYBERNEXIS
BOOK TWO -



ABOUT THE BOOK

Short blurb

Getting out of the game used to be all that mattered. Now all that matters is getting back in.

BUY THE BOOK LINK

books2read.com/u/4N1kVz



Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Book Review & Blog Tour: LEOPARD AT THE DOOR BY JENNIFER MCVEIGH

Today is my turn on the Leopard at the Door blog tour and my review is below


After six years in England, Rachel has returned to Kenya and the farm where she spent her childhood, but the beloved home she’d longed for is much changed. Her father’s new companion—a strange, intolerant woman—has taken over the household. The political climate in the country grows more unsettled by the day and is approaching the boiling point. And looming over them all is the threat of the Mau Mau, a secret society intent on uniting the native Kenyans and overthrowing the whites.


As Rachel struggles to find her place in her home and her country, she initiates a covert relationship, one that will demand from her a gross act of betrayal. One man knows her secret, and he has made it clear how she can buy his silence. But she knows something of her own, something she has never told anyone. And her knowledge brings her power.




Leopard at the Door is such a contrast of a beautifully told story but also a story of a dark time in British and Kenyan history.  It is full of wonderful descriptions of Kenya, the people, the heat, the animals, the lush vegetation and the unforgiving wilderness.


The main character Rachel is returning to her childhood home after six unhappy years living in England with her grandparents - where she was sent to after her mother's death.  She has missed everything about Kenya and could not wait to come back.


I did not know much about the Mau Mau, the secret society which had sprung up in Kenya and who wanted to unite the kikuyu and overthrow the white people, and some of the brutality of their oath taking did not make for easy reading.


The vastness of the country is portrayed well, their nearest neighbour was 15 miles away, an hour's drive away at least.

The story gives us an insight into Kenyan life at that time for the many white farmers living there, the fear and isolation they endured, reading daily reports of the atrocities carried out by the Mau Mau which were not for the faint hearted.

It is also a story of Rachel's growing up and how she deals with the present and the past, her expectations and her disappointments, especially of her father who sent her away.

This is an absorbing look at a time of unrest and upheaval in history, which I found incredibly interesting as I knew so little of this period.  The writing was so descriptive and detailed, the tension rising with each page, and altogether a very thought-provoking read.

Published by Penguin Viking on 19 May 2017

Available to buy from Amazon UK  -  Amazon US  -  TheBookDepository


Check out the other bloggers on the tour







Tuesday, 9 May 2017

SPOTLIGHT & EXCERPT: OUTREMER BY D.N. CARTER (Historical Epic Fiction)

Today is my turn on the Outremer blog tour and I've got an excerpt from the first book in this new Historical Series


Outremer I
Who Controls The Past Controls The Future
 An epic love story must overcome religious divide and a plot to eradicate two blood lines, as the Crusades and the search for the ancient mysteries of the Holy Grail gather momentum.
Raised by his father in La Rochelle, France, Paul Plantavalu is known for his artistic nature, inquisitive mind and Christian faith. He also has an unshakable love for his Muslim childhood friend, Alisha al Komaty. Courageous and outspoken, she returns Paul’s love. But their path is paved with obstacles; religion, war, political chaos and a mysterious enemy determined to destroy their family lines.
Sometime between 1110 AD and 1120 AD in the aftermath of the first crusade, a small band of nine knights — the founding knights Templar — recover ancient precious artefacts left by a former, advanced civilisation, beneath the City of Jerusalem. Ruthlessly guarded, the secrets revealed by this discovery are highly prized by powerful and dangerous forces far and wide; the repercussions of their capture are inextricably linked to Paul and Alisha. As Paul starts to experience dark and vivid dreams and the fragile balance of peace starts to crumble, it will fall to an enigmatic man known as Kratos and his female warrior protégée Abi Shadana, to safeguard Paul and Alisha.
Paul and Alisha’s love story weaves between the threads of our reality and other realms — from the Druids to the Sufi mystics, the Magi of the East, the secret political arm of the Knights Templar and the Isma’ilis, the Assassins. Knights and pilgrims alike will witness some of the darkest battles ever fought. The discovery of a unique sword’s lethal power and whispered connections to King Arthur and the Holy Grail lead Paul and Alisha to question if their lives ever be the same again.

The first of a four-part series, Outremer is an historical epic, which sweeps across England, Scotland and France, to Syria, Jerusalem and Egypt. Discover the truth — and crack the ancient code — behind the great mysteries of the High Middle Ages for yourself.


EXCERPT
La Rochelle in the main kitchen back at the Manor House, Paul’s brother Stewart and Alisha were sat at the dining table. Paul and Alisha had fallen out, Paul trying to keep his distance as advised and to not get involved with her. She had questioned his ability to look after her and called him a dreamer and still just a boy after he appeared to reject her.

   He hesitated just inches away from her face. Gently he leaned closer, their lips touching. Alisha pulled away briefly, as Stewart put his hand upon her face and kissed her again. Alisha felt herself responding to his touch as her heart beat faster and his lips pressed against hers. She slowly raised her hand to his face and as her hand reached his jaw, she thought of Paul. Instantly she broke the kiss and pulled her face away slightly from him. Stewart’s eyes darted as he searched hers.
   “I am sorry...I cannot do this,” she said in a quiet whisper.
   She pulled herself back and away and looked up. As she did, she saw Paul standing at the rear entrance, his arms hung loose, his face distraught and in shock. Alisha raised her hands to her mouth in shock. Stewart stood up quickly and flung himself around to face him. Paul just stood looking at them in utter bewilderment.
   “Paul...this is not what it looks like,” Alisha said emotionally beginning to shake.
   “Oh yes it is. It is exactly what it looks like,” Stewart said loudly and looked back at Alisha. Alisha shook her head it wasn’t. “You saw with your own eyes brother. You did not want her and I have fallen for her...tell him Ali,” Stewart shot back as he moved his sword to his side out of the way as it had been hanging to the front.
   Paul looked at Alisha as tears were welling in his eyes. ‘I will not cry this time’ he told himself fighting to control his emotions.
   “Two of the people I love most in this torrid world...and this is what you do to me,” Paul finally blurted out and stood down from the rear step.
   “We do to you! You sanctimonious Holier than though prig...how dare you! You rejected Ali, you crushed her heart without so much as a second thought, and you dare to stand there now in judgement of us?” Stewart shouted.
   Alisha cupped her hands over her mouth as tears began to well ever bigger in her eyes. She shook her head no several times just looking at both of them.
   “Paul...please,” she suddenly cried as tears just streamed down her face.
   “Well Ali...come on tell him...tell him you feel the same for me now,” Stewart said demonstratively as he stood up. Alisha shook her head more and stood up slowly. “Ali...tell him...please,” Stewart said loudly. All three stood in silence for several minutes as tears fell from Alisha.
   Paul looked at her wishing he could just grab her and hug her seeing the pain in her eyes, but also a large part wanted to scream and yell at her, the image of her kissing Stewart burnt deeply into his mind. Stewart stood up fully, pulled his chain mail and surcoat down straight and shook his head annoyed, anger clearly rising and evident upon his face.
   “I am sorry Stewart...Paul...” Alisha finally said, her voice broken and shaking.
   “Damn you. Damn you both. You have played me for a fool. Gerard was indeed correct when he said you are nothing more than a she devil harlot who would bring ruination upon many a man...well thankfully I have seen the light of truth just in time...you are welcome to her brother,” Stewart said bitterly, his face contorted with anger.
   “And damn you brother. You know full well how I felt...still feel...for Ali but it did not stop you from trying to bed her did it,” Paul suddenly exploded in rage as he rapidly walked towards Stewart. Instinctively Stewart went to grasp his sword, Alisha screamed as Paul kicked his forearm hard away from his sword handle.
   Stewart instantly swung his right hand backwards and up striking Paul hard across the face knocking him backwards. Paul fell hard against the stone step banging his head. Momentarily dazed he could not focus his vision as Stewart quickly loomed into view over him. Stewart drew his sword fast. Alisha screamed again and rushed at Stewart to stop him. She grabbed his arm holding the sword, but he flung his arm backwards hard flinging her hard against the wooden table. In pain she grabbed her side. As Paul regained focus, it was just in time to see Stewarts sword tip waving dangerously close to his face as he knelt over him, his knee pressing down hard into his chest.
   “I could kill you both this instant. You make a fool of me like this,” Stewart snarled.
   “And yet you brother, who insults me by having no respect for me over your own lust and base desires for Ali...not a second thought for me or my feelings, just your own selfish wants as always. Well go on then...kill me. This is not the first time you have wanted to, with that uncontrollable anger of yours. You are no better than Gerard...in fact I would say you are worse...at least he does not hide his arrogance and brutality behind some false mask of decency as you fake,” Paul said through gritted teeth as the pain in his chest increased. Stewarts face was red with rage.
   “You are no brother of mine. You are nothing but a weak and pathetic fool of a boy trying to be a man and that is all you will ever be with your stupid maps and poems,” Stewart snarled again, sweat forming upon his head, his sword shaking almost uncontrollably near to Pauls face.
   “Please Stewart...do not hurt him further,” Alisha pleaded as she tried to walk nearer cautiously still holding her side in pain. Her eyes met Pauls. He could see she was in pain.
   “Aaaaarrrgh!” Paul screamed loudly and with all his might and strength, placed his feet into Stewart’s stomach and pushed him hard away. Stewart staggered backwards and hit the side of the main stove hard. As he went to straighten up, Paul was already up and on his feet. As Stewart stood up straight and began to raise his sword, Paul grabbed his forearm, the strength and intensity of his grip surprising Stewart. As he looked at Paul, without warning Paul head butted him hard, Stewart’s nose instantly breaking and blood spurted downwards onto his beard and all over his white mantel surcoat and also onto Paul’s leather overcoat. Stunned, Stewart tried to use his left arm to grab Paul, but Paul brought his knee up hard into Stewart’s groin, his eyes widening in pain instantly. As he began to crumple to his knees, Paul stood back, twisted Stewarts right forearm, squeezed his wrist and snatched away his sword. Quickly Paul jumped backwards and pointed the sword at Stewart as he fought to get his breath in agony on the floor.
   “And you...you are no brother of mine for we are most certainly too different by far...” Paul said his voice deep with anger. “And this...” he said shaking the sword. “You think this makes you strong...eh...do you?” Paul shouted louder waving the sword at him. Stewart looked up in pain and then at Alisha who was stood still shaking with emotion her hands covering her mouth. Paul looked at her as he panted out of breath, his head and chest both hurting now. Alisha looked at Paul in utter surprise and shock. Paul looked back at his brother on the floor, his uniform covered in blood. “This is all a sword means to me,” Paul said and instantly outstretched the sword across his leg and in one swift movement, brought it down across his upper thigh, the blade snapping into three shards, a small middle section bursting upwards and imbedding itself in the main wooden cross beam, the tip end of the blade sliding across the stone slab floor. “Hear, take that to your Master Gerard,” Paul said as he threw the broken handle section on the floor in front of Stewart.
   Stewart rolled onto his backside and rested against the oven side. He looked at the broken sword amazed. He slowly looked up at Alisha. Paul looked at her too, and then walked straight past her and out of the back door slamming it behind him. He could feel blood beginning to seep from the cut on the back of his head.
   “Paul!” Alisha called out after him but he ignored her and kept walking away across the rear courtyard and vanished into the darkness.

Meet the Author


First off I have to say that I consider myself to be a spiritual, not necessarily religious person for there is a massive difference. I have learnt and believe that religion is a vehicle that has been used to impart certain moral rules and guidelines, sadly often grossly misunderstood or interpreted, but also to carry intact, very real complex mathematical and harmonic codes, which to me at least clearly demonstrates there is a higher intelligence behind all of it. We are only now waking up to see those codes as our own scientific and technological knowledge grows; beforehand we could not recognise them for what they are.

I was lucky enough to have travelled quite extensively in my early formative years to places such as Cyprus, Egypt, Turkey, Syria, and Jordan as well as other countries around the world due to my father’s profession. The whole of the Middle East held a special place in my heart, but Cyprus, the island of love as it is known, certainly had a profound effect upon me where I lived for many years. I recall seeing smoke stacks on the far horizon across the Sea whilst high up in the Troodos Mountains and being shocked to learn they were in fact fires from conflict in the Lebanon because of differing religious views. I also experienced at first hand the fear and reality of terrorist bomb attacks by the IRA whilst living in Yorkshire when they bombed a camp I lived beside, and later when my friend’s father was blown up in Northern Ireland, fuelled my desire to learn and understand why people do such things. I am the first to admit I am a soft soul, too forgiving I am often told, but I do not see that as a failing. I am a hopeless romantic at heart too which probably explains my early interest in chivalric Knights on great quests rescuing fair maidens and princesses...in truth it is probably the princess who would end up rescuing me, for as I have learnt, women are actually the stronger sex. I was for a long time very naive to the realities of how people can treat others. I only ever saw the best in people. I still do for I refuse to become cynical, but the harsh realities of this world did and still do concern me...how could a God, if he really exists, allow or tolerate such cruelty and suffering? This led me to study as much as I could on all the major religions, including the not so well known philosophies.

It was whilst trying to get answers, and after being totally captivated by the Pyramids of Giza, I was further inspired to delve deeper into the mysteries that surrounded them. On a visit I was fortunate enough, when all the lights suddenly failed, to jump into the sarcophagus within the so-called Kings chamber. I knew at that moment as I lay motionless in total silence, other than a concerned Japanese lady getting slightly upset, that the Great Pyramid was no mere tomb...it was a deep absolute knowing that I could not rationalise at the time, but I became deeply fascinated by ancient myths, legends and Celtic folklore and it soon became even more apparent that both a mathematical and harmonic pattern, a code in fact, was common to all the major religions no matter how far they were separated by distance globally or time across the centuries. The codes were not just similar...they are exact! With an avid interest in astronomy too, which led to further connections being seen within ancient myths and legends and stellar alignments that went far beyond mere coincidence, I decided upon a full investigation, as well as visit all the main locations, now recounted within Outremer, from the Hill of Tara in Ireland, Glen Lyon of Scotland to the Pyramids at Giza and the deserts of Arabia; even Antarctica. Outremer has been forty years in the making and my interest in these matters led to a career in science and research. I am now in my fifties and presently spend my time living between France and England with my family, plus dog and some gold fish of course, but I continue in my travels researching and exploring; a path that shows no signs of slowing down and I shall continue for as long as I am able.

In what little spare time I do have, I paint and draw. My ‘normal’ work mainly revolves around ancient history, archaeology and scientific research so I don’t really consider it work at all is it is my passion. Now that Outremer is complete...all four volumes, I am already working upon a prequel and then a factual compendium to compliment the series. I run to keep fit...coughs...still enjoy parachuting when I get the opportunity and now the proud owner of a microlight.  But you can’t beat a good book and I will always put that up there as my favourite hobby...curled up somewhere quiet and warm, cup of tea to hand and music in the background.   

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