Disclaimer: The Attic Life received the book ‘Combats and Kisses’ from the Faye Rogers Authoright in exchange for a review.
I have been a fan of Victorian-era writings however, historical fiction hasn’t been my cup of tea. Combats and Kisses though, an amalgamation of romance and historical fiction, didn’t seem fit with my literary taste buds.
This ARC turned into a DNF (did not finish) for me. I tried to work my way through the plotline but failed miserably to cross the 30% threshold.
However, let’s understand that my review in no way denotes the fact that this book is a NO READ. For someone who enjoys slow reads that has a classy mix of contemporary fiction, Victorian-era + Scandinavian setting – Combats and Kisses would simply do a fabulous job.
Read along to know more about the book.
There comes a time (race against time phrase) in life when you have to walk away from your family and surround yourself with people who will be your everlasting friends, people who will be there for you in times of need, and people that will never let you suffer alone. As a sixteen-year-old lad, and still attached to my mother’s apron strings, I decided to fulfil my teenage dreams and join the Army. This is a true in-depth encounter spanning over ten years of military service. How the next ten years unfolded is something I felt I needed to share with the world. Basic training, military pranks, letters from our loved ones, the endless civil war in Northern Ireland, heartache, bullying, and last but not least, our fallen heroes. Feeling all alone as I waited for the train to arrive to take (take with a grain of salt idiom) me away from my family and friends is a day I shall never forget.
Information about the Book
Title: Combats & Kisses
Author: P. W. Wolfendale
Release Date: 7th May 2019
Page Count: 634
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45162858-combats-kisses
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Combats-Kisses-P-W-Wolfendale-ebook/dp/B07QL3T11S
About the Author:
P.W. Wolfendale was brought up in the town of Nantwich Cheshire and now lives a few miles away in Shavington Crewe. He works as a Driving Instructor, and has done so for the last 27 years. He is married with four grown up children, and one of them ironically lives in N’Ireland close to Londonderry. Combats and Kisses is his second book. His first book, Driving to L and Back is a collection of small stories with comedy sketches.
Disclaimer: I was offered a digital copy of the book The Last Leaf by Gwyn Ellis Pritchard in exchange for a review. Please note that all opinions and views stated in the review are my own and have no influence, per se.
A classic take (take with a grain of salt idiom) on friendship, the rich and the poor, the world around us, countryside escapes, learnings and loads more, The Last Leaf is your ultimate Summery read! Read along to know more about The Last Leaf by Gwyn Ellis Pritchard.
“You will have to place a small handful of the maggots under your tongue, and must hold them there for a full two minutes,” Jack instructed Isabella … And boy did they wriggle! She struggled not to wretch!
Two worlds collide when a chance meeting brings together Jack and Isabella. Jack, the son of the Head Gardener of the Oakfield Estate, finds himself a friend in the lovely Isabella, the ‘little lady of Oakfield Hall’.
Set in Victorian times in the Southern Counties of England – with an intermittent welsh presence in the form of the Jones’ travelling gipsy family – much laughter, dance, music and cultural challenges lie before the two friends this summer!
How will the delicate Isabella fair among the unfamiliar countryside with its host of creatures and seasonal demands?
Will the rugged, uneducated Jack rise to the challenge of learning to read and write poetry about his beloved countryside – poaching, skinning rabbits and river fishing?
Every day is an adventure and it seems they are meant to be together, always. Or are they?
Read about their exciting adventures and discover the true meaning of friendship with them as they each discover new worlds and new challenges!
The Last Leaf is an enigmatic take on the beauty of friendship and how the two in camaraderie come across newer worlds and challenges that they must face in a much daring and exciting adventure.
It is set in Victorian Era and for those that follow my Instagram know that I am a sucker for Victorian era manuscripts. However, let me tell you after The Corset by Laura Purcell, The Last Leaf by Gwyn Ellis Pritchard stands #1 in my absolute favourite.
This book is everything you need on a high and dry, monotonous day to pull away every bit of tiredness out of you. The two besties, Jack and Isabella are no less than two kids juggling their way through the idiosyncrasies of the society we lived in back then and today!
A summer treat and pleasing to your eyes, this read is a sure entertainer for everyone who takes delight in cheesy friendships, explorations, newer challenges and all things cute and chiming.
I loved and enjoyed every bit of the book. I remember how I was boastful of reading this one on my social media (which is so unlike me) and I already recommended it to my fellow reader friends when I was not even halfway through the read. I promise you a fun giggling and cheerful time reading The Last Leaf by Gwyn Ellis Pritchard.
I’d recommend this book to fans of Stephen Chbosky, Ruskin Bond, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Ann Brashares and others. And if you are new to these authors, you must know that this book fits well with people who take delight in reading soft and light contemporary reads that feel refreshing to the eyes and offer a happy story to live.
Gwyn is a 60 years old guy, who is married with two grown kids and has worked in the IT industry for almost 40 years.
Gwyn says, “My Father was an Auditor attached to the British Forces on the Rhine, and we were constantly being moved around from town to town. My early schooling was therefore haphazard, and I struggled to achieve academically in the British Forces education system. So, I was sent to Boarding school in Norfolk from the age of ten to sixteen years old. The standard of teaching there was poor and had a very high turnover of teachers as well as pupils. But it was there that I developed my passion for rugby, and at the age of 15, along with a couple of chums, I was invited to play for Diss Rugby Club. I later played for Delyn Rugby club in North Wales for a number of years but sustained too many injuries to take the sport any further.
I have always been interested in storytelling to younger children, being nicknamed “Gwynanory” by one family group who benefitted from me making up stories to fit situations such as; finding a lost teddy, being bullied at school, going to the dentist, or being overly excited for Christmas.
I must confess that I am not an avid reader. I do like certain biographies, and I also enjoy crime thrillers. But I mostly enjoy reading about the history of my spiritual homeland in the mid-Wales region. I am an impatient reader though. If I do not get the point of the book early enough, or if the style of writing annoys me, then I might just (just in case meaning) abandon the book and move on to the next one.
The Last Leaf is my first book and I loved writing it. I get quite emotional when I read it back, and then when I do, I wonder if I could have explained a situation better, or added another chapter or two or three. I’m looking forward to carrying on writing and have so many more stories to share.”
As I promise you all that I will share more off-beat writers and authors on TAL, I have collaborated with yet another lovely author for a brief interview for TAL. We have here today Peter Aengenheister – Author of Armour Piercing. Without further ado, let’s get this rolling.
What gave you the inspiration for this novel?
I think when this first came to me, we were all much more conscious of the world of international politics and the Cold War especially. People of my age lived through the Cuban Crisis and came to understand how close we were to the total devastation of a nuclear war. The threats and counter threats that circulated throughout the 50s, 60s and some of the 70s felt very real.
Then, with Mikhail Gorbachev came Glasnost. In Russian it literally means ‘publicity’, but it was a slogan for greater government transparency… and there was the break up of the Soviet Union. But since the Russian leadership of Vladimir Putin, who clearly would like to see a return to the old Soviet ways, we appear to be back to a new Cold War. This book gives a hint of what the Cold War was about… and I think it is a good time (race against time phrase) to remind ourselves.
What was your favourite thing about writing this novel?
This is no great literary tome (that’s to come), nevertheless, I enjoyed creating the characters and playing out the storyline in my mind and translating it to words on the page. There’s a hint f escapism which I think many authors get deep into
How often do you write?
It turns out that I usually write something most days, I have two books in the writing at the moment and two more in the planning… I have plenty to think about and try to progress things regularly, however, I never force it. If nothing is coming to me, I’ll wait till it does… and it usually does!
Will there be any more books in the Armour Piercing series?
Oh yes! Armour Piercing will be followed by ‘Armour Plated’ and the last in the series will be ‘Armour-geddon’… and that’s it for the moment… unless I am otherwise persuaded! I might have to create a whole new series. Certainly, now that I have started, I can’t see why I should stop.
Describe your main protagonist in five words.
Intelligent, educated, resourceful, wise and open-minded…
Are there any attributes that your main protagonist has that you wish you did?
Ha, ha! All of them! Being open-minded, not quick to judge, while at the same time having a greater sense of Emotional Intelligence (EI)… is a key element to the character and I would like to believe that I have some strength in those qualities – I hope so…
Continue reading below to know more about the Armour Piercing book tour, blurb and information about the author.
A defecting Russian space scientist, awaiting debrief, is in a Warwickshire safe house that comes under attack by an assassination squad. He escapes with plans for a conspiracy involving key members of secret services across the Western world. The only person he knows in the UK, or could possibly trust, is Pete Armour, the man who was to be his de-briefer. Killed before he can reach safety, he has hidden the secret papers where only Armour could ever find them. Armour becomes the target when he and a female newspaper reporter find themselves thrust together and on the run from at least two secret service agencies and British Intelligence, who seem more hell-bent on killing him than helping him. And there is a price to pay. There’s always a price to pay. This is the first of the Armour trilogy. A gripping read. Fast-paced, a thriller packed with action, twists and turns.
Peter Aengenheister was born in Amersham, Bucks. At the age of 18, Peter became a trainee reporter at weekly The Bucks Herald in Aylesbury and the Buckingham Advertiser. Over the next three decades, Peter worked as a reporter, News Editor, Sub Editor and Editor. He worked at The Chronicle and Echo for nine years, and edited the Daventry Express and Rugby Advertiser for nine years a piece.
He then left journalism to work as a fully trained clinical hypno-therapist. Since then, with one of his colleagues, he set up a business selling LED lighting to the industrial and commercial sector. Despite writing stories on a daily basis during his 36 years in journalism, ARMOUR PIERCING is his debut novel.
KNOW YOURSELF: As I sometimes work with a friend who is totally opposite to me, I realized why I work the way I do (which is very left brained). My friend is very right brained so this produces a very different set of strengths and weaknesses, which you need to understand to counteract them. It is fascinating and has taught me a lot about myself.
STARTING: I usually have terrible trouble starting. I am overcritical about every idea I have. But if someone sends me a bad film script I can take (take with a grain of salt idiom) it and make it good. I need that trigger of having something on the page. When I work with my writing partner, (‘Whispering’ Paul McDowell who was the lead singer of Temperance 7) we usually worked separately. He could fire off with no problem being right-brained, in a stream of consciousness, or would it be better to say unconsciousness (as I think he smoked a joint before he sat down.) He emails me his first chapters and then I could join in the fun (we generally wrote comedies together.) We are both extremes of our type, most people would fall somewhere between leaning more to the left or right.
ENDINGS: I do like to know the ending before I start it gives me a clear direction where I am going. Endings are most important in film scripts. I lived with a drug addict and wrote a film ‘Love Potion’ in which I wanted to explain much of the process and the difficulties of getting off. The whole film revolved around the ending which one critic called Hitchcockian Some compliment.https://tinyurl.com/y9eezhqv
THE SLOG: When I am working on my own I have to just (just in case meaning) start writing and it is usually rubbish and then I can go back and start working on it. Paul writes the finished article as a stream of consciousness, but he can’t go back to improve it. (It’s like a spider can weave its wonderful web, but if you brake it, the spider cannot repair the broken section. The spider’s DNA has the formula for the whole thing). But for me, the process is very slow as I work it into shape over and over and over ad nauseam.
CHARACTERS: Most difficult for me is breathing life into the characters. Of course, in film scripts, this is less of a problem. I remember reading the film script for Terry Gilliam’s film ‘Brazil’ and saying to him that the mother and her friend sound the same. He answered, “Don’t worry when I cast different actors they will be different.”
DIFFERENT VOICES: I learnt a lot from Paul, he would tell me he knew this guy who always did something…. And then he already knew the person he was writing. He also wrote each character using different words. The banker “I’m going to leave this town tomorrow” or the blacksmith “I’m going to quit this town tomorrow.” Part of the secret is that different characters use different vocabulary. Most bad writing has everybody speaking in the same voice – the writers.
LANGUAGE: I love (fall in love synonym) it when you can get a character who speaks in an exaggerated way. Paul was fabulous at it. I had a scene where I cast the actor but felt my writing was a bit dull. I passed it to Paul and he sent back a wonderful piece. I sent it to the actor, Tom Butcher who rang me immediately. “I can’t say all this flowery stuff, I didn’t agree to do this,” I told him to come in and I would go over it with him.
We sat down and I played his part, which was a young arrogant well-educated pop group manager. We started but after just a minute he stopped me “I get it now” he said smiling and did it amazingly on the shoot. The set up was this manager, Miles talking to a young guy, Bradley who he has been using to follow some ticket touts. Here is some of the dialogue.
MILES – Now what was the figure we agreed on? 250?
BRADLEY – We didn’t exactly say, but 250 will do just fine.
MILES – (Hands over £50 notes) I should count them my maths is appalling.
Would you like a glass of water to celebrate? It’s very good. Been blessed by a Shinto priest.
BRADLEY – No thanks.
MILES – Mmmm. You’re probably right. He was a Californian Shinto priest. Not the same at all. Well then….I think an expensive law-suit is out of the question. I could pay a thousand on a couple of heavies to visit (idioms dictionary) Mr Adams. Break a bone or two. Evacuate their bowls over his soft furnishings. What do you think Bradley? Heavies?
BRADLEY – I… would…
MILES – Right again Bradley. What a remarkably sensitive fellow you are.
You see the actor, Tom was a regular on the cops show, ‘The Bill’ where the dialogue was very simple so he had never been faced with dialogue like this. But boy, once he got it he was great.
DEALING with CRITICISM: I like people to read my stuff before I put it out. But you have to learn to understand where they are coming from and assess if their comments are valid. I remember running Terry Gilliam’s film Brazil to friends. After the viewing, we both went around asking them for comments. Of course, they start with “It was Great”. They were being polite, so I say “We think there are a few boring bits and it’s too long. With that, they fired off with loads of criticism. What they needed was permission to attack. After, Terry and I met to compare notes.Terry said everybody thought it was great! He had just not given them an opening to criticise. In my film Chemical Wedding about the outrageous occultist Aleister Crowley. My producer objected to some of the dialogue in the script. (Flowery language again) A couple of young students visit Crowley, one a believer and the other a sceptic science student. Crowley looks at him deeply and attacks. “You’re no scientist! You ooze disbelief. A good ritualized fuck would expand your consciousness not to mention your restricted orifices.”
My producer was horrified, “People don’t speak like that.” Crowley was at Oxford and a poet, and the inventor of sexual magic, which gave me the chance to use some great language. Of course, that fine actor John Shrapnel loved it and milked it for all its worth. So how to take criticism is important. You have to be open to it but be clear in your head whether it is valid or not.
Here is the film but have a large scotch before you watch – like Crowley it is outrageous. https://goo.gl/MqzEBc
THE INTERNET: Many of my subjects are real people so the internet is an amazing tool at hand. I had hundreds of books that I would have to check references. Now at the click of a mouse, it is all there.
CUT and PASTE: As I mentioned, I struggle at the beginning writing rubbish and then refining it and, moving sections about. In the old days, I worked on a typewriter and I would cut with scissors, sections I liked and actually paste them in a new order on to a page. There were days when my floor was covered in snippets and I tiptoed between them seeking the next bit.
TIME: I think you need to understand your own body clock. You may be a morning person or a night person. I am a morning person – I wake up ready to go. When I was editing Life of Brian, we were filming in Tunisia. My cutting room was in the hotel and I would get up at 5 am, come down in the dark and start working. The crew would come down for breakfast around 7.30 and I would join them.Then back to work till lunch at 2. By that time (race against time phrase) I had done 8 hours. I know I am no good after lunch so I take a siesta for an hour. (My mother was Spanish so it comes naturally). Around 4 pm I would come back down and work till the crew came back to the hotel at 7.30pm. So I had worked eleven and a half hours of very concentrated work but felt totally fresh at the end of the day because it had all happened at the right time for my body.
By the way, I learned the difference between morning and night people, working with Terry Gilliam. As I am a morning person I wake up ready to go, full of optimism and then around lunch I begin to flag. Terry is a night person. He wakes up a pessimist, “Oh no, another day. How am I going to get through it?” As the day progresses he starts to think it is not so bad and by late afternoon he is buzzing. So I think you wake up an optimist, or you wake up a pessimist. –
Making Life of Brian details can be found here – https://goo.gl/JTpHQm
MAGIC MOMENTS: I had an almost mystical experience when I read a book about the tumultuous relationship between the Composer Richard Wagner and the Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. I sat down and using their own writings and reported dialogue I wrote a play. We put it on in Edinburgh and the Festival Review wrote ‘How anyone could write such an intelligent, seem-less script analyzing the complex ideas of the composer Richard Wagner and the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche is beyond me. “ But the thing is it is beyond me too – I still don’t know how it came together, it just seemed to happen. Performing it was both scary and exciting as it has a music section that synchs with the dialogue.The ending was tremendous as it used the 2001 theme that Straus wrote for Nietzsche’s ‘Thus Sprake Zarathustra” while Nietzsche goes mad on stage. As most of the play takes place in the Turin Lunatic asylum where Nietzsche was taken, we were able to film it cheaply. An American Philosophy magazine wrote glowingly saying it was ‘Masterful’ and now it is used in US Universities as a teaching aid. – https://goo.gl/ofmqeo
CONGRATULATIONS: Be your severest critic but don’t forget to enjoy and congratulate yourself when you feel you have done a good job. Sometimes your work will not be recognised, sometimes it will never even get out there. When we took the finished film Timebandits over to Hollywood to get a release. I ran it to all the studios. At Universal, for instance, I sat in this huge cinema with a few executives sitting down the front. Their phones would go off every now and then and they would just answer them out loud and the film even to me seemed to look a mess in those conditions.We decided with George Harrison, who had financed the film to release it ourselves. We did a deal with a company called Avco Embassy who handled the mechanics. Their offices were on two floors, the executives upstairs and the workers on the ground floor. Terry Gilliam and I went to see the trailer they had prepared. Afterwards, Terry asked, “Where are the Timebandits?” There were no Timebandits (who were all dwarfs) in the whole trailer.
The executives said with great authority, that a film came out last year with ‘little people’ and it did no business. It became clear they had very little faith in the film as the studios had turned it down. We came downstairs and as we passed through, the workers kept stopping us saying “What a great film”. We then realised that when the executives in the studios watch the film they are not sitting thinking “Do I enjoy this film?” They are thinking will THEY enjoy it!
The parents are killed in the end leaving the kid an orphan, nobody is going to like that ending. Sean Connery appears halfway through and then disappears. There was a film with little people in last year that flopped so this will too. So they speak amazingly authoritatively about it and at first, I believed them. Then the film came out and it was a massive success and I realised they no nothing more than anyone else and probably a lot less than the workers who just sat and watched the film as an audience. Sounding authoritative even if you are talking nonsense is exactly how you become an executive.
So enjoy your work when it is good. I remember finishing a script that I knew was great. The story finished with the song, ‘Come up and see me make me Smile’. I put the song on and danced around the room in joy. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. Of course, the film has not been made. So what! Many artists die before their work is recognised. This script, unfortunately, will just disappear after I die, but what the hell that day will always bring a smile to my face. So if you do a nice piece of work congratulate yourself
Today, I would love (fall in love synonym) to introduce you all to The Monumental Secret of the Crucifixion by Julian Boyle.
The Monumental Secret of the Crucifixion by Julian Doyle
Throughout the history of Christianity, there have been those claiming a monumental secret. Often centred around the Church of St. Sulpice in Paris and associated with French esoteric circles like Debussy who wrote in a review:
“Perhaps it’s to destroy that scandalous legend that Jesus Christ died on the cross.”
But even Canon Alfred Lilley came back from St. Sulpice questioning the crucifixion. There must have been some documentation in the church that convinced these people of something portentous. BUT now searching links between the history of Rome and the latest Biblical research, we finally reveal the extraordinary facts that prove exactly what the monumental secret was and its validity making the revaluation of Christianity, as we knew it, inevitable.
JULIAN DOYLE is the editor of ‘Life of Brian’ and is also one of the world’s most versatile filmmakers. He has written and directed his own films, and edited, photographed and created Fx on others. He is most famous for editing the Monty Python Films and shooting the Fxs for Terry Gilliam’s movies ‘TimeBandits and ‘Brazil’, which he also edited.
He has written and directed three feature films. ‘Love Potion’ about a drug rehabilitation centre, described as Hitchcockian. ‘Chemical Wedding’ featuring Simon Callow about the outrageous British occultist, Aleister Crowley and described by one American reviewer as ‘Thoroughly entertaining although at times you wonder if the filmmakers have not lost all their senses’. He has also directed award-winning pop videos such as Kate Bush’s ‘CloudBusting’ featuring Donald Sutherland and Iron Maiden’s ‘Play With Madness’.
He recently wrote and directed the play ‘Twilight of the Gods’ investigating the tumultuous relationship between Richard Wagner and Friedrich Nietzsche and described by ‘Philosophy Today’ as ‘Masterful!’ the film version now being used as a teaching aid in US Universities.
Julian was born in London and started life in the slums of Paddington. His Irish father, Bob, was one of the youngest members of the International Brigade that went to fight against Franco’s invasion of democratic Spain. His mother, Lola, was born in Spain of an Asturian miner who died early of silicosis. She was thereafter brought up in a Catholic orphanage in Oviedo.
Julian started his education at St. Saviours, a church primary school. He went on to Haverstock secondary school, one of the first comprehensive schools in England. His first job was as a junior technician to Professor Peter Medawar’s team, which won the Nobel Prize soon after Julian’s arrival. Not that he claims any credit for that. At night school he passed his ‘A’ level exams and took a Zoology degree at London University. After a year at the Institute of Education, he taught biology before going to the London Film School. On leaving he started a film company with other students. Besides film making, Julian is well known for his Master-classes in Film Directing.
Monty Python’s Terry Jones described Julian as a Polymath.
While still at school, Julian had a daughter, Margarita who was brought up in the family. He then had two further children, Jud and Jessie.
I recently had the opportunity to interview the author of ‘The Rock ‘N The Roll ‘N That – Steven J Gill. Without further ado, let’s dive into our interview for the day
Where did the idea for this book come from?
The onset of middle-age doesn’t represent what it once did. It is fascinating – to me – to witness the physical feats, the pastimes, career breaks that this generation is now undertaking. Your typical forty-something has in the region of three decades worth of music to call upon. And the vinyl in junkie is commonplace.
My thinking was to take (take with a grain of salt idiom) a fairly typical 21st-century forty-something (Johnny Harrison) and transplant him into the music industry. A stroke of luck and what could be described as a selfish-streak lead our protagonist into a whole new life. Dealing with middle-aged insecurities and issues at the same time (race against time phrase) as guiding the hottest band to the top seemed like an intriguing proposition.
There’s a few that stand out to me, but my absolute favourite is when a lifelong friend of Johnny’s questions wisdom in jacking everything into work with the band. His ‘beer garden’ rant is a definite highlight. And it all kicks off with the immortal line/cliché of “what’s the worst that could happen…”
Where is your book set and why?
The book is largely set in Manchester but takes in London, New York and Japan. Manchester is my hometown and I know its nightlife first hand.
When you’re not writing, what do you do with yourself?
I would imagine this a typical answer from most writers – reading. I tend to alternate between a fiction book and non-fiction. I enjoy what I consider is a golden age of TV and film and since embarking on my own writing, it’s fascinating to watch narratives and how and when gear changes take place with plotlines. I’m also a cat, coats and Beatles obsessive. At last count, I have more Beatles books than coats but it’s a close-run thing…
Going to the gym, travel and the odd (mid-life crisis) dusting down of my rugby boots is probably about it.
Do you have any other ideas in the pipeline?
I have a couple of definite ideas that I want to work on in the future and have one in draft form that I intend to pick up once the promo work on this book is done.
The story is about three childhood friends whose paths drift apart only to converge time and again. Their adult world is blighted by the continuation of an adolescent game of ‘dare’ that has inexplicably been rolled over way past its expiry date.
I am taking this opportunity to introduce you all to Steven J Gill’s latest release – The Rock ‘N’ Roll. ‘N’ That…
“Rock ‘n’ roll is a nuclear blast of reality in a mundane world where no-one is allowed to be magnificent.” The former manager of The Runaways said that. The mad bastard. And Johnny Harrison swore by it. He had to. Almost forty, fully paid-up member of the rat race and bored sh*tless. He had to believe in something. Then something happened. Something magnificent. A once in a lifetime band dropped out of the sky and right into his lap. A band was unaware of just (just in case meaning) how great they could be. A band that had no idea what was about to hit them. A band that needed someone to light the fuse. That, someone, was Johnny Harrison and the truth was he needed them so much more. They were his ticket out. That’s how it is with THE ROCK ‘N’ THE ROLL. ‘N’ THAT. Buy your ticket and take (take with a grain of salt idiom) the ride.
Steven J. Gill is from Manchester, living just south of the city centre.
This is his first book. Previously, his writing work was limited to music and football fanzines.
He has had quite the varied career, ranging from finance, delivering enterprise days to schools, undertaker and. driver.
Self-confessed cats, coats and Beatles obsessive.
Very much in right time (race against time phrase) and right place in the early ’80s and ’90s and duly devoured all that the Manchester music scene had to offer. Talked a lot of nonsense and managed a couple of bands that never unite made it big. Sings like a donkey braying into a bucket but a very good musical ear would be a fitting epitaph…
Having had somewhat of a literary epiphany at the inaugural Festival No.6 in North Wales, Steven decided it was time to set to and get writing. ‘The Rock ‘n’ The Roll. ‘ N” That…’ is the fruit of these labours.”
As some Scouse pop genius once opined, “it took me years to write, so won’t you take a look…”
The Attic Life is pleased to share the cover of Jessica Starks’ debut book, The Lynching Calendar, with you.
Genre: Literary Historical Fiction
Publication Date: October 18, 2019
About The Book
Fear of the Misunderstood.
Internal Torture that Lasts for a Lifetime.
The Lynching Calendar gives readers a sneak peek into one of America’s darkest times. History tends to tell the story from one perspective, but what if we had the chance to hear the story from those involved? The Lynching Calendar allows us a chance to hear the full story and show that, no matter what the circumstance may be, there is more than one side to every story.
Jessica Starks is a small business owner and professional writer who enjoys expressing herself creatively. The Mississippi native is also a genealogist by hobby who appreciates the stories of her ancestors.
Today, I have collaborated with YA Bound Book Tours for yet another blog tour. The book is written by NY Times Bestselling Author – Brenda Drake.
Book Name: Analiese Rising
Author Brenda Drake Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: January 8th 2019
When a stranger gives Analiese Jordan a list of names before he dies, the last thing she expects to see is her own on it. Not. Cool. Her search for answers leads to the man’s grandson, Marek, who has dangerous secrets of his own. Both are determined to unlock the mystery of the list.
But the truth is deadly. Analiese is a descendant of the God of Death, known as a Riser, with the power to raise the dead and control them. Finding out she has hidden powers? Cool. Finding out she turns corpses into killers? No, thank you.
Now the trail plants her and Marek in the middle of a war between gods who apparently want to raise an army of the Risen, and Analiese must figure out how to save the world—from herself.
I take (take with a grain of salt idiom) off in the other direction. My Vans pound hard against the cobblestones. Marek is panting behind me.
“Ana, slow down!” he yells.
Only when I go around a corner do I cease running. I grab my side and catch my breath.
Marek eases to a stop beside me, breathing heavily. “I thought you were ditching me.”
“I couldn’t stay there,” I say. “Not with those things around.”
Marek checks the time (race against time phrase) on the GPS screen. “We need to keep moving. It’s a little after one. The Louvre doesn’t open until nine.”
“What are we going to do?”
“We’re going to keep walking. See Paris. Maybe get coffee when a café opens. Try to get our minds off what just (just in case meaning) happened.”
“Sounds like a plan.” I shiver. “It’s so cold.”
We walk. Sometimes there’s a bench, and we sit. My face and hands are like ice. My head is throbbing, so are my feet. I need coffee. Or better, a bed.
The quaint backstreets of Montmartre are quiet at almost three in the morning. We reach the square, and I stand on one of the corners. Streetlamps line the block, giving little light, but I recognize the buildings.
“Right here,” I say. “This square is filled with artists displaying their work during the day. My parents took a photograph in this exact spot.”
Marek ambles over and pretends he’s holding up a camera. “Say cheese.”
It takes a second for what he’s doing to register, but when it does, I’m suddenly warm inside, and I flash him a smile.
He clicks the pretend camera.
We make our way up the hill toward Sacré-Coeur Basilica. Its spotlighted facade calls to us. The white stone chapel with its three considerable arches in front, dome roofs, and bell tower overlooks Paris. The city is a black sea at night with beacons of light spreading across its surface. The Eiffel Tower is hidden behind buildings and trees.
I sit on a step. “In one photo, my mother sits here alone. I bet my father took it.”
Marek raises his hands and takes another fake picture. His nose is red from the cold. “How are you holding up?” he asks.
The wind brushes my hair away from my face, and a chill slips down my back. “I’m numb. Can’t feel my toes.”
“We could ride the Metro. Get warm.” He pulls the collar of his coat up and tucks his scarf inside.
“No. We need to eat.”
“You’re tough,” he says.
“We have to budget.” I skip down a few steps. “Tomorrow, after we’re done at the Louvre, we’ll go to the embassy, then I’ll call my grandparents. Have them wire money.”
“Come on.” He grasps my hand and leads me to the side of the chapel.
The wind bites at my skin. I stuff my free hand into my pocket and stare through some trees, and I can barely make out the Eiffel Tower in the dark. Only a few lights and its silhouette can be seen at this time of the morning.
Today I have collaborated with Oh Hey! Books to bring you a new book that I am too excited about. The Court of Memories is book #2 in the Forbidden Queen Series and here’s all that you need to know about it.
Magic comes with a price. If Cassia wants a happily ever after in the Fae realm, she’ll have to join a brutal fight for a crown she doesn’t even want.
Cassia is so close to the life she always wanted. A changeling who was always out of place in the human world, she is on her way to finding love, magic, and happiness with four Fae princes. The monster threat against her life has been contained. For now. But they are attracted to her power and her untrained magic, and it’s a race against time (race against time phrase) before they break through again.
And the monsters aren’t the only ones trying to kill Cassia. The Queen’s Trial is approaching, and her power makes her a target and a threat to the other noble houses vying to be queen.
With her enemies piling up and only Four Fae Princes on her side, she’s running out of options. There’s only one rule in Queen’s Trial: Survive.
He pressed his lips into mine, swallowing my words. It was as if he knew what I wanted to say even when I struggled to find the words. With Dane, words weren’t how he expressed himself. His touch, his kiss, his body pressed against mine were all the confirmation I needed that he was falling just (just in case meaning) as hard for me as I was for him.
Sheets thrown to the side, Dane and I became a tangle of flesh. It was as if we had both been starved and the other was our only source of sustenance. I gasped when he entered me, arching my back as his erection hit the spot inside of me that drove me wild. He held me close, my breasts pressed into his chest. The two of us were so close, it felt like we were one body. My fingers gripped his bare back as his thrusting sent me closer to the edge. I lifted my hips and dug my fingernails into him as I moaned, reaching my climax.
With a satisfied grin, Dane slowed down, but he wasn’t ready to stop. He kissed the top of my shoulder, my collarbone, and my neck, giving me a moment to breath. Then, he lifted my legs so my hips were in the air and began to thrust inside me again. I gasped, as his erection nearly sent me to climax in a single thrust. Dane pressed on, and I grabbed hold of the abandoned sheets on the floor, squeezing the fabric in my hands as pleasure crashed through me in waves. Dane quickened his pace and I felt pressure building up inside me, begging for another release. Forgetting anything but the moment, I cried out, as the waves gave way to an explosion that made my thighs clench.
Dane finished, a tremor shaking him as he gently set my thighs back on the ground. Sweat glistened on his brow as he leaned forward. He kissed me again and stared at me with those blue eyes which were single-handedly capable of taking my breath away.
“I suppose we better put some clothes on. Or I’m going to have to keep you in bed all day with me.”
The idea of spending an entire day in bed with Dane was delicious and enticing all too tempting. But I knew it wasn’t possible. At least not now. We had things to do, and I knew his comments about people trying to listen into our room were probably true. I felt my cheeks heat. I’d probably been loud enough in the last few minutes to alert everyone in the small palace as to what we were still doing in bed.
Dane kissed me again before rolling off of me. He crossed the room and pulled on his trousers.
I moved a little slower, not wanting to return to reality. Finally, I forced myself to stand and started to look for my clothes.
Dane and I found our way to the dining hall where the others were already seated, being served breakfast by several servants. Remembering what Tristan had said about the servants in Faerie compared to the servants in the Winter Court, I lifted my hand in greeting to the first servant we came across, and to my surprise, the female Fae, who didn’t look like a Brownie, greeted me back with a smile.
Most of the other servants I’d seen had shown very little emotion. It made me even more curious to learn about the politics and requirements of the way everyone was treated in each of the courts. I wondered if it was something I could study after I had my magic under control.
There were two available seats at the intimate dining table, one in between Tristan and Ethan and one next to Cormac. For some reason, I decided to take (take with a grain of salt idiom) my chances next to the Winter Prince, and my other lover rather than sit next to Cormac. Once seated, I make quick work of filling my plate.
“It seems someone worked up an appetite last night.” Tristan pushed a basket of sweet rolls toward me.
I ignored his comment, but took one of the offered pastries.
“It sure made sleeping next door to them difficult,” Ethan said.
My cheeks heated and I knew I’d gone a shade deeper than usual in my blush and I looked up at Dane in horror. He was grinning like an idiot.