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Monday, 4 December 2017

'His problem started when Marjorie Williams left her industrial strength knickers and bra in his car.' Great opening! #mustread #christmasbooks #womensfiction @JanRuthAuthor


Away for Christmas

A Christmas Novella
by

Jan Ruth

Jonathan Jones has written a novel. Losing his job a few days before Christmas means the pressure is on for his book to become a bestseller, but when his partner drops her own bombshell, the festive holiday looks set to be a disaster.
When he’s bequeathed a failing bookshop in their seaside town, it seems that some of his prayers have been answered, but his publishing company turn out to be not what they seem, and when his ex-wife suddenly declares her romantic intent, another Christmas looks set to be complicated. 

Is everything lost, or can the true meaning of words, a dog called Frodo, and the sheer magic of Christmas be enough to save Jonathan’s book, and his skin?

Bookmuse Magazine: "If you’re a writer you will laugh, despair and sympathise with Jonathan Jones, and the trials and tribulations he faces as he battles to become a published author. And if you’re a reader, you’ll be captivated by the excellent story-telling that weaves Jonathan’s complicated life into a page turning drama. A real feel good novella, perfect to curl up with on a stormy winter’s afternoon..."

You’ll enjoy this if you like: Jojo Moyes, Jill Mansell, Erica James.

Ideal accompaniments: Hot chocolate with marshmallows and a plate of shortbread.

~
An excerpt from...

Away for Christmas

CHAPTER ONE

 ~2015~


His problem started when flame-haired Marjorie Williams left her industrial strength knickers and bra in his car.

If his boss, Amanda, had taken a moment to consider the other items in the bag the whole situation would have been crystal clear… sort of. There was a metal hook thing, a hairnet, and a bag of week-old carrots. Hardly the stuff of sexual intrigue. All he’d done was offer Marjorie a lift to the stables when her car had refused to start after the staff conference. Why on earth did everyone in the office think it their business to jump to the wrong conclusion at every turn? Seriously, they were into the realms of dangerous fantasy on all counts because there was nothing in the least erotic about Marjorie Williams’ horse-shaped rear. The company secretary might affectionately be known as Red Rum, but at sixty-two she was twenty years his senior and recently bereaved, so any speculation was not only infantile but extremely distasteful.

      Of course, some of the ribbing in the accountancy office was down to the fact that he was writing a novel, although no matter how many times he reiterated that he was not writing erotica – or basing characters on anyone he knew – they all seemed to prefer to believe their own blinkered view of the process. His colleagues asked what it was about on a regular basis, usually while they were peering over his shoulder and rustling a packet of crisps. Trevor Hughes butted-in on a more than regular basis. ‘Any sex in it?’

      ‘Yes, but it’s probably too subtle for you to appreciate.’

      Loud laughter and whistles.

      ‘What’s it about, then?’

      ‘A man,’ he said, through gritted teeth. ‘He goes on a killing spree in an accountant’s office in a Welsh seaside town.’

      ‘Alright, alright!’ Hughes slid onto the front of Jonathan’s desk. ‘When’s it coming out? Be sure to let us know so we can get you to sign our free copies.’

      He never rose to their comments, knowing full well they were designed to pour scorn over his years of work. Some of his workmates were even suspicious of his motives. Maybe they thought he’d suffer an instant personality transplant if his book was a success and they wouldn’t know how to handle him. On the other hand, the reactions of his friends and relations were almost as difficult to fathom, ranging from indifference to abject disbelief. Some of them felt compelled to defend their reading choices even before they knew what his book was about, in case he asked them to read it. Of course, Jonathan’s book fell short before they’d even clapped eyes on it.

      Except for Catherine. His partner understood the blood, sweat and tears of the thing because she lived through it on a daily basis.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

A modern-day Fatal Attraction: Just One Time is a #steamy #psychological #thriller with a shocking conclusion. @Author_KSHunter @rararesources

From the mind of Nina, a fictional character from
K.S. Hunter's
Just One Time

 
‘Men are bastards’. It’s an appropriate newspaper headline, don’t you think? Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., politicians. Next up: musicians, sports personalities, authors. They’re all at it.

Why do they do it? And why do we give in? Sure, they have power, and they abuse that power. They have fame, and they dangle it in front of our eyes. They have a fortune, and they promise us everything.

And we fall for it, and we don’t say anything in response.

Speaking up might change things a bit, but people with power will always abuse it. I’ve known that for a long time. I’ve been used, I’ve been cheated, I’ve been abused. And I’ve said for years, No more.

Now is the chance to switch things around. We keep hearing about men taking what they want from women. Why shouldn’t it be the other way round? Women can be in positions of power and authority – and I don’t only mean in the business world. We have other assets we can use.

Men might typically be physically stronger than us, but they’re men. That’s what we can use to our advantage. Their dicks control their minds. Once that sensor switches on, you can take over and lead them wherever you want them.

We all want pleasure in life. We need it. So when you see a guy who could give it to you – he might have a cute smile, he might have a friendly face, he might have a hot body – use what you have as a woman, our gifts, to get his attention and then lead him down your garden path.

He might initially say no. He might resist. Any good man should. But even a good man has a dick, and anyone with a dick can’t keep it down forever. Trust me, I know how to seduce men. I know how to use my words, my face, my body. And it gets me what I want every time, without fail. Some men just need a little more work than others, that’s all. But remember the final aim: your gratification, your fulfilment. Don’t feel bad about looking after number one. No man ever has.

Men are bastards, after all. Weinstein et al have proven that. Now the world is beginning to see it. Every few days, there’s a new name. Who will be next? Pretty soon, it won’t even shock us any more. Household names, those we admire, those we respect.

Why should we respect those who don’t respect us? I haven’t felt a man’s respect for years? But I have felt his eyes on me. And I, just like all women, have the power to make the gaze of those eyes go wherever I desire.



Introducing...
Just One Time
by
K S Hunter

The first novel by K.S. Hunter, the alter ego of an international bestselling author, whose identity will remain a secret.

Desire can have dire consequences
Two years ago, David Madden made a mistake that almost cost him his marriage. His wife, Alison, gave him another chance, but she has not forgotten, nor has she forgiven.

She is irresistible
Then David meets the alluring Nina at a theatre in London. When he loses his phone in the dark, she helps him find it, and by giving her his number he unwittingly invites her into his life.

What David initially views as an innocent flirt turns into a dangerous game of deception. His increasingly suspicious wife thinks something is up, and each lie he tells pushes them further apart.

 She is insatiable
Nina pursues David relentlessly, following him to New York where she gives him an ultimatum: sleep with her, just one time, and then she’ll get out of his life forever; or she’ll ruin everything he holds dear.

She is unstoppable

Of course, once won’t be enough for Nina, and what David hoped would be the end is merely the beginning.

A modern-day Fatal Attraction, Just One Time is a steamy psychological thriller that will have you hooked from the first page and holding your breath until its shocking conclusion.

Praise for K.S. Hunter

‘An author to watch out for – interesting and unpredictable’ Sophie Hannah


Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Do you like an #alternated #history book? Check out this jailhouse 'interview' with Clyde (Bonnie 'n' Clyde) @cowboyvamp


A jailhouse interview with Clyde Barrow

from a book called
Bonnie and Clyde: Resurrection Road
by

Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall



Interview recorded by Royce Jenkins, a reporter for the Texas Lubbock Dispatch

My name is Clyde Barrow and I am a thief, a murderer and a product of wealth inequality. 

You may know me from the shenanigans I got caught up in with the love of my life, Bonnie Parker. Most folks think Bonnie and Clyde got cut down in a hail of bullets outside of Sailes, Louisiana in 1934, and most folks figured we got what was coming to us — neither is exactly true. 

I ain’t proud of the things we done, but I’m not exactly ashamed either. I wish no one had died, that’s for certain, but when the system is stacked against you from the get go, things are going to turn out bad. I always say, you kick a dog long enough, one day, you’re gonna get bit.

In my day, it was the Great Depression that lit the fuse. Right before that was what they called the Gilded Age, with the Robber Barons — the captains of industry — rigging all the laws, so them and their pals could carve off bigger and bigger slices of the pie until the whole thing came crashing down like an outhouse in a tornado. 

You think it was the rich that suffered? If you know your history, you know that ain’t true. It was the poor folks who live hand-to-mouth who paid the price. Me and my family, our neighbors, we was the ones standing in soup lines and living under bridges, with no jobs and no hope. 

As a result of that, I grew up dirt poor in Cement City, a little hellhole outside of Dallas, Texas. There wasn’t but two ways to make it out of Cement City: dead or in prison.

I tried to play it square, tried to get a job, but there wasn’t no jobs to be had and what there was didn’t pay enough scratch to get by. Sound familiar?

Rooting around in the dirt for a dying wage, like a hog under an acorn tree, well that wasn’t for me. No sir. I figured if the fat cats could take what they wanted, I could too. Only problem was, when some no-account like me steals a broken-down car or a truck full of turkeys, well them old boys running America, well, they just couldn’t have that. 

Right away I ended up in jail — and they made me work for free inside prison. The bosses, them at owned the prisons, actually profited by keeping me locked up. The prisons today are full of young men and women who try to get by selling weed, but they sure ain’t overcrowded with the Wall Street sharks that caused the latest Great Recession and stole hundreds of millions in the process. 

Ain’t we learned nothing from history? Can’t hardly believe were running through the same thing today. The robber barons damn near ruined this country, and they’re about to do it again.

Me and Bonnie helped out in 1934 by keeping old FDR safe from an assassin so he could put in the New Deal, giving the working man a voice with unions, regulating Wall Street and so on. But money has its own gravity, and now the super-rich are pulling the government levers behind the scenes to make it even harder for the working class, even though they tell us to our faces that they ain’t.

In this day and age, wealth inequality is even worse than at the height of the robber barons in the 1930s. Right now, in America, the top ten percent of the country controls damn near 80 percent of the wealth. And it gets worse the richer they are. What do they need all that money for?

They’re spending billions trying to convince us about some trickle-down nonsense. Saying if they get taxed less and if they don’t have no regulations and if the government doesn’t invest in public programs it will all be magically better for the working man! That’s a load of manure. It wasn’t true in 1929 and it sure as hell ain’t true now. That’s like saying the working class might get a few more scraps falling from the rich folks’ dinner table if they just pile up even more mountains of food on their fancy plates. It’s all a damn lie.

Got to be blind to not see that we’re speeding head first into something even worse than the Great Depression. Don’t know why rich people can’t just do the right thing. Recognize that profits are for everyone working to make them, not just to be hoarded by the ones lucky enough to own the capital. There’s more than enough money to go around, still leaving plenty for the rich to have their yachts and jets.

I ain’t suggesting people pick up guns and start robbing and running, like me and Bonnie. That won’t get you nowhere but in jail or dead in a ditch. But I am suggesting folks wise up to the real criminals who keep bleeding the working class, squeezing the disenfranchised and lining their pockets, all from the tops of their gilded towers. 

Me and Bonnie may have been murderers and thieves, but we knew what we were doing was wrong. I ain’t so sure about this new crop of Robber Barons. That scares me more than looking down the barrel of a Tommy gun. 


Introducing...
Bonnie and Clyde: Resurrection Road

In an alternate timeline, legendary lovers Bonnie and Clyde are given one last shot at redemption. Thrust into a Depression-era fight against greed they didn’t ask for, but now must win in order to save themselves and their families, will the notorious duo overcome their criminal pasts and put their “skills” to use fighting for justice for the working class?


Amazon

The story begins in 1984 when reporter Royce Jenkins gets a tip to meet an old woman at a Texas cemetery. Cradling an antique rifle and standing over a freshly dug grave, the old woman claims to be Bonnie Parker. Turns out, she says, it wasn’t Bonnie and Clyde who were ambushed fifty years earlier. Instead, the outlaws were kidnapped, forced into a covert life and given a deadly mission—save President Roosevelt from an assassination plot financed by wealthy industrialists determined to sink the New Deal.

Cutting back and forth between the modern era where the shocked reporter investigates the potential scoop-of-the-century, and the desperate undercover exploits of Bonnie and Clyde in 1934, Resurrection Road is a page-turning sleep-wrecker.

Bonnie and Clyde. Saving American democracy, one bank robbery at a time.
 

Friday, 24 November 2017

A character interview with Hattie Hastings @rararesources @audbyname #ghosts #books

…from the mind of a fictional character


by

Hattie Hastings
a character interview from Audrey Davis
The Haunting of Hattie Hastings



Today, I’m chatting to mother-of-one and recent widow, Hattie, about her views on the world and current affairs in general. Welcome, Hattie!
Thank you. I’m a little nervous, to be honest. I try to keep up-to-date with things, but I get upset when I watch the terrible atrocities being committed in the name of politics or religion. Or young children dying from preventable diseases or hunger. Gary – that’s my late husband – used to have to turn the TV over sometimes when I burst into tears.

Do you read a daily newspaper? Either a hard-copy or online?
I do skim through the Daily Mail online most days, but I get side tracked reading about celebrities or the latest ‘must have’ beauty treatment. I like The Times occasionally, for reviews and features mainly. Our local newspaper seems to be filled with stabbings, robberies and pensioners getting beaten up for the sake of a few pounds. It’s not like I live in a bad area, it just seems the world’s got nastier overall. As for politics, I can’t believe the mess we’re in right now. Brexit, Catalonia seeking independence, Trump as president – or, that muppet in the White House, as Gary called him – we seem to be sinking deeper into chaos and division.

If you could change one thing right now in the world, what would it be?
Crikey, there’s so much I’d love to change. Where to begin? I guess I’d stamp out racism, religious intolerance and any kind of bigotry. We’re all people, whatever our beliefs or skin colour. It breaks my heart when I see people killing each other because they disagree or they think their race is superior.

You lost your husband, Gary, in a terrible accident. I am so sorry. How have you managed to cope?
It’s not been easy, but my friends and family have been wonderful. The biggest thing to come out of it has been how it’s changed my attitude to death.

What do you mean, Hattie? How did you view it before, and what has changed now?
Erm, it’s a bit difficult to explain. Sorry. I don’t want to sound like a crazy person. I always believed that death was the end, that once you were gone, that was it. Now …

I’m intrigued! Have you visited a psychic, or something like that? Do you have a sense that Gary is still watching over you?
(There is a long pause, punctuated by some laughter and what sounds like a male voice).
Listen, let’s just say I’m much more open-minded these days. There are things in this world we can’t always explain. Losing a loved one is so hard, but maybe it’s not always the end of the road … sorry, can we change the subject?

Of course. You have a son, Johnny, who is twenty, I believe. Do you think life is harder for young people now that when you were that age?
Oh, without a doubt. On one hand they have the internet, social media, mobile phones and so on. So much information at their fingertips, but is it all for the good? I read about cyber bullying and people being persecuted online because of how they look. Everything’s disposable, and if you don’t have the latest gadget or the trendiest clothes, you can feel like a failure. Then there are all these students coming out of uni knee-deep in debt, and lucky to earn minimum wage. Johnny – well, he decided uni wasn’t for him – is writing a book on the subject. Although I haven’t seen much evidence of it so far! He’ll probably still be living at home when I collect my pension. That was a joke – I hope.

It’s been lovely to chat to you, Hattie. I thought I heard someone with you. Is that Johnny? Has he been sitting with you during our interview?
(Another pause, and the sound of something like a bell).
No, he’s not here. It was … someone else, but they’ve gone now. Thank you for having me.




Introducing...

The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part One

Some people just won't take death lying down … ! (NB: cliffhanger ending).

Part one of a fun-filled trilogy about life, death and letting go.
Hattie Hastings is happily married, even if husband Gary drives her up the wall at times. When tragedy strikes, she is left alone and heartbroken, with only an assortment of family and friends to prop her up.



Struggling to cope, she is left reeling when her deceased other half returns, popping up at the most inappropriate times.



Hattie can't convince anyone that Gary has returned. Not even best friend Cat – now free from the cruel and controlling Stewart – will believe her.
Why has Gary returned? And what will Cat do when her slimy ex-husband tries to worm his way back into her affections?
The Haunting of Hattie Hastings will make you laugh, cry and count down until Part Two …

About Audrey Davis
Audrey Davis
Scottish-born Audrey studied journalism in Edinburgh more decades ago than she cares to admit. She cut her writing teeth on provincial newspapers (using a typewriter) and a London-based video magazine (another sign of her advanced years).
Engagement to her now-husband Bill took them to Singapore, Australia and Buckinghamshire, England, before they settled in Switzerland in 2002. Along the way they had two boys, both all grown-up and living in the UK.
Her journey to becoming a published author began with an online Writing Fiction course. It took well over a year but, in June 2017, Audrey published her debut romantic comedy novel, A Clean Sweep. It was quickly followed by a shorter and darker prequel, A Clean Break.
The idea for The Haunting of Hattie Hastings came from nowhere, just a random title that popped into her head and from there grew into Part One of a trilogy. It comes under the same genre, but has some poignant scenes and – hopefully – lots of laughs! Audrey admits to being a worrier, and has always used humour as a defence mechanism, as her friends will attest.
When Audrey isn’t writing, she loves shows like The Walking Dead, American Horror Story and Strictly Come Dancing (a strange mix, she knows). Her interests include cooking (and eating pretty much anything apart from oysters), travelling and going to the gym. OK, the last one is mainly to compensate for her passion for food!
Audrey would describe herself as a ‘pantser’ rather than a ‘planner’, preferring to run where a story takes her and scribble copious notes along the way. She’d love to write a page-turning thriller, but fears her natural tendency to see the comic side of life might be an obstacle.