Sunday, 9 April 2017

Teaser

Great teaser for my genealogy book Trace your Roots, courtesy of Author Shout.




Video Killed the Radio Star

 A shameless plug for my son's music!


Monday, 3 April 2017

Passion on the Dance Floor!



 

There's passion on the Dance Floor in Cait O'Sullivan's new book!



On return from a trip around the world, TV presenter, Ava Whittaker, has a baby by Matthias de Romero, Argentine Tango champion, hacienda owner, and the man she loves. The problem? He doesn't know.

 



Fast forward two years, and Ava reluctantly agrees to be a contestant on a new dance show on TV, but to her shock, Matthias – the man she never expected to see again – is one of the judges.

Matthias de Romero is leaving his beloved stallions in Argentina to assuage his pride. Two years previously, the one woman he thought he could care for walked out on him after just one glorious night. He arrives in London ready for revenge.

Will Ava’s secret cause their intense feelings to burn out, or fan further the flames of love? 
  

“Ava, wait until you hear what I’ve got for you… The pilot of a new dance show, To Dance or Not to Dance.”  
Ava Whittaker choked on her cup of tea, dropping the phone in her fluster. Her agent must have gone mad if she thought this totally preposterous idea was anything but. She picked the phone back up and caught it between her ear and shoulder to clear away the lunch dishes.  
“Absolutely not. Sorry, Caroline, I don’t dance.”

So what does she do? What would you do? Ava is a single mum on maternity leave from her job as breakfast television presenter…she has been out of the spot light for nearly three years, travelling for the first and oh…guess you need to buy the book to see what happens. Then again, my favourite passage might give you a hint:

 “Ah, good.” Daniel raised his voice and held his hand up to beckon someone over. “Matt managed to make it. We're over here, Matt.”
Ava shook, the bubbly in her glass held halfway to her mouth mimicking the tremors running through her. For pity’s sake, get a grip. A tingling sensation accosted the base of her spine. Matthias had no reason to be in London to judge a dancing competition.
But he was a dancer…
She grimaced to herself, making a mental note to get out more. Jeez, the first time she left the house and look what happened, imagining every man was Matthias. Perhaps her ability to socialise had been stunted from the time spent in the safety of her own home. Maybe her brain was a stuck record. Oh, who knew…
Ava stepped back from the circle to allow space for the newcomer, and maintained a tighter grip on her shaking glass. Her heart hammered as though someone had put it on loudspeaker. Keeping her eyes downcast, she felt a presence loom closer. Apprehension squeezed her heart. She drew a shuddering breath, a breath which told her all she needed to know. The tantalising smell of dark amber and spices sent her nerves sky-high. Daunted, she closed her eyes to the flickering images of her and Matthias in the firelight, until she summoned the courage to open and take him in.
Wide shoulders encased in a white silk shirt, opened at the neck. The sleeves, rolled to his biceps, enhanced the muscles defined beneath the sheer material. Black, fine wool trousers hugged a tapered waist, and while the light silk of his shirt did nothing to disguise the six-pack, the thin fabric of his trousers showcased the powerful thighs honed by years of breaking horses.
Shivers raced up and down her body, and she fought against leaning closer to him.
The first time she met him, she’d been in a heap at his feet, having just fallen off a horse on his ranch. Her weakened legs now threatened to put her in the same position once more. Swallowing hard, she summoned her courage and raised her chin.
Glacier eyes met hers. The gold flecks hadn’t been imagined, but the temper crackling from the steady green gaze made her jump, spilling champagne. The last time she’d looked into his eyes, they had held nothing but passion; she had been the most beautiful girl in the world. That memory slipped away shyly under a new contemptuous glare.
Matthias de Romero was in town.

 
There is a lot of me in Ava, I travelled the world on my own but no, didn’t make passionate love with a hot Argentine rancher deep in the Andes. But falling in love when I travelled was something I was so conscious not to do—for the very reason that Ava leaves in the first place. Love across continents is no easy thing, and I would’ve done the same as she.



You can generally find Cait when she’s not in her writing cave or hanging around her favourite spots in nature somewhere on the internet:


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Monday, 6 March 2017

YOUR ATTENTION, PLEASE!





A very warm welcome to author Ailsa Abraham whose latest book, Attention to Death, is released on 10th March and is available to pre-order.






Thank you, Maureen, for inviting me to talk about my latest release today. This is a departure from my previous series in magical realism. Here I take off on murder mystery.

Why? Erm... limited attention span? Love of variety? Here is the info on it.

Finding a murderer among a group of killers is not going to be easy for two Royal Army Military Police investigators, Captain Angus Simpson and Staff-Sergeant Rafael ‘Raff’ Landen, whose Christmas leave is cancelled for an investigation into a suspicious death on a base in Germany. 

The case is further complicated by unhelpful senior officers who make pre-judgements on colour, creed, race and sexuality. Yet the insight of the investigators helps them uncover a sinister plot, although they too have something to hide: their own fledgling relationship. Will Angus and Raff be able to solve the murder without giving away their secret? The best and worst of human nature is represented in this story, which is why it is suggested for over 18s only.

"In Attention to Death, Ailsa Abraham pulls off something I wouldn't have thought possible - a steamy romance with a twist of murder and a splash of social conscience. A remarkable book that will have you turning pages as quickly as you can to find out what happens next."
(
India Drummond, author of the Caledonia Fae series)


I delved into my past life as an officer in the Royal Air Force and my lifelong friendships with gay men to research this book. Coming right after LGBT History Month in February, it highlights the problems that men who have to be “in the closet” and the sort of bigotry that causes people to refuse to read a book just because there are gay characters in it, although this doesn't stop them leaving reviews. Me? I've never been too sure. I'm gender-neutral which is why the first thing I wonder on meeting new people isn't "What do they do in their bedrooms"?

Read it for yourself and decide. Is it an honest portrayal of two men doing their job who just happen to have started an affair?

Ailsa Abraham is the author of six novels. Alchemy is the prequel to Shaman's Drum, published by Crooked Cat in January 2014. Both are best-sellers in their genres on Amazon. She also writes mystery romance.

She has lived in France since 1990 and is now naturalized French. She enjoys knitting and crochet and until recently was the oldest Hell's Angel in town. Her interests include campaigning for animal rights, experimenting with different genres of writing and trips back to the UK to visit friends and family.  She is also addicted to dressing up, saying that she is old enough to know better but too wise to care (pirate gear is her favourite!)




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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Author Webinar

http://www.crookedcatbooks.com/events/active-author-tips/


Tuesday 14th March 2017

10 Active Author Tips to Engage and Attract Readers.

Full details HERE

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Monday, 7 September 2015

Writers’ Village Contest winter 2015


£1000 top prize for short fiction in Writers’ Village Contest winter 2015

£1000 is the top prize on offer for short fiction in the Writers' Village International Short Fiction Award winter 2015, with cash prizes totaling £2000 The second prize is £500, third prize £250 and there are five runner up prizes of £50.

Ten further Highly Commended entrants will have their stories acknowledged at the site and gain a free entry in the next round.

Everyone wins because every contestant, win or lose, gains feedback on how their stories were graded - plus tips for improvement.

Winners will be awarded the title ‘Winner, the Writers’ Village International Short Fiction Award winter 2015’ and see their work showcased online.

Any genre of prose fiction may be submitted up to 3000 words, except playscripts and poetry. Entries are welcomed world-wide. The fee is £15 and multiple entries are permitted. Deadline is midnight 30th November 2015. Entry rules plus all winning stories since 2009 can be found at:
http://www.writers-village.org

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Monday, 29 June 2015

Revolution Day


 
Thank you very much for inviting me onto your blog, Maureen, on the day my novel, Revolution Day, is published by Crooked Cat.

Revolution Day is my second novel. Unlike my first (Zeus of Ithome, a historical novel about the struggle of the Ancient Messenians to free themselves from Sparta in the 3rd century BC) it is set in the present day, and the people and events - and even the country - it depicts are entirely fictional.  

It follows a year in the life of Latin American dictator, Carlos Almanzor, who has been the ruler of his country for 37 years. Now in his seventies, he is feeling his age and seeing enemies around every corner. And with good reason: his Vice-President, Manuel Jimenez, though outwardly loyal, is burning with frustration at his subordinate position.

Carlos’ estranged and imprisoned wife Juanita is writing a memoir in which she recalls the revolution that brought him to power and how, once a liberal idealist, he changed over time into an autocrat and embraced repression as the means of sustaining his position. In this brief excerpt, she recalls the immediate aftermath of the chaotic events which led to the deaths of both the old President Velazco and Raul, the leader of the revolutionary movement, and brought Carlos (unexpectedly and somewhat fortuitously) to power:

“I remember nothing of the speech that Carlos delivered from the balcony that afternoon. Or rather, I do not remember it as it was delivered then, though of course much of it has been repeated year on year for decades, gradually becoming empty and hackneyed, the subject of countless parodies. What I remember is my reaction to the speech at the time, my feeling that it was apt, and full of emotional power. It was also suspiciously well-structured and phrased, as if he had been planning this moment for years, even though it had always been glamorous, charismatic Raul, not middle-aged, pedantic Carlos who was supposed to become the President. But most of all, what I remember is the crowd. No longer an angry mob, they were dancing and cheering and singing songs. And they were cheering for us, for Carlos most of all, of course, but for all of us; when I waved, they cheered; when I blew them a kiss, they blew kisses back. I felt suffused by their joy and their love, and found myself laughing out loud, that this day of fuck-ups and murder and revenge and treachery had somehow turned out to be the greatest day of my life and possibly the greatest day in all history. Despite everything that has happened since, the happiness of that moment lives with me still.”

When Manuel’s attempts to increase his profile are met with humiliating rejection, he resolves to take action. As he moves to undermine Carlos’s position and make his own bid for power, Juanita will eventually find herself an unwitting participant in his plans.

If your readers are intrigued, they can find out more on my website and Facebook authorpage, and they will be very welcome to drop in on the Facebook launch event, where there will be competitions and other fun things to do with the book.

Many thanks once again for hosting me, Maureen - and good luck with Trace your Roots!


Tim Taylor was born in 1960 in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, UK. He grew up just outside the city in Brown Edge, then at the age of 11 moved to Longsdon, near Leek.  Tim went to Newcastle-under-Lyme High School, then studied Classics at Pembroke College, Oxford. After graduating he moved to London and spent a couple of years playing guitar in a rock band. When it became clear that he was never going to be a rock star, he sadly knuckled down and joined the Civil Service, where he did a wide range of jobs before leaving in 2011 to spend more time writing.  While still in the Civil Service Tim studied part time for a PhD in Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London, achieving it in 2007.

Tim married Rosa Vella in 1994 and their daughter Helen was born in 1997. In 2001 they moved to Meltham, near Huddersfield, and have lived there ever since. Tim now divides his time between creative writing, academic research and part-time teaching and other work for Leeds and Huddersfield Universities.

Tim’s first novel, Zeus of Ithome (a finalist in the Chaucer Awards for historical fiction), was published by Crooked Cat in November 2013; his second, Revolution Day in June 2015.  He has also published a non-fiction book, Knowing What is Good For You (Palgrave Macmillan 2012), on the philosophy of well-being. As well as novels, Tim writes poetry and the occasional short story.  He also plays electric and acoustic guitar and a little piano, and likes to walk up hills.

Connect with Tim on Twitter
Tim's Crooked Cat author page 

Buy Revolution Day on Amazon UK  and Amazon.com 

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Flash Fiction Competition

 Write a complete story in just 500 words.

This quarterly open-themed competition has closing dates of 31st March, 30th June, 30th September and 31st December. The results are announced within six weeks of each closing date and the three winning entries each quarter will be published on the Flash 500 website.

Prizes
1st - £300 plus publication in Words with Jam 
2nd - £200
3rd - £100
Highly commended - choice of The Writers' ABC Checklist or Bad Moon Rising
  
Entry fee: £5 for one story, £8 for two stories
Optional critiques: £10 per story
Full details HERE

   

Thursday, 23 April 2015

First Page Competition 2015


A few more weeks left yet to enter this year's First Page Competition. Words with Jam are looking for the most captivating first page (up to 400 words) of a story.
 
Entries can be from a novel published, unpublished, a part written novel, or simply a first page written purely for the competition. Entries will be judged anonymously. 


Prizes:
1st - £500
2nd - £100
3rd - £50

All three winning entries will be published in August 2015 on the Words with JAM website. All entrants will be notified via email with the results.

Closing date is May 31 2015 (midnight GMT)

Full details and entry form HERE
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