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Uncorked, by Paul Shore: French Hop and giveaway

A Neat book on France. Giveaway open until tonight!

France Book Tours

Uncorked cover

Uncorked:
My Year in Provence
Studying Pétanque,
Discovering Chagall,
Drinking Pastis,
and Mangling French

[memoir/ nonfiction]

 Release date: March 20, 2017
at Sea to Sky Books
176 pages
ISBN: 9780981347417

Goodreads

 SYNOPSIS

Will having smoke repeatedly blown in his face deter a foreigner from breaking in to French culture? Find out, as Paul Shore’s evocative story telling, wry wit, and big heart, inspire and entertain you, as he tells the tale of how he gained acceptance inside a charming village in Provence.

Uncorked celebrates the “uncorking” of a few tightly held traditions that are near and dear to hearts of the locals of the Cote d’Azur and Provence – being taught to play pétanque (boules) under the clandestine cover of darkness; learning vernissage etiquette; drinking pastis before noon; navigating narrow village roads at top driving speed. Shore also “uncorks” personal awakenings about the value of following roads-less-travelled…

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Spotlight and guest-post: Outremer

Outremer

Outremer:
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.

Purchase from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Outremer-I-D-N-Carter/dp/1911525255/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1493117717&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=d+n+carter

About the author: After strange and vivid experiences whilst living in Cyprus as a child, author D N Carter has been fascinated by the history, myths and legends of the Middle Ages and mankind’s past. As he got older travels to Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, the Languedoc region of France and the deserts of Arabia fuelled his enthusiasm. While not decoding maps and mathematical codes D N Carter enjoys adventure sports from parachuting to microlight flying. Today he divides his time between East Anglia in the UK and the south of France with his family.

Follow Clink Street Publishing on Twitter @Authoright @AuthorightUKPR @gilbster1000

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GUEST-POST BY

D. N. Carter

What attracted me to the Middle Ages?

I have always had an affinity to this period, especially the secret and mysterious Knights Templar, their clothing and equipment plus a deep fascination with ruins, mainly castles. It began when I was nine years of age. I went to Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire on a school trip. I loved the architecture and the feeling of spiritual peace that I sensed there. That trip revealed I had a natural talent for drawing architectural scenes. I visited many castles and ruins and my fascination simply grew from there. As a youth I was lucky enough to travel to several major castles in Cyprus, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. The beauty, scale and history of them utterly captivated me…but gave me a sense of sadness too for all the carnage of war that was visited upon them and their occupants. Consequently I asked myself, why, why would people fight wars of such unbelievable brutality? That question was rammed home after learning how the Christian Crusaders captured Jerusalem in 1099 AD and massacred all its 70,000 inhabitants regardless of religion. I seriously questioned the real motives for the first Crusade with a deep sense there was far more than we are taught. Many more questions would follow and so my research began in earnest…and now in my mid fifties I am still researching and as one question is answered, still more arise.

I still love ruins…an almost naive romantic notion of great Knights on quests that stirs within me whenever I see a castle, or even just a small part of an ancient wall, but the reality of castles is one of war and likewise those warrior monks, the Knights Templar. They projected a mystique I wanted to know all about, especially if they were somehow true guardians of what is known as the Holy Grail. How could monks be warriors too…it was a contradiction? I learned that Knights Templar swore to protect an original spirituality belief system, which is the basis for all religions, dedicated to supporting established Churches of all denominations and religious Orders and of other traditions…including Islam. Initially it did not make sense, but I started to learn and more importantly understand, and wanted to share that information…hence ‘Outremer’ which conveys those truths set against the realities of the period and genuine people as well as the very real codes from antiquity carried across time hidden within religion.  It is knowledge and an understanding all people should have the opportunity to be shown.

Why did, and still do, religious people who claim to love peace and God commit such great atrocities against each other…even amongst themselves? When I learnt the name Jesus, as we use today, was not even generally known by that name in the Middle Ages, but as Iesus, I was more than a little surprised. Also England’s most famous King, Richard the Lion Heart, could not speak English…his first language was French, made me question everything I was being taught as fact…for what else are we taught today and led to believe is absolute and factual? Being of a spiritual nature, I read and studied as much as I could on every religious order and doctrine I could find. One aspect I always suspected was not somehow real was the so-called apocalypse. I could never understand how and why a God who supposedly created us, would destroy us. I learnt that Apocalypse means to ‘unveil’ or to ‘reveal’ meaning ‘un-covering’, translated literally from Greek meaning ‘disclosure of knowledge’, a lifting of the veil or revelation…not destroy, nor the end of the world etc. So what else within scripture was not explained properly I wondered? Also what was contained within the fourteen books removed from the Bible and why were they removed. To learn why meant delving back to the late 1100’s, a period that shaped the geopolitical maps of both Europe and the Middle East, which in turn shaped the relations between Christian and Muslim countries to this day, with repercussions that still echo to the present. That is why, in my opinion, it is so essential to fully grasp and understand the true realities of that era that led to Christian and Muslim ideologies being so diametrically opposed…but how some today, knowing how to manipulate those facts to suit their own particular agendas, can effectively control the future by controlling our understanding of the past; hence the sub title ‘Who controls the past, controls the future’.

Eiffel Tower Orange

 

Spotlight and guest-post: Addicted to Death

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Addicted to Death

Addicted to Death:
A Food Related Crime Investigation

Following the murder of Benedict and Darcy Blacktail, two eggs savagely beaten to death outside their home by an unknown, fedora wearing assailant brandishing a large metal spoon, Detective Inspector Willie Wortel, carrot and the leading food detective in the police force, is called in to investigate. When the only food sapiens minister in the Government, Professor Perry Partridge, is murdered at the Strawberry Strip Club, run by the young damson Victoria Plum, DI Wortel suspects that the two cases may somehow be linked. As the Head of the Food Related Crime Division, DI Wortel is ably assisted by his human colleague Sergeant Dorothy Knox. But as their investigation begins, four celebrity chefs are sent death threats. It’s a recipe for disaster as the incarcerated evil genius MadCow McBeef is seeking parole; someone appears to have crumbled Mr Bramley’s apples; and there is an anti-GM food protestor on the prowl. And why do Oranges and Lemons think they owe someone five farthings? DI Wortel and his team must find out who is seemingly addicted to death. It will take all efforts – human, fruit and vegetable – to figure this one out.
Purchase from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Addicted-Death-Related-Crime-Investigation-ebook/dp/B010545FEQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1490869221&sr=1-1&keywords=matthew+redford

Matthew RedfordAbout Matthew Redford

Born in 1980, Matthew Redford grew up with his parents and elder brother on a council

estate in Bermondsey, south-east London. He now lives in Longfield, Kent, takes masochistic pleasure in watching his favourite football team snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, is a keen chess player and is planning future food related crime novels. To counterbalance the quirkiness of his crime fiction Redford is an accountant. His unconventional debut crime thriller, Addicted to Death: A Food Related Crime Investigation was published by Clink Street Publishing last summer.

Website – http://www.matthewredford.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/matthew_redford

Follow Clink Street Publishing on Twitter @Authoright @AuthorightUKPR @gilbster1000

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GUEST-POST BY

Matthew Redford

First crime fiction authors read by the author

Firstly I would like to start by thanking for you providing me with this opportunity to write a guest blog for your site.

I’ve been asked to write about the first crime fiction authors I read, and I guess in many ways, the question is seeking to find out whether those authors influenced my writing in any way. I think this is a really interesting question because it not only provides me with the opportunity to think back on those authors who wrote books I enjoyed reading, but it allows me to reflect on what influence they actually had. And as someone who enjoys that reflectiveness, this topic was a delight.

I’m going to pick out three authors who I think are worth mentioning.

The first is Enid Blyton and her ‘Famous Five’ collection. And I recognise as the reader you can’t see this, but just typing the words ‘Famous Five’ has resulted in a big smile on my face for a number of reasons. The main reason being that they are just simply enjoyable, well written stories. They were among the first set of books I read, and importantly, which were read to me by my parents. I don’t think the importance of that latter point can be stressed enough; the importance of spending time with young children reading to them, reading with them.

Now you might be wondering if Enid Blyton is really a crime fiction author but her stories nearly always involved a wrong-doer being stopped. And while reflecting about the Enid Blyton books, the thing which sticks out about them now is their innocence. I like that. The stories flow. They move at a pace. There is a friendship to the group. But there is an underlying innocence. And ginger beer of course.

I guess that was something I wanted to try and capture with my writing. A childlike innocence while still letting the story pack a punch.

That leads me to the next author, Ian Harvey, who wrote the Resnick novels. I am not sure how many of you will be familiar with those books but he is certainly a million miles away from dear old Enid.

Resnick is a tough policeman who keeps order on the streets of Nottingham, while struggling to keep order in his home life. The alcohol flows, the jazz music plays, and the murders rack up. But he always gets his man. Gritty. Real. No punches pulled. And I love the books.

So how can someone like Ian Harvey have been an influence on my style of writing which has affectionately been called ‘quirky’ and ‘bonkers’. Well actually, it was a great influence, because I knew I wanted to write a crime fiction book, but having read something so gritty and true to life as the Resnick novels, I knew I was not going to be able to create something of that style. My writing style is very different and these books helped my realise I needed to find my own voice.

Which leads me to my third author, who you may not immediately think of as a crime fiction author. So let me set the scene and argue my case for this author who I will name in a few moments. Perhaps you can try and guess who it is?

Here is the premises of the story. A young boy is orphaned and forced to live with his two aunts who effectively force him into child labour. They eat him, he lives in squalid conditions and he hardly fed. This is clearly a crime. The young boy is eventually rescued and escapes these awful conditions.

Have you worked it out yet?

It’s of course Roald Dahl and the book is James and the Giant Peach, one of the great crime fiction novels. Okay, so perhaps I am stretching a point but the fact is that there was a crime in the book and the bad guys get their comeuppance in the end.

Clearly Roald Dahl had a massive influence on my writing. He demonstrated that anything is possible and any situation believable.

Which is why I hope you may take some time to read about Food Sapiens, those walking, talking, tax-paying food items who live amongst us. Follow the shenanigans of Detective Inspector Willie Wortel, a carrot, as he leads his team against food related crimes. Check out Addicted to Death or a Christmas cracker, Who Killed the Mince Spy?

Eiffel Tower Orange

AND YOU MY READERS,
WHO WAS THE FIRST CRIME FICTION AUTHOR
YOU READ?

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