#Indie Author William H. Venema @WHVenema Releases new Thriller!

I first met William Venema through my daughter, who is an attorney. It just so happened that she and Bill worked for the same company. He purchased copies of my books and we talked some about writing. That was many years ago.

Now he has two books under his belt and I’m happy to showcase them here today!

Death In Panama

BLURB:

Captain Robert E. Clark arrives in Panama on his first tour of duty as a lawyer. He struggles to reconcile his Southern upbringing and West Point training with a strange new environment. Panama is a muddled mix of conflict and corruption, where, among other things, marriage vows don’t mean what they did at the First United Methodist Church of Pemberton, Georgia. When Clark is assigned to prosecute a murder case involving the death of a thirteen-month old little girl, his ambition causes him to neglect his wife and daughter more than usual and—even worse—bend the rules in ways that call into question what kind of man he is and what he truly values.

In this riveting novel, William Venema tells an intriguing, thought-provoking tale of unrestrained ambition and its consequences. Death comes in many forms, each lethal in its own way.

Reviewers say, ““Allows us to see life in all its strange, rich complexity through the eyes of a very human and believable protagonist. . .” “Swept me back to another time and place. . .” “As good a legal thriller as those of Scott Turow and John Grisham. . .”

Pick up a copy today on Amazon! PURCHASE LINK

William Venema’s latest release is:

Dawn In Dallas

BLURB:

Set in the late 1980s, Dawn in Dallas follows the journey of Robert E. Clark, the protagonist from Death in Panama, as he leaves the Army JAG Corps and embarks on a career in private law practice.  He secures a position at Underwood & Crockett, a prestigious law firm in Dallas, Texas, even though his young daughter and ex-wife reside in Pemberton, Georgia, the small town where he grew up. 

Things get complicated when Robert receives disturbing news from home at the same time he is confronted with unethical behavior by one of the senior partners in the firm.  The challenges of his new career and his responsibilities as a father pull him in opposite directions, and he doesn’t always make the right decision. 

Dawn in Dallas has its share of plot twists and interesting characters and along the way reveals some of the darker secrets of life inside a large law firm and the serious deficiencies of the court system.

Dr. Ryan S. Davidson, Professor of English had this to say about Dawn In Dallas, “William H. Venema is able to cross genres to create a novel that is at times a legal thriller, a love story, a tale of morality, a historical look at race relations in America, and a criticism of the legal system that is both poignant and delicate. A perfect story for our times. Venema has done it again.”

PURCHASE LINK:

About William H. Venema

William H. Venema’s legal career spans almost forty years and includes time in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, in law firms, and as general counsel of major corporations.

Death in Panama, published in 2017, was Bill’s debut novel.  The story is loosely based on his experiences in Panama when he was assigned there in the early 1980s as an Army lawyer, including his prosecution of a murder case.  

Dawn in Dallas, published in 2020,follows the journey of Robert Clark, the protagonist from Death in Panama, as he leaves the Army and embarks on a civilian legal career.

In 2006, Bill published a non-fiction book, titled The Strategic Guide to Selling Your Software Company.  In addition, he was a contributing author for two other legal texts and has published over twenty articles on various legal topics in journals such as The Journal of Corporate Accounting & Finance, The National Law Journal, The Corporate Board, and Bloomberg Law Reports.  

Bill is a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he was awarded the Thomas J. Thompson Memorial Award for writing and the Freedom Award, Order of Lafayette, for proficiency in French.  He was also inducted into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.  Several years after graduating from West Point, he earned an MBA from Georgia State University and a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law.    

Prior to entering private practice, Bill served in the U.S. Army in Germany, Panama, and several stateside assignments.  He is a graduate of the Army’s Airborne and Ranger schools, as well as the Command and General Staff College.  

He and his wife reside in Georgetown, Texas.  

Connect with William H. Venema!

WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

Thank you for stopping by and I hope these two books intrigued you enough to grab your copies today!

Flash-fiction Challenge – A Foreign World #FictionInAFlash @pursoot @IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity.

In response to the Flash-Fiction photo prompt from Suzanne Burke this week, here is my contribution.

A FOREIGN WORLD

“Oh, the memories.” I sigh, and squeeze his hand a little tighter. The dried orange, brown and yellow leaves crunch beneath our feet as we shuffle along the sidewalk.

He smiles down at me. “Yes, my love. I remember when we sat on this very bench and I asked you to be my bride.”

Tears came unbidden and trickled down my wrinkled cheeks. “We had a pretty darn good life, didn’t we, Harold?”

“Yes. Yes, we did, in spite of the hardships.”

“But, I no longer recognize the world we live in. Where is everyone? Why are the streets empty? There was a day when this park would have held the laughter of children and young lovers strolling hand-in-hand.”

“Let’s sit, Margaret. My old legs are giving out.”

We shuffled over to the bench and Harold brushed away the leaves that covered it.

He blew out a long sigh and leaning on his cane, dropped onto the very bench where we started life together fifty-two years ago.

“I’m troubled, Harold. No, I’m more than troubled. I’m scared. Not for me and you. We’re pretty much out of here, but for the ones coming behind us.”

Draping an arm around my shoulders, he pulled me closer. “It’s not the same America that you and I grew up in. Soldiers on the streets, looting, killings and so much hatred exists. You know it’s not even safe for us to venture out.”

“I know, but I really needed some fresh air. Thank you for appeasing me.”

“Oh, my love, that is what I have lived for these past fifty-two years. My greatest joy is to make you smile.”

“What is that noise? Sounds like firecrackers.”

“I think we better mosey on back home, honey. It’s getting closer.”

He struggled to his feet, then leaning heavily on his cane, reached for my hand.

As we shuffled back toward safety, I turned to look back at the bench that meant so much, only to see a group of hoodlums spraying graffiti on it.

“Harold, we need to move faster. Trouble’s coming.”

“I’m going as fast as I can go. Don’t worry, dear. I won’t let anyone hurt you. It’s just a few more blocks home.”

That’s when it happened. A blow to the back of his head, took Harold to his knees. I screamed and turned to face our attackers only to see sneers and glowing hatred in the eyes of what should have been intelligent young men.

“You old people don’t need to be alive,” one of them growled. “You’re just taking up space and eating food that belongs to us. This is our country now. Old people like you are a nuisance.”

I kneeled down beside Harold and cradled his head in my lap. “You’ve hurt my husband.” Tears flowed uncontrollably.

One of them laughed. “So what? What are you going to do about it old woman?”

The first blow knocked me backward onto the hard concrete, and I frantically reached for Harold’s hand. The second blow brought oblivion.

Then, I was flying and when I looked down, I saw the shell of our bodies lying on the concrete, our blood mixing together and staining the sidewalk.

Harold floated up beside me.  “We’re free now, sweet love. No more aches, pains or persecution. We’re free.”

He was right. I no longer had the familiar pain in my joints and his cane no longer had any use.

“What will happen to our once beautiful world?” I took one more glance downward to see the men who’d taken our lives strolling away casually as if nothing had happened. They laughed and joked and slapped each other on the back.

“I don’t know the answer to that. We may have to come back to find out.”

“I’m not sure I want to come back again. Maybe we’ll stay with the Angels for a while.”

“Whatever you say, dear.”

With his hand nestled softly in mine, we drifted slowly and peacefully toward the brightest light that you can imagine. Then we disappeared into it.

We were home.

I hope you enjoyed my contribution. If you’d like to participate or just know more about Suzanne Burke (by the way a fabulous writer), visit her website or better yet, pick up one of her books!

Contact Suzanne at …

Her author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

Grinders – New Release from C.S. Boyack @virgilante

It is with excitement and great pleasure that I turn my blog site over to C.S. Boyack today so that he can tell you about his latest cyberpunk novel, Grinders!

Take it away, Craig!

Thanks for the invitation today, Jan. I’m honored to address your fans with my new book, Grinders. I’ve offered multiple topics on this tour, and I’m really excited that you chose The Grid.

Grinders is a cyberpunk story, set in San Francisco. This means an environment with a lot of neon, holographic advertising, and bustle. Computers and the Internet are a big part of these stories. That’s the “cyber” part. They also seem to have a seedy, almost underground, element to them. That’s the “punk” part. Now that you know what we’re dealing with, let’s talk about The Grid.

The Grid falls firmly under the cyber part of the environment, but it’s more than that. It’s almost a character in its own right, because it controls so much of the people’s lives.

At its core, The Grid is made up of hexagonal solar panels that have replaced all of the asphalt. It’s pebbled glass for traction. They fit together like Legos, and there is one scene with some repairs being made. So far, so good, right?

With all this electricity, this grid is hooked up to the Internet. We’re already seeing electric automobiles, and some self-driving technology, so I took the next step. All of the vehicles are paired with The Grid, and a central computer drives them all with incredible efficiency. Imagine four lanes (or more) buzzing along at 60-90 miles per hour. The cars are all about one foot from each other, and we would consider that tailgating today. The Grid is capable of moving them all at once, so this isn’t a problem.

Commuters simply tell an AI in the vehicle where they want to go, the AI communicates with The Grid, and they’re off to the races. Lane changes are accomplished with computer efficiency, by slowing down the adjacent cars to make a hole.

City streets have cross lane traffic to worry about. Stoplights are antiques in the world of Grinders. The Grid starts and stops traffic to keep all lanes moving at their best pace. When traffic stops, the lights have been replaced with holographic billboards that pipe advertising to the passengers.

Automobiles still dock for the night and recharge, but they also draw a small amount of power from The Grid. This is done via contact brushes, and The Grid will even pull over inefficient vehicles for a repair ticket if they cannot maintain the speeds required.

But like they say on late night television, but wait, there’s more. So far, I’ve only talked about ground level. In the world of Grinders, everything is delivered to small heli-pads at each residence and business. Drones provide staples and extras right to your apartment window. One of my main characters is fond of having liquor store deliveries made.

Some of these drones are huge, and include UPS trucks with larger loads. With all this lesser air traffic, how do they keep from crashing into each other? There has to be a way to set patterns and timing. This is yet another function of The Grid.

Imagine a moving van sized drone bringing your belongings to a new apartment. Not only does The Grid have to create a clear path to the building, it also needs to communicate with ground traffic to make a suitable parking space for landing.

The Grid is a wonderful creation. Pollution is all but gone from the Bay Area. Aggressive driving and accidents are a thing of the past. People even send their children to school in a car without adults. They can play games or read along the way. Businessmen can review files instead of drive and lean on the horn. Housewives even send the pets out for grooming without having to leave the house.

As an author, it’s fun to think ahead. A lot of this technology already exists. I hope someone smarter than me can make it happen one day. I like the idea of cheap solar power, efficient commuting, and the elimination of aggressive drivers from our streets. I’m still not on board with having someone else choose my produce, then deliver it to the house, but some of this is already being done too. They might not be using drones, but how far away is that technology anyway?

I hope you guys will give Grinders a chance. Thanks again to Jan for lending me her space. Now it’s time for me to drop a cover, blurb, and that all important purchase link.

Blurb:

Jimi Cabot made one mistake as a starving college student. When she went to work for the San Francisco Police Department, it nearly cost her the job. The union stepped in and they had to reinstate her. They did so by assigning her to the duty nobody wants, Grinder Squad.

Grinders are people who use back room surgeries to enhance their bodies with computer chips, and various kinds of hardware. Jimi is sure that if she can just bust one grind shop, it will be her ticket back.

Paired with veteran cop, she soon learns that Grinder Squad is a cash-cow for the department. They are nothing more than glorified patrol cops, and generally get the worst assignments.

Matchless is the most wanted grinder of all time. He disappeared years ago, leaving only the evidence of those he enhanced during his career. With these pieces, Jimi picks up the cold trail to try working her way back to more respectable duty.

Grinders is a cyberpunk story set in a world where global warming has eroded coastlines, and society has solved many of our current problems by replacing them with new ones. There are cyber shut-ins, cyber-currency skimming schemes, and more in this futuristic tale.

This book also takes the opportunity to poke a stick at current issues that seem to have lasted into the future. Entitled people, helicopter moms, overzealous homeowner associations, and lack of decent jobs are all present. Never preachy, these issues make up the day to day work of a patrol officer.

I hope you enjoy Grinders as much as I enjoyed bringing it to you.

Purchase link: http://mybook.to/Grinders

You can contact Craig at the following locations:

Blog My Novels  Twitter Goodreads Facebook Pinterest BookBub

#Book Share! @virgilante @MarieDrake72 @maeclair1

I think this is the perfect way to start off a new year of blogging!

It had been a while since I picked up a book that I absolutely could not put down! But, then I got three in a row. So, I had to share!

The first is THREE RULES by Marie Drake.

MY REVIEW:

It has been a long time since I picked up a book that I could not put down. I ignored housework, ate snacks and read until I reached the end. The author’s writing style reminded me of V.C. Andrews. The subject of this book is sexual abuse and I did not know until the end of the book when I read about the author that she is a survivor of abuse. The writing comes from someone who has experienced the pain, the horror, the guilt and trauma that sexual abuse brings. The author did a great job of concealing the true identity of the abuser until the very end of the book. I was shocked. She gets deep into the psyche of the victim. The nightmares, panic attacks and paranoia are depicted in a raw and honest way. This book is not for the squeamish, but it is a well-written compelling story that I hope will encourage victims of sexual abuse to speak up and break the awful silence! And never forget the three rules! I highly recommend this book.

Marie Drake is a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB!

The next one is SERANG by C.S. Boyack

MY REVIEW:

This story was one that I couldn’t put down! I was intrigued by Serang’s character when she was introduced in The Voyage of The Lanternfish and it was great to learn her backstory. To say she faced hardships and trials would be putting it very mildly. At a very young age, after her father died, Serang’s mother left her on the steps of a monastery as she could no longer care for her. But after a few years, the new Emperor hellbent on destroying all of the temples sent soldiers to kill everyone and burn the temple. Rescued by a traveling monk, she came of age under the teachings of Master Yong. She learned to become a fierce warrior and her intuition grew. The way she received her master weapon, the Guandao was fascinating. Her journey to the Temple of the Wind and then through the caves was heart stopping. I also have to say there was humor scattered throughout the book, even though the overall theme was most serious. This book is fantasy at its best! I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good story and fabulous world-building!

I know the holidays are over, but this Christmas Holiday Novella would be a treat anytime of the year! Food For Poe was both entertaining and easy to read but be prepared for unexpected twists and events! I am a huge fan of this author, Mae Clair, and have read most everything she has written!

MY REVIEW:

I absolutely loved this novella! It started out as a sweet romance, but typical of this author, there was soon a ghost, a mystifying myth, and jaw-dropping magic. It is well-written and I read it in one sitting. I loved how the author wove these character’s lives together in a few short pages. But the twist came when a Changeling also appeared and some nail-biting pages followed. I won’t give the story away, I’ll just say how much I enjoyed it with all the twists and surprises. If you are looking for a romance with lots of added side plots, I highly recommend this novella!

I hope that if you haven’t read these books, you’ll pick them up if they appeal to you! Click on the book title to purchase!

What worked? What didn’t?

NaNoWriMo 2019 ended yesterday. Was it a success? I suppose, like most things in life, it’s the perspective with which you look at it, as to the answer to the question.

The original goal for NaNoWriMo was to write 50,000 words in the month of November.

After the second weekend, I realized I was not going to make that goal. So, I reduced my goal to 30,000 words and ended the month with 30,105. At least, then it didn’t look like an epic fail. 🙂 That brought my story to 56,724 words. And I’m now in the wrap-up phase of “Jagged Feathers.”

Here’s what worked:

  1. The motivation to participate was a huge propelling factor
  2. Knowing where my story needed to go (even though I don’t outline, I knew what needed to happen)
  3. Having my characters fully developed, and what each had to hide and had to learn
  4. Finding determination to write as much as I could without verging on the edge of insanity.
  5. Having personal experience with an amputation.

What didn’t work:

  1. I had to stop multiple times and do some research (for instance, what are the residual effects of being shot with an assault rifle wearing a bullet-proof vest, where in Dallas, Texas can you buy a certain kind of ammo, Can you buy live hand grenades in Dallas, Texas, Where is a military clothing store, are there storage lockers at the bus station, etc…) – So, note to self: try and do the research ahead of time. If someone was to look at my search history, they’d probably think I was a terrorist. 🙂
  2. Family events ( I wound up keeping all five grandchildren – three one time and two the next – for several days in a row) That interfered with writing for sure.
  3. Thanksgiving holiday (no matter how much I wanted to kid myself about having all this extra time, Thanksgiving was taken up with quality family time and I don’t regret it one bit!)
  4. Going back and reading what I’d written (one of the proponents of NaNoWriMo is to just write and not worry about sentence structure, plot points, grammar or punctuation. I found that I couldn’t do that.)
  5. Even though I had NaNoWriMo Buddies, there was little communication between us, so I don’t think I quite understood that part.

Will I do it again?
I can’t say yes and I can’t say no. So, I’ll just say, “we’ll see.” 🙂

It was certainly an experience and I’m very glad I did it. At least it got me back to the story that I’d abandoned a year ago.

To everyone who reached or exceeded the 50,000 word goal, my hat is off to you! Congratulations!

Guest Post – Serang by C.S. Boyack

It is my pleasure to host author, C.S. Boyack on my blog today. I’m going to let him tell you about his neswest book, Serang!

Thanks for having me over today, Jan. I’m here to promote my newest book, Serang. This is supporting story to the Lanternfish trilogy, but it will stand on its own for those who haven’t read Voyage of the Lanternfish.

I’m trying to let the hosts have some input about what I present, and Jan asked for an excerpt. Excerpts are a great way to tease the story, so I’m happy to comply.

In this scene, Master Yong left Serang alone at their shack while he went to a village for supplies. A heavy fog rolled in, and it’s stayed for days. He’s about to return, so we’ll pick up the excerpt here:

Yong strode confidently onto the porch. Serang wiped her brow, then flicked her wrist to get the heavy moisture off.

“Where are you?” Yong asked in a soft voice.

“Here, Master.” She walked to the patio area.

“Have you done your chores and exercises?” He sat an overloaded basket on the ground.

“Yes, but something’s wrong.”

“How so?”

“The fog is unnatural. The animals have gone silent.”

“What do your meditations tell you?”

“To be cautious.”

“Have you been meditating? Tell me the truth.”

“I don’t need to. Something is wrong.”

“Do them now. Clear your mind.” He smirked at her. “I’ll protect you from the forest.”

She sat and crossed her legs but kept the wall to her back.

“What do you hear?”

“Nothing, Master. Not even insects.”

“Listen again.”

She took several deep breaths. “A light wind in the high leaves.”

“Shouldn’t wind blow this fog away?”

“Yes, that’s what I mean. Something is wrong–”

“Stop. Try again. What do you smell?”

“Brine… And charcoal.”

“Taste?”

“More brine. Master the fog is cursed or something–”

“Tut!”

Serang tried to focus.

“What do you feel?”

She remained silent for a long time. “Concern. Worry even. Apprehension.”

“Is that you, or the natural world?”

“Both, maybe.”

“At least you’re honest about it. Your feelings are correct. We are witnessing something that has not been seen in fifteen hundred years. Breathe it deep inside. Let it surround you.”

She opened her mouth for deeper breaths.

“Do you feel danger? Fear?”

She kept breathing. “No, Master.”

He knelt before her. “We are in the presence of lóng de hái ze.”

“The child of the dragon? I don’t understand.”

“Something is wrong with our world. Lóng de hái ze, lives between the worlds and heaven. This one is here because it is concerned. Try again. What else do you feel?”

“Yang, but also a female presence.”

“Very good. This dragon’s child is female. She is trying to decide whether to return to her world or go on to the sea. There she will evolve into a dragon, then try to set things right. To restore balance.”

“Will she… eat us?”

Yong sat before her and crossed his legs. “Someone has needed to tell you this for a long time. Dragons have been known to kill people but do not make a habit of it. They are more concerned with the natural world, and equity among all things.”

“But my father–”

Monastic life is all about duty, service, harmony. For Serang, a young girl abandoned at the temple by her mother after the death of her father, that life becomes all she knows. The monks give her purpose, and become her new family.

When political upheaval causes chaos throughout the land, Serang again loses everything and everyone she loves. Alone, she struggles to survive. She convinces a wandering monk to take her under his wing and complete her training. Thus begin her adventures through strange lands and her trials to become a confident, capable, independent adult.

This is a coming of age story set in a fantasy world. It’s filled with monsters and martial arts, difficulties and dangers. The serious situations preclude the story from the levity of its predecessor, Voyage of the Lanternfish, but it provides a compelling look at the origin of one of the saga’s most fascinating characters.

Purchase Link http://mybook.to/Serang

Social Media:

Blog My Novels  Twitter Goodreads Facebook Pinterest BookBub

I hope you enjoyed Craig’s introduction to Serang! Hop on over and pick up your copy! I did! And don’t forget to follow him on social media. He’s an entertaining author!

Thank you for visiting!

My progress – or lack thereof #NaNoWriMo

So, I committed to participate in #NaNoWriMo.

Then life happened in a really big way. And my word count progress is pitiful. But, I am not giving up. Any word count is good, right?

So here’s a snippet from my WIP, “JAGGED FEATHERS”:

Nakina understood more about him than he knew. He was keeping something from her. Something big enough, that he would go to any lengths for it to remain hidden.

Her heart broke for the soldier who took on her fight without hesitation. He’d simply been trying to rebuild his own life and find some semblance of peace. Then she came along with her baggage and disrupted his entire world.

Truth be told, she was happy it was Vann Noble that found her that cold morning. Perhaps there was such a thing as fate or kismet. She couldn’t imagine that anyone else would have so willingly jumped in to rescue her. She swallowed past the lump in her throat. They had to somehow get out of this alive.

So far, my word count for the month is around 7,500, while according to NaNoWriMo, to reach my goal, I should be over 10,000. But, as I said, any progress is good progress. At least I’ve returned to the story after almost a year. 🙂

I hope everyone participating in #NaNoWriMo is having less interruptions and more writing success!

Exquisite Pain

They stood, forehead to forehead and toe to toe.

“I love you, Kyle,” she whispered.

She lifted her head and met his smoldering amber eyes.

“I love you too, Julie.” He claimed her lips with tender yet insistent passion.

Shivers of ecstasy engulfed her, starting at her head and ending with her toes. This was it! This was what she’d dreamed of but never imagined could happen. After all, she’d never considered herself the stereotypical desirable girl that men lusted after. And especially for a man like Kyle, with his wavy brown hair, chiseled body and sexy smile.

She pressed her warm body against his growing need.

“I could stay like this forever,” she said.

Kyle chuckled. “I don’t think I could. I’d die from need and want.” He ran his hands down her back and cupped her buttocks, pulling her even closer.

He claimed her mouth again and she parted her lips, inviting his tongue inside. She wrapped her arms around his neck and entwined her fingers in his hair, letting the silky texture tease and tantalize.

“Okay! That’s a take. Great scene, Chris and Linda!”

Linda stepped back and cleared her throat. She avoided Chris’s gaze.

And then it hit. First in waves, then a crescendo of pure agonizing, exquisite pain. The kind of pain that only love can bring.

She reminded herself, it’s only pretend.

“Dammit,” she muttered.

This came in a dream. I experienced the exquisite pain that only love can bring. In the dream, it ended with a different scene, but with the same conclusion. I don’t have any idea who these characters are. I’ve never seen either of them and yet I was inside their heads. It makes me wonder sometimes if we travel to other dimensions when we sleep and dream…

All images courtesy of Pixabay.

PLEASE NOTE: I am away for the weekend with my family and may not able to respond to your comments until Monday.

Welcome to “THE MEREST LOSS” Blog Tour! @StevenNeil12 @4WillsPub

GUEST BLOG!

Today, I welcome Steven Neil to my blogsite to tell you about his latest book.

And, there are Giveaways!!

Steven is giving away (3) Signed Paperback copies of “THE MEREST LOSS.”  For your chance to win, be sure to leave him a comment below.

Take it away, Steven!

A story of love and political intrigue, set against the backdrop of the English hunting shires and the streets of Victorian London and post-revolutionary Paris.

Character Studies

I always draft character studies of my main characters and keep them close when I am writing. The more detail the better and the more likely it is that continuity errors can be avoided. Here are some extracts for three characters in my 19th century historical romance novel The Merest Loss.

Harriet Howard b. 1823

Harriet is born Elizabeth Ann Harryet. She is the daughter of Joseph Gawan Harryet, self styled Squire but actually a boot maker and son of a Brighton hotel owner. Joseph Harryet inherits wealth when his father dies and the hotel is sold.

     Elizabeth has a private education and is coached to achieve her father’s ambition for her that she should enter society and marry well.

     The young Elizabeth is beautiful, capricious, and precocious. She has a touch of arrogance about her. Whilst disguised as a boy, aged thirteen she has an encounter with a livery yard owner and attempts to secure a hunter hireling from him:

     ‘Well find me something else and be quick about it. I am Squire Harryet’s son and he wishes me to hunt in his place. We are guests of the Duke and I am keeping him waiting. And you sir are keeping me waiting.’

     As she becomes a young woman she retains her flamboyance but adds charm and humility to her personality. She is a talented mimic and has a wicked sense of humour. She has ambitions to be an actress.

     When she meets Jem Mason she is infatuated with him and runs away to live with him in London when she is still only fifteen.

     She is the heroine.

Jem Mason b. 1816

Jem Mason is born in Stilton, Cambridgeshire and is the son of John Mason; horse dealer to the gentry and very wealthy as a consequence.

     Jem is educated at Huntingdon Grammar School and later given private tuition. He is a talented rider from a young age and destined to become a successful jockey.

     Jem is handsome, elegant, well-dressed, slim, tall, gifted and athletic. He is also witty, smart, charming, and charismatic and has an easy, confident manner.

     He smokes cigars and drinks champagne. He likes the opera, ballet and the theatre.

     One story told about him is that when walking the steeplechase course at Stratford, in company with other jockeys, they come to two options: a five-bar gate and a bullfinch (a tall birch hedge which is jumped through rather than over). One of the jockeys asks Jem whether he would have the fence or the gate.

     ‘I’ll be hanged if I am going to scratch my face. I’m going to the opera tonight. I shall have the gate, forty miles an hour, and defy any man in England to follow me’

     The Sporting Life described him as ‘a lath-like elegant figure, beautiful seat and hands and a very quick eye.’

     When Jem and Harriet (then Elizabeth) meet they are immediately attracted to each other.

Major Francis Mountjoy Martin b. 1808

Francis Mountjoy Martin is the son of Charles Fuller Martin, former Sherriff of Calcutta who was by all accounts a rather eccentric character. Francis and his brother are reputedly the sons of an Indian mother.

     Francis is public school and Eton educated and becomes a Guards officer. He is the perfect gentleman. He is stiff, polite and very correct. He is tall, chivalrous and well-spoken. He is also quite shy in company and can speak with a stammer. He is artistic and also a musician and plays the violin

     In the novel he is an operational officer in the British Secret Service. He works for Nicholas Sly, Head of Espionage, French Operations.

     He is Harriet’s cover story and she lives under his ‘guardianship’ in London. It is believed that he is the father of Harriet’s son. It is ambiguous whether Harriet and Francis have a relationship or whether it is a business arrangement.

     He apparently provides a home and a trust fund for Harriet as he is not free to marry. This lends credibility to her wealth. In reality the money is provided by the British Government which is grooming Harriet to seduce Louis Napoleon.

     He acts as a sympathetic mentor to Harriet as the novel develops.

PURCHASE LINKS:

AMAZON UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Merest-Loss-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Merest-Loss-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

Amazon France: https://www.amazon.fr/Merest-Loss-English-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

Amzon Au: https://www.amazon.com.au/Merest-Loss-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

Amazon Ca: https://www.amazon.ca/Merest-Loss-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

Follow Steven Neil on https://twitter.com/stevenneil12 for information on how to purchase the paperback through an independent bookseller in the UK.

Bio

Steven has a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the Open University and an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University. He has been a bookmaker’s clerk, bloodstock agent, racehorse breeder and management consultant amongst other professions in his varied career. He is married and lives in rural Northamptonshire, England. The Merest Loss is his debut novel.

Twitter

@stevenneil12

IAN author page

https://www.independentauthornetwork.com/steven-neil.html

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.  Thanks for supporting this author and his work! 

FALLOUT #NewRelease – Harmony Kent

I am happy to bring a new book release from a fantastic author, Harmony Kent!

Fallout Blurb:

WHEN EVERYTHING FALLS APART, WHAT CAN YOU DO?

The year is 3040.

The location is Exxon 1, part of a six-planet system in settled space.

Determined to avoid the mistakes of old Earth, the surviving humans avoided democracy and opted, instead, for a non-elective totalitarian system.

The new way worked well, until now.

A crazy, despotic president releases a nano-virus on the population.

No one was ready for the fallout. It came anyway.

In this post-apocalyptic world, can you stay safe?

Excerpt

After that excitement, the remainder of the walk passed in a blur. At long last, they reached zone 8. The place looked deserted. But then appearances could be deceiving.

Cautiously, they picked their way through empty streets, inhabited only by litter and signs of old violence. The low, mournful howls of wind around corners and through abandoned, open buildings made for their sole companion.

Where had everyone gone? Not that he wanted anyone to find them, particularly. A crack of thunder preceded the sky opening and pouring rain down upon them in sheets. The visibility dropped by about eighty percent. He and Priya huddled deeper into their collars and hurried on.

Soaked through and chilled to the bone, they rounded one final corner and came to a stop. Just like in zone 9, the area around zone 8’s army portal stood derelict and deserted. It gave Kaleb all he needed to suspect that all was not as it should be.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into Harmony’s new book. Now here’s a little bit about the author!

Author Bio

After spending around thirteen years as an ordained Buddhist monk, living in a Zen Buddhist temple, and six years after a life-changing injury following a surgical error, Harmony Kent returned to the world at the tender age of forty.

Now, she is famous for her laughter, and has made quite the name for herself … she’s also, um, a writer … and fairly well known for that too. She’s even won a few awards. Harmony lives in rural Cornwall with her ever-present sense of humour, adorable husband, and quirky neighbours.

Harmony is passionate about supporting her fellow authors.

Links

Website: https://harmonykent.co.uk/

Story Empire (co-authored): https://storyempirecom.wordpress.com/

Amazon Author Page: author.to/HarmonysBooks

Twitter: @harmony_kent

LinkedIn: Harmony

Goodreads: Author Page

FALLOUT Pre-order Link: mybook.to/FALLOUT