Kindle Deal: The Secret Agent by Elisabeth Hobbes

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My name is Sylvie Duchene and I am a dancer. There is no network. I am just a dancer. I know nothing. Please…I swear it…

An unknown location, occupied France, 1944

Dropping silently behind enemy lines, Sylvia Crichton, codename Monique, is determined to fight for the country of her birth and save it from its Nazi stranglehold.

As one of the dancers at the nightclub Mirabelle, Sylvie’s mission is to entertain the club’s German clientele and learn their secrets. In a world of deception and lies, she can trust no one. Not even Mirabelle’s enigmatic piano player Felix… a part of the resistance or a collaborator?

But despite her SOE training, nothing can prepare Sylvie for the horrors she is about to face – or the pain of losing those she grows closer to undercover…

I am really looking forward to having Elisabeth on my Romancing The Romance Authors later in the spring but, as Elisabeth’s book, The Secret Agent, is currently available in both the UK and the US for a special low price of 99p/99c for the ebook, I thought I would just let you know about the deal today. 

You can buy a copy of The Secret Agent here.

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About the Author

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Elisabeth’s writing career began when she entered Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest in 2013 where she finished in third place and was offered a two-book contract.  Since then she has published historical romances with Harlequin Mills & Boon covering the Medieval period to Victorian England and a Second World War romantic historical with One More Chapter.

Elisabeth teaches Reception four days a week but she’d rather be writing full time because unlike five-year-olds, her characters generally do what she tells them.  When she isn’t writing, she spends most of her spare time reading and is a pro at cooking one-handed while holding a book.  She loves historical fiction, mysteries, thrillers and romance, and has a fondness for dark haired, bearded heroes.

Elisabeth enjoys skiing, singing, and exploring tourist attractions with her family.  Her children are resigned to spending their weekends visiting the past while she leans too far over battlements to get photos.  She loves hot and sour soup and ginger mojitos – but not at the same time!

She lives in Cheshire because the car broke down there in 1999 and she never left.

Connect with Elisabeth:

Website: https://elisabethhobbes.co.uk/

Facebook: Elisabeth Hobbes

Twitter: @ElisabethHobbes

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Extract: Born of Wind (Of The Elements Book 1) by J. B. Lesel

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When the elements collide, the truth ignites

Meleena never quite fitted in among her fellow aquatic Meruyans, always skipping school to hide out and marvel at the natural world around her. So when she wins a place on the coveted Council Apprenticeship team, no one is more surprised than her.

As she embarks on a tour of the nations, Meleena’s curiosity catches the attention of the Warix, a race born with the power to control wind. But she is unprepared for the secrets she uncovers as she explores this new land. The Warix are locked in a deadly civil war, and her own people are being oppressed and exploited with no way out.

Desperate to resolve this tangled conflict, Meleena sets out to locate an ancient weapon sought by both sides. Can she unite these warring peoples in time to save her own?

The debut novel from J.B. Lesel throws you headlong into a diverse world where the elements take physical form to shape the lives of all. Perfect for fans of James Cameron’s Avatar, and The Last Airbender.

Born of Wind is the first in Lesel’s Of the Elements series which follows Meleena as she journeys out of her home village and into a world she has long been sheltered from. But the outside world is more complicated than she could ever have imagined, with a civil war looming and a mysterious missing pendant. It’s a fun, coming-of-age adventure with a fantasy twist that is sure to capture the imagination of all ages. The book was published yesterday and, to celebrate its release, I am delighted to be able to share an extract with you today. My thanks to Sarah Hembrow at Vulpine Press for providing me with the extract for reproduction here.

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As they walked to school, Meleena recounted to her brother the lively dinner discussion of last night. They passed the wood- and onion-shaped cottages of the town, enclosed by sapling trees forming fence posts, entangled with strings of kitten’s ear ivy. She made a mental note to draw that later, when she’d gotten her journal back.

“Well, it sounds like you really should go visit Kelrick in Dlawn’Edo. I know he can be… difficult, but there’s more to the Council than just him.”

She made a face. “Why didn’t you follow Dad and Kelrick’s footsteps and join the Meruyan government?”

“I’ve seen their world, but I’m happy right here. Plus, I have a wife and daughter of my own whose future I must protect, but if adventure interests you, I wouldn’t write off the Council so quickly.” He adjusted his glasses.

They passed the main square, where the day’s bustle had already begun, with Meruyan holding baskets to collect fresh foods from the marketplace; sea-beast drawn wooden carts traversed the streets, led by farmers bringing fruit from farm to shops.

They rounded a corner leading down the lane to the old schoolhouse, built like a conjoined ring of wooden onions—an onion-cake, frosted with moss from years of exposure to the moist coastal air. Other teens were visible from all directions down the stony lanes.

They approached the doors and Tomiyan opened them to let her in. “Just ask Dad for a tour of his study tonight,” he said and left it at that.

School went as expected. Talla, the only overachiever of the class, shot her hand up and answered every question with ease, while Meleena and the rest of the students sighed, groaned, threw paper birds, sometimes at Talla’s head, and did everything else bored students do. Everyone except Joru, Talla’s twin brother. He sat beside Meleena, always looking at her.

A gill breather. What a hokey place this was. Meleena tried to ignore him, leaning on her elbow and facing away from his batting eyes.

He was shy, but his intentions were clear. She had already told him it would never happen. For this, Talla especially despised Meleena. “You broke his heart, you flirt!” she would howl at any occasion.

But Meleena couldn’t make herself love the guy, or blame herself for existing. And that was that. Whatever. Just one more year putting up with this and she’d be free, but free to do what? Her family was right, there were no options anyway.

 

After school, she slunk home, hands in pockets with nothing to draw and no ideas for an apprenticeship. In her room, she dropped her backpack on the floor, flopped onto the bed, heart sinking. No journal to scribble her thoughts, or her way through problems.

A knock startled her and she uttered a noise muffled by a face-full of bedsheets.

Her father spoke through the door, “Meleena, I wanted to show you something. I spoke to Tomiyan, he said you seemed down.”

She sat up. “I’m fine.”

“Well, he suggested I show you my study.”

“I’ve seen it.”

“I just thought…” His voice trailed off. “I could help you pick an apprenticeship.”

The wooden floor creaked as he stood outside the door. Her heart sank further at the thought of his judgment.

“—Maybe I can convince your mother to give your journal back sooner…”

Meleena opened the door. Shadows danced on his face from the luminous worm-shell candles that lit the hallway at night.

“Sounds like a deal.”

She followed her father to the room she scarcely visited. Books lined the walls from floor to ceiling, and glass cases pillared the middle. He lit the worm-shell candles and led her to one particularly large case to the left of his desk.

“This is where I keep the most precious artifacts.”

Meleena lifted her glasses and inspected rolls of parchment, metal-plated shells, dusty leather-bound books, broken copper gadgetry, and inscribed parcels.

Her father opened a dusty book titled Gifts of the Warix: The End of the Wet Ages. “This book contains everything the Meruyan have learned from the Warix about how to live on land. Everything wooden, from homes to paper, land-farming, fire for heating and cooking. Wouldn’t you like to meet a Warix someday?”

Meleena ignored him. He was trying to get her to apprentice for the Council, but it wasn’t going to work. But she was running out of time and ideas.

“There’s more to the council than you think…” Her father handed her a scroll to read:

Legend of Peoples.

1–Meruyan: Aquatic people of the Water Spirit. Government: Meruyan Nation, Run by the Council. Capital: Dlawn’Edo

2–Warix: Forest people of the Earth Spirit. Government: Two Enemy Nations.

Sen’Drorn Warix: Name meaning “loyal to the state.” Centuries old, run by Emperor Ryogrim and advisors. Capital: Sen’Drorn City.

Sen’Prin Warix: Name meaning “loyal to the people.” Small, split-off nation, run by Governess Arenay. Capital: Sen’Prin City.

3–Hyish: Reptilian people of the Fire Spirit. Government: many clans, trading-based hierarchy, Mayfee clan most prominent. Capital: none, nomadic.

“What is this?” Meleena ran her fingers over the waxy scroll. It appeared there was more going on outside her village than she realized. “A Hyish?” She’d never even heard of that.

“Yes—reptilian people who live in tribes all over the world—be it forest, grasslands, or desert. They invented glass, you know, like those in your glasses.”

The thought of sketching and documenting their culture piqued Meleena’s interest. She’d love to meet a reptilian person one day. Outwardly, she merely shrugged and returned the scroll.

Maybe the council idea wasn’t so bad, after all. Not like she had any better ideas.

“What else is here?”

Her father handed her a horn. Turning it over, she ran her finger over the etched markings running along its surface. “I’ve never seen a horn like this… it’s like the farmers brand on pon-urchin spines, but this seems… daintier?”

“A Warix horn. Far away in the Arctic City, where both Warix and Meruyans live, it has become trendy to brandish Meruyan symbols. You could visit if you joined the council’s apprenticeship. There is a reason your mother and I raised you here, it’s safe. But there is more to the Meruyan nation than fishing villages. I promise it.”

As Meleena took the horn into her hands, a tangible part of a creature from a distant land, the world outside the village felt real for the first time. She wasn’t excited about the idea of working for the council, but it was starting to look like the best option at least as an apprenticeship. A chance to leave the town, at least she could sketch wildlife, and quit later, maybe run away to live in the forest… yes, great ideas were forming.

“Fine, I’ll sign up the council apprenticeship.”

She helped herself to an object. A small box with a golden frame caught her eye. She held it flat in her palm, opening it to find… a wooden bauble, shaped like a droplet.

“Well, you can’t simply join. The council is the hardest apprenticeship. You will need recommendations and diligence in your final year of school.”

He almost had her there.

“Maybe it’s not worth it then; I’ll just clean out pon-urchin carcasses. Why was this junk in here?” Meleena turned over the trinket. It was crudely whittled into the shape of a ram’s head, with gleaming white eye holes. The light seemed to be emanating, curiously, from within.

Before her father could answer, a deep rumbling began. Rolling thunder. They looked up, startled. A baby cried somewhere in the distance.

Hurried footsteps pounded, getting louder—Vivia and Tomiyan appeared in the doorway. Vivia gripped the doorposts, panting. “A flash storm has broken out!”

“There’s an evacuation to the underwater community already underway,” said Tomiyan through bated breath from the hall. “My family is waiting in the kitchen. We have to go, now!”

The rumbling continued.

Loroh furrowed his brow. “That’s strange, it seemed so clear earlier this evening.”

“Does that matter?” Tomiyan said. “A tornado has sprung up and has already smashed some cottages at the edge of town!”

Meleena’s heart pounded as she ran behind her parents and Tomiyan down the hall. She had forgotten to return the carving and had absent-mindedly shoved it into her pocket. I guess I’ll return this when the storm passes. Can’t exactly go back now.

Tomiyan’s wife held a restless infant and stood as they entered the kitchen. Something crashed on the roof.

Meleena and her family ran through the village towards the beach, their straw shoes slapping the stone pavement. The wind pushed them, though there weren’t any storm clouds above. Stars winked at her against the boundless darkness.

As they reached the beach, they saw other Meruyans wading into the ocean. As the waves lapped at their bodies, fins sprouted on forearms and calves. Some plunged in headfirst, arms extended. Meleena had experience with this: a steep drop not far offshore.

Still, there hadn’t been a night evacuation in years. She barely remembered the last time. Storms this bad didn’t come along every season. Meleena spotted their village elders who ran the community. She spotted Talla and Joru. Joru blushed, then faced away from her, and Talla scowled in her direction.

Meleena shivered in the cold night air. More Meruyans dove straight into the crashing waves and out of sight. Meleena, like most, stashed her glasses in a pocket: she wouldn’t need them again until life on land resumed.

Trembling under the weight of her world falling apart, Meleena stole a blurry glance toward her village being torn asunder. At least this bought her some time to decide on apprenticeships. Then she, alongside her family, dove into the dark waves.

If that small segment has whetted your appetite for the book, Born of Wind is out now in paperback and ebook formats, and is currently free to read if you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber. You can buy a copy here.

About the Author

J.B. Lesel is a fantasy writer living in California and sometimes in the forests of Germany. When she’s not writing or lounging like a cat, she has an unusual hobby of volunteering abroad with strange wildlife. She has a Master of Science in Psychology, working in content writing and data analytics. BORN OF WIND is her debut novel.

Connect with J. B:

Website: https://jblesel.com/

Facebook: J. B. Lesel

Twitter: @JB_Lesel

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Blog Tour: Gordon Square by Tracy Martin-Summers #Spotlight

Gordon Square

It is my turn on the blog tour today for Gordon Square by Tracy Summers-Martin and I am happy to be shining the spotlight on the book. My thanks to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part.

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On a cold blustery November night, Detective Sergeant Mike Brugge and his partner Detective Constable Mel Bailey come across a girl, age unknown, in the parkland in Gordon Square. She was frail, malnourished, dirty and covered in excrement.

What had happened to this girl?Why was she covering down, shielding her eyes from the light, with a look of horror on her face? She appeared to be non-coherent, totally unengaged and would not speak to anyone. Nothing could penetrate the world where her soul had taken solace.

Mike and Mel set out to find out where she had come from and what had been per plight. Revealing hypnosis sessions allow them to glimpse some of her pain suffering.Follow their story deep into the horrors that unfold, causing chaos and turmoil among their own lives.

The detectives are about to discover a horrific, gut-wrenching story, that spanned over four decades. But will it end?

I’m shining the spotlight today on this thriller which has great reviews on Amazon and is described as a gripping crime novel with lots of twists and turns and relatable and likeable protagonists. The book is taking a tour, so make sure you follow some of the blogs listed below to read some reviews of the book for yourself.

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If you would like to get hold of a copy of the book, you can buy a copy here.

About the Author

Tracy Martin Book Tour

Tracy was born in Harrow Weald, Middlesex in 1964, growing up in a loving family home. She married her first husband in 1990, has two grown up children and a granddaughter.

She studied a variety of topics via module learning, embarking on City and Guilds and NVQ courses, ranging from a brief spell in hairdressing to administration and now works for a utility company in North West London.

Tracy has numerous hobbies consisting of landscape painting to landscape gardening and always likes to paint the scene, even if it’s changing the colour scheme, yet again, within her home.

Tracy has always enjoyed writing and used to write short stories for her own children’s amusement but it has only been in the last few years that she has taken this more seriously and has gone on to write her first debut crime detective Novel called Gordon Square.

Tracy Married her second husband in 2014 and now lives in Bedfordshire in a sleepy hamlet where she writes whenever she gets a spare moment.

Connect with Tracy:

Website: https://www.tracymartinsummers.co.uk/

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Spotlight: Leave Only Footprints by Nick Sands

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The year is 1972. Paul Sears is a young provincial reporter who drives around in a Morris Minor listening to pop music on his crackling radio. Keen for a break, his life revs into high gear when he stumbles across the scene of a brutal murder. Despite the carnage, his journalistic instincts kick in, his desperation to write a front page story to prove the doubters – including his nagging mother – wrong. 
 
When he’s embroiled in another fatal incident, he becomes convinced the killings are linked. With police efforts floundering, Paul vows to uncover the perpetrators and make the streets safe again. However, this is a path from which there is no easy escape. Sinking fast and realising that he has not only put himself but his young family in danger, Paul must make a choice. When a trusted friend becomes the prime suspect for the police, Paul knows there is no going back. As the gap between him and the killer narrows, a disturbing question forms: who is hunting whom?
 
Time for another spotlight on one of the new books recently published by Matador, and today we are turning our attention to Leave Only Footprints by Nick Sands, a crime thriller set in the year I was born!
 
You can buy a copy of the book in either paperbook or ebook format here.
 
About the Author
 
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After graduating in Philosophy, Nick Sands joined a Canadian aluminium company as a Press Officer. This was not his first media job. Before that he had been the voice behind the microphone at Lord’s cricket ground.
 
He has had articles published in many technical journals and also in the national press. After obtaining an MBA and several years as a company director, he has taken early retirement to focus on writing. This is his debut. He is based in Nottingham.
 
Connect with Nick:
 
 
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Spotlight: Forty Paces East by Sheila M. Bearman

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The day is bright and shining as Daisy arrives in North Cyprus to research her book about the 1964 Cypriot war. Amidst the bustle of the picturesque Kyrenia Harbour, she is unexpectedly approached by a charismatic man and his handsome son who go on to offer the use of a writing retreat in the hills of Bellapais. Never one to turn down an adventure, she agrees willingly to the offer by the charismatic Osman Bilekler and his son Hasan.

As work on her book progresses, she meets ex-solder Namik in the local village and immediately forms a bond with him. However, even as they smile at each other,Daisy has no idea that the topic of her book and her current reality are about to collide.

For the Bileklers are hiding a dark secret and Namik’s family lie at the heart of it. Has she made a mistake becoming involved with Namik, and are their lives in danger?

The third in my spotlight series of new books recently published by Matador Books, we have Forty Paces East by Sheila M. Bearman. I love a book that takes me away to a foreign land, and if it can teach me a bit about history at the same time, all the better. This sounds like something I would enjoy reading.

Forty Paces East by Sheila M. Bearman is out now and you can buy a copy here.

About the Author

Born in South London, Sheila M Bearman has always loved writing and has been a member of creative writing groups and had short stories published.
 
Now retired, she spent 6 weeks researching Forty Places East in Cyprus, falling in love with the country and the people along the way.
 
She lives in Uckfield, East Sussex.
 
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Spotlight: The French Emperor’s Woman by David Bissenden

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It’s 1871. Napoleon III is living in exile in Chislehurst Kent, after being deposed as Emperor of France following his defeat at the battle of Sedan in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870.

Marie Anne, one of his many mistresses ,and mother of his illegitimate son Pierre, had arranged for her boy to be taken as a stowaway from Rouen to London, but the boy never arrived and was allegedly last seen on a rowing boat coming ashore near Gravesend.

Distraught, and suspecting foul play, she seeks the assistance of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Gordon, the Commissioner for the Thames Forts who was later to achieve fame as ‘Gordon of Khartoum’, who knows just the man to help and soon William Reeves, Private Investigator, is on the case.

An Emperor, his mistress, a private detective and one missing boy – what secrets will the investigation unfurl?

Another book recently publisher by Matador Books is The French Emperor’s Woman by David Bissenden which sounds like it has quite an interesting premise, a mix of historical and detective story. I must admit to be quite drawn to this one.

If you feel the same, you can buy a copy of The French Emperor’s Woman in ebook and paperback formats here.

About the Author

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David Bissenden is a retired town planner who spent many years working and living near the marshes and chalk pits of the Thames estuary, which feature in much of his work.
 
He has written numerous articles and dramas drawing on the history of the area and now lives in Cheshire.
 
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Blog Tour: The Longest Shadow by R. J. Mitchell #Spotlight

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THE LONGEST SHADOW begins atop Scotland’s Wallace Monument where a skeleton from DS Thoroughgood’s past threatens to put a stop to his future.

The third installment in the DS Thoroughgood series of Scottish crime thrillers sees Angus Thoroughgood in pursuit of a suspect he believes to be the psychotic leader of a vicious gang wanted for abduction and murder. Taking to the streets of Glasgow’s West End, these famous streets are the stage for a high octane pursuit that will leave the reader gasping for breath — but does Thoroughgood have the right man?

With the case still wide open, Thorughgood’s complicated love life drags him into the battle for the control of the Roxburgh Whisky dynasty. Tensions build towards a nail-biting crescendo as Thoroughgood works to identify the killer intent of wiping out Scotland’s most famous whisky family. With the finger of guilt pointed at a powerful Triad leader, clues from a 70-year-old war-time diary lead Thoroughgood to realise nothing as it seems. However, with the charms of Victoria Roxburgh clouding his judgement, Thoroughgood is dragged into a fight to the end with a ruthless foe whose identity shocks them both.

I’m delighted to be taking my turn on the blog tour for The Longest Shadow by R. J. Mitchell, the third book in his DS Thoroughgood thriller series. My thanks to Emma Welton of damp pebbles blog tours again for inviting me to take part.

Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, I have been unable to read this book in time to review it today but I am sure, if the previous two books are anything to go by, it will be a thrilling, action-packed ride and I look forward to reading it soon. You can read my reviews of the previous two books in the series, Parallel Lines and The Hurting here and here.

The Longest Shadow is out now and you can buy a copy here.

To reads some reviews of the book, please make sure you visit the other blogs taking part in the tour:

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About the Author

RJ Mitchell
Pictured Author RJ Mitchell , crime writer , former Herald & Evening Times sports writer and ex cop. He is pictured at the old firing range within the the former Strathclyde Police college in Oxford Street ,next to the Sheriff Court. He has just announced that he has signed a four book deal with McNidder & Grace . His next crime novel The Shift is due out in the spring. It is based on his experiences as a rookie cop in Glasgow. As a cop he had spent many hours in this building over 20 years ago. It was the kind permission of Alistair Brand of Stallan-Brand architects who took over the building earlier this year and found out about the authors history with the place. Photograph by Martin Shields Tel 07572 457000 http://www.martinshields.com FEE PAYABLE FOR REPRO USE NB -This image is not to be distributed without the prior consent of the copyright holder. in using this image you agree to abide by terms and conditions as stated in this caption. All monies payable to Martin Shields (PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE THIS CAPTION) This image is intended for Editorial use (e.g. news). Any commercial or promotional use requires additional clearance. Copyright 2015 All rights protected. first use only.

Robert James Mitchell was brought up in Stirling. Mitchell was initially detailed beat duties out of the former Blackhill Police Office and then Baird Street Police Office in the former ‘D’ Division, or the North, as it was known to all the men who served in the division. In January, 2007, while recovering from an appendicitis, Mitchell decided to write the first draft of ‘Parallel Lines: The Glasgow Supremacy‘, drawing heavily on his own experiences and featuring the characters of Detective Sergeant Gus Thoroughgood and DC Kenny Hardie.

Connect with Robert:

Website: https://rjmitchellauthor.co.uk/

Facebook: R J Mitchell Crime Writer

Twitter: @spitfiremedia

Instagram: @spitfire_07

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Spotlight: The Primary Objective by Martin Venning

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For some, the primary objective is to stop a conflict, for others, the primary objective is to exercise power, but for most, the primary objective is to make money.

Peace International is a New York based global reconciliation and mediation charity that seeks to prevent wars, regional disputes and rebuild civil societies. When a tip comes in thatIran is building a chemical and biological weapons research and production centre, it soon becomes clear that where they’re considering building – close to the border with Azerbaijan- could destabilise the Gulf region and beyond.

Selecting a small team of volunteers, they form a task force to collect evidence, entering through a dangerous semi-lawless area in southern Azerbaijan. What they discover is a farmore complicated web of challenges than a weapons facility. For PI Operations Director, Edwin Wilson, the mission is his most perilous yet, threatening the lives of his team and theinternational reputation of his organisation. But for two Iranian men, Fawaz and Jamshid, the stakes are even higher.

Driven by contrasting personal circumstances and life chances, they face difficult choices as they seek different paths to prosperity in a controlling, repressive society that takes noprisoners…alive.
 
One of my objectives on the blog is to highlight new books coming out that might slip under the radar and help promote authors that don’t get the attention of the mainstream press. So, over the next week, I am going to be shining the blog spotlight on a few of the new titles from Matador that have been published recently.
 
First up we have The Primary Objective by Martin Venning, which is a geo-political thriller featuring a detailed and rewarding plot for those who enjoy a complex and well-researched story.
 
The Primary Objective is out now in ebook and paperback formats, and you can buy a copy here.
 
About the Author
 
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Martin Venning is a project communications and strategic investment adviser working in the property and construction sector with 20 years’ experience engaging with businesses in the UK, continental Europe and Asia. He trained as a journalist as part of his undergraduate studies and writes for pleasure.

Connect with Martin:

Website: https://www.mvenning.net/

Twitter: @MartinVenning_

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Guest Post: A Wing and a Prayer by M W Arnold

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When Betty Palmer’s sister dies under suspicious circumstances whilst landing her Tiger Moth, Betty and three other women pilots of the Air Transport Auxiliary in WWII England unite to discover who killed her and why.

Estranged from her family, Penny Blake wants simply to belong. American Doris Winter, running from a personal tragedy, yearns for a new start. Naturally shy Mary Whitworth-Baines struggles to fit in. Together though, they are a force to be reckoned with as they face the mystery that confronts them.

Against the backdrop of war, when ties of friendship are exceptionally strong, they strive to unravel the puzzle’s complex threads, risking their lives as they seek justice for Betty’s sister.

Today I am delighted to be showcasing the new novel by one of the small percentage of male authors in the Romantic Novelists’ Association. A Wing and a Prayer by M. W. Arnold will be published by Wild Rose Press on 9 November and the author, known as Mick to his friends, has kindly written me a post about what it is like to be a man in the RNA, and also given me an extract from the book to share with you.

It’s a (wo)man’s world by M. W. Arnold

I am a very lucky chap, in that I have a very understanding and trusting lady wife. Why? Well, I am very fortunate to be a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association. Still no clearer? I’ll elaborate.

Back in 2013, I’d made the decision to turn my writing hobby into something a little more serious. A little research turned up the website of the RNA and subsequently, their New Writer’s Scheme. At slightly past midnight on the correct date, I sent off my email, applying to join and got lucky. Someone had to drop out and I was emailed asking if I’d like to join. Dashed silly question.

What I didn’t realise (and this is very silly in hindsight) was that this was very much a group dominated by women. Can you see what I meant yet? Now the purpose of the New Writer’s Scheme is to help, well, new writers. Once a year you may send in a completed (or partial) draft of what you’re writing. This will then be critueqed by a published writer. If you’re reading this as a ‘would be’ writer, then you know exactly how much of a boon this is. It certainly helped me get published.

One of the highlights of the year is the annual conference and this is where I found our exactly how much the women outnumbered the men. I think it’s about 98% women and 2% men, at last count. So, you can see what I mean about having a trusting lady wife, those are better odds than any dating agency you’ll get! To say I was nervous on my first conference was to state the obvious.

I needn’t have been though. They really are the biggest bunch of friendly, helpful loving folk. I went through a rather difficult time a while back and in the last conference held prior to all this 2020 mess, I discovered just how many friends I had. I don’t think it would be an understatement to say that I may not have made it through that conference without them.

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Thank you for sharing your experiences with us, Mick, I’m glad the RNA is welcoming – maybe we can persuade more men to join and even up the numbers a little!

Now for an extract from Mick’s new book, A Wing and a Prayer:

“Mind the duck!”

Mary’s warning was a smidgeon too late. Betty turned her head toward the shout just when she needed to do the exact opposite and keep her eyes on the path.

“Aargh!” cried Betty as she was sent sprawling to the ground.

A loud, angry, “Quack! Quack!” was followed by a flurry of wings and feathers as the slightly stunned duck half flew and half staggered to the sanctuary provided by the river.

“I did tell her to watch out for the duck,” Mary muttered in her own defense as they rushed to help Betty to her feet.

Penny and Doris took an arm each as Mary reached to retrieve Betty’s handbag. It had landed precariously close to the edge of the river, and the dastardly duck was snuffling at it before Mary seized it and handed it back to Betty.

“Mary!” cried Betty. “Grab that envelope!”

Swiveling, Mary saw a large brown envelope and stooped for it before it could fall into the water. “Got it!” she yelled, waving it in the air. Unfortunately, the envelope being upside down, the contents spilled onto the ground around her, luckily missing going into the river. She bent down to pick them up and was surprised to discover they were all newspaper cuttings.

If you appetite has been whetted for Mick’s latest book, A Wing and a Prayer is out this coming Monday and you can buy a copy here.

About the Author

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Mick is a hopeless romantic who was born in England and spent fifteen years roaming around the world in the pay of HM Queen Elisabeth II in the Royal Air Force before putting down roots and realizing how much he missed the travel. This he’s replaced somewhat with his writing, including reviewing books and supporting fellow saga and romance authors in promoting their novels. 

He’s the proud keeper of two Romanian Were-Cats, is mad on the music of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys, and enjoys the theatre and loving his Manchester-United-supporting wife. 

Finally, Mick is a full member of the Romantic Novelists Association. A Wing and a Prayer will be his second published novel, and he is very proud to be welcomed into The Rose Garden.

Connect with Mick:

Facebook: M W Arnold Author

Twitter: @mick859

Instagram: @mick859

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Blog Tour: The Wicked Oath by Michael L. Lewis #Spotlight

The Wicked Oath

It is my turn on the blog tour today for The Wicked Oath by Michael L. Lewis and I am pleased to be able to spotlight this book for you today. My thanks to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for offering my the opportunity.

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A wicked conspiracy. A diabolical offer. Survival: a matter of life or death!

Behind the walls of Blackleigh, a prestigious public boarding school in northern England, lurks wickedness and bullying. Those in power form a conspiracy to devise any means to expel certain boys. Surviving for their victims becomes a matter of life and death…

Jonathan Simon, in his second year, returns to school to find that ruthless prefects – Sleeth, Tunk and Miller – are in charge of his house. Things take a turn for the worse when the new Headmaster starts, and Jonathan and his friends are targeted.

As the pressure mounts, friendships become closer and scheming increases as unexpected revelations occur. For Blackleigh, the year is just beginning...

The Wicked Oath is the second book in the Oath series by Michael L. Lewis, set in the enclosed world of an elite boys’ boarding school in the 1950s. However, the book will work quite well as a standalone and will appeal to anyone who loves a thriller, filled with conspiracy theories and details of the secretive, esoteric goings on behind the doors of Britain’s public schools. How true is the story? Only people who have experienced that world, like the author, can really know.

If this sounds like something that would appeal to you, you can buy a copy of The Wicked Oath here, along with the first book in the series, The Oath.

If you would like to read some reviews of the book, to see what my fellow bloggers thought, you can follow the rest of the tour as detailed below:

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About the Author

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Michael L. Lewis was born and raised in England. After preparatory school in London, he was educated at Stowe School, Buckingham. Michael now lives in Los Angeles, California, has a law degree, and writes full-time. He was on the Board of Trustees for several schools and has been a member of the same book club for twenty-five years.

Connect with Michael:

Facebook: Michael L. Lewis

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