September 18th, 2014
My iAi feature this month is author Chris Ward, author of the gripping Tube Riders Trilogy. Here is a review posted on Amazon:
It is 2075 and Britain is now a dangerous, frightening place, ruled over by a cruel despot. The cities have become the stalking grounds of thugs and psychopaths and have been walled in to prevent the insalubrious citizenry from escaping to the countryside where the nice people live. Government agents prey on the people, transporting children to factories as slave labour or worse, to be fodder for the strange cyber experiments going on in secret places underground. Every so often space rockets are launched and fall back to earth, but nobody knows why. Somewhere in London the sinister ‘Governor’ controls the country but few have seen his face and there are rumours he has incredible supernatural powers.
There is no future and no hope for the young people of this shadow-land, so they find their excitement where they can. One small band rides the tube trains – on the outside, clinging precariously to wooden ‘clawboards’ clamped to the side, looking in at the terrified passengers. They become their own legend. Their ghostly faces peering through the windows assumed to be the wraiths of the dead – they are The Tube Riders.
This is, without doubt, the most exciting book I have read for some time. I was gripped from the first page. Chris Ward’s dystopian ‘Mega Britain’ is chilling and utterly believable, as are his characters. I loved them all – the brave young people who strive not only to survive, but to incite rebellion and bring freedom to the oppressed people of the cities, the thinkers who keep their heads below the parapet and plan for the new day, even the dreadful cyber creatures, the ‘huntsmen’, who never asked to become monsters. Terrible things happen in this book, but there are also ingenious strategies and heroic stands. And most of all, there is love.
This is an epic work created by a superb writer. It is one of those books you will want to read over and over again, that will stay in your memory forever.
September 18th, 2014
The Army of Worn Soles launch blog tour continues! Read to the end for the clue that will help you win the Grand Prize of a signed paperback copy of Army of Worn Soles plus a $50 Amazon gift card.
For a chance to enter the early-bird draw, enter the clue below in the Comments section.
To see where the blog tour stops next, and to find the next clue, visit the author’s blog, Written Words.
Chapter 2: Gymnasium
Peremyshl, Poland, 1938
Maurice leaned closer until their lips met. Oksana kissed hard, intense and didn’t break away for a long time. “So, student-boy, how late can you stay out tonight before you get into trouble?”
“I’m already way past curfew.” He leaned in for another kiss. He could hear his pulse in his ears.
She pulled away again. “Get me another drink and then we can go,” she said.
Maurice did not ask “where.” He could not bring her to the school dormitory, so he hoped she meant her place. He pushed the door to the dance hall open just in time to see the front door crash inward and six policemen rush in. They carried clubs in their hands, and the leader brandished a pistol.
The band stopped with a scream from an abused violin and every girl screamed.
“Everybody stand still,” the lead policeman hollered in Polish. “Stop where you are this instant. You are all under arrest.”
The barman came around his counter. “No one was making any trouble, sir,” he said in Polish, hands out in supplication. “We’re just having a good time. A little music, a little dancing…”
“What kind of music was the band playing?”
“You know, the hit parade, some traditional…”
“What language? Polish or Ukrainian?” He spat the last word out like it was dirty.
“Look at this, Jerzy,” one of the cops said, pointing to the table where Danylo had spread out his newspapers. Maurice saw a pamphlet beside the broadsheets and groaned when he saw the Cyrillic lettering. It was in Ukrainian.
Jerzy, the lead policeman, swept it up in his hand as if he had scored a point. “Sedition,” he said. “Arrest everyone.”
Roman launched himself at the nearest cop and landed a punch on his nose, which had almost no effect. The cop retaliated by hitting Roman on the head with his club, and Roman fell.
Then every man in the place began throwing punches. Maurice saw the man in the hat pull a club out of a cop’s hands. He hit the officer hard, knocking him down, and turned on a pair who were clubbing the barman.
Maurice could not see Bohdan. Oksana pulled on his arm. “Come on, don’t be stupid. Let’s get out of here.”
“But my friend—”
“You can’t help him. Come on.” Oksana hauled him out the side door, and Maurice had only a second to wonder how the cops could have been so stupid as to raid a dance hall without covering all the exits.
He ran behind Oksana down a dark alley and into another street, across two blocks, then more turns. Within minutes, he had no idea where they were.
About the Book
1941: Their retreat across Ukraine wore their boots out—and they kept going.
Three months after drafting him, the Soviet Red Army throws Maurice Bury, along with millions of other under-trained men, against the juggernaut of Nazi Germany’s Operation Barbarossa, the assault on the USSR.
Army of Worn Soles tells the true story of a Canadian who had to find in himself a way to keep himself alive—and the men who followed him.
About the author
Scott Bury is a journalist, editor and novelist based in Ottawa, Canada. He has written for magazines in Canada, the US, the UK and Australia.
He is author of The Bones of the Earth, a fantasy set in the real time and place of eastern Europe of the sixth century; One Shade of Red, a humorous erotic romance;
a children’s short story, Sam, the Strawb Part (proceeds of which are donated to an autism charity), and other stories.
Scott Bury lives in Ottawa with his lovely, supportive and long-suffering wife, two mighty sons and two pesky cats.
He can be found online at www.writtenword.ca, on his blog, Written Words, on Amazon, on Twitter @ScottTheWriter, and on Facebook.
Today’s clue: this
June 19th, 2014
1941: Their retreat across Ukraine wore their boots out—and they kept going.
Three months after drafting him, the Soviet Red Army throws Maurice Bury, along with millions of other under-trained men, against the juggernaut of the biggest invasion in the history of warfare: Nazi Germany’s Operation Barbarossa, the assault on the USSR.
Maurice sees that his job as Lieutenant is to keep his “boys”—the men of his anti-tank unit—alive as they retreat from the unstoppable Panzers and German infantry. When they’re captured, survival becomes impossible. Their captors starve them.
Then a miracle: Maurice gets a chance to escape. He cannot leave his boys to starve. But how can twelve Red Army soldiers cross German-occupied Ukraine without being shot?
Army of Worn Soles will be available on Amazon and in print on June 22, 2014.
For more on the book, visit the author’s blog, Written Words.
Continue the cover reveal tour! Visit Dana Griffins’ website on Wednesday, June 11.
June 10th, 2014
Meet iAi author Seb Kirby, author of the bestseller James Blake Thriller series. Today I’m featuring the third book in the series, FORGIVE NO MORE. Warning: once you pick up this book, you can forget about your to-do list. You won’t want to put it down once you’ve started.
Dark secrets revealed in a thrilling climax
James Blake and his family can only be safe if the truth about the conspiracy threatening their lives is brought into the full light of day. Follow James in this intriguing thriller as he returns to London and Italy to confront those seeking to destroy his family. As the mystery comes to a resounding climax, he discovers that dark secrets have survived down the centuries and are in the hands of those who threaten all those dear to him.
An extract from the book:
Madeleine Jamieson, visiting London from Seattle, jumped at the chance to become a mudlarker. She’d always been interested in history and when she heard about the London walk that took in the chance to beach comb on the banks of the Thames it was too good to miss.
At low tide, the Thames retreated along the river bank between Somerset House and St Paul’s to reveal a distinct beach made up of shingle and the detritus of earlier centuries. Back in the 1600s, clay pipes filled with tobacco had been smoked and discarded into the river. These were abundant and formed the main treasure to be found at low tide now, though in the mind’s eye of any self-respecting mudlarker there was always the chance of real treasure in the shape of a Roman coin or something more valuable such as mediaeval jewelry. In Victorian times, to be a mudlarker was a recognized profession, given the wealth discarded into the Thames each day when the Port of London was the gateway to the world. These days, mudlarking was, at best, archaeology for everyman.
When the tour guide in the bright yellow T-shirt finished telling the small group these things she wished them well and sent them out on their search for the remains of London’s past. “Good hunting to you all. Come back with plenty of treasure.”
Madeline Jamieson turned to her husband. “Phil, let’s separate. We’ll have more chance of making good finds.”
Phil Jamieson was less interested in any of this but was keen to please her. “OK, Maddie. See you back here in twenty minutes.”
Madeleine made her way along the shore, searching as she went, and before long she’d found the first of the half dozen clay pipe fragments she was to collect. She couldn’t help thinking. “Now, if only I could find an intact clay pipe, that would be something to show Phil.”
She’d walked further than intended and was by now some distance away from the main group. In fact, she was approaching the buttress supports of Vauxhall Bridge.
When she saw the body she gave out a long and piercing scream heard a quarter of a mile away.
The body was bloated and in the late stages of decomposition. It had been dumped in the Thames some days before and the weights used to keep it beneath the water had now slipped. Brought in on the morning tide it had been washed against the supports of the bridge where it was now lodged.
The tour guide was the first to reach her and tried to calm her. “Just take deep breaths. Did I see you were with your husband? He’ll soon be here.”
When Phil Jamieson arrived, the guide was quick to attempt to reassure him. “It’s one of those unfortunate events we can’t guard against. I’m sure your wife will be able to get over this with your help.”
He wrapped his arms around his wife and walked her away from the scene. He tried to cheer her. “We didn’t expect to find anything as Charles Dickens as that, eh?”
She attempted a smile. “And this town is supposed to be so peaceful.”
Seb Kirby contacts:
Web page | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon U.S. author page | Amazon US edition | Amazon UK edition | G+
I’m the author of the James Blake Thriller series (TAKE NO MORE, REGRET NO MORE and, now, FORGIVE NO MORE) and the Raymond Bridges sci fi thriller series (DOUBLE BIND). I’ve been an avid reader from an early age – my grandfather ran a mobile lending library in Birmingham and when it closed my parents inherited many of the books. From the first moment I was hooked. Now, as a full-time writer myself, it’s my goal to add to the magic of the wonderful words and stories I discovered back then.’
May 5th, 2014
The results are in, and $350 in prizes are going to three lucky winners. Trivia questions relating to the serialized sections of Doing Max Vinyl (An Annie Ogden Mystery) on Venture Galleries appeared regularly here over the last 8 months. One correct answer was chosen randomly for each question for a $5 Amazon gift card. Every correct answer was entered in the draw for a chance at the three grand prizes being awarded today.
Congratulations to Teresa H., winner of the $200 grand prize! Your name was chosen first from the hat containing all the right answer slips. You will receive your prize via email. I hope you will enjoy many good books and other goodies from Amazon!
Naznin A. is the lucky recipient of the 2nd prize of a $100 Amazon gift card. Congratulations Naznin! Don’t spend it all in one place
And congratulations also to Marjorie R., who snagged the 3rd prize of a $50 Amazon gift card. Nothing to sneeze at, $50.
My thanks go to all the participants who read all or part of Doing Max Vinyl on Venture Galleries, and I hope you had fun searching for the answers. On Venture Galleries you will find many more books in serialized form, and I encourage you to discover new authors this way.
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