Month: April 2017

The Disunited Kingdom_Blog Tour – Excerpt


THE DISUNITED KINGDOM
By Leslie J. Nichols

Genres: Political Thriller

BLURB

It’s the early 2020s and the UK has successfully withdrawn from the European Union and immigration laws are tight. Scotland has become independent, and the home nation is under the rule of a Conservative/UKIP coalition that has introduced radical reforms, which are robustly efficient in running the country. It seems that the UK has never been in a better position – until suddenly, two catastrophic bombings in central London shake the country to its very core.

Investigators Farah Karim and Sean Lakin are on a mission to get to the bottom of the intent behind these two attacks; are they simply a resurgence of the acts of terrorism that haven’t touched the country in years? Or is there a new and deeper conspiracy emerging?

Farah and Sean find themselves entangled in a dangerous guessing game where their personal lives come under fire and the lives of thousands lay tenuously in their hands.

EXCERPT


(This extract outlines the political, economic and social climate in the UK in the immediacy of BREXIT )

Back in Downing Street, Prime Minister Mitchell was still struggling to watch the distressing live feeds on his news screen as Janet, his personal assistant, ushered in John Gemmell, the Chancellor, who, at fifty-three, pencil thin with rimless glasses perched upon a slender crooked nose, looked every inch of the part.

Despite the numerous and significant social difficulties that the country might be facing, the economy was in its strongest position since the heady days of the Thatcher regime. The pound had never been stronger against the euro. Back in 2016 when Greece ditched the currency and defaulted on its European debt, the pound was worth one point two euros. Now a visitor would have to pay almost two euros for one of the much-coveted English pounds and there were still many members of the European State that were desperate to do so. English exports to Europe had, of course, become significantly more expensive, but since the British withdrawal from Europe in 2018, the Americas, Far East and China had become their most significant trade partners. Scotland were still in the European Union so it was still possible to sneak some of those rarer French wines and German sausages across Hadrian’s Wall but it was considered to be a most unpatriotic practice.

The first few years out of Europe were hard as the British in general and the English in particular had to find new markets for their exports. They were forced to do so whilst rebuilding their own agricultural and manufacturing base to produce all those goods that for the previous forty years had travelled over or under the sea, further lining the pockets of the corrupt Europeans who controlled the shipping lanes and transportation systems, as well as the goods they carried. The immediate removal of restrictive laws and trade practices made the restoration of the rural and industrial infrastructure much faster and less painful that anyone could have imagined, aided, crucially, by substantial investment from their new allies in China. Over sixty percent of English electricity was now generated by Chinese-owned nuclear reactors.

Unemployment was decimated and the government of the day congratulated itself on the decision not to have repatriated the wave of Eastern European migrants that had fled the abject poverty within their own flawed and failed political flirtations with the European Super state. Such was the demand for labour in the fields, factories and offices that unemployment and welfare benefits were virtually withdrawn as anyone who wanted to work could do so and those who didn’t were made to.
Not all of the former British Isles shared this meteoric economic recovery. Britain’s departure from Europe coincided with the second Scottish devolution vote which, this time, opened the vote to both English and Scots. The criteria for the declaration of independence demanded that either fifty one percent of the Scottish electorate voted for separation or a minimum of thirty percent of the combined population. Both criterion were comfortably exceeded and the Scots heralded their independence in a blaze of tartan clad, malt fuelled exuberance.

Scotland was welcomed, open armed, into the European Union immediately. They were wooed by a more accessible market for their oil and some misguided perception of economic and national security. The economic implosion of Scotland was heralded two years following independence with the almost complete collapse of the North Sea Oil Industry. Decline in global manufacturing had led to dramatic downturns in consumption. This was exacerbated by the Confederation of Muslim States or, as it was then known, ISIS, gaining control of a large proportion of the Middle East’s oil fields and flooding the market with cheap oil to fuel their armament costs and, simultaneously destabilising Western economies. The rapid development of fracking technology spread quickly from North West England throughout the country to the point at which the country became not just self-sufficient, but a significant fuel exporter. This, inevitably, fuelled tension between the two nations.

Interested? Buy The Disunited Kingdom here: 

http://www.austinmacauley.com/book/disunited-kingdom

 

AUTHOR BIO:

Leslie J. Nicholls has always held an inquisitive, borderline cynical, interest in the politics, morals and motivations of governments and their politicians.  As an avid observer of current affairs, national and international news he has developed an uncanny knack of predicting unfolding world events. Political writers like Gerald Seymour, Frederick Forsythe, Robert Ludlum and Sebastian Foulkes have inspired Nicholls to abandon a successful career in Sales and marketing to express this interest creatively in the publication of This Disunited Kingdom, a political thriller with a prophetic vision of post Brexit Britain.

Author Website: http://lesliejnichollsauthor.com/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/thisdisunitedkingdom/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LeslieNicholl1

Worlds with Ruby: Book Review

WORLDS WITH RUBY (Ferris Wheel stories # 1)

By C P Cabaniss

Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal

SYNOPSIS

When you’re already dead, why should you be afraid?

Ruby died in an accident. But instead of heaven or hell she finds herself in a place unimaginable…….

When dead Ruby finds herself on the edge of a cliff in a land unknown, with an ominous creaking coming from the nearby woods, she is left with no choice but to follow it to its source. Nothing is what it seems and Ruby soon finds herself being whisked away to worlds beyond her imagination. Worlds in need of saving. Along the way, she discovers that in saving these worlds, she is saving herself.

REVIEW

I wish to say no more about the plot than what is written already in the synopsis as l don’t want to spoil your read, because it’s​ better to go into the book blind and be surprised.

Beginning the review, the first thing I want to do is to praise the author’s ability to think, to imagine. How did she come up with this idea? I just don’t know. It’s so unique, innovative and so unlike any other story that I have ever read. 

Coming to the main character, I loved Ruby’s character a lot, she is a strong woman, she faced her enemies bravely, even in the unknown lands, she was not afraid. 

“Fear must be embraced, accepted as natural, but never run from. Never orgotten or locked away. We must overcome it. But in banishing it, we allow it to overcome us.”

I think the best part of this novelette was the climax, the end, where it is described that why she didn’t die a normal death and just went to heaven (or hell) but became a traveller, who went to different worlds. Obviously it was not something that l had expected, it was something very unpredictable.

As it is a fantasy read so I can’t help myself from commenting on its believability. I found it very much believeable, because who knows what would happen to us after death, this might be true, like we can become a saviour, or a traveller after we die.

Overall I would say Worlds With Ruby has a nice plot, is quite a pageturner, and kept me guessing till the end. So I would like to recommend this book to all fantasy readers and if you are not a fantasy reader, but would like to try one of the fantasy books, then this might be a good option.

LIFE AT 17 RATING:

🎐🎐🎐🎐🔸

(4.5 stars out of 5)

(-0.5 stars because I didn’t like Damen, Ruby’s​ friend’s ,  character that much.)

*Author provided me my book, free of cost with no obligations*

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Beneath The Shine – Release Day Blitz

REVOLUTION ALWAYS COMES WITH A COST.

A Young Adult Fantasy by Bestselling Author Sarah Fine

In a future United States where those who control technology control the wealth, seventeen-year-old Marguerite’s viral video propels a populist candidate to presidential victory on a platform of “tech for all.” But as the mouthpiece of the new leader determined to break the elite stronghold, Marguerite finds herself on the opposite side of the divide in a new high school full of technocrat teens.

When the enigmatic Percy, with his flamboyant fashion sense, sharp wit, and tragic past, takes an interest in her, she is suspicious. But with everyone against her, she needs an ally. Percy is drawn to Marguerite’s passion for the cause, but the legacy of his murdered scientist parents prevents him from letting her get too close.

Soon terrorists strike the capital and technocrat leaders begin turning up dead, and the two must work together to protect both their families and the country. With everyone literally plugged into technology, total domination will take only a flip of the switch. In order to preserve their freedom and the future Marguerite envisions, she and Percy may be forced to pay the ultimate price.

About the Book

Beneath The Shine

by Sarah Fine

Series

n/a

Genre

Young Adult
Fantasy

Publisher

Skyscape

Publication Date

April 18, 2017

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About Sarah Fine

Sarah FineSarah Fine is the author of several books for teens, including Of Metal and Wishes (McElderry/Simon & Schuster) and its sequel, Of Dreams and Rust, the bestselling Guards of the Shadowlands YA urban fantasy series (Skyscape/Amazon Children’s Publishing), and The Impostor Queen (McElderry, January 2016).

She is also the co-author (with Walter Jury) of two YA sci-fi thrillers published by Putnam/Penguin: Scan and its sequel Burn. Her bestselling adult urban fantasy romance series, Servants of Fate, includes Marked, Claimed, and Fated, and was published by 47North in 2015, and her second adult UF series —Reliquary (and its sequels Splinter and Mosaic) was published 2016. When she’s not writing, she’s psychologizing. Sometimes she does both at the same time. The results are unpredictable.

Sarah’s Links

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Winter’s Kiss : Book Review



WINTER’S KISS

By Darlene Fredette

Publisher: Escape Publishing

Genre: Romance

SYNOPSIS

Return to beautiful Redford Falls: a woman who knows what she wants and a man who knows what he needs…

Nothing thaws the chill faster than a warm winter kiss…

She’s been on a flight from hell for over eight hours, lost four hours of daylight, and arrived in temperatures twenty degrees lower than accustomed to. Disliking winter for a reason she refuses to discuss, Danielle Lerato would rather be anywhere than in Redford Falls. She needs to get the job done and return home before getting caught up in the small town’s charm…and the arms of the handsome, brown-eyed restaurant owner.

Andrew Haley’s first encounter with the buttery blonde didn’t go so well, and he well-remembers the chill of the glass of water she dumped over his head. Now, two years later, a raging storm drops Danielle back into his life. She’s determined to leave, but he’ll do whatever it takes to convince her to fall in love with Redford Falls…and him. 

REVIEW

Danielle’s boss shifted the business to Redford Falls and wanted Danielle to move there too but Danielle is adamant that she won’t do that. To change her mind and to bring her Redford Falls he asks Danielle to train a assistant who could work in her place, accepting this offer she visits Redford Falls. There she meets Andrew with whom she shares a not so pleasant incident of of her previous visit there but soon they both discover the other side of each other and find themselves falling for each other. However Danielle won’t stay….

“She couldn’t wait to begin every day just like this— in Andrew’s arms. ‘Everything I want and need is right here.’”

I liked both Danielle and Andrew’s characters. They both have faced the loss of their loved ones in their past and are coming out of it. I especially liked those parts where they talked their pasts and found a good listening ear in each other. 

Other than Danielle and Andrew’s character I also liked Chloe’s, Andrew’s sister’s character, she is sweet young girl​ who helped Danielle and also become her really good friend. 

Apart from the characters, I also liked those instances that gave a glimpse of the small town life in Redford Falls, how endearing and caring the people of the town are and how quickly a word spreads from one ear to other in this town.

Winter’s Kiss is a nice love story but not something extraordinary that l could go on raving about. The characters are likeable, the plot is good but still somehow it is not something that kept me up all night or had a pageturner effect. But if you love love stories and if you’re​ a fan of Clean Romances then I would definitely recommend it to you.

LIFE AT 17 RATING

🎐🎐🎐🔸

(3.5 out of 5 stars)

*I got this book from Netgalley*

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Murder in White Lace – Book Review

MURDER IN WHITE LACE

By Karen Sue Walker

PUBLISHER: Createspace Publishing

GENRE: Mystery/Thriller

Hello, I am back from a one month long break!

SYNOPSIS

Max Walters is a busy bridal consultant with dreams of being a designer. When her boss goes on vacation, things quickly unravel when one of her brides-to-be, Jennifer collapses in the shop during a fitting and dies at the hospital soon after, apparently poisoned. When her childhood friend is accused of the murder, Max decides to investigate and clear his name. With help from her new assistant, Keiko, and the other colorful residents of Crystal Shores, Max begins to weave together a list of suspects, much to the concern of the handsome Detective Cruz. Will she be able to tie up the loose threads and catch the murderer – or will the murderer get to her first?

REVIEW 

Murder in White Lace flows very seamlessly and I got into the story and could relate to the characters quite easily. I never got bored. I like my mystery novels to be more suspenseful and more gripping, so I think Murder in white lace lacked the suspense quotient. But some parts of the last 30% were quite thrilling.

“Max looked up to see the gun pointed straight at her. She knew as soon as she signed the note she was dead.”

Max is a quite likeable character, she is smart, witty, kind and has nice sleuthing abilities.I also liked the way Max thought, because she considered her to be one of her suspects to help herself think like the police.

I was spellbound when the murderer was revealed because she was someone I had never expected to commit something this heinous.

I loved Keiko’s character but I am a bit disappointed​ with Detective Cruz’s character, as a police his character was a bit downplayed.

Overall I would say Murder in White Lace is a nice cozy murder mystery, which you can enjoy with a coffee in your hand. I surely recommend this book to all mystery lovers.

LIFE AT 17 RATING:

🎐🎐🎐🎐

(4 out of 5 stars)

*I got this book from Netgalley*

Buy here