Posts Tagged 'interview'

Book Launch for ‘Andorra Pett and her Sister’ by Richard Dee

I am delighted to welcome Richard Dee on the launch day for the third book in his wonderful Andorra Pett series ‘Andorra Pett and her Sister‘.

Richard has written thirteen Science Fiction and Steampunk adventure books, three of which chronicle Andorra’s exploits as a reluctant amateur detective.

Take it away Richard and may the loving energy in our Global Village lift your launch.

Links to get in touch with Richard are at the end of this post.

Title and author: Andorra Pett and her Sister
Series: Book 3 in the adventures of Andorra Pett, reluctant amateur detective, published on October 15th by 4Star Scifi.
Genre: Crime/mystery fiction
Available at: http://mybook.to/Andorra_and_her_Sister

Bio

I’m Richard Dee and I’m from Brixham in Devon. I was never a writer, at least not for ages. I made up stories in my head, based on dreams and events in my life, but I never did much with them. Life, a wife, three daughters and now three grandchildren have kept me busy.

I spent forty years in shipping, firstly at sea, then in Port Control and as a Thames River Pilot, with adventures to match anything I could imagine. When I retired, I just moved them out into space, changed some of the names and wrote them down.

I write Science Fiction and Steampunk adventures, as well as chronicling the exploits of Andorra Pett, reluctant amateur detective. When I’m not writing, I bake bread and biscuits, cook delicious meals and walk the Devon coast.

My first novel Freefall was published in 2013, followed by Ribbonworld in 2015. September 2016 saw the publication of The Rocks of Aserol, a Steampunk adventure, and Flash Fiction, a collection of Short Stories. Myra, the prequel to Freefall was published in 2017, along with Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café, a murder mystery set in space, the first of a series featuring Andorra Pett. Sequels to most of them have either followed or are in production. I also contributed a story to the 1066 Turned Upside Down collection of alternative history stories. I’m currently working on more prequels, sequels, and a few new projects.

Interview

Do you need silence to write?

I used to have music in the background all the time, now I find it stops me concentrating on the action that I’m trying to describe.

Does writing flow for you and fit into gaps in your daily routine, or do you need to set specific time aside?

I try to write early and late, but I can get an idea at any time. I’m lucky to be retired, so I can pretty much pick and choose when to write. In fact, I only started writing when I retired. It was as if the voices in my head were waiting for when I had the time to listen.

What has changed for you, since you started on the published path?

I never intended to write more than one book, but I’ve found that ideas for sequels, prequels and spin-off novels keep coming along. That’s as well as new ideas. Andorra Pett started as a short story, this book is the third, I have at least two more in development. And that’s before you get to the Science Fiction and Steampunk adventures that I also write.

Here is an excerpt from Andorra Pett and her Sister.

Chapter 1

The fluorescent tubes flickered in their yellowed plastic fittings; the air was rich with the smells of stale alcohol and unwashed humanity. It was as unfamiliar to the lady standing in front of the desk as the surface of the moon.

“You can have one phone call,” said the uniformed man behind the desk, three stripes on his sleeve, which would make him a sergeant, she idly thought. Behind her, an assortment of people sat sprawled, drunk and bloodied, the result of another busy Friday night in Greenwich. She carefully avoided all eye contact, if she didn’t look, then they weren’t here, and neither was she.

More uniforms bustled around, the air was thick with words, shouted and slurred. She shifted from foot to foot, her soles sticking to whatever it was that adorned the worn plastic tiles; she didn’t really want to speculate on its origins.

The uniform was still talking. “Before we record your possessions and take you to the cells, do you understand the charges against you; and your rights?”

‘Oh God!’ she thought, it sounded so final, and such a surprise. When the doorbell rang, the last thing she had been expecting was the group of suited detectives, with uniformed officers in tow. They swarmed over her house and garden. Cupboards were emptied and holes were dug in the immaculate turf. Muddy boots trampled over the shag pile. Dogs panted and strained to sniff in all the corners. Her computer was disconnected and placed in a box, together with all the papers from her business. It felt like an invasion, and yet all her pleas for an explanation were met with silence. In the eyes of the searchers, she could see contempt and the world-weary presumption of guilt. In desperation, she faced one of the uniformed men and shouted into his face, “What are you doing in my house? What do you think I’ve done?”

Again, there was no answer; she grabbed the man, wanting to shake a response from him. Instantly she was spun around, her arms were forced behind her back and handcuffs were fitted, digging into her wrists.

“Don’t make it worse,” the policeman hissed in her ear, his breath hot on her neck. “You’ll add assault to the list if you’re not careful.” She forced herself to calm down, rage would get her nowhere.

The charges against her were read out as she was cautioned by one of the detectives; they were the second stage of the nightmare. Until a week ago, she wouldn’t have had a clue how they fitted into her life. All she did was run a modest shop, selling ethnic goods, cane furniture, ceramics and hand-woven fabric cushions. It was Fairtrade; for goodness’ sake!

They said that she was receiving controlled substances and laundering the proceeds of criminal activity. But she was forced to accept that they were, on the face of it at least, correct. The way she found out, had been just as bad. But she was saving that for the statement she knew she would need to make, sooner or later, so she said nothing. And now she was here.

The nightmare started a few days ago. She was unpacking a delivery when she knocked over a vase that she was putting on display in her shop. There were a few small plastic bags of something white taped together inside it, they were mixed in with the broken shards and her heart sunk. Stupidly, as it now turned out, instead of calling the police, she threw everything away, double wrapped in black bags and tried to pretend that she had never seen them.

“Who do you want us to call?” the police sergeant repeated. “Husband, partner, parents, solicitor?”

As he suggested each, she thought, ‘No, I haven’t got any of them,’ and if she was honest, even some of her so-called friends would not want to be associated with her now. And at this time of day, they probably wouldn’t answer or be too smashed or stoned to be of much use. In their world of dinner parties and liberal values, they all professed to despise the police and authority in general as instruments of the overbearing state, they would avoid being seen in such a place voluntarily if they possibly could.

There was only one person who could help her sort this mess out, and she still hesitated, even though there was no one else to call. To say that they had had their differences over the years would not be an exaggeration but she knew that she would come through, now that it really mattered. Because when the chips were down, that was what you did.

“Call my sister,” she said. “I’ll get you the number.” She fished around in the bag laid on the counter.

The policeman looked mystified. “Your sister? It’s up to you entirely but most people ask for their solicitor. You are aware of just how serious all this is?”

“That’s fine,” she answered, still desperately hoping that it was all a fuss over nothing, that in the end, common sense would prevail. “Just get her, she’ll know what to do.”

She passed him the card; in her purse so long that it was rubbed and scuffed by all the coins it had pressed against. He took it and peered at the writing.

“Is this some sort of a joke?” he asked in a puzzled tone. “AC Couture, a clothes shop in Greenwich? It’s been closed for years. And Andorra Pett, the Andorra Pett? That’s your sister? Won’t she be on that space station, out near Saturn, or wherever it is?”

The woman nodded. “That’s her. Just use the mobile number; it should still be the same. Tell her that her sister Argentia’s in deep trouble and that she should get here as quickly as she can.”

The sergeant dialled. “It’s ringing.”

~~~~

As well as a special launch price of £1.99, the first two Andorra Pett adventures are currently reduced to £1.49.

You can find them at http://mybook.to/Andorra and http://mybook.to/AndorraPettonMars

Links

I’m Richard Dee, as well as the Andorra Pett series, I write Sci-fi and Steampunk adventures.

My website is richarddeescifi.co.uk. Head over there to see what I get up to, you’ll find free short stories, regular features on writing, book reviews and guest appearances from other great authors. There’s even a bit of cookery!

You can find all my titles on my Amazon author page at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Richard-Dee/e/B00CN4TTCG

I’m on Facebook at RichardDeeAuthor and Twitter at Richard Dee Sci-Fi and I can also be contacted at mailto:richarddeescifi@gmail.com

Book Launch ‘The Quest for Home’ by Jacqui Murray

Today I am delighted to have a visit from the lovely Jacqui Murray as she launches ‘The Quest for Home‘ her second book in the Crossroads Trilogy.

Title and author: The Quest for Home

Series: Book 2 in the Crossroads series, part of the Man vs. Nature saga

Genre: Prehistoric fiction

Available at: Kindle US   Kindle UK   Kindle CA   Kindle AU

Jacqui has also been kind enough to answer my questions and share an excerpt from her exciting book. Links to get in touch with Jacqui are at the end of this post.

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for  NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, In the Footsteps of Giants, Winter 2020, the final chapter in the Crossroads Trilogy.

Interview:

Do you need silence to write?

I do! White noise is OK (nature sounds, background TV from my husband) but not music or chatter. I’m too curious. I get distracted and lose the thread!

Does writing flow for you and fit into gaps in your daily routine, or do you need to set specific time aside?

I’d say the latter. When my kids were home and I worked outside the house, I couldn’t write. I’d get settled into a zone and the time was never enough. Now, with the kids out and me working from home, I have no problems writing endlessly. Whatever comes up can be shuffled around the writing.

What has changed for you, since you started on the published path?

Probably the most important change is that I know what I know and what I don’t. I don’t make my own covers anymore. Nor do I self-edit. But, I do my own marketing, publishing, and cheerleading. I am satisfied that I do the best I can. I don’t wish I was better, dream of an agent, or apologize about stuff. WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get).

Here Jacqui kindly shares an excerpt from The Quest for Home :

Chapter 1

Northern shore of what we now call the Mediterranean Sea

Pain came first, pulsing through her body like cactus spines. When she moved her head, it exploded. Flat on her back and lying as still as possible, Xhosa blindly clawed for her neck sack with the healing plants. Her shoulder screamed and she froze, gasping.

How can anything hurt that much?

She cracked one eye, slowly. The bright sun filled the sky, almost straight over her head.

And how did I sleep so long?

Fractured memories hit her—the raging storm, death, and helplessness, unconnected pieces that made no sense. Overshadowing it was a visceral sense of tragedy that made her shake so violently she hugged her chest despite the searing pain. After it passed, she pushed up on her arms and shook her head to shed the twigs and grit that clung to her long hair. Fire burned through her shoulders, up her neck and down her arms, but less than before. She ignored it.

A shadow blocked Sun’s glare replaced by dark worried eyes that relaxed when hers caught his.

“Nightshade.” Relief washed over her and she tried to smile. Somehow, with him here, everything would work out.

Her Lead Warrior leaned forward. Dripping water pooled at her side, smelling of salt, rotten vegetation, mud, and blood.

“You are alright, Leader Xhosa,” he motioned, hands erratic. Her People communicated with a rich collection of grunts, sounds, gestures, facial expressions, and arm movements, all augmented with whistles, hoots, howls, and chirps.

“Yes,” but her answer came out low and scratchy, the beat inside her chest noisy as it tried to burst through her skin. Tears filled her eyes, not from pain but happiness that Nightshade was here, exactly where she needed him. His face, the one that brought fear to those who might attack the People and devastation to those who did, projected fear.

She cocked her head and motioned, “You?”

Deep bruises marred swaths of Nightshade’s handsome physique, as though he had been pummeled by rocks.  An angry gash pulsed at the top of his leg. His strong upper arm wept from a fresh wound, its raw redness extending up his stout neck, over his stubbled cheek, and into his thick hair. Cuts and tears shredded his hands.

“I am fine,” and he fell silent. Why would he say more? He protected the People, not whined about injuries.

When she fumbled again for her neck sack, he reached in and handed her the plant she needed, a root tipped with white bulbs. She chewed as Nightshade scanned the surroundings, never pausing anywhere long, always coming back to her.

The sun shone brightly in a cloudless sky. Sweltering heat hammered down, sucking up the last of the rain that had collected in puddles on the shore. Xhosa’s protective animal skin was torn into shreds but what bothered her was she couldn’t remember how she got here.

“Nightshade, what happened?”

Her memories were a blur—terrified screams and flashes of people flying through the air, some drowning, others clinging desperately to bits of wood.

Nightshade motioned, slowly, “The storm—it hit us with a fury, the rain as heavy and fierce as a waterfall.”

A memory surfaced. Hawk, the powerful leader of the Hawk People, one arm clutching someone as the other clawed at the wet sand, dragging himself up the beach.

He was alive!

It was Hawk who offered her People a home when they had none, after more than a Moon of fleeing for their lives through lands so desolate, she didn’t know how anyone survived. Finding Hawk and his People, she thought she’d found a new homeland.

Her last hunt with Hawk flashed through her mind—the stone tip they created like the Big Head’s weapon, how she had hung by her ankles from a tree trunk to cross a deep ravine. How he grinned when she reached the other side, chest heaving but radiant with satisfaction. He told her many of his warriors shook with fear as they crossed. His pride in her that day glowed like flames at night.

For the first time in her life, she felt Sun’s warmth inside of her.

She looked around, saw quiet groups huddled together, males talking and females grooming children. Pan-do bent over a child, whispering something in her ear but no Hawk.

Where is he? But she didn’t ask Nightshade. The last time she’d seen the two together, they had fought.

She couldn’t imagine a world without Hawk. They had planned to pairmate, combine their groups into one so strong no one could ever again drive her away. She hadn’t known there were enemies worse than Big Heads until Hawk told her about the Ice Mountain invaders. They attacked Hawk’s People long before Xhosa arrived. Hawk had killed most and chased the rest back to their home, icy white cliffs that extended from Sun’s waking place to its sleeping nest, bereft of plants and animals. When he saw where they lived, he understood why they wanted his land.

The children of those dead invaders grew up and wanted revenge.

Someone moaned. She jerked to find who needed help and realized it was her. She hoped Nightshade didn’t hear.

He glanced at her and then away. “All the rafts were destroyed.”

She shook, trying to dislodge the spider webs in her brain. Hawk’s homebase was squashed between a vast stretch of open land and an uncrossable pond. They should have been safe but the Ice Mountain invaders attacked in a massive horde. Her People—and Hawk’s—were driven into the water. The rafts became their only escape. Floating on a log platform to the middle of a pond too deep to walk across was something no one had ever done but they must or die. The plan was the rafts would carry the People to safety, away from the Invaders.

That hadn’t worked.

“There were too many enemy warriors, Xhosa,” and Nightshade opened and closed his hands over and over to show her. “More than I have ever seen in one place.”

Images of warclubs slashed through her thoughts, flying spears, the howls of warriors in battle. Many died, beaten until they stopped moving, children dragged screaming from mothers. The giant female—Zvi—sprinting faster than Xhosa thought someone her size could, the children El-ga and Gadi in her arms, a spear bouncing off her back. Her size stunned the enemy, immobilized them for a breath which gave Zvi the time she needed to reach safety.

Almost to himself, Nightshade motioned, “I’ve never seen him this brave.”

Xhosa didn’t understand. “Him?” Did he mean Zvi?

“Pan-do. His warriors attacked. They saved us.” Nightshade locked onto the figure of Pan-do as he wandered among the bedraggled groups, settling by an elder with a gash across his chest and began to minister to the wound. 

“I remember,” Xhosa murmured. When the People were trapped between the trees and the water, prey waiting to be picked off, Pan-do’s warriors pounced. That gave Xhosa precious time to push the rafts out onto the water. It seemed none of the enemy knew how to swim. Pan-do sliced through the Ice Mountain invaders without fear, never giving ground.

Nightshade motioned, “He isn’t the same Leader who arrived at our homebase, desperate for protection, his People defeated.”

Xhosa’s hands suddenly felt clammy. “Is Lyta alive?”

Since the death of his pairmate, before Xhosa met him, Pan-do’s world revolved around his daughter, Lyta. He became Leader of his People to protect her. When he arrived at the People’s homebase, Lyta stood out, unusual in an otherwise homogenous group. First, it was her haunting beauty, as though she shined from within, her hair as radiant as Sun. Awe turned to shock when she walked, her gait awkward on malformed feet. She should have been destroyed as a child but Pan-do said he had never considered it. He explained that in Moons of migration, before joining Xhosa’s People, Lyta had never slowed them down. He didn’t expect that to change if the two groups traveled together.

And then she spoke. Her voice was like bird’s song and a gift to People exhausted from the day’s work. It cheered up worried adults and put smiles on the faces of children, its melodic beauty convincing them that everything would work out.

It was more than a Moon after his arrival before Pan-do told Xhosa what he valued most about his daughter. Lyta could see truth simply by watching. No one could hide a lie from her, and she never hid it from her father. Pan-do kept it secret because the people it threatened might try to silence her. He only told Xhosa because Lyta had witnessed a conversation about a plan to kill Xhosa.

One of the people Lyta didn’t recognize but the other, he was someone Xhosa trusted.

When Nightshade nodded, Yes, Lyta lives, Xhosa relaxed but only for a moment.

“Sa-mo-ke?”

Nightshade nodded toward a group of warriors. In the middle, eyes alert and hands energetic, stood Sa-mo-ke.

She sighed with relief. Pan-do’s Lead Warrior was also Nightshade’s greatest supporter outside of the People. When he first arrived, Sa-mo-ke spent Moons mimicking her Lead Warrior’s fighting techniques until his skill became almost as formidable as Nightshade’s with one critical difference. While Nightshade liked killing, Sa-mo-ke did so only when necessary.

Nightshade motioned, “Escape came at a tremendous cost, Xhosa. Many died, the rafts were destroyed, and we are now stranded in an unfamiliar land filled with nameless threats.”

It doesn’t matter, she whispered to herself. We are good at migrating.

She jerked her head around, and then motioned, “Where’s Spirit?”

The loyal wolf had lived with people his entire life. He proved himself often while hunting, defending his packmates, and being a good friend. An image flitted across her mind, Spirit streaking toward the rafts, thrusting his formidable body like a spear through the shocked hordes. The enemy had never seen an animal treat People as pack. Then, the wolf swimming, paws churning the water into whitecaps, gaze locked onto Seeker. Endless Pond was too deep for him to touch the bottom so his head bobbed up and down, feet paddling like a duck’s as he fought to stay above the surface.

Nightshade gestured, “The attackers almost killed Spirit.”

She bit her lip, concentrating. “I remember Mammoth’s trumpets.”

The rare hint of a smile creased his mouth. “Another of Pan-do’s tricks. It saved Spirit and probably all of us. He brayed like a herd of Mammoth thundering toward the shoreline. The invaders fled for their lives.”

Pan-do is clever.

Nightshade grimaced. “But the storm worsened and the rafts foundered. Many of the People managed to cling to logs long enough to crash onto this shore. Then, they saved others. But many died.”

He opened and closed his hands to show how many.

A stillness descended as Nightshade’s gaze filled with a raw emotion he never showed. It shook Xhosa. Nothing frightened her Lead Warrior.

She gulped which hurt her insides. Shallow breaths worked better. Rolling to her hands and knees, she stood which made her head swim and she threw up.

Finally, the dizziness subsided and Xhosa asked, “Hawk?”

Nightshade peered around, hands fidgeting. He examined something on the ground, toed it with his foot. “When the tempest destroyed the rafts, he dragged many to shore, to safety. The last time, he did not return. I tried to find him.”

Soundless tears dampened her face. Nightshade touched her but Xhosa focused on a trail of ants and a worm burrowing into the soft earth. Her vision dimmed and she stumbled, fell, and then crawled, happy for the pain that took her mind off Hawk. When she forced herself up, everything blurred but she inhaled, slowly, and again, until she could finally see clearly.

How dare Hawk die! We had plans. Xhosa shoved those thoughts away. Later was soon enough to deal with them.

“His People—do they know?”

How to get in touch with Jacqui:

Amazon Author Page:        https://www.amazon.com/Jacqui-Murray/e/B002E78CQQ/

Blog:                                       https://worddreams.wordpress.com

Instagram:                             https://www.instagram.com/jacquimurraywriter/

LinkedIn:                                http://linkedin.com/in/jacquimurray

Pinterest:                                http://pinterest.com/askatechteacher

Twitter:                                   http://twitter.com/worddreams

Website:                                 https://jacquimurray.net

Thank you, Jacqui, for sharing and we are all sending you sparkly energy for your launch of ‘The Quest for Home‘. ❤



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