Friday, April 18, 2014

The Knight of the Dixie Wilds #WritersLife #history

Who is Author K Meador?

A mother, mechanic, and author! 

For the love of words, we do sacrifice.

When K-Trina Meador, aka K. Meador, isn't writing you can find her working on aircraft. She also enjoys, hiking, photography (of said hikes, her favorite being sunsets) and snorkeling.

Published Works:
Aviation Magazine article contributor to The Air ERA
Journey to Freedom May 2010
Their Journey Begins November 2012
Transcendence December 2012
The Knight of the Dixie Wilds - May 2013
On Top of the Rainbow - January 2014
Princess Alexia and the Dragon - March 2014

About The Knight of the Dixie Wilds:

Click here for US Amazon      Click here for UK Amazon     Visit her website here

No period in the history of the United States of America forms a field so rich with chivalry, romance and drama as the years between 1865 and 1870, the so-called days of the reconstruction of the South, during which period the Nation was born again and started on its climb to the top rung of power among the nations of the world. 

The Tyler family relocates from Mississippi to Texas for a new start after having to give up their plantation and over one hundred slaves as a result of the War Between the States. 

Buck Tyler, also known as The Knight of the Dixie Wilds, is tested in courage, strength, loyalty, endurance and love. Facing hardships, deception, enemies, prison, and death, the years of reconstruction takes a toll on his energy, body and faith.

Buck finds himself in love with two different women. Maggie, the dark skinned woman of his childhood and Kate, the delicate girl-child he found lost in the woods. 

Would he stand firm through the scenes of bloodshed, disappointment, and sorrow? Would he stand the acid test and, in the end, find victory, peace, and happiness? Or would he weaken in the strenuous struggle ahead and fall ingloriously? 

A harrowing adventure, based on true events, that is sure to leave you on the edge of your seat and thinking upon days past…

Click here for US Amazon      Click here for UK Amazon     Visit her website here

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Night Porter, Part 2, #Readers #Amazon

Two days ago, you were introduced to Author Mark Barry. A multi-genre successful author, he has graced us with his presence. To read about Author Mark Barry and his newest release click here. To read the first part of The Night Porter click

 Click here to purchase on US Amazon     Click here to purchase on UK Amazon

 Continuing The Night Porter saga….

(Click here to read Part 1)

‘I’m fine. What brings you to these parts in the dark?
‘Have you heard of the Arkwright Author Awards?’
‘I can’t say that I have, no, Cat.’
‘It’s like the Oscars, except they call it the Alfs.’
‘The Alfs?’
‘Arkwright Literary Fiction Awards. Based here.’
‘In The Saladin?’ I replied.
‘No, in the town. Down at the Memorial Theatre. Our hotel is involved, though. Exciting stuff.’
‘Is it? How so?’
‘We’re taking four shortlisted authors as guests for a fortnight in November. And I’m telling everyone here that they are to be treated like rock stars. Whatever they want, they get. It’s quite an honour for our hotel to be involved. There will be press, TV, bloggers…’
I noted that Cat had her hair in a bun, which pulled back the lines around her eyes. Alongside her formal grey suit, she resembled a librarian about to retire. She looked much better with it down, but I valued my role at The Saladin, so I filed that mental note in the cabinet labelled Observation rather than the one labelled Well-Meaning Advice. I limited myself to something bland instead.
‘That’s good news, Cat.’
‘Mate, the Awards Committee is spending an absolute fortune with us. They are hiring the four best rooms. Three meals a day. An open bar…’
‘…an open bar?’ I could see carnage on the horizon.
‘Deffo, and it will be up to you and Martin to see that isn’t abused by the other guests here at the same time. They have booked another five rooms for delegates, and judges, and VIP’s who will be coming and going throughout November and not only that, they have booked double rooms in the hotel for the week immediately prior to the ceremony – just in case.’
‘That’s a nice bit of business.’
‘You’re not kidding. And that’s not all. A press conference is planned for the hotel. Can you imagine the bar bill and the catering? The extra room bookings?’
Cat leaned over, her polo neck jumper, the colour of fresh fallen snow, the brightest thing in the ancient hotel – so bright, I nearly flinched. ‘You are going to be fundamental to the day-to-day enjoyment of their stay at The Saladin. Whatever these four want, they get.’
‘I’d do that for any of our guests,’ I reply defensively, and unnecessarily.
‘I know you would. You come highly recommended, seriously. I am not having a pop: I’m telling you how important this is going to be.’
Anyone complimenting me on my professionalism immediately finds themselves in my good books. ‘Thank you, Cat.’
‘If they want beer from the One Stop, find some. If they want cat food, hair grips, shoes, CD’s, books, find some or send Martin Sixsmith and take over the bar.’
‘Will do, Cat.’
‘The Alpine Hotel on the other side of Wheatley were lobbying like mad for this deal, and though they got a piece, it wasn’t a chunk like this. This could see us through the winter. You weren’t here last year, and we struggled. We lost money. If everything goes well, we’ll make the Board happy. Don’t forget the Dick Whittington Chain.’
The Dick Whittington Inn is a chain of cheap walk-in motels, which run with a receptionist and six cleaners. Food in the reception dispenser. No night porter. No site manager. No bar. No food. Bed and out. They had changed the face of hotels in Britain and everyone in my profession feared them because they kill jobs faster than a speeding bullet and make any notion of professionalism in the hotel world redundant.
‘What about them?’
‘Kevin told me that they’ve been having a look at the books. Head office said if we have a bad winter – ’
‘Say no more. I’ll be on the alert.’
‘And keep an eye on Kerry, Gavin and Sixsmith. They’re all local.’
I noted her comment with a simple nod, and she continued. ‘We’re lucky that Joshua Arkwright lived here. Victorian Philanthropist. Colossal amount of money. Usual stuff. Textiles. Mining in Africa. All that King Solomon’s Mines Empire thingy.’
‘And his Trust owns the theatre?’
‘Plus several of the Prebends and that gorgeous old summerhouse behind the clinic opposite The Three Steeples. Lot of fuss there last year. A fire and an explosion with several dead.’
I nodded enthusiastically. ‘Yes, I heard about that.’
‘No one ever got to the bottom of that. They own thousands of acres of farmland and the Articles of Association of the Trust means that they can spend money around the world, but 51% of it must always be spent in Wheatley Fields. Mary Beth, the lady who organised the booking, was very informative. Please her, and we’ll keep the parasites away,’ Cat said, revealing a layer of passion I didn’t know existed. I always thought she wanted out, a bigger job. I might have been wrong.
‘You must like it here, Cat.’
She picked up her papers and smiled for the first time.
‘I do, yes. I’m going to make it secure before I go if it kills me. But that’s later. I’m off. Been a tough one. Mrs Purefoy in eight has been a pain. Says she’s lost loads of cash and that Magda has taken it. Pure racism if you ask me, but don’t get involved, okay? Refer her to me, yeh?’
‘I won’t. And I will.’
‘Laters, mate.’
‘Sleep tight.’
I still read newspapers, and I follow the arts, but I don’t read books. Or write. I’ve never written anything outside work, a memo, a note. Had I sufficient ability, I would have liked to paint still life paintings. The Saladin has many on its ancient walls, and I can stare at them for hours. However, I can barely hold a brush to gloss the skirting in my flat, so art was out as a career option.
Is writing art?
I settled back with my chocolate muffin and poured a cup of black coffee from my flask.[1] I thought about what it meant to be an artist, for no other reason than I could.

[1]Hot drinks are free here, of course, they are, just boil the kettle, but I prefer to take a special brand of coffee that I buy in a half-pound bag from The San Salvador Coffee House – rich, and dark, and black as the eyes of the devil, as my mum used to say, bless her.

Click here to purchase on US Amazon     Click here to purchase on UK Amazon

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Night Porter, Part 1, #Free Read, #Amazon

Yesterday, we met up with Author Mark Barry. In movie style drama he lavishes us with a production of his latest new release The Night Porter. Click here to read about Author Mark Barry and The Night Porter. In this blog post we get a sneak peak at the beginning of The Night Porter.

Click here to purchase on US Amazon     

Click here to purchase on UK Amazon

I am a night porter.

I am the night porter.

I have always been a night porter. I have had no other position, even as a young man. I will make a prediction and say I shall always be a night porter. I am a hard worker and thus, have no dreams of retirement: I like work. I am sure that many of you reading this picture a night porter as an elderly gentleman (perhaps a slightly raffish figure, or a greying chap with spectacles, squinting over his register; or an immaculately dressed ex-Batman from the war, or perhaps, a brilliantine-groomed ex-butler retiring from service in the Shires), and while you would be mistaken in my case, there is clearly nothing stopping a professional night porter from continuing to port well past retirement age. 

I am a young man, not an old one. I am middle aged, actually, in terms I grew up with, but now, there is no such thing. Erikson is dead. You know, the fellow who talked about the Seven Stages of a Man’s Life (in those sexist days of the forties and fifties).

Nowadays, you are young, or you are old: There is no in-between. I consider myself young, though there are many people of my chronological age who have taken shelter in the other camp and are more than happy there.

Biography leaves me cold (and lucky for you, so does autobiography), but it is important to mention that I became an apprentice night porter as a student in a hotel in Plymouth called the Continental when I was nineteen.

That’s sixteen years ago, if you must know. I was a student in Devon and was working part time in the kitchens at night while I studied something dull and pointless in the day.

I would like to say I had a plan, a structured approach to eventual night porterdom, but I started out on my journey with a moment of fortune, even if it resulted from the misfortune of another.

Early one evening, the hotel’s incumbent night porter – an urbane fellow in his fifties called Neil – came to work as usual, offered his colleagues a pleasant greeting, changed into his uniform, let himself into one of the hotel’s three hundred rooms and blew the back of his head off.

To do this, he used his grandfather’s old service revolver (which had seen service at Tobruk), and because Neil made a terrible mess of the wallpaper, the room had to be taken out of commission for a good three months.

It was one of the best rooms in the hotel and had been freshly decorated. Management was furious (hotel management being a brutally unsentimental and occasionally, clinically psychopathic state of mind), and the Continental’s higher echelon believed that Neil did it on purpose. As a protest. As an industrial thing.

I will never forget Marie O’Gorman, the top woman there, a real shoulder pads and high heels type, lamenting his decision to come to work to shoot himself, as if it was the most selfish thing that a man could do. Not once did she offer condolences to his friends in the hotel. Not once did she express sympathy. She openly described Neil as a man whose selfishness had cost her around ten thousand pounds, which meant she would have to spend good management time creating an Emergency Financial Plan for presentation to the Directors in Chicago. I remember being shocked at how harsh she was, but nowadays, older, wiser, I wouldn’t bat an eyelid. I’ve met hotel managers who make Marie O’Gorman look like Mother Teresa. They all do it for effect, I’m sure. The higher you go, the harder these people perceive they need to be. I suspect (with the exception of the clinical psychopaths among them, who have no feelings one way or another) that they are much softer at home, and much of their callousness is an act.

Anyway, I digress. The unfortunate business of Neil’s suicide left the hotel without a night porter, and when Bill Dixon, the night manager, was beating himself around the head wondering what to do, as he was a busy man and couldn’t spend his entire night sitting behind the reception desk, I seized my chance. I happened to be in his office listening to his endless mutterings as he sorted out some wage underpayment issue or other. Seizing the moment, I volunteered for the post. It was one of those moments I instinctively knew I would regret forever if I missed it, and so I went in for the kill.

Dixon looked at me askance. With a patronising tone, he asked me whether I had experience. I said no. I didn’t have much experience in anything, I said. I was young, enthusiastic and full of potential and best of all, I liked working in the darkness, I liked being up late at night, and I liked listening to people’s stories. That doesn’t make you a night porter, Dixon said to me dismissively, and I replied firmly, yes, it does, that’s exactly what being a night porter is all about. That is the core of it. That is the essence of it. You can train me to do the rest, I concluded, which surprised me, as I was not – and am not – particularly strident or assertive.

I must have been convincing because without much fuss, he told me to take off my KP whites and get upstairs to the changing room. In there, was a spare uniform, which fitted. A pressed white shirt. The hotel livery on a pale lemon-striped vest waistcoat, grey trousers (slightly big for me, but I was wearing a belt on my jeans, and I got away with it), and incredibly shiny black shoes.

Dixon gave me an hour’s training, and then went off with Forensics, and to calm down the shaken elderly couple unfortunate enough to be next door to 247 when Neil’s gun went off. I would have been shaken, too, the sound of the gunshot. The metal crushing bone as it escaped the skull, the shriek of the dead. Not what you expect at an expensive, full service hotel – though now, after sixteen years, after all my experiences as a professional night porter, I can tell them that suicide and death are the twin subtexts of the narrative behind every hotel, though you never see that discussed in the brochures.

You would never see that as an agenda item at a Chicago Board meeting.

Click here to purchase on US Amazon     

Click here to purchase on UK Amazon

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mark Barry #Free Read #WritersLife: The Night Porter

Introducing Author Mark Barry

Click to visit Mark's US Amazon page

Click to visit Mark's UK Amazon page

Mark Barry is the author of many works of fiction including the cult football hooligan novel, Ultra Violence, the seriously reviewed, dark and harrowing romance, Carla, and the feel-good thriller, Hollywood Shakedown.  

He lives in Nottinghamshire and has one son, Matthew, who, so far, shows no sign of following in his father’s literary footsteps – though he does fanatically support Notts County (which is a much more important trait).

Mark is also the proprietor of Green Wizard Publishing, a company dedicated to publishing cutting-edge, innovative, and accessible fiction firmly based in reality.

The majority of his books are set in either Southwell (“Wheatley Fields”) or Nottingham (“The City”). It is a proud boast that local people who have read his novels can follow the trail of the quirky characters they encounter inside the jacket covers.

About The Night Porter:

Set in a hotel, in November, in the fictional town of Wheatley Fields, (based on Southwell, near Nottinghamshire, deep in Sherwood Forest). 

Four writers, all nominated for an upcoming awards ceremony, come to stay. 

One mega successful romance author, a top US thriller writer who sells in seven figures, a beautiful young YA tyro on the brink of world wide stardom...and a degenerate, nasty, bitter, jealous, trollish, drunken (but brilliant), self-published contemporary fiction author. 

The Night Porter is instructed by a secretive and powerful awards committee to look after their EVERY need, to ensure they make it through the two weeks to attend the ceremony. At the same time as keeping an eye on their wishes, antics, fights, relationships and never-ending ego explosions. And trying desperately to avoid getting involved himself. 

It's a comedy drama about writers (and Night Porters!) with twists and turns, nooks and crannies, shadows and mirrors. 

I don't think you will see an Indie published book like this anywhere in Cyberspace. 
Probably not a tradpubbed one either. 

It casts a sometimes shadowy light on modern publishing, the writing business - and the people in it. Writers who like to read about writers and writing will enjoy the book as will readers who enjoy innovative, clever and multi-layered fiction. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Briton and the Dane; Timeline Part 2 #Free #history

Hello and welcome back. This is the third blog post about Author Mary Ann Bernal and her latest release, The Briton and the Dane: Timeline. If you missed the first two segments click here to read the first and click here  to read the prologue of The Briton and the Dane: Timeline.

Purchase The Briton and the Dane: Timeline  Here for the US and Here for the UK

With no further delay:

Chapter One

Gwyneth stared out the window while the passengers found their seats aboard the aircraft.  She was not surprised to find herself alone in First Class, the cost being ridiculously high for such a short flight.  She did not care about the price, preferring the solitude since she needed to think.

It was not even twenty-four hours since Malcolm had kissed her, yet she could still feel his lips pressing hers as they had done so many times before, but in another lifetime.  It was alarming, this feeling of déjà vu.  Her body tingled when remembering the intimacy, an intimacy not yet shared in this century, and she began to question her sanity.

An obsessive love for a man who died almost a thousand years ago was delusional.  Gwyneth knew it, yet she could not deny her feelings.  Something, or someone, was driving her, calling her to determine the truth.  But a riddle that had been lost through the ages, a meager reference in a history book would be difficult to solve, yet she was determined to try.

Gwyneth rubbed her fingers over her lips, her mind’s eye seeing the shadow of the man who had kissed her, a kiss that had awakened the fire burning within her soul.  Was it Lord Erik or Malcolm that had held her in his arms?  She could still feel his touch, his breath on her neck while he proclaimed his love in whispers beneath the moonlight.  But she and Malcolm had been in her office, and there had been a storm.

“Please fasten your seatbelts,” came over the intercom, interrupting Gwyneth’s thoughts.

The aircraft was in the air moments later, but Gwyneth kept looking at the window, seeing her reflection in the glass, a silhouette shrouded in the past.  Had Lord Erik been with his king when he died on that fateful October day or had he been murdered before he and his army could join the battle, a battle that might have thwarted the Norman invasion?

In addition to the Norman bastard, there had been another contender for the throne, the Norwegian king.  Harald and William, enemies of the Anglo-Saxon king, were unscrupulous and cunning.  Either one of them could have ordered Lord Erik’s death, which would have had dire consequences for the king since there was no heir.  Without a smooth transition of hereditary title, it would take too long to amass the numbers needed to swell the king’s army.

“We are making our final descent and will be on the ground shortly.  Kindly return to your seats and fasten your seatbelts,” came over the intercom.

Gwyneth peered through the glass as she looked for the familiar fortress ruins as the plane approached the runway.  She had booked lodgings in the village rather than in the city, which would give her more time to visit the excavation.  She always hated the end of the season when the site would be shut down for the winter months.  There was so much to be learned, but resources were limited.  Fortunately, Malcolm was charismatic and persuasive and would without a doubt, convince Viscount Beaumont to fund her expedition for another year or two.

First Class passengers were the first to disembark, which meant that Gwyneth would be halfway through the terminal before her fellow travelers left their seats.  She collected her luggage and proceeded to the exit, hailing a taxi as she stepped out the door.

The driver remembered Gwyneth, having driven her on many occasions over the summer months.  After engaging in small talk, he left her to her own thoughts.  She appreciated being left to herself as she closed her eyes and envisioned Lord Erik’s portrait.  She could feel him watching her, following her every move, and she knew something extraordinary was about to happen.

The lobby was empty when she walked into the quaint building, a replica of an Anglo-Saxon lodging, which also happened to be her favorite inn.

“Dr. Franger, it is so good to have you back,” Edna Harris said.  “Will you be having dinner with us this evening?”

“I would prefer to eat in my room if I may.  I seem to be unusually tired.”

“That is understandable, the tiredness,” Edna replied as she beckoned the night porter to escort Gwyneth to her quarters.

As soon as Gwyneth was alone, she pulled the drapes back and stepped onto the patio, her eyes transfixed upon the solitary Keep that had been miraculously preserved.  The radiant red and orange hues of twilight, coupled with the distant sound of waves breaking against the rocky shore, added to the mystique of the crumbling walls.  She suppressed the urge to climb the tower before darkness set in.  She wanted to glance upon the beach, just as Lord Erik would have done in another lifetime.

Fortunately, a gentle tapping on the door kept her from acting impulsively.  She smiled at the night porter as he pushed the cart inside the room.

“Ham, peas, pudding, honeyed cakes, and a cup of mead, Dr. Franger.”

“Tell Mrs. Harris I am delighted with her choice,” Gwyneth replied as he left.

Gwyneth sipped the intoxicating brew, sitting on the settee as a soft sea breeze caressed her face.  She closed her eyes, dreaming of a past she had never shared with the one man who held her heart.

“I will discover the truth,” she thought.

“I know you will,” whispered the wind.

Purchase The Briton and the Dane: Timeline  Here for the US and Here for the UK

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Briton and the Dane: Timeline Part 1 #Free Read #WritersLife

Yesterday, we met up with Author Mary Ann Bernal. She kindly talked to us about The Briton and the Dane: Timeline, her  latest release. Click here to read about her and the book. She has kindly shared the beginning of her book which will be covered in this post as well as the one that will be posted tomorrow. (April 14,2014)

Purchase The Briton and the Dane: Timeline  Here for the US and Here for the UK


It was a crisp autumn day in the year of our Lord 2066.  The sun was obscured by swollen storm clouds as wind gusts scattered leaves across the empty courtyard, scraping tree branches against office windows.

Inside the stone building, oblivious to the impending storm, students went about their daily tasks like automatons, cataloging fragile remnants of antiquated history.  Their enthusiasm had been lost over time, vanquished by archaic rules and lack of funding, drowning in an apathetic sea.

The door opened just as heavy rain began to pummel the earth.  Lightning flashed perilously close to the portico, the building shaken by crackling rolls of thunder.  Dr. Malcolm Knýtlinga, department head, scoured the room, nodding to his worker drones as he headed towards the stairwell.  He ran down the stairs, deeper into the bowels of the ancient edifice, slowing his gait once he reached the basement.  Malcolm peered into the open doorways where artifacts were stored, priceless relics forgotten by a society no longer curious about the past.

The lights flickered briefly as the tempest enveloped the city.  He walked the length of the corridor and stopped once he reached the last office, knocking on the doorframe before entering.

“One minute,” Gwyneth said, her eyes upon the monitor, her nimble fingers flying across the outdated keyboard.

While Dr. Franger had mastered every aspect of computer technology available at the present time, she preferred typing her words rather than speaking them aloud.  She even had a typewriter that still worked,  which was proudly displayed in her office at home. She was considered eccentric by her peers, but the student body praised her for her defiance, and her classes were always filled to capacity.

Malcolm shook his head as he sat in his favorite chair, his eyes transfixed on the portrait hanging above his protégé’s desk.  An alleged likeness of Lord Erik, the last descendant of Gwyneth and Erik of Wareham, and painted years after his death by an unknown medieval artist.  Legend described him as a mighty warrior, proficient not only with the sword but with the pen, a man of letters who had served his king well.  Songs attesting to Lord Erik’s prowess on the battlefield had even been sung by the troubadours, only to be lost with the passage of time.  Yet time simply enhanced the mystique of this Saxon of Danish descent whose untimely death was suspect, implying treachery and betrayal in a violent age.

Malcolm tolerated Gwyneth’s obsession with a man who had died centuries ago, but he was not sure why.  Gwyneth and Erik started the dynasty, and maybe Dr. Gwyneth Franger was the reincarnation of the first Gwyneth if one believed in the transmigration of souls.

“You are doing it again,” Malcolm thought.  “Why not just admit you love the woman and be done with it?”

Glancing about the room, Malcolm counted the numerous awards Dr. Gwyneth Franger had received over the past two years.  He was proud of her accomplishments, her diligence, her commitment to the truth, even though the forces driving her were not rational.  Science demanded validity, not emotional conjecture, but Gwyneth concealed her motives well, at least to everyone but himself.  He had seen through the charade but remained silent.  Yes, he was patronizing, but subtly.  She was caught up in the premise, too closely attached to a dream, a forsaken love never to be realized.

“How could a person be in love with someone who lived hundreds of years ago?  Especially someone whose intellect surpasses most of the tenured professors at the University,” Malcolm thought, shaking his head.  “If it were anyone else, you would have had her seen by a psychiatrist; it is not normal, and if you did not know any better, you would swear she was possessed.”

Malcolm’s stoicism did not betray his thoughts as the sound of deft fingers hitting the keyboard brought him out of his reverie.  He glanced at his wristwatch as he shifted in the chair, his patience wearing thin.  Gwyneth failed to notice his impatience as she ended her communication and gazed in Malcolm’s direction.

“It’s done, I leave for Wareham at the end of the week.  Another reenactment, Alfred the Great and the Danish Vikings, when Lord Richard commanded the citadel!” Gwyneth exclaimed.

“I didn’t think there were any of those reenactment groups left.”

“There are a few, but finding these reenactors was quite by accident.  I still can’t believe it’s happening.”

“How long will you be away?” Malcolm asked, calendar in hand.

“Just the weekend; I’ll be back early Sunday afternoon. I haven’t forgotten about the reception and convincing Viscount Beaumont to fund another year excavating the ruins; that is, unless you could speak to him?”

“Just how long is this event?”

“Two weeks.”

Malcolm watched Gwyneth intently, but their eyes locked for a brief moment, when the truth of unspoken feelings was revealed, acknowledged, then veiled within the recesses of two souls.  Gwyneth averted his gaze as she stood up from her desk, the flickering lights creating eerie shadows.  The seconds were a welcome respite from facing the inevitable.

Gwyneth fumbled through the drawers, searching for a flashlight, her shaking hands barely discernible as she groped for the familiar torch.  She wrapped her fingers around the precious light source and was relieved when the ceiling lights finally stopped fluttering.

Malcolm was also unnerved, his vulnerability exposed for a split second.  He coughed, his eyes upon the floor while waiting for the moment to pass.  He concentrated on his work, his profession, and the reason for his visit.

“Take the two weeks,” Malcolm said.  “I’ll deal with Beaumont.”

“Oh, Malcolm, really?  Thank you.  I will make this up to you, I promise,” Gwyneth beamed, hugging him briefly before stepping back, somewhat embarrassed.  “I’m sorry, please forgive me.”

“Gwyneth, I don’t mind, really, but now that this matter is resolved, I would discuss the reason for my visit.  I am pleased to inform you that you are now officially tenured, and I will be putting your name forward as head of the department.”

“That is your job; are you leaving?”

“In a manner of speaking.”

“Malcolm, stop being so secretive.  Tell me, I cannot bear the suspense.”

“You are talking to the deputy vice chancellor, but you must not say a word until the appointment has been announced.”

In her excitement, Gwyneth embraced Malcolm, kissing him on his cheek, but this time he held her tightly, kissing her lips as the lights flickered unsteadily, plunging them into darkness.

stay tuned for tomorrow's blog post and the next excerpt from The Briton and the Dane: Timeline. 

Purchase The Briton and the Dane: Timeline  Here for the US and Here for the UK

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Author Mary Ann Bernal @BritonandDane #WritersLife

Purchase The Briton and the Dane: Timeline  Here for the US and Here for the UK

Meanwhile, a short biography of who Mary Ann is: 

Mary Ann Bernal, author of The Briton and the Dane novels, is an avid history buff whose area of interest focuses on Ninth Century Anglo-Saxon Britain during the Viking Age.  While pursuing a degree in business administration, she managed to fit creative writing classes and workshops into her busy schedule to learn the craft, but it would take decades before her “Erik the Viking” novel was ultimately published.
Mary Ann is also a passionate supporter of the United States military, having been involved with letter writing campaigns and other support programs since Operation Desert Storm.  She has appeared on The Morning Blend television show hosted by KMTV, the CBS television affiliate in Omaha, and was interviewed by the Omaha World-Herald for her volunteer work.  She has also been a featured author on Triangle Variety Radio, The Phil Naessens Show, and The Writers Showcase, and has been interviewed extensively by American and European bloggers.
Mary Ann is a New York “expat,” and currently resides in Omaha, Nebraska.

Purchase The Briton and the Dane: Timeline  Here for the US and Here for the UK.

About The Briton and the Dane: Timeline

Dr. Gwyneth Franger is a renowned expert in early medieval England who is set upon learning the truth about the death of Lord Erik, the last descendant of the powerful House of Wareham. Her quest becomes an obsession, a condition that began with the discovery of a portrait of the tall and valiant warrior with which she forms an extraordinary and inexplicable bond. 
Digesting troves of mildewed scrolls and source documentation only enhances her belief that Lord Erik was brutally assassinated by a cabal of traitors in the pay of William the Bastard, shortly before the onslaught of the Norman Invasion. 
On an archaeological dig in Southern England, her team unearths an Anglo-Saxon fortress, a vast citadel built during the reign of Alfred the Great, which she believes was Lord Erik’s stronghold. In the midst of her excitement, she is awakened one night from her slumbers by a disconcerting anomaly emerging from the site. 
Dr. Franger finds herself transported back to the Dark Ages and at the side of the noble Lord Erik who commands an army of elite Saxon warriors, a swift and mobile force able to deploy quickly throughout the kingdom to ward off invaders. 
Witnessing the unrest firsthand, Gwyneth senses that her instincts had been right all along, and she is determined to learn the identities of the treacherous blackguards hiding in the shadows, villains who may well be posing as Lord Erik’s friends and counselors. 

Will Gwyneth stop the assassins? Is she strong enough to walk away and watch her beloved Erik die? Or will she intervene, change the course of history and wipe out an entire timeline to save the man she loves with all her heart?

Purchase The Briton and the Dane: Timeline  Here for the US and Here for the UK.

Stay tuned, for tomorrow (April 13, 2014) you will be able to read an excerpt from Mary Ann Bernal's book: The Briton and the Dane: Timeline.


Friday, April 11, 2014

The Transition of Johnny Swift Part 2 @BNBSbooks @KerryJDonovan

Welcome to the excerpt of The Transition of Johnny Swift Part 2

To read more about UK Author Kerry Donovan click here

To read The Transition of Johnny Swift Part 1 click here

To Pre-Order The Transition of Johnny Swift click here

Anyone placing a pre-order for The Transition of Johnny Swift will receive a FREE e-copy of my crime thriller, The DCI Jones Casebook: Ellis Flynn

Chapter 1 (continued....) 

Brake hard, cut the revs to a throaty purr, hit the apex of turn one, give it more fuel, and away. Foot down hard and up through the gears into top, watch the other cars scramble for position behind as they fight for the running line.
I race clear. The others fall back.
A flashed glance in my right wing mirror shows a black Lotus and a blood-red Ferrari touch front wheels. Tyres lock and send up billowing blue smoke. They slew to the left out of sight.

Is that La Tiempo? Can’t be, or Pete would let me know.
The ‘coming together’ delays the other cars. I take full advantage. The track ahead is empty, and I stretch the lead. If the carnage behind is too great, the marshals will send out the safety car and stop the race.
Turn two, a one-hundred-and-twenty degree left-hander. Have to take this one steady. There’s not enough heat in the tyres to attack full-bore yet, but there’s clear track ahead and my line’s perfect.
At the apex, I punch the throttle to the carbon fibre floor panel, and scream through the corner. Flap the gearshift, up through fifth and into sixth. The TBR hits 215 kph on the short straight. Tyres are warm now, giving me full traction and a wonderful feel for the car. Everything’s on balance.
After another six laps, I enter the hot zone, receiving subliminal signals from the seat, steering wheel, and pedals. Any changes to the car’s attitude transmit directly from the car, through the race suit and into my central nervous system. If the car slides, I feel it in an instant and correct. Loss of traction in the wrong place? Tyres wearing? I respond by braking earlier and being more delicate with the throttle movements.
Can’t rely on my eyes to tell me when things are off-kilter. It’s too late to react by then. I have to ignore irrelevant information, or the sensory overload will cripple me. That’s what I have above the other drivers. I can block out the rubbish, react only to the essentials.
Down five gears for turn five. Hit the entrance to the corner at 98 kph in second gear, take a slice off the inside kerb, dab the throttle and bullet out. The big spoiler on the nose cone takes effect, and the front dips, giving enough grip to set the line for the next turn.
There’s no feeling in the world like this. I am the car, and do no more than allow my little baby her freedom. The TBR wants to be out front leading, and it’s my job to let it happen.
Lap twenty-six. Half way.
The only pit stop on the schedule is in three laps. I’m feather light on the brakes to save the tyres. They are bubbling now and pitting, close to the nub. I need to protect them for five or six more minutes before the tricky part of the race has finished.
The speakers crackle. Pete knows better than to speak unless it’s essential. Concentration is everything.
Frank.” Pete’s voice is clear in the noise-cancelling headphones. “Crash on turn six. Repeat, crash before the apex to turn six. Take the inside line. Possible debris on racing line.
“Got it. How’s the telemetry?”
“Front right tyre’s running a tad hot. We’re monitoring it. No worries so far. Come in to plan.”
I don’t respond but drop into fourth and set the car up for turn three. My twenty-six-point-three second lead on La Tiempo is plenty, despite the pit stop, and he has to pit at some stage.
This race is mine.
I can’t help but start whistling as I ease into the slow corner four. The tune’s a Louis Armstrong favourite, “It’s a Wonderful World.” Pete had it playing in the car on the way home from the orphanage. It’s been my theme song ever since that landmark day.
 Bill Jackson, the team’s lead mechanic, shakes his head and shouts across the cramped control centre. “Tyre’s gettin’ worse, Pete. Don’t like it. Get ‘im in now. Won’t last another lap.”
“Right.” Pete Brazier watches as the ten-man pit crew scuttles into position for a fast wheel change. “Ready?” he yells.
The white-suited, red-headed Angus, the team leader, armed with a nose cone jack, raises his left arm in a ready signal. Bill nods and presses the microphone button.
“Frank? That tyre’s nearly gone. Come in this lap. We’re ready for you.”
“Will do.”
 Turn six.
Where’s that bloody debris?
Shredded rubber, pieces of carbon fibre body panels, shards and slivers of metal. They’re all over the racing line, but it’s not a worry now that Pete’s given me fair warning. The carcase of the ruined car’s off the circuit, nestled deep and safe in the gravel run-off.
Drop from fifth into first in a heartbeat, nip inside the danger, rip up the box again in a flash, and I’m out on the turn onto the next short straight..
Spectators wave their arms as I roar past.
From the corner of my eye, Shadowman sits on the engine cowling behind my left shoulder..
Damn it. Go away.
The grey figure stands, sharply indistinct. He’s holding his arms straight out in front at shoulder level, pointing at me. Fingers shimmer in the backwash of the sun. Shadowman is larger than the spectators, closer. He’s blurred too, and floating above the crowd.
What the fuck?
He drops behind as I make the turn.
Fuck’s sake, leave me alone. One more hour. That’s all I need. Please. One more hour and you can do your worst.
There’s no sign of Shadowman in my mirror. The steering wheel twitches. The dodgy tyre clips the inside kerb, black and white painted stripes flicker beneath my wheels, a fluttering, mesmeric blur.
Shaking my head to loosen the image, I floor the throttle. The steering wheel bucks in my hands.
 Pete Brazier frowns in concentration, his eyes dart between the video feed from the trackside cameras and his telemetry screen. The data stream shows Frank easing up on the revs as he approaches the turn into corner six. The engine note drops as the lightweight sports car, Pete’s baby, steps inside to avoid the bits of rubbish.
Good man, Frank. Bring that baby home.
The telemetry shows everything Frank sees on his steering wheel and more: engine revs, oil and tyre temperature, fuel level, slew-angle, torque settings and fluctuations, and g-forces. Apart from the red hot tyre, everything’s perfect.
Frank flits smoothly down to first gear — 55 kph. The slowest he’s been since the race start. Pete allows his relief to show in a thin smile and slow nod. ‘Fiery’ Frank Brazier doesn’t always listen to advice. He doesn’t often have to, being the most naturally gifted driver anybody’s seen since Ayrton Senna.
The TBR rockets out of the corner, but Frank clips the inside kerb.
“Bloody hell. He’s all over the place. He’s too tight to the inside line. What’s he doing?”
Frank ramps up to fifth gear and hits 153 kph in a flash. There’s a fast left in a hundred yards and Frank needs to find the racing line again or he won’t make the turn.
 The steering wheel snaps down hard right and flicks left again, nearly ripping from my hands. I try to compensate but there’s something badly wrong.
The suspect tyre implodes, collapses around the wheel. A noise comes next, compressing my eardrums. My TBR is screaming. The aluminum wheel rim touches tarmac. Sparks fly, and the car lurches towards the metal stanchions of a camera tower. My head snaps against the cockpit side wall. Sights and sounds fuse into a single tangled mess. Grass, tarmac, bollards, buffers, gravel, and metal girders mix and tumble.
I can do nothing but stare at the approaching metalwork and wait for the impact. On the nose cone, Shadowman smiles.

To Pre-Order The Transition of Johnny Swift click here

Anyone placing a pre-order for The Transition of Johnny Swift will receive a FREE e-copy of my crime thriller, The DCI Jones Casebook: Ellis Flynn