GUEST POST DAMYANTI BISWAS

I have no idea where I found Damyanti’s book, only that I was visiting Delhi at the time, which is the setting for her novel “You Beneath Your Skin.”  Every moment we were not sightseeing I dived back in, observing the sights and sounds of the city which were so beautifully and honestly portrayed in her book.  I was so impressed that I emailed her to tell her how much I’d loved the story. So, I am really thrilled to welcome her as my guest this week.

Dimyanti

Damyanti Biswas lives in Singapore, and supports Delhi’s underprivileged women and children, volunteering with organisations who work for this cause. Her short stories have been published in magazines in the US, UK, and Asia, and she helps edit the Forge Literary Magazine. You can find her on her blog.

She also sends out monthly newsletters with book recommendations and writing resources, which you can grab here.

ABOUT THE NOVEL: YOU BENEATH YOUR SKIN.

PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster IN

Promotion: Free on Amazon Kindle in all markets from the 7th -11 th August

Optioned for TV screens by Endemol Shine.

You Beneath Your Skin is a crime novel about the investigation of an acid attack on a woman from Delhi’s upper class, set against the backdrop of crimes against underprivileged women. They are assaulted, disfigured with acid, and murdered.

It is a  whodunit, but also a whydunit, because violent crime unravels those affected: the people, the relationships, the very fabric of society, and we get a glimpse of what lies beneath. That’s why the title, You Beneath Your Skin.

All the author proceeds from You Beneath Your Skin will support the education and empowerment of women at Project WHY and Stop Acid Attacks.

You Beneath Your Skin has been optioned for TV screens by Endemol Shine, as announced by Hollywood Deadline.

Lies. Ambition. Family. 

It’s a dark, smog-choked New  Delhi winter. Indian American single mother Anjali Morgan juggles her job as a psychiatrist with caring for her autistic teenage son. She is  in a long-standing affair with ambitious Police Commissioner Jatin Bhatt  – an irresistible attraction that could destroy both their lives.

Jatin’s home life is falling apart: his handsome and charming son is not all he appears to be, and his wife has too much on her plate to pay attention to either husband or son. But Jatin refuses to listen to anyone, not even the sister to whom he is deeply attached.

Across the city there is a crime spree: slum women found stuffed in trash bags,  faces and bodies disfigured by acid. And as events spiral out of control Anjali is horrifyingly at the centre of it all.

damyanti 2

In a sordid world of poverty, misogyny, and political corruption, Jatin must make some hard choices. But what he unearths is only the tip of the iceberg. Together with Anjali he must confront old wounds and uncover long-held secrets before it is too late.

damyanti 3

Amazon: mybook.to/YouBeneathYourSkin

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47634028-you-beneath-your-skin

AUDIENCE FOR YOU BENEATH YOUR SKIN:

Bookclubs, because of the discussion questions: Within the framework of a thriller the novel tackles various social issues: crimes against women and why they occur, the nexus between political corruption, police and big money; the abuse of the underprivileged, be it adults or children, and the scourge of acid attacks.

Parents, because of the issues tackled: How do you bring up a good human being in today’s troubled times? If you’re the parent of a special child, what challenges do you face and what sort of support can you expect?

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS IN ORDER TO RECEIVE SHARES OF YOUR POST:

To get shares, pls tag at @damyantig on Twitter and Insta.

@SimonandSchusterIN : Insta

@SimonSchusterIN : Twitter

@Simon & Schuster IN: Facebook

@projectwhydelhi and @stopacidattacks on Twitter, Instagram and FB

Damyanti also sent me the following:-

Do You Like Your Stories Read to You?

Some of my earliest memories are of my grandma reading to me—poetry she herself had written, and of course the great Indian epics, Mahabharata and Ramayana. The winters at my childhood home in central India were balmy, but the summers could get blazing hot, 45 degrees in the shade. On those summer afternoons, sitting next to a cooling fan that gave off more noise than air, my grandma would read slowly in Bengali, my mother tongue, which I could speak, but neither read nor write. The words on the page looked like insects gone for walks, and yet they contained such magic and so much life.

Stories meant grandma’s wrinkly animated face, bright eyes, and the way her loose bun of hair slid this way and that as she described the slaying of a demon or a monkey-god carrying a mountain. I came to know much later that in those years, she battled cancer, a fight she lost when I was eleven.

When I read books I sometimes experience them like four-dimensional movies—complete with colours, music, scent, taste and texture, but nothing like those childhood afternoons with my grandmother. When audiobooks first grew mainstream, I picked them up and was disappointed. Perhaps the stories were not familiar, the readers not skilled enough, or my expectations too high. I would start listening but get side-tracked with my thoughts—especially when I listened to audiobooks in bed. My bed is my reading joint—I like curling up under the sheets and getting lost in a different world.

I’ve gone back to audiobooks time and again, and each time I’ve found myself getting lost. Sometimes I want to skip the dragging bits and end up skipping important parts as well. I have to rewind and play it again a few times before I understand what’s going on. Once in a while, a good one comes along: I’ve recently enjoyed Where the Crawdads Sing—possibly because it is so atmospheric, the voice of the character so strong that it is hard to lose track.

Stories were, after all, an entirely oral form once, until they turned into theatre, into choral performances. Written stories came much later. With an increasingly busy life, I have less and less time set aside for reading: the pandemic ensures that I have an entirely new set of chores, and writing deadlines loom. I’ve decided to try more audiobooks now, find the ones that hold my interest and thus keep me ‘reading’ books even as I go for my daily walks, or cook or clean or fold clothes.

My own debut crime novel, You Beneath Your Skin, has been optioned for TV screens and might turn into an audiobook as well, one of these days. Maybe some day I’ll get to listen to Anjali and Jatin’s adventures in New Delhi, their story spread across slums and malls, bedrooms and hotels, police stations and hospitals, all enveloped by the choking smog of a Delhi winter.

When that happens, I’ll know whether the love of stories that my grandma gave me has borne fruit. She was married at thirteen to a man much older than her, suffered many miscarriages before giving birth to my father and aunt, and over the years of encouraging them to study, taught herself to read. She learned enough that she read the classics in our mother tongue and wrote her own poetry, snippets of which lie fading in my cupboards, carefully wrapped in plastic.

In the meanwhile, I’ll try and read what books I can fit into my life, and listen to audiobooks if one catches my fancy. As I grow older though, I find that very few of them stand up to the dynamic, vivacious narrations by my grandmother who, while herself suffering from cancer, took time out to keep her grand-daughter entertained on those long Indian summer afternoons.

——————————————–

I wonder how many of us remember having stories told to us when we were little? Thank you so much for being my guest today Damyanti and I look forward to seeing your book on my television screen soon!

If you would like a guest post, please leave a comment below or contact me on my FB messenger.

Take care and stay safe.

Lucinda

GUEST POST JOAN FALLON-COOK

This week’s guest also lives in Spain and her books tell us more about the rich history of this fabulous country.  I’m so glad I asked her as I’m delighted to learn she was also a teacher and then moved career. We have a lot of common.  In her own words:-

JOAN FALLON

Thanks for inviting me to your blog, Lucinda. I’m a great fan of yours, so feel doubly honoured to be here.

Well, I suppose you want to know something about me and what has influenced my writing. If you have read any of my books, you can see that I’m very much a feminist at heart (although that’s a term that has been abused over time), and strongly believe that women should have equality in all things. In 2020 this may now seem to be a given, but I grew up in the sixties and seventies, in a time when it was harder for a woman to gain recognition in a man’s world. So it’s not surprising that all my books have strong female characters who manage to succeed against the odds. By that I don’t mean they are all Boadiceas, driving chariots and brandishing swords, but ordinary women who have been dealt misfortune or disappointment, and managed to overcome it.

The other strong influence on my books is perhaps more obvious. I have lived in the south of Spain for twenty-five years and Spanish history and culture have always fascinated me and have provided some of the most exotic settings in my historical novels. Here in Andalusia, we are surrounded by the art and history of the Moorish occupation, and I have incorporated that into two series of historical

JOAN FC 3

fiction: The al-Andalus trilogy, set in Córdoba in the 10th century and The City of Dreams trilogy,  which follows on from that, with the protagonists now living in Málaga. There’s plenty of action and romance in the series, but it’s not all fiction. The historical part is based on hours of research, so for readers that know the area, it should make interesting reading.

I haven’t always been a writer, although for as long as I can remember I have wanted to be one. As with many people, retirement—or early retirement in my case—gave me the opportunity to fulfill a long-held dream. Writing about the caliph’s harem in 10th century al-Andalus is a long way from teaching primary children—my first occupation—or being a management training consultant, as I was at the end of my career, but just as fulfilling.

JOAN FC 4

Sometimes I find myself labelled as a writer of historical fiction, but I don’t think of myself in that way. I write books about something that has inspired me and it may turn out to be a historical novel or it may be set in the 21st century. One day a few years back I read a short article about children who were sent to Australia as child migrants during WWII. I’d never heard about it before, and because I was intrigued I investigated further and the result was a very popular novel called The Only Blue Door. Inspiration can come from anywhere, and sometimes it is in the form of an unanswered question. The al-Andalus series came from a visit I made to Madinat al-Zahra, some ruins just outside Córdoba. The guide book told how it had been the most wonderfully rich, powerful and cultured city in the land, but had lasted only seventy-five years before it was completely destroyed. My immediate question was ‘How could that have happened in such a short space of time?’ There was only one way to find out: more research.

My latest novel, The Prisoner, will be available at the end of the summer. It is book three in the City of Dreams trilogy and will probably the last book I shall write about Moorish Spain. I have a yearning to try my hand at a crime novel, and already have a dead body in mind.

I love Joan’s books and highly recommend them. Here are a few more you might like to check out.

And the links to where you can find more about Joan’s books.

www.linkedin.com/profile/

If you would like a guest post on my blog, just drop me an email lucinda@lucindaeclarke.com   or you can pm me on messenger.

Stay safe and happy reading.

Lucinda

#BookSale: Survival of the Fittest!

A guest post on Jacqui coming up soon, but in the meantime, you may like to grab this.

WordDreams...

Today, my latest prehistoric fiction, Against All Odds, is available for sale on Amazon. To promote that exciting event, I’m putting Book 1 of the trilogy, Survival of the Fittest, on sale July 24th-July 26th 2020. The way this Kindle sale works is it starts at $.99 and goes up $1 each day until it’s back to it’s normal price–$3.99. Like this:

  • July 24th: $.99
  • July 25th: $1.99
  • July 26th: $2.99
  • July 27th: $3.99 (normal price)

If you haven’t read it (or you aren’t in KU where you can read it for free), now’s a great time to buy it!

Spread the news!

#IndieSale #IndieAuthor #booksale #kdpsale


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…

View original post 62 more words

GUEST BLOG MAX POWER

I have two connections to this week’s guest. We are both Irish and we are both long time members of the FaceBook group Indie Authors Support and Discussion. (It’s a secret group for authors to do secret author things) I’ll leave that to your imagination! But we are a great bunch of people always willing to help and support each other – just like the group name.

I’d like to introduce you to Max, otherwise known as Patrick, who has sent me a potted version of his life to date and a little about his books.

MAX POWER PIC 5

Born and bred in Dublin, my Irishness influences my writing. I’ve been fortunate to travel the world and I’ve even lived abroad for short periods of my life, but the culture, traditions and language of the little green island I call home, are things I cannot escape. I married a childhood sweetheart which ended eventually in a divorce way too late in life, but I have been lucky to find love again and have been with my darling Joanna for the last 20 years.

All of our children are adults now and while life was tough for me in my early days, I am happy and, to be honest, I feel as though I have been lucky. It may sound odd but I also believe I made most of that luck myself.

My writing is my comfort blanket. It comes easily to me. I sit at the keyboard and I begin. Since I was a very small boy, I’ve loved words. They appeal to me. I love the sound they make, the meanings they express and the secrets they divulge. I love the way they feel in my mouth.

MAX POWER PIC 1

I wrote Darkly Wood with that love in mind. It was my intention to create a book with a style of its own, that told a rather unbelievable tale while somehow making that world real. It was such fun to write and there was so much more to tell, that it has now turned into 3 books.

MAX POWER PIC 3

MAX POWER PIC 4

Bad Blood and Larry Flynn, were long-standing stories that I wanted to tell, and Little Big Boy was perhaps my personal journey that broke me in its writing. I often cried salty tears as new ideas dripped onto the page.

 

MAX POWER PIC 2

 

Right now, I have three semi-suspended projects. I thought the whole working from home thing, would give me more time to write but it has had the opposite effect. Before Coronavirus, I came home from work, ate dinner then after walking the dogs, retired to my study to write. Now I spend my day in my study working harder than ever and I find it impossible to go back to the space I love so much at the end of a day working there.

But of course, that’s not the only reason I have taken a short sabbatical. My health is on the surface fine, but I have had a few recent challenges that demand I step back and while I cannot step away from the pressure of work, I need to look after myself or something will give.

That being said, I have a couple of crackers on the boil (I hope) and I am ‘typing away’ albeit ever so slowly. My blog is something I use to keep me fresh and active as this is always a bit of fun and it doesn’t take up much time.

If you’ve read my blog, you probably know a lot more about me than I care to think about, so it might be hard to give you a fresh insight into who Max Power the writer is in any real sense. Of course, Max is a pen name but that’s a practical thing for me, it serves a purpose. So, what can I tell you? Jo is the chief chef in our house but I am the master snacktician. Lunch is my speciality.

Joanna is practical. She plans and makes beautiful dinners which we have in the evening at our house, but when it comes to lunch, she is a heathen. Hunger rules and it’s whatever will sate her hunger in the moment that she goes for. I on the other hand, never get hungry. It is a weird thing. I can go all day without food, wouldn’t bother me. Left to my own devices, I could forget to eat. So, when I decide to prepare a meal, be it simple or elaborate, I will consider taste, flavour, smell, colour, design, and desire. It is always a triumph, but largely because I have the patience to create something a little different, as hunger never gets in the way.

My writing is like that. I sometimes add very thinly sliced strawberries to a salad, something that would horrify many people, yet you really need to try it, you might be surprised. So that’s what I do. I write like I make lunch. Never dull, always with a different twist, I am patient enough to look for exactly what I want – but most importantly, once you’ve had it, you know who has made it, and hopefully, you will come back for more.

OK, I have to be honest here, the Darkly Wood series freaked me out a little, but if you’re a Stephen King fan, you will love them. My favourite book is Little Big Boy.

Here are the links to Max’s books.

getbook.at/Darkly-Wood
getbook.at/Darkly-Wood-II
getbook.at/Little-Big-Boy
getbook.at/Larry-Flynn
getbook.at/Bad-Blood

Thank you Max for sharing your story with us.

If you would like a guest post on my blog, then leave me a message on Facebook or in the comments box below.

GUEST BLOG MARY EPSOM

My guest this week is very, very special. Why? She’s just published her first book at the age of 94. That is amazing.

MaryEpsom1_001

 

Mary Epsom is a Froebel Foundation trained teacher, who started a kindergarten in Nairobi, Kenya, and eventually owned and managed three more with a combined capacity of 400 pupils. She was a well-known teacher in Nairobi for many years and she knows how to make each chapter both interesting and educational.

“The Chameleon Who Went to the North Pole…Almost!”, is an excellent, 70 page, fully colour illustrated book, ideal for children aged 6 – 12 years.

This true story recounts the time in 1966 when Mary’s son Paul was a young child. As a typical Kenyan boy, Paul always had a snake in his pocket or a chameleon on his shoulder, and Mary’s delightful story tells how, on the flight to Europe on leave with the family, Mary saw to her horror, at 32,000 feet above the Sahara Desert, a chameleon walking across the back of Paul’s seat in front of her. There was no alternative but to bring the little chameleon, who Paul had named Mugia, along with them for the rest of the holiday. The book relates the stories of the family’s 17,000 mile journey through Europe, visiting nine countries as far as the Arctic Circle, as seen through Mugia’s eyes. The little chameleon proves to be helpful in getting the family through tricky situations, The book is both an enchanting memoir of a happy family holiday in Europe in the company of a charismatic little chameleon, and a nostalgic reminder of the freedom of travel in the days before airport security and border controls (and although Mugia was put into her own shoebox when the family went through customs, Mary strongly advises children not to try this trick today!)

At the end of the epic journey, Mugia returns safely to her Nairobi garden!

Paul died in a road accident in 2014 and “The Chameleon who went to the North Pole-¦almost!” is dedicated to him. With delightful colour illustrations by Samira Matthews, this makes a very special gift for children aged 6 – 12 years old.

It is available from https://store.bookbaby.com/book/the-chameleon-who-went-to-the-north-polealmost

It is also available via Amazon UK, (click on the cover above), Barnes and Noble, and several other online platforms. Most are offering free delivery.

Mary Epsom 04 at Book Launch MCC 290919

Mary Epsom is an inspiration to all writers, it’s never too late to create a legacy to be proud of.  Thank you, Mary, for being my guest this week, it was an honour and an inspiration.

Lucinda

You READ – but do you leave REVIEWS? – by Chris Graham (aka The Story Reading Ape)

Heartfelt words, thank you, Christopher.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

PLEASE

A stack of books and words Read - Review - RepeatIf not, why not?

I don’t have time

The author probably spent a heck of a lot more time writing the story than you took to read it, no matter how slow you think you are, so why not take a few minutes to record your feelings about it.

I can’t write long fancy reviews like those I see on book review blogs

You don’t have to, Amazon, for example, only ask you to use a minimum of 25 non repeating words.

I can’t express myself very well

No-one is asking you to produce a literary masterpiece, start off with things you liked, didn’t like or a mix of both about the book, e.g.,

I liked this book because –

it reminded me of –

it made me think about –

it made me so scared I couldn’t sleep for –

it made me feel homesick for –

it…

View original post 468 more words

GUEST POST – THERESA JACOBS

It’s great to meet another author who is not stuck in one genre only. If I thought I hopped around from one topic to another I am a long way behind this week’s guest.

Hi, my name is Theresa Jacobs and what can I say other than I love to write!

THERESA 1

 

And I have a crazy imagination. Soon I’ll have enough varied genres written that I’ll have a book for everyone.

Seriously…horror? Got it.

Sci-fi? Yup.

Laidback phycological lit? Sure – though that one is hard to classify because it’s set in space, it has a touch of romance and aliens.

 

Campy horror-action? You’re covered.

Oh, serial killer-detective. YES!

THERESA 2

This is Theresa’s latest book.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088SM5K15/

Being handsome has its advantages and affords him easy access to people’s homes. They quickly learn you can not judge a book by its cover when they pay the ultimate price with their lives. He didn’t ask to look the way he does, nor to lose his loving mother at such a young age. Dealing with unwanted memories, he will find a way to erase his past by cleansing the city as he sees fit.

And, as they say, ‘that’s not all’.

And now a YA literature is on the way.

I won’t be stopping there either, the ideas are abundant and I’m game if you are. If you’re looking for fast-paced, interesting, yet light easy reading, you’re in the right place. Pop into my website, check out the merch, or my blog, or my movie – yup I said that too – and don’t forget to subscribe for updates.

See you over there, Theresa

https://theresajcbs.wixsite.com/authorpage

Thank you for being my guest this week, Theresa and if you are a writer and would like to be a guest, please leave a comment below, or you can pm me on Facebook.

Lucinda

 

GUEST POST TOM BENSON

You will be hearing more from me about Tom Benson in the next few weeks as he’s putting a book of short stories together and he’s included one of mine.

I don’t think this is Tom’s first guest post, as we have been virtual friends for years and it’s thanks to him I have a web site. He helped me so much in the early days.

TOM BENSON AUTHOR PIC 6

Soldier, Retailer, Author

Saying that you spend your time telling tales is akin to admitting you have an illness.

Hello … my name is Tom … and I’m a … writer.”

Hello, Tom.

Yes, it isn’t easy to be open at first, but when a writer’s work earns a few great reviews, it lends legitimacy. No longer are you one of those strange creatures who spend their time living in another world. You are an author, envied by others. You’re earning money from months of toil—perhaps not a lot, but for authors like me, the real reward is knowing from the positive feedback that you have entertained.

There is a widespread notion that writing is an exclusive, even exotic activity. Still, like many things, you can join the club if you’re prepared to put in the time and effort to learn your craft, plus, of course, accept criticism of, as well as credit for your work.

Consider a cake with elaborate decorations. Anyone can gather ingredients and lay them out on a clean surface. It’s the choices of quantity, how those items are blended, and how the mixture is processed, which creates the basic cake. Only with the foundation can the decoration be added; the edible ingredients with which will make it appealing.

Whether it be a short story or novel, there is a sense of fulfillment when you start with a blank screen and with god-like power, create a world from imagination. It must be a believable world with characters, dialogue, and imagery, supported by narrative, a plot, and subplots.

An author can make a book sound exotic. Among my published titles are Ten Days in Panama and Amsterdam Calling.

Continuing with international intrigue, one of my next books will be Czech Mate. In crime thrillers, I can offer such titles as A Taste of Honey set in the USA, or the Beyond The Law trilogy set mainly in Scotland.

I left Glasgow in 1969 aged seventeen and headed to England to join the British Army. While in training, I thought it might well be a short career. During the next twenty-three years, I patrolled streets in Belfast, manned a helicopter-borne camera over Londonderry, and operated a radio in the military train travelling through East Germany from West Berlin. I worked radios all over West Germany, trained young recruits in the UK, and served throughout the first Gulf War.

At the age of forty, I tackled fresh challenges when I became a retail manager. After six months of training, once again, I was in a uniform. I wore a badge and had a team of people who, sometimes with a bit of gentle persuasion performed as I asked.

I changed jobs a few times, going from food and supermarkets to car accessories and then on to stationery which is where I finally settled. Pens, pencils, paper, binders, staplers, punches, printers, laminators and much more besides and I was happy at work for the first time in a long time. As an artist and calligrapher, I was at home. After gaining experience, I spent five years roaming around the UK. I opened new stores and closed failing stores. I had responsibility for hiring, firing, training, disciplining and developing staff, so I enjoyed my second career, which lasted twenty-five years.

I’d always enjoyed reading, and while still in retail, my thoughts turned to a personal dream—to write a book. I’d tried to produce my military memoirs back in the mid-90s, but the writing was awful. By 2010, having read a lot more, I figured I was ready to try creative writing again. I first read several textbooks on the subject.

My poetry online got lots of good reviews. I moved on to short stories and won prizes, both national and international. My first novel was a crime thriller, but the literary creativity was like a drug, I had a burning desire to write for hours every day, at every opportunity.

It was several years and a few books down the line when I revisited those military memories of mine, and I tried again. I describe the tale as fact-based-fiction, but A Life of Choice is a five-ebook series based on my military career. In effect, I researched it over many years but wrote about it only when I had earned my stripes in writing. The story is my top-selling title.

My latest experiment isn’t doing too badly, my post-apocalyptic survival story Light at The End. Thanks to some great feedback, it’s now the first book in a trilogy.

Perhaps I’m biased in believing that to write convincingly you must have experienced highs and lows in life. I always gave my best effort as a soldier and retailer. I still do.

Tom Benson–author.

Now is a great time to pick up one of Tom’s books as he’s reduced them all to $/£0.99 during the Covid crisis – links below:

Website: www.tombensonauthor.com

Blog: www.tombensoncreative.com

Ten Days in Panama: mybook.to/Ten_Days_in_Panama
Amsterdam Calling: mybook.to/Amsterdam_Calling
A Taste of Honey: mybook.to/A_Taste_of_Honey
Light at The End: mybook.to/Light_at_The_End
Beyond The Law – Box Set: mybook.to/BTL_The_Trilogy
A Life of Choice – Box Set: mybook.to/ALOC_BoxSet

Thank you, Tom.

If you would like to be a guest on my blog, post in the comments below, or drop me a message on Facebook.

Lucinda

GUEST POST CALEB PIRTLE III

I was really pleased when Caleb accepted my invitation to be a guest here. He has consistently supported my work. Each new book that comes out, he’s promoted it on his page. I was especially thrilled when he named me as one of the Top Ten Writers of Women’s Adventure You Need To Be Reading.  And added ‘Her books are filled with action, intrigue, adventure, and danger’. With an accolade like that, I can’t wait to share news of Caleb’s latest book with you.

You know that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when a reader likes your books? I’m suffering a shock feeling right now, as I’ve just researched Caleb and he’s an author of note and then lots, lots more. I’ve included his bio below so please take a look at that too. He was far too modest to include that in the blurb he sent me.

caleb author pic

Lost Side of an Orphan’s Moon was published last month – I’ve downloaded it just now. This is Caleb’s description.

This is a story that has haunted me for a long time. It’s true. It happened during the East Texas Oil boom in my hometown of Kilgore. After all of these years, the story has finally found life, forming the backbone of my new novel, Lost Side of An Orphan’s Moon, the third book in The Boom Town Saga.

It’s historical. It’s a mystery. As I wrote about the book:  Who is the small boy who stepped off the train with a paper note attached to his coat that said: My name is Ollie Porter. My daddy is Oliver Porter. He works in the oilfields. Does anyone know where he is? Is the boy connected to the fancy dancer or, perhaps, the killer? Or is he just a waif in search of a home? 

The true story is just as mysterious. The boy was a fresh face in the midst of strangers, a new face chilled by the rains, and the rains showed no sign of ever stopping. He stepped from the train, lost and alone. He had been that way for a long time. He was only nine years old.

I found his story on the back page of a Kilgore newspaper printed in 1932. The pages were yellowed. The words were fading. The story had already faded. The story was gone. And I grieved for the boy.

The newspaper story was a short one. One column. One paragraph. Small headline. An afterthought, maybe. Newspaper layouts always had a little hole from time to time.

Some reporters filled it.

He wrote of a frightened little boy who shyly stepped off the train and into mud that was piled ankle-deep on Kilgore’s streets.   On the boy’s jacket was a tag, and on it someone had written the lad’s name and the name of his daddy.

His fare had paid his way to Kilgore. He would go no farther. And he had no idea where to do next, surrounded by strangers and faces he had never seen before.

His mama had packed him up like a suitcase and sent him for hundreds of miles down an endless railroad track to find his daddy. His daddy was working in the oilfield. That’s all his mama knew.

His daddy could feed him. She couldn’t. She was penniless and destitute. The boy’s only hope was to find his daddy.

Did he? I never knew, and the missing pieces haunt me.

In Lost Side of an Orphan’s Moon, I write the fictional account of a lost boy on an oilfield town’s street. In every piece of fiction, there is always a nugget of truth.

caleb pic 1

Buy link:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B088KV1VFK

About Caleb Pirtle III

Caleb Pirtle III lives in the present but prefers the past. He is the author of more than eighty books, including four noir thrillers in the Ambrose Lincoln series: Secrets of the Dead, Conspiracy of Lies, Night Side of Dark, and Place of Skulls. Secrets and Conspiracy are also audiobooks on audible.com. All of the novels are set against the haunting backdrop of World War II. His Lonely Night to Die features three noir thrillers in one book, following the exploits of the Quiet Assassin, a rogue agent who has fled the CIA. He takes the missions no one else wants. He is expendable, and he knows it.
His award-winning Boom Town Saga includes Back Side of a Blue Moon, the story of a con man who comes to a dying East Texas town during the Great Depression, promises to drill for oil, and falls in love with a beautiful woman who just may have killed her husband. In Bad Side of a Wicked Moon, the lawless have come to the oil patch, and justice has left town.
Pirtle also wrote Friday Nights Don’t Last Forever, the story of a high school quarterback whose life spins into turmoil during his entanglements with illegal college recruiting, and Last Deadly Lie is the chilling story of the gossip and scandal that threatens to break a church apart in the midst of greed, jealousy and murder.
Pirtle is a graduate of The University of Texas in Austin and became the first student at the university to win the National William Randolph Hearst Award for feature writing. Several of his books and his magazine writing have received national and regional awards.
Pirtle has written two teleplays: Gambler V: Playing for Keeps, a mini-series for CBS television starring Kenny Rogers, Loni Anderson, Dixie Carter, and Mariska Hargitay, and The Texas Rangers, a TV movie for John Milius and TNT television. He wrote two novels for Berkeley based on the Gambler series: Dead Man’s Hand and Jokers Are Wild. He wrote the screenplay for one motion picture, Hot Wire, starring George Kennedy, Strother Martin, and John Terry.
Pirtle’s narrative nonfiction, Gamble in the Devil’s Chalk is a true-life book about the fights and feuds during the founding of the controversial Giddings oilfield and From the Dark Side of the Rainbow, the story of a woman’s escape from the Nazis in Poland during World War II. His coffee-table quality book, XIT: The American Cowboy, became the publishing industry’s third bestselling art book of all time.
Pirtle was a newspaper reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and served ten years as the travel editor for Southern Living Magazine. He was editorial director for a Dallas custom publisher for more than twenty-five years.
He and his wife, Linda, live in the rolling, timbered hills of East Texas. She is the author of two cozy mysteries.
I am so proud to have you as my guest this week Caleb.
Lucinda

GUEST POST REBECCA BRYN

I am a massive fan of this week’s guest and I can only shout GET HER BOOKS!  I’ve read all but one, I have her latest on pre-order, and I’m thrilled I asked her to be my guest this week as I see one book I’ve not read – how did that slip through the net?  Over to Rebecca in her own words.

ruth author pic

Thank you, Lucinda, for letting me loose on your blog. According to my document recovery pane, this version was created on January 1st 1601 at 1 o’clock in the morning. I don’t remember being up at 1am, but it was New Year, and the 17th century was pretty boisterous, so maybe…

As you know, I live in West Wales with my husband and rescue dog and love walking and painting in watercolour. Living close to the sea, painting it in all its moods has become second nature. I love the wild beaches and moorlands of Pembrokeshire.

I began writing some fifteen years ago, although I didn’t published my first novel until 2014. So much has happened since then, I can’t believe it has only been six years. I write mainly historical fiction though I’ve dabbled in mystery and post-apocalyptic. I’ve always loved history and am fascinated by the way our past has shaped our present. At school, I studied British history, mainly from the Plantagenet kings to James II of England although the Anglo-Saxon era and the Tudor period were my favourites. As I’ve grown older, it’s been more recent history, especially social history that has drawn me in. It began with me deciding to try to discover if there was any truth in a family story about a poacher who murdered a gamekeeper and was transported to Van Diemen’s Land, and my addiction grew from there.

The tale about the family my mother called ‘loose-knickered, murdering thieves’ was true, the research fascinating, and it spawned an epic love story set in 1841, the trilogy For Their Country’s Good.

From there, I researched my grandfather’s army career and his own love story. He and his horse were sent to Egypt and Palestine during WW1. Again, the research blew me away, taught me much about myself, and gave his wartime mementos – his army fork and two cowrie shells that I treasure – a special significance. The Dandelion Clock was born.

RUTH 1

Not wanting to ignore my father’s family, I researched for Kindred and Affinity and a marriage that went against church law and risked damnation to eternal hell. Surely that must have been true love for people of strong faith to risk damnation?

With any research for a novel, you discover a lot you didn’t suspect and much that shocks – that’s the joy of writing for me, learning something new that increases my understanding of who I am and how my world got where it is. In the time periods about which I’ve written, social injustice, the inequality and lack of rights of women, poverty, and oppression were subjects so ingrained in the periods I couldn’t ignore them, so it’s no surprise that my stories embrace these everyday challenges of the ordinary working people who built Britain by the sweat of their labour. I don’t write about the aristocracy, or royalty, or those in power, just about the lives and loves of the life blood of the country: the farm labourers, the boot makers, the lace makers, the common soldier, the women interred in Auschwitz, the girl left at home looking after the children, the poacher, the doctor, the schoolmistress, the quarry worker, and most recently, the women chainmakers of the Black Country.

Touching the Wire was inspired by a TV news report about Nazi war criminals and my latest book, The Chainmakers’ Daughter, was similarly inspired by a TV article on Flog It!

Can I tell you a bit about the chainmakers? In the early 1900s, women, and girls from the age of about four, full-time from the age of ten, made dog chains, cow chains, and horse traces working in backyard forges. They lived in abject poverty, literally on the bread line as bread was all they could afford. They worked ten or twelve hours a day to earn about four shillings a week – that’s 20p in decimal money. It was enough to buy about twelve to sixteen loaves of bread a week depending on whether the bread was at summer or winter prices. Can you image working some fifty-four to sixty hours for a dozen loaves of bread? I found that shocking. The Chainmakers’ Daughter is Rosie’s story, a girl who joins the fight against the rich chain masters for a legal minimum wage that ended in one of the most important strikes of the 20th century and paved the way for the National Minimum Wage that we enjoy today.

“Some make chains. Some wear them.” Rosie Wallace survives on three slices of bread a day. Scarred by flame and metal, she makes her life as her ancestors have: making chains for the rich chain master, Matthew Joshua. There is no hope for a better future. No hope even for a green vegetable on the table. Her life will be making chains, marrying Jack, the boy she loves, and babies every year. But when an assault by the chain master’s son threatens the very fabric of her tenuous existence, Rosie finds the courage and the reason to fight for her very life and the lives of her family and neighbours. Set in the first decade of the 20th century The Chainmakers’ Daughter is a haunting portrayal of abject poverty, ever-present death, and modern day slavery.

This lovely review was sent me from one of my beta readers, Rachael Wright, author of the Captain Savva Series.

Rebecca Bryn’s The Chainmakers’ Daughter is not only the most vivid and haunting portrayal of the 20th century struggle for workers and women’s rights but it is also timely and a mirror to our own modern struggles. Bryn’s novel is to be lauded for its attention to historical detail and its sharp depiction of true and crippling poverty but it is first and foremost a love story. Rosie Wallace is a woman both out of time and very much in time. Bryn has managed to produce a heroine that is recognizable as a feminist to modern readers and yet not a unicorn to the early 1900s. The Chainmakers’ Daughter is quite simply one of the most compelling and haunting works I have read in years. Characters, vices, and even steel comes alive under Bryn’s fingers and the chain of love she creates is nothing short of miraculous.

To say this made my day is an understatement.

The Chainmakers’ Daughter is available as an e-book now for pre-order at http://mybook.to/ChainmakersDaughter and will be released on June 28th 2020. It will also be available as a paperback.

ruth painting

In a moment of madness, I also wrote an illustrated step-by-step how-to book, Watercolour Seascapes as my alter-ego, Ruth Coulson. Available in paperback only.

Books by Rebecca Bryn: all as e-books and paperbacks.

Historical fiction

http://mybook.to/TouchingtheWire – the women and children of Auschwitz and a man who tied to save them. – ‘Outstanding storytelling.’ IAN Book of the Year 2019. Also available as an audiobook.

http://mybook.to/DandelionClock – war changes everything. Lovers torn apart by WW1. Can their love survive the horrors of war and five years apart? – ‘Totally compelling and unmissable.’

For Their Country’s Good series – three young poachers are convicted of killing a gamekeeper and exiled to Van Diemen’s Land. Ella is the girl who wouldn’t be left behind. – ‘Truly exceptional trilogy from one of the finest writers of our time.’

http://mybook.to/OnDifferentShores

http://mybook.to/BeneathStrangeStars

http://mybook.to/OnCommonGround

and the box set of For Their Country’s Good

http://mybook.to/FTCGboxset

http://mybook.to/KindredandAffinity – When the man you love marries the sister you hate. Annie Underwood lets faith and family bigotry get in the way of love, and lets Edwin go to prevent escalating their families’ war and to save his heart. She is distraught when she loses him to her estranged sister who has no such qualms. ‘Gritty and realistic.’

Mystery

http://mybook.to/SilenceoftheStones – Can Alana discover the secret written in the stones before her daughter is sacrificed by an eccentric old lady? Perjury, wrongful imprisonment, and a tissue of lies. – ‘Beautifully choreographed tale of murder, deceit, and redemption.’

Post-apocalyptic

http://getbook.at/WhereHopeDares – When a young healer is kidnapped to fulfil an ancient prophecy, her husband heads into peril to rescue her and discovers that prophecy can be dangerous. ‘Holy cow!! – What an amazing book.’

Non-fiction by Ruth Coulson

http://mybook.to/WatercolourSeascapes – a how-to book with six detailed step-by-step demonstrations to paint seascapes in watercolour. Tackles the difficult subject of using masking fluid. ‘A lovely book. The techniques work well.’

Website: www.rebeccabrynblog.wordpress.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/rebecca.bryn.novels

Twitter: www.twitter.com/rebeccabryn1

IAN: www.independentauthornetwork.com/rebecca-bryn

Amazon: http://author.to/RebeccaBryn

Thank you for reading, and if you pick up one of my books, I’d love to know what you think of it.

Thank you so much Rebecca for being my guest this week and for such an interesting chat.

If you are an author and would like a guest spot, then leave a comment below, or pm me via Facebook, or through my email, and you can find this on my website.

Lucinda