Today I help close out the blog tour for Chloe: Never Forget by Dan Laughey. I will be sharing an extract of the novel.
An off-duty detective gunned down. A dead woman. A student missing, feared dead. And now, a former policeman in search of his past. All these people, dead or alive, have one thing in common. D.I. Carl Sant must discover what it is.
A series of cold-case enquiries leads D.I. Sant and his colleagues to investigate a botched assassination plot dating back to the 1980s. The deeper they dig into the case, the more secrets are revealed, including shocking connections to the infamous National Front.
Meanwhile, the memory of former P.C. Tanner, survivor of the assassination horror, is beginning to recover. Sant must find Tanner, and find out who is behind it all – before his superiors lose their rag and more lives are lost.
The following extract is from Chapter 5 of CHLOE: NEVER FORGET. It’s from the point of view of an elderly gentleman who has spent his later life trying to forget his former years as a policeman. But then someone visits, and now he’ll never forget.
Your name is Nigel Fleming. You think.
Your visitors are few and far between.
The consultant specialist or whatever she’s called pops her head around the door once in a while. The postman is a friendly chap too. The neighbours stick their noses into your business too often, but that can’t be helped.
What you almost never get is a new visitor.
You never answer the door to cold callers or charity beggars or meter readers. For all you know, the cretins might invite themselves in, raid your fridge, piss in your toilet.
And yet the other day, believe it or not, a new visitor did come your way. A young lady. Or was it two? One girl or two? Perhaps two was wishful thinking.
Ha ha! Mrs Fleming will be jealous!
Yes, you were flattered. Don’t deny it, Nigel.
And they asked you so many questions. And showed you pictures of their lives. Other people’s lives any road. Stories of lives once lived.
And they played music to you. Other people’s music any road. Not very good music. But music all the same. They even gave you an iPod thingy.
And then they showed you a video. A home video. Their video. Not a very good video. But a video all the same. They didn’t give you that.
The whole experience was exhausting quite frankly.
Frankly, it was.
Can you remember any of it? Not much, sadly.
But you do remember one thing. They warned you to keep a low profile; not to speak to strange people; not to answer suspicious calls.
They did have a way with words. And they were so sincere. So utterly fretful about your welfare.
They’ve done something to your brain, Nigel. Those two young ladies, if you weren’t seeing double, have frazzled your senses something rotten.
And now you’re sat up in bed and the nightmares have returned and you don’t know what’s hit you. Not yet.
TICK TOCK TICK TOCK.
Your body clock is ticking, but your brain-dead head is coming to life.
Halloween, Nigel. Buses, Nigel. Police officers killed, Nigel. Police officers wounded…
And now it’s on the radio. The news is playing tricks with your mind.
TICK TOCK TICK TOCK.
They’ve found a dead body, Nigel. A dead woman, Nigel. A dead woman called Marie Jagger, Susan Smith, Sheila Morrison.
Sheila, Sheila, Sheila.
Is that really her name? Her real name?
What is your real name?
Nigel Fleming? No.
What is it?
It’s time you remembered.
About the Author:
Dan Laughey is a lecturer at Leeds Beckett University where he teaches a course called ‘Youth, Crime and Culture’ among other things. He has written several books on the subject including Music and Youth Culture, based on his PhD in Sociology at Salford University. He also holds a BA in English from Manchester Metropolitan University and an MA in Communications Studies from the University of Leeds.
Dan was born in Otley and bred in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, a hop and a skip away from the Leeds setting of his Chloe novels.
His crime writing was purely academic to begin with. He’s written about media violence and tackled the age-old concern about television and video games influencing patterns of antisocial behaviour in society. After years of research and theoretical scrutiny, he still hasn’t cracked that particular nut.
He’s also written about the role of CCTV and surveillance in today’s Big Brother world, the sometimes fraught relationship between rap and juvenile crime, football hooliganism, and the sociocultural legacy of Britain’s most notorious serial killer – the Yorkshire Ripper.
All in all, Dan’s work has been translated into four languages: French, Hebrew, Korean and Turkish. He has presented guest lectures at international conferences and appeared on BBC Radio and ITV News in addition to providing expert commentary for The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph.
Today I share my review as a part of the blog tour for The Cinderella Plan by Abi Silver. This Science Fiction/Legal Thriller shows us where our future may go with autonomous vehicles. This one really left me thinking about this topic afterwards!
**There is also a giveaway going on for those of you lucky enough to be in the UK!**
When James Salisbury, the owner of a British car manufacturer, ploughs his ‘self-drive’ car into a young family, the consequences are deadly. Will the car’s ‘black box’ reveal what really happened or will the industry, poised to launch these products to an eager public, close ranks to cover things up?
James himself faces a personal dilemma. If it is proved that he was driving the car he may go to prison. But if he is found innocent, and the autonomous car is to blame, the business he has spent most of his life building, and his dream of safer transport for all, may collapse.
Lawyers Judith Burton and Constance Lamb team up once again, this time to defend a man who may not want to go free, in a case that asks difficult questions about the speed at which technology is taking over our lives.
Author: Abi Silver
Published: July 11, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 18-26, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
All science fiction is fiction until it becomes science fact and we are heading in the direction of autonomous/driverless cars. Though is novel is not exactly science fiction, it is more of a legal thriller, but The Cinderella Plan leaves you thinking about that future and the effects surrounding that society.
James Salisbury owns a British car manufacturer of autonomous vehicles and drives one himself. One day tragedy happens: James and the autonomous vehicle are involved in a deadly accident. Autonomous vehicles cannot have accidents….Or can they? This is the impasse that James faces as he has no memory of the accident: Was he responsible? If so, then he faces prison. If he was not responsible and the vehicle was to blame, there goes his business he has tirelessly worked for many years. For James, he loses no matter what the verdict is: guilty or not guilty.
From the start, I was pulled into the story as we experience the accident. The actual court case was a bit too technical for me, so it dragged at times. It is obvious that Silver did her research as she wrote this novel. There are also some unexpected twists that occur. Silver also mentions how autonomous vehicles effect everything, including laws and everyday business. The novel also shows what the positives and negatives of autonomous vehicles are. The Cinderella Plan does really make you think about the future with these vehicles:
Once I finished The Cinderella Plan I was thinking about how soon we might be 100% autonomous vehicles. I honestly do not seeing that happening in the immediate future as I live in a state where you need a vehicle to get where you need to go as public transportation is not readily available everywhere. In fact, there is a big stigma towards it. These cars would be expensive and the average driver in my state would not be able to afford one. Autonomous vehicles may be coming soon, but I think it will be a long time before we are using 100% autonomous vehicles.
Lightning Books Website
**Readers can order the book from the Lightning Books website at 50% off (with free UK p&p) if you enter this code at checkout – BLOGTOURCIND
About the Author:
Yorkshire-bred, Abi Silver is a lawyer by profession. She lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and three sons. Her first courtroom thriller featuring the legal duo Judith Burton and Constance Lamb, The Pinocchio Brief, was published by Lightning Books in 2017 and was shortlisted for the Waverton Good Read Award. Her follow-up The Aladdin Trial, featuring the same legal team, was published in 2018.
Read more about Abi and her work at www.abisilver.co.uk .
Win 5 x PB of The Cinderella Plan
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.[Top]
Today I get to help start the blog tour for Dead & Talking by Des Burkinshaw. Today he shares a little about his publishing journey and how hard it is to get an agent to publish a manuscript, despite having a more than interesting career.
**There is also an international giveaway going on that will have three winners!**
If a ghost appeared from nowhere, rescued you from suicide and then ordered you to start solving crimes to help dead people, what would you do? When it happens to Porter Norton, he just wants to put his head in his hands and have nothing to do with it. But now he has to atone for the family curse that has seen all the men die at their own hands for five generations.
The Gliss, the sarcastic spirit that rescues him, says he can now and see and hear the Dead – if he’s close to their remains. Porter has to use his unwelcome gift to clear up past injustices. Or else.
Forced to investigate the murder of a WW1 British Tommy executed for spying in 1917, he begins to suspect the case has links to his own family history. Along the way, Porter enlists the help of a bickering group of misfits, who struggle to stay involved – because only fools believe in the supernatural, don’t they?
Full of pop culture references, banter and twists, the story takes us from present-day London and Flanders to scenes from World War 1. As Porter, The Gliss, and friends, get deeper into the explosive case, they discover their own lives and sanity are at stake. An evil from WW1 pursues them all.
What is the value of a CV?
Every aspiring author hopes their covering letter will help sell them to an agent before they’ve even touched the manuscript. We spend a lot of time crafting the perfect blend of sales pitch and self-promotion and it is clearly an important document. So why did I end up feeling that it did more harm than good in my quest to find an agent?
I’ve been writing for a living since I became a journalist in my early 20s, though I had been writing unpaid for college, school and fanzines since I was 17. By my mid-20s I had picked up a few politics scoops in the UK, moved on to the national media and was, frankly, soon astonished to find myself on the news desk at The Times of London.
When journalism lost its allure, I sidestepped into TV and worked at ITV, Channel 4 and then started 13 years at the BBC.
By the time I was 30 I had retold thousands of stories and written millions of words. I had been shot at, had rats running over my feet in an Indian leper colony, interviewed royalty, politicians, musicians and film stars. I checked my diary recently. In one year alone, the most famous people I met, interviewed or worked with included Sean Connery, David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Kate Bush, U2, Peter Gabriel, Demi Moore and Ralph Fiennes. There were other less famous people too. That was one year out of a 25-year career.
Can you see the problem yet?
What I wanted to do in my covering letter was to make the following points:
- I’ve got a novel for you, terrific story, intricately plotted, great characters
- I’m a professional writer, have been for 25 years, published in famous newspapers and magazines and script work done for the world’s oldest and most famous broadcaster
- I’ve had extraordinary experiences, which I guarantee you’ll find touched upon in the novel.
- By the way, did I mention I have a novel for you, terrific story, intricately plotted, great characters…
The first agent I sent it to called me up 10 minutes after he got my initial email. I just looked you up, he said. Pretty interesting career. So what was playing with Paul McCartney like? I trotted out my well-worn anecdote about playing piano with Macca. Maybe I should have heard the alarm bells ringing at this point.
It worked to a degree. He was intrigued enough to call the manuscript in after reading my initial three chapters. He eventually said no to representing this book (too cross genre) but asked if we could have lunch to discuss other projects.
That was the only time I got invited to lunch, but the next two agents who contacted me said very similar things and seemed more interested in which celebrities I’d directed for the BBC than the content of my book. For the record, all three came out with variations of that old chestnut – “best thing I’ve ever read, but what shelf would it go on?” that I’m sure many of you recognize. They also rejected the book.
I realised I might waste two years pursuing agents and publishers and decided to just go for it myself. At one point, the book was ranked about 35,000 on Amazon’s best sellers rank, which considering I haven’t promoted it yet and was just hoping for early reviews, was amazing. I think it’s because I had a week where 200 people per day were downloading the book (How did they find out about it? Where the heck are all their reviews? I can see the page count going up. Are they all just slow readers?)
Even my editor suggested going via Unbound because I have a lot of connections. But in reality, I’ve got very few close friends in showbiz.
I don’t know it went for everyone else, but for me, my CV (which I’m super-proud of) did hold me back because it became a distraction.
The good news is that the book is out ahead of its formal launch on July 9 and as of tonight has 21x 5 star and 1 x 4 star reviews across the US/UK Amazon sites. It has 4 five star, 1 four star and 1 three star review on Goodreads. It has zero 2 or 1 star reviews.
About the Author
Born in the middle of the Summer of Love on a pre-fab council estate in Luton, teenage bitterness and a chance viewing of the Watergate movie, All the President’s Men, made him vow to become a journalist and bring down the government.
First he had to pay for his journalism course, so he became a civil servant. Literally the day he had enough for his fees, he packed it in.
Twelve years on from watching the film, he was a journalist at The Times and had a big hand in bringing down John Major’s government. News ambitions sated, he packed that in too.
Several years of working for Channel 4, ITV and the BBC as a senior producer saw him working across the world, but he eventually got fed up with asking bands how the new album was coming along, and packed it in.
He set up his own production company magnificent! in 2002 and simultaneously worked on the BBC Live Events team for another 10 years. But then six years of work on the Olympics came along, so he packed the BBC in. Again.
Des has jammed with many of his heroes from Paul McCartney to Brian Wilson, Queen to Nancy Sinatra. He has interviewed many A-listers, including David Bowie, Michael Caine, John Cleese and even Noam Chomsky.
He has directed/produced a fairly long list of people – Muse, Coldplay, Michael Jackson, Jay-Z, produced BBC3’s Glastonbury coverage for a couple of years, made films about leprosy in India, comedy shorts with Miranda Hart and Lenny Henry and played guitar for Chas and Dave at the Hackney Empire.
He has made 300+ short films for the Queen, MI5, the BBC, Sky, Discovery, EMI, the British Academy and dozens of authorities, charities and private sector firms. His most recent publication was a series of interviews with leading academics like Mary Beard on the state of the humanities which was published as a standalone magazine by the British Academy.
Fed up with travelling and determined to be a half-decent dad, he now works in London as often as he can. He runs the Young Directors Film School making movies with young people and is about to head up the Digital Film and Video MA at Tileyard. An avid musician and producer, he releases his third album as Romano Chorizo (he plays drums, bass, piano, guitar and really bad sax).
He hates to be pigeon-holed, thinks creativity is a learned state of mind and wishes they would teach people memory and learning techniques at school.
Dead & Talking is his first novel, the first in a series of Porter & The Gliss investigations.
Win 3 x Signed Copies of Dead & Talking
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.[Top]