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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Book Spotlight: Round the Bend by Alistair McGuiness

Title: Round the Bend: From Luton to Peru to Ningaloo, a Search for Life After Redundancy
Author: Alistair McGuiness
Publisher: Matador
Pages: 256
Genre: Travel
Format: Paperback; Kindle
Purchase at AMAZON

From the Amazon to the Andes and Kilimanjaro to Cape Town. This adventure story captures the reality and exhilaration of leaving home to undertake Gap Year travel in South America, Africa, Fiji and Australia.
Three things happened simultaneously. The lioness charged, Alistair fled across the parched savannah and his wife screamed for him to run faster. Stuffed deep inside his tattered rucksack was a guidebook containing advice on what to do in wildlife emergencies, which he planned to read if he survived the next thirty seconds. Future plans to climb Kilimanjaro, teach English in the Amazon and live in Australia were temporarily forgotten as he turned to face the pouncing lioness, thinking back to the words of advice from his mother-in-law. "Don't do anything silly, and look after Francine." From deep underground in a remote Bolivian mine to the scorched Australian outback, Round the Bend is an adventure travel story. It explores the turbulence of redundancy, the excitement of travel, the anguish of leaving home and the challenges of starting a new life in Australia.

Book Excerpt:

Like many adolescents, I spent my youth staring out of classroom windows wishing I was somewhere else. While the teachers handed out homework, I dreamt of travelling to faraway shores, discovering nomadic tribes and trekking to the Seven Wonders of the World.
Depending on the subject matter and the personality of the teacher, my level of concentration wavered each lesson. Geography fascinated me, maths baffled me, religion confused me and German lessons terrified me. Nothing fazed my classmate Mik Scarlet.
He was going to be a pop star and everyone in school knew it. Trivial matters like German lessons were just a minor distraction on his path to stardom. By the time we were sixteen, Mik was networking with Gary Numan and I had retired from language lessons, hoping that laminated menus with pictures would get me through a lifetime of international travel.
But fate had other plans and twenty years after failing in German I found myself on a plane heading to Ecuador for lessons in Spanish. Maybe this time it would be different and I wouldn’t gaze out of the classroom window wishing I was somewhere else.

About the Author

Alistair McGuiness grew up in the UK in a town called Luton, which lies 30 miles north of London. Family holidays were spent in County Donegal, Ireland, staying with his Grandmother in their large family home where she had once raised fifteen children.
It was these annual trips that made Alistair realise his Great Uncles were SeanachaĆ­s (Irish story tellers). After a few pints of Guinness in the family bar, brothers Barney and Francis would entertain the evening crowds with their recitations of life in rural Ireland. As their rustic voices carried across the crowded room, Alistair would watch and listen as the animated tales mesmorised the overseas visitors.
44 countries and four decades later, Alistair now calls Australia home and in the tradition of Great Uncles Barney and Francis, loves to recite stories. He lives between the beach and the forest with his wife, two young boys and a fun puppy called Peppi. After decades of adventurous escapades Alistair is calming down and has decided to write more and bungee jump less!
He works as a Business Improvement Specialist and has just spent three years as a fly in fly out employee at a remote iron ore mine site in Western Australia. As a trainer and facilitator, he has worked in Europe and Australia and is passionate about helping people and organisations to become successful.
A fun family day for Alistair would be fishing from the local jetty with his boys, taking the puppy for a walk along the beach at sunset and cooking a scrumptious curry in the evening with his wife.
An ideal adventurous day for Alistair would be a days walking and scrambling in the Lake District with friends, followed by a visit to a village pub nestled deep in the English countryside.
For More Information

Thank you for hosting!

Media Contact:

Dorothy Thompson
Pump Up Your Book
P.O. Box 643
Chincoteague Island, Virginia 23336

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Virtual Book Tour: Real Murder by Lauren Carr

Title: Real Murder
Author: Lauren Carr
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Pages: 302
Genre: Mystery
Format: Paperback/Kindle
Purchase at AMAZON
When Homicide Detective Cameron Gates befriends Dolly, the little old lady who lives across the street, she is warned not to get lured into helping the elderly woman by investigating the unsolved murder of one of her girls. “She’s senile,” Cameron is warned. “It’s not a real murder.”

Such is not the case. After Dolly is brutally murdered, Cameron discovers that the sweet blue-haired lady’s “girl” was a call girl, who had been killed in a mysterious double homicide.

Meanwhile, Prosecuting Attorney Joshua Thornton is looking for answers to the murder of a childhood friend, a sheriff deputy whose cruiser is found at the bottom of a lake. The deputy had disappeared almost twenty years ago while privately investigating the murder of a local prostitute.

It doesn’t take long for the Lovers in Crime to put their cases together to reveal a long-kept secret that some believe is worth killing to keep undercover.

Book Excerpt:

“Would you like another breast, Tad?”
Dr. Tad MacMillan studied the last two bites of white meat on the chicken breast in the middle of his paper plate before answering the robust woman standing over him with a foil pan in one hand and a pair of tongs clutching a fried chicken piece in the other. He was already on his third piece.
“Come on, Tad.” His wife, Jan, urged him from across the picnic table. Her attention was divided between her husband, their three-month-old son fussing in the baby carrier on top of the table, and her long blonde hair that had abruptly become too hot on her next. “You know you want it. That’s what church picnics are for. Eating until you bust.” She clenched a hair clip in her teeth and gathered her hair together with both hands.
Entertained by the funny looking object sticking out of his mother’s mouth, Tad Jr. giggled. 
Tired of waiting for his response, the woman plopped the plump breast onto his plate and moved on to the next table to foist the remaining chicken on other picnickers.
“I’m trying to save room for Cameron’s hot fudge lava cake,” Tad said while searching the parking lot for his cousin and his wife, “if she ever comes.”
After taking the clip out of her mouth, Jan continued to make funny faces at the baby, who giggled harder. “Not to mention the ice cream that Josh is supposed to bring.”
“Where are they anyway?”
“Cameron got a lead on a murder case she was working and took off this morning.” After securing her hair up on top of her head, Jan picked Tad Junior up out of the carrier. “Josh decided to work on an opening argument that he’s giving tomorrow. He didn’t want to come without her.”
“Just like newlyweds.” Tad dove into the next piece of chicken. “I remember when you refused to go anywhere without me at your side.
“Now I don’t even notice when you aren’t there,” she confessed. “I never thought we would get this old and settled.”
“Can you really picture me being settled?” Tad let out a laugh before peeling the crispy skin off the chicken piece on his plate.
“I just hope TJ takes after me instead of you in that regard,” Jan said.
“You’re not the only one.”
While hugging their son, Jan looked across the picnic table at her husband, Dr. Tad MacMillan, the town doctor and Hancock County’s medical examiner. His salt and pepper hair brought out his blue eyes heavily framed with laugh lines. They may have been old and settled, but his laid back style and charismatic ways still caught her off guard sometimes.
Taking in the their friends and family that littered the park for the church picnic, Jan  found it hard to believe that less than a decade earlier she had resigned herself to the fact that she would never marry, let alone have a journalism career, and a fussy baby, who just threw up down the back of her shirt.
While the older members of the church congregation were helping themselves to seconds and thirds of the picnic fare, the younger and more athletic picnickers were racing paddleboats across the park’s lake. Joshua Thornton’s sixteen-year old-son Donny, the only remaining child at home, was included in that group. The boys were racing the girls.
“Faster! Pedal faster!” Donny yelled at his friend Woody.
“I’m going as fast as I can!” The chubby teenager who rarely exercised anything except his fingers while playing computer games was put out with being coerced into this activity in the first place. At least since he was partnered with Donny, a linebacker on Oak Glen High School’s football team, he stood a chance of winning the race.
“Beat you!” the girls squealed from the shore where they turned their craft around.
With a curse, Donny kicked at the pedals and sat back to let the sun shine on his face.
The paddleboat rocked when Woody leaned over the side to peer into the water. “Hey, what’s that?”
“What?” Donny replied without opening his eyes.
“Down there.”
“Down where?”
Woody nudged him in the arm. “In the water. It looks like a car.”
Opening his eyes, Donny sat up. “So someone tossed their old car into the lake. Happens all the time.”
“Do the police dump their old cruisers in the lake, too?”

 About the Author

Lauren Carr is the best-selling author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek LakeMarylandTwelve to Murder is the seventh installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series.

In addition to her series set on Deep Creek Lake, Lauren Carr has also written the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates, who were introduced in Shades of Murder, the third book in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. They also make an appearance in The Lady Who Cried Murder.

Lauren launched the Lovers in Crime (first introduced in Shades of Murder) mystery series in September 2012 with Dead on IceReal Murder is the second installment in this series.

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This year, several books, over a variety of genre, written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

She lives with her husband, son, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers FerryWV.
For More Information

Thank you for hosting!

Media Contact:

Dorothy Thompson
Pump Up Your Book
P.O. Box 643
Chincoteague Island, Virginia 23336