Welcome to Part 2 of “THE MEREST LOSS” Blog Tour! @StevenNeil12 @4WillsPub #RRBC

the-merest-loss-by-steven-neil

Please welcome Steven Neil, the author of The Merest Loss, a story of love and political intrigue, set against the backdrop of the English hunting shires and the streets of Victorian London and post-revolutionary Paris.

Book Blurb:

‘A story of love and political intrigue, set against the backdrop of the English hunting shires and the streets of Victorian London and post-revolutionary Paris.

When Harriet Howard becomes Louis Napoleon’s mistress and financial backer and appears at his side in Paris in 1848, it is as if she has emerged from nowhere. How did the English daughter of a Norfolk boot-maker meet the future Emperor? Who is the mysterious Nicholas Sly and what is his hold over Harriet?
Can Harriet meet her obligations and return to her former life and the man she left behind? What is her involvement with British Government secret services? Can Harriet’s friend, jockey Tom Olliver, help her son Martin solve his own mystery: the identity of his father?’

Genres:

Historical Fiction and Victorian Historical Romance

THE MEREST LOSS is available in paperback and eBook in the UK, US, France, Canada and Australia.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Merest-Loss-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

https://www.amazon.com/Merest-Loss-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

https://www.amazon.fr/Merest-Loss-English-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

https://www.amazon.ca/Merest-Loss-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

https://www.amazon.com.au/Merest-Loss-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

Follow Steven Neil on https://twitter.com/stevenneil12 for information on how to purchase the paperback through an independent bookseller in the UK.

Meet the author:steven-neil

Steven has a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the Open University and an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University. He has been a bookmaker’s clerk, bloodstock agent, racehorse breeder and management consultant amongst other professions in his varied career. He is married and lives in rural Northamptonshire, England. The Merest Loss is his debut novel.

Using newspaper articles:

 “I like the idea of using different points of view to provide variety for the reader. The most obvious way to do this is by switching the narrator from, say, an omniscient third person narrator to a character narrator, in the first person. It is also possible to change the tense from past to present and back again. The challenge for the writer is to generate interest and variety rather than confusion. Sometimes it works well, but care needs to be taken. Another way to vary point of view is to use a device like a newspaper article, a review or an exchange of letters or notes to provide additional perspective. In chapter five of The Merest Loss, I used a newspaper review of Harriet Howard’s acting performance, borrowing text from a real London Weekly Chronicle theatre review of the time, thus capturing the style and language of the age and giving the reader a break from the main narrator.” © Steven Neil

Have a look at it:

Chapter Five
Perfect Match
London and Liverpool, England
 1839

 London Weekly Chronicle Saturday 23rdFebruary 1839

 JULIET ENTRANCES
 

This week we were fortunate enough to see the arrival of a startling new talent on the London stage, in MrMacready’s new production of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, at the Sadlers Wells Theatre, which commandedan exceedingly large audience.

     Miss Harriet Howard shone as Juliet and we forecast an illustrious future ahead of her. Seldom have we seen such a combination of vivacity and grace. She is young and charming and altogether presents a most elegant appearance. She was entirely believable as the innocent, star-struck lover of Romeo, but it was the poise and style of the performance that so captivated the audience. The play was throughout well performed and we must pick out for special mention, MrSamuel Phelps, for his sympathetic and finely executed portrayal of Romeo and MrRobert Walden, for a flamboyant interpretation of Mercutio. In addition,we should say that we were much pleased with the simple and judicious acting of Miss Kitty Hopkins, as Nurse. Similarly,MrJames Roper, as Tybalt certainly gained a laurel, to which we hope he will have many additions.

     The theatre has recently undergone an extensive renovation and this new production of the play was beautifully mounted, having had the advantage, accordingly, of new scenery and decoration.

     At the end of the play,the crowd made their affection known and the whole cast was warmly applauded by a house, equally overflowing in enthusiasm and numbers. Miss Howard herself excited extraordinary adulation and it was five curtain calls before her admirers would let her go. Even then the cheers rang on into the night. If you can find the means to obtain a ticket, we urge you to go and see this wonderful play, performed with much effect, for yourself. It is indubitably destined to be a decided, indeed a remarkable, success.
© Steven Neil

IAN author page:

https://www.independentauthornetwork.com/steven-neil.html

Email: stevenneil1@aol.com

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.

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The Quest for Home – Prehistoric Fiction

Prehistoric fiction is a literary genre in which the story is set in the period of time prior to the existence of written record. If you haven’t read this genre, just check how Jacqui Murray has brilliantly explored it in her books. The Quest for Home is the second book in series. I have read and reviewed Born in Treacherous Times (Dawn of Humanity) and Survival of the Fittest (the Crossroads Trilogy.)

a-quest-for-home-1

Chased by a ruthless and powerful enemy, Xhosa flees with her People, leaving behind her African homeland, leading her People on a grueling journey through unknown and perilous lands. As they struggle to overcome treachery, lies, danger, tragedy, hidden secrets, and Nature herself, Xhosa must face the reality that her most dangerous enemy isn’t the one she expected. It may be one she trusts with her life. 

The story is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, the one destined to obliterate any who came before.

Based on a true story, this is the unforgettable saga of hardship and determination, conflict and passion as early man makes his way across Eurasia, fleeing those who would kill him. He must be bigger-than-life, prepared time and again to do the impossible because nothing less than the future of mankind is at stake.

Book information:
 Title and author: The Quest for Home
Series: Book 2 in the Crossroads series, part of the Man vs. Nature saga
Genre: Prehistoric
Available at: Kindle US   Kindle UK   Kindle CA   Kindle AU

My Review:

The Quest for Home (Book 2 of Crossroads trilogy) by Jacqui Murray continues the journey of Xhosa despite the losses she had suffered when the rafts crashed due to the storm. She had to wait till her group had healed, to restock food and weapons in preparation for departure. A trusted leader, determined to fight the perils, crawling up mountains, slipping down into valleys, following the sun, she leads her people with unwavering confidence. There are conflicts within the group to remain powerful, reminiscent of basic human traits.

It is interesting to note that discrimination, one-upmanship, slavery, selfishness, and revenge are as old as those people who inhabited this earth 850,000 years ago. It is not easy to write such a story but Murray could weave it brilliantly, throwing in many characters quite similar to what we know about human beings. You must read these books in order to appreciate the comfort and security that we take for granted. Highly recommended with 5 stars!

jacqui-murray-2Meet the Author:

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

Contact Links:

Amazon Author Page
Blog
Instagram 
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn
Website  

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Survival of the Fittest #NewRelease

Please welcome my blogger friend Jacqui Murray who has a new book, very different from the usual ones we read, as she has tried to trace the way people survived and faced their enemy 850,000 years ago. I am reading this brilliant book and would like you to delve into it. I am sure you are going to like it.

Survival-of-the-Fittest-coverShort Summary:

Chased by a ruthless and powerful enemy, Xhosa flees with her People, leaving behind a certain life in her African homeland to search for an unknown future. She leads her People on a grueling journey through unknown and dangerous lands but an escape path laid out years before by her father as a final desperate means to survival. She is joined by other homeless tribes–from Indonesia, China, South Africa, East Africa, and the Levant—all similarly forced by timeless events to find new lives. As they struggle to overcome treachery, lies, danger, tragedy, hidden secrets, and Nature herself, Xhosa must face the reality that this enemy doesn’t want her People’s land. He wants to destroy her.

Book information:

 Title and author: Survival of the Fittest

Series: Book 1 in the Crossroads trilogy, part of the Man vs. Nature saga

Genre: Prehistoric fiction

Cover by: Damonza 

Available at: Kindle US Kindle UK Kindle CA Kindle AU

One question that haunted me has been answered so well by Jacqui!

How do you differentiate Xhosa (this book’s main character) from the human species that probably led to her extinction?

Homo erectus (Xhosa) was a brilliant creature, worthy of our respect and admiration. This species is the longest lasting human species ever. Where her predecessor chose flight over fight, she never did, always confronting her enemy , always believing that she could win.

 But, sometimes, that’s not enough. Though she was tough, aggressive, and tenacious, like the alpha animals she defeated, a smarter human species was her undoing.

 At least, lots of scientists think so. Truly, there are lots of theories.

Jacqui has also shared the captivating beginning of her book:

Chapter 1

Her foot throbbed. Blood dripped from a deep gash in her leg. At some point, Xhosa had scraped her palms raw while sliding across gravel but didn’t remember when, nor did it matter. Arms pumping, heart thundering, she flew forward. When her breath went from pants to wheezing gasps, she lunged to a stop, hands pressed against her damp legs, waiting for her chest to stop heaving. She should rest but that was nothing but a passing thought, discarded as quickly as it arrived. Her mission was greater than exhaustion or pain or personal comfort.

She started again, sprinting as though chased, aching fingers wrapped around her spear. The bellows of the imaginary enemy—Big Heads this time—filled the air like an acrid stench. She flung her spear over her shoulder, aiming from memory. A thunk and it hit the tree, a stand-in for the enemy. With a growl, she pivoted to defend her People.

Which would never happen. Females weren’t warriors.

Feet spread, mouth set in a tight line, she launched her last spear, skewering an imaginary assailant, and was off again, feet light, her abundance of ebony hair streaming behind her like smoke. A scorpion crunched beneath her hardened foot. Something moved in the corner of her vision and she hurled a throwing stone, smiling as a hare toppled over. Nightshade called her reactions those of Leopard.

But that didn’t matter. Females didn’t become hunters either.

With a lurch, she gulped in the parched air. The lush green grass had long since given way to brittle stalks and desiccated scrub. Sun’s heat drove everything alive underground, underwater, or over the horizon. The males caught her attention across the field, each with a spear and warclub. Today’s hunt would be the last until the rain—and the herds—returned.

“Why haven’t they left?”

She kicked a rock and winced as pain shot through her foot. Head down, eyes shut against the memories. Even after all this time, the chilling screams still rang in her ears…

The People’s warriors had been away hunting when the assault occurred. Xhosa’s mother pushed her young daughter into a reed bed and stormed toward the invaders but too late to save the life of her young son. The killer, an Other, laughed at the enraged female armed only with a cutter. When she sliced his cheek open, the gash so deep his black teeth showed, his laughter became fury. He swung his club with such force her mother crumpled instantly, her head a shattered melon.

From the safety of the pond, Xhosa memorized the killer—nose hooked awkwardly from some earlier injury, eyes dark pools of cruelty. It was then, at least in spirit, she became a warrior. Nothing like this must ever happen again.

When her father, the People’s Leader, arrived that night with his warriors, he was greeted by the devastating scene of blood-soaked ground covered by mangled bodies, already chewed by scavengers. A dry-eyed Xhosa told him how marauders had massacred every subadult, female, and child they could find, including her father’s pairmate. Xhosa communicated this with the usual grunts, guttural sounds, hand signals, facial expressions, hisses, and chirps. The only vocalizations were call signs to identify the group members.

“If I knew how to fight, Father, Mother would be alive.” Her voice held no anger, just determination.

The tribe she described had arrived a Moon ago, drawn by the area’s rich fruit trees, large ponds, lush grazing, and bluffs with a view as far as could be traveled in a day. No other area offered such a wealth of resources. The People’s scouts had seen these Others but allowed them to forage, not knowing their goal was to destroy the People.

Her father’s body raged but his hands, when they moved, were calm.  “We will avenge our losses, daughter.”

The next morning, Xhosa’s father ordered the hunters to stay behind, protect the People. He and the warriors snuck into the enemy camp before Sun awoke and slaughtered the females and children before anyone could launch a defense. The males were pinned to the ground with stakes driven through their thighs and hands. The People cut deep wounds into their bodies and left, the blood scent calling all scavengers.

When Xhosa asked if the one with the slashed cheek had died, her father motioned, “He escaped, alone. He will not survive.”

Word spread of the savagery and no one ever again attacked the People, not their camp, their warriors, or their hunters.

While peace prevailed, Xhosa grew into a powerful but odd-looking female.

Meet the author: 

jacqui-murray-2

 

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, an Amazon Vine Voice,  and a columnist for NEA Today and TeachHUB. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Quest for Home, Summer 2019. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning

 

Connect with Jacqui at:

http://twitter.com/worddreams

http://linkedin.com/in/jacquimurray

https://worddreams.wordpress.com

  https://jacquimurray.net

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

Thank you for reading this post. Please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

 

‘Timeless Echoes’ is Here!

Book cover

Timeless Echoes is just a click away now. Click on the link to download it and hear the echoes that would reverberate around you, reminding you of lost opportunities, repressed desires, cherished moments and hope that shimmers through clouds.

Here are all the links:

US UK DE FR ES IT NL JP BR CA MX AU IN

When Echoes Vibrate

Lilies in the garden spoke to me
Birds sang merrily
Clouds of gloom disintegrated
When I let these echoes vibrate

Mute watchers warbled
Fluttering fervently around me
Stirring hopeful messages
Of joy and bliss

When smoke of your love
Tried to asphyxiate me
When dreams got besieged
I flew on the wings of words

Fears receded when
Sun spread its gold
Creating a fusion of colors
Silently illuminating life.© Balroop Singh

The Editor’s Review:

Half of what we say are lies although they might be considered true, but truth with one’s self is an accepted bundle of lies except for those rare moments of self-realization. These lines right at the start of Timeless Echoes, ‘Each moment is precious, we try to cage it within our heart, where it perches in perfect rampart, embalmed by memories,’ reveal how this book is a healer, promising to lay bare the ills of the soul as it soothes, cleanses, and nurtures; instilling in us a will to learn and live without fear, and a will to not hurt others: ‘Why can’t our hearts feel the hurt we hurl at others?’

Balroop’s new book is a steadfast repudiation of those ills that we painfully hide under the covers of our flesh to present the polished exterior as truth. This magnetic collection of poems highlights our precious human lives with all their varied emotions and imposing relations: the lives often blinded by the strictures of the self-made duplicity, an excessively common phenomenon. ‘Listen to your heart, my friend. It knows you well,’ she writes.

I treasure these ‘forgetting fragile facets of love, facade of fading memories, echoes of dwindling love, is all I have now, yet love echoes refuse to subside’ believing that love echoes are soul-launched signals, ready to hug our pretenses to forge a divine assimilation because the struggle has always been with the self that we excommunicate to build up a wall, which obscures the travails plaguing the core. And finding a path to the core is the cure since there’s no villainy in the soul.

As Balroop proclaims ‘love is such a strange emotion, it gives less, it claims more…the facade of love is so delusive,’ I concur how our infirmities require urgent banishment, more pressing now than ever. And once I’ve made peace with the self, ‘the dark corridors are like meadows, they glow with my presence.’ Yes, without an iota of my own falsehoods plaguing me.
  Mahesh Nair

Thank you for your support.

Please share this post at your favorite social networks.
Balroop Singh.

The Journey Continues… My #NewBook

I had never planned to reach here! I didn’t know there is so much poetry still within me! When I was about to publish my first poetry book, one of my friends said, “this is just the tip of an iceberg” but I laughed off his prophetic words.

I am thrilled to share my third poetry book cover with you. ‘Timeless Echoes’ is ready for release. I would request all my readers and well-wishers to help me in its promotion.

Poetry book

Here are my days
Defined by my reflections,
In my hands are
Moments when I flew
On the wings of imagination.

Perching on clouds
With caution…a little apprehensive,
I hold another dream.
Oh! you can’t even have
An iota of inkling
Of the rivulets of rapture
That flow within me!

Book Blurb:

Certain desires and thoughts remain within our heart, we can’t express them, we wait for the right time, which never comes till they make inroads into of our most guarded fortresses to spill onto the pages of our choice. This collection is an echo of that love, which remained obscure, those yearnings that were suppressed, the regrets that we refuse to acknowledge. Many poems seem personal because they are written in first person but they have been inspired from the people around me – friends and acquaintances who chose to share their stories with me.

Some secrets have to remain buried because they are ours
We do share them but only with the stars
The tears that guard them are as precious as flowers
Soothing like balm on festering scars.

While there are no boxes for grief and joy, some persons in our life are intensely associated with these emotions. Their separation shatters us, their memories echo, we grieve but life does not stagnate for anyone…it is more like a river that flows despite the boulders. When imagination and inspiration try to offer solace, poetry that you are about to read, springs forth.

Looking forward to your support:

I am extremely grateful to all those friends, bloggers and authors who have  helped me by sharing my books at social networks and even by writing reviews. Here is another request to keep the kindness alive. Please contact me for the details of blog hop.
I also look forward to the support of all those valued visitors who like my blog.
‘Timeless Echoes’ will be published on Sunday,  July 1, 2018 and will be available in ebook format at Amazon.

Thank you for reading this. Please share this post at your favorite social networks.
Balroop Singh.