Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Angela Lockwood, author of the Language in the blood series and, Something Short

Book Description from Amazon:
Language in the blood book1
Until the outbreak of the First World War, young Cameron Blair would have liked nothing better than to stay in Edinburgh and marry his childhood sweetheart. As the call to arms goes out, Cameron and his pals sign up to fight for their country. They are soon delivered into the nightmare of war, and there Cameron more than meets his maker. 

The story follows Cameron as he comes to terms with his new ‘life’, from his first days as a hapless vampire in war-torn France to the glamorous modern day setting of the Côte d’Azur. Along the way, he develops a distinctive taste for the finer things in life: jewels, yachts, small dogs and champagne-infused human...

What inspired you to start writing, and when?
I started writing when I was unemployed. Unusually the weather was bad here, in the south of France, and I was climbing the walls. My husband suggested that like the Shelly’s and Byron we should write a ghost story. Mary Shelly produced Frankenstein and while not on a par with that, I think I’ve created a vampire that will amuse a number of you.

What is your preferred genre?
I don’t have a preferred genre. I do a lot of Indie book reviews and there is mostly something good or bad in any genre. I love original thought, but hate formulaic romance.

How many books have you written?  If more than one, are any a series…or trilogy?
Next to the 2 language in the Blood books, for which Paradox book covers has done the covers, I’ve also cooperated with my friend Elspeth Morrison on the short story bundle; Something Short which is helping raise money for support in mind Scotland. Also recently I was involved with a bundle that is raising money for the charity Macmillans nurses called; You’re not alone. 

Tell us a little about your book.
The language in the Blood series is comedy about a Scottish vampire that ends up living the high life in the south of France. What inspired me was my current life in France, but also the life I left behind in Scotland. I’ve managed to weave in many things that I experienced there and here. I do miss my Scottish friends and this allowed me to write down some fond memories. (be it in a rather twisted way)

Do you have plans for a new book?
I’m currently working on a romantic novel: Conversations with Tom. It is inspired by my cat. It is about a man that has been left by his wife, shortly after they adopt a ginger haired kitten. It weaves in lots of humourous cat anecdotes as the man finds new love.

Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?
If he was still alive, I’d love to meet Graham Greene. It is a rare talent that can write comedy and drama equally well.

Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants?
Seat of my pants, nothing is planned.

Did you have an editor edit your books?
My good friend Penny Hunter has been such a help in editing my Language in the Blood books. I was a total novice when I started out, so her guidance has been invaluable.

Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?
Couldn’t live without my Kindle!

Are you a self- published (Indie) Author?
Proud to be an Indie.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (ebook/paperback/hardcover)? 
E-book of Resistance by promising YA Indie writer Kayla Howarth. Enjoyed the first in the series and the second is pretty good too.

Who designed the cover of your book?
I did a rather poor job myself with a photo of a toy dog and some ketchup. Then I had it redesigned by Paradox book covers who did an infinitely better job! 

Do you have any advice for other writers starting out? 
Start on your next book and prepare to work every waking hour. Make the book the best it can be. So many Indies do not use editors and it’s embarrassing to have a reviewer point out any mistakes. I was also pleasantly surprised that it’s not that expensive to have a professional book cover made for me. 

Do you ever write in your PJ’s?
Probably, I live in the south of France, so it’s not unusual for me to wander about in a nighty.

What are your pet peeves?
Ignorant racist people, the ones that start a sentence with, “I’m not a racist but……” 

Pick one - Wine, Chocolate or shoes?
Just one? No! Probably Wine, who says you can’t find inspiration at the bottom of a glass?

Cats or dogs?

What is your favorite food and beverage?
Like Cameron who likes his prey flavoured by champagne, I’m rather partial too to the bubbly beverage.

How many hours per day do you try to devote to research and writing?
Not enough. I spend most of my time now on promoting my books and holding down a full time job. I’m a very lazy researcher that gets most her information of Wikipedia.

Sleep in or get up early?
Early riser. 

Laptop or desktop for writing?

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
I love writing on my balcony, can’t beat writing in some fresh salty air.

Your thoughts on receiving book reviews - the good and the bad 
It’s the thing that keeps me writing. I get such a buzz from getting a 5 star review. Bracing myself for a one star, there are a lot of trolls out there who revel in giving hard working writers a single star random review. 

What is a movie or TV show that you watched just recently and really enjoyed?
Enjoying Orphan Black, not normally a sci-fi fan, but this is just good fun with an amazing actress, who plays several characters, but you wouldn’t know it as they seem just so different in character and speech.

Where can your readers stalk you? 
And blog:

Is your book in Print, ebook or both?
E-book, but thinking of printing.

Do you give free ebooks away in exchange for honest reviews?
I’ve provided some books to book bloggers for reviews.

Book links:
All my books can be found on my author page:

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Metronome (The Counterpoint Trilogy Book 1) by D.R. Bell

The Metronome
 (The Counterpoint Trilogy Book 1) 

As Pavel Rostin is trying to solve the mystery of his father’s death, he turns up some inexplicable clues. The investigation draws him deeper and deeper into his family’s past – and his country’s future. From starving 1941 Leningrad to free-wheeling Moscow of the mid-1990s to bubbly 2006 Wall Street, Pavel uncovers a web of money, murder, revenge and evidence of a plot involving the world’s superpowers. The choices of right and wrong don’t look as clear cut as in newspaper headlines. But is he just a pawn in someone else’s game?


“As Book One of a trilogy, The Metronome‘s subtitle warns that this will be no light fling and that events will likely be expanded by further books in the series. That said, expect a novel of international intrigue that stands well on its own while providing a prequel to The Great Game.
That the ‘old country’ (Russia) permeates much of The Metronome is evident from its first paragraph, which sets an atmosphere of intrigue: “I hate when phone rings in the middle of the night. It must have come from the old country, where a knock in the dark often meant that a black car is waiting downstairs and someone will disappear.”Pavel’s father was a detective, so Pavel is used to family secrets, even though he’s now far from his Russian homeland.  But the death of his father brings him back to Russia; there to uncover a mystery that will follow him, in turn, back to the U.S.
The Metronome‘s theme of memories that spring up is just one facet of Pavel’s experience that brings readers along for what turns out to be a wild ride of international intrigue, family secrets, and mystery. Don’t expect a simple or easily-defined novel, here: The Metronome is a link between Russia and the West, between long-hidden family secrets and a son’s new life in his new country, and between a detective’s investigation into a murder and its ties to the past and to the future. The book’s twists and turns are multifaceted and delicately woven and will delight readers who eschew the usual shallow leisure read for something richer and steeped in other cultures. In this, The Metronome shines, analyzing Pavel’s life and the final decision that will set him free, once and for all.”
D. Donovan, Senior Book Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Readers’ Comments

What makes great history? I’d list criteria such as 1) important event(s), 2) careful research, and 3) compelling writing. What makes a great story? I’d suggest A) fascinating, page-turning plot, B) well-developed, interesting characters, with one or more that is at least somewhat likable, C) strong setting, and D) compelling writing. The Metronome (The Counterpoint Trilogy Book 1) scores close to 5 stars on each of these criteria.”  By William C. Meade
“This is a great book, well written, far above the average books, not so much i terms of the prose itself, but the depth of knowledge and analysis of world affairs.”  By Martin Kaynan
“The Metronome is a prequel to D.R.Bell’s earlier novel The Great Game. Set in 2006, it foreshadows the events that take place a dozen years later. As in the sequel, the political and personal realms are deeply interconnected. Elements of a long term political intrigue and clandestine financial warfare get exposed through the eyes of the book’s primary protagonist Pavel Rostin, a physicist with no ties to politics. The novel explores the differences between the West and the East, the impact and perception of the U.S. policies in Russia and how these factors impact their actions towards us. Parallels to totalitarian Russia highlight the perils of allowing the government, especially its security apparatus, too much power – one of the most dangerous fallacies that democratic people can fall into – recall Ben Franklin’s “They who can give up essential Liberty, to obtain a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”.”  By Spiros Rally

From the Author

This was an unplanned book. After publishing The Great Game, I was going to return to my “normal” life. Then questions about a sequel started coming in. The last words in The Great Game are “This is not the end.” I meant it philosophically, meaning that the struggle between good and evil will continue. But I was being too cute by half and the readers called me on it.
Somewhere in the process of working on a sequel I have taken a turn into the past. Events in The Great Game are based on the 2019 financial crisis which in turn is rooted in financial warfare between the US on one side and China and Russia on the other side. I wanted to go back in time and show the beginning of that warfare, show that the seeds have been planted and carefully cultivated well before 2019.
And something else started happening. Some of the events “predicted” in The Great Game began to materialize much sooner than I expected, particularly rising tensions between the U.S. and Russia and growing rapprochement of China and Russia.  Exactly a century after events in Eastern Europe sparked the first World War, another conflict of superpowers is brewing in the same region. Yet again the world is getting caught in a cycle of demonizing each other and ratcheting conflicts by financial, economic and military means. Perhaps before we go further, we should step back and try to look at the world through the eyes of others. Not because we’ll necessarily agree with them, but because the world is complex and to better understand it we should grasp that other points of view exist and that our actions are not always perceived in Moscow and Beijing the same way they are portrayed in Washington, D.C.
These were the intended underlying currents in The Metronome. Because The Metronome and The Great Game are separated by 16 years, by design there are only a few common characters between the two books. One is Colonel Nemzhov who is already planning the eventual financial attack against the U.S. The other is Suzy Yamamoto, whose work will prove to be of paramount importance in The Great Game. The characters of The Metronome are made up but the backdrop of the events is real and factual. The main protagonist Pavel Rostin is a regular, very flawed man who faces difficult circumstances. I knew that the ending will upset some of the readers but I felt it was the only honest way to conclude the novel. What mattered in the trilogy was not his immediate fate or his flaws, but the moral choices he made at the end and their impact on others, such as Jeff Kron and Suzy Yamamoto. Because “even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”

I am an accidental writer. In "real life" I have graduate degrees in business and engineering and spent many years writing boring technical, business, and legal papers. In late 2012 a friend's death prompted me to ask what would be the one thing I regret not doing. I've always been an avid reader but have not had the courage to write. And I made a New Year resolution to write a book. That's how "The Great Game" was born. I try to write about serious topics but wrap them into an action-filled story. While all my books are entirely fictional, each of them carries a Commentary how the fiction is rooted in facts and realities of current events. If you want to learn more, please visit my website

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