Release Blitz for Toys for Boys by K D Grace (includes author post and excerpt)

Out Now! – Toys for Boys by K D Grace (@kd_grace)

Adult/18+ read

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The Writing Experiment: 

When I wrote Toys for Boys, I had already been playing around with placing myself in the story as writer, as scribe. Because I’d walked the Wainwright Coast to Coast, and because I remembered those days when all I wanted at the end of the day was to be warm and dry and asleep in my bed, I already had common ground with Doc and Will and their trials. Writers are always voyeurs to some extent. Certainly we’re always people watchers. And quite often we feel like we’re doing little more than reporting our characters’ stories as they whisper them in our ear. When that happens, it’s always amazing, the unexpected directions a story can take.

I wanted to bring that experience of the characters telling their story to the forefront of Toys for Boys and make it a literal part of the story – sort of share with the reader what we writers experience with our characters on a daily basis. I was very lucky because Will and Doc were more than happy to share.

*****

High tech meets low tech in a wilderness adventure that sizzles. 

Toys for Boys Blurb:

Alpha nerd Will Charles teams up with Caridoc ‘Doc’ Jones in a coast to coast walk across England reviewing outdoor gift suggestions for the Christmas edition of Toys for Boys—an online magazine dedicated to the latest gadgets to tickle a man’s fancy. Will is recording their adventures with the latest smart phone technology. Doc is reviewing the latest outdoor gear. The two quickly discover the great outdoors provides even better toys for boys, toys best shared al fresco, toys that, in spite of Will’s great camera work, will never be reviewed in Toys for Boys.

Note: Toys for Boys has been previously published as part of the Brit Boys: With Toys boxed set. 

Buy Toys for Boys Here: 

Universal Amazon link: http://mybook.to/toysforboys

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2jPjrN2

iBooks: http://apple.co/2jpYvxK

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2kbYbQa

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2kmFbRg 

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Toys for Boys – Flesh to Flesh — Excerpt:

“We’re not going to make Ennerdale tonight,” Doc yelled into the wind.

Will’s answer was incoherent, an incoherence that wasn’t entirely because the wind was interfering with Doc’s hearing. They’d already got lost once and had fought their way back to the trail. Doc was fucking freezing, but he had spent enough time outdoors in bad weather to push his body way further than most people could. No matter how fit Will was, Doc recognised the signs of hypothermia when he saw them. They had to get out of the weather and get warm.

They lost the trail twice more before Doc made the executive decision to set up a tent in the first spot halfway flat. To his surprise it had been the damn urBrain that had saved the day. Will had downloaded detailed, interactive OS maps, but in his condition, Doc doubted if he could read his own name in bold letters, let alone the contours of a map. He’d pried the device, safe from the weather in its own little waterproof sheath, from Will’s icy hands and, with the light from the screen, he was able to find a wooded area relatively flat and as shielded from the weather as they were likely to get. The rain turned to hail and the Arctic wind made it feel like bird shot against all bits of exposed skin as Doc struggled to set up the tent. He’d shoved another energy bar at Will, and when he’d only stood there looking at it, Doc had opened it and half crammed it down his throat before he went back to work on shelter, desperate to get Will out of the weather.

Once the tent was secure, he chucked the bags inside, then grabbed Will by the collar and dragged him into the tight little space.

The energy bar must have helped. Will seemed coherent enough. “I can’t feel my hands,” he said, battling to get his sleeping bag out of its waterproof sack.

“Give me that,” Doc said through chattering teeth. “Let me do it. My hands aren’t all delicate and dainty like yours.”

“Would you look at that?” Will said as Doc grabbed the bag. “Amazingly, my middle finger works just fine.” He flipped him off.

“So does your smart mouth.” Without thinking, Doc zipped the two bags together.

“What are you doing?” Will was suddenly serious.

“You’re hypothermic. Get your wet clothes off and get into the bag.”

“Oh. Right.” But Will could no more manage the buttons and zippers on his clothing than he could his sleeping bag.

This time when Doc shoved his hands away and pushed the waterproof jacket off his shoulders, Will only watched, eyes focussed on the process as though it were something totally new to him. Doc cursed the fiddly buttons on the man’s shirt, his own hands none too agile from the cold and wet and the fact that he was undressing Will fucking Charles, about whom he’d been having less than pristine thoughts since his first view of the man’s arse. Will fucking Charles with whom he was about to cuddle down into a sleeping bag butt naked, never mind that it was with good reason.

Will sucked in a harsh breath. “Your damned hands are like ice cubes, Woodsy.”

“Oh shut it, William, or I’ll kick your arse outside and make you sleep in the rain.”

“Fucking like to see you try.” Will’s teeth were chattering hard, and his whole body trembling from the cold as Doc worried the shorts down over his commando bum and found himself face to cock, which made the blighter burst into hysterical laughter. “Have we ulterior motives, Mr Jones? Where the hell’s urBrain? I have to get this on camera.”

“Want a selfie of your cock, do you, you shivering bastard?” Doc turned his attention to the walking boots, which had stopped all progress of getting the man naked. Focussing on something other than the naked, very vulnerable body of Will fucking Charles helped clear his mind. He was too cold, too tired to get hard over what was essentially a matter of life and death, he told himself. Surely!

Once the boots were dispensed with, he shoved the man into the sleeping bag and went about the awkward business of stripping himself.

“Where the hell is the urBrain when I need it?” Will chuckled between chattering teeth.

“You point that thing at me, and I’ll shove it up your arse.” Doc’s own teeth sounded like a couple of spastic tap dancers had been turned loose in his mouth.

“Now that’s a function I didn’t find in the instruction manual,” Will replied.

What started out as ribald comments on the shrivelling effect of the cold on male tender bits dwindled to nothing more than the sound of convulsive shivering. By the time Doc had shed the last of his clothes and shoved his way down next to Will, he was seriously worried. It took all his strength, which wasn’t a helluva lot at that moment, to pull the bloke into his arms and hold him close enough to share body heat, what little there was of it. The worry subsided a bit when Will threw his arms around his neck and gave a harsh chuckle against his throat. “This was seriously worth getting hypothermic for. Pity I’m too fucking tired to appreciate it.”

Though Doc agreed wholeheartedly with the sentiment, his focus was on getting Will warm. Then he’d get out the backpacking stove and fix them something hot. That was the last thing he remembered, that and the feel of Will’s body shivering against him, in the tent redolent with the male scent of core heat and wet gear, all overlaid by the icy metal smell of the fells in a storm.

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About K D Grace/Grace Marshall

Voted ETO Best Erotic Author of 2014, and a proud member of The Brit Babes, K D Grace believes Freud was right. In the end, it really IS all about sex, well sex and love. And nobody’s happier about that than she is, otherwise, what would she write about?

When she’s not writing, K D is veg gardening. When she’s not gardening, she’s walking. She walks her stories, and she’s serious about it. She and her husband have walked Coast to Coast across England, along with several other long-distance routes. For her, inspiration is directly proportionate to how quickly she wears out a pair of walking boots. She loves mythology. She enjoys spending time in the gym – right now she’s having a mad affair with a pair of kettle bells. She loves to read, watch birds and do anything that gets her outdoors.

KD has erotica published with Totally Bound, SourceBooks, Xcite Books, Harper Collins Mischief Books, Mammoth, Cleis Press, Black Lace, Sweetmeats Press and others.

K D’s critically acclaimed erotic romance novels include, The Initiation of Ms Holly, Fulfilling the Contract, To Rome with Lust, and The Pet Shop. Her paranormal erotic novel, Body Temperature and Rising, the first book of her Lakeland Witches trilogy, was listed as honorable mention on Violet Blue’s Top 12 Sex Books for 2011. Books two and three, Riding the Ether, and Elemental Fire, are now also available.

K D Grace also writes hot romance as Grace Marshall. An Executive Decision, Identity Crisis, The Exhibition, Interviewing Wade are all available.                                                 

Find KD Here:

Websites: http://kdgrace.co.uk/

http://www.thebritbabes.co.uk

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KDGraceAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KD_Grace

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kdgraceauthor/

Release blitz hosted by Writer Marketing Services

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*AUTHOR POST* ~ Fun, Fast Thrillers – and Dyslexia Friendly Too, by AA Abbott

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AA Abbott’s Crime Thriller, The Vodka Trail is one of my current reads and I’ll be posting a review of it very soon. I’m THRILLED that the author has taken time out to write a post about how she went about producing a dyslexia-friendly version of the book and the previous one in the series, The Bride’s Trail.

I am also looking forward to meeting the author at the Tamworth Literary Festival Book Blasts on Saturday 4th March and also on Saturday 11th March where she will be discussing her work with author Rob Sinclair in an Author Thriller Panel at 2.00pm. If you want to find out more about the festival and AA Abbott follow the links after reading this post. 🙂 

Author Post – AA Abbott

I write fun, fast thrillers that are easy to read. While I devoured the classics at school, I’ve always loved a rattling good yarn best of all. That’s what I set out to write. My style owes a lot to the old Harold Robbins blockbusters, as well as more modern writers like John Grisham and Kate Atkinson. Read The Gap, the “5 minute crime thriller” on my website to get a feel for my work. 

As it happens, I’ve learned ‎that not everyone picks up a book for fun. Dyslexia runs like a thread through my family, knitting together the generations. Although I dodged it myself, my hand-eye co-ordination is poor – I’m only now learning to touch-type. Having discovered no books were published for dyslexic adults at all, I decided I would fill that gap with dyslexia-friendly editions of my last crime thrillers, The Bride’s Trail and The Vodka Trail

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It isn’t rocket science to produce a dyslexia-friendly book. With guidance from Alistair Sims – himself dyslexic, and the owner of a bookshop in the gracious seaside town of Clevedon – I followed the BDA guidelines. My new editions are printed in a large sans serif font, on cream paper (easier on the eye than bright white). They’re listed on Amazon (just click on either The Bride’s Trail or The Vodka Trail to find them) and available to bookshops (who can order them from their wholesalers if they’re not in stock).

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So far, the response has been positive, with dyslexic readers telling me that the new books are very quick to read and don’t stress them out like more conventional paperbacks. I’m also planning to record audio-books to make my crime thrillers even more accessible. They’re already available as e-books and traditional paperbacks, of course. 

helen-tbt-new-cover-kindle-thumbnailSo what are the books about? The Bride’s Trail follows the fortunes of Amy, who’s just graduated and is struggling in a dead-end job, fed up with her non-existent love life and jealous of Kat, her glamorous flatmate. Everything changes when Kat disappears. It seems she’s been marrying illegal immigrants for money, and if local gangster Shaun can be believed, she’s stolen cash from him too. Amy’s quest to find Kat and warn her about Shaun leads her to the semi-secret tunnels below Birmingham’s old Jewellery Quarter – and a descent into danger. 

The Vodka Trail moves the action a year on, with Kat trying to recover her family’s vodka business in the former helen-tvt-thumbnailSoviet Union. Naturally, that causes some panic for current owner Harry, and Marty, the swashbuckling Birmingham businessman who distributes the premium vodka across the globe.  Despite Kat and Marty’s distaste for each other, they must co-operate to survive when they’re both kidnapped by terrorists.  

Both thrillers are a pacy, quick read (as are my earlier standalone books, Up In Smoke and After The Interview). I’m currently writing The Grass Trail, which focuses on villainous Shaun’s continuing obsession with Kat. This will be out in Summer 2017, and you can receive updates (and a free e-book of short stories) by subscribing for my newsletter at http://aaabbott.co.uk. 

I’m also on Twitter as @AAAbbottStories and on Facebook`, so feel free to connect with me there too.

To find out about Tamworth’s Literary Festival which is taking place 3rd -11 th March 2017 visit:

https://www.facebook.com/TamworthLiteraryFestival/

To find out about the Book Blasts, which include 20+ authors and the Thriller Panel visit:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tamworth-litfest-book-blast-author-signings-thriller-panel-more-tickets-31409986114?aff=es2

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tamworth-litfest-book-blast-author-signings-more-tickets-31221992821?aff=es2

 

 

**Release Day Review, Author Post & Excerpt** BRAKE FAILURE by Alison Brodie

Released today, BRAKE FAILURE is a contemporary romance, with humour, suspense and a kick-ass heroine. The story is set in one of the most fascinating episodes in America’s history: the months leading up to Y2K “melt-down”. And, what’s more is that it’s just $1/£1 for the first five days of it’s release!!

brakefailurecoverwithreview793Title: Brake Failure

Author: Alison Brodie

Genre: Contemporary romantic suspense

Date released: January 9th, 2017

Length: 340 pages

Buy Links: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon Canada

Blurb: “Is it too late to tell him you love him when you’re looking down the barrel of his gun?”

Ruby Mortimer-Smyth is upper-class English, rigidly brought up to marry a man from the pages of Burke’s Peerage. She knows the etiquette for every occasion and her soufflés NEVER collapse.

She is in control of her life, tightly in control. Until …she ends up in Kansas.

Ruby believes that life is like a car; common-sense keeps it on the road, passion sends it into a ditch. What she doesn’t know is, she’s on a collision course with Sheriff Hank Gephart.

Sheriff Hank Gephart can judge a person. Miss Mortimer-Smyth might act like the Duchess of England, but just under the surface there’s something bubbling, ready to erupt. She’s reckless, and she’s heading for brake failure. And he’s not thinking about her car.

With the Millennium approaching, Ruby gets caught up in the Y2K hysteria. She joins a Survivalists group, who give her a gun and advise her to stockpile basic essentials. Accordingly, she bulk-buys Perrier, Gentleman’s Relish and macaroons.

Ruby, far from home, is making Unsuitable Friends and “finding herself” for the first time. She falls in with a gang of Hells Angels and falls foul of the law. At every turn, she comes up hard against Sheriff Hank Gephart, whose blue eyes seem to look deep into her soul. She desperately wants him, but knows she can never have him.

She’s angry at the emotions he arouses in her. Pushed to her limit, she bursts from her emotional straightjacket.

As the clock strikes midnight of the new Millennium, she’s on a freight train with three million dollars, a bottle of Wild Turkey and a smoking gun.

What happened to Miss Prim-and-Proper? And why did she shoot Mr Right?
________________

Note: Alison Brodie wrote this story from first-hand experience. She lived in Kansas during this time and was stunned by the hysteria, unnerved that the US government was spending $150 billion preparing for Armageddon. As Lionel Shriver says in her novel, We Have To Talk About Kevin: “1999, a year widely mooted beforehand as the end of the world.”

REVIEW ***** (5* rating)

To say I loved this story is an understatement. Brake Failure is a powerful romantic suspense, with quick wit and humour at times when you least expect it for a great uplifting experience between the intense scenes. Ruby, an extremely well-to-do upper class Brit, has her hopes and dreams set on a life in Paris; living up to the expectations of her stepmother and stepsister. Marriage is more of one of convenience than love and desire, and so when she realises her husband has been offered a job in Kansas, USA instead of the sexy, sophisticated Paris she is quite disheartened and a tad embarrassed. However, when two men from completely different backgrounds enter her life her thoughts begin to spiral out of control.

Sheriff Hank Gephart is the man she keeps running into every time she does something wild and loose cannon-like. He always catches her during times of misbehaviour and craziness, letting her off the hook, but always telling her what to do, and who she shouldn’t be hanging out with. Another moment in his company and she’d lose her top. Yet, from deep within he has this invisible hold of her. She can’t stop thinking of him. But, no, she definitely hates him! Or, does she? Besides, who cares, she’s married to Edward and is certainly not going to be running off with anyone anytime soon.

Unless, Payat, the Red Indian Chief boss of her husband counts, with his tall, broad body, soft eyes and caring nature. Yes, if she were to have an affair it would definitely be him. Why on earth would she want the brute of a man, a cowboy, like Gephart, when she could have the soft, tender caressing love and protection from her seemingly lovely Indian? Yet, as a reader, it is the intensity of Hank’s character that gets the heart pacing, just as it does for Ruby, even if she is in denial.

“It would be like wanting a cuddly cat and being given a tiger. He (Hank) was too masculine, too overpowering, too much in charge. If she wanted to rock the security of her little world by going off with another man, she would choose Payat. Payat with his gentle manner, his shy dark eyes and, of course, his wildly romantic appeal.

But she wasn’t prepared to go off with another man. Like a filing cabinet, her life was compartmentalised and ordered. Edward was her husband. Payat was a delicious fantasy. And Gephart was the rogue piece of paper that had to go in the bin.”

Brake Failure draws you in from the very beginning as the reader learns that a sheriff has been shot. This leads the reader to question who shot him, why did they shoot, and where are they now? What will happen next? Stories that open up with a shocking scene always seem to be the best, as the reader searches for these answers, being gripped to every ounce of information that the author offers them.

The story weaves between the events that unfold in the investigation of the shot sheriff and the weeks leading up to that event. Did Ruby really shoot Hank? If so, what caused her to do so? And, where is she now? Did she leave, running scared after an accident? Or, did she decide to leave to go to Payat?

The differences of Ruby’s social class and etiquette in comparison to the culture and behaviour of those in the Mid-West adds plenty of humour to the story. Her Kansas friends are ever-eager to find out about the British Royal Family, whilst preparing themselves for a possible breakdown in society if computers start to crash during the 2000 New Year Millennium Bug. This encourages Ruby to start preparing herself, just in case. It is during some of these events that the reader is introduced to Ruby’s diary and her thoughts that will make the reader laugh out loud, along with her sarcasm towards her stepsister and Hank Gephart.

Alison Brodie keeps the readers guessing due to the surprises and twists that occur, and also because of Ruby’s sometimes erratic and indecisive behaviour. She has her family’s upbringing expectations to live up to, her perfect, classy housewife expectations of her husband’s, and yet (although in denial for the most part) starts wanting to live. Love shouldn’t be a lustful desire, but a companionship – a means to an end, but when she begins to desire things she’s not used to it sets her down a crazy path. This keeps the reader on their toes, making it a fast and exhilarating read that will stay with you for a very long time. Certainly a classic in my opinion!

A copy of Brake Failure was provided by the author, Alison Brodie, in return for a fair and honest review.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

Other reviews include:

5 * “OMG…I freakin’ LOVED this book…going on the list of one of my favorites of 2016.” –Star Angels Reviews

5* “Everyone needs to read this book. It’s blooming brilliant.” –The Reading Shed

5* “Hilarious.” –Lauren Sapala, Book Reviewer and Writers’ Coach

5* “A laugh-out-tale that will keep you flipping the pages as fast as possible.” –Tome Tender

5* “Empowering…comical…refreshing.” –San Francisco Book Review

AUTHOR POST

ALISON BRODIE – Brake Failure

 

Brake Failure is about an English girl, Ruby, who has been strictly brought up to be polite – and to bottle her feelings. Then she arrives in Kansas and collides with Sheriff Hank Gephart, who gives her a hard time. Pushed to her limit, she bursts from her emotional straightjacket and commits minor acts of criminal insanity.

I loved writing this story. It was wonderful to be in Ruby’s skin and just be reckless, rude and raving!I I also love Hank. He is down-to-earth, controlling (he is a cop, after all) and very macho.

When I write a book, I allow my characters to tell the story. With this book, I just didn’t know how – or if – Hank and Ruby could ever get together. It seemed so impossible. I also loved Rowdy, the ugly dog she adopts, and Idabel, a Survivalist who teaches Ruby how to shoot a gun ready for Y2K “meltdown”.

I lived in Kansas during the time of the Millennium Bug and got quite worried about what would happen when the bell struck midnight of the new year! TV channels were either saying: “Just prepare as if for a 6-day blizzard.” Other channels were saying “Run for the hills!” I didn’t know what to think, especially as the American government was spending 150 billion dollars on preparing for the “bug”. Yikes!

This was an easy story to write because I didn’t need to do research. I lived there, went to all the dives, danced with cowboys, met real bull-riders, sheriffs, neighbours, Survivalists. The book reads more like a memoir! And the big event that happened right at the end? It really did happen. I have the Kansas City Star from 1 January to prove it!

Some readers may enjoy historical references: I mention Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac (institutes like these gave money to poor people, which would eventually lead to world recession).

The first Harry Potter book had just come out and was being burned (can you remember a time before the Year HP?)

Princess Diana had died two years before and the American people were still stunned, still asking questions. The Americans have a fascination for the Royal Family.

The Hadron Collider was just being built. Now it’s up and running and has found the Higgs boson.

So this book is a romcom, a memoir, a slice of recent history, plus a social document detailing the differences between America and Britain. Enjoy!

Alison Brodie Author photoAUTHOR BIO

Alison Brodie is a Scot, with French Huguenot ancestors on her mother’s side. Alison was a photographic model for a wide range of products, such as Ducatti motorbikes and 7Up. She was also the vampire in the Schweppes commercial.

Alison lived in Kansas for two years. She loved the people, their friendliness, the history and the BBQs! Now, she lives in Biarritz, France with her rescue mutt, Bayley.

BRAKE FAILURE will be “unleashed” 9 Jan, 2017. See the reviews on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31683339-brake-failure

Alison loves to hear from her readers. Link to website: http://www.alisonbrodiebooks.com/#!the-double/c1253

EXCERPT

Ruby!’ Karla shouted. ‘Git yer ass over here, gal.’

She wandered over, aware that he was more stoned than usual. He grabbed her hand and tugged. ‘Come on, Ruby-Ruby; tell us more about the Tower of London.’

She was not at all alarmed by his manner. Although he was built like King Kong, he was a pussy-cat. But she was in no mood for talking. ‘Nah, I’m going back inside,’ she said, making a half-hearted attempt to disengage herself.

GET YER HANDS OFF HER!’ The voice cut through the night air.

Gephart was striding towards them, his face murderous.

Karla was on his feet, hands bunched: ‘You talking to me?’ he growled, unaware that he was threatening a cop out of uniform.

Yeah, I’m talking to you.’

Karla stepped forward, chin thrust out. ‘What I do with her ain’t none of yer business!’

It’s alright!’ Ruby cried, grabbing Gephart’s sleeve to restrain his threatening punch. This was a mistake. With his arm held back, Gephart was unable to defend himself and took the full force of Karla’s fist in his face. Gephart let out a yell and fell back clutching his nose.

Ruby spun to Karla. ‘You idiot! Why on earth did you do that?’

Karla, startled by her verbal attack, didn’t see Hank’s fist coming. It cracked against his jaw, sending him reeling back.

Appalled, she turned angrily to see Hank going in for another punch. ‘STOP IT!’ She jumped between them and held out her hands. ‘THIS IS ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS!’ Goodness, she sounded like the Queen.

It worked, though. The combatants stared at her with a “what-the-hell-was-that” look.

Karla’s girlfriend arrived on the scene, wobbling on spiked heels and screeching. Everyone was making a fuss over Karla, yet no-one cared about Hank, who was bent over, cupping a hand under his bleeding nose. Ruby’s fury turned to pity. She picked up his Stetson.

Come on,’ she said, putting a hand on his back. ‘Let’s go inside and I’ll clean you up.’ She steered him towards the entrance, along the corridor and into the ladies lavatory. ‘You shouldn’t have hit him,’ she said, sitting him on a stool by the sink and taking the tube of Savlon from her bag. Apart from a pair of tweezers, the rest of her emergency medical supplies had long ago been abandoned to make space for makeup and perfume.

You were in trouble.’

She began filling the sink with hot water. ‘I wasn’t in trouble.’ Gephart was so close; she could feel the power of him.

Didn’t look that way to me.’

Karla’s my friend. He was just being silly.’ She yanked paper towels from the dispenser, soaked them in water, squeezed them out and began to wipe the blood from Hank’s face. He was staring at her but she refused to meet his gaze. Being so close, she could smell him, the beer on his breath, the smoky smell of hickory wood from his hair, the warm scent of male sweat; musty yet inoffensive. She could see the kink in his noise where it had broken, the crows’ feet at the corner of his eyes.

In the dance hall, the band finished their song with a rousing roll of drums. The roar of chattering voices filled the sudden silence. It was the interval. Females began filing in to the lavatory and, seeing Gephart, rushed forward, squeaking their sympathy. ‘Hank, sweetheart, does it hurt?’ ‘Can I help?’

When a hand reached out to touch his cheek, Ruby slapped it away. She was appalled at this base action. She quickly collected herself: ‘Ladies, please!’ That voice again. ‘We need space.’ Throwing her cautious looks, the females backed off.

Why had she slapped that girl? Shame-faced, Ruby soaked another fistful of paper and began cleaning the side of Gephart’s nose. All around was the sound of flushing loos, the spray of perfume, the click of lipsticks. Then the room went silent as everyone left. From the dance hall came the plaintive sound of a woman singing:

Let me ride through the wide open country that I love. Don’t fence me in. Let me be by myself in the evening breeze, listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees, send me off for ever but I ask you please, don’t fence me in …’

When Hank spoke again, his tone was low, dejected. ‘What happened to you at Shady Acres? I was waiting with a bunch of flowers to say thank you.’

She felt a twinge of guilt. He’d bought her flowers. ‘I’m sorry, Hank. I must have gone out the wrong door.’

You were running from me again, weren’t you?’

Her glance flickered over his blue eyes and quickly away.

Was it because I called you Sweet Cheeks?’

She was silent for a moment then a tiny laugh escaped. ‘Possibly.’

He stared at her. ‘You’re the most beautiful woman I ever did see.’

Ruby knew from the heat in her cheeks that her face had turned the fiercest red. She was panicking, unable to cope with these feelings.

How kind,’ she said coolly, trying to re-assert control of her emotions.

She sounded like Claire. Good. Now she had to be Claire.

I want you to know I’m more’n just a cop.’ He flexed his right hand – his punching hand – and grimaced. ‘I’m a bull-rider. I’ve won the bull-riders’ championship at Flint Hills Rodeo three years straight, and no-one west of State Line can rope a steer as good as me.’

Evidently, you are not a man who sits at home in a smoking jacket listening to Schubert.’ She was using biting sarcasm as a defence and was surprised when he chuckled.

Sure don’t sound like me.’ He shifted. ‘I’m building my own house out in Abilene with a veranda looking west to the sunset. And a picket fence that goes all around. Out in the yard there’s a live oak some say was used by Sherman’s scouts.’ He paused. ‘Come out with me Ruby. No strings. Just you and me. Bottle of wine. Steamboat on the Missouri. Moonlight. Then we can talk, start over. What do you say?’

It sounded appealing, and very romantic. All the pieces fitted perfectly, except one:

Him.

It would be like wanting a cuddly cat and being given a tiger. He was too masculine, too overpowering, too much in charge. If she wanted to rock the security of her little world by going off with another man, she would choose Payat. Payat with his gentle manner, his shy dark eyes and, of course, his wildly romantic appeal.

But she wasn’t prepared to go off with another man. Like a filing cabinet, her life was compartmentalised and ordered. Edward was her husband. Payat was a delicious fantasy. And Gephart was the rogue piece of paper that had to go in the bin.

It was time to tell him she was married.

I’m mar-’ She stopped and thought: This man is a cop, a control freak. What if he has the old-fashioned notion that this little lady should be at home with hubbie and not in some seedy bar mixing with drug-fuelled Hells Angels? What if, in a fit of pique, he tells Edward? Then I’m in big trouble and all “shore leave” will be revoked – permanently.

Hank sighed. ‘Sometimes I get the feeling you don’t like me.’

Possibly.’

He grabbed her wrist. Astonished, she found herself staring him straight in the eyes. ‘No, you don’t dislike me, Ruby,’ he whispered. ‘In fact, I bet if I asked nicely, you’d give me a kiss.’

She had the sensation of standing on railroad tracks and feeling, or imagining, the far-off trembling of something large racing her way. And yet she was powerless to move away as much as a step.

Go on, Ruby, I’ve been injured in the line of duty. Give me a kiss.’

No.’ His hand felt like a steel band around her wrist.

I saved your hide.’ Although his tone was cheeky, his eyes pleaded.

Then will you to let me go?’

I promise.’

Alright,’ she conceded, telling herself that for right or wrong, he was now sitting here because he’d believed she’d needed rescuing. She lowered her head, touched her lips to his cheek and jerked back.

His face was stamped with indignation. ‘What the hell was that?’ he thundered.

A kiss.’

I meant on the lips.’

She stared down at his mouth. A voice in her head told her to do it, another voice told her to run like hell. But she couldn’t run; not with him holding her. She bent and quickly pecked him on the lips. ‘There! That’s a kiss.’

Where I come from lady that was no kiss.’

He stood up abruptly. She sensed what was about to happen and felt the flutter of giant wings open inside her chest. But before she could step away, he pulled her against him, one hand coming around her to hold her arms, the other gripping the back of her head. She was immobilised, unable to turn from his advancing kiss. He lowered his head and slowly brushed his mouth across hers; she could feel his breath coming into her. She felt a dart of hot desire shoot up from between her legs. Then his mouth was on hers, pressing down…

A cheer of female voices and male wolf-whistles erupted from the doorway. Hearing it, Hank lifted his head to his audience, his arms loosening their hold on her. ‘Now that’s a kiss!’ he smirked.

Humiliated, she slapped him across the cheek and strode for the door. Laughter broke over her head like a wave. She shouldered her way through a jubilant crowd of heavily perfumed females and grinning cowboys. The bastard had got a laugh at her expense!

A man shouted out. ‘Hey, Hank, I got a notion she don’t like you!’

Another man agreed. ‘You ain’t gonna be herdin’ that pretty heifer into yer corral any time soon.’

In the babble of voices she heard: ‘… got yerself a maverick.’ ‘… Roxanne.’

It wasn’t until she was outside that she realised she was crying.

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*BLOG TOUR PLUS AUTHOR POST* – A Hundred Hands, by Dianne Noble (includes excerpt & giveaway)

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AUTHOR POST

I’d been doing voluntary work in India, teaching street children to speak English, and when I came home again had the idea that the journal I’d kept would be a good basis for a novel. Unhappily, agents and publishers thought differently and after 32 rejections I stopped submitting, sat back and licked my wounds.

The painful truth was that my writing just wasn’t good enough. After nursing my bruised ego for several months, I decided to write another book, also based in India, but with a different storyline. I joined two writing groups and took my work in, chapter by chapter, week after week. Their critique was merciless and within a very short time I felt tempted to abandon the whole idea. What? A writer? Me? However, the stubborn part of me persevered and bit by bit every chapter was re-written, every word checked and evaluated, until I had a complete manuscript. I trawled The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook to find agents or publishers who 1) dealt in contemporary women’s fiction and 2) accept unsolicited manuscripts. I discovered that they were very thin on the ground!

It took Conville & Walsh 17 days to refuse me and Curtis Brown 5 weeks. Some took months to respond, others never answered at all. It’s hard to describe how demoralising it is when everyone says no. You wonder if you’re totally deluded thinking you can write, and your skin seems to get thinner rather than thicker. Wine intake rises dramatically and chocolate goes through the roof!

When I received an email from Tirgearr Publishing my heart sank. I really couldn’t take another rejection. But it wasn’t! It was an acceptance and a contract. I don’t know how many times I read it, totally disbelieving that somewhere, someone (apart from me) thought I could write.

That was a year ago and A Hundred Hands will be my second book with a third already submitted. If anyone out there is writing and ready to give up, listen to me! Keep going! Join a writing group, not a cosy one with coffee and cake, but one who will critique your work, pull it to pieces, possibly reduce you to tears and then when it’s as good as you can get it, start submitting and keep going until you’re accepted.

ahundredhandsbydiannenoble200

Excerpt

Polly was dreaming of the night they came to arrest David, hearing the pounding on the door.

But when she woke she could still hear it. It was real.

She struggled to untangle herself from legs and arms. Ran for the door, heart banging against her ribs. Behind her girls screamed with fear and she heard shouts from the boys’ room.

Struggling with the ancient bolts, she broke a nail, skinned her knuckles. Outside stood a young man.

He averted his eyes from her bare legs, addressed the doorframe. ‘Meester Murdoch?’

She sucked her bleeding finger, gave him a blank stare.

‘Emergency. Where is, please?’

What was he talking about? She shook her head but he pushed past her. A screech of wheels as a stretcher followed him. Small frightened faces peeped round the door.

‘It’s all right. Go back to bed.’ She tried to sound reassuring.

They rushed Finlay towards the front door. His eyes, those eyes which had looked at her with such love, were closed. The colour of his face resembled ashes. She reached out to him but they’d already passed. Please God, don’t let him die. She stood, frozen, the blood from her finger dripping on to the floor.

‘We are thinking heart,’ the man called over his shoulder, then they were gone.

She leaned against the wall. A heart attack. It had to be a direct result of Pushpa vanishing. He had been beside himself, totally distraught. She buried her face in her hands. Nimesh had died, for God’s sake, and Finlay had taken it in his stride. But Pushpa was different.

She slid down the wall till she reached the floor. How could she have got it so wrong again?

Blurb

Following her husband’s arrest, Polly is forced to flee her small Welsh village. While she is in India visiting an old school friend she meets an older man, Finlay.

She is hugely affected by the way he is trying to alleviate the terrible suffering of Kolkata’s children who live on the streets in poverty and deprivation. As she becomes more involved in the day to day work she begins to fall in love with him. Together they share the heartbreak and also the happiness.

Then something changes and Polly begins to believe Finlay is hiding the same dreadful secret she ran away from.

Buy links:

Amazon UK:   Amazon US:

Smashwords:   iBooks:

Kobo:    Barnes & Noble:

BIO

diannenoble

I think I became a reader before I could walk. While other people had childhood memories, I amassed a vocabulary. I was born into a service family and at the tender age of seven found myself on the Dunera, a troopship, sailing for a three year posting to Singapore. So began a lifetime of wandering – and fifteen different schools. Teen years living in Cyprus, before partition, when the country was swarming with handsome UN soldiers, and then marriage to a Civil Engineer who whisked me away to the Arabian Gulf.

Most of the following years were spent as a single parent with an employment history which ranged from the British Embassy in Bahrain to a goods picker, complete with steel toe-capped boots, in an Argos warehouse. In between I earned my keep as a cashier in Barclays, a radio presenter and a café proprietor on the sea front in Penzance. All good material for an author!

I always enjoyed writing and kept a journal whenever I travelled abroad, but it wasn’t until I retired I had the chance to write a book. My first novel Outcast was published as an ebook in March 2016 by Tirgearr – after 32 rejections! This has been followed by A Hundred Hands. Both books are set in India and are based on the diaries I kept when I did voluntary work one winter, teaching English to street children in Kolkata.

Web and social links:

www.dianneanoble.com

www.facebook.com/dianneanoble

www.twitter.com/dianneanoble1

*****

GIVEAWAY!

Make sure to follow the whole tour—the more posts you visit throughout, the more chances you’ll get to enter the giveaway. The tour dates are here: http://www.writermarketing.co.uk/prpromotion/blog-tours/currently-on-tour/dianne-noble-2/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

**RELEASE BLITZ PLUS AUTHOR POST** ~ Kabana Wild: Tropical Duet 1, by Josie Jax (includes excerpt)

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Contemporary Menage Romance

#SportsCarSex  #menage  #LGBT  #Looseid  #hotsex  #MMF  #romance

 Release Date:

Kabana Wild: Tropical Duet 1 – March 1, 2016

Upcoming:

Jamaica Wild: Tropical Duet 2 – April 5, 2016 

Publisher:

Loose Id

Word Count:

Kabana Wild: Tropical Duet 1, Approx. 77,000 words 

Heat Level:

Scorching; bedroom doors wide open; frank sexual language though also romantic. 

Blurb:

Kabana Wild: Tropical Duet 1

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Three people…three depraved plans…one inferno of scandalous pleasures.

Movie star Mitch Wulfrum is tired of deflecting the gay rumors buzzing around him. It’s time for drastic measures to suppress them once and for all–even if it means marriage in name only to the first trophy wife he can get his hands on. And beautiful sugar-cane princess Kiona ‘Alohi fits right into his plan.

Kiona can’t believe her luck when she’s presented with Mitch’s proposition. Her overbearing father is dangling her trust fund over her head as an enticement to dump her oh-so-sexy, but oh-so-unsuitable lover, Nakolo. A bogus marriage to Mitch will net her everything she wants–money and love, even if she can only have Kol on the sly.

What she doesn’t expect are the sexual sparks that fly between her and Mitch, or, when Kol catches them together, the heat that flares between the two men. One scandalously pleasurable encounter after another fans the flames of attraction, until they begin to dream that all three of them could have everything they ever wanted–and more than they ever expected.

An intricate, fragile web of lies and deceit are all that keep their wanton secrets from erupting into the public eye. Trouble is, one scheming photographer named Anjelee has already clicked the shutter that could ruin all their lives.

Author Post 

Hot Sports-Car Sex in Books ~ by Josie Jax

What’s your hottest car-sex moment? I’m sure most of us have been there…in a cramped back seat with a lover, twisting like a pretzel, and making the most of every inch of car space.

As an author of erotic romances for over twelve years, I’ve written countless lovemaking scenes from vanilla missionary to…how shall I say…creative, sometimes acrobatic scenes.

During the editing process for authors, we go through first or second rounds, line editing, proofing, and so on. When my book was in the proofing stage, the proofer commented on Twitter about the first in my Tropical Duet series with Loose Id (Kabana Wild—book 1, now available; and Jamaica Wild—book 2, coming April 5). The proofer’s tweets:

“OMgawd hyena laff while proofing Kabana Wild

And:

“I will never look at a sports car in the same way again”

There is a lot more #hotsex that follows the below scene in the book (and in the book as a whole), but here’s a snippet of the sports-car lovemaking chapter to get your engine revving. 😉 Now get mine revving—share your hottest car-sex stories!

P.S. Jamaica Wild: Tropical Duet 2 by Josie Jax releases April 5, 2016.

Excerpt:

Kabana Wild: Tropical Duet 1,  by Josie Jax

He thirsted for her as always, but how to get his final fill of her in this cramped little sports car?

Nakolo, the sunroof… It was as if Pele whispered the solution in his ear.

“Stand up,” he ordered.

“S-stand up?”

“You heard me. Stand up. Remove your shoes, plant a foot on each seat, and stand up so your top half is through the sunroof.”

Her mouth fell open, and a sound that resembled a wheeze tore from her throat. He watched as she blinked, scanned the inside of the car, and looked up through the sunroof. Nakolo knew the precise moment understanding dawned on her.

For a full thirty seconds, she stared deep into his eyes, her own tearing up. She finally understood his desperation and intense desire to have her, to reclaim what was his after seeing her with another man.

Kiona twisted, assuring the car remained in park, and removed her shoes. She reached for the sunroof’s edge and pulled herself to a standing position. She was a tall woman, and it was a small car, so with her feet placed as wide as she could get them on each front seat, the roof came to waist level.

She set her elbows and forearms on the roof and leaned on them. “I’m ready,” she whispered down to him.

He scooted forward and drew up her dress, stuffing the front hem beneath the garment’s waistband. And there it was, her jewel—his jewel. Nakolo’s mouth watered, and his balls throbbed, engorging like a balloon ready to pop.

Hemolele! Mmm, my love, you are so gorgeous, so”—he swiped his tongue up her slit, eliciting a scream from her—“delicious.”

The flavor of cream and faint salt burst in his mouth. Holy islands, she was wetter than the sea. He drew back and studied her toned thighs and the top of the V they held dear. Except for a small patch of dark curls above her clit, she always kept her pussy shaved for him so he could feel her silky lips on his tongue or encircling his shaft. The labia were smooth and naturally tanned, her nub pink and swollen, emerging at the top of her cleft like the early bloom of a hibiscus. God, what perfection!

Nakolo couldn’t delay any longer. He wrapped his arms around her hips and reached behind her. Sinking one finger into her dripping-wet puka, he closed his mouth over her swollen bud.

She screamed again, this time far louder. He heard her hands slap the roof and rejoiced when her voluptuous body spasmed in his arms, against his face. He flicked his tongue over her clitoris while gazing upward through the sunroof. She was like a siren of the sea. He watched as the Pacific winds blew inland, tossing her hair in a wild mass, her breasts perky mounds, her face contorted in ecstasy.

Her pelvis did a swiveling dance, abrading over his face. She growled, reaching for that pinnacle that always came so easily for her. Nakolo pumped his finger faster, adding another, then a third. She spread wider, accommodating him, coating his fingers with her stickiness. With his tongue, he thoroughly explored every fold, crease, and little bulge, knowing the time would come very soon when he would have to yank her down into the car and plunge himself into her.

She was almost there, he could tell by the stiffening of her dance and the animal mewls escaping from deep in her throat. But somewhere in the sexual blur of his mind, Nakolo heard the hum of a car engine. He whipped his head around to see a sleek Mercedes pull up behind Kiona’s car.

“Goddamn it,” he swore when he saw none other than Mitch Wulfrum—the damn movie star—unfold himself from the driver’s seat and stride toward Kiona’s car.

Kiona’s windows were darkly tinted, so most likely Mitch couldn’t see Nakolo. If Mitch had spied Nakolo’s truck back at Jager’s house, he’d probably know Nakolo sat in her car. But if he hadn’t peered out the window at Nakolo’s boyish antics, Mitch wouldn’t know whose truck it was and might assume Kiona was alone and the truck abandoned.

Not knowing one way or the other added an edge of excitement to the unexpected situation. Nakolo’s loins simmered with reluctant fire. Did he want to be discovered or not?

As Mitch approached the driver’s side, Nakolo studied the strikingly handsome face, the tall, lean body…and the bulge in the jeans Mitch now wore. Nakolo swore under his breath. Why was it he found the sight of this man sauntering nearer so very arousing while Kol orally pleasured Kiona? Where had his anger gone? And why hadn’t he demanded an explanation from Kiona about her tryst with this man before Kol had dived right into satisfying his sexual urges?

“Mitch, what are you—what are you doing here?” Kol heard Kiona choke out.

 Buy Links:

Kabana Wild, by Josie Jax

Amazon US:    Amazon UK:    Amazon AU:

Loose Id:    Kobo:  Google Play:   ARe:

Author Bio, Website, & E-mail:

JosieJax

Josie Jax is the new pseudonym for a USA Today bestselling author of erotic romances in various genres. She lives in the Midwest and dreams of becoming a crazy cat lady by rehabbing an old barn into a fancy mansion for stray cats and stranded kittens.

Please visit Josie’s website at http://www.JosieJax.com or feel free to email her at josiejax1@gmail.com.

Author Social Links:

https://www.facebook.com/josie.jax

https://twitter.com/Josie_Jax

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**Blog Tour, Exclusive Author Post & Review** BLOQ by Alan Jones

Released in the last week, we are pleased to be joining gritty, Scottish crime author Alan Jones (The Cabinetmaker, Blue Wicked) for his latest work of fiction, BLOQ, during his release blog tour! Not only do we have the book info and review for you, but the author has written an exclusive piece for us, whereby a main character from the story is being interviewed by a journalist, also a character from Bloq!

bloqTitle: Bloq

Author: Alan Jones

Genre: Crime drama, thriller

Release date: April 1st, 2016

Released by: Ailsa Publishing

Length: 300 pages

Blurb: A father waits in Glasgow’s Central Station for his daughter, returning home from London for Christmas. When the last train has pulled in, and she doesn’t get off it, he makes a desperate overnight dash to find out why. His search for her takes over his life, costing him his job and, as he withdraws from home, family and friends, he finds himself alone, despairing of ever seeing her again.

This is a gritty crime novel with some sexual content.

BUY LINKS:

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

REVIEW ***** (5* rating)

Bloq is an extremely well-written dark and gritty crime novel, telling the story of a widower whose devoted daughter doesn’t come home for Christmas. The father goes to all lengths in the search for her, with twists and surprises that really do shock and create emotion within the reader.

We start where the reader is succumbed to a fantastic, dark-but-gripping prologue, demonstrating foul play and providing us with the curiosity to find out just who the victim is, and who did it. I love it when books reel you in, straight in at the deep end at the very beginning. In this way, there’s no leaving the story until you get some answers. The author has his claws in you, and you’re hooked!

One cannot help but feel completely devastated for Bill. He is a very likable, gentle character, and not only has he been widowed recently, but now his only daughter, Carol, has gone missing with no explanation. Since she moved down to London for her career as a journalist, Carol always took the time to return to Glasgow, visiting her parents, and now just her father. She would always let him know which train she was ready to catch and he would then meet her at the station. When her train arrives with no sign of Carol, he immediately senses that something is wrong; she hasn’t called or texted him. And so he waits for the next; all the time the reader senses his gut feeling that something is wrong.

As the story begins to unfold, and with little help from the police, Bill tries to follow the only lead he has from one of Carol’s friends. To be able to keep track of his search he spends a great deal of his time in London, whilst still trying to maintain his day job in Glasgow. With luck going completely against him, after a few weeks of working flexi-time, he is encouraged to leave due to the fact that he shuts himself off and thinks only of his daughter’s disappearance.

Many doors close in Bill’s face, leaving very little hope. But, the sheer determination that Bill has is admirable. The reader can truly sense that he will find out what happened if it’s the last thing he does. I found myself tearing up due to the gentle and caring manner the author wrote about Bill’s actions and feelings – as if it was the author himself that had undergone this terrible ordeal. It is delicately and beautifully written in the places it needs to be. A truly outstanding read.

I love how in all of Alan Jones‘ books the main character has a skilful trade that is incorporated somewhere into the story. In this case it is more subtle than his previous work, but as a fan of the author I truly appreciated it.

Alan Jones has gone from strength to strength with each book (The Cabinetmaker, Blue Wicked). And, I can see Bloq being his most popular to date. It will definitely stay with me for a long time to come, and I can’t wait to read more from this author.

A copy of Bloq was provided by the author in return for a fair and honest review.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

**EXCLUSIVE AUTHOR POST**

To coincide with our blog tour post Alan Jones has kindly provided us with a pastiche of an article written by one of the minor characters in the book, a journalist, about one of the main characters in the book, the owner of the nightclub that gives the book its title – Bloq.

Aleksander Gjebrea – Eastern Bloq Entrepreneur. By Steve Evans The Times, Business section: London Local

I met Aleksander Gjebrea at his up-and-coming nightclub, ‘Bloq‘, a new player in London’s entertainment scene. After hearing good things about the club, bravely located in one of the city’s less fashionable areas, I paid a visit with some friends a week ago. If the evening was anything to go by, the management are pulling out all the stops to attract the cream of London’s clubbers.

While they’re still a way off attracting the A-listers, the club has its fair share of lesser known celebrities and young footballers. And it was busy. Even so, the owner took time to sit down during the evening for a while and chat with our group, and I must say, it would have been hard to imagine a more congenial host. I took advantage of this and asked him if he would be prepared to give me an interview for an article in a series I was writing about young immigrant entrepreneurs who had made their mark on their adopted city, and he kindly agreed.

So, before it opens for the evening’s revelry, we’re sitting in Bloq, drinking coffee and talking about his journey from his first job as a barman after arriving in the UK over ten years ago, to owning a nightclub with multiple zones and a top of the range sound system attracting up and coming DJ’s from all over England.

I asked him first if he’d ever hoped he could have come this far in such a short time. He laughed. “I always knew I would succeed. I would have just kept going until I did. That it happened so soon is just a bonus.” He tells me this in a voice tinted with an accent which is a product of his Albanian origins. I complement him on his English. He smiles and tells me that at first, the accent was detrimental, both in his employment and in social situations, but, the more successful he had become, the more his Albanian tinted speech proved to be an asset, but he stopped short of saying that he deliberately cultivated his accent to appear more charismatic.

He certainly oozed an easy and unaffected charm. A good looking man at 35, he says his single status is largely due to his focus and drive being on the business. He claims to work 18 hour days and, from what I have seen, it would be hard to dispute this.

“When I arrived from Albania, I had three of four jobs in different bars; a day here, a day there, but the owners soon realised that I worked hard and had a good feel for the job. I’d worked in my uncle’s bar back in Vlorë before I left Albania, so I knew the bar trade well. After a few months, I was offered the manager’s job at one of the bars and I increased turnover by £35K in one year. I put the bonus money I’d saved as a deposit on a run-down bar in a not so good area. It was part of a bankruptcy sale and it went very cheap. Within two years I had bought the property next door and expanded out into it. There were lots of students moving into the area and I put in some good audio, hired some decent DJs and did the whole place up as a small club.”

He told me where his first venture was situated, and that his younger brother ran it now. I asked him what had prompted his decision to move on to a new place when he had built up a good business that was doing well for him.

“I knew that I’d taken it as far as it could go. My brother had been over for a few years working for me and I thought of making him the manager, but I decided that he would make a better job of it if he owned it. I know that he’ll pay back the money to me, even though I’ve never asked him for it. It’s in our family make up. So I was happy to hand it over to him. I knew that to achieve my ambition of having a top class club, I needed a bigger venue, in the right location.”

I asked him why he’d chosen Walworth. It wasn’t an obvious place for a top end nightclub.

“It was the building that mattered, and I couldn’t afford one big enough in a more fashionable area. Walworth has good transport connections and is not too far away from central London. This building came up and I knew it was right.”

On the club’s name, he re-told the story I’d heard when I’d visited the club. Originally, he’d intended to call the club Eastern Bloq, a homage to his origins, but the name had been shortened to the more striking Bloq.

We took a break from our interview and he showed me around. The club has four main areas. There’s a sizeable lounge bar with a dance floor; very well decked out with lush seating and a number of tables for diners. The club does a limited menu, but it’s not primarily an eating place. It has a laid back feel to it, and the music is generally smooth, shall we say, and it’s not so loud as to make conversation impossible without shouting. The drinks are priced reasonably for an establishment of this quality, although, for those with too much disposable income, I noticed a few very expensive bottles of wine and some top end spirits on the drinks menu.

A stairway from the main foyer climbs to a terraced seating area overlooking the lounge bar, housing an intimate and quiet corner in the otherwise hectic and noisy venue.

The third area is the main dance zone, and you can tell there’s been a heavy investment in the sound system, and just as importantly, in the sound insulation that allows the music to be as loud as it needs to be without making the rest of the club intolerable. It’s very impressive, as I saw on the night I was there as a clubber, and the lighting was equally attention-grabbing too.

I asked Aleksander how much it had cost him.

Without blinking, he told me the whole place had cost well over three quarters of a million. I’d suspected it might have been more, but he informed me that he could strike a good deal with his contractors! He said that he’d paid off the loans on his previous club within three years and that he’d been able to put a bit of money behind him before he bought the building that he then transformed into Bloq. Despite that, he adds that it will take him a little longer to clear the debt on his latest project.

“I also run an import\export business between the UK and Albania. There’s a demand for British luxury goods because of the more open economy out there, and we bring produce back from Albania that competes very well with its UK equivalents. This, with some property development we’re also involved in, has allowed us to reduce the debt burden significantly, just five years into the life of the club.”

As we returned to the lounge bar, he showed me the VIP room, that is available at an undisclosed fee to those of his clientele who preferred a more private and personal experience, but with access to all the club’s other facilities.

“It’s very popular for birthdays, anniversaries and the like, and we’re finding it increasingly being booked by commercial organisations for corporate entertainment.”

I tackled him about the drug scene, and how it affected the management of the club.

“Being completely honest, it’s nearly impossible to stop it altogether, but our security is second to none, and we pride ourselves on the fact that the club has no serious drug issues.”

Returning to the lounge area, I asked him where he thought he’d be in another five years.

“My ambition is to make Bloq one of the premier late night London Venues by 2017. I would like to think that we can accomplish it at this location, because it’s good for the local area, bringing employment and extra footfall for local businesses. After that, who knows. Paris, Rome, Madrid?”

Having spent a few hours with the man, and being given a glimpse of the small but impressive business empire he has built from nothing in a very short time, it’s hard not to believe him when he says that he can achieve this ambitious target, and it’s even harder to rule out the possibility that it may well happen.

bloq

BLOQ_Tour

#FREE until Friday *The Unfinished Tale of Sophie Anderson* by Martyn J. Pass

From the author of  the post-apocalyptic fantasies ‘The Wolf and the Bear’ and Haggart’s Dawn, comes a new romantic read with The Unfinished Tale of Sophie Anderson. Released on March 17th, this fresh read is FREE until Friday, and has been added to my reading list for the near future.

The Unfinished Tale of Sophie AndersonTitle: The Unfinished Tale of Sophie Anderson

Author: Martyn J. Pass

Genre: Romance

Release date: March 17, 2016

Length: 133 pages

Blurb: Welding, a Jack Reacher novel and a night in with a bottle of red wine seems to be as exciting as Sophie Anderson’s life gets.
That is until a stint of on-site work brings Tom into her life. He’s been her foreman for years now but when they’re forced to work together for the first time, Sophie begins to see that happiness might have finally taken a chance on her and that the often overlooked manager might just be the man of her dreams.

But Mel, her best friend and flat mate, has a harrowing past that returns with devastating results and Sophie is forced to wonder whether happiness is real or just a fairy tale told to hide the bars and walls of a man-made prison.

Love, heat and passion are as much a part of Sophie’s tale as the grief and suffering which follows her every step. Expect to find her unfinished tale a real and painful journey into the life of someone who might be working a cubicle down from you or in the welding bay on the other side of the workshop. 

BUY LINKS:-

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

Prices are subject to change after Friday, so please order before then for your FREE COPY.

You can find out more about Haggart’s Dawn (with an excerpt), Martyn J. Pass and The Wolf and the Bear by following this link.