Thursday, April 14, 2016

Cold Coffee Press Endorses Her Man In Havana by Fran Connor




If you love action, adventure and thrillers that also make you smile, this is the one for you.

When Harry arrives in Havana on business he's soon way out of his depth as he's drawn into a scam with stolen rum, gangsters, secret police and the beautiful Maria.

This ordinary guy must trawl his hidden depths to find the courage that will keep him alive and out of prison.

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From the time Harry walked into the Saratoga Hotel in Havana, Cuba his routine business trip would be anything but routine. After all, this is Havana which has a mystique unlike any place on earth.

It doesn’t take Harry long to scope out the most beautiful woman on the island and his heart among other things beats with excitement as she notices him and strolls over to him. There isn’t a man on earth that doesn’t dream of classy women like Maria. Harry is mesmerized by her deep brown eyes that look into his soul.

Harry soon discovers that his British accent and inability to communicate well in this multicultural community leaves him at the mercy (smiling) of his new found friend Maria who speaks English, Spanish, German, French, Italian and Russian. With serious business to conduct as an importer, Harry is the luckiest man on earth to have Maria by his side as guide and interpreter. However, business is not as he imagined it to be in Cuba and soon Harry is in too deep.

I would like to share you a quote to show you the author’s writing style and the character’s mind-set.

“There was Neanderthal and one of the grey-suited guys. He held a gun against me, inside a newspaper.
I looked at the line of people in the queue ahead waiting to check in for my flight. Could I do anything? Could I make a scene? These guys wouldn’t shoot me here in broad daylight with so many witnesses. Or would they? Did I have the bottle to find out?
I answered my own question when I walked submissively in the direction the gun was pushing me: away from my ride home. Away from safety and into God only knows what end. In my mind I went through my last will and testament. Most of what I had—which included a three-bedroom, terraced house in Fulham that only had a twenty per cent mortgage on it due to the rise in house prices, a Ford Mondeo and some cash—would all go to my mother.
I thought about what she would say when she heard I’d been shot dead in Cuba: ‘Silly bugger. Always was a prat.’ Then she’d blow most of it at bingo.”

Author Fran Connor writes this fast paced romantic thriller with an intellect of the setting and people of Cuba, with humour and interesting dialog. I personally love it when a man writes romance and I believe any adult reader will enjoy and stay engaged with the plot. According to Fran Connor’s bio and screenplay portfolio, he has seven feature length scripts in several genres with one in pre-production in the UK. Six of his eleven plays have been produced on stage. Fran is a romantic at heart and this is reflected in his writing.

Cold Coffee Press endorses Her Man In Havana by Fran Connor. Other books by Fran Connor found on Amazon include Sophia and the Fisherman, Someone to Watch Over Me, The Devil’s Bridge and Elbourne House-Novella Series Volume One-Eight. We received this book in a Kindle/PDF format. This review was completed on April 13, 2016. For more information please visit Cold Coffee Press http://www.coldcoffeepress.com


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Fran Connor is British and lives in SW France with his wonderful partner Viv, their dog and chickens.

He claims he's living in that area for the lifestyle and weather which he says helps an author's creative juices. It may just be an excuse to drink wine and lounge in the sun.

He writes novels, three published so far with two more coming out soon, two more towards the end of 2015 and one more in 2016.

Six of his eleven plays have been produced on stage. In his portfolio of screenplays are seven feature length scripts in several genres with one in pre-production in the UK. Fran is a romantic at heart and this is reflected in his writing.

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Interview:

What makes you proud to be a writer from SW France? I live in SW France among the vineyards, orchards, and historic villages having grown up and worked in England for most of my life. We are a sum of all our experiences so I can’t really say I’m proud to be a writer from any particular location. Everywhere I’ve been has contributed to my growing development.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? Writing was something I always wanted to do but never had the time until I moved to France. My inspiration to write didn’t come from any one person. Over the years, I’ve admired many authors.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? There are incidents in my life, and places that I have been, that subconsciously feature in my work.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? Having moved to France, I helped set up an English/French Am Dram group putting on dual language traditional British Pantos. I wrote the scripts. Then I wrote Murder Mystery plays and one Musical. I found stage plays too restrictive to allow my imagination free reign so I moved on to writing novels. Now I can travel anywhere in time and space with as many characters as the work requires without worrying how it will be achieved on stage.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? Reading the genuine reviews of my work.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Seeing my books for sale.

How many published books do you have? Four full-length novels and a series of novellas that is currently up to Volume Nine and ongoing. I have two more coming out later this year.


Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? I start off with a working title and sometimes change it when I get to the end.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I don’t write in any particular genre though I always have a romance in there somewhere.

Which book title would you like featured in this interview? Her Man in Havana

What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book (one book) that you are seeking promotion for? Last year I went to Cuba and fell in love with the island and its people. We didn’t just do the tourist locations. It has inspired such greats as Graham Greene and Hemingway. Though I have enough sense not to put myself in their league, I could see why they found it so fascinating.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Write because you want to write. If it is a chore just to make money go find another way of making it.

Who is your favorite author and why? I don’t have a favorite. There are so many good ones.

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When Sophia takes a vacation in SW France and falls in the harbour she's rescued by a fisherman.
He's no ordinary fisherman and he has a secret that makes her think again about her values and future.

Genre: Romantic Thriller


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If you love romantic thrillers with a strong female lead who refuses to be a victim, you'll find this novel hits the mark. In 1930s Spain, Alicia has it all; youth, beauty, brains and wealthy parents in the sherry business.

It all comes crashing down when she kills the son of the corrupt local police chief for trying to rape her. Knowing she would not get a fair hearing, she dumps the body in a lake. Then the Civil War breaks out, her parents are murdered and the police chief discovers who killed his son. Alicia goes on the run and finds refuge with a gentle piano player in the Sierra Nevada where they try to stay out of the war. But the war comes to them.

This is an epic story of love, survival against the odds and the endurance of the human spirit.

Genre: Romantic Thriller


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An uplifting, sad and funny story that follows the love of a soldier and a nurse through WW1 and afterwards as they struggle to keep their love safe from forces bent on its destruction. One critic described a chapter as 'The most delightful sex scene in the history of historical fiction'.
Genre: Historical Fiction


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Ex-pirate, Daniel Carver returns home to the East Hampshire area of England intent on living a peaceable life with his stolen fortune. Daniel quickly finds himself in the middle of a fierce battle for Elbourne House with Charles Withington, the money hungry scoundrel attempting to steal Elbourne House from the current owners - the Abercrombie family.

The Elbourne House series follows the stories of the families in and around Elbourne House from the mid - 17th century to current day.

Packed with drama, romance, and passion, Elbourne House will keep readers enthralled with the many twists and turns the characters experience through their lives.

Genre: Fiction Drama, Romance


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Retired pirate Daniel Carver successfully negotiates the purchase of Elbourne House.
After surviving an attempt on his life by the hired guns of his nemesis Charles Withington, Daniel sets out to return Elbourne House and it's grounds to past splendor.

Daniel's life is soon complicated by another dilemma. He must sort out his feelings between two women determined to win his affections.

Caroline Baverstoke, a beautiful but cunning socialite betrothed to Withington, or Charlotte Abercrombie, the daughter of the previous owner of Elbourne House.

Volume 2 details the tug of war these two women play with his heart, culminating in the unexpected result to a deadly showdown at dawn.

Genre: Fiction Drama, Romance


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Volume 3 of Elbourne House finds Daniel and Charlotte Carver juggling a growing family, managing their stature as leaders in the community, and staying neutral in war torn England in the late 17th century.

The story follows Daniel's attempts to provide for the members of his community and estate, as well as protecting himself and others from the corrupt and power hungry Withington.

The plot takes readers through their encounters with highwaymen, soldiers, and even General Cornwell himself.

Volume 3 finishes the tale of Daniel and Charlotte Carver, but begins a new tale with the journey of Edward Carver, Daniel and Charlotte's great great grandson who is getting ready to sail to America to join the fight in the War of Independence.

Genre: Fiction Drama, Romance


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A swashbuckling adventure and love story as young Edward Carver leaves Elbourne to fight for King George in the American War of Independence. He grows up fast in the thick of battle. When he saves an escaped young slave woman from trackers, it sets him on a collision course with the enemy and some on his own side.

Genre: Fiction Drama, Romance


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Edward Carver has returned home from the Revolutionary War in America. He and his new bride Ruth are the heirs to Elbourne House, and plan to run the estate by carrying on the traditions of the Carver family: fairness, honesty, dignity, and respect.

Volume 5 details the hardships Edward and Ruth face; racial tensions, tensions between different classes in society, and the appearance of Ruth's former captor/slave owner from America. A riveting tale with romance, adventure, and heart pounding confrontations laced throughout. Elbourne House is the best book yet in an already great series.

Genre: Fiction Drama, Romance


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At the turn of the 19th century, the Carver Family is thriving. Edward Carver is a member of the House of Commons, teaming with other forward thinkers to end the slave trade. Their leadership comes at a price. The Carver's find themselves the targets of a sinister kidnapping/murder plot. Sex, murder, and revenge are all prominent themes in this adventure filled tale of the Carvers and their children.

Genre: Fiction Drama, Romance


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When the British evacuate Northern Spain after the Battle of La Corunna. Lt Alexander Carver RN and Lady Emelia are left behind enemy lines and must cross hostile French occupied territory to safety in Portugal. They meet Spanish guerrillas and a fiery Spanish beauty. Alexander finds himself the prize in a battle of wits between the two women.

Genre: Fiction Drama, Romance


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Alexander's moral strength to resist the temptations offered by Carmela is put to the test as he escorts her and Lady Emelia through enemy territory to Portugal. His hope of marrying Emelia seems doomed when he's subjected to blackmail.

Genre: Fiction Drama, Romance


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Elbourne House Volume: One

Ex-pirate, Daniel Carver returns home to the East Hampshire area of England intent on living a peaceable life with his stolen fortune. Daniel quickly finds himself in the middle of a fierce battle for Elbourne House with Charles Withington, the money hungry scoundrel attempting to steal Elbourne House from the current owners - the Abercrombie family. The Elbourne House series follows the stories of the families in and around Elbourne House from the mid - 17th century to current day. Packed with drama, romance, and passion, Elbourne House will keep readers enthralled with the many twists and turns the characters experience through their lives. Book 1 in the Elbourne House series.

Elbourne House Volume: Two

Retired pirate Daniel Carver successfully negotiates the purchase of Elbourne House. After surviving an attempt on his life by the hired guns of his nemesis Charles Withington, Daniel sets out to return Elbourne House and it's grounds to past splendor. Daniel's life is soon complicated by another dilemma. He must sort out his feelings between two women determined to win his affections. Caroline Baverstoke, a beautiful but cunning socialite betrothed to Withington, or Charlotte Abercrombie, the daughter of the previous owner of Elbourne House. Volume 2 details the tug of war these two women play with his heart, culminating in the unexpected result to a deadly showdown at dawn.

Elbourne House Volume: Three

Volume 3 of Elbourne House finds Daniel and Charlotte Carver juggling a growing family, managing their stature as leaders in the community, and staying neutral in war torn England in the late 17th century. The story follows Daniel's attempts to provide for the members of his community and estate, as well as protecting himself and others from the corrupt and power hungry Withington. The plot takes readers through their encounters with highwaymen, soldiers, and even General Cornwell himself. Volume 3 finishes the tale of Daniel and Charlotte Carver, but begins a new tale with the journey of Edward Carver, Daniel and Charlotte's great great grandson who is getting ready to sail to America to join the fight in the War of Independence.

Genre: Fiction Drama, Romance


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Goodreads
Twitter: francis@liotliterary

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Cold Coffee Press Endorses 'milijun' by Clayton Graham


 


It is Australia in 2179.

On a moonlit Nullarbor night, Laura Sinclair and son, Jason, witness aliens descend to Earth. The extraterrestrials endeavour to form a symbiotic relationship with humankind, and Jason is chosen as a genetic link in a bizarre trial involving the impregnation of human females with hybrid embryos and exploration of spiritual compatibility.

Laura crosses swords with Major General Sebastian Ord from the Australian Defence Force, Eucla and Uriel, the enigmatic head of Milijun, a reclusive research facility in the outback. Following a disastrous armed attempt to capture aliens at Cocklebiddy Cave and a fierce confrontation at Eucla, Jason is abducted by an alien swarm.

What follows tests the resolve of Laura to the core. Caught in a relentless web of frightening new technologies and alien mystery, spurred by the undying love of her son, she gains a strength of character she never thought possible.

All she has to do is save herself, Jason and several women and unborn children from the scheming plans of man and alien alike …

Some would call Laura a reluctant heroine, but she is a heroine, nonetheless.

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How It Came to Be:

Milijun actually started as a short story. The birth of the alien RNasia occurred in the short story, and when they decided to wing their way to Earth I knew it could not end there. They seemed to want their universal journey to be worth something; they wanted their mission fulfilled. So I decided to oblige them.

The book is about more than an alien incursion into the Australian outback. It asks questions about our place in the universe, or multiverses (as we are now led to believe may be a possibility).

The novel explores the relationship between a mother and son. How far can it be stretched before the links break? How far would a mother go to save her son? Would she be prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice, or undertake actions she would never have deemed possible prior to the alien incursion?

Above all, Milijun explores the question what would mankind do when faced with an intelligence it cannot understand? It's a good question, for it may happen someday. We are not currently prepared, of course, we are light years away from understanding how we should behave in such a circumstance. 

Milijun challenges our mindsets through the eyes of a mother and son, and as such is perhaps more powerful and meaningful than if that challenge was through the eyes of the United Nations or the President of theUnited States.

In the end, Milijun probably asks more questions than it answers. But it does raise the questions. We cannot relax on Earth forever, ignorant of our cosmic surroundings, idling our time away, creating a mirage of prosperity, which appears to create an equally ferocious misery.

Writing Milijun was a labour of love. It was not easy, but neither was it hard. Science Fiction is a love of mine, has been since I was a teenager, escaping to new worlds in the back streets of Stockport, England, where I grew up as a child. Halcyon days, when education and school milk were free, and summers were real summers. We didn't have much, but we had enough.

Milijun my debut novel, and for me the realisation of a dream.

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Mankind has always had a fascination with extraterrestrials which dates from ice-age cave walls, ancient Egyptian carvings all the way to milijun by Clayton Graham.

This well written novel explores our deepest darkest fears that as a planet we are not ready for an alien incursion, in fact we pretend our intellect can save us. However, in Australia 2179 AD main character Laura Sinclair is faced with the unimaginable when she and her son Jason witness aliens descending to earth.

It is earth’s exploration and mining on the lunar surface that begins the conflict that ultimately results in the alien incursion into the Australian outback. Laura and her son Jason are faced with alien-driven technology that severely tests a mother’s love and resolve to protect her offspring at whatever cost.

It is my intent to share a quote to show you the author’s writing style without spoiling the story. “It was almost 6:30 pm when Laura came across what would later be called the Rawlinna nest. The sun was dropping in the western sky as she staggered wearily to the top of a modest incline and surveyed the collection of old aluminium shacks spread out before her.

She dropped to the ground, partly to avoid detection but also from sheer fatigue. Her face was covered with sweat and there were several dirt marks down both cheeks where she had attempted to clear bothersome flies from her face. Closing her eyes briefly, she sat in silence, not wanting to act in haste but acutely aware that time was crucial. Earlier, she had made a brief stop to drink water from the choppa’s emergency rations but now felt the need for more. She quenched her thirst then nibbled at a foul tasting energy bar as she thought through her next move.”

I invite you to the Australia outback where things are not as you might imagine.

Milijun is a striking name for this novel. I dare you to find its meaning. It is an Australian aboriginal word which also has a Serb-Croatian context.

Cold Coffee Press Endorses 'milijun' a science fiction debut novel by Clayton Graham. We were given this book in a Kindle/PDF format for review. The review was completed on April 9, 2016. For more information please visit Cold Coffee Press http://www.coldcoffeepress.com



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Clayton Graham was born and raised in Stockport, near Manchester UK. He graduated with a degree in Aerospace Engineering from Salford University in 1966 having attained a Student Apprenticeship with English Electric Aviation.

He settled in Victoria, Australia in 1982. He is a retired aerospace engineer who enjoyed working in the field of efficient lightweight structures and watching them fly around the world. 

He has always had an interest in Science Fiction and where it places humankind within the universe we know and love. He loves the ‘old school’ science fiction written by authors such as HG Wells, Jules Verne and John Wyndham.

Milijun is his debut novel, but there are further adventures to come.

Clayton loves animals, including well behaved pets, and all the natural world and is a member of Australian Geographic.

When he is not writing, walking, travelling, or gardening, Clayton enjoys fine food with family, friends and five energetic grandchildren.


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Interview:

What makes you proud to be a writer from Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia? As an aerospace engineer I have worked in the UK, USA and Australia and been lucky enough to visit France, Germany, and Indonesia through the auspices of work. We finally settled in Melbourne, Australia [I was thirty-nine years old] and eventually retired on the Mornington Peninsula. The Peninsula is where my family is, and where we relax among the beaches and wineries. It is pleasant, not too crowded outside the holiday seasons, and well looked after by its residents. 

What or who inspired you to become a writer? I have written since my early twenties, on and off, and always loved science fiction. The works of HG Wells, Isaac Asimov and John Wyndham enthralled me. They were an escape from the backstreets of Stockport, UK, where I grew up.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? I’m from a 'working class' family in the UK. Cobbled streets, fish and chips, bread and dripping, after World War 2. Reading was no doubt an escape into different worlds. Not sure if it was an advantage but I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? Hard to say exactly, but probably around ten years ago when retirement was approaching.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? That's an easy one. Just finishing and recently self-publishing my first novel 'Milijun'.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Considering how difficult it is for a self-publishing author to get reviews - just received my first pending review on Goodreads. Four stars – so I'm quite pleased with that. Hopefully more to come.

How many published books do you have? Just one, published early 2016.

Please list the titles of all your books: Milijun

Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? Around half way through. It had a different title before that. It's an aboriginal word.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? My genre is Science Fiction, though not the really hard Star Wars type. I love writing about different worlds and how people would live and interact within them. It's an escape, but it's also an infinite universe, so anything is possible.

What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book (one book) that you are seeking promotion for? Coming out of a short story into a novel. It seemed the obvious thing to do. The only thing to do. Almost an overnight moment. I find that the characters in the book control the story, where it goes, what happens.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Write what you want, when you want. It doesn't matter if you never use it.

Who is your favorite author and why? Dean Koontz. A master at making the paranormal believable.