Book Tour: The Sinking Chef by Sylvia Ashby {Excerpt}

Today I have an except from the book The Sinking Chef by Sylvia Ashby.

Blurb

“Bridget Jones meets Burnt in this delightful comedy novel about a talented YouTuber and the guy who keeps trying to bring her down. Although part of a series this book is completely standalone, as are all other novels in the Pot Love Series.

In Belsize Park, London, Ashley works hard on her daily YouTube channel “The Sinking Chef”. It’s filmed right in her kitchen, so she doesn’t go out much. 

James is a gruff British TV director, turned publisher, who Ashley had a crush on ages ago. She has moved on but when he calls with an offer to take her out to lunch she doesn’t say no. It’s only lunch – what can go wrong?

The day Ashley meets James for lunch and he promises her a book deal, she makes the worse decision in her life – to hide the book deal from her boyfriend, Giacomo. As things progress Ashley’s secrets mount up and other things in her life unravel. Is there a connection? And how is she going to get out of this without losing Giacomo and the life she loves?

Set in the heart of fast-paced London, The Sinking Chef is a charming story of love, recipes, secrets, and the determination to do thinks right by those you love most in your life.”

Excerpt 

“I stare at the screen exasperated.

Am I being pressured by a bunch of women I’ve never met before into having a baby asap? Isn’t that like the most important decision in your life? One that you don’t take lightly but think about long and hard? Preferably with your partner. Haven’t these women ever heard of family planning?


Then it dawns on me. I know what’s happening here. This is cyberbullying. It’s when people use social networks in a deliberate manner to harass other people. I’ve read a lot about this on the internet. There’ve been suicides. Jobs have been lost over this.


I just never thought it’d happen to me.


I rub my nose with the back of my hand. I brush against the mug of tea, which I’ve put too close to the edge of the table. It shakes perilously. A few droplets splatter over Giacomo’s beige shagpile rug.


‘Shit!’ I jump up and rescue the mug from toppling over. I run to the kitchen for some paper towel and dab the droplets until they dissipate.


‘Phew!’ I plonk back in the chair. Where was I?

I peer at the screen.


SkinnyMumof2: But if u are not pregnant and u don’t have kids and u are not necessarily trying what are u doing on mumsnet AshleyPiccolaMia?


She has a point.

What exactly am I doing on Mumsnet? On a non-bank holiday Monday. When everyone is hard at work milking the cash cow or saving the world.


I can’t tell the truth. Because… thing is… the reason I’m online so much and spend all this time talking to people on Mumsnet and Gay.com (it only happened once! I was curious…) is because I’m bored.


Ever since I moved my cookery show online I don’t get out much. The TV crew I work with comes to the house to do the filming. It’s cheaper that way, and Giacomo’s kitchen is way more swanky-looking than most of the studios’ ones out there.


I’m terribly, mind-numbingly, tear-jerkingly bored.


I get all my groceries delivered.


I don’t have a pet to keep me company. Not even a goldfish—


AshleyPiccolaMia: Finding new friends I guess *smile*

SkinnyMumof2: On mumsnet of all places…

PinkBear87: How has it come to this? To look for friends online? You should be going out there. You should be meeting with real people…

TatianaTopBanana:Honestly, AshleyPiccolaMia you should get a life.

SkinnyMumof2: Yeah. Why don’t you go out instead of lurking online?

PinkBear87: No offence AshleyPiccolaMia but that sounds a bit weird… like stalking…

I gasp. Lurking? Stalking? It’s not like that at all.

AshleyPiccolaMia: That’s not what I’m doing!


But everyone has left the chatroom.

‘Well, that went well,’ I say to nobody in particular. My voice echoes in the empty room. I put my hands to my face. My cheeks are flaming hot. Whatever. I don’t need to talk to people. There are lots of things I could be doing instead.”

If you like the sound of The Sinking Chef you can get your copy from one of these Amazon stores.

  AMAZON LINKS

The book is exclusive for Amazon & in Kindle Unlimited

US

https://www.amazon.com/Sinking-Chef-Pot-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B06ZYGMPLB

UK
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sinking-Chef-Pot-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B06ZYGMPLB

Australia

https://www.amazon.com.au/Sinking-Chef-Pot-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B06ZYGMPLB
Canada
https://www.amazon.ca/Sinking-Chef-Sylvia-Ashby/dp/1548021784

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

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Book Tour: Transition by Jo Huey [Excerpt]

 

Book Excerpt.pngToday I have an excerpt for you for the book Transition by Jo Huey.

Blurb

An autobiography of Jo’s life from the trauma and unpredictability of living in an alcoholic home, through self-development transformation to the more content, happy and successful business woman she is today.

Jo shares her many insights into alcoholism and the effects on the family. An honest and brutal account of Jo’s experience with her father’s addiction to alcohol, she shares the highs and lows of life with an absent father and busy mother.

After life hit an all-time low in adulthood she decided to turn her life around and start a journey of self-discovery. Jo transformed herself through therapy, self-help books, groups, events and more which she shares in the book.

If you have experienced the challenges of living with someone’s drinking, then you’ll relate to Jo’s experience and feel the connection with her story.

If you are interested in an inspirational and motivational story, then you won’t be disappointed. Within the book, Jo shares several techniques you’ll be able to learn and use in your life if you really want the change you seek.

Jo Huey is an inspirational & motivational speaker, coach and author.

Jo gets up every morning wanting to help those with experiences like hers, those affected by someone’s drinking. She connects the dots to form a new picture using practical tools & techniques with the aim that they would genuinely feel better about themselves and live a calmer and chaos free life.

Excerpt

Living in such an unpredictable environment made it necessary for Daisy and me to be independent and know the practical things, because we ended up having to support Mum every day. My dad was not present in more ways than one. That meant we had to be responsible at an early age and help around the house and do chores.

Mum wasn’t the strongest of characters and struggled to stand up to my dad because he was quite intimidating, I didn’t really understand at the time why she wouldn’t speak up and felt very let down by her. I needed her to protect me and stand up to my dad when I wanted to go to a school event or have friends over, but she didn’t feel comfortable doing it a lot of the time so we ended up missing out on things.

A lot of the time Mum was very busy managing the house, students, working and raising Daisy and I so time was a limited resource to her. I really felt deprived of attention because Dad wasn’t there and Mum was too busy. I understand that she had a lot on her plate but at the time I just wanted her to be available more.

Because of some of the situations that occurred at home I felt that as a parent my mum was the one to fight my corner as it were, unfortunately this wasn’t something she found very easy to do. I’m a strong person and have really struggled to get my head around this. I have a whole lot of expectation and morals about how a parent should behave and treat their children and I guess that is very idealistic and we are all imperfect.

With my feelings of anger, sadness and hurt I punished my mum for most of my life. I think a lot of these emotions were misdirected at her instead of my dad. What I never appreciated until very recently was that she too was a victim. When I realised this, I cried so hard my tummy hurt, I hadn’t cried like that in a long time but I just felt such guilt for being so horrible to her. I will go into more details later in the book as to why I had such strong feelings about my mum.

About The Author

Jo is an inspirational speaker, coach and author. She is also an adult child of an alcoholic and shares her personal story of living with an alcoholic father for 16 years and how that has impacted her adult life.

Jo is brutally honest about her experience, explaining how she coped as a child in an alcoholic home and the self-development journey she took in her twenties to overcome the trauma.

If you’ve experienced the impact of living with a heavy drinker, someone’s addiction or mental health problem you’ll relate to Jo’s story. For those of you that haven’t experienced what an alcoholic home brings it will give you an insight into the damage it causes to the family.

Jo shares her story for two reasons, the first is to connect with those that have been affected so they know they aren’t alone and the second to educate and inform others about this very hidden problem.

Purchase Link: Transition by Jo Huey

Thanks for reading

Emma-Louise x

Book Tour: Blood Bank by Zoe Markham

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Hey Everyone. Today I have an extract for you for Blood Bank by Zoe Markham.

Blerb

Benjamin is a programmer moonlighting as a security guard at Dystopia, a seedy club that caters to the down-and-outs, the desperates, the addicts. He’s been building his reputation, saving for a way out – but when he rescues a young woman from the nearby estate, he may just have stepped too far out of line…

Lucy is ordinary; a girl with a deadbeat boyfriend, a normal life and college studies. But when her world takes an odd twist, she starts to wonder about the people she’s meeting, the situations she’s in, the odd aversions and attacks happening around her. They’re just coincidences…aren’t they?

And Zack is in deep trouble. He’s losing his girlfriend, drowning in debt, and has dwindling job prospects – and that’s not the worst of it. His debt is to people who won’t ever forget it, and who want the things closest to Zack’s heart: his blood – and his life.

In the heart of Swindon, an ancient order hides in plain sight, spreading their influence through the streets like a disease. But despite their widespread power they are catching up with the modern world: the vampires are going online, and the Order is about to become more powerful than even they would have dreamed…

Extract

Kashif was the first to wake. Too weak to cry out, he could only lie still and try to piece things together in his mind. He tried to lift his left arm but couldn’t move it, and the effort it would take to shift his whole body and try to lift it with his right was unthinkable. One of them would be down here somewhere, keeping watch, although he didn’t know why they bothered. It wasn’t as if he was going anywhere. The combination of the venom and the blood loss was more than enough to keep him a compliant prisoner.

As he lay back and listened, he slowly became aware of the other presence in the room, which gave him the incentive he needed to force his head up and look around. Pain lanced through every nerve in his body as he strained upwards, and before he could register any more than a dark shape on the opposite bench, his head dropped back and hit the stone hard, knocking him out once more.

The thud woke Zach, who was in considerably better shape than his fellow donor, broken wrist, angry black eye, and all. His left eye could barely open, but his right told him everything he needed to know. The venom was still functioning as an anaesthetic, and although his wrist throbbed and felt awkward, it didn’t pain him as such. He straightened on the bench and held his left wrist up to his chest to try and stem the bleeding, for a moment at least. He managed to lean over and check the level of blood in his chalice. Chalice. He hated the word. It had become so heavily corrupted since he’d got involved with the Clan. It was essentially an oversized, grotesque tumbler. There was a small army of them down here, a never-ending supply of the gaudy, golden monstrosities. Each held around two pints of fluid, and when full they were stored in a twisted version of a larder further down in the basement. Like everything else down there it was made of ancient stone, and cold as the grave. There was never a need for refrigeration; the temperature didn’t get anywhere near high enough for the blood to spoil.

Full chalices were lined up on the stone shelves inside, where they awaited the special masses performed by Father Andrew and his psychopathic parody of a Deacon, Christopher. Zach’s chalice was full, and he was damned if he was going to be bleeding down here without it counting for anything. He called weakly for the priest in the darkness.

If you are interested in purchasing this book then you can do so here on Amazon UK.

Thanks for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x

Book Tour: Trust Me {Excerpt}

Hey Everyone,

Last week I posted a review for Trust Me which you can see here.

Today I have an excerpt of the book. Enjoy!

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

Lana’s Story, 24 December 2014

I paced up and down the living room, intermittently stopping to plump up a cushion and wipe away specks of dust with the sleeve of my jumper. I checked my watch and silently prayed he would hurry up. It was Christmas Eve and I wasn’t sure how long the shops would stay open for. I mentally wrote a shopping list as I looked out of the window for the umpteenth time that hour. There was no way I could replace all of Amber’s presents but perhaps I could at least buy another bike and the Lelli Kelly trainers. Hopefully the pound shop up the road would still be open and I could load up on cheap plastic crap to stuff in her stocking. The cheap doll’s leg would no doubt fall off before we had even carved the turkey but at least she would have things to open. Feeling the tears prick at the backs of my eyes, I swiftly forced them back.

Why did Benji have to do this to us? He’d seemed genuinely fond of Amber. We hadn’t seen him much in recent years but Amber had clicked with him instantly and I was happy she had a man in her life, someone who could throw her high up in the air and blow farting noises on her belly, making her squeal like a lunatic. Just how long had he known what he was going to do? Was he planning the whole thing when he had struggled home on the bus with me a few weeks previously, carrying her bike under his arm and sweating with every step? Did he know that he would ruin his niece’s Christmas when he had watched The Grinch with her just a few days previous and made her laugh with his Jim Carrey impressions? Or had he simply got too desperate, as addicts often do, and felt there was no other option?

It was then that I noticed the silver-framed photograph on the mantelpiece, a picture of Benji, Amber and me at a local ice rink a few weeks prior. Striding over to it, I grabbed it and flung it with force against the wall. It crashed to the floor but didn’t appear to break. Instead, it lay face down on the carpet, as if it was ashamed at the false scene it depicted.

I jumped backwards as a fist connected with the window pane.

‘Lana!’ shouted a man on the other side of the glass, while knocking on the window again. ‘It’s me, Pat.’

With a hand over my heart, I let out a relieved half-laugh. ‘Hang on, Pat, I’ll just let you in.’

Pulling open the door a moment later, I noticed how small he was, no more than around 5’ 2”. He beamed up at me, his face holding a broad smile, packed with pearly-white teeth. He was classically handsome. Studying him closer, I realised he was much older than he looked at first glance, late thirties, early forties, perhaps. His olive skin and dark hair contrasted perfectly with his sharp, green eyes, which were looking at me expectantly.

‘What’s a man gotta do to get invited in around here?’ he quipped, raising his eyebrows.

‘Sorry,’ I stuttered, stepping back and gesturing for him to enter. The heat flushed to my neck and I knew without looking I had turned beetroot.

‘Ah, I’m just kidding, so I am,’ he joked, as he stepped inside and patted away imaginary dust from his long, cashmere coat. I noticed the Irish twang in his voice for the first time, not broad like his mother’s but clearly noticeable.

‘Here.’ He thrust an expensive-looking doll towards me. Beady black eyes stared up from a white, porcelain face. It was kind of creepy but a lovely gesture. ‘From my mammy for the babby,’ he continued. Taking it, I smiled at him for the first time and felt my body start to thaw.

‘Tell her thank you ever so much. Amber will love it.’

Pat followed me into the living room, where I offered him a cup of tea.

‘I won’t bother if you don’t mind, dear. Got quite a lot on with it being Christmas and all.’

‘Of course, sorry,’ I flapped. ‘I guess you have your own family to get back to and here’s me keeping you.’ I tried to laugh but it came out as a squeak. What on earth was happening to me?

His eyes fell briefly downwards. ‘No family – well, unless you count my dear mammy that is.’ He looked back up at me and smiled lazily. I suddenly felt sorry for him. ‘But you know what, Lana?’ he added, having gained his composure, ‘you’re not the only one who is struggling around this time. I blame Dodgy Dave. Margaret Thatcher in trousers that one.’

‘Hmm,’ I offered, having no idea what he was really going on about. ‘I guess you’re right.’

‘So you see,’ he continued, much more jovially, ‘it falls to people like me to help out at a time like this. Like a real-life elf, so to speak.’ He laughed while pointing a finger towards his own face. ‘Now how much do you want to lend?’

Feeling suddenly thrown off by the question, I scratched around inside my brain for an answer. The silence fell upon the room like a giant boulder and I mentally urged Pat to give me a bailout by offering a suggestion. I hated talking money with people at the best of times.

‘How much do you need, Lana?’ he asked again, his tone slightly tighter than a moment previous.

‘Maybe one hundred?’ I asked, my voice meek. I twiddled the sleeve of my jumper with my thumb and index finger as I waited for a response.

‘ One hundred,’ he gasped, his words breaking up into a laugh. ‘Sweet Jesus, Lana, it was hardly worth the visit.’

‘Oh,’ I replied, flustered. ‘I don’t know what the going rate is; never done this before.’

He looked at me for what seemed like an eternity, a look of what appeared to be sympathy, or pity, etched on his face. Walking over to me, he placed his hand on my arm, which sent my heart racing again.

‘I’ll tell you what,’ he whispered into my ear. ‘I like you, Lana, you’re a sweet girl. Take two hundred.’

I tried to object, opened my mouth to speak, but he placed his finger on my lip, rendering me silent in a matter of seconds.

‘No extra interest because it’s Christmas,’ he added. ‘We got ourselves a deal?’

Nodding my head in a trance-like state, I looked down into his eyes.

‘Yes, Pat, we got a deal.’

‘Excellent,’ he beamed, patting me lightly on the cheek. ‘Merry Christmas, sweetheart.’
If you would like to read Trust Me then you can purchase a copy here.

Thanks for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x 

Book Tour: Across Great Divides by Monique Roy {Excerpt}

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Today I have an excerpt for you from the book Across Great Divides by Monique Roy.

Blerb…

Across Great Divides is a timeless, World War II story of the upheavals of war, the power of family, and the resiliency of human spirit. When Hitler comes to power in 1933, one Jewish family refuses to be destroyed and defies the Nazis only to come up against another struggle—confronting Apartheid in South Africa.


As Jews, life becomes increasingly difficult for identical twin sisters Eva and Inge under the oppressive and anti-Semitic laws of Nazi Germany. After witnessing the horrors of Kristallnacht, they flee their beloved homeland, finally finding a new home for themselves in the beautiful country of South Africa; however, just as things begin to feel safe, their new home becomes caught up in its own battles of bigotry and hate under the National Party’s demand for apartheid. Will Eva and Inge ever be allowed to live in peace? Across Great Divides is a tale of one family’s struggle to survive in a world tainted with hate, and the power of love that held them all together.

Excerpt…

Situated in the city bowl of Cape Town, at the foot of Table Mountain, and within sight of the docks, District Six was an inner-city, lively community made up of former slaves, artisans, merchants, priests, fisherman, teachers, midwives, and other immigrants, as well as Muslims brought to South Africa by the Dutch East India Company during its administration of the Cape Colony. A microcosm of clogged streets, filled with butcher shops and bakeries, churches and mosques, Victorian houses, markets, and bars. While it was home to a mostly coloured community, it was also comprised a large Jewish population.

The community of people came from all over the world and different corners of South Africa, and together created a rich mix of distinctive cultures, all living in harmony. But a blighted area existed among this community. The slum was dangerous, rife with gangsters and drug abuse. This den of vices was full of immoral activities, like gambling, drinking, and prostitution, and residents were prone to social ills, poverty and alienation.

Zoe and her daughter Zola lived in the slum in a corrugated iron shack. That was all they could afford and the shacks they lived among almost touched each other. Each shack was not just made from plain sheets of metal, they were adorned with colorful rope and plastic bags, anything the residents could get their hands on to personalize their homes.

Homemade shops, barbershops and salons, and car repair shops, housed in tiny tin huts, were also vibrantly decorated. And the secrets of the community were hidden in their walls. People socialized at the busy shebeens, illegal bars run out of sterile matchbox houses, and at the spaza—small, informal shops that operated out of homes—that sold cigarettes, soft drinks, sorghum beer and milk stout, as well as necessities, like maize meal, bread and sugar.

Life was lived on the streets, but the street they lived on was not really a street. It was an unpaved, dirt road, marked by blood, sweat and tears. It breathed in the sadness and hopelessness from the heavy footsteps of the residents.

Every day Zoe thanked God they were alive. In the warm summer months, their tin shed was like an oven. In the damp, cold winters, they froze and rain water flooded into their home. They shared a dirty toilet with a few other families, and there were no showers. Instead, they washed with water from a standpipe poured into a plastic bucket.

Buying Links…

US Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Across-Great-Divides-Monique-Roy-ebook/dp/B00DQB0ON8

UK Amazon

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Across-Great-Divides-Monique-Roy-ebook/dp/B00DQB0ON8/

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/across-great-divides

ibookstore

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/across-great-divides/id668241043?mt=11

Barnes and Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/across-great-divides-monique-roy/1115892591?ean=9780615832401

Thank you for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x

Book Tour: Somme Legacy by M.J Lee

Martin Lee Schedule Graphic

Hey Everyone. Today I am bringing you an extract for Somme Legacy by M.J Lee.

Blerb..

July 1, 1916. The Somme, France.

A British Officer prepares to go over the top on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

March 28, 2016. Manchester. England.

Genealogical investigator Jayne Sinclair, a former police detective, is commissioned by a young teacher to look into the history of his family. The only clues are a medallion with purple, white and green ribbons, and an old drawing of a young woman.

Her quest leads to a secret buried in the trenches of World War One for over 100 years.

Excerpt…

Hawthorn Ridge, the Somme. July 1, 1916.

 Three hours from now, he might be dead.

Captain David Russell checked the luminous dials of his Mappin wristlet watch for the seventh time. Above him, white cotton candy clouds drifted across the sky lazily towards the German trenches.

The artillery had finally stopped firing in their sector after seven days of pounding the line opposite. A deathly quiet had descended on the trench. None of the men spoke, each one just staring at his neighbour.

Beside him, Crawford, normally so chirpy, pressed himself into the uneven duckboards, his head resting against a painted sign for Lux soap.

What had happened? Had something gone wrong? To his left he could see Malins, the Canadian cinematographer, standing above the fire step slowly cranking the handle of his camera.

He looked down at his watch again. 7.19 a.m. The second hand ticked on, silently tolling his life away. The watch was a present from his wife on their wedding day, inscribed on the back with the words, To David, 25 April, 1916.

He peered over towards the German front line, just 400 yards away on the chalk ridge. As he did so, the ground beneath his feet began to tremble. The tremors increased in power and a massive cloud of dust, dirt and earth thrust violently into the air, spuming forth like a vast, black volcano.

The sound followed a second later; a thunderous boom from the bowels of hell. He immediately clapped his hands over his head and ducked down beneath the rim of the trench. Clods of earth rained down on his men, rattling their new steel helmets.

‘Bloody hell, what the feck was that?’ one of the1437614m shouted above the noise of the falling debris.

‘That was a lot of dead Germans,’ replied Sergeant Flaherty.

Captain Russell raised his head above the rim of the trench. To his left, a plume of dust had risen high into the sky, reaching fingers of dirt into the white clouds. Beneath it, Hawthorn Ridge had vanished, replaced by a vast depression where the German trench had once been. The dust began to drift down across no man’s land and an eerie silence settled down with it.

Why weren’t the first line moving forward? Why didn’t they attack now?

On his right, a fox bolted from cover and ran towards their own line, disturbed and frightened by the blast. Somehow it had survived all the shelling for the last seven days, but the mine had finally driven it out of its burrow.

Russell listened. A few birds had started to sing. Chaffinches, he thought. Even amongst all of this, they still proclaimed all the dirt, wire, shell-holes, and broken ground as their territory.

‘Why don’t the first wave go forward now before the Germans recover?’ he asked Crawford.

‘They’re waiting for 7.30. It’s General Hunter-Weston’s orders. Advance exactly at that time, not a moment earlier,’ answered Crawford, staring out from beneath the rim of his helmet.

‘But the Germans will be shattered by the explosion; they should advance now.’

Still the first wave of troops waited.

The silence was broken by a loud explosion on the right, followed by two others. The German guns had finally woken up and were shelling the reserve trenches. David heard the plaintive cries of ‘stretcher bearer’ echoing across the lines.

He checked his men. They all had their heads down, keeping well below the trench.

Sergeant Flaherty edged towards him.

In front, the sound of a whistle followed by others along the line. He heard a faint cheer before it was blown away by the breeze towards the German trenches.

‘Move the men forward, Sergeant,’ Russell ordered.

‘Yes, sir.’

Lt. Crawford pointed to the left. ’I’ll chivvy along my platoon.’

‘Good luck.’ Russell stuck out his hand.

’It’ll be a walk in the park, sir.’

If this sounds like a book that you would like to read then you can find a copy on Amazon UK

Thanks for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x