Travels With Sushi In The Land Of The Mind by Eduard Shyfrin – Blog Tour – Extract – International Giveaway.

Today, I have an extract for you but also I have three copies for an INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY. All you need to do is either share or like the post and I will select the winners by a random number generator on Friday 11th October.

About The Book

Aaron and Stella spend every summer at their grandparents’ house, playing on the beach in the day, and eating sushi at night. One evening, the children try some special sushi which transports them to an alternate universe The Land of the Mind, a place traditionally governed by maths and quantum physics, which is being taken over by evil and chaos.

With the many different areas in the Land of the Mind being ruled over by the Dark Lords of Intolerance, Fear, Pride, Indifference, Betrayal and Despair, the children are tasked with rescuing the Book of Understanding, which contains all the rules on how to live a good life.

Chosen because of their relationship to the Golden Ratio known as Phi (1.618), Aaron and Stella travel on a Phi-Flyer and are guided by a wise raven called Sophie (who is both a particle and a wave). The children must learn how to navigate the infinite dimensions of quantum physics to save the Land of the Mind from falling into the hands of chaos.

Extract

“In the world where you live there are four dimensions; length, height, width and time. In the Land of the Mind, however, there are also the infinite dimensions of good and evil. Until you do something bad you are in the dimension of good and the Wasabi warriors have no power over you. As soon as you do one evil deed, however, you immediately fall into the dimension of evil and they will then have full power over you. Servants of the Black Queen can appear and disappear at will. Connections exist in the mental space between the Mushi.” 

Both children shook there heads in unison, causing Salmon Mushi to let out a small sigh of frustration before pulling himself together to think of a better way to explain the concept of quantum law. 

“We are mentally connected to those we love,” he said, “as well as to our friends and acquaintances, and even some objects. These connections can vary in their power and their levels of activity, but an evil act will always culminate in an explosion and the destruction of positive mental connections.” 

“So how do we get to this mountain?” Aaron asked, trying to focus on practical details which he felt he could master. 

“You must pass through the zones of the Black Queen’s Leaders, and defeat them. Then you must climb Memory Mountain and open the doors to the cave where the Book is kept. You will travel in a phi-flyer which will be given to you by the Supreme Ruler. While inside it you will be completely protected. It will appear and disappear and move only according to the will of the Supreme Ruler. 

“Before you arrive in each of the of Black Queen’s Leaders’ countries, the phi-flyer will give you the weapons and the tools you will need to be victorious. The wise raven, Sophie, will always be at your side. She is the envoy of the three main leaders and will advise you in any difficult situations you encounter.” 

“A wise raven?” Aaron rolled his eyes towards his sister. 

“Sophie the raven is can be both a particle and a wave, whichever way she decides at the time. She can also appear and disappear at any point in mental space.” 

“How can something be a particle and a wave at the same time?” Aaron’s head was beginning to ache from the effort of concentration. 

“That is another characteristic of a quantum world. I’ll give you an example. If you take a plate with two slots, place a screen behind it and fire an electron in the direction of the slots, what do you think will happen?”  

“The electron will probably pass through one of the slots,” Stella answered for her brother. 

“That would seem logical,” Salmon Mushi agreed, “and then you might expect an imprint of the electron, like that of the tennis ball, will appear on the screen behind the slot. But in fact that is not what will happen. A series of dark and light stripes will form on the screen behind the slot.”  

“And what does that mean?” Aaron asked. 

“It means that the electron behaves like a wave and will pass through both slots at the same time.” 

“That’s impossible!” Both children said at once. 

“It may be unimaginable to you, but it is a fact. And that is not all. If measuring devices are placed near each slot the behaviour of the electron will change. In that case it will behave like a tennis ball and pass through one slot or the other.”  

“But why does that happen?” Aaron asked. 

Salmon Mushi was pleased to have finally caught their attention so thoroughly. “There are many possible explanations, but no one knows the precise reason.” 

“Why a raven?” Stella asked. 

“You remember the first phi-flyer that I told you about and the man who survived the flood with a variety of animals?” They nodded. “Well, when the waters receded he let out a raven, because ravens are highly intelligent. Its task was to return to tell the man what had happened to the world while they were in the phi-flyer. That raven was called Sophie.  

This Little Dark Place by A. S. Hatch – Guest Post – Blog Tour

About The Book

How well do you know your girlfriend?

How well do you know your lover? 

How well do you know yourself?

Daniel and Victoria are together. They’re trying for a baby. Ruby is in prison, convicted of assault on an abusive partner.

But when Daniel joins a pen pal program for prisoners, he and Ruby make contact. At first the messages are polite, neutral – but soon they find themselves revealing more and more about themselves. Their deepest fears, their darkest desires. 

And then, one day, Ruby comes to find Daniel. And now he must decide who to choose – and who to trust.

Guest Post

How my home town inspired my debut novel.
 

I come from a forgotten place. A left-behind place. A place of brief seasonal highs and much longer inter-seasonal depressions. I come from The Fylde. 

The Fylde is a cluster of coastal towns and communities in the north-west of England. Blackpool, with its rusting half-size Eiffel Tower, shockingly high heroin overdose and violent crime rates, and some of the poorest wards in the country, is its de-facto capital.

The fictional setting for This Little Dark Place, ‘Wilder-on-Sea’, is a Frankenstein’d and exaggerated (but not much) composite of the towns, woods and streets of my Fylde-hood. The people in Wilder are known as ‘Wild’uns’. They’re tough. The epithet is “…a grim badge of honour…a symbol of endurance” and I think a lot of people from the Fylde – and other similarly forsaken places – will relate to this. 

Don’t get me wrong, being a Fylde childwas fun. Rollercoasters, donkey rides, fried sugar-dipped doughnuts. What’s not to like? But as I approached my teenage years I started feeling isolated.

Looking at a map of the UK really drove it home. We were miles from anything, from the nearest big city (Manchester), from London, from Europe. Hemmed by the Irish Sea to the west and the M6 to the east, I felt like I was living on an island within an island, in quarantine.

Through the setting – particularly at ‘Lanes End’, the secluded cottage where much of the novel unfolds – I have tried to create a sense of isolation, of claustrophobia. It’s as much about atmosphere as it is the place itself, and I think when readers have spent a bit of time with my (paranoid?) narrator ‘Daniel’ they will start to feel this way.

In TLDP I explore what happens when normal people become extremely isolated, the impact this can have on their psyche. I inflict a series of truly awful events on my characters and observe the fallout. Sort of like the literary equivalent of holding a magnifying glass over a group of trapped little ants, watching them keel, combust. 

Many Rivers To Cross by Peter Robinson – Review – First Monday Crime.

About The Book

A skinny young boy is found dead – his body carelessly stuffed into wheelie bin.

Detective Superintendent Alan Banks and his team are called to investigate. Who is the boy, and where did he come from? Was he discarded as rubbish, or left as a warning to someone? He looks Middle Eastern, but no one on the East Side Estate has seen him before.

As the local press seize upon an illegal immigrant angle, and the national media the story of another stabbing, the police are called to investigate a less newsworthy death: a middle-aged heroin addict found dead of an overdose in another estate, scheduled for redevelopment.

Banks finds the threads of each case seem to be connected to the other, and to the dark side of organised crime in Eastvale. Does another thread link to his friend Zelda, who is facing her own dark side? 

The truth may be more complex – or much simpler – than it seems . . .

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received via Pigeonhole. Many Rivers To Cross is the latest novel in the Inspector Banks series. I found it slightly different to the previous books. Banks seemed to feature less with more focus on Gerry and Annie. When he does appear though, you still see his love of music and fine wine. My thoughts about his character though are changing with each novel. Maybe because of the TV series but also because his increasing loneliness makes him more vulnerable and a little needy with the women he knows.

There is also more focus on modern day news than in previous books. Politics, particularly Brexit, human trafficking, drugs and racism. All of which is seen daily in the news. One of these topics in particular, is covered more than the others and its heartbreaking and unfortunately very real.

One of the more interesting parts of the novel was Zelda’s story. She was a character I really liked. What she went through before her arrival in the UK was horrific and I can see her appearing in a few novels in the future.

This series has the potential to be successful for years to come. I can see it changing, some characters appearing more as Banks gets closer to retirement age but there are still plenty of stories there.

Peter Robinson will be appearing at First Monday Crime on Monday 7th October .

What You Did by Claire McGowan – Review – First Monday Crime.

About The Book

A vicious assault. A devastating accusation. Who should she trust, her husband or her best friend?

It was supposed to be the perfect reunion: six university friends together again after twenty years. Host Ali finally has the life she always wanted, a career she can be proud of and a wonderful family with her college boyfriend, now husband. But that night her best friend makes an accusation so shocking that nothing will ever be the same again.

When Karen staggers in from the garden, bleeding and traumatised, she claims that she has been assaulted—by Ali’s husband, Mike. Ali must make a split-second decision: who should she believe? Her horrified husband, or her best friend? With Mike offering a very different version of events, Ali knows one of them is lying—but which? And why?

When the ensuing chaos forces her to re-examine the golden era the group shared at university, Ali realises there are darker memories too. Memories that have lain dormant for decades. Memories someone would kill to protect.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I am familiar with Claire McGowan’s books having read a few from her Paula Maguire series. This is a stand-alone novel and she has proved that she can do both perfectly well.

When the six ex Oxford University friends had a reunion years after their graduation none of them had any idea that things would go so tragically wrong. The way each of them handled it revealed how their friendship wasn’t as strong or genuine as they thought.

Most of it is modern day and concerns Ali, wife of the charged man and ‘best friend’ of the victim. She was a character who baffled and annoyed me the more I read. Her obsession with image, her snobbery and especially her noticing that her daughter Cassie had chipped nail varnish on her toes when she had a lot more to think about. 

But there are flashbacks to 1993, when they finished university and differing accounts of what happened on the night of the dinner. In each of these more dubious aspects of each character is revealed.

Cassie, her brother Benji and Jake, Karen’s son, were the only characters I really liked. They were the only ones who could see how tragic the events of the night and the few days after were and they were not thinking about the consequences for themselves. 

This is a great novel that made me question everything I was reading. I missed a lot, I suspected the wrong people and I seethed occasionally at the elitist attitudes. It is probably one of the most character driven novels that I have read recently. 

Claire McGowan will be appearing at First Monday Crime on October 7th 2019. Details can be found here https://www.firstmondaycrime.com/

Postscript by Cecelia Ahern – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

It’s been seven years since Holly Kennedy’s husband died – six since she read his final letter, urging Holly to find the courage to forge a new life.

She’s proud of all the ways in which she has grown and evolved. But when a group inspired by Gerry’s letters, calling themselves the PS, I Love You Club, approaches Holly asking for help, she finds herself drawn back into a world that she worked so hard to leave behind.

Reluctantly, Holly begins a relationship with the club, even as their friendship threatens to destroy the peace she believes she has achieved. As each of these people calls upon Holly to help them leave something meaningful behind for their loved ones, Holly will embark on a remarkable journey – one that will challenge her to ask whether embracing the future means betraying the past, and what it means to love someone forever…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I was hesitant about reading this book at first, I hadn’t read PS, I Love You but I was assured that it worked well as a standalone. I’m glad I took the chance, it is a while since I read a book that made me feel so emotionally drained but also enchanted by the characters.

I was prepared to be upset, you would have to have a heart of stone not to get upset at least once when reading this book. Holly’s memories of Gerry were special, but apart from one scene didn’t affect me so much. It was the group of people who Holly decided to help, against advice from friends, family and new partner Gabriel. One of them more than any other, I won’t say who. Everybody who reads will have a character who they have more empathy for.

But there were also moments that made me laugh. Her family, especially her brother Richard and her friends, I laughed every time Mathew appeared.

A truly inspiring novel which showed an unusual way of bringing comfort in a tragic situation. That even doing the smallest thing could make a difference.