Atlantis: City of Mages – Publicist @AuthorParul – Teaser by @RABTBookTours

 

Sci-fi, Urban fantasy

Date Published: Initially published on 12.21.12, revised version 03.02.2021

It was meant to be a place where knowledge could be exchanged peacefully between humans and advanced beings who live among the stars.

It was meant to be a place where amazing feats of science could accelerate the evolution of humankind.

Now, lost and forgotten, the isle drifts aimlessly on the fabric of time and space.

Those who linger on Atlantis use her technology to thieve treasure and fuel the ever-growing greed of the population.

Something powerful has been stolen and Atlantis is now treading close to the waters of karma and fate.

Is it too late to change what has been done?

 

TEASER

I still remember the fall of the Empire. We didn’t have streets paved with gold nor the fountain of youth, but we had corruption and ill-fated greed. In ignorance, we blamed a traveler for the ruin of our culture, when we should have taken the blame for our own destruction. The traveler was never the destroyer we made her out to be. Instead, she was a much-needed outside voice whispering in our ears. She came to us when we were already deep in an era of decay, which sadly drowned her message below the cries of the community. Juron knew where we were headed, yet he pretended to be like us, blind to the situation. He used the traveler as a scapegoat and we, not fully seeing the picture, clung onto the fearful beliefs of the masses. Now, I openly admit that I was wrong, and to the generations henceforth, I want all to know…I’m sorry, Giséi…I’m sorry.

About The Author


M. Arcturus was born and raised in the Midwest. Yearning to break free from a mundane life, she writes after hours hoping that one day her life will be launched in a whole new direction. Even though her stories are immersed in fiction, she dedicates a lot of time in researching science and history to create believable events and environments to assist the reader along their journey within her books.

Atlantis: City of Mages is her first published book; however, her poetry has been published in several publications such as: 2005 Labours of Love by Noble House Publishers Poetry Division, 2003 Gardens of Youth by The International Library of Poetry, and 1999 Poetic Voices of America by Sparrowgrass Poetry Forum. She is currently working on the sequel to Atlantis as well as another science fiction book, a poetry book, and a children’s book.

Her greatest aspiration is for her books to stir the imagination in others and even create a bit of controversy. She wants her readers to form their own ideas surrounding the topics she writes about. She believes that every point of view has the ability to expand knowledge and spur people into action to follow their dreams and pursue their personal truth.

When she is not writing on her books, you can find her on paranormal investigations, painting, working on her photography skills, and seeking new adventures.

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Communicating Through Change by Alicia Sedgwick – Publicist @AuthorParul – Blitz by @RABTBookTours

Self-change, Self-empowerment, New Thinking, Communications Skills, Change Management, Conscious Living

Date Published: January 2021

Publisher: Growth Media AI, USA

 

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This life-changing book will show you how to communicate through major changes in your life and to best express yourself when you need to be heard. It is packed with real-life stories, practical exercises, insightful tips and uplifting affirmations. Addressing relevant challenges, which everyone meets at one time in their life, this book will give you hope, resilience and clarity about how to move forward. By sharing her vulnerability with authentic openness, the author helps you to find your inner strength and to speak up for yourself.

Change Challenges

The one thing we can be sure of – in this life – is that there will be change.”

This is a truth I have never wanted, or liked and yet my life has been full of it. In this collection of chapters of my personal experiences, specifically related to change, I hope you will learn from my experiences to deal with your own and to be able to also share your story. As you dip in and out of the chapters, you may feel that the experience is not relevant to you right now. However, I trust when you return to the book, a certain story will be highly pertinent for you in that moment.

A dear friend reminded me recently how I had agonised about changing my job from one legal partnership to another; spending hours deliberating on the decision; and talking and talking about it! I have always found it difficult to let anyone, or anything go. But I have had to learn to deal with change in my life and to adopt a different approach, which is what I share with you in this book. I provide you with my life learnings about managing and communicating through each change and challenge that life throws at us all, so you can benefit from the best result for you, each time.

Wherever you are in your life, this book provides you with an insight into my life; sharing with you what I have learned and showing you how you can deal with your experiences of change, coming through them with strength and courage. It provides you with practical guidance and applicable exercises to enable you to take conscious actions that will help you communicate your way through a variety of different changes. While the chapters can be read in isolation, the exercises can be applied to more than one change challenge. This book will also help you to understand that you are not alone and whenever you face these challenges, there is support from the insight shared here. Plus, the opportunity to belong to Team Alicia, a supportive group of like-minded people where you are free to be yourself without inhibition, worry, anxiety or fear. Where you will not be judged; you will be nurtured and cared for and what is said and shared in Team Alicia, stays in Team Alicia!

About The Author

Alicia Sedgwick began her career as a lawyer, specialising in family law. This was her first step in helping people who were experiencing difficult changes in their lives. When she moved to the South of France, she began working in radio, as well as in event management, taking care of talent and celebrities. She also created her own internet television show, Asking Alicia, to help families dealing with impactful issues and the profound changes those challenges brought with them.

Alicia began teaching at the International University of Monaco, in Public Speaking and Presentation Skills, Leadership and Managing People. Her communications courses are based on her belief that when you can communicate effectively and with impact, you will be successful in your professional and personal relationships. Soon, her training was extended to the International School of Monaco, and for businesses, individuals, associations and corporations. She is currently helping people to be brilliant online, where communications are so focused in this Covid climate.

Alicia is also a professional MC for events, such as TEDxMonteCarlo, where she brings her individual talent of making everyone feel embraced, included and involved, with humour and empathy.

Hailed as The Communications Guru by her global followers, Alicia specialises in training and coaching for all age groups and backgrounds. She develops her international student’s communications skills and builds their confidence, as well as empowering, motivating and inspiring them. She also helps people navigate their way through the challenges that life throws at us, with the backing and support of Team Alicia, which she created for her students as a place where they can go to feel cared for and nurtured.

This book is her opportunity to share more of herself and tell her story to help more people with their lives. She knows from her life experiences that when we share our story and communicate effectively through change, we can be stronger people and make a more significant contribution in the world.

REVIEW

I definitely want to be on Alicia’s Team after reading this book. She is a very motivating leader and we can learn so much from her.

I loved how the author shares her own challenges from her life to bring authenticity to the book. She’s not just telling you what to do, she’s giving you the why and how it works.

I loved how I could pick up many different things from this book that applied to my life. Let’s face it, not a single person is going to relate to every single part of a self-help book, and that is okay. The point is to open you up to issues you may not even realize.

I loved the guidebook aspect. She gives tips and tricks in an overall guide.

Contact The Author

Please contact me via my website, as below and let me know which experiences of change you have embraced and how the chapters about those challenges have helped you the most. Please share your experiences with me and how you have used the communication exercises to support you. I am always delighted to receive your feedback and comments, and to welcome more change communicators into Team Alicia.

Also, please contact me for personal coaching and training in communications, and for your company, foundation, association and organisation.

Website

LinkedIn

Facebook

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The Leadership Development Tool Kit – Publicist @AuthorParul – Blitz by @RABTBookTours

Redesigning Your Leadership Development

Template to Drive Individual and Organizational Change

Business; Management; Human Resources

 

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Are you a CEO in a small business or start-up company interested in aligning business and talent strategy to inspire your employees?

Are you an HR “Department of One” professional looking to create a legacy project and be recognized as a more strategic partner?

This book is for you!

Practical steps to implement immediately

A set of tools for effective people leadership

Real-life examples of how a leadership development program gives rise to self-motivated, high- performance individuals (and teams) that produce long-term results and a competitive advantage for your business.

With The Leadership Development Tool Kit, you’ll learn how to create a fool-proof talent-building process to impact productivity and help your people thrive in the 21st century.

Shape Organizational Culture * Measure Outcomes * Monitor Employee Satisfaction * Optimize Critical Processes

About the Authors


Michael Sampson
is an author, lecturer, certified coach and former United States foreign service officer who has studied and led international development programs and cross cultural relations since 1979. Michael has over 30 years of leadership and management experience in government and corporate environments. Since retiring from national service, Michael has been CEO of LMI Kenya, a master licensee of Leadership Management International (LMI) Inc., which ranked #1 in Leadership Development Programs in North America by Entrepreneur magazine. Michael continues to promote self-reliance and facilitate leadership development programs which drive results, quality and customer satisfaction around the world. Michael started LMI Kenya because of his desire to be more active in promoting leaders and next generation leadership in Africa. Michael is active in civic organizations including American Chamber of Commerce Kenya. He lives in Kenya with his wife, Alma, and enjoys spending time with his three adult daughters (including Faswilla, with whom he co-authored this book) and two grandchildren. Michael holds a BA in International Studies from the School for International Training and an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Michael Sampson


Faswilla Sampson
is an author, certified coach and co-master licensee of Leadership Management International (LMI) Inc., a performance improvement company specializing in personal leadership and organizational development. As an experienced CEO confidant, Faswilla’s mission is to develop leaders and organizations to their full potential. With more than a decade working in the non-profit healthcare sector in Washington D.C., Faswilla’s strategic planning, program management, leadership and executive coaching experience, make her an organizational change agent. She believes that for any organization to be truly impactful in the 21st century requires developing leaders within all levels of the organization now. She enjoys speaking and presenting on a variety of business topics from leadership to workforce planning to talent management. Faswilla holds a BA from University of Mary Washington and a master’s degree in International Administration from Central Michigan University.

Faswilla Sampson

Purchase Link

Amazon

 

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The Art of Hybrid Timber Framing – Blitz by @RABTBookTours

Architecture & Design

Date Published: 2/23/2021

Publisher: Frank Amato Publications

Hybrid Timber Framing has experienced a massive resurgence in modern architecture. The potential for gorgeous personalized design is unmatched. Hybrid Timber Framing done wrong, however, can create ugly imbalance and detract from the overall look and feel. Done right, it goes so far beyond the initial investment, the value is hard to overstate.

The Art of Hybrid Timber Framing explores the link between traditional craftsmanship, with current building styles such as “Craftsman”, “Rustic”, “Modern” and beyond. It is a must-read for Owners, Designers, and Builders who want to influence the look and feel of their project using exposed beam construction. It is rich with ideas, imagery, and instruction to jump start your inspiration and planning.

Naturally, timbers and exposed beams have outsized impact on the aesthetics of building projects. Adding timbers without weighing the structural and aesthetic impacts can magnify any awkward imbalances; proceeding without addressing these important considerations is very risky.

While this is not a technical manual, you will learn how to avoid expensive pitfalls and understand the diverse timber styles showcased in this book. This will help you better communicate your ideas, achieve an enjoyable building process, and maximize your probabilities of getting the right look using hybrid timber framing. This guide will help you plan and build it right the first time!

You will Discover:

How to achieve optimized beauty by first defining ugly

Where to draw the line with hybrid timber framing

Seven chapters portraying diverse and unique timber styles

How to avoid the over simplified “Hail Mary” approach

How to accurately predict the cost of hybrid timber framing

Learn from a Master of Hybrid Timber Framing. There is absolutely no need to repeat needless mistakes. Bert Sarkkinen, the author, has explored timber framing from the perspective as a builder, a designer and a researcher. His specialty has been in matching clients’ personalities and tastes, to the ideal timber frame designs to accentuate what is unique about the clients project or theme. The book delves into these relationships between design preferences, and actual Hybrid Timber Frame applications. Structural aspects, timber sizing, the golden ratio, and design/build processes are necessary for a successful the outcome. This book is highly informative, with beautiful photography, and is like a coach in your pocket a with personal touch!

About The Author

When Bert Sarkkinen was 16, he quit his job as a farm hand and went to work for his father as a framing apprentice. This golden opportunity gave him the foundation to become a trailblazer in the hybrid timber framing industry.

Fascinated with the way people tick, Sarkkinen discovered that he could match people to the right timber framing options by understanding their personalities. Ultimately, when their wants and needs are properly analyzed, it results in a personalized Timber Framing experience that exceeds expectations.

He understands nuances in personality types, such as thinkers tend to go for function before form. The way people talk, the vernacular they use, can say a lot about their real tastes.

Through a “Trial By Fire” Bert Sarkkinen built his team and dialed in the best people to take the vision of his company to the next level. As the company gained more traction, and employees took more ownership, Bert became a visionary and a leader, teaching the craft of timber framing to others as well as instilling in them years of expertise as an ally to help them succeed.

Today, Bert Sarkkinen is not only the founder of Arrow Timber, he is also the author of The Art of Hybrid Timber Framing, releasing as a second edition, January, 2021. The book is a guide for people who want to explore Timber Framing, and for those who enjoy the unique aesthetics it offers architecture and homebuilding. It is a look into the amazing world of Timber Framing and it makes for a beautiful coffee table book.

Bert can discuss:

· How Timber Framing can be personalized art

· How one can discover unknown aspects of their personality by their preferences in style and design – the quiz he created for potential clients

· What is personalized art? What happens when it is done right? When it is done wrong?

· What do you mean when you suggest people should focus on outward things and not on inward things?

· Why is it important for people to value their gifts? What words of wisdom can you share about not “downplaying” ones’ self?

· Why do you recommend people to always break a sweat before taking a shower?

· What are daddy long legs?

· Advice to future business leaders about tenacity and perseverance.

· What are the four levels of “ugly” and how does this tie into being happy?

Contact Links

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Blog

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Airway is Life – Publicist @AuthorParul – Teaser by @RABTBookTours

Nonfiction

Date Published: February 28, 2021

 

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A national health crisis is stealing your family’s sleep away, one breath at a time. In Airway is Life, Dr. Meghna Dassani, DMD gives you the information you need to spot sleep-disordered breathing and other issues so that you can get the help that you and your family need. Why are all stages of sleep important? What diagnosis might show that sleep is an underlying issue? How can you convince your doctor to prescribe a sleep study? Dr. Dassani’s interesting, accessible work will give you the tools you need to protect your family’s sleep breathing and change their lives.

About The Author

 
Dr. Meghna Dassani is an internationally educated dentist practicing in Houston, Texas. She received her initial dental training from the University of Mumbai, India where she graduated in 1996 and she operated a successful practice there for 6 years prior to moving to the US. She is a 2005 graduate of the Boston University (BU) Goldman School of Dental Medicine, where she was actively involved in research projects and she enjoyed working in communities surrounding the dental school.

She has been practicing in Houston, Texas for the last 15 years. She has a passion for providing patients with the highest quality of care that will benefit their overall health. Screening and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea in adults and children is an integral part of her practice. Her vision and goal for herself and her team is to help patients with sleep disordered breathing get the treatment they need to live healthier, happier lives.

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Requiem – Blitz by @RABTBookTours

Poetry

Date Published:

Hard-cover: December 2020

Paperback: January 2021

Kindle/e-book: January 2021

Audiobook: January 2021

Through its 211 interwoven poems, this double-tiered recursive crown of sonnets takes the reader on an epic journey to the heart of mankind’s would-be nemesis – herself – and back again. Does her destiny await in the unexplored depths of the cosmos, or in a toxic wasteland of her own making? Does she have the will to shape her own future, or is she a slave to her myopic wants and impulses?

Requiem takes the existential threats facing humanity – from the destruction of the environment to nuclear holocaust – as a lens through which to reflect on the fate of civilization, humanity and ultimately conscious life in the universe.

About The Author


A software engineer by trade, Daniel Ståhl splits his time between software development, research, teaching, writing and being the father of two.

Daniel has previously published both fiction and non-fiction, with his latest forays as an author delving into strictly metered poetry. His latest book, Requiem, came into being in the intersection between the rhythmic cadence of sonnets and his despair at the sanguine apathy with which the human species approaches the prospect of its own extinction – with all of its implications for his children.

Daniel received his MSc degree from Linköping University, Sweden, and his PhD degree from the University of Groningen, Netherlands.

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Ways You Could Be Sabotaging Your Training by @tammystraining – Blitz by @RABTBookTours

Non-Fiction

Date Published: Feb 19th, 2021

Are you struggling to train your dog? This book can help!

Written by a certified Dog Trainer this book is designed to offer general dog training troubleshooting. The intent is to identify and address things you might unknowingly be doing that can sabotage your best training efforts and hinder your beloved companion’s progress.

The author, Tammy L. Hein brings up the specific issues she’s found to be the most common over her decade of dog training experience.

Every point is explained to help you see the downfalls of your methods from your dog’s perspective. With this book, you’ll gain deeper understanding why your dog behaves the way he does, where you’re falling short as a trainer, and best practices that’ll get you on the right track in no time! Don’t give up—get this book and get started!

Excerpt

Back when Rosie was two years old we started training for an Excellent title in Canadian Rally Obedience. This meant that we got to work with jumps, tunnels, and weave poles.

When I first started, I lured her to go through the weave poles. She caught on quickly, and we thought we were making progress.

Then I removed the lure, and she got lost. This caused both Rosie and I to get frustrated.

YouTube Video

https://youtu.be/xh5jvJCXo3A

About The Author


Tammy L. Hein gained her certification through Animal Behavior College Dog as a trainer and has ten years of experience training dogs. Her goal is to help dog owners better understand their four-legged companions and in doing so, help them better co-exist. She’s a firm believer that no dog is untrainable and that with the right tools, any owner can remedy their pet’s issues.

When she’s not writing books that will help dog owners, she’s training dogs, reading, or spending quality time with the people near and dear her heart—family and friends. Tammy lives in Saskatchewan, Canada and she’s married to a patient, loving husband. Together, they have two kids that are wilder than the craziest dogs she’s met; but she loves every moment.

Contact Links

Website

Facebook: @tammys.training

Twitter: @tammystraining

Instagram: tammystraining

LinkedIn: Tammy L. Hein

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The Leadership Development Tool Kit – Publicist @AuthorParul – Teaser by @RABTBookTours

Redesigning Your Leadership Development

Template to Drive Individual and Organizational Change

Business; Management; Human Resources

 

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Are you a CEO in a small business or start-up company interested in aligning business and talent strategy to inspire your employees?

Are you an HR “Department of One” professional looking to create a legacy project and be recognized as a more strategic partner?

This book is for you!

Practical steps to implement immediately

A set of tools for effective people leadership

Real-life examples of how a leadership development program gives rise to self-motivated, high- performance individuals (and teams) that produce long-term results and a competitive advantage for your business.

With The Leadership Development Tool Kit, you’ll learn how to create a fool-proof talent-building process to impact productivity and help your people thrive in the 21st century.

Shape Organizational Culture * Measure Outcomes * Monitor Employee Satisfaction * Optimize Critical Processes

Teaser From the Book

Leadership development programs empower employees, increase employee retention, and improve productivity, thereby adding to the bottom line of businesses. That said, we would like to acknowledge that the development of an organization does not depend only on a leadership development program; it also requires supporting and implementing equity throughout the organization.”

About the Authors

Michael Sampson


Michael Sampson is an author, lecturer, certified coach and former United States foreign service officer who has studied and led international development programs and cross cultural relations since 1979. Michael has over 30 years of leadership and management experience in government and corporate environments. Since retiring from national service, Michael has been CEO of LMI Kenya, a master licensee of Leadership Management International (LMI) Inc., which ranked #1 in Leadership Development Programs in North America by Entrepreneur magazine. Michael continues to promote self-reliance and facilitate leadership development programs which drive results, quality and customer satisfaction around the world. Michael started LMI Kenya because of his desire to be more active in promoting leaders and next generation leadership in Africa. Michael is active in civic organizations including American Chamber of Commerce Kenya. He lives in Kenya with his wife, Alma, and enjoys spending time with his three adult daughters (including Faswilla, with whom he co-authored this book) and two grandchildren. Michael holds a BA in International Studies from the School for International Training and an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

LinkedIn

Faswilla Sampson


Faswilla Sampson is an author, certified coach and co-master licensee of Leadership Management International (LMI) Inc., a performance improvement company specializing in personal

leadership and organizational development. As an experienced CEO confidant, Faswilla’s mission is to develop leaders and organizations to their full potential. With more than a decade

working in the non-profit healthcare sector in Washington D.C., Faswilla’s strategic planning, program management, leadership and executive coaching experience, make her an organizational change agent. She believes that for any organization to be truly impactful in the 21st century requires developing leaders within all levels of the organization now. She enjoys speaking and

presenting on a variety of business topics from leadership to workforce planning to talent management. Faswilla holds a BA from University of Mary Washington and a master’s degree in International Administration from Central Michigan University.

LinkedIn

Chokecherry Girl – Publisher @PublishingAcorn – Tour by @RABTBookTours

Young Adult, Coming of Age, Multi-Cultural Fiction

Date Published: 2/16/21

Publisher Acorn Publishing

It’s 1958. Racial tension and class disparities have everyone on edge in a small Montana town. Despite their differences, three women of the community become the unlikeliest of friends.

BOBBI VERNON is a quirky teen, who will do whatever it takes to drive her teacher’s new Chevy convertible. Adding to the already volatile mix, she meets Pretty Weasel, an Indian basketball player, who calls her Chokecherry Girl. She dreams of dating him and wearing his class ring.

PATSY OLSON, after two failed marriages, is desperate to get her life back. After opening a beauty shop with a shaky bank loan, she watches Coach Vernon, Bobbi’s father, arriving for school each day. Attracted yet wary, she needs the business of the town ladies, including the Coach’s wife, Lois.

MARY AGNES LONE HILL, an alcoholic Crow Indian who was sent far away to a brutal Indian school as a child, now cleans houses for the town ladies and longs to end her estrangement with her son, Pretty Weasel.

These three women are drawn together through an illicit love affair, a stolen car, and a shooting that changes their lives forever.

Review

This novel was very well written and had a great story line. I liked that it wasn’t a typical Young Adult novel, it was definitley coming of age and can be read by many age groups. It also had other elements to it as well. I felt as though I could be reading a TRUE story.

I loved the theme of this novel. How everything unfolded and how surprising some of the revelations were. A great connections between the characters and their lives. A family book that really highlights each person.

Barbara Meyer Link has a beautiful and smooth writing style. It was very easy to follow.

About The Author

Award-winning California author and poet, Barbara Meyer Link, has had three stories aired on KVPR, a National Public Radio Affiliate. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in numerous literary magazines and small presses. She also received the Sacramento State University Bazzanella Prize for fiction. Her memoir, Blue Shy, was published in 2010 and awarded first prize in the Sacramento Friends of the Library First Chapter contest. She co-authored Coffee and Ink, a handbook for writing groups and was a past editor of Sacramento’s Poetry Now. In addition, she was a poet/teacher for California Poets in the Schools for over fourteen years. Most recently, she was awarded second prize for poetry at the Mendocino Coast Writer’s contest.

Partial list of publications. American River Review, Poetry Now, Mindprint Review, Anima, Missouri Review, Women’s Compendium, Hardpan, Earth’s Daughter’s, (2014-2016) Whitefish Review, Dead Snakes, Noyo Review, Piker Press (on Dec 5, Dec 12)

Blue Moon Literary & Art Review (2019, 2020)

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Instagram: @Saclynk

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JC’s Cure for Cancer by @MikeScantlebury – Blitz by @RABTBookTours

Amelia Hartliss Mysteries” series, Book 17

Crime Fiction Mystery Thriller (with some Romance)

Date Published: April 11th 2018

What would you want the world to give you if you discovered the cure for cancer? Jeremy Ceremony thinks he’s done just that, and he wants cash. Some people are calling him ‘Jermy Cer-money’ because of it. Strangely, Melia has never heard of the man, but several people she does know, love, and care about are afflicted by the disease and she would really like it if none of them died. Well, some do and some don’t. Why that should be is a mystery. It’s also a mystery that Salford seems overrun by people with grudges, eager to settle scores and balance the books, maybe quickly, while they are still alive. If only Mickey was here to help her, but Melia is alone – not for the first time – facing a terrifying old adversary, someone whose feelings for her have only just been realised. What is she going to do, now and in the future? Some people say she needs to move on, and apply for that top job at the Unit. But for the life of her, Melia can’t seem to make up her mind about anything. Maybe Deputy Director Caulfield will have to do the thinking for her. (If only he would stop finding bombs in bags, life would be so much simpler – and last longer.)

Excerpt

The Vicar had been talking to Melia in her office, a small room near the front door. She was about to lead the younger girl out when the phone rang.

She had to pick it up. It could be an Emergency, she was thinking.

It was. Someone was dying.

Melia was still sitting in the chair across the desk from her interviewer. She didn’t know whether to stand, or wait. She had secured her first objective – getting accepted in the church – and was happy to move on, doing whatever was needed to feed and provide bed places for a dozen homeless people. It was a good cause. She was happy to help.

The Reverend Karney was growing increasingly agitated. Her voice was rising, in pitch and mood.

“No, he is NOT here,” she snapped. “I don’t know where he is. He should never have given you this number! It’s completely unacceptable. Yes, I know what you would have read online. Jeremy does that. He works online. No, he doesn’t work here. He comes to our Monday morning group, that’s all. I can’t tell you any more. Really.”

Melia found herself becoming concerned. She had only just met this older woman, but she felt confidence in her. She seemed to know what was right, what was needed. Why was she being harassed? It sounded awful.

“No, do NOT get on a plane!” the priest insisted. “He can’t help you. It’s not real. Yes, that is my opinion.”

She was shaking when she put down the phone. There seemed to be tears in her eyes.

Melia did the only thing she knew how to do – she walked round the desk and put her arms around the other’s shoulders. She held her tight, as she had held her colleagues when things went wrong and there was nothing else to do.

The priest, on the verge of tears, didn’t actually cry. If anything, she seemed to be getting angry.

“Irresponsible!” she snapped. “Completely irresponsible. He has no right to be saying these things.”

Melia guessed it had nothing to do with the Homelessness Project. This was something completely different.

Perhaps that was why the Vicar was so upset. She needed to be focussing on the homeless and was being distracted.

“Maybe tonight,” the priest said unsteadily. “In the coldness and dark of the early hours, I’ll tell you the whole story. A parishioner, a member of the congregation, is a trained engineer. He believes he has found a device, a concoction of wires and probes, that has miraculous properties. It can do all sorts of magical things. It can heal and repair.”

Melia looked interested. Something new? An invention?

The Vicar explained: “Jeremy says it can cure cancer.”

They both looked at each other, weighing that up, thinking through the ramifications.

But the priest really was annoyed. “That call was from a man in Texas,” she stormed. “He said he had read Jeremy’s web page. He wanted to know if I could ‘verify’ the claims – if I could ‘guarantee’ a cure! I said I couldn’t. He said he was ‘prepared to get on the next plane’. I can’t have that. I can’t have invaders from all around the world – “

She was lost for words. Horror and concern flooded her face and she looked about to explode.

It was a poignant moment for Melia.

She could have told her new ’employer’, if they had known each other well enough, that yes, most people called her Melia, but her given name was Amelia Hartliss, and her friends, as well as a few enemies, liked to call her ‘Heartless’. It was a good joke, and mostly, quite appropriate. When she was busy, doing her job, Melia had no time for unnecessary emotions. She was a consummate professional, able to concentrate on the job in hand, doing what needed to be done.

But here, now, in this struggling, small church, in a suburb that was deprived and in need of regeneration, Melia felt herself overwhelmed by surges of unexpected doubt, fear and despair. People with cancer, facing death, were willing to fly half way across the planet in search of treatment? What a horrible position to be in.

Melia, ‘Heartless’ to the world, found herself strangely moved.

About The Author

What can you say about Mike Scantlebury – that isn’t taught in schools already?

Well, he says he was born in absentia (the small town on the Bay of Biscay), beside the dock of the bay, but moved to England when young, and not yet able to navigate astutely. His family settled in the West Country of England, near a cross culture called Temp Chelney, where his father became a map maker and mushroom farmer.

When the borders were changed in the 1980s, Mike packed a service record and moved to an apartment in the nearby city of Bristol. This is where he first got involved in folking, flaking and faking. Later, he became disenchanted.

You can find Mike Scantlebury on the internet.

It’s @MikeScantlebury on Twitter and ‘mikescantlebury99’ on Facebook. And, surprise, ‘mikescantlebury’ on Linked In.

If all else fails, try him at home (he may not be in): http://www.Salford.me/

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GIVEAWAY

Anyone who buys the e-book in February at the specially reduced price of 99c will be entered into the Prize Draw to win a voucher for a free audiobook. 5 Available